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Seattle Area Family Events For New Year’s 2019

Categories: Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: December 18, 2018

New Year’s Eve isn’t just for the merrymakers, bar hoppers and holiday drinkers.  We’ve put together a list for anyone looking for new years plans that also have children to entertain. There are plenty of exciting events for you and your family to enjoy together. No matter what your child’s age, there are events for you to get out on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that’ll still engage the little ones, letting them in on the celebration and into bed before midnight.

  • A full day of fun awaits at the Pacific Science Center with events for children happening all day long, starting at 10:00 a.m. with a playdate and a preschool planetarium show. Several shows are happening all day, the planetarium, live science shows, laser shows and tinkering workshops. Events and shows are for all ages on December 31, and January 1, so come back both days, when many other businesses are closed you can make the most of your days off together at the Science Center.
  • Lewis Creek Visitor Center, join a free, one-mile Hike with a park ranger through the forest while learning all about the wildlife and botany of the region from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on December 31st.
  • Kids Quest Children’s Museum in Bellevue, open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with entertaining events happening all day for your littles including bubble wrap stomps, streamer drops, story times and New Year’s hats.
  • Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett is throwing a New Year’s Eve nighttime pajama party from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Special entertainment will be provided including balloon twisters, comedians, hat makers and snacks all covered in the regular admission Kids and their parents are invited to wear their coziest pajamas, a lighted ball will drop outdoors at 9:00 p.m.
  • Winterfest Train and Village, come out for the last day of this event, from 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. at the Seattle Center Armory, where a miniature train village comes to life with beautiful model homes, a miniature iced over lake and everything that you’d find in a real town. Kids can sometimes run the train themselves and attendance is free.
  • While you’re at the Seattle Center for the Winterfest Train take the kids ice skating at the Winterfest Ice Rink, open from 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

If your kids want to go ice skating, but you’d rather not venture downtown on a workday there are several neighborhood skating rinks to choose from.

  • The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink open from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. on December 31, and January 1.
  • Sno-King Ice Arena in Kirkland or Renton, both locations have holiday, public skating from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
  • The Winter Wonderland at Redmond Town Center has a variety of activities, you can go ice skating on a covered rink, ride a train around the mall or take a spin on a carousel open from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • If you’re up to take your kids on a real adventure, finish the season off strong. Head to Elbe, Washington to the Polar Express, on this date, they’ll be taking out a diesel train. The whole family is recommended to wear pajamas, sit back and be entertained as the crew sings, dances, reads and treats your little ones to hot chocolate and cookies in a colorful, holiday train. They’ll have a night to remember and will probably want to come back next year.

New Year’s Day in Seattle comes with plenty to do outside rain or shine, suit up and enjoy some year-round nature.

  • January 1st is Free State Park Day, start the new year off right outside, be ready for chilly, wet weather just in case. The woods are always refreshing, even in the winter and your kids will love blowing off some steam before returning back to school for the new year.

If you have any little athletic daredevils that are willing to take the plunge into a freezing Lake there are some fun runs and Polar Plunges to look forward to for an exhilarating event. Don’t forget the camera, a Polar Plunge will have your kids talking about it all year. The way they’re timed, you could even make more than one.

  • Polar Bear Dive and/or 5k Resolution Run at Magnuson Park on Lake Washington at 10:30 a.m. $40 preregistration is needed for adults, but kids can swim for free.
  • Polar Bear Plunge and Run at Golden Gardens, starting with a free 5k run at 10:00 a.m. and followed by an optional plunge.
  • Polar Bear Plunge in Renton at the Gene Coulon Park at 11:00 a.m.
  • Polar Bear Plunge in Kirkland at Marina Park, downtown at 1:00 p.m. for free.

For many, the best thing to do on New Year’s is to bundle up in front of a fire and stay warm and dry. It’s always nice to cozy up together, set some goals, and enjoy the end of a very busy year.

12 Cozy Restaurants and Bars to Try This Winter Around Seattle

Categories: Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: December 12, 2018

The latitude up here in Seattle brings long summer nights and short winter days. You learn to love the early darkness in the winter once you get to know the city a bit and find your toasty warm spots.

Sitting in a restaurant or bar with a crackling fireplace, glowing Christmas decorations, and a boisterous atmosphere, while watching the rain hit the windows is a wonderful feeling.

Happy hour drink specials in the warm firelight are one more benefit to early evenings. You don’t have to feel guilty about missing out on sunny summer days in exchange for drink specials, as you do during the summer months. Stay for comforting evenings on weekdays and still be home at a decent time to enjoy an early night’s sleep.

Several bars and restaurants in town not only have enticing menus, but they’re interesting places to meet old and new friends while enjoying what Seattle is famous for, handcrafted beers, cocktails and quirky conversations.

