For most of the schools in my area Mid-Winter Break is NEXT WEEK! What are you all doing? We are staying close to home so of course I am loving this article from RedTri.com with fun activities in the area to do in the evenings, just because the kids are off does not mean the parents are. If you don’t have a vacation planned… warm sunshine and sand would be amazing right now… try racing around go-carts, carving the mountain or try indoor sky diving. Yes I said indoor skydiving! I want to hear about this if you do it!
K1 Speed has go cart racing and is open till 10pm during the week. Makes it easy if you are taking the kids after work it will give you a good amount of time to get some racing in. Getting on the track is as easy as walking in, signing the waiver and lining up for your turn. You may want to call ahead just to see how long the wait is.
Check out the night skiing at The Summit at Snoqualmie, if you usually go during the day this is a great new experience for the kids. And the lift ticket prices… are pretty amazing!
iFLY Seattle is pretty amazing, have you been there? You are actually sky diving but you are indoors. I have heard it is a have to try experience. They are open till 9 so there is plenty of time to catch some air!
See the full article from RedTri.com – Bye-Bye Bedtime: Nighttime Activities to Try Over Mid-Winter Break
Looking for some fun fresh ways to update your kiddos rooms or play areas? Maybe your own room? How about indoor swings, climbing walls for those PNW rainy days, or cozy reading nooks? Check out these creative ways to add some kid approved, “fun”ctional and affordable ideas to your home.
There are so many different swing ideas… from your traditional back yard swing to these Hanging Pod Canvas swings, cozy for reading. What a fun addition to your kids room… or maybe your room. If you are not sure how to hang in indoor swing check out this article.
Check out this video for a quick tutorial on how to create an indoor climbing wall. Again there are so many different options on how to incorporate based on your kids age, size of room, ceiling height… the skys the limit!
Adding a reading nook just makes me smile… Cooking Ruthie has some great ideas! Creating cozy spots for the kids to read is a great way to encourage them and keep them focused. Try a bean bag chair from Wayfair, this faux fur rug from World Market and these floating shelves from Target. You can also transform a little-used closet, a space under the stairs or even a large wardrobe into a quiet place for a good page-turner.
Photo: Cooking Ruthie
To view the inspiration for my blog check out 8 Fun, Kid-Forward Home Décor Ideas
With 3 kids, 2 girls and a boy, we have a rough time deciding on what moves to see… looks like this year we will have quite a few good ones to chose from. So get ready to read through the most buzzed about new movies that are headed our way for 2020!
Dolittle: Jan 17th
This is the third adaptation based on the Doctor Dolittle character since the classic 1967 film that starred Rex Harrison and 1998’s version with Eddie Murphy. This time it’s Robert Downey Jr. who talks to the animals in a reimagining of the story.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Feb 14th
Based on the Sonic video game, Sonic has traveled to earth to hide from Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and asks a small-town sheriff (James Marsden) for help.
The Call of the Wild: Feb 21st
This film brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.
Onward: March 6th
This new adventure is set in a suburban neighborhood in a fantasy world where modern-day fairies, unicorns, mermaids, dragons and more live together in a land with no magic. But that’s about to change for one family when two teenage elves, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, embark on a quest to find magic that will allow them to see their deceased father one more time. Disney and Pixar have a good track record for providing entertaining family fare, and we don’t expect anything less with this new movie.
My Spy: March 13th
My Spy follows JJ, a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) when he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to monitor her family.
Mulan: March 27th
Disney’s new live-action version of Mulan appears to be a faithful adaptation of the animated film. It features a fearless young woman who risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known.
Oh, that lovable rogue is back. Like the first film, this sequel doesn’t have the same tone that the original Beatrix Potter’s book did, but kids love him. In the new movie, Bea, Thomas, and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be. If you liked the last film, you’ll probably like this one too but expect some rude humor.
Trolls World Tour: April 17th
Trolls may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the first movie was popular enough to warrant a sequel and at least the music is catchy. This time around, Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) discover that they are one of six different types of Troll tribes located in six different lands and of course, they each prefer their own brand of music. Ozzy Osburne (we’re not kidding) is the villain this time playing the role of King Thrash who is bent on destroying all other kinds of music. This film will introduce little ones to different styles of music including funk, country, techno, classical, pop and rock in this animated adventure.
Scoob: May 15th
Scooby-Doo is back, and this time the movie promises to be a lot more family-friendly. The movie is sort of a hybrid showing how Scooby and Shaggy first met, how they met Fred, Daphne and Velma, and how they solved their first case.
Wonder Woman 1984: June 5th
The new adventures of Wonder Woman happen in 1984 with Diana Prince facing two new foes: The Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). Plus, Steve Trevors is back, but we’re not entirely sure how that happened. Truth? This is about all we know about the movie as of yet. Though many DC Comics movies are dark, the first Wonder Woman didn’t follow suit, and this one looks to be just as uplifting.
SOUL: June 19th
Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from? What is it that makes you… YOU? This new film by Pixar Animation Studios promises to take the viewer on a journey from the busy streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions. Directed by Pete Docter, who also directed Up and Inside Out and because of that, we know that Soul will have lots of “heart.”
