marthaplayarea1If winter has you feeling a tad cooped up, yearning for those summer days you spent lingering by the lakes, we’ve got a perfect solution.  Pack up the kids and head to Lynnwood’s Martha Lake neighborhood. First stop, Martha Lake Park. This often-overlooked gem features a serene fishing dock, as well as boardwalks through wetlands where the kids can feed the ducks. Plenty of parking borders the fully fenced play area. Work up an appetite and then cross the street to mom-owned Kidz-N-Coffee. This recently-opened cafe provides affordable on-site childcare for tots while grown-ups sip espresso, snack on goodies, and maybe even get some online holiday shopping done—mention Red Tricycle to save a buck off the hourly rate! Little ones will enjoy kid-friendly fare at pint-sized tables. We love that Kidz-N-Coffee allows PEPS groups or private parties to make reservations ahead of time. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Dec 19th, when Kidz-N-Coffee has their holiday party—enjoy a visit with Santa, pictures and art projects. Refreshed and ready for more adventures? Teach the kids about gardening and winter plants at nearby Emery’s Garden. Featuring classes and seminars on winter favorites such as wreath making, container gardening and holiday bow making, you just might end up with some holiday gifts! As you wrap up your lake adventure, hit one of the many drive-thru espresso stands peppering the Martha Lake area. Hot Shots espresso tops the list, featuring not just coffee drinks, but also delicious ice-cream, making for a summery trip down memory lane.

—Matina Fresenius