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4 Seattle Food Forests Provide Free, Organic Food and a Reprieve from City Life

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle | Posted: April 3, 2019

One of the first things that you might notice after moving to Seattle is the prolific amounts of fruit trees. Apples, pears, plums, and cherries grow abundantly throughout parks and neighborhoods in the city. Gardens here produce high-volumes of flowers, vegetables, and berries. South facing front yard green spaces are popular, and people enjoy being out in the elements growing organic food.

The mild climate and abundance of rain in the Pacific Northwest allow a front or back yard gardener to grow a healthy variety of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. With the right equipment, you can have a garden all year long. Empty, run down lots, overgrown with weeds often hide an apple tree or two, still producing in the fall.

Now that it’s spring, and it’s time to begin planning your garden. Even apartment dwellers can find a sunny window for an herb garden or a patio to grow a tomato plant. You don’t need much space to grow your favorite vegetables. If you can’t find the space or crave more, there are a number of ways to get your hands dirty in your own soil or lending a hand to others.

Food forests are a relatively new concept. Volunteers utilize city spaces, grants and donations to plant fruit and nut trees, berry shrubs, herb, and vegetable gardens that produce yields available to anyone at absolutely no cost.

 

  1. The Beacon Food Forest is on 15th Avenue South and South Dakota Street. Just North of Beacon Hill and a short walk from the VA hospital. This amazing seven-acre city project produces crops for a working-class neighborhood that historically is short on food. The idea began in 2009, and it took several years of planning and a lot of hard work, but now it’s a Garden of Eden within city limits. Fruit and nut trees, berry bushes and edible annuals greet you around each corner. Fanciful paintings, art installations and garden paths weave through the space creating a utopia within two miles of the city center. The Beacon Food Forest has a berry patch, nut grove, fruit orchard, medicinal garden, and annual vegetables.They’re working their way up to housing 1,000 varietals of plants after taking a survey of favorites from the diverse neighborhood residents surrounding the property. They’ll eventually have trees, plants, and shrubs from around the world. They host a variety of classes offering things like seed harvesting and starts, fruit tree pruning, and herbalist plant walks. The forest is a work in progress and volunteers are working in phases to bring it to fruition. Volunteers are always welcome to get their hands dirty while meeting new friends and learning sustainable gardening skills in the process.
  2. Georgetown Urban Farm and Forest (GUFF) at 6737 Corson Avenue South, is located just outside of the Georgetown campus. It’s in an area known for being a food desert and an industrial space. Organizers decided in 2015 to do something about it and started this food forest for the community. The area used to house a landfill, which has led to some setbacks. Site organizers are determined to rebuild the soil. For now, they have space for raspberries, medicinal plants, and raised bed vegetable gardens. The community is excited to have GUFF as a resource for fresh food, education and much needed healthy, living space within an industrial area.
  3. Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands (RBUFW) is on 5513 South Cloverdale Street in South Seattle. It sits on the shore of Lake Washington in a space that used to be under water. When they built the shipping canal, the lake dropped adding this space to the landscape. RBUFW is the newest of the Food Forests, and due to some hefty donations they’re off to a great start. Three greenhouses, a classroom, and a teaching kitchen are all situated on site. They offer Dozens of classes for kids and adults on sustainability, cooking, and livestock.
  4. Puget Ridge Neighborhood Edible Park located at 5265 18th Avenue SW in West Seattle. The edible park sits on a ¾ acre of neighborhood space. The land has established apple, plum and pear trees and grape vines that were already there when the neighborhood garden began. From March through October volunteers meet here the second Sunday of each month and every Thursday from 4:00 – 6:00.

If you aren’t close to the food forests, or if you’d like your own space to tinker. Seattle neighborhoods offer P-Patch community gardens where residents can rent a gardening patch to grow anything you want. Each of the P-Patches is on a waiting list, and it’s a good time to throw your name down if you’re interested.

If you like to garden with others check this list of organizations, they’re always looking for volunteers to help out.

Take a look at the website Falling Fruit for your neighborhood and favorite park spaces. It’s an interactive website that allows readers to log in fruit trees around town. Look at the map and notes before you harvest, a lot of the trees saved are on private property.

