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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.

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.

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.

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.

Tantalize Your Taste Buds Celebrating Seattle Restaurant Week: Oct. 21 – Nov. 8, 2018!

Categories: American Classic News, Events, Lifestyle, Renton, Sammamish Plateau, Seattle, Washington | Posted: October 9, 2018

It’s that time of year again to enjoy Seattle Restaurant Week, this is when the culinary scene gets to strut their stuff by wooing new customers lining the doorways excited to taste their fare.

This is the week where you can sample three course meals from over 165 restaurants all over Seattle and the surrounding areas. With so many locations, you’re sure to have at least one participating restaurant in your neighborhood. For $33 you can enjoy a three-course dinner, many of which are also offering $18 two-course lunches. Twice a year, Seattle restaurants open their doors in the spring and fall for restaurant week, it’s their way of celebrating food, customers and to thank you for being loving patrons, while vying for your attention and hoping to win the hearts of new regulars at the same time.

Participating Restaurants cover the board in variety, price point and ambiance on a regular day, but for this week, they all offer the same deal. All participants are required to offer prix fixe dinner options sometimes regularly priced at $40. This is a great way to try out a new location that might normally be a little pricey and decide whether or not it’s worth the value for you to come back.

Come out on a weekday to experience it from October 21-November 8, 2018, it should actually be called Restaurant Three Weeks. Spanning 3 weeks on the calendar, the deals are open from Sunday through Thursday evenings, not covering Sunday brunch. Three weeks of specials gives you more opportunity to sample more menus and locations. Reservations are highly suggested, this is a very popular event and it is important to reserve your seat ahead of time, or you possibly could be waiting for hours for popular dinner spots.

Seattle has always been known as the culinary hub of the Northwest, but with the recent population boom, more than ever before it’s attracting top talent when it comes to chefs and the restaurant scene. Hundreds of restaurants have opened their doors in the past few years creating a lot of competition and tons of dining options.

One of the best things about living in a big city is the variety of cuisines from everywhere, what better time is there to try out a new corner of the globe, without leaving your neighborhood? Try out Vietnamese food in Capitol Hill at Monsoon Seattle, or go to Spain at Tango Restaurant and Lounge for tapas. Come see what all the hubbub is about at the Barking frog in Woodinville and stay for wine tasting while you’re there, or visit one of many participating French restaurants, located in almost every neighborhood. Check out the SRW website for a listing of all participating restaurants categorized by neighborhood, lunch, dinner, cuisine, vegan, vegetarian or gluten free. With so many options it’s easy to find a place no matter what dietary restrictions your party has.

Some restaurants are still in the process of updating their menus for this event, so check back for added locations and updated menus.

With so many restaurants participating, it can be hard to narrow down your list of where to try. If you’re looking purely for value, it’s recommended to take advantage of the relatively low prices at high end restaurants to sample locations to come back to your new favorites during regular weekends.

Our Restaurant Week Recommendations:

Aqua by El Gaucho, downtown is a great place to start with an incredible view overlooking Elliot Bay. Restaurant week is a great value to enjoy Aqua by El Gaucho and their floor to ceiling windows. Come find out what you’re missing on a regular day with fresh seafood and a view to boot.

For a classic Seattle favorite don’t miss Dahlia Lounge, known for seafood and Northwest inspired food. While you’re here add on the coconut cream pie to your prix fixe menu. You might as well find out what put them on the map as one of the best places to eat in the city.

Nell’s, found in the Green Lake neighborhood is another Restaurant week favorite, high-end dinners, known for their risottos, steaks and seafood.

RN74 is a French, PNW fusion downtown this is a dinner that you will remember. Known for its amazing, well balanced food, great service and unpretentious atmosphere. RN74 is the place to go for a laid back, delicious evening.

MKT, an Ethan Stowell restaurant, this is an intimate space with a solid menu. Famous for the Burrata, but nothing on the menu will disappoint. This is a true Seattle gem, try to book reservations if you can, it’s a small space and is very popular.

Vendemmia is another gem participating in Restaurant Week, a new American, Italian fusion, the food here is fresh, inspiring with unexpected food pairings. Highly recommended and loved in the area for good reason.

With so many amazing restaurants to choose from, just come and enjoy Restaurant Week, it’s a culinary exploration, try somewhere new with a view, don’t worry about the bill and you won’t be disappointed. You may want to stop eating now to save room for the coming flavor explosion.

