Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Puppet Show at Everett Library - Wed, Jan 14th

Mark your calendars if you missed the holiday puppet show, there is a puppet show called Mitzi Mouse and the Flying Machine. The puppet show will be performed by Giraffe & Staff Puppet Company. There is only one show and it is free (no tickets needed) at the Everett Main Public Library on

Come laugh with your children and enjoy a good ole'fashioned puppet show.

-Everett Library, 2702 Hoyt, Everett
-Main branch in the auditorium
-Wednesday. Jan 14
-6:30pm – 8:30pm

Frosty Snow Day Surprise at Imagine Children's Museum 1/10/09

Frosty may have melted at your house but he is arriving at Imagine Children's Museum on Saturday, January 10th for a fun surprise.

What you need to know:
-Registration required
-Permitted for ages 4 - 12
-Time is 6pm - 10:30pm

Activities include:
-Dinner with Frosty and friends
-Winter workshop
-Frosty's kitchen
-Frosty Games
-And much more!

Go to http://www.imaginecm.org/page.php?id=158 for more info.

Rocking New Years Eve (Day) Party at Imagine Children's Museum

The Everett Children Museum Imagine is having a Rocking New Year's Eve Party during the day for all of the local kids that are on winter break. The festivities are running from 12pm-4pm on Wednesday, December 31st.

Activities include:
Making party poppers, 2009 silly glasses, party hats, noise makers and much, much more!

Imagine Children's Museum is open from 10am - 4pm on the 12/31 and closed on New Year's Day.

Let your kids celebrate in a crafty way before the big night where they can wear their new party accessories!

Friday, December 19, 2008

We Believe in Santa

I believe in Santa and everyone in my house does as well, even our poodle. There are so many stories, Santa's keys and shopping mall Santa's that make it so there is no reason for us not to believe in Santa Claus.

There is a website called http://www.capturethemagic.com that moms and dad's should look into to help keep the belief alive in their home.

Keep believing - he who believes, will receive...

Young Chefs Academy - Holiday Fun 12/19, 12/20, 12/22, 12/23

Young Chefs Academy in Mill Creek, WA has holiday workshops that are sure to keep your kids in the festive spirit this weekend and next week.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Workshop
Friday, Dec. 19th, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Snowball, Gingerbread and Sugar Cookies
Cost: $30 first child; $15 each Sibling

Candy Cane Workshop
Saturday, Dec. 20th, 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Peppermint Bark, Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Cost: $30 first child; $15 each Sibling

Gingerbread House Workshop
Monday, Dec. 22nd, 10:00 - 11:30 pm
Make a gingerbread house to take home!
Cost: $30 first child or $40 per family and make 1 house.

Nativity Scene Workshop
Tuesday, Dec. 23rd, 10:00 - 11:30 pm
Make a gingerbread nativity scenes to take home!
Cost: $30 first child or $40 per family making 1 scene.

Hurry and sign up now to reserve a spot.

Friday Night Live at Imagine - Dec 26th

The 3rd Friday of every month is called Friday Night Live at the Children's Museum in Everett. This month due to the weather, it is being postponed until next Friday, December 26th. Take a break from the post-Christmas wind down and let the kids burns off some steam - for FREE!

Admission is free during Friday Night Live and hot dogs, soda and cookies are available for purchase. (Free admission only offered during 5:30pm-9pm on December 26th.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Local Christmas Tree Farms

I remember the good ole' family tradition of going out to the Christmas tree farm in Arlington and cutting down our family Christmas tree. We would ride the tractor out to find the perfect tree and run around asking "Is this the one?" to every tree in our path. Then as my mom and dad were paying for the tree we would sip down hot apple cider that would burn our mouth and we would stuff our pockets with miniature candy canes.

If any of this sounds familiar and you are looking for that perfect tree...try one of these tree farms in the area. Information has been taken from Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association. (http://www.nwtrees.com/choose_and_cutframe.htm)

7314 36th Ave. N.W. Stanwood, WA 98292 alanacrestrees@yahoo.com
Location: Take freeway exit 212 from I-5, west toward Stanwood, 1-3/4 miles, turn right on 36th Ave. N.W. for 1/2 mile.
Species Available: Noble, Douglas-fir, Grand, Fraser, Alpine spruce.
Services: Saws, Wreaths, Coffee/Beverage, Gift shop, Restrooms, Trees baled, Holly.

12017 109th Ave. NE Arlington, WA 98223-www.brownxtree.com
Location: Take I–5 Exit 199 (Marysville) 528 east, Hwy 9 north to 84th St. NE, east to 99th Ave. NE, north to 124th St NE. Follow Signs. Or east of Hwy 9 at 132nd St. NE, 6 miles south of Arlington.
Species Available: Noble, Douglas-fir, Grand, Fraser, Norway spruce, Colorado blue spruce. Services: Saws, Wreaths, Coffee/Beverage, Cutting assistance, Flocking, Gift shop, Restrooms, Trees baled, Tree stands, Bonfire, Food vendors.
Features: Large tree sizes: Up to 9’ all species

5511 SR 92 Lake Stevens, WA 98258 - treefarm@lochsloyacres.com - www.lochsloyacres.com
Location: From I-5 in Everett go east on Hwy 2. Turn left on SR 204 at end of trussel. Turn left on Hwy 9. Turn right on SR 92. Go 3.9 miles, farm on right.
Species Available: Douglas-fir, Grand, Fraser.
Services: Saws, Wreaths, Coffee/Beverage, Cutting assistance, Restrooms, Trees baled, Fresh cut trees, Tree stands.
Features: Enclosed historic barn to get out of the weather and free candy canes.

