If you have any doubts you’re in the right place, just look for the giant chicken sculpture welcoming you in. Country Village is definitely country but it has so much family appeal that it’s worth a trek from the Seattle for a fabulous adventure.  With yummy sandwich shops, a kettle corn stand, a pirate ship playground and a train with a caboose you will have plenty to do all day with the kids.  And to make it all the more magical, free-range chickens and roosters seem to run out and greet you everywhere you go.

When to go: Village Shops typically open around 10:00 am, but the Country Café and Village Bean open earlier if your kiddos are early-risers and you want to get a head-start.  The train is supposed to start up around 11:00 am, but it can be a little unpredictable with its actual start time.

Getting there: Country Village is located at 23718 Bothell Everett Highway in Bothell about a 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle.

What to bring: Cash for the train ($3.50 a person), grain for the chickens, and a picnic lunch if you want to park at the benches or on the field by the playground for a bite to eat.

What to do: Get their early, grab a coffee (The Village Bean makes a delightful blueberry almond coffee drink) and park around a train table (you can find train tables at Bella and Max, the Village Bean or at Toys that Teach).  Kids will love the toy store and you might find a great deal on a second-hand kid’s book at nearby JJ’s Books.  Snap some pics of the kids by the many fishponds before you head to the pirate ship play structure to climb and slide.  Let your little engineer ride the train then munch your picnic on the grass or pick up something from Papa’s Place. In the summer plan your visit on a Friday when there are pony rides, a farmer’s market and face-painting.

Where to eat: Catch a minute or two for yourself over a cup of coffee at the Village Bean, a kid-friendly café with a train table, mini-kitchen and lots of kids’ toys (note there is now a $1 per-kid fee).  They have toddler-sized meals and yummy sandwiches for grownups too. The Village Eatery around the corner has a “Jack and Jill’s favorite” kid’s tea menu from Wednesdays to Sundays if you want to treat your little one to a special lunch date.

Bonus: Plan ahead and book your child a haircut at Bella and Max-the price includes a train ticket and a frequent buyer card (buy 6 haircuts and your 7th is free). And if you think you want to make the Village a weekly event, there is a music studio with Musikgartin classes and an Art Studio with a variety of classes with many for older kids too.

Online: countryvillagebothell.com

— Terumi Pong