A Monster List of Halloween Fun Things To Do With Your Family In and Around Seattle

Categories: Events, Lifestyle, Renton, Sammamish Washington, Seattle, Washington | Posted: September 24, 2018

Halloween is a magical time for children, they’re back at school, the leaves are changing and for one fantastic evening they can be whatever or whoever they want to be while collecting pounds of candy to boot. The Seattle area is a beautiful place for children to spend their fall season and with dozens of events happening all over the city and beyond, there’s so much more to Halloween than trick or treating.

Come along to these events where your kids can run for a cause, learn while having fun during a goopy, glowing science lesson, take an old-fashioned train ride next to a waterfall, hear storytellers spin spooky tails and watch fish and zoo animals play with pumpkins. With so many opportunities your kids can enjoy Halloween all month long and maybe will even forget about the candy.

*Don’t forget to check the websites ahead of time for fees and registration.

Seattle

  • Pumpkin Bash at Woodland Park Zoo, October 27 & 28 from 9-3:00 All the zoo animals are given pumpkins to do with as they please. They can roll it around, smash it, eat it or slash it for the amusement of beasts and children. Beware of flying pumpkin guts.
  • Run Scarred Benefit for Leukemia and Lymphoma, Located in Seward Park October 28 Opening at 7:30 Come out dressed in costume for a 5k or 10k run or mosey on a 4k walk with prizes, photos, games and crafts after the race.
  • Aquarium Halloween, October 26, 27 & 28 Come watch the fish enjoy master pumpkin carving on land and in the underwater tanks. Divers will create jack o’-lanterns in the water, it’s the fish’s favorite day of the year.
  • Monster Bash Benefit for Seattle Children’s Hospital, Located in Seattle just North of Laurelhurst October 21 from 3-7:00 Come out for a carnival style event with games, snacks, crafts and ponies.

 

Bellevue

Redmond

  • Halloween Story Telling Train, October 20-21 & 27-28 from 11-4:00 Take a colorful drive out of town to Snoqualmie Falls for a unique experience your kids will always remember. Take a scenic train ride with a stop for warm apple cider. A professional storyteller will entertain your little ones with spooky railroad stories from the past.

Redmond

  • Halloween Tricks and Treats, October 31 from 4-7:00 If you prefer trick or treating through stores instead of front doors Redmond will be hosting a merchant candy give a way. Free of charge with face painters, photos and trampolines to burn off sugar rushes before bed.
  • Thrill the World, October 27 from 12-4:00 For ten years in a row participants have learned the thriller dance for this event while raising money for charities. Open to dancers age 8 and up, participants attend 4 weeks of practice classes to leading up to the performance. On dance day zombies dress the part in make-up and torn clothing and perform the dance in front of hundreds of onlookers. Come early and stay after for live music.
  • Serres Farm finally, a pumpkin patch without entrance fees, come visit a laid-back family farm growing a wide variety of colorful pumpkins to choose from. Kids can ride on a tractor with trailers painted like animals, have rubber duck races by pumping old water pumps to move their ducks faster and of course a corn maze complete with scary skeletons at dead ends.

Renton

  • Wild Waves Theme and Water Park – Fright Fest, Located about 25 minutes South of Renton, every weekend from September 28-October 28 The water is turned off and the park is transformed into a Halloween nightmare. There are a huge variety of events, rides in the dark, games and attractions available for kids and adults. Several haunted houses, a haunted pathway, a 3D fun house, sideshows and a magician. Most of the events aren’t appropriate for young children, but an area called Booville is set aside, gore free for kids under 12 with a carnival, games, crafts and dancing.
  • Truck-or-Treating at the Renton Community Center October 19 from 6-7:30 Sign up early, this event is only for kids under 10. Children not only get candy at this event they also get to see old fire trucks, buses, cement mixers and ambulances up close.
  • Tales that go bump in the Night at the Renton History Museum October 27 from 11-12:00 Professional storytellers will tell spooky, family friendly Halloween stories riveting young audiences and creating lasting memories off screen. After they hear the tales head down to the next event.
  • Olde Fashioned Halloween Party and Downtown Trick or Treat Event in Downtown Renton October 27 from 1-4:00 bring the kids out for trick or treating in merchant doorways. Don’t forget to dress up your dogs, there will be a doggie costume contest as well as cider, art, face painting, a cakewalk and a merchant scarecrow competition.
  • Carpinito Brothers Pumpkin Patch Located just South of Renton, these brothers have succeeded in creating a beautiful farm with dozens of things to do. Your kids will never forget this place. They can take hay rides, get lost in the corn maze, play in their fun yard with dozens of animals, rubber duck races, feed goats, dig through a room of dried corn, slide down slides into loose hay and even practice roping wooden cows. Find your pumpkin in 20 acres of colorful plants to choose from.

Sammamish

 

Don’t forget to get outside, bring the family and some friends and enjoy October in Seattle!

Best Bars to Discover If You Are New To Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: September 12, 2018

Seattle is known for its massive amount of transplants, so we want all residents (new or established)  to make themselves familiar with all that Seattle has to offer. We all work hard, so we all deserve to play hard as well, which is why we want to pass along our recommendations for the best bars to check out in Seattle.

Most “Interesting” Bar

Unicorn is a florescent carnival themed bar, it’s ridiculous in an awesome way. Who ever heard of a carnival themed bar? It’s eccentric, colorful and has large, reasonably priced, unicorn themed drinks. The menu is full of non-traditional, greasy themed bar food. A word of caution, it’s very hard to look cool while eating a corn dog, but between the taxidermy heads, pinball machines and blinding colors you might sneak by. Check the calendar for karaoke, drag queen bingo and trivia nights.

Best Relax and Game Bar in Seattle

Come play at Mox Boarding House, with an extensive library of board games available for check out, play a different game every week without filling up your closets. There are two locations with bars, restaurants, private rooms, a board game store and a family area to play. Games can build young minds, quality time with kids and friends and make long lasting memories. Gaming tournaments are hosted in stores regularly and it’s open seven days a week almost all the time.

Best Bars to Bring Groups of People

Flatstick pub, with exposed brick, colorful, cartoonish paintings, indoor mini golf, giant Jenga and foosball. Unique games called duffleboard, stick putt and cup hunter created by the Flatstick pub owners are only available here. Kirkland, South Lake Union and Pioneer Square. Each have locations that partner with different restaurants, some neighboring restaurants will deliver to your table, but all offer a great place to have large groups of people. A huge selection of draft beers from independent, local breweries line the walls. And note it’s ok to bring your dogs to the Kirkland and Pioneer square locations.

Art Marble, built in a revived 1920’s building, a beautifully restored space houses a variety of events. A bar and restaurant serving local beers and locally sourced ingredients. A 3,000 square foot game room holds pool, shuffle board, bocce ball and over a dozen other games. The best thing is, the games are completely free!  Reserve a table in a room with a round fireplace or the posh bourbon room.

Looking for an unbelievably cool bar with artwork, funky speakers, and a bathtub filled with ping pong balls that’s perfect for any instagram post? Then Spin is the place to be. And yes this ping pong bar is amazing and we love it, Spin has a small, locally sourced menu with special attention to detail is on order between games.

Go down memory lane with classic arcade machines at Add-a-Ball in Fremont. It’s a hole in the wall, a legitimate vintage arcade. Revisit 1982 when pin ball was the best game out there and realize again that it still is.

Best Artsy Bar

For a modern, artsy dive, Jupiter Bar in Belltown is your hipster hero. Huge murals from a large number of artists grace the walls and front of the building. Hilarious vintage pinball and arcade machines line the walls. You can often find DJ’s, live music or live painters, painting while you drink.

Best Dog Friendly Bar

If your dog is feeling lonely or stressed and needs a bone after a long day of terrorizing mailmen, bring her to Norms for dogs. Norms has an entire menu just for dogs including chicken feet and bacon pupcakes. Bring friends on her birthday and get the hound dog cake it serves six dogs and is gluten free for those with celiac disease.

Best Themed Bar

Octopus Bar; awesome, tiny, nautical themed bar. The patio is bigger than the inside. Not only that, but the menu is affordable, delicious and fun. The décor is eclectic and unconventional. In a big city like Seattle reminders of the city’s roots to the sea are welcome.

Best Drink Bars

Be sure to make a reservation for Canon, this little gem has beautiful décor, amazing drinks and flavorful food. It is to liquor what a great library is to books. With every bottle on display the presentation is entertainment itself, Canon has a great reputation as food and liquor artisans and it doesn’t disappoint.