1315-188th St. Arlington, WA 98223 - lpaterson@worldnet.att.net
Location: I-5 north of Everett Exit 206. Go west one mile, turn right on 19th. Do not cross railroad track. Turn left on 188th St NE. Farm is 1/4 mile on right.
Species Available: Noble, Douglas-fir, Grand, Fraser, Norway spruce.
Services: Saws, Wreaths, Hot cider, Restrooms, Trees baled.

9533 Mose Rd. Arlington, WA 98223 www.pilchuckxmastrees.com
Location: Just north of Arlington. Take I-5 exit 208, go to Arlington. Take left onto Hwy 9 at light. Go 1 mile on Hwy 9, take right Armstrong Rd. Follow signs.
Species Available: Noble, Douglas-fir, Grand, Fraser, Nordmann, Concolor.
Services: Saws, Wreaths, Coffee/Beverage, Cutting assistance, Gift shop, Restrooms, Trees baled, Holly.
Features: Candy canes for kids, Hot dogs, Snacks, Coffee, Cider. Kid’s trees: Balsam fir, Cannan fir. Large tree sizes: 12-18’ Noble.

Reade Christmas Tree Ranch
7724 – 171st Ave. SE Snohomish, WA 98290
Location: Hwy 2- between Snohomish/Monroe east on Westwick Rd. for 2 miles, north on 171st Ave. SE for 1 mile. Turn under Bonneville power lines.
Species Available: Noble, Douglas-fir, Grand, Nordmann, Norway spruce.
Services: Saws, Wreaths, Coffee/Beverage, Cutting assistance, Restrooms, Trees baled, Fresh cut trees.
Features: U-Cut, Fresh cut, Shelter, Trees baled/netted, Hot beverage, Weekday senior discount.

Woods Creek Rd. & 74th Place SE Monroe, WA 98272 - (360) 794-5647
Location: Take U.S. #2 east to Monroe, go to Taco Time, turn left on Woods Creek Road. Follow signs 7 miles to farm. Species
Available: Noble, Fraser, Grand.
Services: Saws, Wreaths, Coffee/Beverage, Cutting assistance, Restrooms, Hay/Wagon/Trailer rides, Trees baled, Fresh cut trees.
Features: Free Christmas coloring book for the children.

Holiday Ships and Santa Cruises

I have heard about 2 local holiday events that are "water" based for people who are looking for something like this to experience this holiday season.

In Everett, the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade is on December 12 and 13th from 5pm - 8pm. This parade features boats of all sizes that are beautifully decorated and in our backyard. For more information on an exact location, call 425-259-8178.

Downtown, Argosy Cruises offers an array of holiday sails in the month of December until the 23rd. Cruises featured are the Santa Brunches and family dinner cruises. A complete list can be located at http://www.argosycruises.com/themecruises/xmasSchedule.cfm#schedule. This list also provides information on the choirs that will be caroling during that sail. Reduced priced sales are listed as value nights and can provide a savings if you are flexible on when you can go.

Check it out and set sail this holiday season.

Email Santa...

Have your children waited too long to mail Santa their wish list?

If so, they can email Santa at http://www.busymommy.us/santa and he will write them back with confirmation of receiving it. He has a special message and his email up and running ready to take wish lists online this year.

A message from one of Santa's elves.

Snowball Express and other Holiday Trains

I saw in a magazine an ad for the Snowball Express and for any of you with Thomas the Train lovers, this might be the holiday experience for you.

The train travels on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad and departs from Mineral, WA. Information is available at http://www.mrsr.com/ or call 1-888-STEAM-11.

The train has a Santa car, with the "real thing" waiting to meet all passengers. The Santa car is decorated and there is hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies to munch on. Sing songs on the train and parents can enjoy the scenery. It sounds like a relaxing afternoon to me. The Snowball Express rides the rails 4 times per day every Saturday and Sunday until December 21st when Santa needs to make his way back to the North Pole.

Northwest Railway Museum's Santa Train boards in North Bend and idles along the track for 20 minutes to the Snoqualmie Train Depot. Santa is there to greet kids and parents, too. Trains board on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 3pm until December 20th. More info is available by calling 425-888-2206 or at http://www.trainmuseum.org/.

Lake Whatcom Railway Santa Train for train riders north in Acme. Contact 360-595-2218 for more info or go to http://www.lakewhatcomrailway.com/.

Santa Breakfasts - Downtown

Here is information on the traditional Santa Breakfast in downtown Seattle. I have heard from several friends that this is a tradition to add to every families event list. Many of them have been attending this breakfast since they were kids and now their children are going every year.

Description: A holiday brunch with a special guest

Dates: December 13, 14, 20 and 21

Times: 9:30am and 11:00am

Location: Sheraton Hotel and Towers, 1400 6th Avenue, downtown Seattle

Contact: 206-547-1290 is the Santa hotline to make reservations

The proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation Pac NW Chapter and is presented by Proliance Surgeons. (Our ENT surgeon that has done 2 of Katelyn's ear tube surgeries is with Proliance Surgeons in Bellevue - a great group of surgeons.)

Macy's Santa Holiday Show

There is a new cowboy in town, Grumpy Gus and he is here to take the fun out of Christmas for everyone. He learns about the Spirit of Christmas in this fun performance at the Downtown Macy's. This is a new production that Macy's is offering in conjunction with Caberet Productions. What a fun, holiday event to add to a day downtown...

Show times:
December 13, 14, 15, and 21 at 11:15am

Macy's, Downtown Seattle
Third Floor, Stewart Street Room

Ticket Prices:
Children 11 and under $10
12 and older $12

Each ticket receives a Macy gift card for $5 and and kids receive an additional free gift.

Call 206-506-4-Fun for tickets.

Velveteen Rabbit - 12/13

The traditional Velveteen Rabbit is playing at the Village Theatre in Everett on Saturday, December 13th. There are two performances that day at 2:00pm and 4:00pm at the Everett Performing Arts Center (2710 Wetmore Aveue).

The Velveteen Rabbit was a favorite storybook of mine growing up and I remember my mom reading it to me over and over again. This play is based on the original book and is full of puppets.

The Village Theatre Pied Piper focuses on theatre that is based on children's literature and catered towards younger audiences. Call the box office for ticket availability: 425-257-8600 or go to http://www.villagetheatre.org/piedpiper_0809_public.shtml.

Night of the Elves - 12/20

How about a night out for you and night out for them, too?

The Imagine Children's Museum in Everett is hosting a Night of the Elves on Saturday December 2oth. It is jam packed with exciting activities for kids ages 4 -12 and is available only by reservation, so if you are interested I would sign up early. Treat yourself to a night out to finish up your Christmas list, enjoy a dinner out or go see the movie Four Christmas's (I loved this movie -absolutely hilarious!).

Here is the scoop:

Dinner with the Elves - Deck the Halls Pizza, Rudolph's Reindeer Carrots, Fa la la Fruit and Jingle Juice

Santa's Workshop

Mrs. Kringle's Kitchen

Frosty Games - Penguin Race, Icicle Hunt, etc.

Member Price - $40 first child, $20 for each sibling

Non-Member Price - $50 first child, $25 for each sibling

They say they sell out so book now and enjoy some time for yourself, even if it used for wrapping gifts!

Polar City at Imagine Children's Museum-12/22

It is always a good time at Imagine Children's Museum in Everett. The museum is a wonderland of discovery for children off all ages, through out the year. Right now there are holiday festivities that are coming up that are sure to be a good time.

Monday, December 22nd
Polar Party
-Carpet skating and polar sox making (sounds great and not sure what it is!). Special story time as well.

This activity is free with museum admission.

Gingerbread Village-Imagine Children's Museum 12/13 and 12/14

It is always a good time at Imagine Children's Museum in Everett. The museum is a wonderland of discovery for children off all ages, through out the year. Right now there are holiday festivities that are coming up that are sure to be a good time.

Saturday, December 13th and Sunday, December 14th

Gingerbread Village

-Make a gingerbread brick and decorate it for a gingerbread house at the museum. Special story time as well.

This activity is free with museum admission.

The Nutcracker Performance - Everett 12/18 - 12/21

The Nutcracker is a traditional event that many part take in during the holiday season. Here is a local version of the popular play that is performed by the Alderwood Dance Spectrum company at the Snohomish County PUD auditorium (2320 California Street). Tickets must be reserved through Alderwood Dance Spectrum and the prices are $15 for adults and $12 for children/seniors/military.

Thursday, December 18 at 9:45am and 12:15pm
Friday, December 19 at 7:00pm
Saturday, December20 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, December21 at 2:00pm

Snohomish County PUD Auditorium
2320 California Street

Tickets and Sales, Contact:
Alderwood Dance Spectrum

Please note that I have not attended this but plan to this year with my 4 1/2 year old. Check it out for local holiday fun!

Make Holiday Tree Ornaments - 12/15

Are you looking for a festive way to get your kid's excited about the holidays? I know that one that thing that is always a big hit is craft projects. On December 15th, the Everett Public Library is having a workshop in the Main Library Children's Room from 3pm - 5pm where kids can decorate ornaments.

All supplies are included and it is free to who ever shows up.

Everett Public Library - 2702 Hoyt Ave, Everett - 425-257-8030

(Also on December 11th from 3pm - 5pm at the Evergreen Branch in the Meeting Room)

Holiday Puppet Show - Jingle Bell Rock (12/13 at 2pm)

Last Wednesday, my two children and I attended the first performance of the Jingle Bell Rock Puppet Show at the Everett Public Library. The puppet show was fantastic and my children loved it. The first showing was the Evergreen Branch and it was too large of a crowd for the meeting room that it was in.

But the next showing is on December 13th at the Main Library in Everett (2702 Hoyt Ave/425-257-8030) in the auditorium at 2:oo pm. This space will have a lot more room to accommodate a larger crowd. The puppet show is festive, funny and complimentary. My daughter received a color postcard to take home that had a photo of the characters on it.

