City accepting grant applications starting March 5


Monday, March 5, 2018 2:00pm |  Courtesy of

The City of Kirkland will begin accepting applications for 2019-‘20 funding through its Human Services Grant Program on Monday, March 5.

The grants support various basic needs of Kirkland residents, including food security, housing, emergency homelessness services, homelessness prevention, health services, youth programs and more.

Applications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m. The City of Kirkland has partnered with 16 other suburban King County cities to use one common, online application, located at

Agencies interested in applying are encouraged to attend an upcoming Funders Workshop that will be held on Wednesday, March 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Redmond City Hall.

Applications will be reviewed by the City of Kirkland’s Human Services Commission, a nine-member volunteer board appointed by the city council. Commission recommendations are expected by September with consideration by City Council planned for October.

City of Kirkland staff will notify agencies of final allocations following council approval, which is part of the overall city budget and expected mid-December.

Awarded funds will support services provided in 2019 and 2020.

For more information, visit the Human Services Grants webpage online.

Sound Transit moves forward with Bus Rapid Transit projects

Thursday, March 1, 2018 3:15pm | Courtesy of


The Sound Transit board approved consultant contracts for the I-405 and SR 522 bus rapid transit (BRT) projects that will start the first phase of project development.

The BRT lines intend to provide fast, reliable service to people along the I-405 and SR 522 corridors, with connections to Link light rail in Lynnwood, Shoreline, Bellevue and Tukwila.

“Bus Rapid Transit will play an important role in connecting communities on the Eastside not only to other parts of the region, but to one another,” Sound Transit board member and King County council member Claudia Balducci said in a press release. “As our area grows these Bus Rapid Transit projects will be part of the first wave of ST3 investments to come online and will provide a fast, reliable way for people to get around without wasting unnecessary hours in congested traffic.”

“Kenmore and the communities north of Lake Washington along SR 522 and SR 523 have worked together with Sound Transit to address the need for fast, frequent connections to locations throughout the region where our residents work, play and go to school,” Sound Transit board member and Kenmore Mayor David Baker said in a press release. “We’re excited to get started on the work that will bring the benefits of BRT to our area.”

“BRT is an exciting component of the I-405 Master Plan that will get people moving more quickly through this heavily traveled corridor,” Washington Secretary of Transportation and Sound Transit board member Roger Millar said in a press release. “Our partnership with Sound Transit has been instrumental in delivering many improvements in the I-405 Master Plan, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative work throughout the region.”

“Sound Transit’s first BRT projects will provide frequent, fast and reliable transit service to people living and working along the I-405 and SR 522 corridors, who currently experience some of the worst traffic congestion in the region,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said in a press release. “BRT will reduce peak-hour transit travel time along I-405 by about 30 percent, and provide reliable connections to Link from SR 522, enabling faster trips to downtown, the airport and throughout the region.”

The board capital committee approved a contract with David Evans and Associates, Inc. for $2,750,000 for consulting services for the first phase of the SR 522 BRT project at its Feb. 8 meeting. Today, the board approved a contract with WSP USA, Inc. for $6,424,000 for consulting services for the I-405 BRT project.

Also in a related action, the board approved a $223,893 task order with the Washington State Department of Transportation for overall coordination during the first development phase of the I-405 BRT project.

BRT is a new high-capacity transit service that utilizes features such as specialized buses with multiple doors for fast entry and exit, platform-level boarding and off-board fare payment, as well as new bus lanes and transit priority improvements to provide service similar to rail on rubber tires.

Funding for the I-405 BRT and SR 522 BRT projects was approved by voters in 2016 as part of the Sound Transit 3 Plan. The two lines will connect 11 cities serving 20 BRT stations with new and expanded parking facilities and transit centers, a dedicated bus fleet and a new bus operations and maintenance facility.

The first phase of project development will run through 2018. Staff will review the assumed routes and configurations in the ST3 Plan, known as the representative projects, and further refine the specific route, station locations and other project elements based on additional public engagement and technical analysis.

In early 2019, the Sound Transit board will be asked to identify a preferred alternative for both the SR 522 and I-405 project corridors, which will be followed by conceptual engineering and environmental review. In 2020, the Board will select the projects to be built after completion of environmental review.

Preliminary engineering, final design and construction will follow, and service is scheduled to start in 2024.

