Parentmap has a great Family Fun Calendar, I love this resource! Check out a few events below that I think look really fun and while you are at it check out the amazing Family Fun Calendar that Parentmap provides… it will be your Complete Guide to Events this Season and beyond!
Presented by Evergreen Health & KING 5
Nov 29, 2019 thru Jan 5, 2020*
Make this a holiday tradition, visit Redmond Town Center’s annual Winter Wonderland holiday festival. Shop, dine and enjoy a myriad of magical activities and events. The whole family will enjoy spirited rides on the polar express train and horse carousel. Take a twirl on the synthetic skating rink. Visit Santa’s workshop for photos. Take the younger ones to princess story time. Delight in the magical sounds of the season with talented performances on the STAR 101.5 Community Stage. Spread holiday joy with help from over 125 premier stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. Guests enjoy free parking all season.
Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater cordially invites you to our annual holiday wreath-making event! A hand-made wreath is a unique holiday gift for friends and family, or to add festive décor this season to your own home. It’s also a fun way to express your personal creativity. Bring creative holiday spirit into your home this winter! Learn how to craft holiday wreaths at Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater and Family Park’s Holiday Wreath Making Workshop! For more details check out this article on Parentmap.com
December 4th to January 20th
This 23-year old holiday tradition, a signature event of the Bellevue Magic Season, features the region’s largest seasonal ice skating experience, with more than 9,000 square feet of real ice.
The ice surface is covered for all-weather skating, and the rink also treats guests to a heated viewing area, on-site concessions, and a series of special events throughout the holiday season.
The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink is located at the Downtown Park. Just south of Bellevue Square, it’s a short walk to Downtown Bellevue’s outstanding dining options, premier shopping, and other Bellevue Magic Season events, including Snowflake Lane presented by the Bellevue Collection.
For more information about the event, including admission information and holiday hours, visit the event’s website at www.bellevueicerink.com.
Holidays are upon us and there are so many great ways to give back in our communities. I love to participate in the Windermere Bellevue Commons Giving Tree supporting Mary’s Place. My kids and I also participate in the Toys for Tots Program run by the Marine Foundation. My kids and I are planning to volunteer over the holiday season, let me know where your families go and what you do!
Search their database of volunteer opportunities. Use the filters for age, populations, and ZIP code-specific activities that best fit your family.
United Way of King County
Searchable database of volunteer activities that enables you to search for family-friendly options.
Searchable database allows you to filter based on specific causes, as well as matches that are a good fit for kid and teen volunteers.
Doing Good Together
Compiles lists of family-friendly volunteering opportunities called Big-Hearted Families. Listings aren’t searchable/sortable, but all opportunities are created with families in mind. Age restrictions are included in the listings.
Food Driving Box Northwest
Provides boxes that you keep in your car. Printed right on the box are the most-needed items.
Statewide nonprofit that uses donations to provide more than 2 million meals to Washingtonians every month.
Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County
Works with more than 200 partner agencies across King County to provide food bags to anyone in need, supplying 430,000 meals per year.
Offers food bank, food delivery and emergency feeding services to families in crisis in the following areas: Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Shoreline and Sno-Valley.
You may have your plate full with holiday prep but you still might want to make time for some of these events scattered over the next several weeks.
Does an afternoon filled with handcrafted spirits from distillers throughout Washington sound amazing? Then don’t miss the WA Distillers Festival at McMenamins Anderson School. Bid in a silent auction that includes private distillery tours and tastings, limited edition bottles and overnight stays.
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM PST
Free to attend! 21+
$35 plus tax includes 10 tasting tokens
Nov 23 10am-5pm
Shop for food and beverages from 100 “craft food makers” at Gobble Up, organized by Urban Craft Uprising in Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park. Register online for free ticket.
Magnuson Hangar 30 – Seattle
Nov 26-Jan 1
Sheraton Hotel, Seattle – See elaborate displays made mostly of food at the Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Seattle Hotel. The lines can be long on peak days. Free. Hours Vary.
