Outdoor Flicks with the Fam

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.

Redmond

Outdoor Movies at Marymoor Park

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

Kirkland

Carillon Point Outdoor Movie Nights

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.

Bellevue

Crossroads Movies in the Park and Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies at the Park

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.

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 10:36 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Resaurants, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Camping Spots within 3 Hours

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.

 

  1. Dash Point State Park

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!

 

  1. Pine Village KOA

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.

 

  1. Deception Pass State Park

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.

 

Honorable Mention

Moran State Park

Address: 3572 Olga Rd, Olga, WA 98279

Drive Time: 3.5 Hours

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.

Posted on June 19, 2019 at 9:42 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 miles of never ending fun – in your backyard

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.

https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/burke-gilman-trail

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
360-317-8530
mirisseattle.com

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
206-789-4865
facebook.com/TheLockspotCafe

Hale’s Ales
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
206-782-0737
halesbrewery.com

Recycled Cycles
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
206-547-4491
recycledcycles.com

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)
aguaverde.com

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
206-775-8990
greatstateburger.com

Burke Gilman Brewing Company
3626 N.E. 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
206-268-0220
burkegilmanbrewing.com

 

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!

Posted on May 16, 2019 at 1:23 am
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Resaurants, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where to watch 4th of July Fireworks

 

The Insider’s Guide the 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

Bellevue

Date: July 4

Location: Downtown

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirkland

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 7 am with events lasting right up until BOOM time at 10 pm. Parking is a right nightmare 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.

 

 

 

 

Redmond

Date: Derby Days!

Location: Downtown

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

Bothell

Date: July 4

Location: Downtown

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.

 

Issaquah

Date: July 4

Location: Downtown

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Kenmore

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.

 

Lake Sammamish

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.

 

Sea-Tac

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.

 

 

Sleeper Success

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!

 

 

 

 

Posted on July 2, 2018 at 8:41 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Things to Do, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , ,