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 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.