Don’t get caught up by the title, the whiskey is awesome, but so is everything else at Radiator Whiskey. Tucked away upstairs in Pike Place. Mixed drinks are flavorful and well balanced. The food is equally impressive. If you’ve been wondering where to pre-order a pig’s head for your 16 friends like everyone else on a Wednesday, search no further. It’ll set you back $500, but it will leave you with a lifetime of delectable pig-headed memories, but Radiator Whiskey isn’t just dinner it’s an experience.

This is just the short list. Seattle is an artistic and culinary delight with a never-ending array of entertainment for every type of interesting person.

The Best Wineries That Are Only Around 30 Minutes From Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Events, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: September 4, 2018

Why go to Napa, Italy or Walla Walla, when there is so much to offer West of the Cascades?

The Sammamish River valley is a lush, green, fertile lowland that runs through King County just North East of Seattle. Like many great river valleys, the Columbia, Rhine, Mosel and Rhone to name a few, it has become famous for its wine. Similar to European wine rivers, the Sammamish River valley is also known for its bike trails, green sweeping views and numerous wine tasting rooms. Unlike these places however it’s only a short, 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle, $1,200 plane ticket not required.

As the weather begins to change and the leaves turn orange and red, it’s a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn scents. There are a whopping 130 tasting rooms and wineries to visit in Woodinville. Washington State has an unbelievable range of grape varietals grown from sweet dessert wines to bold, robust dry varieties. The fall harvest season is upon us and with it brings more reasons to come out to enjoy changing leaves and cozy, stone fireplaces while drinking your weight in wine. With these many wineries, you can come every day for months.

Many of the Woodinville wine tasting rooms are actually satellite vineyards from the Columbia Valley wineries. They were nice enough to bring their wines to the main Washington hub, so you don’t need to go so far to enjoy them. Woodinville has so many wine tasting rooms that it is separated into four districts in order to distinguish each region and help tourists to find their way around.

The Hollywood District is known for the landmark Hollywood Schoolhouse. It is no longer a schoolhouse, but currently is a lovely event space rental. The Hollywood and Warehouse Districts have the largest number of tasting rooms.

The Warehouse District has more wineries per square foot than anywhere else in the world! Don’t be fooled by appearances, on the outside it appears just as the name implies, a warehouse district. But, within each door there are intimate, cozy spaces each with its own personality, charm and friendly face pouring wine behind the counter.

The West Valley District is the newest and smallest district with fewer rooms to choose from and a little more space in between. A pretty place to drive, sit outside and not feel rushed to make it to the next space. This district is growing quickly and is the new hot spot for winemakers coming to the valley.

The Downtown District has its fair share of wine tasting rooms smattered around with everyday downtown-y living things like grocery markets and a famous, locally owned, gift and garden store named Molbaks.

Don’t feel left out if you’re a beer or whiskey drinker, there six local breweries, two cideries and four distilleries here in Woodinville as well. Pouring local rum, vodka, whiskey, gin and even absinthe, if the prohibition ever returned the entire city would fall into the ground.

Many of the wineries have their own calendar of events and each has its own charm.

Afterhours Woodinville is an event on September 13th & October 11th in the Hollywood District and September 27th & October 25th in the Warehouse District on Thursdays from 4-8, for $25 a ticket you can taste 14 or more wines from 12 cellars, with a total of 35 cellars participating, it’ll be easy to find a new favorite.

Gorman Winery gives a feeling of a Tuscan countryside villa with its open-air doors, overhead pergola and stone façade. With live music almost, every Friday and Saturday and happy hour prices.

The famous Chateau Ste Michelle made Washington wines what they are today by starting it all. They were the very first winery in the State and are proudly one of the most famous. Come see the beautiful grounds and French style castle hosting September concerts with a very impressive line-up including Lake Street Dive and Lyle Lovett. Check their busy calendar for concert dates, olive oil tastings, wine releases, cheese classes and Oktoberfest for wine lovers to name a few.

Columbia Winery, is another of Woodinville’s most famous, with an impressive façade bold event space complete with wine barrels adorning the walls, large hoop candelabra chandeliers and beautifully manicured gardens. Stop in for live music every Friday night through September and on October 12th.

