Let’s face it — we live in a pretty amazing area. There is no need to go elsewhere if you want to enjoy Memorial Day weekend. It’s seems like the perfect time to stick around and have some LOCAL fun. And as a bonus — this weekend is supposed to be SUPER fabulous as far as being able to get some vitamin D is concerned. We’ve looked around some of our most favorite communities so you can find the fun — no mater where you live. Don’t forget to let us know what your favorite events are. Especially if there is something everyone else should know about. Post some pictures on IG or FB and be sure to Tag me!!
Northwest Folklife Festival & Kindiependent Showcase
The 48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival & Kindiependent Showcase is one of the largest folk festivals in the country and fun for the whole family. With hands on activities for the kids, 26 different stages, back to back performances and dancing you will have a hard time choosing what to do first. Oh! and there will be food so make sure you are hungry!
Memorial Day Weekend Train Rides
All Aboard! With what looks like a promising weather weekend ahead take a scenic train ride through the Cascade foothills of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley to celebrate Memorial Day. This special 75-minute train ride is in addition to the railroad’s usual weekend train schedule and takes you to the top of Snoqualmie Falls. As a bonus, the Northwest Railway Museum will be offering $5 round-trip train fare Sat.-Mon. to members of the military, including active duty, guard, reserve and retired and their dependent family members, with current military ID.
Remlinger Farms is now open on Saturdays and Sundays. Take a ride the half-sized steam train along the Tolt River, pet the farm animals (think: goats, horses, piggies, cows, alpaca, sheep, bunnies, donkeys) or take a pony ride and jump in the hay maze, spin on the mini roller coaster or “fly” on the pumpkins. Plus, go ’round and ’round in the pedal cars and enjoy a day full day of farm fun.
Memorial Day Weekend Run
Put on your running shoes and bring the family to the Memorial Day Weekend run. You can choose a 5K, 10K or 15K run/walk as well as a 1 mile Memorial mile and there is a Kid’s Dash! The 400-meter Kid’s Dash (for ages 2-10) will start 15 minutes before race time, giving you the perfect chance to run with your kiddo and get warmed up before your race.
Sat., May 25 at 10 a.m. Seattle. $3 to $32. Registration required. Ages 2 & older.
Get ready for the noise at Tankfest Northwest this Memorial Day Weekend. This family event will showcase military vehicle demonstrations, remote control tanks and a scavenger hunt, plus face painting, a bouncy house and food from some of our region’s top food trucks.
Memorial Day Ceremony
This 3 day event is a great way to teach your kids the importance of Memorial Day. Enjoy this annual ceremony held at The Museum of Flight. The Museum will honor military service with patriotic music from The Boeing Employees Concert Band, followed by a ceremony with local officials and US Military personnel. And! All veterans and active US military personnel will receive free admission with ID.
Did you know May is National Bike month? Yes that’s right, it’s time to dust off the wheels and enjoy those sunny day’s — because we all know, sometimes in Spring they are few and far between. One of the best places to ride in our area is the Burke Gilman Trail — enjoyed by runners, walkers, bikers, young, and younger. Extending from Seattle to Kenmore –with MANY amazing spots along the way. Much of the trail is wide and flat with great spots to stop for lunch and views of our beautiful region. With so many access points along the trail you will usually be able to find a good spot to start and will always find a new view. If you’re really ambitious you can always just ride the whole thing from start to finish, 19 miles in total! This is a great trail for the whole family, you will not be disappointed.
Miri’s at Golden Gardens
Begin your journey at the sandy beaches of Golden Gardens that lie at one end of the trail. If you don’t pack a lunch Miri’s specializes in local, organic breakfast and lunch goodness. Make sure to try the poffertjes, Tiny Dutch pancakes! Yum! Open Thurs.-Sun. and Mon.-Sun. starting in mid-June.