I-405 BRT

I-405 BRT will connect communities along 37 miles of I-405 and SR 518 from Lynnwood to Burien. The project will include a new transit center in South Renton and 11 BRT stations, three of which will include added parking. Buses will travel in managed lanes to increase speed and reliability.

I-405 BRT will build upon the multimodal I-405 Master Plan, whose development was led by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, King County Department of Transportation, Sound Transit and WSDOT, with corridor improvements facilitating faster bus travel.

Connections to Link light rail will be available at Lynnwood, downtown Bellevue and Tukwila.

When service begins in 2024, riders will be able to travel from Lynnwood to Bellevue in 45 minutes, and from Burien to Bellevue in 48 minutes.

Learn more and sign up for alerts at

SR 522 BRT

The eight-mile SR 522 BRT route will serve the growing North Lake Washington communities with a range of enhancements to provide connections to Link light rail at Shoreline South/NE 145th and BRT on I-405. The project includes nine stations with additional parking at Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell and an expanded transit center at UW Bothell.

Riders will be able to reliably travel from Lake Forest Park to downtown Seattle in 38 minutes via BRT and light rail from the future Shoreline South Link station when BRT starts service in 2024.

Learn more and sign up for alerts at

Fundraising underway for Mark Twain Elementary’s new playground

Twain PTSA is nearing the final stages of fundraising.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:30am | Courtesy of


As Kirkland continues to grow and modernize, local schools need help keeping up with increasing population and aging infrastructure. The Rose Hill community is rallying around Mark Twain Elementary’s fundraising effort to expand and modernize its playground.

At nearly 20 years old the playground at Mark Twain Elementary needs to be updated and expanded, according to officials. It is too small to accommodate Twain’s swelling school population.

Twain is currently one of the largest elementary schools in Lake Washington School District and the kids go to recess in three shifts throughout the day. However, even with the student body taking turns playing on the playground each day, only a small portion of students can find room to play. Watching students crowd onto the play structure at recess, Molly Honig said she can clearly see the need for a larger playground.

Honig has two students at Mark Twain and is taking on the challenge of raising money to update the playground.

“We need a larger play structure for our kids to climb, explore, and have fun,” she said.

“Play is an important part of childhood development,” added Craig Mott, Principle of Mark Twain Elementary. “Play encourages students to use their creativity while developing physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. This new playground is needed to better serve our growing student population and community.”

Working with other concerned Mark Twain PTSA members, Honig formed a committee last Fall to address the challenge. The goal is to raise $82,000 by the end of the February for a summer installation; the timeline defined by the Lake Washington School District. That money will be used to cover the cost of the new equipment. Honig said the School District is covering the cost of site preparation and installation.

Fundraising began last fall with a casino night and silent auction hosted by Honig at the Kirkland Fraternal Order of Eagles.

“Thanks to contributions from Lee Johnson Chevrolet, another local retail business, and individual members of the Mark Twain community, we were able to raise nearly $6,000 that night,” Honig said.

Since the initial fundraising event, the bulk of the fundraising has been done through direct contributions from community members. Donors are able to make a permanent mark on the new playground through purchasing customized bricks, charms, or a bench which will be installed on the playground.

“It has been great to see so many in the community reach out and support the cause so far,” Honig said. “We’re counting on continued community support to carry us to our goal.”

A website has been created where people can review playground designs and contribute by purchasing customized pavers, fence charms, boulders, or a buddy bench.

As of this week a total of $67,000 has been raised.

With the Lake Washington School District deadline looming Honig is hopeful about meeting the fundraising goal.

“The Rose Hill community has been a great supporter of our work, from local businesses, to community members, to matching contributions form companies like Google and Microsoft,” Honig said. “We are so incredibly close to our goal and with just a few more donations we can fully fund this amazing new play-space for our kids.”

The new play structure will be installed in time for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Totem Lake bridge moves to final design phases

 Community members review the current designs of the Totem Lake Connector Bridge and the proposed “plank” overlook that will offer a unique view of Totem Lake. Kailan Manandic, Kirkland Reporter

Community members review the current designs of the Totem Lake Connector Bridge and the proposed “plank” overlook that will offer a unique view of Totem Lake. Kailan Manandic, Kirkland Reporter

Kirkland council is expected to offer final approval in April.

Kirkland city staff is currently reviewing community feedback on designs for the Totem Lake Connector Bridge, which aims to be a prominent landmark in the growing business district.

