Tag Archives: library

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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Parties, potlucks, and play dates

8 Nov

Stay in touch with your friends.

Invite people over–even when your house is a mess and you have no food. You can always order in. True friends will understand if you ask them to pick up take out or grab a bottle of wine on the way over.   When people ask you to bring the baby over, take them up on it. Always say yes to invitations and don’t worry about being a little late, not having a hostess gift or perhaps having not showered. Friends understand.

People with kids seem like a logical choice for spending time around your little one, but don’t forget those in your life who don’t have kids in the house. Your life has changed, and maybe it seems all you talk/think about is your child, but spending social time with other adults helps you connect with other parts of your identity.

Babies are great ice breakers.

We live in Beacon Hill, an incredibly diverse neighborhood currently experiencing a baby boom. There are 3 babies under one year on our block and at least 20 kids under 5 in a half-mile radius. Since the baby was born, we’ve  met lots of new friends and had the opportunity to pass around baby clothes and gear. We’ve also met baby sitters and learned survival tips from seasoned parenting veterans. When you see someone with a small child in tow, smile and introduce yourself.

It’s not cheating to order online

Would you like to host a play date or holiday party but you’re overwhelmed by the idea of shopping? Place an order with Amazon Fresh while the menu is fresh on your mind (or monitor) and it will be delivered to your door on the day of your choice.  If you plan to be home during the delivery, you can even order beer or wine.  I’ve pre-ordered my Thanksgiving items to be delivered the Monday before Thanksgiving, giving me plenty of time to realize what I’ve forgotten.

Regular scheduled deliveries have been a life saver for essentials like coffee, baby wipes, and other items we can’t go without. Every Wednesday morning, grocery essentials appear like magic on the porch. For the critters, we have a monthly delivery from Smiley Dog , a friendly local business that delivers high quality pet supplies–never run out of cat litter again!

Thinking of holiday gifts? Gift certificates for deliveries make great gifts for new parents and busy people in general.