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Fabulous Ferry Day Trip Ideas from Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Seattle | Posted: January 29, 2019

The Washington State ferry system is the fourth largest in the world and the largest in the United States. Not only is it a relaxing way to travel, but it’s also beautiful. With such an abundance of marine life at our fingertip’s ferries are the best way to see marine life while you travel. For example, whales can be seen any time of the year, but they are most frequently spotted from April through September from the ferries!

Ferries are fun, like a vacation in and of themselves. You can go out on the open water, stand in the breeze and float with the seals while on deck. Make sure to bring snacks and enjoy the ride threading through magical islands with mountain views while riding the waters of the Sound like the whales. If you can score public transportation you might be able to hop aboard without even paying for parking. And note that you can even bring a bike on, which is great because you can arrive in town with your own transportation and enjoy dozens of parks on neighboring islands.

No matter where you go, ferry day trips feel like mini vacations, you’ve stepped off of dry land onto another planet. Although the ferry destinations are close to Seattle, island life is different, laid back, slow moving and a little bit funky. Leave the hustle and bustle for the day and enjoy a complete change of pace right at your fingertips.

From the Seattle Port, you can head to Bainbridge Island or Bremerton. Bainbridge Island is also just a quick 35-minute ferry ride away, lots of little eateries and restaurants are within a few blocks walk off the ferry in the historic downtown, with museums, art, and recreational parks.

  • Come out for First Friday, you can hop right off the ferry terminal and appreciate wine and art on the First Friday of every month.
  • Pegasus Coffee is a darling little coffee shop to try out in a redbrick building covered with ivy and oozing with character, it’s been serving up coffee for 40 years.
  • Bruciato is a beautiful venue with pizza to match, this place alone is worth the trip.
  • Saturday mornings from April-September you’ll find a farmer’s market with fresh colorful local ingredients, artwork, bread, fresh caught fish and flowers.
  • Parks, Parks, and more Parks. This island is loaded with trails and parks. Lakes, forests, coves and beaches, you’ll find hiking, camping, boating, kayaking, biking and even scuba diving here. Including Fort Ward Park 137 acres of waterfront park with an underwater park for scuba divers. Bike trails connect Fort Ward to 40 acres of Blakey Harbor Park.
  • Bainbridge Island Museum of Art the architecture and exhibits here are beautiful, it’s free admission and definitely worth a visit. Check out their schedule, they often have live music and other events. The café inside is delicious and activities are available for children.

Bremerton hop on the ferry for a one-hour ride to Bremerton, the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula. Bremerton is the largest Naval base on the West Coast with thousands of crew members and a palatable Naval vibe. If you’re into U.S. history, this is your ferry. This area has been home to the men in white since 1891.

  • USS Turner Joy is a U.S. Naval Destroyer ship that has been converted into a museum. This is a fun museum for kids and history buffs to wander the halls, climb into the gun mount and check out the engine room. It paints a picture of what life was like on board.
  • Puget Sound Navy Museum is completely run by volunteers and free to visit. This beautiful old building is revamped with hands-on activities and plenty to keep visitors of all ages happy.
  • Parks and trails, it wouldn’t be the PNW without parks. Come and enjoy dozens of them with disk golf and green spaces without the crowds of Seattle.
  • Harborside Fountain Park is over two acres of a downtown plaza. What’s impressive about this plaza is five giant fountains with wading pools at their bases. Kids love to splash and play at the base of the fountains in the summertime and they’re lit up beautifully at night.

From Fauntleroy (Just Northwest of White Center) head to Vashon Island.

Vashon Island is a true release from the city, if you really want a day to get back to nature this is the place to do it. Accessible only by boat with a population under 11,000 people. You’ll need to bring your car unless you’re ready for a challenging five-mile uphill bike ride to town. Vashon is a darling little funky town with artsy restaurants and a great live music scene, but for the most part, it’s pretty sleepy.