 

Seattle

• The Polar Bar, in Pioneer Square downtown, inside the DoubleTree Hilton you will find The Polar Bar. It’s guarded by a tasteful, yet enormous, light-up polar bear in a living room setting with a warm fireplace and bartenders in white tuxedos. The ambiance is posh, and the drink prices reflect it, the building was built in the early 1900s and the vibe is a glowing blue throwback, a warm atmosphere, with wood-paneled walls, handcrafted cocktails and billiards offering a relaxed evening among friends.

• The Fireside Room, located in downtown Seattle at the Hotel Sorrento contains large, high-backed leather chairs encircling a grand green tiled fireplace with stately dog statues and a tiled garden mural. The Fireside Room is another throwback to earlier times when Seattle was a much smaller city made up of newly rich gold miners.

The Ballroom in Fremont on a different note is a bit of a dive, but it has warm, toasty tables with firepits right in the center. A big brick fireplace is open on all sides on the patio outside if you want to brave the cold with the smokers. The Ballroom serves massive slices of pizza fueling your energy for the dance floor and you can’t go wrong with an entertaining winter evening at The Ballroom.

• Bastille Café and Bar is located in Ballard, the Bastille feels a bit like stepping into a swanky Parisian café, with heavy black wood framing, long dark beams overhead and subway tiles lining the floor. The shining glory above the bar is a massive chandelier sourced from France, creating an artistic, utilitarian masterpiece. Herbs and greens are sourced from upstairs on their beautiful heated rooftop garden providing fresh herbs and vegetables to diners year-round.

• Six Seven at the Edgewater hotel in Seattle, if you’d like a true dining experience this is the place to go. It’s not easy on the pocketbook, but it’s an evening that you will remember. Everything from the fresh, boutique menu, views of the Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains jutting out in the distance to the roaring fireplaces, Six Seven will leave you with memories of one of the best dinners of your year

• Sully’s Snowgoose Saloon, proves that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a snug cozy atmosphere, it’s a true dive bar with vintage pinball machines and guests playing dominoes and board games. Bring your dog to enjoy the fire, but it’s probably best to eat elsewhere, Sully’s isn’t known for their food.

 

Redmond

• The Matador has two locations in Old Town Redmond and Ballard. The Matador is not your typical Mexican fare, they serve high quality, fresh, Mexican American fusion like a chile rubbed Mahi Mahi or duck carnitas tacos. It’s warm and fancy with a caged, gas firepit in the middle of the dining room, exposed brick walls line the bar around a large stained-glass window, the red ceilings and colorful pendant lighting bring a warm design to the space. A good menu and hand-crafted cocktails have made the Matador a name for itself in the area.

 

Kirkland

Thirsty Hop is not what you would expect from a neighborhood hop house, they pride themselves on serving only small local brews. The list of beer on tap is so large that it’s shown on a screen above the bar like a flight schedule at the airport. It’s a bit offbeat serving only loaded hot dogs, but they aren’t snooty about letting you bring in food from a neighboring restaurant and even throw a biweekly potluck dinner. It has two glassed in, gas fireplaces adding ambiance and warmth.

Bin on the Lake, located in the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland the Bin is a local favorite among Kirklanders. Watch the lights dance on Lake Washington in this warm, intimate space known for its impeccable food and a calm, relaxed atmosphere without being fussy.

Vovina, warm colors, leather bar stools with thumbtack finishes and a glow gives Vovina a lovely atmosphere. Vovina is popular with the after-work Kirkland crowd and offers live music on Thursdays.

Café Veloce is a cozy, low key Italian dining room, the owners use real Italian motorcycles as décor a twinkling fireplace creates an inviting family-friendly space for any occasion serving crowd-pleasing pizza and pasta.

 

Renton

• Berliner Pub, this local favorite containing a little table top gas fireplace to cozy up the German style pub with German beers on draft and bratwurst on the menu, the portions are big and the patrons leave happy.

No matter what your budget, there is a warm, local space for you to discover. Come out and get addicted to the draws of the Pacific Northwest.

Essential Kitchen Tools That Are Actually Worth Buying

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: December 7, 2018

Kitchenware has gotten to a point where it’s almost overwhelming to walk down the kitchen aisle in a store or – heaven forbid – venture into a specialty cooking shop.

There are gadgets aplenty, single-purpose miracle tools, and frying pans in every conceivable shape and size. Even for a seasoned chef, it’s enough to make you want to run away. Everywhere you look, another kitchen tool you’ll use once and toss in a junk drawer forever.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. Some kitchen tools are essential, while others are better left on the shelf. We’re going to walk you through some of the most basic kitchen items that are truly must-haves (get out of here, weirdly-shaped-avocado-slicer).

We’ve pared this list down to five of the most essential, multi-functional kitchen tools. Of course, there are plenty of useful tools that didn’t make it on the list. But for barebones necessities, it’s perfect.

