Circus Sensations and Sing-a-longs at Teatro ZinZanni’s King’s Wish!

Congo lines, a genie in a bottle, Eleanor the Elegant Elephant and a dancing bear? Combine that with kindie sensation Caspar Babypants plus the magic of Teatro ZinZanni, and you’ve got a pretty fabulous morning! King’s Wish is Teatro ZinZanni’s all-new, family production and is sure to entertain both kiddos and adults alike! We were lucky enough to check it out this past Saturday, and recommend it to any family looking for an hour and fifteen minutes of solid entertainment. The show is both unique and interactive, featuring ZinZanni circus performers (an awe-inspiring acrobat, a young juggling prodigy and a rope aerialist extraordinaire) and the loveable jams of Caspar Babypants. Kids are welcome to crowd around the small stage toddler mosh-pit-style, and get an up-close view of the performers’ flawless acts. Sing-alongs, audience participation and a superbly crafted show make for an exciting and memorable treat for families.

*Snacks and drinks are available for purchase, or just bring your own.

*Photography is not allowed during the performance, so I unfortunately couldn’t provide any photos. (More reason to check it out for yourself!).

 

King’s Wish runs on weekends June 1 through 30 at Teatro ZinZanni. 222 Mercer St. in Seattle. Tickets range in price from $19 to $24. Reserve tickets by calling the box office at 206-802-0015 or by visiting www.dreams.zinzanni.org

kings wish

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For the Love of Valentines! (9 Cupid-Inspired Avtivities)

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. To parents, February 14th could mean anything from a makeshift candlelight dinner squeezed into a busy schedule to an after-Valentine’s Day, 75% off box-o-chocolate special. Maybe you’ve planned ahead and called 6 months in advance to reserve a table at a romantic restaurant (good for you!) or maybe you won’t do anything at all (gasp!).

But to kiddos, Valentine’s Day means glitter and glue, heart-shaped everything, and the excuse to wear pink and red for days on end. Sugar cookies and pink frosting are household staples for the first half of February, and loooove is in the air. Whether your cupids-in-training are creative valentines, sweet valentines or active valentines, we’ve got a little something sweet for everyone.

Check out my Red Tricycle article for some kid-friendly, cupid-inspired Valentine’s activities and events!

valentine-heart-candy-1[1]

All About the Rain: Where to go and What to do with kids

Today we saw the first big rainfall of the season, reminding us what’s in store for the next few (or 7) months.  These are the days– dark, damp and dreary– that seem to drag on for us moms and dads if we don’t have something on the agenda.  There are tons of indoor play areas scattered throughout Seattle.  From neighborhood community centers and trampolines to a huge indoor sandbox, these indoor play havens are a blessing to us all and will have you, if not looking forward to these wet days, at least not dreading them.

Rainy Day Indoor Activities

Action Packed:  For the kids who need more than a train table.  Be it trampolines, foam pits or inflatables, these places will make ’em sweat.

Skymania or Sky High Sports

Pump it up or 3-2-1 Bounce

Arena Sports

Climbing at Pump It Up

Cheap and Easy:  From open play times and “wear em’ out rooms” to shopping malls, there are a lots of options.  Community centers are cheap (averaging around $3) and malls are free.

North Kirkland Community Center, Queen Anne Community Center, Greenlake Community Center

Southcenter Mall Play Area

Bellevue Square Kids’ Cove

Northgate Mall’s Tot Area

Classic:  You can never go wrong with the Woodland Park Zoo or the Seattle Center.  The Zoomazium offers kids a giant treehouse and crafts, and both kids’ museums host a variety of hands-on play activities.

Zoomazium

Children’s Museum

KidsQuest Museum

Unique:  Seattle’s only indoor moving playground (WiggleWorks), a sandbox the size of a volleyball court, and A relaxed “nest” for moms and kids.

WiggleWorks

Sandbox Sports

Happy Nest

The “balloon room” at WiggleWorks

Coffee & Play:  Go for a double play- or a double latte.  Coffee, wifi and happy kiddos are such a good combo.

