I've got to hand it to us Woodinvillians, we sure know how to make the best of things. Just the other morning, when it was 61 degrees and sprinkling, mind you, I drove past the and they were packed! Rain be damned, these kids were going to swim. For those of us who aren't quite so tough, I thought I'd go over my favorite semi-indoor places to hang out this summer.
Bounce it! One of my personal favorites is Jump Planet just one exit up in Bothell. I appreciate that they have an under-6-years time so the toddlers can be safer (though I do admit I've been there when there are clearly 6+ kids in these jump times). We recently had Nate's birthday party there (you know, the one that caused some of you Eastside Mommas to call me rude, spoiled and snobby?) and it was just great. It can get pretty hot in there, though, so dress your kids lightly.
Play Cafe it! You've got some great play cafes to escape the rain. is right in downtown Woodinville, The Village Bean is in Country Village (they do charge admission now) and Little Bean Coffee Co. is a bit north by Walmart in Lynnwood. Play Cafes, in general, offer monitored playtime throughout the day so you need not worry about nap schedules or makeup classes. It's a great place to meet other moms and build your community ties. Most places do NOT offer drop-off care, so be prepared to stay a while and sip a latte.
Book it! Do you have a quieter kiddo? If so, the is a fab place to take your tot. They have a great computer and puzzle section and I've never had a problem with the more rambunctious kids there either. My only wish for our local library is that they would move the kid section to the back of the building. Currently, it is right by the front door and I'm terrified to take my eyes off my child for a second. also has a fantastic (and super cute to boot) children's section if you are willing to drive a few miles out of your way--or if you are on your way to Trader Joe's. Our local also boasts a decent kid's section--in the BACK of the store, mind you. Stocked with a train table, stage and tons of books to flip through, it's a great place to blow off steam while you sip a latte.
Drop it! I recently learned that Kenmore campus has started a drop-in childcare option. Nate will be attending the Woodinville campus for school in the fall and I can't say enough about their program. They now offer a Stay and Play option from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., even on school breaks. I prefer drop-off options that have a curriculum attached to them, and the campus also offers an outdoor play area should the sun make an appearance.
Bridge it! I know some of you moms feel like a trip across the 520 bridge requires a passport and visa, but really, it's only 25 minutes away if you go non-rush hour. Twirl Cafe opened in Queen Anne, the University Village is a great place to hang out with the kids and the Zoomazium is an excellent choice for those non-sunny days. I know a few of you are going to say, "What about the aquarium?" Well, our aquarium is stinky, hot and not very much fun. I guess when you see a real aquarium, you realize what this one is lacking. Parking is a mess, there isn't much to do within walking distance and, frankly, the area is a bit sketchy. If you really want to see some fish, just go to Denny's Pet World and lie to your children.
If you insist on refusing to stay indoors this summer, I have some suggestions to make your day out easier:
Pack a towel in your car. Being able to wipe off a slide will make you the hero of the playground.
Always have a change of socks, for all of you. Because sometimes, it's just plain fun to jump in puddles. Bonus points if YOU are getting your kid's socks wet.
Spare hooded raincoats. I always forget ours. We found some great deals at Cruzin Kidz and always have an extra in the car.
A plastic tarp. These cheapo things are folded to about the size of an envelope and can easily be laid out on the grass and save the day, picnic-wise.
In all, this summer stinks. I applaud all of us parents for making the most of it!