8498 Seaview Pl. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98117
The Lockspot Cafe
The Lockspot is located at the entrance of the Ballard Locks, so if you are hungry or thirsty be sure to stop. From The Café the kiddos will be intrigued as they watch the boats go through the locks. Maybe Mom can actually eat her fish sandwich while it is still hot, one can only hope! With a menu for your little riders, and a beautiful patio, make sure this is marked on your map as a must see.
3005 N.W. 54th St
Seattle, WA 98107
Hale’s Ales and the Burke-Gilman share the same corner of the path in Fremont. Order some Mexican food from El Camión and check out the live event at Hale’s, make sure to catch The I Hate Children Children’s Show, a very funny magic show starring… kids!
4301 Leary Way N.W.
Seattle, WA 98107
Whatever you may need bike related Recycled Cycles will have what you need. Have you heard of a Trail-a-Bike? It is hitched to an adults bike and the kiddo gets to pedal along while still safely attached to your bike. With 25 years of dedication and knowledge Recycled Cycles is a great place for all your cycling needs including, air, parts, new and used bikes.
1007 N.E. Boat St
Seattle, WA 98105
Agua Verde Cafe & Paddle Club
Switch it up and add some water fun to your cycling journey. Agua Verde rents stand-up paddleboards and kayaks for the whole family. It is also a great place to grab tacos, nachos, and margaritas… Oh my!
1307 NE Boat St
Seattle, WA 98105
206-545-8570 (ext. 2)
Great State Burger & Burke Gilman Brewing Company
2 in! Burgers and Beer at 1 stop! Are you tired yet? Grab a burger, fries from Great State Burger and a NW IPA from the recently opened Burke Gilmand Brewing Company, which opened July of 2018. No worries… they are kid and dog friendly.
And if you prefer wine over beer and Burrata Tartin instead a burger try Erickson’s Bistro Shirlee just opened in the same complex. bistroshirlee.com
Great State Burger
3600 N.E. 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
Burke Gilman Brewing Company
3626 N.E. 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
Where are you going when you hit the Burke Gilman trail? Any great places to be sure to see, play, restaurants to enjoy? Let us know!
My Five Favorite Cold Treats on the Eastside
Summer and warm weather in our region is always somewhat of a surprise, isn’t it? Just like this week — 80 in May!!? There have been years where the kids have splashed in Lake Washington on Easter, and there have been years that we’ve all worn coats well into July. And with June-uary approaching we never know what we’ll get. Since we don’t know what mother nature has in store for 2019, I thought it’d be great to plan ahead and have your list of hot places for cool summer treats ready to go in advance! Enjoy!
With several locations scattered across the Eastside, Menchies is a FROYO place that comes out heads and shoulders above the competition. They’ve built a brand around fun, and have been able to stay on brand with ease. The colors and design of the stores are fun, you’re encouraged to walk your dog to their shops (even if he can’t come inside), and they feature trendy revolving flavors that often capitalize on pop culture. Add as many or as few toppings as you like, they have a whole buffet of options, but you’ll pay by the total weight of your dish. If you go on Fridays after 6 pm, your treat costs $5 no matter how much it weighs.
The new kid on the block, Molly Moons in Downtown Redmond rarely fails to have a line around the block when the weather is nice. It’s delicious, sure, but the real story is about how the ice cream is made. 90% of ingredients are locally sourced in the PNW, making it a real hometown treat. They donate more than 3,000 scoops of ice cream per year and donate 1% of their profits to food banks. This is a cone that tastes as great as it makes you feel. With regular and revolving “seasonal” flavors, there is always something new to try… and a trusty favorite on tap for if it’s not a hit!
Cold Stone Creamery
Almost as much fun to make as it is to eat, having a Cold Stone is a full adventure. You go to the shop and start by picking your ice cream flavor. Then you pick candies, treats, and sauces that sound good. A sundae artist then uses metal spatulas to blend them into one dreamy mix while you watch. This is done on a frozen marble slab (hence the name) right before your eyes. It’s a place to let creativity run free! There are various locations on the Eastside, but my family prefers the one in Woodinville by the AMC theatre.