  • Point Robinson Lighthouse, the lighthouse itself is not open to tours but is a beautiful building to visit and makes a perfect focal point for photos sitting on top of a 10-acre shoreline park featuring sandy beaches, a saltwater marsh, woodlands and views of the East Passage and Mount Rainer on a clear day.
  • 19 stunning parks and recreation areas with all of the benefits that you’ve come to expect from Washington’s thousands of meticulous parks and trails.
  • First Friday, an eclectic group of artists lives on the island, and you can find them with their artwork at nine participating galleries and locations on the First Friday of the month.
  • VIGA Farmer’s Market April through the fall they offer a Saturday farmers market with live music.
  • The Vashon Island Coffee Roastery is a must visit while on the island, it’s a landmark in a 100-year-old building and character seeps out of its fragrant, old island, fir pores.

Seattle not only is an incredible city, but the opportunities for stay-cations and micro-adventures just outside your door are endless. With so many opportunities you should never stop exploring.

12 Unexpected Places to Visit on the East Side of Seattle for Valentines Day

Categories: American Classic News, Bellevue, Renton, Sammamish Plateau, Seattle, Washington | Posted: January 28, 2019

Valentine’s day is coming, try to up your game this year and woo your valentine with something really special. Use this occasion for an especially creative, well-planned out evening or evenings to show your significant other just how much you care. If you decide to go the traditional route of dinner at a nice restaurant it’s important to, make reservations ahead of time. If you’re going out on the day of, be sure to make reservations now to avoid any last-minute hassles. Open table makes your reservations and dinner decisions easy with most restaurants participating all on the same platform.

Another option is to choose a weekend before or after to celebrate, you’ll avoid massive crowds, waiting lists and generally have a better, more relaxing and romantic dinner without rushed food and service. You can make it a special, yet low key evening and order in. There are so many delivery options available now there’s no reason to leave your wine glass and the glow of your own fireplace. Uber Eats and Door Dash are two delivery services that will pick up your order from any restaurant and deliver it to your front door.

For those of you looking for something a little unexpected, look into local classes, shows, stand-up comedy or a couple’s massage. Below is a list of ideas to surprise your special one with everything from high tea to musicals.

 

Bellevue

D.L. Hughley is playing at the Parlor Bellevue. He’s a political speaker and Def Comedy Jam veteran, now touring as a stand-up comedian, if you’re in the mood for political humor this is your act, he’ll be in Bellevue from February 14 – 16.

Bake’s Bar and Bistro come for dinner and a show on Valentine’s Day, featuring The Darelle Holden Quartet with their funky, soulful sound of classics that you already love. Enjoy Bake’s fresh seasonal, rotating menu with live music to boot.

 

Issaquah

River Valley Cheese, Learn to make Burrata or come on Valentine’s Day to a chocolate dipping party, this would be a fun group event to bring other couples. Go out for a glass of wine after at Vino Bella.

Village Theater, this highly rated, local favorite theater is playing I Do! I Do! A Musical About Marriage. The entire musical has only two characters, it spans their entire marriage of 50 years and all of the ups and downs they experience together. The musical is playing from January 16 – February 24.

 

Kirkland

Kirkland Wine Walk, February 8th, Kirkland puts on a 21 and up, humans only wine walk only four times per year. Taking place in downtown Kirkland. Bring your own wine glass and tour around boutiques and galleries while tasting Washington State wines. This walk starts at The Heathman Hotel and tickets are required.

The Heathman Hotel Afternoon Tea, try something really unique and special. Bring the tradition of afternoon tea to the States. The Heathman does it well with a beautifully prepared spread for a special treat that she will not be expecting. Travel to England for the afternoon with a modern menu. The food is fantastic and there are a number of sweet and savory foods to taste, so come hungry and expect a lot of food. Reservations are required, and tea time is available Thursday – Sunday.

Sur La Table, offers dozens of cooking classes, with options from Valentine’s day macaroons, classic French croissants, hand-made pasta, date night dinners and cooking with wine. There’s something on the calendar for every type of eater. Bring your spouse for a date class or surprise him with your new skills creating a romantic breakfast or dinner at home.

 

Mercer Island

Oh Chocolate, get nice and messy learning how to temper chocolate while dipping and drizzling all of your favorite chocolate additions into it during this chocolate class. You’ll get to bring home your creations. The class is offered on February 23, leaving you and your Valentine something to look forward to, to enjoy together later in the month.

 

Renton

The Moon Over Buffalo, by Ken Ludwig, is a silly, farce comedy show playing at the Renton Civic Theater. With rave reviews from other cities, go check it out if you’re up for a night of rowdy thespians, shows are from Thursday – Sundays February 8 – 23.