A great outing that is short, sweet and free. You can't beat that.

McGruff Safe Kids Total ID

This is not an activity, per se, but it is something that was offered at my daycare center for my children recently. When I was growing up, I remember having things like a "Helping Hand" in our window or a "McGruff Crime Dog" sign as a signal to neighborhood kids and friends that our house was a safe house. If someone was being chased or lost, then they would see the sign and know that they could come there and we would call the police or their parents.

So a month ago, our daycare (Early Connections Learning Center/Gingerbread House) in Everett has this service come on site for the afternoon. For $15, my children received 2 ID cards with their thumbprints, name, photo, and descriptive info that my husband and I can show if ever needed. We also received a larger card to keep at home with all of their fingerprints and a larger photo. There are other packages that had more options, but this one was the most reasonable and provided us with what we need. The best part about this is that it was available while they were at daycare during the day. I did not have to wait in line at the mall and hope that my children were able to be patient.

This is an extremely helpful service that I wanted to share. More information about this service is at http://mcgruff-tid.com/streetwise/

The owner of this northwest branch is Kathie Street and she can also be contacted at 360-224-2756. Check it out and protect your children for the unknown or ask your daycare to look into bringing a service like this one in. It is so important in case you ever need it even though hopefully you never will.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tot Spot Cafe - A Dream for Moms

I have a group of friends that try to meet at least once a month it seems and we are constantly looking for new places to go. Since it is almost winter, the rain has set back in and the parks are looking less desirable. I had seen a link to the Tot Spot Cafe on another blog and thought I would check out their website. I thought it was an in genius idea but it wasn't until we got there one blustery Saturday that it really hit me how great of an idea this was.

It is located in Woodinville and although it will be easy for me to find it now, I recommend getting directions from the website. We walked in and there were a few people and I guess we missed the rush. Our kids played with all different types of toys and tons of them to say the least. It seems like a great opportunity to let your kids try toys to see if they like them or play with toys there and and then have fewer at home. (Hmmm, maybe I should try that one.)

They also offer kid food like cut -up grapes (yes, I said cut - up!), cheese squares and goldfish for little fingers. But, the best part is they have adult espressos and food for parents. I had a chicken and pesto grilled panini which was very good. My friend and I talked for 2 hours and then realized that we needed to go. Our kids had a great time and we could have an adult conversation - great day, great place.

Here is the link:

They recently reduced the pricing and also offer monthly rates, stamp program for a freebie after a certain amount of visits and offer parties. What a great idea - have kids go crazy and play with a ton of different toys and then go home - tired.

JUMP PLANET - Jump Until They Drop

We have been to parties at local jump facilities and so far Jump Planet is my favorite. It was a huge hit for my older kiddo, she still calls hand sanitizer "bouncy house" because when we go to Jump Planet they squirt it in her hands before going upstairs to the party room. They have two huge play areas that total over 6,000 square feet of jumping fun. They also have a younger area for the 3 and under siblings that jump not as high as their older siblings. Parties are great and well planned out in specified time slots and you can reserve 1 of the 2 sides of the gym for your party.

But, what I haven't done yet is go to a drop in time slot. On their website, you can view by month the days and times that are available for drop-ins. This is great because even though my children wish that every day is a birthday party, thankfully birthday parties are not that frequent. The rate is $6 for the first child and $4 for a sibling.

Go to their website to find the next rainy day that you may be looking for something to do.

They are located in Canyon Park and contact info is available on their website.

Go have a jumping good time!

Young Chefs Academy - Holiday Cook and Care on Dec 6th

I just found out about a great opportunity to have a free experience at the Young Chef's Academy on Dec 6th. It is the Holiday Cook and Care event hosted by Parenting magazine and gives kids an opportunity to try cooking demos to get interested in it. Bring canned food to donate to the food bank and enjoy product giveaways and have fun with hands-on activities.

The local Young Chef's Academy is located at the Mill Creek Town Center and the time is from 12pm - 2pm on Saturday, December 6th. Pre-registration is required, so sign up and let your child experience the kitchen. Best of all it is their kitchen, not yours for your kids to "experiment" in.

Sign up here:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kids Eat Free - Locally!

I saw an article on another website that I write for called Busy Mommy about a website that tells you where your kids can eat for free. It is called My Kids Eat for Free, easy to remember which is good. Last time we went to the I.H.O.P. on Broadway in Everett, it was Kids Eat For Free on Tuesday. I have added this to the website and here are some other local eateries that are offering Kids Eat Free options. This is also a great website if you are going on a vacation, check in advance and maybe you can save a buck or two when dining out.

Please keep in mind that offers expire so I recommend calling in advance before dining.

I.H.O.P. (new -added 12/8/08)
Evergreen Way, Everett, WA (across from the Fred Meyer)
Kids Eat For Free - EVERDAY from 2pm - 10pm

Las Margaritas
Evergreen Way (across from the Safeway on 41st) in Everett
Kids Eat For Free on Mondays and Tuesdays

4710 Broadway (near the AquaSox Stadium) in Everett
Kids Eat For Free on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
(When I called them to confirm this they said they are trying to have Kids Eat For Free every night of the week. Call to confirm.)