Nov 30 2-8pm
Seattle Design Center
Art Under $100 features 70 artists, free crafts, DJ music, and food trucks at Seattle Design Center. Free unless you pay to go an hour early. VIP Tickets: $25
Shop from 22 artists at 6 studios in the Seattle area who make clothing, jewelry, glass, ceramics, prints, and more on Seattle Sampling Artists’ Studio Tour. Free. Hours Vary.
Dec 15 4:30-7:30pm – Marina Park, Kirkland
Run/walk through festive Kirkland. Kids can earn a medal by participating in the Kid Dash. All participants of the 12k and 5k will receive a toboggan beanie, a personalized race bib, a finisher medal, and post race snacks! Registration Fee: $15-$55.
Dec 21 9-11:30pm
2441 N Northlake Way
‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be ugly! Enjoy festive spirits and appetizers while dancing the night away with live DJ entertainment. The uglier the sweater the more prizes to be won, make it a holiday to remember! Tickets: $62 (10% discount for 6 or more)
So, let’s be honest. The best parties are almost always going to be across the bridge in Seattle. While your favorite local bar may have an event closer to home, if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re looking for something a bit more substantial. The Eastside is great, but sometimes being so close to the big city is a big benefit. Here’s a look at 4 great adults only events for Halloween 2019.
- Head to Canoes Caberet at the Tulalip Casino on Saturday October 26th for a rocking Halloween party! With great live music, by my favorite local band, Oncore, and of course try your luck while you are there. This is sure to be a fun time!
- Get on the Halloween Pirate Party Cruise! Set sail for an epic haunt this year. Enjoy prizes, music, games and adult beverages (beer, wine, cider) as you cruise Lake Union and surrounding waters. Dress like a pirate or anything you like. Prizes for best dressed pirate and best costume overall. This will be their last public event of the 2019 season! This is a 21+ event. Learn more about it, here.
- If you insist on staying on the Eastside, Maggianos at Bellevue Square is cooking up something special on Friday the 25th. It’s a murder mystery dinner, and it looks like a great time! The event is for adults 18 and up, and costumes are optional. (But really, wear a costume.) Your $60 ticket includes dinner and a drink (which makes the event almost free) and anyone could be the killer. Even you! Tickets might sell out so hurry up and grab yours!
- Adults take over the Seattle Aquarium for this 21+ event featuring animal experiences, music, a cash bar, food available for purchase and more! Put on your coolest costume and head down to our Halloween bash! Grab a drink and learn about deep sea animals that use amazing adaptations like bioluminescence and camouflage to survive and thrive—plus check out a squid dissection, a pumpkin carving demonstration and more. Entertainment provided throughout the evening by Stayin’ Alive Disco’s resident DJs, saxophonist Spencer Edgers and hand drummer Ammo—plus a drag queen performance by Queen Irene!
For a full list of things happening – check out this list.
Looking for family-friendly Halloween fun around the Eastside? I’ve got you covered. Halloween costumes are pricey, and you should absolutely get the most bang for your buck by giving the kids as many opportunities to wear them as possible.
There are plenty of exciting events happening all over the greater Seattle area this year, but here are my picks for closest to the Eastside.
This one isn’t for the faint of heart. The haunted experience at Beaver Lake in Sammamish has created a Family Scare event this year. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’d take a two or three-year-old to this event. But older kids? The ones who are too cool for trick-or-treating… but still too young for real haunted houses? This is the perfect event for them. October 29th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
For little ones looking for a not-too-spooky time, the North Kirkland Community Center is throwing their annual carnival-style bash where mini monsters can wear their costumes and participate in a cookie walk, monster movement course, swamp fishing, arts and crafts and more. Oct. 25, 2019 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Preregister early (425-587-3336) to guarantee your spot; this event always sells out!
For more fun- click here and check out my rundown of best pumpkin patches around the Eastside. These places almost always have something a little special going on for the kiddos around Halloween. And if I’ve missed your favorite family-friendly Halloween event, be sure to share it with me on my social media. I’m always up for a new adventure!
