If you’ve lived in Seattle long enough, you may have found yourself getting, well, bored with the children’s activities here–sometimes you don’t want to take in another museum exhibit, themed festival or free concert. So, when one more trip to the zoo seems a trip too many (even though the Zoomazium rocks), have faith; there’s a whole world out there just the other side of Lake Washington. And, Eastside parents are sure to find something they haven’t checked out, too–be it an interactive restaurant, a posh new shop or a picture-perfect park. Here are our top tips for your best Eastside day trip, as recommended by us and the brilliant readers of Red Tricycle.
Manhattan Boutique (Clothes for Moms only)
122 Lake Street
A chic new-ish store featuring women’s clothes by designers like Milly, Velvet, Joie and Vince, plus a wide range of denim. The underthings and tank tops are good scores, too.
Yarrow Bay Beach Cafe
1270 Carillon Point
Changing tables: Yes High chairs: Yes
Right on Lake Washington, this restaurant has great views as well as coloring supplies for your children and a treasure chest for them to pick a toy from after their meal. Parents can try entrees such as paella, Baja Mahi tacos or fish and chips. Children get their own menu.
348 Park Place
This independent bookstore in Kirkland’s Parkplace Mall has a roomy childrens book section entered via the Magic Faraway Tree. There are cosy armchairs in here for an impromptu story time or nursing mothers.
Baby’s Day At The Movies
404 Park Place
The Parkplace cinema opens its doors to parents and children every second Friday. Unlike other “child-geared” cinema programs, all screens are open, not just one, so there’s a lot of choice for parents and kids alike. Doors open at 9:15 am; shows start at 9:45am. Adult tickets $8:50; child, $5:50.
The Peter Kirk open-air pool
202 Third Street
Pool Hotline: 425.828.1235
Great for those hot summer days and right next to the park for post-swim picnics.
Merry Go Round Children’s Store
1014 116th Ave. N.E.
Parking: Yes If a little light shopping’s your thing and your children share your passion, Merry Go Round’s the place for you. Known for miles as the place to shop for stylish yet practical items, this children’s store combines life’s necessities (furniture, feeding items, educational toys) with styles so gorgeous it almost seems rude not to buy them. Featured brands include Peg Perego, Bugaboo, Stokke and Lamaze. There’s a dedicated children’s play area over by the strollers so that little ones are entertained whilst you browse for that perfect purchase you’ve suddenly realized they need.
Bonus: It’s a three-minute walk from Whole Foods (directly to the south) where you and your little ones can pick up snacks or lunch and, if the weather’s nice, dine outside on the cafe tables.
Posh on Main (Shoes for Moms only) (Business Closed)
10245 Main Street, Bellevue
Stocking a range of fabulous handbags and shoes by brands such as Alexandra Neel, Michael Kors, Emma Hope and Missoni, this shop is incredibly stylish and yet welcoming. These of-the-moment accessories will provide the perfect boost to your (neglected?) wardrobe for any season.Bonus: The Child’s Play Cafe (Business Closed) is right next door–ideal for adults and children alike to recharge after shopping.
Lambs Ears Children’s Boutique
820 102nd Ave NE 425.688.1080
Beautifully-tailored special-occasion apparel for boys and girls. The store usually carries a wide range of Catimini, a brand we dig.
Marinepolis Sushi Land
138 107th Ave NE
At this inexpensive sushi bar, choose your own meals from the conveyor belt in front of you, and pay according to the color of the dish–great for an impromptu math lesson! Beginner sushi aficionados find their way around with the help of a map, showing pictures of the various dishes and what’s inside them.
- WOODINVILLE & REDMOND
Molbak’s Gardening store and center
13625 NE 175th St., Woodinville
Parking: Yes Changing table: Yes
When the weather’s changeable–and really, when isn’t it?–and your little ones could still do with a taste of the outdoors, head on over to Molbak’s, where 15 acres of garden center await you and your brood. There’s plenty for you to browse whilst the children enjoy the outdoors, indoors. Molbak’s holds free monthly kids’ planting workshops with a different theme each month. And when your green-fingered urchins are all done, sit back and enjoy lunch at the Molbak’s cafe, run by Lowell-Hunt, caterers to the great and good. The seating area is spacious, with a couple of big tables for larger groups, a ramp for strollers, and a water feature in the middle of the cafe that will keep the children entertained even once they’re done with their food.