Beginner Floral Arranging, wow the lady in your life by surprising her with a floral arranging class. You two can sip wine while learning to create beautiful floral displays just before the springtime. For the price, you might actually save money on buying her flowers for Valentine’s day. You’ll both bring home an arrangement and a skill that you can use over and over all year long.

 

Sammamish

Tanoor, for a different take on the traditional, high-end Valentine’s dinner give Tanoor a try. You won’t be skimping on the romance; the building has large windows with beautiful sunset views. Colorful, geometric lanterns hang from the ceiling casting a warm colorful glow on highbacked, leather booths. Traditional Lebanese food is delicious and interesting, it will not disappoint or break the bank. The best part about Tanoor is the fresh, endless pita cycling out of the kitchen’s wood-burning oven.

Bliss Massage, head on into Bliss for a 60 minute Swedish, couples massage with hot stones on your back, or choose from their extensive list of other massage services. Perfect for relaxation before dinner.

 

No matter what you decide to do, the most important thing is not to forget how much you love each other even on the days that aren’t Valentine’s Day.

 

Must-Haves for Making Your Guests Feel at Home

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: January 25, 2019

You’re probably going to end up playing host at least once in your new home. Traveling can be stressful and staying in an unfamiliar place can be challenging. By making your guest room even more inviting, you can ensure a positive, happy trip. Here are some tips and must-haves for helping your guests feel at home in your guest room.

Closet Space with Extra Hangers

While most rooms include a closet, these spaces often get filled up with extra clothes, holiday decorations, or just junk that has nowhere else to go. Even guest room closets aren’t immune to this. Your guest room closet doesn’t have to stay empty all the time, but you better make room when people come over. Not only that but make sure you keep extra hangers in plain view. There’s nothing worse than ending up with wrinkled clothes because you’ve just got one hanger to use.

Extra Blankets and Pillows

Everybody sleeps differently, and everyone is equally picky about how they sleep. Some folks run hot while others shiver under the thickest comforter. Don’t leave your guests’ comfort up to chance. Keep plenty of extra blankets and pillows in your guest room to meet their needs.

Big, Fluffy Towels

Your guests are likely on vacation, so why not help them pamper themselves? Set aside fluffy, cozy towels for your guests. Here’s a hot tip: have you ever heard of bath sheets? If not, you’re really missing out. Unlike bath towels, which are fine for toweling off but often too small for adults, bath sheets are large enough to cover you completely. It’s a little comfort, but it can make all the difference.

Basic Toiletries

Everybody forgets a toothbrush, razor, toothpaste, or comb at least once while traveling. Save your guests from a trip to the store by keeping an extra set of toiletries in your guest room. After every visit, make sure you restock this set. This simple act can make you a hero to someone who realizes they forgot toothpaste at midnight.

Some items to include: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo & conditioner, soap, lotion, disposable razor, and a hairdryer in plain view.

Switch Up Your Style

Since your guest room won’t necessarily be used year-round, you can take some design liberties with it. You don’t need to match this room’s décor with the rest of the house. Add personal touches, like fun throw pillows or a big, comfortable armchair. Choose a unique rug or hang eclectic art on the walls. Just be sure not to get too crazy with it and disarm your guests!

When guests are coming, there’s a lot to get ready. You’re doing laundry, washing sheets, cleaning the house, all that. It can be easy to overlook little things like clean towels or closet space. But with these little touches, you’ll make all the difference to your guests.

11 Sports Bars Where you Can Watch the Big Game on the East Side of Seattle in 2019

Categories: Bellevue, Community Spotlight, Renton, Sammamish Plateau, Seattle, Washington | Posted: January 22, 2019

The Big Game is quickly approaching and no matter who makes it through the finals the odds are that you’ll be watching the game on February 3, 2019. There are so many things to love about sports bars, the greasy food, the easy attire, darts, pool, and foosball. One of the best things about sports bars is the prices, give your wallet a much-needed break after the holidays and enjoy a pitcher of beer and a $10 burger. For one night, drop the reservations and join the masses for a rowdy, all American celebration. There are no shortages of sports venues all over the East Side, so come early, pull up a bar stool and get comfortable.

