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.
Happy New Year! Hope you all had a relaxing holiday!
To start 2020 I am super excited about this January organization calendar I found a few years back. There are different calendars for each month, pinterest has lots of options, but I thought I would share this one. It has a task each day to help clean out, organize, and declutter your house (and life). I feel like the tasks are less intimidating and super easy to fit in each day, maybe 15 to 20 minutes, and I bet you could get your kids or to help too! Each week is focused on a different room, thought that was pretty cool too. Even if you do every other day, it will still feel really good!
I also found lots of great home organization ideas at easyorganizedhome.com – check it out.
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)
Whether you have recently purchased a new home or want to update your current avoid spending too much on furniture and decor with these strategies. Provided by Interior Design Experts at First & Main….here are the top 10 things you should consider.
- Prevent Expensive Mistakes: A well designed home requires careful thought and planning.
- Create a color palate for your home: Update a room in 2 hours, and under $50 with a fresh coat of paint.
- Don’t for get blinds and window treatments: Do you really want your neighbors to know that you sleep naked?
- Think traffic patterns and conversation groups: Draw out a floor-plan based on how you actually LIVE in your home.
- Balance, Scale, and Size can make or break any room: Mix shiny with matte, pattern with solids, and always add texture.
- Designer Pet Peve #1: Art should be hung at eye level for maximum enjoyment.
- Focus on focal points: TV or a view, draw their focus then give the eyes a place to rest.
- It’s literally worth every penny: Remodeling a kitchen or bath will always pay off in the end.
- Make every day feel like a staycation: The right bedding can make your room feel like a luxury hotel.
- You should have an interior designer: Having a trained Interior Design Professional who understands that YOUR home should reflect YOUR lifestyle.
First & Main Design Market is a great place to explore and find the perfect pieces for your home at any stage of your home decorating journey. Located in recently refreshed downtown Bothell and offering 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.
Want an excuse to come visit — Join us for our First Thursday events — the first Thursday of every month. Each event offers a different home décor theme or topic — along with wine, snacks and the chance to win prizes and gift certificates to the store.
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.