Jungle Cruise: July 24th
The movie stars Dwayne Johnson as a riverboat captain/ tour guide offering super cheap cruises along the Amazon rivers and providing special effects to elevate the experience. Although his fake adventures turn real when an explorer (Emily Blunt) hires him to help her locate a rare plant that offers special healing powers.
Check out Red Tricycle for full details.
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.
Places to take out of town guests.
When out of town friends and family come to visit you, chances are, they want to see downtown Seattle. And there is no good reason that you should not show them the sights. Things like Pike Market, Post Alley, the Space Needle, and the downtown waterfront are absolutely essential to a Seattle area visit, but they’re not the only things worth seeing. Here are five of my favorites.
This place kind of has a little bit of everything going on. From off-leash dog parks to climbing walls, you’ll find wooded trails, open fields, playgrounds and, in the right season, even the Cirque de Soleil. You’ll find a summer concert series and outdoor concerts, soccer, tee-ball and a plethora of other activities depending on the season. Your out of town guests will enjoy the splendor and size of the park, located in such a large metropolitan area. This park really is a gem and makes a great place to spend a day with guests.
Woodinville, just outside of the Eastside, is a hot spot for Washington wineries. With the evergreen state gaining in popularity in the wine world, if your guests love wine even just a little bit, Woodinville is a place you should absolutely take them. While you’ll find many wineries and even tasting tours that showcase the best of them, I absolutely must insist on a visit to Chateau St. Michelle. The grounds are brilliantly stunning, and the tasting room is open daily. This vineyard may just be the most well known in Washington on a national level, so there’s a good chance that your guests have had this wine before, creating a nice familiarity for the experience. With outdoor concerts in the summer and other events year round, this is a great place to take your guests any time of year.
I mention the gardens often. They are just so stunning every month of the year and make a great place to walk and talk with those you don’t get to see often. While each season offers something stunning, I specifically love the gardens during the holiday season when they come to life with holiday lights. It always surprises me how many locals don’t take in the gardens, and I’d encourage you to get out there with your guests and enjoy the beautiful plant life.
Pretty much everyone has heard of Microsoft. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t personally used a Microsoft product. That’s why, for so many, a visit to the Microsoft campus is a must while on the Eastside. The Visitor’s center offers a look into the history and future of the company that reshaped how we all live. Check out the Microsoft store while you’re on campus to get some epic once-in-a-lifetime photos!
Located on the scenic Kirkland waterfront, plan on taking your guests on an Argosy cruise. You can sail around Lake Washington year round. This offers scenic views of multi-million dollar homes, the Seattle and the Bellevue skylines, and the longest floating bridge in the world (That’s the 520 if you didn’t know.) Before or after your cruise, check out the shops and restaurants that line the scenic waterfront.
What are your must see or must do items for your out of town guests? What have I missed? Let’s hear it, Eastside! Share your thoughts and best kept secrets with me on social media, just don’t forget to tag me!
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)
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!
It’s my favorite time of the year. Football season! Whether it’s college or NFL — I love it. And this year I was lucky enough to get season tickets to the Seahawks from a friend that is out of town for the season. But when I’m not at the games I love cozying up on the couch and watching it — but not with my kids. They think I yell too loud! Where do you like to watch the games? Here are some places in our communities that offer many TV’s, great atmosphere and delicious football food. Some places we’ve included are Kid friendly….if you’re into that sort of thing! 🙂
With 3 locations, Burien, Lake City and West Seattle, this is a local favorite and genuinely welcomes kids. With upscale comfort food, housemade beers, this is a great place to watch the Seahawks and other local games.
Sound like a perfect place to watch “the game” to me! Located in Kirkland’s Juanita neighborhood, with seven large screen TVs and a sizable beer selection you won’t be disappointed. Menu options include all-day breakfast and The Game’s nationally recognized Ultimate Nachos. The Game offers a $4.25 kids menu and a variety of games to keep the kiddos busy.
McMenamins Anderson School
If you’ve been wanting to check out the awesome school-turned-hotel in downtown Bothell, game day can be your chance, and take the kids! It boasts flatscreen TVs, shuffleboard, pinball games and pool tables, a pub fare menu with McMenamins brews (try the Woodshop IPA, natural beef burgers and more.
And if you have time before or after the game take a swim in the McMenamins community pool or a movie in the all-ages, upscale movie theater, and definitely walk around the hotel… you can have a drink in the old principals office!
Sluggers in Kirkland
12506 NE 144th St, Kirkland, WA 98034
Sluggers in Kirkland caters to locals, tourists, sports fans and not so sports fans. 4 TV’s and 23 other TV’s hung throughout you are sure to get a great view of the game. It is great for small or large groups and the menu has great bar food, sandwiches and healthy options if you prefer grilled chicken over mozzarella sticks.
OK so this is genius! Rookies has TVs in the bathroom! No more missing that touchdown or interception… Rookies has you covered! And the menu… YUM! They are locally owned sports finatics crazy about dishing up locally sourced grub and pouring cold brewski. And they are not kid-tolerant; they are kid-friendly. So grab the fam and check this place out!
Another great thing about football season is the great work that my amazing company Windermere is doing to help in our communities. For the last three years Windermere has been the official Real Estate sponsor of the Seahawks and we have teamed up with the them to Tackle Homelessness — watch this video to learn more.