Whether you’re brand new to cooking or an accomplished cook looking to pare down their cookware, this is the list for you.

  1. Heavy-bottomed Pot

These pans are great for everything. Perfect for sauces, stews, fudge, and candies, the heavy-bottomed quality means you won’t immediately burn every ingredient you add. These pots are thicker at the base, which means they distribute heat more evenly. You’re less likely to have hot spots with a heavy-bottomed pot or pan compared to a thinner one.

We’re looking for even cooking here without the looming threat of burned ingredients every time you turn away for a moment. Selecting a nonstick interior is even better. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but it’s a real pain to scrub out stuck-on bits of burnt food.

Like most cookware, there’s a wide price range for these types of pots. You don’t need to go for a high-end option though. Any reasonable heavy-bottomed pot is an excellent addition to your kitchen.

  1. Dutch Oven

The versatility of Dutch ovens is impressive enough to make you want to go out and buy one RIGHT NOW. These multi-purpose pots can go straight from stovetop to oven to your counter. They’re big enough to hold an entire roast and come with heavy lids that keep liquid in for slow braising.

As a bonus, Dutch ovens often come in beautiful colors, making it a beautiful centerpiece on your dining room table. It’s a serving dish itself. We all know what that means: fewer dishes to take care of later. Score!

Le Creusetcookware is classic, of course, but you can turn to Lodge for a more affordable, equally hefty option. Choose an enameled Dutch oven to prevent sticking or the maintenance of cast iron.

  1. 9 x 13-inch Baking Pan

If you’ve ever looked at a recipe for brownies, casseroles, cakes, egg bakes, or any delicious baked dish, you’re familiar with this pan. It’s arguably the most called-for pan in the world! (Don’t fact check us on that one).

These pans are super versatile and don’t take up a ton of room. You can also use them to roast veggies or meat by popping a cooling rack on top. The grease drips down and keeps your food from getting soggy.

For those of you who attend a lot of potlucks, consider picking up a 9×13-inch baking pan lid. It makes transportation (and carrying home leftovers) a whole lot easier.

  1. Chef’s Knife (Yes, just the one)

This may not be the most popular opinion, but you don’t need more than one knife to do almost everything you need in the kitchen. Sure, knife block sets are a classic gift for newlyweds or folks striking out on their own for the first time. But how often do you actually use them?

A sturdy, sharp chef’s knife is great for chopping vegetables and slicing meat. Pick a chef’s knife with a medium-length blade and a sturdy handle; you’ll be surprised how much more control you have over it. With a professional knife, beginner chefs have the added benefit of learning proper grip technique to prevent accidents and boost efficiency.

You can find affordable, quality knives ranging from $20 up to ridiculous numbers (we’re talking triple zeroes or more). If you can test it out beforehand, even better. Find a knife with a comfortable grip, and you’re ready to go.

  1. Non-stick Frying Pan

Omelets? No problem. Browning meatballs? Great! Cookin’ up a stir-fry? No worries. A non-stick frying pan is there for you every time.

Since non-stick frying pans prevent food from sticking, you can use less oil when you’re cooking. It’s also easier to get tricky food out of the pan, meaning you’ll likely ruin fewer dinners (it’s happened to the best of us).

And you can use the same frying pan for so many things! You’ll want to make sure that you don’t use metal spatulas, silverware, or any other sharp tool or you run the risk of scratching off the non-stick coating.  If that coating starts flaking off, throw the pan away! You definitely don’t want that in your food.

So there you go. The five barebones, most essential cooking tools you can add to your kitchen. No frills, no gimmicks; just solid tools to help you tackle any recipe, no matter how complicated or fussy. Happy cooking!

Three Ways to Enjoy Free Entry to Seattle Museums

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle, Washington | Posted: December 5, 2018

Winter evenings in Seattle can be a bit dark, the sun sets early and yes, it sometimes rains.,Use it as an excuse to go get some culture, museums create engaging conversations with warm lighting, bright colors and inspiration. It might be just the thing to brighten your winter nights and help you to make some new friends or bring old ones closer.

Seattle has a brilliant variety of interactive museums that will keep you and your company chatting away and enjoying yourselves no matter what the topic.

Living in Seattle is wonderful, but with all of the recent growth and thousands of people moving here it’s gotten a bit pricey, between crossing the bridge, parking and entrance fees, date and family nights out can be a hindrance. There is a reprieve for families and singles looking to spend an evening at the museum.

The Seattle Public Library system allows people with a library card to reserve free museum passes to 15 locations, including the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium. Each pass is good for 2 or more people depending on which location you visit and you can revisit each museum once a month for free with your library card.

Library passes used for the Center for Wooden Boats also come with one free hour of a row boat rental (in season) to paddle around on Lake Union.

