Tukwila Welcomes Students Back to School

Last month, the small but mighty Tukwila School District welcomed students back to their classrooms.

Founded over 100 years ago, the historic district has about 3,000 students enrolled at its five schools: Cascade View Elementary, Thorndyke Elementary, Tukwila Elementary, Showalter Middle School, and Foster High School.

As one of the most diverse school districts in the county, Tukwila School District embraces the many languages spoken and different cultural backgrounds represented in their hallways and classrooms. Over 80 languages are spoken at their students’ homes and about half are enrolled in English language and cultural customs learning.

This year, students and the almost 400 district staff were greeted with some fresh amenities and upgrades that will improve student learning and campus life. Here are just a few:

  • Foster High School was built in 1992 and hasn’t had a renovation since. In 2021, the school completed a $30+ million renovation, including adding over over 15 classrooms, expanding the common spaces, overhauling the gym and weight room, and upgrading other critical building infrastructure.
  • Showalter Middle School was built in 1937, remodeled in 1996, and updated this past year with an expanded gym, cafeteria, and common spaces and upgraded building systems.
  • Cascade View Elementary, Thorndyke Elementary, and Tukwila Elementary expanded their footprints, remodeled existing spaces, and updated the building systems to be healthier and safer.

Learn more about the Tukwila School District’s diverse student body, qualified staff, and exciting new facilities here.

Outdoor Art on Display in Tukwila Parks

Over the summer, Tukwila Parks and Recreation partnered with Urban Artworks to support the local art scene and add visual vibrancy to the city with the “Arts-in-the-Parks” initiative. The program solicited local artists and provided them with stipends to bring their visions to life through painting murals in select locations throughout the park system.

Check out the murals for yourself with this self-guided map and keep an eye out for the upcoming Pop-up Banner Gallery bringing art to Tukwila neighborhoods near you!

Here are just a few of the fantastic creations these talented artists brought to our community:

A Day in the Garden, Angelina Villalobos

On the site visit at Riverton Park, Angelina noticed the beautiful Gully Gardens P-Patch in full bloom. Her goal was to create a design that represented the flowers of each season in the Pacific Northwest, along with the endangered native bird, Varied Thrush.


Pristine Pacific Northwest, Heather Sparkles

“The location I was given for this project was the cabin at Bicentennial Park, which gave me thought as to the concept of ‘home’. I wanted the window and door panels to feel like entrances to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. My hope is that it will inspire people to treat the park and all of nature around us as we treat our own private home dwellings – with care, respect, love, and stewardship.”


Bird Friends of Tukwila, Annemieke Beemster Leverenz

This mural depicts a stylized vista of the Green River and Cascade Mountain Range as seen from Tukwila. The view is populated with native birds that frequent the area.


Starry Calamansi Night, Nikita Ares
“I was inspired by the location itself! The forms and colors were based on the energy of people constantly moving and passing by the park, and the colors of the green nature plus the playground.”

Experience Foods and Flavors From Around the Globe

There’s no better way to enjoy the distinct multiculturalism of Tukwila than through food. The Tukwila Village Farmers Market is the perfect place to sample flavors from around the globe and farm-fresh produce grown right here in our community.

Now in its third year of operations, the market offers produce grown by independent farmers who hail from the countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more. It also features an array of culinary offerings from the Spice Bridge food hall, which serves a rotating cast of global cuisines, such as Cambodian, Afghan fusion, Congolese, and Caribbean.

“They’re selling things that you won’t necessarily see at the grocery store or at other farmers markets, but [that] serve the needs of many different cultural groups,” said Kara Martin, program director of the Food Innovation Network.

The market is hosted by the Food Innovation Network — a program that supports small food business development and aims to improve local food systems in diverse communities in South King County — and acts as an incubator for urban growers and immigrant and refugee businesses.