There are thousands of trees on city land that are open for picking, make sure it’s legal before you do. If the tree is on private property, even if the branches hang onto city streets, ask the homeowner if you can pick. It’s the polite and neighborly thing to do. Enjoy the coming summer of bounty, Seattle will soon be bursting with sweet, bright fruit. Just keep your eyes open and upward and you’ll find it.

7 Local Cinco de Mayo 2019 Locations in Seattle to Attend

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: March 29, 2019

This year Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday, a lucky thing about that is that you can make a weekend out of it. Local Seattle events will be happening Saturday and Sunday this year so you can expect lots of the neighborhood Mexican restaurant and bar will be packed and offering drink specials. Here’s a list we’ve compiled for celebrating Seattle locals to check out this holiday.

We’ve compiled a list of the biggest bashes in Seattle.

Waterways Cinco de Mayo Party Cruise May 4, book now for a party cruise $62 saves you a spot on board including one free drink and a taco bar. You’ll be dancing down the lake on this party boat with a live DJ and sparkling water below.

Fiesta 5k Ole! & Food Truck Festival May 4, located the in Volunteer Park. Register to run in the 5k starting at 9:30 a.m. and stay for two live bands and a DJ in the beer and margarita tent. Food trucks from all over Seattle will be joining in the fun bringing fresh, Mexican inspired meals to the party. It will last until 5:00 p.m. when the crowd will let loose on Capitol Hill joining in on other parties throughout the city.

15th Annual Cinco de Mayo Block Party located at Tacos Guaymas in Green Lake Sunday, May 5, this event is so big that you might want to call into work the next day. Even the evening news will be here filming. The day’s events include a jalapeño eating contest, a rotation of live music and DJs, a margarita bar, beer garden, prizes, giveaways and of course, Mexican food.

Cinco de Mayo located at Las Palmas Restaurant in SeaTac on Sunday, May 5, register now to guarantee yourself a free ticket and reserve VIP seating. DJ’s will play Latin dance music all night beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Cinco de Drinko Sundaze May 5, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. if you’re tired of the same old bars here’s a different idea entirely. Hosted by event planners, this second annual affair will take place in a pretty Seattle event space, Studio 116. Buy tickets ahead of time or pay double at the door to enjoy drink specials and a DJ.

Tim’s Tavern May 5, the show starts at 5:00 p.m. come in for three live bands; Los Flacos, Amigos Nobles and Thomas Del Real from Chile. All these bands are playing for only a $5 suggested donation.  Tim’s is an excellent, little, community dive bar. If you love little digs with full vegan menus Seattle style, you’ll love this space.

The Substation May 5, the show starts at 9:00 p.m. Substation is a night club in Ballard, Come out for live bands Grunge Tree, 627, and More Shade than Sun.

Cinco de Mayo is always a good time, no matter where you go you’ll find good music, old and new friends and (arguably) some of the best food in the world.

 

Where to Take your little Easter Egg Hunters in Seattle 2019

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle | Posted: March 14, 2019

Spring is officially here and with it comes Easter! This year the holiday falls at the end of April, leaving more chances for sunny skies during egg hunts and Easter bunny visits. Hundreds of egg hunts take place all over the city, and you’re guaranteed to have at least one in your neighborhood. Most egg hunts fall on Saturday, April 20th leaving Easter morning for church services and Easter bunny baskets at home.

Don’t forget to bring your bags or baskets for your little ones to use while hunting. Some egg hunts limit children’s ages check your desired location to see if your kids fit within the guidelines.

Local community centers and parks offer Hundreds of Easter egg hunts look here for an extensive list of events in your neighborhood. The most important thing is to get there early. Egg hunts don’t last long and sometimes are over within minutes. Give your family plenty of time to avoid sad little hunters missing out on the fun.

 

Seattle

Woodland Park Zoo Bunny Bounce April 20, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. the zoo will be open for children to hunt Easter eggs for free with admission. Egg hunts will take place all day long with different hunts for younger and older children. Quests are for ages 1-3, 3-5, and 6-8 next to the North Meadow. The zoo animals aren’t left out; they’ll have special treats given to them in Easter baskets throughout the day. Check the schedule to find out when your favorite animal will chow down on a special Easter snack.