It’s a tradition in the PNW unlike any other. Talk to moms from the Midwest about where they pumpkin patch and they’re likely to raise an eyebrow. But out here on the Eastside? Choosing your pumpkin patch for the year is almost as big of a deal as choosing where you’ll vacation in the summer. With different patches offering amazing amenities and activities, competing for your gourd dollars winds up meaning a full day of family fun.
The one major bummer is that, with real estate being as costly as it is on the Eastside, you’re going to have to drive a bit to get to the best pumpkin patches. They’re all great, if I’m being honest, and you’ll enjoy any of them. That said, different patches appeal to different aged kids. Choosing the best one for your family makes the drive more worthwhile.
Here is the lowdown on the pumpkin patch experience!
This one is my pick for big kids. Once you arrive you’ll find acres upon acres of pumpkins as well as a ton of family-friendly attractions. Perhaps the best of all is the massive corn maze on site. The maze is a whopping 10 acres large and always Take a Hikecut into interesting, artistic designs that you can only see from above. I like this maze for the big kids because they specifically offer admission after dark, which is spooky and exciting all by itself! You can also reserve a fire pit to roast marshmallows after you make your epic escape. For the little kids, there are also two smaller corn mazes that are less intimidating. Other free activities include hayrides, a tike track for riding, and a playground area. In addition to your pumpkin, you can also pay to play on big slides, the corn crib (excellent for sensory kids) and fire apples out of the apple cannon. A rope maze, sandpit, and cow-train ride complete your full day experience.
My favorite pick for those with little kids, this is a wonderland for the imagination. On top of the you-pick-pumpkins, you’ll also find admission free fun things to do that enchant the smallest of adventurers. There is a large corn maze that is themed and unintimidating for younger guests, as well as a kid’s adventure maze, miniature golf, and a mouseville themed gift shop. Kids can also pet farm animals. On the weekends you’ll find hayrides, apple slingshots, and face painting, too. Older kids may get a little bored at this one, but for little kids, the value cannot be beaten.
If you’re noticing a nod to Snohomish, it’s not intentional! It just so happened that all of my favorite places are located just north of the Eastside. And, among all of them, The Farm at Swan’s Trail just may be my absolute favorite. It’s a literal adventure wonderland that is well suited for families with kids of all ages. A FIFTY-acre pumpkin patch pretty much guarantees selection wide enough to last the entire season, and you’ll also find a pretty nicely sized petting zoo. On top of that, expect to laugh your tail feather off at the duck races and Farmer Ben’s “Four Little Pig” shows. There are also wagon rides, picnic pavilions, a massive corn maze, and you pick apples. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the barn. It’s a tiny hay bale maze up to the hayloft where kiddos can zip down a slide into a pile of hay. It’s the stuff great photos are made of, friends.
Things really get fun when you get into the paid activities, though. A giant hay bale pyramid for climbing, a ball pit, large slides, an inflatable jumping pillow, rubber duck races, gemstone mining, pedal cart racing, and a cow train all await you. Plan to spend all day at this one, and make family memories that evolve into a tradition your kids will take with them for years to come.
Stocker Farms, Snohomish
Fox Hollow Farm, Issaquah
Remlinger Farms, Carnation
This list is just a short sample of all of the pumpkin farms out there. If nothing here tickles your fancy, here’s a longer list compiled by Red-Tri. If you’re not up for the drive to one of my favorite farms, maybe you can find one closer to your home neighborhood here and tell me all about why you loved it in the comments! Happy hunting!
I am excited to host my first Community Connect event at my close friend, Chelsea’s, store — First & Main Design Center on October 3rd! First & Main is located in the recently refreshed downtown Bothell and offers an eclectic combination of beautiful new designer furniture, unique, one of a kind vintage and reinspired salvage pieces and variety of housewares and gifts. It’s not your typical furniture store — with Interior Designers on staff they can help you choose a piece of furniture and then help finish off the room — paint, accessories, rugs, etc.