Marie Callender's (South of Northgate Mall)
9538 1st Ave., N.E.
Seattle, WA
Kids Eat For Free on EVERYDAY of the week. Sunday through Saturday! 12 and under with adult entree purchase.

Ruby's Diner
13706 NE 175th St.
Woodinville, WA
(425) 489-1173
Kids Eat For Free on Tuesday nights. 12 and under with adult entree purchase.

Ruby's Diner (In Alderwood Mall - save money while holiday shopping!)
3000 184th St SW #840
Lynnwood, WA
(425) 778-8729
Kids Eat For Free on Tuesday nights. 12 and under with adult entree purchase.

Ruby's Diner (In Redmond Town Center- save money while holiday shopping!)
16501 NE 74th St.
Redmond, WA
(425) 861-7829
Kids Eat For Free on Tuesday nights. 12 and under with adult entree purchase.

Bon appetite and save some cash for ice cream afterwards!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Trick-or-Treating in Washington

Are you in search of a place to go trick-or-treating this year? Here are some ideas for trick-or-treating outside of your neighborhood.

Trick-or-Treating At Merrill Gardens
Date: 10/31 from 10:45am to 5pm
Location: Merrill Gardens at Mill Creek, 14905 Bothell-Everett Hwy
Description: Come have a fun costume parade and trick or treat at Merrill Gardens! This activity is open to the public and free. Call (425) 338-1580 for more info.

Halloween with the Lights On!
Date: 10/31 from 11am-3pm
Location: Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, call 425-258-1006 for more info
Description: Visit the museum in costume and fun actitivities. Performances of "The 13 Nights of Halloween" at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Little Pumpkin Party in Mountlake Terrace
Date: 10/31 from 12-2pm
Location: Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion, call 425-776-9173 for more info
Description: Wear your costume and play inside indoor playground. Activities are planned and trick-or-treating will take place.

Snohomish Downtown Merchants Trick or Treat
Date: 10/31 from 4-5pm
Location: Downtown Snohomish, call 360-568-2526 for more info

Safe Halloween at the Country Village in Bothell
Date: 10/31 from 4pm-6pm
Location: Country Village in Bothell
Description: Trick-or-treat at storefronts. Kids under 12. Halloween photos from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at Chapters Photography (425-415-1267)

Safe Halloween at Main Street in Bothell
Date: 10/31 from 5pm-7pm
Location: Main Street in downtown Bothell
Description: Trick-or-treat on Main Street. Fish for prizes at the main gazebo.

Treats on Main Street in Mill Creek
Date: 10/31 from 5pm-7pm
Location: Mill Creek Town Center
Description: Merchants of Mill Creek Town Center are open for family friendly trick-or-treating. Trunk or Treat event is a couple blocks south of Central Market.

Edmonds Halloween
Date: 10/31 from 5-7pm
Location: Downtown Edmonds
Description: Dress up for Halloween and area stores stock up on candy to give away.

Everett Mall Trick or Treat
Date: 10/31 from 5-8pm
Location: Everett Mall, Everett
Description: Trick-or-treat at the mall. Bring canned food donation. Age 12 and under.

Trick or Treat at Redmond Town Center
Date: 10/31 from 5-7pmLocation: Redmond Town Center, Redmond
Description: Trick-or-treat safely at Redmond Town Center


Halloween Activities in Washington (Oct 24 – Oct 26)

Are you in search of local Halloween activities this year? Here are some ideas for events that take place the weekend before Halloween.

Goblin Splash at Forest Park Pool
Date: 10/24 from 7pm-8:30pm
Location: Forest Park Pool, Everett (802 E. Mukilteo Blvd)
Description: Bring food for the Volunteers of America Food Bank and toss pumpkins in the pool, play games and win prizes. Costumes are welcomed! Large donations receive free pool admission.

Woodland Park Zoo’s Pumpkin Prowl
Date: October 24, 25 and 26 from 5-8pm
Location: Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle
Description: Trick-or-treat with glowing pumpkins through the zoo. Activities are planned and costumes are encouraged. Tickets can be purchased at zoo or in advance at Bartell Drug locations.

Woodland Park Zoo’s Pumpkin Bash
Date: 10/25 and 10/26 from 10:00am-2:30pm
Location: Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle
Description: Pumpkins in different animal shapes around the zoo. Special treats for the animals to eat – pumpkins are smashed!

Tricks, Treats and Science Feats
Date: 10/25 and 10/26 from 10am-6pm
Location: Pacific Science Center, Seattle
Description: Science-themed Halloween event with giant pumpkin sculpting and a haunted house. Come in costume! Free with admission and all ages welcome. Feel free to wear costume.

Seattle Aquarium and other Waterfront Businesses
Date: 10/26 from 9:30am to 5pm
Location: Seattle Aquarium, Seattle and other waterfront businesses
Description: Trick or treat at Waterfront Businesses. Activities at the Seattle Aquarium include a Halloween party with Recess Monkey Rock Band(1:00 and 3:30pm performances), face painting, Seafair Pirates (11-4pm) and JP Patches (12-1:30pm). and special guest appearances by J.P. Patches and the Seafair Pirates!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is Tomorrow a Stay-At-Home Day?