Bellevue

  • The Goose Pub if you’re looking for a good old-fashioned dive bar in a location that you might not expect, this one’s for you. Expect frozen, fried bar food in a relaxed, atmosphere, it’s a good place to meet some friends for an easy-going, don’t want to do your hair kind of afternoon out.
  • Tavern Hall is a sports bar you’d expect to find in downtown Bellevue, beautiful subway tiled walls, large pillars, high, wood beamed ceilings and huge hanging lanterns make this a unique venue to enjoy the big game. There’s something here to keep everyone in your party happy from big, juicy burgers to vegan nachos, small-batch brews to craft cocktails. Despite the primo venue the prices are still reasonable, everything on the menu is under $16.

Issaquah

  • Gaslamp Bar and Grill if you’re looking for a place to bring your entire family for super bowl Sunday, this is it. Gaslamp is an Issaquah institution, it has been around almost 50 years and is proudly family friendly with plenty of televisions and a traditional sports bar menu, light on vegetarian options.
  • Malarky’s Sports Grill is your traditional, neighborhood sports bar, exactly what you’d expect in any town. Malarky’s has good food, lots of regulars, and a hometown vibe. Pull up a bar stool and meet your neighbors here.

Kirkland

  • The Lime is a lively neighborhood venue tucked away in Kirkland. When they aren’t broadcasting games on their large-screen televisions, they’re hosting live bands. The Lime is a local favorite with something always happening and cheap food, and drinks to boot, but you might want to clear out your arteries beforehand.
  • Tony’s Sports Bar is a Northeast Kirkland favorite known for their wings, happy hour specials and numerous televisions. This one fills up quickly on a normal game day so come stake your spot early.

Mercer Island

  • Roanoke Inn is one of the few places to choose from on Mercer Island, and the food can be hit or miss, but this 105-year-old bar and its friendly, throwback atmosphere with a cozy interior is a local favorite. Be sure to come early it’s no secret and people from all over the city come to enjoy the famous Roanoke.

Newcastle

  • Resonate Brewery + Pizzeria, tucked away in the Newport Hills neighborhood, this little hidden gem is worth finding. If you’re looking for an easy, neighborhood joint with tasty pizza and home-brewed beer you’ve found it here at Resonate. It’s an easy order at the counter kind of place, kids are welcome with their own children’s play area to keep them happy while you watch the game.

Sammamish

  • Pine Lake Ale House is tucked away in a strip mall, but inside awaits a warm interior with an impressive small batch tap list and always a hoard of locals. Unfortunately, it might be the only sports bar in Sammamish so make sure to come early as it will definitely be packed on super bowl Sunday.

Renton

  • JP’s Williams Ave Pub, located on the website under JP’s Barroom, but on the sign out front it’s listed as Williams Ave Pub. Don’t judge a pub by its cover, Williams is a dive bar out front, but it’s warm and inviting inside with a large cobblestone fireplace and a heavy wrought iron flu. A large percentage of the menu is under $10, food and drinks are affordable and surprisingly high quality, and not what you might expect from this dive. You’ll find plenty of televisions to watch the game, but don’t expect the massive wrap around TVs like some of the larger, more polished establishments.
  • The Local 907, another local taproom as the name implies is The Local 907, it’s warm and comforting inside with deep red walls and wooden bar stools. The website isn’t up and running, but the food is delicious, they’re known for fresh cut fries, tater tots, and burgers all for under $10.

No matter where you choose to go, have an enjoyable and safe Super Bowl Sunday and don’t forget to uber your way home.

Creating Zones in Home with Flooring

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: January 15, 2019

 

It’s a question interior designers get asked all the time. How do you create zones in an open floor plan? For homeowners without walls, this can be a real problem. How do you keep your home from feeling like one single room?

By learning a few design tricks, you can completely mitigate this issue. Instead of an expansive, flat room, you can transform your open floor plan into an elegant, bright space set apart by different zones.

Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan

There are many advantages to open floor plans. Without interior walls, sunlight travels throughout the entire level. It feels brighter and more open than other floor plans with walls separating rooms, which helps you flow from one area to another.

Without careful planning, however, the open floor plan can quickly lose its character and feel flat. Instead of separate areas – kitchen, dining area, and living room – it feels more like a giant room with different furniture and appliances on each well. That’s not what you’re going for.

