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…
Looks like the sun is headed our way and will stay for a while… thank goodness because my kids and I are ready! This is the perfect time to plan for an outdoor movie night since there are so many great places that offer cheap or totally free flicks and have other fun activities right here on the Eastside.
With big screen flicks, a variety of entertainment, some of Seattle’s best food trucks and the fact it is dog friendly makes this one of my families favorites. Facebook.com/MoviesatMarymoor
$5/person (cash) or $6/person (credit). Ages 5 & under Free. Parking is $5.
Event entry opens at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk after event entertainment
Enjoy outdoor movie series this summer on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington every other Saturday in July and August. Bring your low-back chairs and blankets and come ready to relax and enjoy a late night movie.
$5 suggested donations benefit Hopelink of Kirkland, a local non-profit with a mission to promote self-sufficiency for all members of our community.
Seating will be available at 7pm, with the show beginning at dusk. Get there early so you have time to chow down before the show since Beach Cafe, Le Grand Bistro Américain, and Carillon Kitchen will be there.
Popcorn, soda, and candy will be available for purchase in the plaza.
Head to Bellevue’s favorite parks, Crossroads and Bellevue to enjoy FREE outdoor movies and popcorn this summer. There are pre-movie activities planned before each movie, so come down early, stake your ground and have some fun.
FREE popcorn, and FREE admission. The summer movies series also features eight non-profit agencies, one per week, which the audience can participate in by donating to the many programs and services the agency provides our community-in-need.
Movies are at Downtown Park and Crossroads Park, pre-movie entertainment begins at 7:30pm, and the movies will start at dusk (approximately 9pm). Check out the summer line-up of outdoor movies for 2019.
For a full list of theaters and more details on each in the greater Seattle area click here.
There is just something about an ice cold beer on a hot summer day. Amirite? Of course, I am. The only thing any better is having the beer totally fresh from the brewery direct. With that in mind, here’s my take of the top breweries in Redmond. And hey, if you want a tasting partner, look no further!
4626 NE 102nd Street Redmond, WA 98053
Part farm, part brewery, and 100% on their game, Bushnell offers an on-site taproom experience. Open most days at 11 am, the Hop House offers fun fare with your pints. Even better? Show up on Tuesdays after 3 pm, order a pint, and get a free T-Shirt. Um, yes, please! The brewery itself offers six flagship beers and a host of seasonal brews as well. Once you’ve found your favorite (I’m partial to the Blackberry Barley this summer), don’t forget to stock up on farm fresh eggs before heading home. They’re just $5 a dozen. The chickens aren’t for sale, though.
14679 Ne 95th St Redmond, WA 98052
These folks have a simple mission. “Brew Beer that people want to drink.” And trust me, you’ll want to drink their beer. They currently produce about 12,000 barrels a year and are only growing. You can head into their tap room to try their famed beers, and most are also available in a keg or growlers to take home with you. Many of their brews are award-winning and range from lager to porter with fruit flavors and everything in between. I’m looking forward to trying the Raspberry Sour myself. Everything is so reasonably priced, you’ll want to try them all!
17825 NE 65th St, Ste B110, Redmond, WA 98052
If you love local beer, Mac and Jacks is no stranger to you. This brewery has gained some big notoriety and is available in a lot of local restaurants and at Safeco field, too. The African Amber is my personal favorite. Established in 1993, the company is still run by the original founders, but they have moved out of their original establishment in Jack’s garage. You can take a brewery tour here on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 and 3 pm. The tours are free and include free tastings, no reservation necessary. Mac and Jack’s offers 5 year-round brews and a host of rotating seasonal beers, too.
17625 NE 65th St, Ste 100, Redmond, WA 98052
With a relaxed atmosphere that is warm and welcoming to all (even dogs and kids) Postdoc started in the garage of a Ph.D. in Biochemistry back in 2013. What started as a weekend pastime between neighbors has gone on to produce some pretty awesome brew. Personally? I’m a fan of the Grapefruit Blonde. Mostly because it’s pink. And I’ve never seen a pink beer before. You can find about 10 brews on tap at any given time, and the company plays host to various events and food truck appearances. Besides the fact that you can stop there after a bike ride….my favorite thing, though? I love their loyalty program, which is structured like a degree-granting institution. As such, there is a tuition scale. But in exchange for buying an adjunct professor or tenured professorship, you get discounts on brew and lots of swag.
Have you been to these breweries? Which was your favorite? Favorite brew overall? Help me find a new favorite!
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!
You’ll hear me talk about the “Big Three” pretty often. To me- those are the three cities that make up the heart of the Eastside. Redmond. Kirkland. Bellevue. Depends on who you ask, the Eastside is growing, and can sometimes include Issaquah, Bothell, Woodinville and Sammamish. But, for me, when we’re talking Eastside, we’re talking the big three.
Since the city is growing so quickly, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a patch of green space where you’re allowed to camp overnight. There are still plenty of parks and natural areas around town, but try to pitch a tent overnight and you’re likely to wind up in some hot water. It’s just not cool. But that doesn’t mean that you need to plan an epic road trip in order to find a nice little camping spot, either. Here are my personal top three favorite places to get some R&R and a bit of nature within three hours from the Eastside.
Address: 5700 SW Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA 98023
Drive Time: Less than an hour.
Why I Love It
Dash Point State Park is right off of I-5 in Federal Way. It’s so close to the city that sometimes you even get city noise while you’re in the park. While that may sound like a turn off, hear me out! This park has so much going for it! Positioned right near Commencement Bay, the park has access to a swimmable beach that plays host to some incredible beachcombing at low tide. Expect to find thousands of sand dollars, shells, clams, jellyfish, and the last time I was there, I even saw a fully intact “ghost” sailboat washed ashore. How cool! To top it off there are great hiking trails, a summer “Jr. Ranger” program for the kids, and a large grassy field in the middle of the campground loop for the kids to makes friends and play in. Remember that city I talked about? It’s pretty cool because, if you don’t like campfire cooking, you can easily pop right into town and have dinner out, returning to your site for s’mores and tent sleeping. Plus, if everything goes bust, you’re so close to home that it’s simple to call it a loss, pack up, and head home. That makes it perfect for first time campers!