This is a common question at our house. A Stay-At-Home day is code word for weekend for my husband and I. Our kids interpret it as a day that mommy and daddy are not going to work and they are not going to daycare. Although their weekdays are wrapped around a hefty schedule at their daycare of circle time, free play, washing hands, lunch, naps, outside play and snack time, they still look forward to their Stay-At-Home days with mom and dad. Although how do you compete with the Library Bus Lady and the Music Man, who by the way has a better guitar that we have.

I came up with the code word when my older daughter kept getting her days confused and would switch from wanting to go to daycare everyday or wanting to stay home every day. By being a working mom outside of the home, I have to maintain a schedule like every other mom. But when my child is screaming because she wants to stay home or not spend time with me and instead spend time at daycare, I felt the need to come up with a code word to get our days under control. Therefore, the birth of the Stay-At-Home day came to be at our house.

Every weekend is planned to the point where sometimes I could use a weekend to recover from my weekend. I wish I could say that weekends are only about doing things with the kids but we do not receive weekly visits from the Cleaning Fairy. I hear she is like the Tooth Fairy but instead of leaving money she leaves a sparkling clean house. I will write myself a post-it note as a reminder to include her in my next birthday wish. But until then, weekends are also catch-up days where laundry get washed, folded and hopefully put away and also all household cleaning must take place.

But there is also at least one day or outing that is only for the benefit of the kids. This could be anything as elaborate as going to a local fair, aquarium, zoo, pumpkin patch, children’s museum or friend’s birthday party. It could also be as simple as going to a local park, driving to the beach to pick up rocks, going to grandma and papa’s or seeing a movie. The activity can occupy the entire day or be very simple and last only a few hours on one or both Stay-At-Home days.

It is hard to juggle home and work responsibilities while raising your family the best way you know how. My kids now know that there are usually two Stay-At-Home days each week and every time they give a little hoot and my heart swoons when I answer their question with a, “Yes”. It is one of the moments I long for every week and I treasure every Stay-At-Home day with them no matter what we end up doing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Patches - It is that time of year!

My family has started a tradition where we all meet at a pumpkin patch and pick out our favorite pumpkin. It is so important to start traditions with your family to create memories to look back on. Forget the grocery store, try going to a pumpkin patch and support your local farmers.

We have gone to The Farm for many years and then last year tried a different pumpkin patch. Needless to say, we are going to The Farm next weekend for our annual search for the Great Pumpkin at our house.

This pumpkin patch has it all and is known for the corn maze in the shape of Washington state. The Farm is located in Snohomish on 125 acres along the Snohomish River and is open from 10am-6pm daily until Halloween. This location offers not only a large field of pumpkins to choose from it also has many other activities going on.

Pumpkin Patch: When you are looking for that perfect pumpkin, stop looking down and look around you. Breathe in all of the beautiful scenery that this location has to offer. The mountains, river and unobstructed sky by themselves are worth the weekend drive.

Corn Maze: This is a maze that is shaped as Washington State. It is 12 acres and has 4 ½ actual miles of highways and roads to walk through in the maze. Take a map and start the trek to look out for attractions Washington State is known for. I would consider this an educational experience and what mom doesn’t love that! The fee is $6 per person/$25 per family and well worth it.

Putting Course: 18 hole Par 72. The fee is $5 per person/$20 per family. This is a great practice course and provides an option for other family members who opt out of the corn maze.

Other happenings: Pig Show, Duck Races, petting farm, wagon rides, children’s play area and trout fishing. Espresso and apple cider is available to warm your hands on cool days. There is also bakery with pie and other fall pastry items. The corn on the cob is the best I have ever had; I am salivating just thinking about it.

There are many pumpkin patches around but for our family this is the best one for us. We love it and will be there next weekend!

Commuting Home on Halloween

Fall has two very important days for children to relish in: the first day of school and Halloween. I have spent several years working on Halloween only because it is rare that the holiday falls on a weekend. Many parents will think about previous Halloweens and remember the tired feet, adorable costumes, “candy checks” afterwards and the fear of cavities starting. I think about the drive home on the way to trick-or-treating and how terrible it is.

I think Halloween and New Years Eve are the worst two nights for driving. On Halloween there is the fear that a child in a dark costume will run out in front of your car or the thought that a black cat will cross your path as you drive. Here are my suggestions for making your drive home a safe one on Halloween.

Plan ahead
Know what time you need to leave work in order to get home. Allow time for dinner and determine ahead of time if dinner will be take-out or actually preparing a meal. I vote for take-out on a day that my child will never remember what I served anyway. They have one thing on their mind and it is not my homemade stroganoff.

Leave work early
See if you can leave work early and get ahead of the traffic. Think about all of the drivers out there and how many of them are parents also trying to get home to their Spiderman’s and Cinderella’s who are waiting to go trick-or-treating. If your neighboring commuter on the freeway does not have children, then there is a good chance that they have a party to attend or are hoping to get home to pass candy out. Even if you are stuck in traffic, you are further ahead in the line than you would be if you stayed until the normal time.

