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.
New Year New You?
Tell me, how’s that going?
If you’re like most people, you resolved to get in shape and lose weight in 2019.
If you’re like most people, by February you’ve already given up.
Well, my friends, this is the year we change that. Let’s get back in the saddle, back on the horse, and back on course! To spice it up, I did a LOT of digging to find some new, exciting exercise options for you around the Eastside. No more dreadmills and forget about those “lose 100 pounds in a month at our Bootcamp challenge!” places. Here’s how to break a sweat and have a fun time doing it.
Cycling is always a hot class to take. It might not be the most original thing out there, but it certainly has a cult following. Offering high energy classes that focus on big time cardio, lots of people see fat melting away in no time when combined with a low-calorie diet plan. Cyclebar has just one Eastside location in Redmond. Before heading out, check with your local Facebook Community group. Someone is always giving away free class passes.
Want a dancer’s body? Then you gotta dance! If you haven’t tried Barre method yet, I think you really should give it a try. Pure Barre has locations around the Eastside and focuses on core stability and strength to create a tone, lean look. There are music and community at each class, creating a fan base of women who report classes leading to awesome friendships. That means a built-in accountability buddy! This is not your traditional tutu ballet class, but you will be using the traditional bar. You’re in and out in about 50 minutes though, so it’s great for busy people!
Remember when Zumba was all the rage? I mean, I guess it still kind of is, but it’s far from unique these days. Now you can take an exciting and totally unique dance exercise class in Bellevue with a dance theme, but it’s not Latin at all. The focus is on Bollywood. That’s Indian music and movement. Its crazy fast-paced and utilizes every inch of your body from the tips of your fingers to the point of your toes. You’re moving fast and having a blast, too. You’re in and out in about an hour.
Now here is a unique class! Let inhibitions go and try your hand at pole dancing. Let’s get this out of the way early on. Yes. I am talking about a “stripper-pole.” You have to be a bit brave to walk in for that first class. But really? It’s a great workout that is physically challenging in a way few classes can be. You’re focused on your own abilities, not noticing those around you. (That means that they’re not noticing you, either.) You’ll feel triumphant highs as you master new skills and gain great strength. It’s a fun, supportive environment and unlike anything you’ve ever tried before!
“But Denise, you said these were unique fitness ideas…”
You’re right. I did. And give me a chance, here! This is totally unique! I recently met a gal who works at the Redmond 24 hour fitness location. She told me about a class called “Aqua Fitness.” It’s not your grandma’s water aerobics, ladies. Instead, it’s an upbeat, low impact dance class that blends weights, strength, and cardio in a style similar to Zumba. Only, it’s done in the water. Now that is unique!
So, for the next month, I want to post four blogs. We’ll cover dining out on a diet, as well as essential exercise. See you in a week to talk about the best healthy restaurants on the Eastside.
Part of the joy of the holiday season is exploring holiday lights with the kids. They’re bright and festive, and just inspire imagination and awe. Especially in young children, going hunting for lights is a time-honored holiday tradition. Unfortunately, more and more people are not decorating their homes with lights. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still great light displays out there to be found and enjoyed. Here are a few of my favorite holiday lights hot spots.
23620 ne 183RD St. Woodinville, WA 98072
A family oriented display awaits you in Woodinville! Here you’ll find a full acre display of lights set to music and light animations. The display is free to visit, but cash donations are appreciated. The donations benefit a variety of charities. To get the most out of the experience, tune your radio to 101.9 FM.
16504 112th PL NE Bothell, WA 98011
Another home with a ton of lights can be found in Bothell. Keener Christmas is a drive-through experience with no foot traffic allowed. You’ll find more than half a million lights as well as animations and inflatables. This family favorite home has been featured in many newscasts about the best-decorated homes in Western Washington. From time to time you’ll even find Santa on site handing out candy canes! If you’re so moved, you can also donate food to charity at the site!
Bellevue Botanical Gardens
12001 Main St. Bellevue, WA 98005
Get lost as you wander through the fields of flower-themed lights at Bellevue’s annual Garden d’Lites festival. Now in its 24th year, the tradition of nature-themed light shows is a must for many people during the holiday season. You’ll also find a running river made of lights. The Gardens set up a scavenger hunt among the lights to keep young people excited, and there is always espresso and hot cocoa on site, too. There is a small admission fee, but there are also free nights every season as well. Check the website before heading out so that you can plan! Remember – kids ten and under are free!
19525 SE 54th St Issaquah, WA 98027
For something just a little different, head out to Issaquah and the Cougar Mountain Zoo! Here you’ll find a full Christmas themed park, culminating with live reindeer! The 31st annual Reindeer festival keeps limited hours, open only until 4:30 pm, but is nothing short of pure wonder for your children. Since the reindeer are on site, of course, you can expect to see Santa! You can also hear a story from an elf during your visit!
For more homes with amazing lights, check out this interactive map!
If you’re up for a drive, there are plenty of lights in Seattle, too. You can visit the Woodland Park Zoo for their annual Wild Lights show, or check out the Candy Cane Lane neighborhood! Whatever you do, be sure to take lots of photos and share them with me! And, if you know of a hot spot that I’ve missed, I really want to hear about it!
Increased inventory, slower sales and more price reductions all point to a balancing market—welcome news for price-shocked buyers. Sales prices are up from last October and down from the all-time high reached this spring. Despite the slowdown, it’s important to point out that we’re only moving back toward what a normal market looks like. King and Snohomish counties each have over two months of available inventory. While that is double the inventory of a year ago, it’s far short of the four to six months supply that is considered a balanced market. Sellers looking to list their home now can be sure there remains plenty of interest among home buyers.
The median home on the Eastside sold for $890,000 in October, up 5 percent from a year ago and unchanged from the previous month. While year-over-year price increases were in the single digits for the Eastside overall, several areas, including Kirkland, Woodinville and Mercer Island, experienced double-digit price gains. Buyers are still having to pay a premium for desirable Eastside properties. However, with more choices and less buyer urgency, sellers need to price their home correctly to maximize their chances of getting the best possible return.
Inventory in King County for all homes, both single-family and condominium, soared 102 percent over last October. The increase was due to an influx of new listings and the fact that homes are now taking longer to sell than at the peak of the market this spring. While buyers now have more breathing room to make their decisions, the 2.4 months of inventory in King County is still far from a balanced market. The median price of a single-family home in October was $670,999, an increase of 7 percent from the same time last year, and virtually unchanged from August and September. South King County showed larger increases, with prices rising more than 10 percent from a year ago in Auburn, Kent and Renton.
In October, the median price of a single-family home in Seattle was $750,000, up 2 percent from last October and down slightly from last month. While inventory doubled over a year ago, Seattle falls behind most areas of King County in supply with just under two months of inventory available. Demand is predicted to stay high, with Seattle’s population projected to grow at twice the national rate next year. That said, buyers are in the position to be able to negotiate. A recent analysis named Seattle as one of the top markets in the country where it makes the most sense to buy this winter.
Inventory in Snohomish County soared 65 percent in October as compared to a year ago. The area now has 2.4 months of inventory, about the same relative supply as King County. As with most of the Puget Sound area, the increase in inventory was due to a higher number of sellers listing their homes and fewer sales. Year-over-year, the median price of a single-family home sold in October in Snohomish County grew 8 percent to $473,000. The median price in September was $485,000.
This post originally appeared on the Windermere Eastside Blog.