The King County Library System cards provide museum passes to eight locations for free, including the Seattle Aquarium and the Kids Quest children’s museum in Bellevue.

If the Seattle library passes are booked out, you’re still in luck. Several museums offer free days on the first Thursday of every month, most museums stay open late on these days to give you the most of your free entry!

 

  • Center for Wooden Boats at Lake Union is always free to enter, come enjoy the exhibits and water views year-round. The Center for Wooden Boat members can come on the third Friday of almost every month to hear professional speakers tell their tales of adventure and experience. It’s a great way to network and meet others with similar taste in boating.
  • Frye Art Museum is always free and with a rotating gallery it’s worth stopping by every so often to see what’s new.
  • Klondike Gold Rush Museum is free and run by the National Park Service, come find out how Seattle historically aided the gold rush in Alaska and while you’re here pick up maps and advice on National Parks to explore.
  • SAM or Seattle Art Museum is open for first Thursdays, with half priced access to special exhibits. If you don’t want to brave the crowds, other days are by donation. You can still come visit for a minimal fee if you’d rather see other locations on first Thursday.
  • Asian Art Museum is currently closed for renovations, but check back, they’ll open up with a fresh look in 2019. They participate in first Thursdays and are open for families free of charge on first Saturdays.
  • Museum of Flight, free on first Thursdays, is rated number four of 420 things to do in Seattle on tripadvisor, this one’s a crowd favorite. You’ll want plenty of time to enjoy the museum, with several buildings, floors and hands-on exhibits. Many of the planes are open for visitors to crawl around the interior.
  • Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) free on first Thursdays, another rave-worthy museum that’s great for kids and adults. Four floors of history and stellar views from the top, lend views of Lake Union, come learn more about your home town. This is a huge museum and will keep you occupied for hours.
  • Living Computers Museum + Labs free on first Thursdays, don’t let the website fool you this museum is for adults and kids alike and is very popular. Robots, 80’s arcade games, vintage video games, this place is an interactive technology heaven it will bring you back through memory lane and teach your kids a bit about the recent past while keeping the lesson fun and interesting.
  • Northwest African American Museum free on first Thursdays, find out more about the history of African Americans in the Northwest in this intimate museum and you’re welcome to do a little digging in the genealogy center while you’re at it.
  • Henry Art Gallery free first Thursdays and every Sunday located in the University District. Henry is an interesting contemporary art gallery, with interactive exhibits for children.
  • Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) free on First Fridays, come out on a different night to enjoy the arts and rotating exhibits through Bellevue. With special Saturday activities for families and children and occasional free family days.

First Thursdays are a lot of fun, but they can be very busy, if you have time during the day it’s a good time to come or between seven and nine once the crowds thin out.

Public transit is always a good idea, but especially for first Thursdays, it can help with your enjoyment of the museums when you don’t have to troll around looking for a parking space.

It’s easy to get hung up on day to day living and forget about the treasures we have right here in our own town, don’t forget to be a tourist and enjoy the city where you live with all of it’s treasures.

Choosing Between a Deck or Patio

Categories: Home Design Trends, Home maintenance tips | Posted: November 26, 2018

Customizing and designing your home’s interior is an essential part of being a homeowner. With all the time you’ll spend in it, you’ll undoubtedly want to make sure each room is perfect. But in this post, we’re moving out into your front or backyard. We’re talking about decks and patios – the difference between them and what to consider when choosing one or the other.

The most significant factors in this decision are maintenance, cleaning, and customization.

What’s the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?

First, let’s look at the difference between the two. A patio is built at ground level and often directly attached to a house. It can be made from an array of materials, like concrete or brick. Patios are generally uncovered and don’t necessarily need guard railings or fencing. They come with more privacy since they’re at ground level and can be hidden behind a fence.

Decks, on the other hand, aren’t usually built at ground level. They tend to take advantage of a view and are therefore at higher levels. For this reason, it’s a good idea to put safety railings or fencing around them. Decks are usually made of wood or other composite materials. You can build decks on uneven ground, and they often add higher resale value to your property.

Even from these definitions, it’s easy to see why it’s a tough decision. Both patios and decks can be attached to a home or built away from the house, and both tend to be uncovered outdoor spaces.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Space

The first question to ask yourself is: how much maintenance do you want to do?

Since decks are made with wood, you’ll need to take care of it every year. That includes scrubbing it down, power washing, or sanding, not to mention checking for loose or protruding nails and screws. If you’re not using composite materials, you’ll need to check for splintering or peeling wood boards.

With patios, the amount of maintenance is certainly less than with wooden decks. But that doesn’t mean you can build it and forget it. You may need to replace stone tiles or clean the concrete now and again. Generally speaking, it will also be cheaper to build and maintain a patio than a deck due to the cost of materials, the elevation, and ongoing maintenance.

