Been to Bellevue Square lately? After the gorgeous remodel of 2008, you’ll find the addition of lots of new stores and the return of the good old reliable tug boat play area for the little ones. Kids’ Cove at the Square is geared toward tykes under 42” tall and is home to a boatload of new soft climbing toys, all keeping in tradition with the maritime theme. In addition to a tug boat and crawl-through ferry, there’s a motor boat, lighthouse, sand castle, and lots of sea critters.  Listen closely and you’ll even hear cool foghorn sound effects. Kids’ Cove is now located on the third floor of the Square at Center Court. Parents will appreciate the new family restrooms and the choice of soft seating or table and chair set-ups all around the Cove (with Wi-Fi available, too).

Go: Kids’ Cove is open during mall hours.

Approximate travel time: 15 minutes east of downtown Seattle.

How to dress: Comfy clothes for climbing and playing.

Possible lunch spots: With over 20 restaurants to choose from in the mall, you’ll have your choice of kid-friendly cuisine, either quick-serve or sit-down.  Some favorites include The Cheesecake Factory and Pagliacci Pizza.

Bonus: When the tykes are tuckered out, treat them and yourself to a delicious cupcake from Pinkabella Cupcakes, just across from Kids’ Cove.  Junior in need of a trim?  Stop by Dooz, a salon for kids, for a quick cut. (Dooz is also adjacent to the play area.)  Keep your eyes peeled for a brand new addition coming soon, and a concert and reading series too!

Cost of trip: Kids’ Cove is free, but bring your wallet as there’s plenty to splurge on at the mall!

Online: www.bellevuesquare.com