Montlake Community Center April 20, at 10:00 a.m. come out for a traditional Easter egg hunt with thousands of colored plastic eggs littering the church grounds.

 

Bellevue

Kelsey Creek Farm Park April 13, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. This event is only for children ages 5-7. They’ll have the opportunity to find real eggs in the chicken coop, compare duck, goose, and chicken eggs, and participate in an Easter egg hunt. A small petting zoo will be open. Pre-registration and a fee of $25 for Washington residents are required, $30 for non-residents.

Kids Quest Children’s Museum April 14, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Children will hunt for eggs hidden throughout the exhibits while enjoying the museum. Easter themed games, and Art projects will be available. Pre-register to secure your space. It’ll cost $8 for museum members, $13 for non-members when pre-registering.

 

Redmond

Redmond Town Center The Spring Eggstravaganza April 20, from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Coordinators of this massive event are expecting over 2,000 kids! The first 2,000 will receive a scavenger card and a prize bag at the end. Art tables, sports games, bouncy houses, trampolines, balloons, and face paint are only a few of the activities planned for the loads of children who attend.

 

Kirkland

Inglewood Presbyterian Church, The Great Finn Hill Egg Hunt April 20, starting at 11:00 a.m. This egg hunt takes place in a church and is open to everyone in the community. They encourage people to come early to the event for children to decorate a bag for their treasures. Easter egg hunts are separated by ages, toddler, pre-k and elementary. Feel free to bring food for a food drive the church will be hosting.

 

Newcastle

Seattle Revival Center in Newcastle on April 20, at 11:00 a.m. Pre-registration is required, this big event will have separate hunts for toddlers, 3-5-year old’s and 1st – 5th graders. Stay after the hunt to play games and jump in bouncy houses. Kids will be given free hotdogs for lunch.

 

Mercer Island

The Pebble Preschool Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck Brunch on April 20, at 10:00 a.m. This fun event is a great way to meet new people. Reserve your place ahead of time, bring a dish, and stick around for a delicious brunch with new friends.

 

Off Beat Easter:

Duvall Doggie Egg Hunt

Homeward Pet Adoption Center Easter B’egg Hunt on April 20, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Register your dogs to join in on a doggie egg hunt. Dogs will run free while sniffing out treat-filled Easter eggs throughout the grounds. It’s a free event, and donations will be accepted for pets in the Adoption Center.

Seattle Adult Bar Hopping

BunnyCon Easter Bunny Bar Hop 2019 April 20 & 21, from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Join up with a few hundred friends dressed like chicks and rabbits hopping from bar to bar all day long in downtown Seattle at this marathon event. Tickets start at $5 for early registration and get more expensive the longer you wait to sign up.

There are endless options to take your little ones this Easter rain or shine. Be sure to get out and create memories; these photo opportunities only come around once a year.

5 Offbeat Cinemas You Have to See in Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: March 7, 2019

Millions of people were raised on big box cinemas that rose from the suburbs and every outlying area in the 90s like AMC and Regal Theaters. They posed a huge hit to independent places and put thousands of small theaters and drive-ins out of business around the country almost squashing independent industry altogether.

For some, there will always be a feeling of nostalgia when you remember first dates and Friday nights at artsy little one-room cinemas. Each neighborhood location has its own stamp of individuality, and luckily there’s been an undercurrent of independent theatergoers that have kept these special places alive through modern times.

In a city like Seattle where individuality, art, and passion are celebrated, it’s important to remember that theater is a place of education, growth, and expression. Supporting independent theaters is important to communities, local landscapes and subsidizes artists and business.

Not only do theaters support owners and workers, but it makes our communities interesting and unique. Giving a nod to our heritage and keeping Seattle the amazing and vibrant city that it is.

Central Cinema is located in Seattle, sitting in a pretty brick building with a vintage marquis and a mosaic tree lining the front door. Inside, high ceilings with exposed brick, local artwork, and industrial lighting hang in cords from the ceiling with light-bulbs shining through glass milk jugs that light up this funky, artsy space. You can have dinner in the dining room before the show or dine at your seat during the film. The menu is gourmet and affordable offering bacon wrapped shrimp, a tasty list of burgers and sandwiches, specialty pizzas and curry popcorn among others.