The Tukwila Village Farmers Market runs every Wednesday from 4-7pm through October 13 and is located at the Tukwila Village Plaza (14350 Tukwila International Blvd). The market accepts cash, debit, credit cards, and SNAP (including double benefits with SNAP Market Match). Come hungry and leave happy!

Want more ideas for food options in the city? Check out our dining and shopping pages.

Summertime Fun in Tukwila!

Summer is here and we’re ready to shake off the past year, get outside, and enjoy the season. Here are a few must-try local activities to check out before the rain rolls back in.

Bicycling is a great way to soak up the sun and get some good exercise. Tukwila has great city bicycle routes, including connections to the Green River and Interurban Trails. The Green River Trail follows the scenic Green River for almost 20 miles from Seattle to Kent. Similar in miles, the Interurban Trail (South) connects Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Algona, and Pacific along the historic route of the Puget Sound Electric Railway. Both offer great views and bike-friendly amenities along the way.

For those looking to test their swings, polo shirts, and cart driving skills, hit the greens at the Foster Golf Links, just minutes from I-5 and I-405 in Tukwila. Foster is a place for friends to develop their golf skills and enjoy the natural scenery and wildlife. Make sure to visit the course pro shop and restaurant while you’re there.

True to its name, Family Fun Center offers a broad entertainment lineup that everyone from Grandma to Junior will enjoy. This includes an assortment of outdoor attractions best paired with sunny weather, such as miniature golf, go karts, bumper boats, and batting cages. Check out the Wristband Special, which for a limited time, offers unlimited attractions at a discount price.

Perfect for those hot days with no AC, Tukwila Community Center’s Splash and Spray Park offers much needed respite from the summer heat. The park is packed with water-feature fun, like fish themed waterspouts, car wash style play areas, run through fountains, and more. It’s free for everyone to enjoy and open 10am – 8pm daily. Bring the kids and pack some snacks – it’s gonna be a long day!

Photo by Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority.

Want more ideas for summer fun? Check out our Activities page.

The City of Tukwila’s First Annual Juneteenth Commemoration

In 2020 the Council adopted Resolution 1992, declaring that Juneteenth will be recognized every year in Tukwila.  It’s a celebration of emancipation and an opportunity to honor African Americans in our community through continued learning and understanding of the impacts of slavery.

This year the City of Tukwila hosted their first Juneteenth Commemoration, “Continued Learning – The History of Juneteenth: Past, Present and Future of African American history.” Scroll down to view video highlights from this year’s commemoration, or watch the full length event video at the bottom of the page. While this inaugural commemoration was virtual due to the pandemic, the City’s goal is to grow the Juneteenth Commemoration over time into an annual Tukwila community-wide event.

A History of Juneteenth

The Commemoration of Juneteenth is a nationally-celebrated event that takes place every year on June 19, known as “Juneteenth.”  Learning its history provides understanding of how this day came to be. Juan Padilla, City of Tukwila Human Resources Director, presents an overview of the history of Juneteenth that includes a special performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” from the Church by the Side of the Road Choir.

Growing and Farming in Tukwila: History Before Southcenter Mall

Before Southcenter Mall was developed, Tukwila was a farming community and many African American families were bused in from Seattle Central District to work on these farms. Wayne Perryman discusses the history of African Americans in Tukwila and describes what it was like working on the farms before Southcenter Mall.

Honoring Joe Duffie

Tukwila Councilmember De’Sean Quinn honors former Councilmember Joe Duffie, the first African American elected to office in Tukwila and one of the city’s greatest civic leaders.

Soul Food – A History of African American Cuisine

Trish Kinlow, City of Tukwila Court Administrator, discusses the history and cultural importance of African American cuisine and shows us how to cook two soul food classics – Smothered Cabbage and Succotash.

Honoring Tukwila Community Members

Nichelle Page presents the City of Tukwila’s Community Leadership Awards to Tukwila School District’s Marva Harris and Foster High School students Alexis Mburu and Jadon Crawford.

Sankofa: Looking Back to Move Forward

Praxis Essentials gives us an original spoken word and movement performance.