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to put in regular work to make sure your deck or patio doesn’t fall to pieces. Choosing composite materials for decks or durable materials for a patio can keep your outdoor space looking good for years to come.

Keeping Things Clean

We just covered ongoing maintenance, but what about cleaning? Though cleaning falls under maintenance, it’s certainly something to look at when deciding between a patio and deck.

Since decks are often made of wood, it’s common to get mold. After all, your deck battles all kinds of weather – rain, snow, and humidity. You can get mold under, near, or on your deck. It’s not difficult to remove, but you’ll need to stay on top of it. If left unchecked, mold could weaken its structure and cause major problems.

Patios can get mold too, but not nearly as often as with decks. Generally, you can clear your patio of mold by power washing. When it comes to cleaning, you’ll get by with less when you have a patio.

Customizing Your Patio or Deck

How much personal touch would you like to add to this new outdoor space?

While both decks and patios can be constructed in different sizes, shapes, and materials, you may run into some restrictions along the way. For example, using a specific stone texture or concrete to build a patio may prevent future changes, whereas wooden decks can be stained or painted to any color or shade that fits your home.

Changes to patios may be more expensive. If you’re looking to switch out the brick or patio tiles, you will likely need to rebuild the entire patio. But with decks, you can sand and re-stain every year if you want without damaging the materials.

That being said, you certainly have more options with patios. You can construct patios out of almost anything – stone, brick, concrete, pebbles, pea gravel, or rock. With a deck, you’ll be using either wood or composite materials. So, if there’s a specific aesthetic you’re looking to match, keep building materials in mind.

Making the Choice – It’s Up to You!

Whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy this new space. Whether you’re looking for a more customizable, elevated area or a private, durable patio, either option is a great choice. What’s great is you can add a portable fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or grill to either (just make sure you’ve got a fireproof platform for your deck!).

11 Winter Art Walks to Warm Your Creative Spirit this Winter in Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Seattle, Washington | Posted: November 26, 2018

There are just shy of a dozen art walks that keep on dazzling through the winter in Seattle neighborhoods, they don’t board up and hide away during the rainy season. Local businesses open their doors to create warm, dry and inviting locations to come and enjoy the art scene. During the Holiday season it’s a great opportunity to find unique artwork for your home or a friend’s while benefitting a starving artist in the process.

Art walks have grown in the last few years, and although most cities usually host one or two a month, Seattle is a particularly artistic town and has 11 during the “off” season!

During these events, businesses all over the neighborhood will open their doors to display art work created by local artists. Coffee shops, banks, restaurants, theaters, salons and any other participating business stay open late and often play live music while offering wine and small bites for free while exhibiting local artwork. The artist is usually on hand to talk about their work and sometimes will take custom orders.

Meet up with friends, bring your kids and enjoy the walk from place to place. Each neighborhood art walk happens once a month, the below links will bring you to a map of participating venues.

And best of all they’re completely free.

 

  • Pioneer Square Art Walk, First Thursday with free parking from 5 – 10:00 p.m. in the Frye, Butler or 450 Alaskan parking garages, just pick up a voucher at one of the participating businesses. The Central District walk boasts that it was the very first art walk in the entire United States, it has now become a Seattle tradition 37 years old.

 

  • Freemont Art Walk, First Fridays from 6 – 9:00 p.m. Freemont, is known locally as a very artistic neighborhood and their art walk shows its stuff with poetry readings, paintings, photography, sculpture, all forms of art in one funky area with a rotation of food trucks to keep you fueled up for art viewing.

 

 

  • The West Seattle Art Walk second Thursday of every month, from 5:00 p.m. to “late” focuses on paint and print art. Local bars and restaurants will have extended happy hours and art walk specials on this night, so take advantage, and get a drink to warm you between paintings.

 

 

 

 

  • Ballard Art Walk on the Second Saturdays featuring live music and art demonstrations in downtown Ballard.

 

  • Uptown Art Walk – Queen Anne, Third Wednesdays from 3 – 9:00 p.m., the website isn’t completely up to date, but this is a reoccurring third Wednesday event.

 

 

  • Magnolia Art Experience, Last Saturday of varying months, from 4 – 7:00 p.m. Be sure to check the link for specific months, December is excluded.

 

Great art happens year-round and can be particularly inspired in the winter when you have more time to think, read and introspect. Come out and bring your family for free inspiration.

Get Outside: Seattle Area Trails and Walks in the Winter

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle | Posted: November 19, 2018

Winters in Western Washington are no reason to stay indoors, we rarely have freezing temperatures, the winter weather is the perfectly temperate to get out and enjoy the crisp clean air.

