Archive | reviews RSS feed for this section

Pinball, beer, and baby

11 Oct

When my friend’s first child was born in 2005, our weekly pinball dates ended. We didn’t do the research to discover baby-friendly pinball venues. I’m happy to report that with my own baby I still enjoy the fwap of flippers, and there are many pinball palaces that welcome children. My scores are a little lower when I’m wearing the baby, but that gives me motivation to practice. Venues in bold serve alcohol.

Where do you like to play?

Full Tilt Ice Cream 3 locations: White Center, Columbia City, University District

  • Pinball, ice cream, and beer. All ages, live music & other special events. Fun, inexpensive, low-key.

Beth’s Cafe 7311 Aurora Avenue North Seattle, WA 98103-5356

  • 24 hours (attention, parents of newborns: why not go out at 2 a.m.?), diner food (including their famous bottomless hashbrowns). No alcohol.

 

Pinball at Stella's in Georgetown

 

Stellar Pizza and Ale House (Stella’s) 5513 Airport Way Blvd S Seattle, WA 98108

  • Kids allowed on one side only. One pinball machine accessible to minors.
  • Full menu–great pizza, lots of kid-friendly choices.
  • Full bar & many outstanding beers.

Hurricane Cafe 2230 7th Ave (7th & Bell)

  • A bit seedy, but several good machines
  • Full diner menu & full bar
  • 24 hr; great place for teens after an all-ages show (with supervision–it’s seedy)

Calamity Jane’s 5701 Airport Way South, Seattle, WA 9810

  • Really, really good food & full bar with great beer and wine
  • A couple of machines

Sureshot 4505 University Way NE Seattle, WA 98105-4510

  • Coffee shop with some awesome old machines in the back room

Seattle Waterfront Arcade, at the south end of the waterfront

  • Arcade games, pinball, and a carousel

Seattle Center has some pinball machines in the arcade area. There are two places with beer in the Center House.

Advertisements

SeaTac Airport

5 Oct

Transit access and/or parking: Outstanding transit access & ample parking. NOTE: It’s about a 15 minute walk from the light rail station to the terminal.

Accessibility for strollers & little legs: Accessible, a bit large for little people to walk by themselves.

Activities & safety issues: There’s a play area and attached (large) private nursing/pumping area in the central terminal. There’s also a very cool fish mural near the food court.

Food/drink (for kids and adults): lots of choices, including places with grown-up drinks to help make it easier to fly with kids.

Restrooms and changing table: lots of restrooms, all with changing tables. Also noticed seats for babies in the accessible stalls!

Overall welcome (or not) towards kids & babies: I found it welcoming.

Space/privacy to nurse: nursing area and plenty of other space.

Baja Bistro

3 Oct

Baja Bistro is one of our favorite places. Great breakfasts and fantastic drinks. The servers are friendly and the overall ambiance is relaxed and welcoming. This is one of the few places with a full liquor license on Beacon Hill.

Note: Baja Bistro is also known as Java Love. There’s a full-service espresso shop in the restaurant, and a 21+ bar accessible via the other entrance.

Location & hours of operation: 2414 Beacon Ave S;  Mon-Sun 8am-10pm

Transit access and/or parking: close to BH Light Rail Station & #36 bus; on street parking

Accessibility for strollers & little legs: tight quarters for a stroller, no stairs so perfect for little legs.

Cost: Happy hour is a great deal with $3 tacos & other snacks. Regular menu is reasonably priced; expect about $10/per person without drinks. Margaritas are so good you should budget for them.

Activities & safety issues: this is a restaurant. Bring your own small toys/activities.

Food/drink (for kids and adults): outstanding Mexican food, fresh & authentic. Very good margaritas.

Restrooms and changing table: no changing table, 2 clean restrooms.

Overall welcome (or not) towards kids & babies: very, very friendly & welcoming.

Space/privacy to nurse: no special place, but they’re perfectly comfortable with nursing mothers

Beacon Hill gems

3 Oct

Our neighborhood has great restaurants–and every single one of them has been baby-friendly. I haven’t noticed any changing tables, but we live close enough it hasn’t been a problem.

Baby-friendly is an understatement. The owners and staff of Baja Bistro, The Station, El Quetzel, La Cabana, Tasha’s, Red Apple, and Cucina Filipina welcome babies and kids with open arms. They smile, coo, and chatter at babies and toddlers.  I’ve seen special meals/snacks brought out to keep the little ones entertained. More than once, people have asked if they can hold our baby while we eat.

I’ll write specific reviews for each place, but I want to shout out loud how amazing our community is.

Tottini

28 Sep

If you’re looking for stylish and practical toddler/young child gear, you have to visit Tottini. Close to transit, shopping, and snacks.

Duke’s Chowder House

27 Sep
After our South Lake Union Park adventure, we stopped at Duke’s Chowder House. Lunch was delicious, service was friendly and prompt. The only fly in the soup was that mama had to change a diaper–there’s no changing table in the men’s room!
Cost: Menu has a range of prices; average $15 per person
Fun for parents? yes
Welcoming to kids? yes; servers were friendly and made faces at the baby
Alcohol available? beer, wine & cocktail menu
High chairs? yes
Restrooms/changing table: changing table in women’s room only
Accessible via transit? yes
Parking nearby? yes

South Lake Union Park/Center for Wooden Boats

27 Sep

On Sunday 9/27, we struck out for the newly opened South Lake Union Park. We started on light rail to Westlake then walked over to the South Lake Union Trolley Streetcar stop a couple of blocks away.

The streetcar took us all the way to the new park, where we discovered the Fremont Sunday Ice Cream cruise (an adventure for another day) and explored the Center for Wooden Boats display boats. Visitors are encouraged to climb aboard the Arthur Foss, an historic tugboat. There’s even a working head (toilet) for toddler emergencies!

There’s lots to see and plenty of activities for older kids and adults. Baby enjoyed people watching, climbing in and out of the boat, and being outside. Parents enjoyed the views.

Great views, gently sloped grassy knolls, and lots of footpaths in this park. No toys, but if your little ones absolutely must have a slide there’s a small play area nearby.

At a glance:

Open Hours: park is open during the day
Cost: Free! Center for Wooden Boats and cruises charge and/or request donations for their services
Fun for parents? yes
Fun for kids? all ages
Caution–as the name suggests, South Lake Union Park is near water. Watch kids carefully.
Activities available: tours, walking, boat rental, cruises
Food/drink available: none in park, nearby restaurants
Restrooms/changing table: public restrooms in the Armory; emergency bathroom available on the Arthur Foss
Accessible via transit? yes
Parking nearby? There is a parking lot.