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I got wet, Mama!

25 Aug
I got wet, Mama! by melissajonas
I got wet, Mama!, a photo by melissajonas on Flickr.

Before the kid, Georgetown was our go-to destination. There are a handful of very good bars on Airport Way. Unpretentious, reasonably priced, good food, excellent beer and lots of pinball. Also, alas, almost all 21+ only.

Don’t despair, parents. G-Town has plenty to offer for those of us dining & playing with ankle biters. Sylvia’s Friday routine (in this order, always): Circus School, sushi, playground and the beer store for a be-bop.

Circus School is SANCA. Amazing instructors, classes for all ages.

The Cutting Board is delicious and very reasonably priced. Lots of veggie options, too. They welcome kids & even have small plastic cups & child-sized chopsticks. Bonus for the digger-obsessed: there’s a HUGE construction project underway–lots to watch.

Georgetown Playground is one of the few SE Seattle playgrounds with a spray park AND mature trees.

Georgetown Brewery fills growlers fast & cheaply and will give your kid a lollipop if you ask.

Other places where kids are allowed in Georgetown: Calamity Jane’s, Stellar Pizza (aka Stella’s), Dog’s Dream pet supplies, and Full Throttle Bottles. We occasionally visit Fantagraphics and the coffee shop (salted dark chocolate covered graham crackers–yow!). I haven’t tried the newer diner.

Backyard edition HHH

28 Jun
High Chair Happy Hour by melissajonas
High Chair Happy Hour, a photo by melissajonas on Flickr.

What makes it happy hour? I took the photo & left the mess while I enjoyed my beer.

Free Fun

1 Aug

Seattle Public Library

Reading groups, toddler time, Begin With Books and more! The Central (aka downtown) Branch is a great place to nurse and/or change a diaper.

Seattle Parks Department Community Centers

Many community centers offer indoor play times, perfect for both rainy days and those (rare) times when we need to seek air conditioning in Seattle. Also ideal for families with multiple kids–toddlers can burn off steam while the baby sleeps.¬†Summer schedule here.

Seattle Center

Getting there can be half the fun–who doesn’t love the Monorail? Be sure to carry cash–no cards accepted for Monorail rides. Lots of places for indoor & outdoor play, including the International Fountain and a great fountain/pool near McCaw Hall. Changing tables in multiple bathrooms.

Parks

A Year Of Seattle Parks chronicles one mom’s experiences exploring our awesome outdoors. Wherever you live in Seattle, you’re not more than a mile away from a park. Explore!

Where do you go to have fun with your little one without breaking the bank?

Day Trip: Bremerton

1 Aug

I’ve hopped impulsively on several ferries over the years, and have to admit that the ride is usually more fun than the destination. That’s okay, but it’s hard to get excited about “just” a ferry ride after you’ve done it a few times. Bainbridge and Vashon Island both have fantastic reputations as fun, groovy places to explore–but you really need a car to get you anywhere worth going. (Please feel free to correct me in the comments–I’d love to be wrong.)

Bremerton doesn’t have the same cachet as the islands, but we recently discovered that it’s an awesome day drip with a toddler. Cheap, easy, and exactly the right amount of time away from home.

We were impressed with how pedestrian-friendly and welcoming the area around the ferry terminal is. Full of public spaces and a nice mix of business, the waterfront area feels like it was designed to encourage people to stick around and enjoy–not just pass through.

Logistics: Get an ORCA card and load it up to save time–you won’t have to stand in line to buy a ticket. Add an E-Purse to your existing pass to cover the difference between your usual fare & ferry fares. Light Rail to University Station ($2.00 from Beacon Hill), walk a few blocks to ferry terminal, walk on ferry ($7.10). All eastbound ferry rides are free, so we paid a total of $11.10 per person (free for kids under 5) for transportation.

Ferries depart promptly, so plan plenty of time to get to the terminal–it’s a fun place to run around if you get there a little early and you don’t want to miss your boat. The crossing takes about an hour. Our door-to-door adventure was about 6 hours total: 40 minutes round trip on the train, 2 hours RT on the ferry, 3 hours play time in Bremerton & a little wait at both terminals.

Plenty of stroller access, though we still bring a carrier (currently the Ergo) for napping/fussing. Current schedules & other information here:

What to do when you arrive:

Kitsap Library, Downtown Bremerton

This gorgeous Art Deco building is only a few blocks from the ferry terminal. It’s worth the walk just to admire the building. We enjoyed playing with some puzzles, reading a couple of books, and cooling off in the air conditioning. Libraries are my go-to free, family-friendly pit stops.

Bremerton Bar & Grill

This place has great service and lots of good choices at reasonable prices. You set the pace: rushing for a ferry? Relaxing after you just got off? One beer or a pitcher? Incredibly family friendly–a great way to start (or finish) your visit to Bremerton.

Other food/drink choices: chains (Starbucks, SubWay) and local delis, coffee shops and restaurants. I didn’t see a grocery/market, so be sure to pack well. We brought a swim diaper, a couple of disposable diapers, sunscreen, water, and light snacks. You can always get snacks & refill water bottles on the ferry, as well.

Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum

Free, donations accepted. Stop by to admire the latest exhibit, enjoy the play area, and maybe pick up a puppet in the gift area. We were excited to see a Jabberwocky puppet and the baby really liked banging on the xylophone.

Harborside Fountain Park 

This spray park is just steps from the ferry terminal and was full of local families. The facilities are clean, modern, and welcoming. The art is simple and attractive. Kids of all ages will go nuts for the water features. Pack a lunch (and lots of water) and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Go explore Bremerton & let me know what you think!