Let Your Floor Guide You

But there’s an easy solution for this. You can separate each space, or zone, with different flooring to transition from one area to the next. By choosing different flooring materials, you can either set out a sharp contrast or make it more subtle. And you don’t have to break the bank with this either.

Creating Zones With Different Flooring

Make the separation between different zones clear with different flooring materials. If you have tile or hardwood floors in your kitchen, try adding carpet to your living area. These divisions help separate the open floor plan without the same oppressiveness of walls. It can also be fun to choose different colors or patterns from one zone to the next.

Subtle Transitions

Maybe you’re not looking for a sharp contrast between your kitchen and living room. Blending flooring from one tone to another is a subtle way to create zones in your home. For instance, you can use different stains or tones of wood or vinyl. This smooth transition from one area to another is more can also be reflected in your furniture. Play around with this idea by adding similar elements or accent colors from one area to the next.

Separate Spaces with Rugs

If your home has already been built with the same flooring throughout your open floor plan, don’t despair. Creating zones doesn’t have to break the budget. Instead of choosing different flooring materials or colors, add a rug. Your options are literally endless – with unique textures, colors, and patterns to add flair to your room. What’s great about rugs is that you can easily change them going forward. The same can’t be said about different flooring materials.

Open floor plans draw in beautiful sunlight and better airflow and can help bring unity to a space. Keep it from feeling like one giant room by using flooring to create distinct zones. Be as subtle or bold as you like!

11 Awesome Locations to Discover in Seattle in 2019

Categories: Community Spotlight, Seattle, Washington | Posted: January 8, 2019

Now is usually the season where we return to normal after the rush of the holidays, but in a city like Seattle, there’s no reason to slow down. Dozens of theaters, shows, and events will keep your winter spicy with enough venues to keep you busy for years.

 

  • Attend dinner and a show at The triple door, a historical, downtown theater originally built in 1926. The triple door is still going strong with a wide variety of shows from live jazz and symphony to tasteful burlesque. The triple door is an approachable theater with a laid back, Northwest atmosphere. Come in for dinner or drinks and multiple shows or bands every night, check the schedule for the type of entertainment you’re looking for and enjoy cocktails alone or with dinner served from the Wild Ginger restaurant next door.
  • Surprise your spouse with a Waterways Cruise, known for their fabulous food, you can sit while warm and toasty inside while watching the rain on the windows and the marine life swimming outside on a small and intimate cruise liner. Waterway Cruises and Events offer several different experiences depending on what you’re looking for, earn brownie points by taking your mother in law to brunch or surprise your spouse with a special Tuesday dinner on the water just because. The views can’t be beaten, and ships depart from marinas in downtown Kirkland and Seattle.
  • Model Railroad Show at the Pacific Science Center, back for its 45th year on the weekend of January 19th model train artists create miniature worlds within the science center with old steam engines and box cars running through cities, mountains and storybook villages. Kids will love experiencing the miniature world that train enthusiasts create bringing back a forgotten time during this popular event.
  • The Children’s Film Festival Seattle runs from January 24 – February 9, show your children the world through other kids eyes with International films coming from 39 countries, children ages 2 – 14 can find something to love during this festival, including short films mostly presented at the Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill. Special events, field trips, and workshops are all available to show your budding directors the art of filmmaking and storytelling.
  • Dust off your dancing shoes at the Century Ballroom, a full calendar of salsa, swing, tango and more are available. Most evenings start with lessons, then open up for you to practice your new skills on the dance floor. The Century Ballroom will be hosting Masquerade XI on January 25th, where you’ll have the opportunity to dance the night away in disguise.
  • Pancakes and Booze Art Show will be hosted at El Corazon on January 26th. For those of you who like your pancakes with a beer after 8:00 p.m. this art show is for you, free (with a door fee), unlimited pancakes will tide you over to enjoy over 70 artists creating masterpieces out of multiple mediums.
  • Take advantage of the off-season for tourism by becoming a tourist yourself. During the winter you won’t need to book out weeks in advance, and you might even have the tour guide to yourself. Learn about anything you’re interested in, Seattle’s small batch coffee scene and where to go, where to get the best gourmet food, brewpubs, hole in the walls at Pike Place Market or even tour the Boeing assembly plant. Take a professional, year-round tour with Clipper Vacation Tours, or meet someone new with Vayable. At Vayable, ordinary people who work during the day share their knowledge and passions with tour-goers during their off time, while making extra money on the side and meeting new people, it’s a win-win.
  • Winter is the perfect time to take advantage of all that the Seattle Public Library, has to offer in an incredible space. Free to the public with sharp lines, angular shapes and floor to ceiling windows, the Seattle Public Library is more than just an architectural wonder, it’s, of course full of books, perfect for cozy winter reading, and so much more. Check out their event calendar full of story times for children, monthly movies with discussions, and community resources. Not only is the calendar full of events, but they also offer programs, services, support and resources for business, education, arts, entertainment, book readings, book clubs, trivia nights and professional speeches. If the downtown library isn’t convenient there are over two dozen other locations open across the city, be sure to look into the one closest to you or make it a goal to visit several, they each offer unique and beautiful settings to spend your time. Don’t let these amazing free resources pass you by, there is plenty to offer for all ages and interests.
  • The Crocodile is one of Seattle’s original grunge hangouts, it’s one reason why Seattle was put on the map in the ‘90s hosting bands like Nirvana and other icons, the venue is intimate, and the staff is still rocking out every weekend. Check the calendar, for their sporadic schedule of undiscovered talent.
  • The Central Cinema is an all-inclusive experience at a retro theater serving dinner, drinks, and popcorn while you watch. The food is good, and every seat has a view, come early to order, the staff is non-intrusive. They keep the movie going interesting with a wide schedule of new and old films covering the spectrum of new, artsy, cult classics, little known, and occasional sing-alongs, give it a shot, the Central Cinema is a local favorite.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of Seattle’s venues, poke around your neighborhood and find what makes Seattle the best city in the country. Loaded with art, food, funky vibes, and unparalleled live music, this city never gets old.