This event will be great opportunity to learn more about this great store, what it has to offer and to Meet the Designers! No matter your decorating tastes or goals, onsite designers will help create the perfect look for you. You will be able to Grab a 15 minute complimentary time slot to chat with a designer about an area in your home that you would want to see refreshed. So come join us to celebrate this amazing woman owned business — enjoy some wine, snacks and get some great ideas for your home!
Date: Thursday, October 3rd.
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: First and Main Design Market – 10100 Main St Bothell, WA 98011
Questions or to sign up for a time contact me at email@example.com
A little bit about Chelsea, she was born and raised in the Seattle area, grew up in Kirkland and married a Navy man. She and Kevin set off for over 15 years of different states and cities. When Kevin retired Chelsea knew she wanted to move back to the area and settled on the cute community of Snohomish. With it’s small town feel yet still being close enough to the city, Chelsea, Kevin and her two sons had found their community.
When they were ready to buy — Chelsea called me because she had been “stalking” a home for weeks that looked like it had a lot of potential. She really wanted to see it! The same owners had owned the home for over 20 years — and needed some updating. But since Chelsea is an interior designer she was actually excited of the possibilities of what this home could become. Now 4 years later they have settled into an amazing community — and glad to be back “home.”
So glad, that she recently opened her own Furniture and Interior design store First & Main Design Center in the neighboring community in downtown Bothell, another growing and vibrant area. If you’re looking at homes and see “potential” but aren’t sure how to make it a reality the designers at First & Main Design center can help you with your vision and can make it a reality. Most times finding the right community outweighs the numbers of bedrooms and baths. It’s easy to make a home your own with a little help!
Labor Day can be thought of as the end of the summer and typically celebrated with family gatherings, food, fireworks, parties, parades and other events. Labor Day also gives us a chance to have a break from work or school and kick off the NFL & college football seasons. I know I am looking forward to slowing down and enjoying some R&R and good football!
If you are looking to do something fun on Labor Day weekend check out some of these fun and local events. Here are a few that sparked our interest:
So you didn’t plan ahead? No problem! Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour have several tours every day which makes this a great option to plan last minute! Check out the schedule here!
The Seattle ice cream cruise, operated by the Seattle Ferry Service, is every Sunday throughout the year. Leaving from South Lake Union Park between 11am-5pm on the hour, no reservations, so show up early to make sure you’re not left behind. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for kids 5-13, and $3 for children under 5. They accept cash and check only. Note that the tickets do not include the ice cream so bring some extra cash, and I hear the Chocolate Rootbeer Floats are quite delicious!
So who has not been to Bumbershoot? Not only is the website super cool but the line up is amazing! Take a minute to check the schedule and plan who you are going to see each day. And of course the B-Eats, Yoga, Laser Dome, and Silent Disco. Who are you going to see? Anyone going to the Silent Disco? We would love to know!
It’s Seafair ya’ll! Starting in July and ending in Early August with the Hydroplane races on Lake Washington. This event has over 30 fun (and affordable) activities to participate in but also has a pretty interesting history.
Seafair is one of our areas longest running community events. Starting back in the early 50’s – before our area had any Seahawks, Sonics or Mariners or even the Seattle Center – the powers that be were looking for a way to generate tourism, national recognition and to promote the area being the “boating capital of the world.”
Seafair was first held at Greenlake. The 5,500 seat Auqa Theater was built (in 75 days) – and festival began August 11, 1950. The event featured the Aqua Follies “swimusical” including a diving show and synchronized swimming, boat races and amateur athletics. The early event also included Seafair royalty, parades and a variety of community festivals!
Over the years the event has grown to include the famed Boeing Seafair Air Show with demonstrations from the US Navy Blue Angels (my favorite every year), Seafair Pirates, Torchlight Parade and of course the amazingly fun Home Street Bank Cup hydroplane boat races.
Got a boat? Or know someone that does? Don’t miss the epic partying on thousands of boats tied to the Seafair Log Boom! It’s a 10 week long event – so be sure to find a way to participate!!