Explore parks and trails close to work or home in order to take advantage of the waning daylight. No matter where you live there will be more than enough options, you might have to shorten your walk a bit, to enjoy the outdoors without getting caught out in the dark, but you won’t regret getting out.

 

Seattle City

  • Discovery Park, is 534 acres of pure bliss, it’s one of the most beautiful parks ever created and will have you thanking yourself for moving to Seattle. Discovery covers a small peninsula that juts out on a cliff top into the Puget Sound. Hike down the cliff side to a misty rock beach with a quintessential lighthouse sitting on the bank. Miles of trails wind through the park covering wide open meadows with sweeping views of Elliot Bay and Mount Rainier on a clear day.
  • The Lighthouse Loop trail is a quick 3.5 miles around and is a favorite of Seattleites, for good reason, the wide open meadow and cliff top views bring serenity after a long day at work.

 

East Side Parks and Trails

  • Cougar Mountain Regional Park, on the East side neighboring Newcastle and Issaquah has 3,100 acres of forested park land with over 20 hiking trails. Be prepared with a map, cell service is spotty and these trails twist, turn and cross each other on multiple occasions. It’s essentially a mishmash of dozens of tiny trails that all run into each other, you can make them as short or as long as you’d like. They have signage, but it can get a little bit confusing with all the switch arounds. There’s plenty of space to get your feet muddy during short winter days.
  • North Fork Falls Loop is one popular trail on Cougar Mountain, an easy 2.6 mile loop that’ll take you along a stream bed through moss covered forests with soft brown leaves underfoot and a babbling brook to keep you company and your dog happy.
  • Squak Mountain State Park with over 2,500 acres and Tiger Mountain State Park with more than 13,700 areas are both just East of Cougar Mountain, the three together make up a corridor of wilderness and trail systems in an area called the Issaquah Alps. It’s no surprise I’m sure that the three of these parks will keep you busy for weeks exploring all the trails they have to offer.
  • Tradition Lake Loop in Tiger Mountain, this trail could be made to be much longer if you wish, an entire system of interconnected trails loop around the lake. A flat, child friendly and popular 3.1-mile trail loops through the woods with lake views.

 

Other Parks and Trails on the East Side

  • Rattle Snake Ledge Trail this one’s a favorite, it can be accessed from any city on the Eastside in 20 – 40 minutes from Seattle without traffic. It’s a moderate to difficult 2 mile hike, covering 1160 feet of elevation gain. It’s great for a work out on a brisk day with incredible pay outs at the top. From there you have the option of hiking another 8.3 miles to Snoqualmie Point Park. Towards the top of the hike you come to a fork, veer right for sweeping views of the lake and mountain peaks in the distance. Be careful with kids and dogs on this hike, there are lots of places to fall with steep drops and cliffs especially at the look out. It’s pretty busy at the peak, if you’d like to get away from the crowds hike a little further up to the middle or upper ledge, there are equally impressive look out spots for more space to stretch your toes.
  • Saint Edward State Park located northwest of Kirkland this park is made up of 316 acres of undeveloped property hugging the shores of Lake Washington. Hike through old growth forest on one of many quick little trails. For a longer jaunt take the North Trail combined with the Beach Trail, together they create a lovely three-mile loop.
  • Twin Falls, located just 30 minutes east of downtown this serene, moderate, 3.6 mile hike through a rain forest has views of a giant twin waterfall that will have you doubting your proximity to the city.
  • Cedar River Trail, the trailhead starts at South Lake Washington and runs right through the City of Renton extending on for 17.4 miles in each direction. The wide, smooth trail can also be accessed by bicycles and strollers and runs right along the Cedar river. This is a nice after work trail and can be accessed at multiple points along the way. Lower areas on the trail are sometimes closed during the winter due to rising river water levels.
  • Evans Creek Preserve, just north of Sammamish a 179-acre wildlife preserve with 4.2 miles of gentle, flat trails weave their way through wetlands, meadows and forest. The Washington Trails Association has built bridges and wooden walkways creating an smooth, wheel chair accessible path over the wetland. It’s recommended to bring bear bells or make noise on the trail to avoid black bears. This might be a good excuse to go during the winter when they’re more likely to be hibernating. The top of the ridge gives a nice view of the park below
  • Soaring Eagle Regional Park, is located just east of Sammamish, this 600-acre wood has 12 miles of trail systems. the pipeline trail runs through the center and is wide and flat enough for baby strollers. Come for a mix of forest, wetland and wildlife, through this fabulous habitat. Take your pick of any of the interconnecting trails making your walk as short or long as you like.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the trails or parks. No matter where you live in the Seattle area there is definitely a trail close to you, so don’t forget to utilize those clear, crisp days. Walk off your holiday meals and relish in what makes the Pacific Northwest so magical.

