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Thursday, May 24, 2012 - Page updated at 06:30 p.m.

Seattle Center Playway is latest thing in 50th birthday celebration

By Madeline McKenzie
Seattle Times staff

Seattle Center will be a focal point of fun this weekend, with Northwest Folklife Festival combined with the opening weekend for Seattle Center Playway. The Playway is the latest attraction at Next 50 Plaza celebrating the 50th anniversary of Seattle Center's creation as the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

Playway attractions for all ages include a climbing wall, zip line, inflatable slides and other attractions that will rotate to provide a variety of experiences throughout the season. Playway debuts Friday through Monday, then is open weekends through June 24, daily June 29-Sept. 3, and weekends Sept. 8-30.

The zip line has no age or height restrictions, though riders must weigh at least 45 pounds and not more than 250 pounds. Some attractions may have height restrictions, but the goal is to always offer something for all ages, with the option of single tickets or unlimited all-day ride passes.

Continuing Next 50 events include the Earth Portal GeoDome guided tour of the universe ($7-$9, hours vary) and Habitat for Humanity's House of the Immediate Future, which demonstrates sustainable building practices and technological innovations, open daily. The Museum of History & Industry's Celebrating Century 21 exhibit at International Fountain Pavilion includes "Centuries of Progress: American World's Fairs, 1953-1982," with artifacts, documents and photographs documenting Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. It's open daily, with free admission.

Other events at Seattle Center this weekend include the Northwest Folklife festival, Friday through Monday, and two major attractions debuting this week, Chihuly Garden and Glass and Pacific Science Center's special exhibit, "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs."

Seattle Center Playway

Time: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday Monday; noon-7 p.m. weekends, June 2 through 24; daily starting June 29, noon-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, noon-7 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 3.

Cost: $1.25 per ticket (rides require 1-6 tickets) or $12/all day pass excluding zip line; $19/all day pass including zip line.

Location: Seattle Center, Seattle.

More information: 206-684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com/playway).

Getting to Seattle Center

this weekend

King County Metro shuttles run Saturday, Sunday and Monday for Northwest Folklife festival and all events at Seattle Center. Northgate shuttle from three Seattle locations: Northeast 110th Street and Third Avenue Northeast; Northgate Transit Center; and Aurora Avenue North and North 85th Street. Renton shuttle from South Renton Park & Ride, South Second Street and Burnett Avenue South, Renton. $2.50/person, cash only.

Some Center lots offer reduced parking rates for vehicles with three or more occupants.

More info: Metro Transit, 206-553-3000 or tripplanner.kingcounty.gov; Sound Transit Link light-rail, 206-398-5000 or soundtransit.org; Seattle Center Monorail, 206-905-2620 or seattlemonorail.com.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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