Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Sunday at Central Cinema: Free family film fun

starkids_readytoshootThe Dreampower Foundations was established this year to inspire and empower people, particularly young people, to develop their strengths and discover their life purpose. One of the ways they hope to accomplish this mission is by producing a film called Star Kids, about four children whose special gifts are the key to the world’s survival.

The non-profit organization is holding a production party to introduce the first shot scenes of the film, to introduce the film to the community and to raise funds towards completing the project. This production party takes place 3 pm Sunday, May 24, at Central Cinema with entertainment and music by local artists and performers, a meet and greet with the film’s cast and crew, a Q&A with direction William Spiritdancer, raffle prizes, a silent auction, free appetizers, and face-painting and other kid-friendly activities.

The event is free but space is limited, RSVP through their website to ensure your spot at the party.

Two Perspectives on Seattle Children’s Theatre’s "I Was A Rat!"

Photo By Chris Bennion

Photo By Chris Bennion

Last Friday Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) wrapped up its 2008-09 mainstage season with their 101st world premiere, I Was a Rat!, based on the popular re-worked fairy tale and children’s book by Golden Compass author Philip Pullman.

The story opens with a young pageboy taken in by a childless couple, the aging cobbler Bob and his wife Joan. They give him the name of Roger, as the pageboy says he was formerly a rat and without a name, a tale quirky enough to attract the attention of the Daily Scourge newspaper, a sideshow owner named Professor Tapscrew, and a young ruffian named Billy. The search for Roger’s true home is also accompanied by the story of the newly-married Princess Aurelia, whom Roger claims to have a past with.

My family came along to see the show, with my two children especially excited to watch their first play ever.  Besides, I knew that as much as I hoped to offer people an objective opinion of the performances, what is ultimately important to the success of I Was a Rat! is a show that would be both entertaining and engaging for the little ones.  Although making it a good time for the parents certainly doesn’t hurt their chances either.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to let my children, Evan (6) and Kenzie (5) take the forefront of this review.  Their overall impression of the play was quite obvious as we left the theatre; smiles played across their faces, both extremely happy to have met the cast and get some autographs, especially those of Roger and Aurelia.  I did manage, however, to wrap up the evening by asking them a few pointed questions on the way home. (more…)

"I Was a Rat!" Opens This Weekend at Seattle Children’s Theatre


Seattle Children’s Theatre wraps ups its 2008-09 Mainstage Season with their 101st world premiere, I Was a Rat! by Barbara Field, based on the book by Philip Pullman and directed by SCT Artistic Associate Rita Giomi. I Was a Rat! opens May 1, 2009 in SCT’s Charlotte Martin Theatre and runs through June 7, 2009.

Also from the SCT press release:

In a similar vein as Wicked or The Ugly Stepsister, I Was a Rat! shows us a different perspective on a well-traveled tale. Poor little Roger (even rat-boys need proper names) has nowhere to turn. Luckily, Bob the cobbler and his wife, Joan, have a warm home and welcoming hearts. If only Roger were able to stay out of trouble long enough to enjoy them. He even manages to get thrown in jail for being a dreaded sewer monster! Thank goodness, the Princess arrives in time to straighten the whole mess out, and return Roger to his new home and loving family.

Further details, including showtimes and ticketing information, can be found on the SCT website.

Volunteers Needed: Duwamish Cleanup

Duwamish Beach by Slightlynorth

Duwamish Beach by Slightlynorth

This Saturday, join volunteers to help clean up various sites along the Duwamish waterway, starting at 10am. Volunteers are needed to help weed, spread mulch in planting areas, plant native vegetation, and pick up trash. Refreshments provided by REI.

After the work parties are finished, there is a community festival from 2-5pm at Cooper Elementary School. The event will feature art exhibits, live performances, environmental education tables and community activities including kids’ crafts, nature hikes, and a chance to win prizes.

For more information visit the website, e-mail or call 206-382-7007.

Ivar’s discontinues 4th of Jul-Ivar’s fireworks show


Ivar’s has declined to sponsor the fireworks show after a 44-year run, citing competition from other shows. Will another company pick up the show? Stay tuned.