Check the calendar often for a quirky list of old and new school flicks, cult classics, little known Indy films and classics like Dancing in the Rain, Blazing Saddles and Super Troopers light up the big screens. Central Cinema is guaranteed a hilarious and entertaining night out, they not only show extraordinary movies, but there are also sing-alongs, something called hecklevision that’s said to be hilarious, trivia nights, jam sessions and some have a Q and A afterward.

Central Cinema hosts award shows like the Grammy’s and Academy Awards, Oscars and every Thursday night is a Cartoon Happy Hour where kids can bring their friends and watch a free night of cartoons. The Cinema often offers $1.99 shows and free events, don’t miss out and enjoy a quirky, entertaining night out with a first date or the whole family.

Cinerama has been a neighborhood staple downtown since 1963. In 1997 it went through a bit of a rough spot when it almost went under to the bigger chain cinemas but was saved by a big-hearted investor. Seattleites are happy that it’s not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.

Cinerama has recently undergone a huge renovation, installing state of the art sound. The new laser projectors show incredible color and detail, they are the only one of their kind in a commercial theater. Red leather reclining chairs create luxury in the Cinerama’s one and only theater. All of the upgrades were implemented without losing any of the vintage character. Red and blue artwork covers the top of the building, bringing charm to the neighborhood and highlighting themes found in movies played within the walls. The Cinerama is a favorite for cult classics, first-run movies and film festivals.

All the guests rave about the offbeat chocolate popcorn. The concessions list is small but perfect hitting everything that you could ask for and sourced from local taverns, chocolatiers and ice creameries with local brews and wines available. A rotating exhibit of movie costumes graces the lobby behind glass offering interesting conversation pieces.

The Grand Illusion Cinema, located next to the University of Washington, is a little gem of a building. If you’re looking for a big box cinema, you will be disappointed. The Grand Illusion is an experience in itself, It’s the oldest, continuously running cinema since 1968 in Seattle. A non-profit, run entirely by volunteers.

This little theater is worth going to, just to help fund it with your ticket price, which is usually under ten dollars. The ends of the rows are beautifully carved and wooden with heavy red velvet curtains and deep-set ceiling tiles above. The Grand Illusion shows the classics, rare films and global, independent pictures covering every genre. Ticket prices are low, there is a small concession stand, and the volunteers running it are passionate about the location and films they play.

Ark Lodge Cinemas is a vintage Cinema located in Colombia City. Three theaters are small and intimate, two are what you might expect with traditional theater seating. Upstairs is the Prestige theater, a collection of armchairs, love seats and side tables greet you like a comfortable alternative to traditional seating. Colorful murals and bright red-carpet line the walls in the entrance creating a fun and inviting atmosphere entering the fresh bright space. A small snack section is available with high-quality popcorn at good prices.

Northwest Film Forum is a small indie theater in Capitol Hill that shows small productions and often hosts international film festivals. They offer classes for budding filmmakers in every stage of the process from children’s workshops to adult learners.The lobby is what you might expect from this little place with a quirky plaid couch and a small concession stand offering beer and wine. Repurposed glass light fixtures give a fitting and artistic vibe. If you’re interested in learning something about little known parts of the world check their schedule often, the films are quickly fleeting, but always worth seeing. Northwest holds popular children’s film festivals, so bring your kids, it’s a beautiful way to educate young minds in a way they’ll remember.

These theaters bring an appreciation of the unique and vibrant people who strive to bring cult classics and indie films to the small and large screens around the city. Bring your kids and re-discover your childhood loves and laughs sharing moments on indie screens with your neighbors.

Top 10 Places to Take Your Dog in and Around Seattle

Categories: Lifestyle, Seattle, Uncategorized | Posted: February 8, 2019

If you live in Seattle it’s almost a given that you own a dog, big or small, this is a dog city. People will love you for it. Hopefully you love four-legged, big mouthed, slobbering friends. If not, avoid dog bars. Dogs don’t usually drink at these bars, but they are allowed in with their human pets.