Twirl

Village Bean

Mosaic

For more kid-friendly coffee shops, click!

Rainy Day Craft:

I came across this cute craft via the DIY blog Lines Across.  Little Rainy Day Bags filled with fun crafts or little treats for the kiddos, saved especially for rainy days.

Rainy Day activities inside

All you need:  Brown paper sacks, Card stock (white and blue), Glue & scissors, Silver paint pen (or white crayon)

See directions here.

Rainy Day Treat:

Worms and dirt never looked so good!  Try this deliciously muddy treat at home.

Worms and dirt never looked so good

Ingredients:  Chocolate pudding, Oreos, gummy worms, cool whip

See recipe here.

So…now you can hold off on singing “Rain Rain Go Away.”  At least until until tomorrow.

Seattle’s Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops

Seattleites are happily spoiled when it comes to coffee, and we know how to enjoy a cup or two.  From the big boys like Starbucks to the much-loved independent coffee shops and neighborhood cafes that line our streets, there truly is something for everyone.  And thank goodness for the kid-friendly coffee shops!  Whether it be to chat with another adult over a latte while your kids play, find solace from the rain, or enjoy a coffee/cocoa date with your little connoisseur,  these spots are much-needed and appreciated!  Here are some favorites:

photo credit: Pinterest

Twirl Café  (Queen Anne)

One of the most kid-friendly coffee shops around, Twirl is a mecca for moms, kids and coffee.  A winner of many parent awards, the café offers delicious sandwiches, soups and salads, plus a full kids menu that includes lots of organic ingredients.   We tried the sunflower-butter and jelly sandwich with orange slices-  my 3-year-old loved it!  The play area is superb, with a jungle-themed tree house, train table and mini kitchen.  There’s also a multipurpose room on the upper level.  Twirl offers fun extras like monthly classes, preschool ballet and art workshops.  “Whine Wednesdays” are a hit, offering free wine tastings with a play admission, as well as supervised playtimes for when momma needs a break. 

*Playtime is $5 (with food purchase)

Jungle-themed play area

 

El Diablo Coffee Company  (Queen Anne)

Pop in to this eclectic java house for a whole new perspective on coffee.  Seattle’s only Latin-style coffee house, El Diablo is a haven from the rain; a refuge of playful, brightly painted walls, furniture and décor.  There’s a small play corner with toys and books, but the atmosphere itself might be enough to keep kids interested. The Cuban coffee is nothing like you’d find at Starbucks; with the beans roasted at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time, the rich and robust flavor pops with a dash of caramelized syrup.  Tempt the kiddos with authentic Mexican hot chocolate or a batido, blends of fresh fruit and ice.  For an exotic treat, try the tropical fruit salad or Cuban toast.  Moms and Dads- keep this in mind for a topper to a date night; El Diablo offers wines by the glass or bottle and devilishly good desserts.

 

Devilishly good coffee

Corner play area

Snacks for the kids

Firehouse Coffee  (Ballard)

This modernly rustic Ballard coffee shop boasts Café Vita coffee, friendly service and a dedicated playroom.  Parents can sit and sip their java or check email while they watch the kiddos get their play out with a great variety of blocks, books and toys.  A kids menu offers classics like pb&j, grilled ham & cheese, Capri Sun and chocolate milk.  The pint-sized Italian sodas are pretty cute too.  The Firehouse has a great location, just east of the Ballard Locks, right next to Gymboree and down the street from Me ‘n Mom’s.

Cozy, rustic

The Little Chief’s Kid Cafe

Mosaic  (Wallingford) 

Set in a church basement with a name-your-price policy, this non-profit community coffee house is not your average cup of joe.  Nonetheless, it’s a neighborhood favorite.  The space is large, with a separate room dedicated to kids.  The play area is well-stocked with books and toys, and comfy places for parents to sit and converse.  Mosaic offers goodies from Little Rae’s Bakery and coffee from Fidalgo Bay Coffee, plus some pretty spectacular hot chocolate.