Whirligig! – aka Inflatable Ride Heaven – Starts This Friday

Friday marks the beginning of the annual Whirligig! extravaganza down at Seattle Center, which is a sort of air-filled utopia for spring-breaking kids — both big and small alike.  At least the information I’ve been handed speaks to it being an all ages event, but my parent sense tells me that this is likely a subjective statement, wherein the grown-up fun is had by watching your childrens bouncy, gleeful merriment.  Which certainly has its appeal, I just don’t expect my excitement to hit the roof until they let my 6’7″, 250lb ass into the giant inflatable castle.  Then again, I’m speaking as someone who hasn’t attended the Whirligig! events of the past, so I strongly encourage you to straighten me out in the comments section if need be.

Whirligig! runs through April 12th, and is open from 11am-6pm daily.  Meaning you should shoot for an arrival time of 10:50am (on a weekday) if you’re hoping to avoid the huge crowds.  Keep in mind that Thursdays are free, so all bets are off on those days.  Otherwise, it’s $1.50 for a single use ticket, $7.50 for an unlimited day pass, and $4.50 for a toddler day pass.  No matter what level of stomach-jostling  fun you buy into, for the sake of everyone else, make sure your little ones hold off on that extra corn dog until after you’ve left for the day.

What: Whirligig!
Where: Seattle Center
Location: Center House Main Floor
Date: March 27 – April 12, 2009
Time: 11am-6pm

Seattle Children’s Annual Health Fair This Saturday

The Seattle Children’s Health Fair will be held this Saturday, March 14 at the main hospital campus in Laurelhurst.  Bring your children ages 3 to 8 for this free “hands-on” event.  Learn about health, safety and Seattle Children’s through many fun and engaging activities, including the Teddy Bear Clinic, a visit from the Tooth Fairy, ambulance and operating room tours, finger casting and much more.  Free bike helmets and fitting for adults and children; quantities are limited and wearers must be present, so be sure you get there early!

Seattle Children’s Annual Health Fair
Seattle Children’s Hospital
4800 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Whale Building, 4th Floor Entrance
Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Good-bye, We’ll Miss You, Don’t Forget to Write

After 21 years of showcasing the best of Northwest garden design, Duane Kelly is finally hanging up his bucket hat. Who’s Duane Kelly and why should you care? Glad you asked!

Duane Kelly is the founder of the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, the second largest flower show in the US, and tomorrow opens what may be the very last show, unless a buyer can be found. Kelly’s company, Salmon Bay Events, is a small family affair: seven people working in a small Ballard office, along with a couple of people down in San Francisco (Salmon Bay Events also produces the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show). True to their commitment to Seattle and the Show, Salmon Bay Events have surpassed themselves: this year’s show is truly a labor of love.

Pretty shelter, bad lighting.

Pretty shelter, bad lighting.

I got to take the Media Sneak Preview Tour of the display gardens, this morning, and I plan on going back at least twice more, once on my own and once with friends. The designers took this year’s theme, “Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places.” and used it to build gardens and outdoor “rooms” that take advantage of our mild climate, environmental sensibility, and native plants. Every garden features elements made of recycled, reused, or renewed materials, from a raised-bed salad garden made from an old trunk to a recast concrete cube as a water feature. Display gardens contain ideas for any class of gardener: there are three balcony gardens, showcasing what apartment and condo dwellers can do to grow food, flowers, and herbs, or just to bring nature a little closer to the urban home. Thrifty dilettantes like me will be heartened by the many low maintenance, but attractive ground covers, and creative reuse of found objects. More well-heeled or dedicated visitors might take notes on the solar cabin or the bonsai garden, which I can only drool over.

For kids, there is a new children’s area, with activities and demonstrations, as well as a scavenger hunt through the regular display gardens. The “Sprout Stage” (love the pun!) will feature kid-friendly demos from 10 AM until 4 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The scavenger hunt asks kids to find the plushy (donated by a local company, and to be auctioned off for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the end of the show) in return for prizes. There is a children’s garden, and one of the display gardens even has a theme of “Nature’s Classroom” advocating outdoor learning (check out the blackboard!) for all ages. Finally, if your sprouts are too young to enjoy these offerings, free childcare by licensed providers is available on-site.
In addition to the new children’s activities, a special exhibitor section focuses exclusively on products that benefit the environment. There is the usual dizzying array of seminars, as well, but it’s worth pointing out that all seminars on Friday after 2 PM will focus on “Green Living”: 3 stages and 12 seminars about water management, soil improvement, container and organic gardening, salvaging…

Let’s hope that the Northwest Flower and Garden Show finds a buyer with the same commitment as Salmon Bay Events. In any case, whether you are an annual attendee or have never been to the NW Flower and Garden show, this is the year to buy a ticket, drop in, and show your love. It may be your last chance. And if you see Duane, be sure to say “Thank you!” for all of his years of hard work.