Not exactly Eastside, but my conscious wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t mention it. The Snoqualmie creamery isn’t in Snoqualmie either. In fact- you need to go the exact opposite direction to find it. Located on an unassuming hill in Maltby, this is the birthplace of all those gourmet and artesian flavors you can find in your local freezer section at the grocery. The inventiveness of the chefs at Snoqualmie never ceases to blow me away. (Who would ever have thought to create Tennessee Bourbon flavored ice cream?) The kids can also run around the little farm and watch as ice cream is being made. It’s a cozy, inviting family place that can be turned into an educational afternoon, and you’ll never have ice cream so fresh!
Fog Rose Ice Cream
A boutique ice cream joint in Bellevue, this is the hot new contender on the market. Yelp! Is literally blowing up with people singing the praises of this one, and it’s not hard to see why. Targeted at a more mature, sophisticated audience, Fog Rose bills themselves as “a secret that you want to keep.” Made with liquid nitrogen right before your eyes – the ice cream is never preserved. It never sits in a tub in a freezer. It goes directly from the mixer to your mouth. What a concept! Ice cream is served in a beautiful manner, and with an impressive list of upscale toppings.
Honorable mentions go out to Baskin Robbins in Kirkland and the plethora of boutique ice cream shops in downtown Seattle. For top value, my kids also never get sick of an ice cream sundae from Costco, or a or a Wendy’s Frosty (they’re surprisingly good!).
If you’re a fan of the “Shop Local” movement, chances are good that I don’t have to clue you in on local farmer’s markets. But, just in case you don’t already plan your weekends around these markets, let’s break it down.
Farmer’s markets on the Eastside give you access to the freshest, most flavorful produce you can imagine. And it’s usually offered at rock bottom prices to boot. You’re supporting local farmers (some of whom drive to the Eastside from Spokane every week!), probably getting better food, and showing your kids about business. It’s really a win-win-win. Here’s where to Farmer’s Market this spring.
Season: May 4-October 26
The Redmond Saturday Market is a staple in the Farmer’s Market scene. The event is held on Saturdays, as the name would suggest, but you’ll find so much more than just food here. Crafts, flowers, pet supplies, and even live musicians are here every weekend. The event has a permanent home near the Redmond Town Center and always draws a large crowd. Often called the “Cadillac of Farmer’s Markets.” 2019 marks the 44th consecutive year of operation for this group.
Season: May- October
The Bellevue Farmer’s Market operates on Thursdays, rain or shine, from 3-7pm. With less infrastructure than the bigger Redmond market, this one really feels like visiting the farm. Vendors sell out of tents and stations, and everything for sale is made or grown right here in Washington. Just like in Redmond, you’ll find eggs, fruit, vegetables, crafts, flowers, meats, and artisan designs.
With a much shorter season than the big markets on the Eastside, Kirkland’s answer to local produce pops up on Wednesdays through the summer. The market pops up in the downtown waterfront park, which means the kids can chase ducks and splash in the lake after you shop. With all of the restaurants and vendors downtown, visiting this market feels like urban shopping at it’s finest.
These are not the only markets on the Eastside, just the most well known. You’ll also find markets in Issaquah, Sammamish, and Woodinville. Which market is your favorite? In fact – what are the farmer’s market items that you just HAVE to have? I want to know so that I can try them, too!
6 Easter Egg Hunts on the Eastside
There is just something special about Easter chocolate. It doesn’t even matter if you can buy chocolate year round. There is just something special about Easter chocolate. Maybe that’s why so many East-siders are so loyal to the idea of community egg hunts.
The tradition of hiding and seeking eggs goes back thousands of years. In many cultures, the egg represents new life, making it the poster-child for Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For many of us, memories of hunting hidden eggs and acquiring hidden candy, toys, or even money brings back all kinds of fond memories. It’s so much nostalgia!
Here’s where to find the best egg hunts around the Eastside in 2019.