*Note hours are limited

 

Large kids area

 

Coffee to a Tea with Sugar  (West Seattle)

Coffee to a Tea and Sugar Rush Baking Company combined forces to bring you and your little ones a perfectly sweet spot to cozy up with a cup of coffee and a cupcake.  Warm and rustic, the shop serves both organic, fair-trade coffee and tea from local companies, as well as scrumptious treats fresh from their in-house bakery.  From the much-loved mini cupcakes to fancy layer cakes, coffee cakes and their famous lemon bars, there is a little something for any sweet tooth. The kid’s area is cute, with a brightly painted mural and pint-sized play tables, with lots of toys to entertain while mom sips java.   Reserve a weekend spot for “Afternoon Tea”  and sample a selection of full leaf teas while nibbling on mini scones and petite tea sandwiches. The Children’s Tea version includes apricot & marshmallow or bologna & cheese sandwiches with hot chocolate.   Yum!

photo source: seattle.citysearch.com

*P.S. Click here for a free mini cupcake from Coffee to a Tea!

 

The Village Bean   (Bothell)

Nestled in Bothell’s charming Country Village, the Village Bean is a welcoming coffee shop that encourages adults to sit back and enjoy while their kiddos play in the well designed, clean space.  A train table, little kitchen, magnet wall and ball & pipe maze keep the little ones happy, and the healthy, delicious made-to-order sandwiches keep parents happy.  There’s a full kids menu, as well as smaller snacks like string cheese and goldfish crackers.  On sunny days, sit outside near the fountain; there’s a cute little playhouse for kiddos, not to mention the entirety of Country Village itself.

 

And here are a couple of cafes worth mentioning.  Sit down for a coffee or a full meal.  Oh, and they’re kid-friendly…of course.

Vios Café  (Capitol Hill)

Enjoy authentic Greek food or a cup of coffee.  There’s a cozy play area with a cute mini kitchen, blocks and books.  The children’s dinner menu gives the little ones a tasty introduction to Greek cuisine.

 

photo source: http://www.vios.com

Serendipity  (Magnolia)

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this family friendly neighborhood bistro is a hit.  Mommy groups come for coffee and play time, families come for a delicious brunch, and couples linger over a glass of wine.  The play area features a chalk board wall and doll house.  Two things to try: the popular Steel Magnolia (hazelnut, espresso, milk and white coffee), and the delicious gelato.

photo source: http://www.city.com

Here’s to happy sipping!

Searching for the Best Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops

Seattle and coffee go hand in hand.  This is one of the great perks of living in the Rainy City.  On virtually every corner you can find a coffee shop (and I’m not talking Starbucks; I’m talking locally-owned, independent, roast-their-own-beans-in-house kind of shops).  I’ve always loved and participated in the cafe culture, and now as a mom, I’m finding more and more coffee shops that are as kid-friendly as they are cozy, caffeinated and everything else a coffee shop should be.

courtesy of Pinterest

I’m putting together a list of some of the best coffee shops for cappuccino-sipping adults and cocoa connoisseurs alike, and would love your input.  Do you have a regular cafe that you visit, kiddos in tow?  Found a great coffee shop that can double as a play-date venue?  I have a few in mind, but would love to add some of yours!

Emerald Downs Racetrack

Today marked the closing day of live racing at Emerald Downs.

The Thoroughbred racetrack set in the shadow of Mount Rainier is not all big hats and bigger bets; there’s a ton of kid-friendly activities to be had.  Besides chowing down on huge servings of soft serve ice cream, hot dogs and caramel corn, it’s fun for kids to get up close and personal with the stars of the attraction.  Head down to the paddock before each race and watch the horses and jockeys do their rounds or check out the gift shop for a race day souvenir.  The track offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and on gorgeous summer days, you can’t beat the view.  The best part:  Every Sunday during the summer is deemed Family Fun Day.  Kids are treated to stage shows, face painting, pony rides and bouncy houses (all FREE)!  If you didn’t get a chance to make it out to Emerald Downs this year, be sure to put it on your to-do list for next season!

And they’re off!