What’s your favorite part of this event? And if you’re new to the area go find it and let me know!! There are a few links in this post that will hopefully prove helpful, including Seafair Calendar of events, Best places to watch the Blue Angels (this NEVER gets old!), More history…
The Insider’s Guide to July 4th on the Eastside
Something is about to explode on the Eastside! Every year around the Fourth of July, lots of communities put together a fireworks display. But it can be overwhelming to figure out where to go and when. Never mind navigating the traffic that comes with it. So I thought it’d be nice to put together a quick little list of firework shows, times, and locations for you. Yes, I’ve got the big three on here (Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue), but I also wanted to talk about a few of the outlying communities. Many have shows that are just as awesome, but with half the crowds. So who knows, maybe this year you’ll venture out and find something new!
The BIG Three
Date: July 4
Expect more than 60,000 people. Yes, there will be live music and events as well, but… 60,000 people. If you’re up for braving the crowds, the family fun zone opens at 2 pm, and the big show kicks off around 10 pm.
Date: July 4
Location: Marina Park
If you’ve never seen fireworks over water, you’re missing out. This might just be my favorite display because, if you’re lucky, you can catch some of Seattle’s show in the background, too. There is a parade starting at 9AM with events lasting right up until BOOM time at 10 pm. Parking is a tight and space to sit is limited, so get in town early. Finding some blanket space at Houghton Beach or Heritage Park is a sneaky way to see the show with a smaller crowd, but the best trick is finding a friend with a boat and bribing your way aboard.
Date: Derby Days! July 12th and 13th
Redmond ushers its residents to nearby displays, opting to save traffic and budget for their Derby Days celebration. Read more about THAT, here.
Other Favorite Outliers
Date: July 4
Nothing like free pancakes (8:30 am) to get your day started off right! There’s also a children’s parade, grand parade, and other events to last the day until 10 pm when the fireworks show gets started.
Date: July 4
Close to home, the Down Home festival features a kids-n-pets parade (11 am), old-fashioned games, and live entertainment. I like that this one starts a bit later in the day, meaning I get to sleep in a bit before rushing to the festival to find parking. Yes, please.
Date: July 4
Location: Log Boom Park
A short drive north for a fun experience! This one really gets started later in the evening, with food and vendors kicking off at 7:30 pm. The fireworks get started around 10 pm.
Date: July 4
Location: Vasa Park
This one is kind of a fundraiser and show built into one. Donations benefit the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. The event has raised more than $69,000 since 2015. If you’re looking for a way to feel good about the Fourth, this is my pick. The fireworks show itself is beautiful and, again, over water. Things get started around 10:15 pm.
Date: July 4
Location: Angle Lake Park
I like this one because it’s a little lower key. There will still be a big crowd and lots of kiddos, but the spray park, lake, and kid’s bounce zone make it easy to spend more time here as you wait for the display to start. The operation kicks off around noon, with the big finale lighting up the sky around 10 pm.
Date: July 4th
Location: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is the perfect summer backdrop for Renton’s 4th of July celebration!
An array of entertaining options including two ActivityZones for kids and families, co-ed grass & sand volleyball tournament, live stage entertainment, and the company of friends and family. Be sure not to miss Oncore at 8:00pm. A 25-minute firework display over Lake Washington will conclude the day’s events at 10 p.m.
I have a friend who absolutely RAVES about seeing fireworks down south at the Emerald Downs. It’s hosted BEFORE the 4th, this year falling on July 3rd, and runs like an all-day event. It kicks off with a kid’s movie playing on the big screen before the horses come out to race. Kids really love watching the horses run and trying to pick which one will win. Kids can get up close to the thoroughbreds, which is nice. When its show time, everyone sits right by the track for a real front row view of the fireworks- always set to music. There is, naturally, a TON of parking and almost always a Groupon for admission, making it nearly free to attend. (Kids are always free) If you’re up for something different, make this your family’s newest tradition.
Let’s face it — you can’t really go wrong with what you choose around here. So many amazingly fun things to do and places to see those fireworks. Happy Fourth Y’all!!
PS — if you check any of these things out be sure to share your experience and pictures!