4 (nearly free) Ways to Keep Seattle-Area kids Busy this Summer

4 (Nearly) Free Ways to Keep Kids Busy This Summer in the Seattle Area

Living in the Seattle-area is rich. Life is good here. It’s also expensive. But that doesn’t mean that your summer has to be a constant battle between boredom and broke. There are so many exciting, fun things for kids to do around town that are either free or darn close to it. Here are four of my favorite ways to enjoy the green of summer- without blowing all the green in my wallet doing it.

1. Splish SplashNorthacres Spray Park
Splash pads have got to be one of my favorite ways to cool off all summer. There is so much good about them! First of all, they’re free. Who doesn’t love free? Also, since there is no standing water, you don’t have to worry about swimming competency or if a lifeguard is on duty. Just show up, get soaked, go home. Kiddos who don’t enjoy water activities can even play on nearby fields or playground equipment, making this a real win-win for the entire family. One last perk? Packing a picnic lunch is super-fun for kids. That saves more money and makes mom look cool. Ready to get your splash on? Where we live on the Eastside there is Crossroads in Bellevue, Grasslawn Park in Redmond, the Redmond Town Center, and the Sammamish Commons spray park. Feeling more adventurous? Here’s a look at all area splash parks.
2. Summer Movie Days
Even a perfect Seattle summer can get overwhelming. When it’s too hot to play outside, or if we get a rainy day, take the fun indoors with Regal Cinemas. The Bella Bottega theatre in Redmond offers the summer Movie Express every year. Offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am, movie tickets are just $1 each. Yes, you read that right, $1. You can choose between two family favorites every week, check out the lineup for this summer, here.
3. Take a Hike, Be a Princess
St. Edwards State Park is located at the very northern tip of Lake Washington. If you haven’t been there yet, I have to ask you, “WHY NOT?” The park is breathtaking. There are several hikes that vary in difficulty from simple to simply heart stopping. It’s hard to believe that such a challenging trek could be so close to the big city! Apart from the trails, which lead you right down to the lake for a picturesque cooling dip, you’ll also find a beautiful old seminary here. It’s now the base for Bastyr College. Saint Edward playground

But here’s the best part. At the top of the park, you’ll find a sprawling playground designed to look like a royal castle. It’s seriously epic. While visiting the park is free, plan to pay $10 for parking. It’s forgivable though, as all the parking fees go to the state parks and help keep gems like this open.
4. Discover a new Beach
Back to the water play! We love local beaches like Houghton and Juanita in Kirkland (and if you’ve never checked out Vasa Park, you’re really missing something special), but this summer, why not try something new? This one requires you to get out of town just a bit, but I promise it’s worth it. From July 5th through September 3rd you can catch a FREE foot ferry (that means no cars) out to Jetty Island. Jetty Island

This tiny sandbar is located in Puget Sound and offers 2 miles of sand, mud flats, sun, and shallow warm swimming water! The line to catch the free ferry can get pretty long, so here’s a tip. Get a party of 8 or more people together in advance and you can make a ferry reservation!

Do YOU have a favorite free (or nearly free) thing to do with the kids? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments and who knows? Maybe I’ll see you out and about this summer, too!

Posted on June 12, 2018 at 10:21 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Things to Do | Tagged , , ,

Breakfast in Redmond

A great breakfast place is a staple in every neighborhood this a great one in Redmond everyone should try!

The Village Square Café — This place usually has a line to get a seat and sitting at the bar in this diner style restaurant is a great option. On this day we were sat right away — on a weekend I’ve been know to wait for a bit.  Typically not more than a :30 minutes.  Our waitress was Michelle and she was amazing.  We never had an empty cup of coffee!  The kitschy decor add to the authentic diner style feel of this place.  The service was prompt and as important as the customer service was the great breakfast we had.  Fresh salsa accompanied the Mexican Omelet and lemony hollandaise sauce the Eggs Benny!  This place is totally kid friendly from the great options for them to eat the great décor to keep their senses occupied.   

Posted on May 10, 2018 at 11:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Redmond, Resaurants, Uncategorized

Spring Home Checklist

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

It’s time to check for damage and prepare for hot weather ahead.

With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. With the threat of winter storms past, you can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer. We spoke with an expert to get a spring home checklist on what to watch for this season, from proper irrigation to mosquitoes and termites (oh my!).



Contact Denise Perkins for more information
Posted on May 10, 2018 at 11:15 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

How fast can you save for a down payment?

I hear so often that people are waiting to buy a home because they want to save more down payment!  It’s such a valid reason to wait….but how realistic is it.  How much are you planning on saving and will it actually save you money when buying a home?  In this current market in the Eastside and Seattle areas, with home prices increasing monthly and the looming threat of interest rates increasing, waiting to save a few thousand dollars won’t make a huge dent.

For every 1% interest rates go up, you lose buying power by 10%.  If you were qualified to buy a $550,000 home — with an interest rate increase of 1% that home now will cost $665,000.

The link below is a great article about how many years it will take to save  10% down payment.  In Washington it’s over 5 years!   If you rent, just think of how much you would have saved in rent.  Well over 10% down on a $550,000 home.


Posted on April 24, 2017 at 6:57 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized

Buying Power

Check out this great article and chart that depicts what increase in interest rates and the climb of home prices can do to you buying power.  This also speaks to sellers as well.   If you wait to sell, you're limiting the number of buyers that are able to buy your home.  So if you're on the fence to buy or sell be sure to act sooner rather than later. 



Posted on August 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized

Mariners Are Back — Click Here to win tickets!

Seattle Mariners

To celebrate the beginning what we all hope will be a Fabulous Mariners season — let us reflect what we love about baseball!  It's a contest to win some tickets to a game this season.   Here's what you could win!!

  1. A pair of Club Level tickets (some restrictions apply); and
  2. $25 Starbucks gift card.

Want to play? Here’s how:

Simply leave a comment below about your favorite thing about baseball season between now and May 5th at 12noon (PST).  Whether it’s a favorite baseball moment, memory,  favorite player —I want to hear about it. One entry per person please.  A random drawing will be done of all names of those that write a comment!

Good luck!!





Posted on April 21, 2015 at 11:30 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized

March Market Review

This is a great snapshot of what's going many neighborhoods. And it's good news…..Market Prices are up and Market Time is down. 

Posted on April 13, 2015 at 7:29 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized

When is the best time to sell?

If you are considering selling your house and aren't sure when to do it consider this…..Buyers are looking to live in your neighborhood NOW, Today!  Currently buyers that are looking to live in many of the great neighborhoods in Greater Seattle and Eastside and can’t find much to buy.

I’ve had conversations with clients who are going to sell in 2015.  Several commented that they thought summer would be the best time.  It’s a common misconception that can cost Seller’s thousands of dollars.

The chart shows how many home receive offers each month in our area.  Things actually peak in May and trend down after that. Selling in early Spring will give you access to more buyers than waiting until Summer.  Interestingly, most of the price appreciation also happens in the first 6 months of the year.  Want to maxizmize your sale price — consider selling sooner than later!


Posted on April 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized

American Dream is alive and well

Yes, home ownership is still the American Dream.  And while it may appear to still be difficult to purhcase a home, many of our goals still point to homeownership.  See more…




Posted on March 10, 2015 at 10:05 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized

2014 Tax Tips

Posted on February 4, 2015 at 12:25 am
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized