The Must List: February

Our top to-dos for the month of February

Category: Arts + Events Articles


1. Pump Up the Jam

The Chilly Hilly

Named “One of Four Classic Rides” in America by Bicycling magazine, the annual Chilly Hilly bike event on Bainbridge Island—now in its 37th year—should win points for truth in advertising. The 33-mile ride is indeed both chilly and hilly (and also damp). But for the 4,000+ riders who participate, those hardships only amp up the prestige, not to mention the yen for spring. Bundle up and ride, or cheer from the sidelines. 2/22. Course open 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Registration required. Prices vary. Starts at Winslow ferry dock. 206.522.3222;

2. Get Lit

“72 Hours” at Richard Hugo House

We don’t know why they did it, but we’re glad they did. Writers Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), Pam Houston (Cowboys Are My Weakness) and T. M. McNally (Until Your Heart Stops) agreed to sequester themselves in Seattle hotel rooms and write a complete story from scratch—using “ingredients” provided by Hugo House—just 72 hours prior to reading it before a live audience. No lip synching, no nets, just seat-of-your-pants skill. 2/13. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave.; 206.322.7030; tickets:

3. Think Spring

2009 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Ye timbers may be shivering now but never fear, warmer weather is just around the corner. (OK, maybe a couple of corners.) One sure sign is the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, whose miles of blooms and garden gadgets might just tide you over ’til spring. This year’s theme, “Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places”—showcasing bonsai gardens, orchid gardens, kitchen gardens, roof gardens and more—reflects a focus on being all kinds of green. 2/18–2/22. Times and prices vary. Washington State Convention & Trade Center, Seventh Avenue & Pike Street; 206.789.5333;

4.  Be a Better Valentine

The Art and Science of Love

If you aren’t signed up for U.W. couples therapist Dr. John Gottman’s hugely popular weekend-long relationship workshop at the Seattle Center (2/7–2/8), your best hope is purchasing the DVD version. Created with his wife, Dr. Julie Gottman, The Art and Science of Love ($175) offers seven hours of guidance for couples either struggling or just looking to take things to a higher level, and includes exercises such as “Creating a Love Map.” It ain’t a box of chocolates, but it just might work. DVD and future workshop information available at

5.  Spin a Yarn

Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat

The popular workshops at this annual knitters fest are already full (so you missed out on “Antique Danish Wristlets”and “Latvian Mittens”), but you can still hit the Yarn and Fiber Marketplace, featuring aisles and aisles of warm, fuzzy vendors just waiting to meet your knitting