- Kirkland Egg Hunt
Held every year at Peter Kirk Park, this event is a favorite for so many people in Western Washington. The city will scatter eggs inside of the baseball diamond before releasing the kids like a pack of hungry wolves. There really is no “hunt” involved, and every year I am terrified that some child will be mobbed and trampled to death, but so far that hasn’t happened. All anxiety aside, this is a fun event where you’re almost certain to run into a neighbor. Just make sure you get downtown early to find a parking spot.
Pair a 5k with a traditional egg hunt and come out with something for everyone in the family! This event places eggs along the 5K route, which really motivates runners to hustle! Get this- the eggs are prize based. Some eggs will add minutes to your run time. Other eggs take time off your total. The catch? You’ll never know what is inside the egg until you’re done running and gathering. So, is it worth it to collect a lot of eggs? That’s up to you! While there is a fee for participation for the grown-ups, kids can dash for free and without prior registration.
Fox Hollow Farm, Issaquah
I just love the idea of this one! The folks over at Fox Hollow in Issaquah blend an old-fashioned farm experience with thousands of hidden eggs just waiting to be found! Kiddos can fill their baskets while petting baby animals, playing in the corn bin, and meeting the Easter Bunny himself! If your kiddo finds the 1 (out of thousands) of Golden Eggs hidden at the farm, we’re told you’re in for a “big” surprise. You must pre-reserve a spot to attend this event, and prices range from $10 per person to $50 per carload.
Redmond Town Center
RTC seems to always have something exciting going on, don’t they? Their annual egg hunt is pretty great, too. Hosted by the Kiwanis Club, the event will be held on April 20 and kicks off at noon. The event features an egg scavenger hunt as well as prizes for the first 2,000 kids under 12. There will also be inflatables, trampolines, arts and crafts, face painting, and all sorts of other fun things to do.
- Bellevue Community Egg Hunt
Every year Bellevue College puts this event on as an annual community affair. It’s free and open to children 10 and under, and one of my favorite events in Bellevue. With more than 50,000 eggs, you can also expect face painting and inflatables. Even better yet? You can pre-reserve things so that you’re able to skip the long lines on the day of. Now THAT is nice!
What better way to play around than in a comfortable, safe kid’s museum? This annual event does have a cover charge, but once you’re in the door you can expect games, crafts, and of course a good old fashioned egg hunt. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult. Watch the website for sales times on tickets!
There are so many egg hunts out there that AREN’T on the Eastside, and I wanted to share those with you as well. Everything from a flashlight hunt for teens to egg hunting with animals at Woodland Park Zoo, it’s all right here.
- What started April Fools’ Day: Some experts believe it began after the shift from the Julian calendar (with the new year starting around the March equinox) to the Gregorian calendar (which start the new year
on Jan. 1) in the 1500s. Some people were mocked if they didn’t know about the switch and followed the
- Sounds pretty fishy: The French call April 1 “Poisson d’Avril,” or “April Fish.” French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying “Poisson d’Avril” when the prank is discovered.
- How to celebrate: April Fools’ Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include having
someone look for things that don’t exist, playing pranks and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.
- Speaking of ridiculous: In the 1960s there was only one TV channel in Sweden, which broadcast in black and white. As an April Fools’ joke, it was announced that viewers could convert their sets to display color.
They simply needed to pull a nylon stocking over the screen.
Other names for April Fools’ Day around the world: April Noddy Day, Gowkie Day, Huntigowk Day and St. All-Fools Morn.
Are you ready for a green beer?
St. Patrick’s day is always such a fun day. Kiddos enjoy setting leprechaun traps in the day time, and parents enjoy a night out after the kids go to bed! It’s not all alcohol-infused parties, though. Many communities are working hard to develop more family-friendly and healthy events for the major American holiday. For now, though, here are my favorite hot-spots for dining and drinking this March 17th.
Eat, Drink & Be Irish!
While we’re not seeing anything special planned for the Irish pub, it’s hard to imagine that there won’t be a festive atmosphere and green beer here on the 17th. And hey, you could always bring your own green food coloring
Right in downtown Bellevue, this Irish pub is the perfect place to grab some food and a beer before heading out on the town. With so many hotels within walking distance, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the holiday responsibly.