Address: 11401 River Bend Dr, Leavenworth, WA 98826
Drive Time: 2 Hours
Why I Love It
The only non-state park camp on my list, this place is super fun for a long weekend. It’s only a 2 hour drive time (admittedly, that’s before we account for traffic) and most of that drive is spent going through either scenic Stevens or Snoqualmie Pass. The campsite itself offers SO many amenities. There is space for trailers, RVs, tents, and even a few cabins that you can rent. Onsite you’ll find a playground and even a pool. In the summer there is a free breakfast in the mornings, outside movies in the evenings, and even a free shuttle into downtown Leavenworth, where you’ll find a whole host of things to do. In the winter you can enjoy a massive open field directly behind the campground, perfect for sledding, snowshoeing, or a winter trek into town. Leavenworth is a city of festivals, with something going on almost every weekend. This glimpse into a Bavarian village makes the kids happy, and the high concentration of wineries and breweries makes mom and dad happy, too.
Address: 41020 SR 20 Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Drive Time: 90 minutes
Why I Love It
As far as I’m concerned, this is the gold standard for an immersive camping experience. This park has.it.all. On top of a TON of spots for RVs, trailers, and tents, you’ll find not one, not two, but THREE beaches. There is a salt water beach opening to the Salish Sea, a freshwater beach on Cranberry Lake, and another saltwater lagoon beach that has some of the best tide-pools in the PNW (at low tide). The Salish Sea beach has a ton of driftwood, perfect for hut making, the lake beach plays host to canoe and kayak rental as well as a seasonal snack stand, and the tide-pooling beach has rangers on site to guide you (during the summer) and help you find creatures! On top of ALL of that, you’ll also find iconic bridges that you can walk (or drive) across with sweeping vista views of the sea. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the other half of this massive park has great fishing access, too. Freshwater and saltwater fishing are both available, along with a whole host of hiking opportunities of varying difficulty. Not that you will ever need to leave this park to stay busy, but my family really enjoys a quick trip into Oak Harbor where we enjoy an evening at one of the only drive-in theaters left in the state. (Blue Fox Drive-In Theatre). Frankly, if you’re only going camping once, make it this park. It’s pretty popular and fills up fast, so make sure to make reservations well in advance.
Address: 3572 Olga Rd, Olga, WA 98279
Why I Love It
Missing my list due to time constraints only, this park is cool because it’s on an Island. Orcas Island, to be exact. That means that you’ll need to take a state ferry to get there, making it kind of pricey for trailer or RV campers. The sites are small, but the views are BIG. You can even drive (or hike) clear to the top of Mt. Constitution for a bird’s eye view of all of the San Juan Islands.
Did I miss your favorite campsite? If you want to keep it a well-guarded secret, I get it. But, if you’re willing to share, please let me know what I’m missing out on in the comments below.
We are in the final weeks of the school year. Don’t panic! There is still time! Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean parents don’t have to get things done. As we all know, summer camps are a great way to get the kids out, meet new people, and reduce the amount of screen time. They also give parents a minute to do, well… all of the things we need to do on our mounting lists. Right now — if you’re like me you’re just trying to get through the last few weeks of crazy with all of the end of year activities. So summer camp may be just an after thought….until NOW… there is still plenty of time to find a great camp in your community!!
Where do I look?
The Puget Sound area offers a variety of great camps for all ages, check out 6crickets to see what camps are in your community.
How cool would an indoor ski camp in Bellevue be? What a great way to get the kids ready for the slopes this winter! Sign the kiddos up for Nature Camp Sessions and allow them to deepen their understanding of the environment and its inhabitants through games, exploration, hands-on activities, stories and art. This program is offered at Madrona Park, The Valley School, Hamlin Park, Cascade K-8 Community School, Soundview School, or Brookside Elementary School.
Parentmap is another great resource for camps in your area. You can search by key word, location, day camps, classes, or overnight camps and by category. With so many great options this makes it really simple to find the perfect fit for your kiddos.
Kiddie Pool Fun!
If summer camps are not working out or maybe not in the budget, I found some really fun things to do with your kiddie pools… and some of them do not require water! I am not sure what I want to try first… walking the plank or maybe the rainbow soap foam? I would love to know what you decide to try! Check out these fun things to do with kiddie pools.
Just a head ups, next Sunday, June 16 is Father’s Day. And we have your back! We are dedicated to helping with a few places to go and things to do for the Dad or Dad’s in your life!
Washington Brewers Fest June 14-16 – Marymoor Park in Redmond offers 500 beers from Washington breweries, wine, cider, food trucks, live music, and a kids’ area. Check out this fun event!
Fenders on Front Street is a great car show in Downtown Issaquah where you can see hundreds of classic cars as you stroll down Front Street. Don’t miss the “cruise” that starts at 3pm. For more great ideas in your community click here.
NO more tie’s — I don’t really think that’s a thing anymore but we have found some personalized, inexpensive and heart tugging gift ideas too.
Let’s get those little hands dirty! So many fun projects to do with your hands!
How cute is this? If you can’t get your hands on the fancy letters grab the markers and crayons and have the kids draw their own! Get the full tutorial from Make It & Love It. If you have pets have them help with this too, maybe dangle a letter from their collar? Let us know if you try it and how it worked, we would love to see how creative you get!
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!