Bonus: The Oshkosh outlet is nearby (www.oshkoshbgosh.com).
South 47 Farm
15410 NE 124th St. (corner of NE 124th St. and the Woodinville-Redmond Rd.)
Farm Tots: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10:30am -11:30am, June-October.
Admission: Free; Farm tots: $5 with one adult free per child. Ages 5 and under, with parent or guardian. No reservations needed; check in at the farmstand at 10:15am.
This organic farm is a great place for children to see food “in action”. There’s an extensive U-Pick program offering everything from berries to bok choi, depending on the season (check the farm’s website for crops currently ready to harvest). Better yet, come for the “Farm tots” programs that run each Thursday and Friday from June through October. Each one-hour class will offer Junior the chance to pick his or her own portion of a crop in season, and the one-hour class also includes a nature or art activity and a wagon ride. The themed activities change each week and include farm favorites like worms, herbs, potatoes, bugs, flowers and seeds.
Bonus: When your tot has finished class, adults and children are free to wander the farm and visit the farm stand.
Farrel McWhirter Park
19545 Redmond Rd.,
This enormous park has farm animals, pony rides, nature trails and large spaces for picnics and parties.
Hush Baby Redmond
Ever wonder what you’d find if you were shopping on Melrose with Angelina and her brood? That upscale LA vibe is a rare one to come across in the Pacific Northwest. Hush Baby, the children’s boutique at Redmond Town Center that opened in early November, offers Hollywood-style class and comfort. Hush Baby’s star treatment also includes a 42-inch flat screen television featuring G-rated favorites, delightful fresh cookies, and complimentary hot chocolate and lattes. Thursdays at 11:00 am, story time comes complete with costumes for the young audience to explore and time to re-enact the story. Expectant moms can schedule an appointment for a session of state-of-the-art four-dimensional ultrasound photography from Baby Pictures. And the photo ops don’t end there. Portrait photographer Nan Brotherton offers free sittings inside the store’s studio.
Hush Baby Redmond Town Center
7303 164th Avenue NE, Redmond, 98052
Hanna Anderson Outlet
13620 NE 175th St. #114, Woodinville
Carrying Scandinavian-inspired bold cotton fashions for you and your youngsters. People drive for miles around to visit this outlet.
P.S. There’s a full-price store in University Village.
18005 N 68th St., Redmond
This bright lime and pomegranate-colored, kid-approved restaurant launched its summer menu earlier this month. Stop in for white truffle fettuccine with shaved pecorino cheese or Southern fried chicken. Kids can get mocktails, along with mac & cheese, Firebread (it’s like pizza) with cheese, sausage and no tomato sauce, and more.
Warning: It gets packed on weekends–call to put your name on the wait list before arriving.
OTHER GREAT PICKS
Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie
38625 SE King Street,
Visit the depot for free, or take a 65-minute train excursion. Theres the added bonus of a trip with Thomas the Tank Engine in July, and a Santa train at Christmas. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day. Thomas tickets are $16 for ages two and up. Regular tickets are $9 adults, $8 seniors, $6 children two-12. Kids under two ride free.
Gilman Village, Issaquah
317 NW Gilman Blvd.
Hit the handful of cute shops for kids at this outdoor anti-mall. We love Lilypad Books and White Horse Toys. Spoiled by Nana (not the greatest name, we know) and For Boys Only have quality, upscale clothing. Also, The Musik Nest is offering movement and music classes for kids ages birth to seven years.
Jump Planet, Bothell
22310 20th Ave. SE, #200
Put this new indoor inflatable party center in your Rolodex–it’s an amazing birthday party venue. It’s the biggest of its kind in the Northwest. The two huge play arenas will awe your kids, as will the obstacle courses and bouncer mazes. Parents will relish the comfy lounge (with free coffee and tea) and the babies-only bouncer (so the whole family can come). Hop to it–you can make reservations online.