During winter cold snaps and the rainy months, it’s nice to have an alternative to an outdoor dog park where you can take your cooped-up friends to run out some energy. Each location has rules, most of which involve dogs to be spayed or neutered if they’re over the age of six months. They also must be well behaved and socialized, with up to date vaccinations and flea less.

A city of dog lovers brings wonderful dog parks inside and out. Here is a short list of the best places for your pooches to play, not in this order.

Inside Bark and Play Ideas:

  1. Dogwood Play Park Lake City, Dogwood has an indoor and outdoor space for your dogs to run wild. A large concrete room is open for pooches to play, with arches and tunnels, to jump and crawl through, giant tires provide hiding places. There are two spaces, one for shy little dogs and another for the large and rambunctious. A beer for you and a Barkery treat for your friend, freshly made on the premises. Private rentals are available for your dog to invite all of her favorite friends to her birthday party. Before coming, email proof of rabies, Bordetella & DHPP before you come. Membership or door fees are required for your dog or dogs. Open M-F 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  2. House of Ruff Lounge Seattle, concrete floors, exposed brick walls and industrial plumbing over-head make up the indoor doggie play area. For only $40 your first year of visiting the Ruff Lounge is covered. Local beer and cider are available with a large screen TV. You’ll never know what to expect on it. The staff gets to choose corny old movies or football games, so come with an open mind. Call for an initial meet and greet where your dog’s temperament will be evaluated. If your puppy is over six months he must be spay or neutered, flea treatments and vaccinations will be checked initially, open M-F 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Sat 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sun 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  3. Voff Bark and Brew Seattle, is a low-key indoor, outdoor space with a bark play area (no pun intended) it’s actually covered in bark keeping your dog’s paws mud free, and offering a heated, enclosed patio. Come to be entertained by Trivia Tuesdays, outdoor movies and sports. Be aware that Voff isn’t as stringent on the rules as some of the other dog friendly spaces. It’s possible that some dogs might not be vaccinated, but no one checks vaccinations at a dog park either, so there’s that.
  4. Pawz n Play Woodinville, come enjoy an indoor swimming pool with your dog! You can coax them in from the stairs. If you’re dog has a fear of water, this is a stress-free place to let them test it out before jumping right in. Pawz n Play has an outdoor agility course for experienced agility pet parents and a green grassy, private dog park for those who aren’t. Play and swim times must be reserved and scheduled a head of time with an orientation swim for first timers.

For Outdoor Days, when the sun is shining and it’s not too rainy there are dozens of parks to take your little one, below are some of the best.

  1. Martha Washington Park Seattle, this is an unofficial wink, wink off-leash dog park. Bring your paddle boat or board for your pup to float on. He’ll enjoy 50 feet of shoreline to swim off and you’ll enjoy views of Mt. Rainer, Lake Washington and happy doggie smiles.
  2. Seward Park Seattle, 300 acres of land jut out into lake Washington on the Bailey Peninsula. A 2.4-mile paved loop for dogs, bikes, skateboards etcetera loops through the park. Hiking trails and beaches create an outdoor playground oasis for you and your pup.
  3. Westcrest Park Seattle, has a huge off leash area set aside for your darlings. The dog park is fenced off and contains an obstacle course. Dogs can run through large concrete tubes and climb on wood bridges and tunnels. Trails and concrete paths run through the park to tire out your furry friends. If you have children of the two-legged variety a playground will keep them happy too.
  4. Marymoor Park Redmond, is arguably one of the best dog parks in the world. 40 acres of off leash play is had here allowing your dogs to come home wet, muddy and happy. Hundreds of dogs play every day, it’s a mucky, messy version of Westminster. Shoreline opens to the river allowing dogs to retrieve and play in the water, large open spaces allow for fetch and smelling butts. Marymoor has so much space you’ll forget you’re right in the middle of a city.
  5. Jose Rizal Park Seattle, Rizal Park has the best view in the city. A phenomenal lookout and four acres of park land with a large off-leash dog area. You’ll appreciate spectacular downtown and Puget Sound views with colorful sunsets over the water. Look at the freeway below and revel in the fact that you aren’t sitting in the traffic with the rest of them. But be aware, there are sometimes people living here in tents, and dog parents aren’t as vigilant about cleaning up after their dogs as they are at most Seattle Parks. That being said, it is the prettiest lookout in town.
  6. Warren G. Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Park Seattle, Magnuson has a massive, 8.6 acres of an off-leash dog park. A covered enclosure keeps your dogs dry on rainy days. A small dog area for shy pups is available and generally dog owners are clean and courteous, picking up after their dogs. Multiple shoreline access points are available for your dogs to jump in and cool off. Gravel paths create a nice, clean space to run with doggie pick-up stations along the way.