Northwest Flower and Garden Show
February 18-22, 2009
Convention Center, 7th & Pike, Downtown Seattle

Get Out with the Offspring — President’s Day Weekend Edition

just air-fived all the presidents — past AND present — as a solemn display of thanks for this gracious holiday they have bestowed upon all of us lucky enough to actually have it off from work.  As far as family-friendly events go, don’t expect a whole lot.  Despite schools indulging in further cost-cutting measures winter break next week, there’s not a whole hell of a lot going on Sunday and Monday.  And let’s face it, with the grim heart-shaped shadow of Valentine’s Day cast over Saturday, keeping the kids busy and happy will be back-burnered so Mommy and Daddy can actually enjoy a nice quiet meal in public without all the single people staring at their out of control children in disgusted confusion.

Family Fun for Five Green Screens
Family friendly environment-themed movies. Bring a blanket and pillow; pajamas are optional. Tonight: WALL-E.

Date: 02/13/2009
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Place: Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E., Seattle
All ages, $5/family

Festival Sundiata
The 29th annual African and Black American festival features drumming and dance; music all day; art and other activities for kids and the UJAAMA cooperative marketplace.

Date: 02/14/2009 – 02/16/2009
Time: Saturday-Monday, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
Place: Seattle Center
All ages, Free

Parents’ Night Off
You sneak out for Valentine’s Day dinner while the kids are entertained with gymnastics, the trampoline, pizza and ice cream.

Date: 02/14/2009
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Place: Northwest Aerials, 12440 128th Lane N.E., Kirkland
Ages 3 and up, $30/child

Second Saturday Story Time
Puget Sound storytellers tell — they don’t read — tales for ages 3 and up. This month, Kathie Currie presents “Hatful of Heartfelt Stories.”

Date: 02/14/2009
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: Island Books, Mercer Island
Ages 3 and up, Free


Get Out With the Offspring — Weekend Edition

With a wonderfully sunny week behind us, what better way to usher in a classic Seattle winter weekend than with rain, rain, and rain? Hopefully the clouds will break long enough to get the little ones their vitamin D fix, but since the odds are stacked against it, there’s plenty of indoor (and covered outdoor) fun awaiting Puget Sound families this weekend. At least we’re not competing with the Superbowl for things to do.


Ghosts of the Great Hall: Pirates, Shipwrecks and Lost Treasures
Experience this popular educational exhibit, open one-time only to the public. Receive a map of the Museum’s Great Hall and wander through, seeing historical figures talk about their past, photos, and documents on display. Figures include D.B. Cooper, Francis Drake and more.

Date: 02/07/2009
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Place: Washington State History Museum, Tacoma
All ages, $6-$8 for general admission

Museums on Us
If you’re a Bank of America cardholder or employee then head to the Museum for free the first weekend of the month! View the exhibits, participate in any workshops and maybe even find a new appreciation for art.

Date: 02/07/2009 – 02/08/2009
Time: During museum hours
Place: Tacoma Art Museum
All ages, Free to BofA cardholders

Don’t miss one of the largest camp fairs in Washington. Find the perfect summer camp or program at CampFair 2009. Meet representatives from over 75 camps and programs for all ages, preschool to adult, including day and overnight camps.

Date: 02/07/2009
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Place: St. Thomas School, 8300 N.E. 12th St., Medina
All ages, Free

Ethnic Celebration
Share the tastes, sights and sounds of the various cultures of the community. Take in the International Marketplace, ethnic demonstrations, kids activities, and two stages of music and dance.

Date: 02/07/2009
Time: 10 a.m.
Place: Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia
All ages, Free

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