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.

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Space for Your Guests and Family

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: December 19, 2018

Outdoor spaces are perfect for entertaining. With the proper setup, you could spend an entire party outside, cooking dinner, playing games, and enjoying the area late into the evening. Here are some of the many ways you can spruce up your backyard to create the perfect outdoor space.

Let’s Get Cooking

Whether you’re hosting an outdoor dinner party or just grilling for your family, including a place to cook is essential. Depending on your style and budget, that may be a simple charcoal grill or something more elaborate, like a full outdoor kitchen. Be sure to plan for a place to cook in your backyard design. You’ll undoubtedly appreciate reducing trips in and out of the house for food during a busy party.

Pick a Chair, Any Chair

There are so many different options for outdoor seating! If you plan to entertain, be sure to include many seating options, from chairs to benches and stools. Having a variety of seats accommodates your guests while adding personal flare. You can opt for cloth-cushioned seating or metal, weather-resistant sets. Just make sure you bring in anything at night that can’t stand the rain.

Start Acting Shady

Most decks and patios are uncovered, which can be a pain during hot, sunny summer days. It’s not just uncomfortable; it can be dangerous to spend too much time in direct sunlight. So keep things shady by adding an awning or umbrella near your seating area. Guests can retreat in the shade while enjoying the beautiful space you’ve created.

Enlighten Your Guests

What’s the point of designing a beautiful outdoor space if you can’t see it? If you plan on spending any time outside during the evening, you’ll want to include outdoor lighting. You can set just the right ambiance with paper lanterns, fairy lights, or permanent pendant lights.

Curl Up by a Cozy Fire

Everybody loves a good bonfire. Adding a fire pit, or even an outdoor fireplace, to your backyard is a wonderful way to bring coziness to your space. Not only will this keep you and any visitors warm on a chilly night, but it will also keep pesky bugs or mosquitos away. As a bonus, a fire pit brings calming, natural light to your backyard.

Don’t Forget the Music!

Who doesn’t like to boogie down in their backyard during a party? For any outdoor activity – from raking leaves to hosting a luau-themed party – music is a welcome addition. Install built-in speakers to different areas in your backyard or rely on a sizeable Bluetooth speaker to send music outside. Just make sure you’re not keeping your neighbors awake at night!

There are so many options for designing your outdoor space. From choosing furniture to installing lighting and speakers, you’ll be amazed at your backyard’s transformation. How will you create the perfect outdoor space?

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.

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