With regularly scheduled live music three nights per week, you can believe that St. Patrick’s day will be a lively event at this local eatery. This place is super unique, as it blends Celtic and Cajun food for a totally exciting experience.
Right on the Kirkland waterfront- this one is always busy. On St. Pat’s though, things get really intense! Expect live music, drink specials, and a lively crowd.
No shortage of runs scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day 2019, either! On the Eastside, my pick would be the Kirkland Shamrock Run.
If you’re up for a trip across the lake- don’t forget that Seattle puts on one heck of a parade. Complete with bagpipers and Irish dancing and music. It’s sure to entertain the entire family! There is also an Irish festival and 5K at Seattle Center.
Anyone on a diet can tell you that one of the biggest struggles of dieting is dining out. Portions are huge, flavors of magnetic, and dessert is always on the menu. But dining out doesn’t have to sabotage your success. Here are a few big name restaurants with surprisingly healthy (and amazingly delicious) menu items that will keep you on track and happy about it!
Did you know that a single burger on the Red Robin menu can cost you up to 1,200 calories? That’s right, a whole day’s worth of calories for a typical female dieter… and that’s before we even talk about the fries. So it might be a bit surprising to see it topping my list. But hear me out!!! Skip the burger and opt for the Ensenada Chicken Platter. Double up on the meat, trust me you’ll want it. This is a south of the border inspired dish focusing on getting flavor from calorie-free spices instead of sauces. Since there is no bun the carbs are naturally low, though you can get them even lower if you ask for no chips. The Baja ranch dressing that compliments your (bottomless) side salad is amazing, too. All of this, for under 500 calories.
I know, I know… it’s delicious and that means that it can’t be healthy. Right? Turns out you’re wrong. A chipotle bowl (not the burrito) is actually a well-balanced meal that keeps your intake on point and your family happy about dinner. There are a few tips to getting the most nutrition bang for your buck, though. First up- try for chicken instead of beef. And make it double the protein. Load up on the fajita veggies too, and skip the rice. If that’s asking too much, just ask them to go light on the rice. I love adding black beans in place of rice. It’s still a carb, but the high fiber offsets the carb count for those tracking net carbs.
The Cheesecake Factory
If you don’t trust me by now, this one will win you over. The answer is yes, you can stay on a diet when you eat at a place dedicated to decadent desserts. You can even HAVE dessert. Here’s how. Start by ordering the “Skinny-Licious” grilled salmon. (I don’t name the dishes people, I just endorse them.)You’re getting a heap of protein and Omegas without the fat of beef. And hey- it’s not chicken! Compliment the fish with green veggies to get some fiber in while keeping your carbs low. Ask for no butter in the preparation, or butter on the side to manage fat. All of this clears the way for dessert. Stick with regular plain cheesecake (no Oreo cheesecake allowed!) for a dessert with a decent amount of protein that is still satisfying! Yum!
Yes, I went there. I have a friend who taught me this hack and it is so satisfying! Order the chicken scampi dish … but substitute out the angel hair pasta. Instead, ask for your meat to be served on a bed of broccoli. She usually asks for an extra side of sauce, but doing that will up your total fat intake. In any event, it comes out similar to a stew. The broccoli sops up the sauce in a satisfying way, and you’re out the door for under 20 carbs. If you can avoid the breadsticks, that is…
Finally, if nothing on my list gets you excited to dine out on a diet, head to Applebees. Here you can actually have a steak and stay under 500 calories! That’s because the restaurant created an entire menu of items offered under 500 calories. They did it back when they were partnered with Weight Watchers. And, while that partnership may not have worked out the way that they had hoped, the end result was a delicious menu well suited to dieters with a lot of options to choose from.
Now that I’ve totally blown your mind, grab your purse. It’s time for dinner on the town!
Join me next week when we take a tour of yoga studios around the Eastside!