Go slow
Drive slowly on all side streets and look twice at intersections when turning. It is very important to be alert and aware of any little “creatures” that might jump out on purpose or by accident. This is also a time when it is getting darker earlier at night but kids are still out. Try to drive the speed limit and not be reckless when driving.

Take a deep breath
There was one year that the traffic was absolutely terrible and as the clock kept ticking, my mommy guilt started to take over. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you will get home. Feeling badly about it is not the answer and there are so many other days that you will have mommy guilt, so relax and pay attention to the rode.

Each year, I am amazed at how magical this holiday is. It has become one of my favorite holidays because it represents the excitement of childhood. There are so many situations, television shows and fashion trends that are making kids grow up too fast these days. But there is one day a year, where kids can be kids and dress-up as someone from make believe and have a great time. So drive safely home and enjoy the moment, it won’t be too much longer until your kids will be all grown up and “too cool” to trick-or-treat.

Scary Night at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds - October 10th thru 31st

About 10 years ago I remember going over to a family friends' home who would turn their garage into a haunted house every year. It took them weeks to prepare and all of the locals would come by and be spooked. I for one had no idea how scary it could be and I decided after that experience that I was not "into" haunted houses.

Eventhough it is not my idea of a great time, I have heard about the haunted experience to for 8 years old and up. It is called Scary Nights and it runs from October 10th to October 31st. It is located at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA and is quite the treat for locals who like the thrills and shrieks of a haunted maze.

It is open daily from 7pm -11pm and admission is $13. Go to http://www.scary-nights.com/ for a $2 coupon to print out.

I recommend using the facilities before standing in line...the show might be scarier than you think it will be. Post back on my blog on what you thought of Scary Nights for others to review.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seattle Tacoma International Airport

Are you flying with kids soon? There is an anxiety that comes with taking your little ones on an airplane. Will they behave and will you make it through the dragging flight? I just took my four year old to Montana to see her auntie and we were very early to the airport. We needed to pass some time and were looking for things to do.

Besides the normal tasks of eating, shopping and potty breaks, here are some other things to keep your little one preoccupied before the flight.

Kid's Play Areas - I have always seen little play areas in the concourses that were small outdoor play equipment for kids to climb on. I believe these vary from concourse to concourse. But what I have discovered is the actual PLAY ROOM! There is a play room in between concourse A and B. The Port of Seattle's website lists the room as 1400 square feet and has the conveniences of a large family restroom and a nursing room with rocking chairs. The play area has padded toys for kids to climb on and jump off of.

The Orca - There is a large, stuffed orca that stands upright outside one of the shops. My child loved it and hugged it several times. Great photo ops.

Art Exhibits - There are over 50 pieces of art that are exhibited at SeaTac. There is a list available on the Port of Seattle's website and many of the pieces are there permanently. Walk around and look for art and then talk about it. Many of them are very colorful and some are of northwest animals and scenery.

Watching the Planes - When it is all said and done, it is so exciting to see a plane take off, land and drive around the airport to park. Walk around and look at different types of planes and brands. They all have different colors and to a child, they are intriguing. To see their face start showing the signs of them trying to figure out just how a plane flies and to see how big they are up close.

Travelling with little ones is not easy, but remember that it is a memorable time that you are sharing with your little one. Plus there are sundries available to help you (ibuprofen) and also the infamous cocktail, available in flight and in terminal.

My most preferred travel item: Purel hand sanitizer.

Seattle Aquarium

I was trying to remember the last time I was at the Seattle Aquarium and I am shocked that I think it was over 20 years ago. When I was a child there were three field trips that we went on in elementary school. The options were Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium and the Fun Forest at the Seattle Center.

I had 2 goals this summer on things to do with my kids. The first one was to go to the Woodland Park Zoo and the second was the Seattle Aquarium. Last Thursday, I took the day off of work and we went to the aquarium. It was very exciting for my 4 year old who could not say "a-kware-e-um" but instead called the it the "care bear-ium" and wanted to know when her furry friends would appear.

Here are the ins and outs of going to the aquarium:

Parking - do not park across from the aquarium but go south at least 1 block past the aquarium or possibly 2 blocks. It is okay to walk and you will save $11 for 2 hours. If you park where I am recommending it ends up being $3 for 2 hours, if you park across from the aquarium it is $14 for 2 hours.

Admission - Adults are $15, Children 4 and up are $10, Children 3 and under are free. Advice: If you have an Entertainment Book then remember to use your coupon of "Buy 1 Admission, Get 1 Free".

Best features - The wall sized fish tank when you first walk in, especially when the diver is in the tank talking to everyone. I would also have to say the sea otters, fur seals and seals.

My children's favorites features - looking for and actually finding Nemo and Dori in the fish tanks.

Time - If you look at the parking situation, you can guess that I am recommending 2 hours. Honestly, we were done after 1 hour and 45 minutes and we went back through the aquarium and hit the starfish/sea urchin section 3 times.

Other advice: As with any kid's activity, go early in the day. We arrived at 11:00am, which is much later than I like and the group tours and buses came a little after us. When we walked back through the aquarium to walk it, it became a mad house. So definitely go when it first opens and then you can be done before the large crowds. Remember that I went on a Thursday in August, I did not go during the weekend so it could already be busy at that time.