Watch the Full Length Juneteenth Event

Continued Learning – The History of Juneteenth Resources

Juneteenth Commemoration

National Resources

Washington State Resources

King County Resources

Stream These Documentaries

  • African American: Many Rivers to Cross
  • Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football 
  • High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America
  • Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train Comin’
  • 13th  
  • Venus and Serena  
  • The Loving Story

New Beginnings in Tukwila

Spring is a time to usher in the new, so we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a few exciting new activities and openings to complement the season.   

In May, the two-time defending champion Seattle Seawolves kickoff their first homestand of the season, with games against Rugby United New York on May 2, San Diego Legion on May 9, and Rugby ATL on May 23. For those unfamiliar with the game, rugby is a thrilling mixture of team-based strategy, high-speed collisions, and skilled tackling, kicking, and dribbling — all done without pads! The games will be held right here in Tukwila at the Starfire Sports Stadiums, where every seat in this spacious, outdoor venue offers season ticket holders and casual fanatics alike an unforgettable show. Find out more about the Seawolves and how to purchase tickets to an upcoming game here.  

For those who prefer their action a little less full contact, check out the newly opened Legacy Gaming, which dazzles guests with a premium social gaming experience. Learn about the history of console gaming at the “Turn Back Time Zone,” bring the kids to the fun and educational “Kids Zone,” or just relax in the gaming lounge, which offers lightning-fast speed and performance for gamers. There’s a ton to do all under one roof, so grab a reservation today.

Speaking of relaxing, this spring also marks the grand opening of the Tru by Hilton Hotel. Tru offers easy access to the SeaTac Airport and downtown Seattle, as well as several shopping and entertainment destinations (including the Seawolves’ Starfire Sports campus, conveniently located just a few minutes away).

And finally, several popular stores are opening and reopening at our own Westfield Southcenter in the upcoming months, including AMC Theaters, Round 1, and Urban Outfitters, among others. Check out the Westfield Southcenter website for updates.

Experience something new this spring, Experience Tukwila!

Sponsoring Seattle Restaurant Week

Experience Tukwila is a proud sponsor of Seattle Restaurant Week — a bi-annual celebration of the greater Seattle area’s culinary community. This past year has been especially challenging for the restaurant industry, with COVID-19 forcing many operational changes. Seattle Restaurant Week, which runs April 1 – 3o, is the perfect opportunity to show your support for local restaurants and sample some delicious food while you’re at it.

Throughout the month of April, participating establishments will offer special prix fixe menus, with $20 lunch and $35 and $50 dinner options. Venues will offer a variety of dining options to allow guests to choose whatever format works best for them, including takeout, ready-to-heat, delivery, meal boxes, and indoor and outdoor dining as permissible by public health guidelines. 

A full list of participating restaurants can be found here, where you can sort by neighborhood, cuisine, dining options, diet, and ownership to find the perfect place to match your location, taste, and values. 

Participating Tukwila restaurants include Spice Bridge vendors — Afella Jollof Catering, Jazze’s, Moyo Kitchen, Seatango, Taste of Congo, Theary Cambodian Foods, Wengay’s Kitchen, and WUHA — Juju’s Caribbean Kitchen, Duke’s Seafood Southcenter, and Waterleaf Restaurant & Bar. Spice Bridge vendors are also offering a Buy One, Give One option, where you can add $10 to your order to support the Food Innovation Network’s free community meals program.

Here’s sample of some menu items to get your taste buds watering: 

  • Afella Jollof Catering: Chicken Yassa with samosas and fried plantains
  • Taste of Congo: Chicken Moyo with fried plantains
  • Theary Cambodian Foods: Duck curry with vermicelli noodles and toppings
  • Waterleaf Restaurant & Bar: Bacon chips n’ dip, smoked beef ribs, and cedar-infused pound cake
  • Wengay’s Kitchen: Chicken Inasal, garlic rice, pancit bihon, and veggie lumpia
  • Juju’s Caribbean Kitchen: Haitian style spaghetti, chicken gravy bowl, and Haitian crispy fried pork sandwich
  • Duke’s Seafood: Award-winning clam chowder, rockfish tacos, fish and chips, and crab cakes

Full, detailed menu options can be found here. Time to eat your way through the city!


Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening of Legacy Gaming Community

The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the opening of Legacy Gaming Community in Tukwila.

Legacy Gaming Community is a new age arcade that trades the game cabinets and quarters for high-tech consoles. The result is an immersive gaming lounge fit for the modern gamer. They specialize in four forms of gaming: Virtual Reality, PC Gaming, Console Gaming, and Retro Gaming. Any gamer can rent a station and genre of their choice, with content appropriate for their age, in 30-minute intervals.

“As the mother of an 11-year-old gamer, I know how important it is to have access to top equipment for the ultimate gaming experience,” said Andrea H. Reay, President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber. “I’m grateful to Juanrean Cooper and Legacy Gaming for providing a place where our whole family can connect with friends and enjoy gameplay in a safe and clean environment. Creating opportunities for our community to gather in play is essential as we come out of this pandemic and we hope to see you soon at Legacy Gaming Community.”

The Chamber is hosting a small grand reopening for Legacy Gaming on Friday, April 16th that will strictly adhere to all CDC guidelines. Guests must RSVP to the Chamber no later than Monday, April 12th as well as wear masks and practice social distancing at the event.

The ribbon cutting will take place outside of Legacy Gaming, located in Tukwila at 654 Strander Boulevard, between 1:00pm and 1:30pm. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will commence around 1:15pm.

“Legacy Gaming Community is focused on getting back to being a Village for our Youth!” offered Juanrean Cooper, Owner of Legacy Gaming Community.

Event Details:

Grand Opening Celebration of Legacy Gaming Community
Date: Friday, April 16th, 2021
Time: 1:00pm to 1:30pm
Location: Legacy Gaming Community
Address: 654 Strander Blvd, Tukwila, WA 98188
Watch Live on Facebook Here

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guests must RSVP to attend this event. Please RSVP no later than Monday, April 12th by emailing Andrea at the Chamber at [email protected] or by calling (206) 575-3016 to confirm your participation in person. All in-person guests must wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

For those that are not able to attend in person, learn more about attending virtually on their Facebook event webpage.

Tukwila: A Global Dining Experience 

Tukwila is home to a diverse community, making it the perfect melting pot for cuisines from all over the world. From authentic Mexican and traditional Italian dishes to flavorful East African and rich Asian food–your palate will delight in the variety of options available at every turn. Adding to this already robust collection of eateries is the new dining experience at Spice Bridge Food Hall.

Located in Tukwila Village near the Library, Spice Bridge Food Hall consists of women-of-color and immigrant-owned food stalls that operate on a rotating schedule. On a Tuesday, you may visit and find Gambian, Filipino, Congolese, and Ethiopian fare but if you returned on Friday you’d be treated to an entirely new assortment of global delights.

How does this all work? Well, it all began as a Food Innovation Network project aimed at helping immigrants achieve their culinary dreams while gaining a secure foothold in the community. The FIN’s Food Business Incubator pilot program offers subsidized rent options, a shared commercial kitchen, and helps with permits and marketing for these budding restaurant owners.

The 2,800-square-foot facility includes space for four stalls to operate per day plus equipment and resources for up to 20 food businesses to run catering services and to prep for attending local farmer’s markets. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only outdoor dining and takeaway are available, but there are plans for an eventual community hub–a space where visitors can learn about the rich cultures behind each tasty restaurant.

So what’s currently on rotation at Spice Bridge Food Hall? You can find the most up-to-date schedule and full restaurant details here. But trust us when we say, no matter what type of food you’re craving, you’re sure to be able to satiate your appetite. Stop by Tuesday through Sunday and enjoy a global dining experience that supports a good cause.