No matter what size pup you have in Seattle there is a place for him here. Dogs are an easy ice breaker if you’re new to town. They come complete with a community of other dog lovers and friends. Try out a new space and in the mean-time, you might find they’re people parks too.

10 New Year’s Eve Parties You Need to Attend in Seattle for 2019

Categories: Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: December 27, 2018

New Year’s Eve Is coming up fast and it’s not too late to join in on Seattle’s biggest parties. Call up some friends and plan your evening to the biggest celebrations of the year and be sure to start your evening right on a full stomach. Be sure to check out the extensive list of restaurants and their special event menus,  all available here on Open Table, to view every participating restaurant in the city and surrounding areas, book your reservations soon, time slots are disappearing quickly.

  • Chihuly Garden for the New Year’s Eve pARTy, if you’re looking for an upscale celebration in an incredible venue Chihuly Garden is the ticket to buy, they’ll set you back $250, but you’ll have an experience that you won’t forget. Set in the famous glass garden, you and the other guests have access to the exhibits from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m., ticket prices include appetizers, dessert, two drink tickets, live music and dancing to the Michael Benson Band, and a champagne toast at midnight. The grand finale of the evening is a breathtaking view of Seattle’s largest firework show at the Space Needle where you will watch from directly below, see them explode above the glass ceiling at the Gardens.
  • The Pacific Science Center, kids aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy the Science Center, a NYE party for grown-ups is complete with adult science exhibits, laser shows, games, dancing, a DJ, champagne toast exclusive, views of the fireworks at midnight with music, dancing and drinks.
  • Indulgence at MoPOP is touted as Seattle’s biggest New Year’s Eve bash, with 2,000 guests, four comedians will be performing, DJ’s, a Band, dancers, on three performance stages with access to most exhibits. Don your cocktail dresses and party attire, this is the largest dance party in town with tickets starting at $99 and VIP lounges and options available.
  • Spend your evening in the fresh air, for free celebrating among others on the grounds of the Space Needle watching the fireworks show the park.
  • Resolution is a massive dance party at the Wa Mu Theater, a line up of 18 artists will be playing dance music on three stages, the dress theme is white and gold, with VIP lounges and tables available, you don’t have to party with the masses.
  • Go to a movie, at the Moulin Rouge! New Year’s Eve Party Sing Along, at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, opt for a more laid-back evening, sing along to Moulin Rouge in the theater with other musical lovers with champagne. Starting at 6:30 p.m. the movie gives you plenty of time to watch fireworks afterward.
  • Sky View New Year’s Eve, go see the Space Needle’s new facelift, after a $100 million-dollar remodel, with the world’s only rotating glass floor and floor to ceiling glass viewing windows it’s worth a revisit. Come for appetizers, karaoke and cocktails in the sky while watching the fireworks from above. Tickets are $125 to enter for the evening.
  • Blue Years Eve, at the Fremont Theater, is a comedy improv show that gets the audience involved in their storylines, coming up with on the spot humor to entertain the crowd with witty comedians and lewd humor all at a cozy little theater in Fremont. The show runs into the evening with a champagne toast, music, and dancing, tickets are $40.

The Seattle Center is the hub of this year’s festivities, just come down to enjoy the energy and sign off to 2018 among thousands of other Seattlelites for an evening you’ll remember.

One last thing, don’t forget about State Parks Free Days, run off your hangover in the fresh air on New Year’s Day at one of the 140 Washington State Parks for free.

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.