Tips for Designing Your Home with Timeless Style

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: November 8, 2018

Designing a home can be challenging, especially if you’re the kind of person looking for a low maintenance style that can endure the years. But it’s not easy to execute a timeless design. It’s easy to fall into trends that become outdated fads or over accessorizing a room until it becomes a cluttered mess.

To help you avoid all that, here are five general tips for creating a timeless home design.

Keep Your Home Fad-Free

This may be the most obvious piece of advice in this article. If you’re looking for a timeless style that requires no fuss or work year to year, stay away from fads. You may love a sleek and severe minimalist look right now, but it’s certainly not going to be in style forever.

Make Sure Your Designs are Functional

Each furniture piece should serve a purpose. In the same vein of creating a fad-free home, it’s best to make sure your furniture makes sense in the room. Ornate, fragile side tables or never-sat-in designer chairs may not factor into a timeless design.

Choose Subtle Patterns and Colors

Busy or decorative patterns and accessories can give your room a cluttered, outdated feel. Certain colors may be in style one year and suddenly out the next; don’t be caught with a pale green couch that’s horribly out of style within a year. Though these colors or patterns may appeal to you at a certain point, they certainly won’t stand the test of time.

Let Your Fabrics Bring a Room to Life

Painting and wallpapering are hassles, and it’s just not practical to put on a fresh coat each year. So instead of painting a bright accent wall that may not feel right a few years from now, use throw pillows, rugs, and drapes for that pop of color. It’s easier to change out these fabrics than it is to change wall color or carpeting.

Simplify Major Furniture

By major furniture, we mean sofas, dining room tables, and bed frames. If you simplify these pieces of furniture, you can use other elements in the room to add personal style without overdoing it. Simple furniture tends to be timeless and classic, whereas hyper-modern, antique, or ornate furniture can seem outdated or fussy.

Home design is a delicate balance of welcoming aesthetic and personal style. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, timeless design, follow these tips. You can create a balanced room without clutter or antiquated style. Imagine how relaxed you’ll feel each time you enter your perfectly timeless room.

14 Festive Holiday Markets in and Around Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: November 1, 2018

Holiday Markets in Seattle are often an amazing experience, a place to connect with people who care about their craft. They offer an old-fashioned charm and experience of hand picking the perfect gift for someone you love while enjoying time together with friends or family.

Buying local gives a sense of place, love and care that comes from picking a gift straight from the artist’s hands, from people who are proud of their products. So we recommend supporting local Washington state artisans and giving a gift to remember. Here are some markets that we’d recommend picking up that perfect holiday gift. Most of the Markets are free and they’re all child friendly. The best thing about homemade goods from the Markets is that you can often customize gifts if you have something (or someone) special in mind.

 

