This is for all of you who have ever felt that you could benefit from a few teensy minutes with another mom friend at an undisclosed location, i.e. not in your cluttered home, not at the rainy park, nor at the mall—or anywhere your kids are likely to whine and cling and start throwing things. Um, does such a place even exist? We’re here to tell you it does! From the same team that brought you Best Mom Dates in Seattle we’ve scoured the other side of the lake. Here’s the scenario: you, a fellow mom friend, a steaming latte (or a glass of wine) and a conversation. During daylight hours. With your kids. Ready, set, mark your calendars: it’s mom date time.
Tot Spot Café in Woodinville
We wish there were more of these in the area, because the concept is brilliant: enclosed play area for kiddos and a café for parents. This 2,500 square foot facility is geared towards kids ages 0 – 5, with a crawling area, interactive play area and creative arts corner. Staff attendants are there to supervise kids and pick up toys, so you and your BFF can sit nearby and enjoy lunch and a good cup ‘o joe. For $6 an hour (or $10 for two kids) we feel like this is money well spent. You’ve got the piece of mind that comes with having your eyeballs on your kiddos at all times, yet you don’t have to entertain them. The café serves coffee drinks, Italian sodas, salads, Panini sandwiches, bagels and a great selection of snacks and drinks for kids (most for $1 – $3). The office park location is a little tricky so make sure you map it before you go.
17802 134th Ave Northeast, Suite 6 (Bear Creek Plaza)
Molbak’s Garden Café
The serene atrium atmosphere of Molbak’s, also in Woodinville, is enough to lull your kids into a quiet calm while you and a friend enjoy a glass of wine and a grilled veggie sandwich (served with chef’s special aioli for $8.50) and the kiddos nosh on a PB&J ($4.50) or cheese quesadilla ($5.25). The café also has a nice range of gourmet pizzas for $8 – $11. Afterwards, continue your mom date as you stroll through the gorgeous garden displays while your kids happily pause to smell the roses. Molbak’s is a big place, yet contained, so anyone playing peony peek-a-boo won’t easily get lost. We say give those kids a task and have them help you pick out some new flowers or plants for your garden.
13625 NE 175th St.
Crossroads Mall in Bellevue
We know we said no malls but this one is different. Smaller and more eclectic than Bellevue Square (and way less fussy than Lincoln Square or The Shops at The Bravern) Crossroads is a great go-to place to bring the strollers and meet up with another friend. From Barnes and Noble to Half Price Books to KCLS Library Connection, you can easily pick up some engrossing reading material for the kiddos, and then when stomachs start growling, the International Public Market a.k.a. food court has something for everyone, including sushi, pastries, Vietnamese, Korean BBQ, pizza, Mexican and BBQ. From May to October the Farmer’s Market runs on Tuesdays, so just steer those strollers and continue your chat on the other side of the parking lot. Oh, and in case kids need a reason to be on their best behavior while mommy catches up with an old friend? Two words: Crossroads Toys.
15600 NE 8th Street
Arena Sports in Redmond
Sometimes everyone needs to burn off some energy and this is the place to make it happen. The Arena Sports FunZone indoor inflatable playground, appropriate for toddlers and school age kids alike, is a veritable jumping paradise. Get a punch card (10 visits for $50) and an Arena Sports membership and make this a regular date. You and a friend can chat up a storm while your kids blow off steam, and afterwards everyone can visit the concession stand to refuel and relax. The Redmond FunZone is open Tuesday – Friday, 9 am – 3 pm.
9040 Willows Road
KidsQuest Museum in Factoria
We really like this children’s museum, first and foremost for its creative and interactive exhibits, but also because the footprint makes it easy for you to keep your eyes on your offspring as they scamper and explore. Grab a latte at the nearby Tully’s and have your BFF meet you here. There are plenty of cozy places to sit adjacent to your kids as they crawl and explore.
4091 Factoria Mall Southeast (near Petco)
IKEA in Renton
Depending on where you live this may or may not be a hike down south, but you need to pick up a few things anyway, so why not combine it with a friend outing? Check those potty-trained kiddos of yours into Småland and then hurray – you’re free to shop and gab in the café (conveniently located on the other side of Småland). Meatballs with lingonberries, anyone?
601 SW 41st Street
Where are your favorite mom date hotspots on the Eastside?
— Allison EllisPhotos courtesy of: Tot Spot Cafe, Crossroads Mall, Arena Sports, and KidsQuest via Merrill Images