In summary, a great place to go and the kids will absolutely love it. Is it as great as I remember as a kid? No, but nothing seems quite as magical when you look back as an adult.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stanwood Camano Community Fair

Going to local fairs is one of the highlights of the summer for my family. There are so many to choose from but each summer it seems like we go to the same ones out of convenience. The Stanwood Fair located in Stanwood, WA (north of Everett) is scheduled August 1st thru the 3rd.

Saturday, August 2nd starts off with a down home parade down the main streets at 11am. Bring your lawn chairs or camping chairs and find a spot. Also the kids will need a bag of some sort to carry the candy stash they will get from parade walkers who toss as they walk. They have lawn mover drivers and clowns plus more!

After the parade, drive over to the fairgrounds where you will find a traditional fair with food vendors and carnival rides. 4-H is big in this area so make sure you stop by to see the kids and their animals. The food is great and crafts too. Take a spin on the Ferris Wheel or grab a potato sack and a run down the large "bumpy" slide. There are kids activities planned each day so make sure you know about the times and check out the website.

3-5 Year Old Activities - Bean bag toss, doughnut eating contest, fishing, obstacle course, etc.
6-8 Year Old Activities - Coin scramble, cherry pie eating contest, tug-o-war, egg/spoon obstacle course.
9-12 Year Old Activities -Bean bag toss, cherry pie eating contest, tug-o-war, egg/spoon obstacle course.

Suggestions: Go early in the day for better parking, wear sunscreen, bring a stroller or wagon for tired little feet and plan on a half a day.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Movies Under the Stars - Everett

Remember the nostalgia of lemonade and playing kickball that you felt when you watched the movies Sandlot and My Girl. Well those memories returns for an hour or two during the summer on Silver Lake in Everett. Every summer the Everett Park and Recreation has a summer program where they show movies outside at a park. The movies start at dusk and are complimentary. Grab a camping chair, a blanket and a bag of freshly popped popcorn and c'mon over.

Here is the line-up for this summer's movies (all movies are PG rated):
  • July 18th - Back to the Future
  • July 25th - Bee Movie
  • August 1st - Hairspray
  • August 8th - Shrek the 3rd
  • August 15th - Surf's Up

Location: Thornton A. Sullivan Park, 11405 Silver Lake Road, Everett 98208 (In Camp Peterson Field).

What a great way to start to finish the work week and start your summer weekend. For more information go to enjoyeverett.org.

Sunday Morning Market

I had seen sandwich boards and newspaper ads for the Everett Farmers Market several times. It wasn't until a couple Sundays ago that I took my daughter to the outdoor market on the waterfront. Parking was a little difficult but only because there were so many people there. It was a beautiful day you know what that means in the Northwest, get out and enjoy it while you can.

The market is open during the summer months along Marine View Drive in Everett. It is a small location but abundant with local vendors. There are quite a few flower vendors and as you walk by the aroma fills the air and you immediately feel the urge to bring a bundle home. Fruit and vegetable stands were there with the traditional offerings. There were also bakeries that had fresh bread and decadent baked goods. As we strolled down the pier, my child noticed 2 things: popcorn and Scooby-Doo. First of all, how can anyone go to an outdoor market or fair in our area without taking home a bag of warm kettle corn. Secondly, the dogs needed an outing on Sunday as well and one of them very large and looked like Scooby-Doo.

So the next time you see a sign for your local farmer's market, take a moment to stop and enjoy the moment. Our summer season is short this year and one way to slow down and take it in is to stop by one of these. For more information on local farmer's markets in Seattle go to seattlefarmersmarkets.org.

Consignment Shops - "The How To"

Some of us have kids that trash their clothes and some of us have kids that are "gentle" on them. For those of us that have "gently used clothes", there is an option for all those too small left overs. Consignment is my new philosophy for organization. Now that may not make sense, but one of my recent issues is what to do with all of the clothes that are left over once my youngest reaches a new size.

I called around to 3 different consignment stores to get the low down on the in's and out's. After trial and error on my part, here are the questions to ask when first-time consigning:
1. What day/hours do you accept clothing?
2. How many items are they accepting at a time?
3. What season of clothing is being accepted now and until what date (example: shorts, sleeveless tops are taken in June).
4. Is the store a true consignment store or do they buy clothes? A consignment store is where you have a code and when your clothes sell then you receive a credit/cash. A store that buys clothes will buy the clothes from you on the spot.
5. Do you provide the clothes on hangers or do they only want you to use theirs? This is a time-saver knowing whether to bring them on hangers or hang them once you get there.

Once you have the answers to these questions, then the next step is selecting the clothes you would like to consign. Assuming they are clean, then the next step is to review them for buttons and make sure they are in working order. Lastly, take the time to press them. Pressing = Ironing. I had not used an iron in awhile and this is most daunting part of the process for me.

Now comes the fun part, the game of consigning. It is almost like gambling for me. I drop off my perfectly pressed and adorable clothes and then check back to see if I scored. Sometimes someone will bite and take home your child's favorite shirt and other times I am out of luck. But the fun never ends and even though the credit/cash that you receive is not gold it can still be turned around for "new" clothes for your family or other treasures you might come across.