  • Scandinavian Holiday Bazaar November 3 & 4 from 9 – 3:00 p.m. Located at the Swedish Club 1920 Dexter Ave N. Seattle Come enjoy all things Scandinavian at this bazaar. If you don’t find gifts you will find lots of Scandinavian food and Viking inspired drinks. Two floors of vendors will be there with unique, Nordic gifts.
  • Gobble Up November 17, 10 – 6:00 p.m. Located at the Bell Harbor Conference Center 2211 Alaskan Way, pier 66, Seattle. This is the event to get all of your shopping done in one place. Since everyone loves eating, you can’t go wrong. Gobble up is a one day only, free event with food, condiments and specialty items for the kitchen made from fellow Pacific Northwesterners. If you’re buying for friends and family across the country, it’s the place to go for local flavor.
  • Magic in the Market November 24, from 11 – 6:00 p.m. Located at Pike Place Market. It wouldn’t be a list of markets without the mother of all markets. This is the 23 year of the Christmas market. Santa will be available for photo opportunities, live music, hot apple cider and hot chocolate, local shopping, a tree lighting and cookie decorating at the Atrium Kitchen from 12 – 2:00 p.m. for kids under 12.
  • Holiday Market at Westlake Park Every Friday- Sunday from November 23 – December 23, from 12 – 5:00 p.m. Located at Westlake Park 401 Pine Street Seattle. Located right in the heart of downtown, the Market at Westlake is a nod to German Christmas markets. Vendors offer handmade items with quality and love in every piece. Enjoy a lovely afternoon outdoors during the holiday season.
  • Victorian Christmas Market November 28 – December 2 Wednesday & Thursday 10 – 8:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday 10 – 9:00 p.m. Sunday 10 – 6:00 p.m. Located at the Washington State Fairgrounds110 9th Ave SW, Puyallup. Buy tickets online or bring cash for the front gate. Just 30 minutes South of Renton the Victorian Christmas Market is going on its 31st year in business. 500 market stalls will be open, food, wine and holiday music will fill the festival with performers on stage, concerts, Christmas lights and actors in period costumes.
  • Enchant Seattle Open almost every day from November 23 – December 30th from 4 – 11:00 p.m. Located at Safeco Field 1250 1st Ave S. Seattle, buy your tickets ahead of time. This is an exciting event, with ice skating, Santa Claus, dinner and drinks, live entertainment, over 90 holiday vendors and a massive Christmas light maze to wow your kids. This event might become a new tradition.
  •   Geek Craft Expo Seattle Holiday Market November 24 & 25 Saturday 10 – 5:00 p.m. Sunday 10 – 4:00 p.m. Located at Magnuson Park Hangar 30, 6310 Northeast 74th Street, Seattle. Register for free online or it’ll cost you $2 at the door. This market is perfect for the nerd in your life, and who doesn’t have a little nerd in them? Buy local from people with personality, over 100 creative vendors are all in one place with funny, fresh ideas for your holiday list. Cosplay is encouraged, and free craft tables will be set up, for kids.
  • For a special adventure take a weekend and a scenic 2 hour drive, or even better take a beautiful, snow covered train ride, to the town of Leavenworth for the Christmas Tree Lighting. November 30, December 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, Leavenworth is a Fairytale Bavarian style town in the heart of the Cascades. You’ll be transported to the alps in this German town lit up with Christmas lights and a Bavarian Christmas Market. Gluhwein (mulled wine), Holiday performances, roasted chestnuts, live holiday music, sleigh rides, and Santa Claus himself. It’s a great place to take the kids for a weekend they won’t forget, they can even go sledding right in the middle of town. Book your hotel stay soon, they go quickly.
  • Shop-O-Rama Local Artist Craft Fair December 1, from 11:30 – 3:00 p.m. Located at the Wing Luke Museum 719 S. King St. Seattle in the Chinatown International District. Join for the first ever local artist fair. Santa will be available for photos during the market’s opening.
  • The Urban Craft Uprising 2018 Winter Show December 1 & 2 Saturday from 10 – 6:00 p.m., Sunday 10 – 5:00 p.m. Seattle Center Exhibition Hall 301 Mercer Street, Seattle After 14 years this show is going strong full of handcrafted products, from local artists. Come find jewelry, bags, wallets, toys, housewares and anything else you can think of. It’s free to enter and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a door bags for the first to enter, but you have to come early to stand in line for this popular event.
  • South Lake Union Winter Market December 5 & 6 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Van Vorst Plaza 426 Terry Avenue North Seattle, Free to enter. Another great Urban Craft Uprising Event one week after the big winter show. This event is open for two days and with a rotation of different vendors each day.
  • Winter Night Market December 7 from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. December 8 from 12 – 8:00 p.m. Magnuson Park Hangar 30,6310 Northeast 74th Street, Seattle Located inside an airplane hangar, 100 local, handmade vendors, live music, street food and a show welcoming the winter solstice. Free entry, suggested donation of only $1. Per person will benefit a local charity.
  • Makers Market Dec 8, 12 – 6:00 p.m. Located at Inscape in SODO 815 Seattle Blvd S, Seattle Come the studios open up to the public with a juried Makers Market with over 30 artists and craftsmen. Find hand-made clothing, jewelry, and more creative gift ideas.
  • Winter Feast and Holiday Bazaar December 16, from 10 – 4:00 p.m. Located at the Freemont Sunday Market 3401 Evanston Ave North, Seattle. Find over 100 local vendors and holiday activities. Nice handmade ideas for everyone on your list. And don’t forget yourself, this is a street food bonanza with a killer line up of food trucks and stalls, come hungry.

 

Come out and enjoy a winter day with family and friends while finding something special for the people you love. Buy local and contribute to the hard work of a local artist.

Bellevue Open House Event This Weekend!

Categories: American Classic News, Bellevue, Events, Washington | Posted: October 22, 2018

Join us this Weekend for the Bellevue Open House Event!

Tour the featured 4,204 sq.ft Hemlock home plan includes 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, a Den, a Recreation Room, a Snack Room, a Covered Porch, and a 3 Car Tandem Garage. This event will provide visitors with an opportunity to tour this beautiful move-in ready home and be inspired by the latest in home design, functionality and style from American Classic Homes.

When: Saturday, October 27 & Sunday, October 28th
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: 10245 SE 6th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

We look forward to seeing you at our brand new Bellevue Open House Event this weekend and feel free to grab some family or friends to bring along with you. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own home private tour, please give us a call at (206) 557-6211 or email Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.

Want to learn more about this move-in ready home? Click here to view the listing for this home, see images, and to get more details.

 

Driving Directions:

• Heading south on I-405 S

• Take exit 13A for Northeast 4th St

Turn right onto NE 4th St

Turn left onto Bellevue Way NE (Pass by MOD Pizza on the right)

Continue straight onto Bellevue Way SE

Turn right onto SE 6th St

• The Home will be on the left

 

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