Although most of the tasting rooms close early around 5:00 p.m., dinner is right around the corner. Not only is Woodinville famous for libations, but where there’s a vibrant wine and beverage scene, dynamic restaurants and local nightlife are sure to follow. Woodinville has over 100 restaurants in every form, specialty and price point concentrated close by, some bringing renowned chefs into town. Have your choice of any cuisine you can imagine from Vietnamese, Indian, taverns, fine dining, bistros, Italian, pizzerias, burgers, sushi or anything else your heart desires.

Plan your visit now for Woodinville wine, catch a fabulous dinner and the tail end of the live music scene for the year. Just don’t forget to take a ride share when you go!

Why Laurelhurst is one of the Best Neighborhoods for Raising Children in Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: August 23, 2018

The beautiful Laurelhurst neighborhood is known for its meticulously manicured lawns and stately homes. Home owners here have a sense of pride and community, many of which have grown up in this neighborhood and stayed to raise families of their own.

Schools here are no less impressive. Roosevelt high school is ranked the best high school in Seattle and seventh in the State. The Seattle Children’s Hospital, in Laurelhurst is famously one of the best in the country.

Laurelhurst covers an entire mini peninsula jutting into Lake Washington creating phenomenal water views on two sides. It’s an exclusive location close to the University district, Sand Point and only minutes from downtown. A boutique neighborhood that’s been around since the early 1900’s, it’s age only showing through the variety of architecture and charm.

The Laurelhurst Community Center is situated on top of a hill with views of Lake Washington below. The center offers toddler, preschool and afterschool programs and year-round events for kids. Located in the large Laurelhurst Playfield Park. The center creates a community linking neighbors together through events and play.

  • September 6th the Community Center is holding its very popular, annual Backyard BBQ Salmon bake. Attended by 600 people last year, the BBQ is an entertaining community event including a carnival and kids bounce houses.

Next door to Laurelhurst is the University of Washington Botanic Gardens the gardens are beautiful resources for educating young minds. With programs from toddlerhood all the way through teens. The botanic garden offers summer camps, night hikes, free educational weekend walks, story times and a forest school.

  • Forest schools are quickly becoming popular in Seattle, children learn to love nature by spending all day outside learning about botany, moss, bacteria, bugs and wildlife. Check the calendar for an extensive list of family activities.

Magnusun park is a 350-acre gem located only 2-3 miles away. Previously a naval base, the City of Seattle turned it into a recreation dream with the largest playground in the city including a climbing wall and a wading pool for toddlers in the summer.

Magnusun is the second largest park in Seattle, next to Discovery. Come enjoy the mile-long Lake Washington beach, boat launch, kite boarding and trails through marshes. Art installations and art deco areas give the park a feeling of cultivation. Off leash areas for dogs and beautiful sports fields are top notch thanks to a 13 million dollar make over in 2012. Not only did the city make life better for humans, they created wetlands for birds and wildlife to find refuge amid a growing city after breaking up landing strips and large amounts of concrete the navy left behind.

  • Bring your kids to enjoy miniature golf in the summer.
  • An architectural sound garden plays on the NOAA campus making music in the wind.
  • Summer nights in the park have classic movies and food trucks.
  • Kite hill is the perfect place to make lasting memories. Build a kite together and come fly it over the peninsula while enjoying views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainer in the background.
  • Don’t miss the Children’s Garden and the Children’s Community Garden this is a perfect place for kids, four acres of fun with free events including family fun days, gardening classes, a community garden and continual educational opportunities keeping little ones bodies and minds busy in nature.
  • Activity camps are open for older children.

The Laurelhurst Beach Club has a gated, private beach and is available exclusively to residents of Laurelhurst and Windemere who pay the annual dues. It’s a social hub of the neighborhood and an easy way to get acquainted with the community. They offer a junior sailing program for kids 8-14 to learn the ropes and youth swim lessons for kids to get comfortable with their sea legs.

The Burke Gilman trail connects the North side of the neighborhood to safely access the rest of the city by bicycle. Take the trail to parks all over the city without worrying about straying child bicyclists on busy city streets.

Laurelhurst is a haven for families within a big metropolis. Where you can enjoy all that Seattle has to offer while feeling safe on quiet streets. Known for good restaurants, friendly people and peaceful, treelined boulevards. Laurelhurst is a neighborhood where families build warm, happy memories so much so that kids might just stay to raise their own children.