The bridge is currently in the final stages of its planning phase and city staff will present designs to City Council during their March 6 regular meeting. Council will review the designs and community feedback that staff gathered from four open houses and months of community outreach.

“The community has been interested in the general design process, the selection of a preferred alternative and the relative costs of the alternatives. These major themes will be discussed with council — as they have been in past briefings — with particular emphasis on the most recent open house and follow-up emails,” said Kathy Brown, director of Kirkland’s Public Works Department.

The bridge will connect two sections of the Cross Kirkland Corridor, which are currently separated by two heavily trafficked roads: Totem Lake Boulevard Northeast and Northeast 124th Street. The overall design aims to reflect a thrown skipping stone, with two support arches that dip below the walkway as they meet in the middle where the stone would skip along the water.

The walkway itself will be 14 feet wide and expand to 25 feet in the center area. The area will be a mixed-use section that provides benches, while also leaving enough room for bike and pedestrian traffic.

The bridge’s north end, where the metaphorical stone sinks into Totem Lake, will feature a spiraling ramp, while the south end will be a simple straight ramp that connects with the CKC.

The spiraling ramp will also feature a Totem Lake overlook, which was the main talking point at the fourth and final design open house on Feb. 7.

The open house gave an overview of what the final design will look like and asked for community feedback on multiple details, including the overlook.

The overlook concept was widely supported among the community, with only a few outliers. The overlook design, nicknamed the “plank,” will extend out from the bridge, similar to a pirate ship’s plank, and provide a unique view of Totem Lake from 20-30 feet in the air.

Some community members said they think the overlook is unnecessary and interrupts the flow of the ramp.

“A significant majority preferred the ‘plank’ concept and their support for it was strong,” said Brown. “Of the people who said they did not like it, most were only slightly opposed to the concept.”

One open house attendee suggested simply widening the northern ramp to provide a closer view of Totem Lake, but Schaun Valdovinos, a bridge design consultant warned that would increase the project cost.

Aaron McDonald, the city’s senior project engineer, said he’ll present all the feedback he’s received at open houses, including the mild negativity regarding the plank. The city specifically asked for feedback on the plank design and other fine details at previous council meetings.


Valdovinos and Eric Birkhauser, an architecture consultant on the project, gave a brief presentation at the final open house that outlined the final fine details that the council wanted feedback about.

Aside from the overlook, most of the small design elements didn’t see any negativity and community members only asked for clarification and reaffirmed the design team’s goals.

One of these details was the bridge’s proposed LED light system, which will illuminate the entire bridge at night. The lights will be able to display different patterns that can be programmed to display any colors from a candy cane red and white, to the Seahawks’ blue, green and grey.

Valdovinos and Birkhauser also explained the metal mesh material that the city plans to use for the guard rails. Birkhauser described the material as robust and cheap as it acts more like a net than a chain link fence would and is easily replaceable in small sections.

McDonald will review all this information with council next month before asking them for final direction on the design.

Brown said she expects council to either accept the design as-is and move toward a final adoption in April or direct staff to examine alternative options for the overlook.

 An artistic rendering of what the Totem Lake Connector Bridge could look like. Courtesy of the City of Kirkland

An artistic rendering of what the Totem Lake Connector Bridge could look like. Courtesy of the City of Kirkland

Getting Your Kids into Summer Camp Just Got Easier: Bellevue-Based Web Service Does the Work For You

6crickets, created by a Bellevue computer scientist (and mom), simplifies a complicated process for parents

BY: MEGAN TOAL | Posted February 22, 2018 | Courtesy of

 Image Credit: Leila Saghafi

Image Credit: Leila Saghafi

This article appears in print in the March 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

If you’ve ever spent hours in front of a computer trying to schedule your kids for multiple summer camps while also taking their ages and interests (and your driving constraints) into account, Helen Wang has shared your pain.

That’s why the Bellevue mom, who is also a computer scientist, last year started 6crickets, a service that gathers information from thousands of summer camp programs and classes into a convenient central database and allows users to make and compare weekly schedules, use a single registration form for multiple children, check out and pay, all in one easy stop.

When should parents start looking?

“Like in anything, there is a bell curve,” Wang says. “Parents start as early as February."

The Top 25 Neighborhoods in Seattle: 2018 Edition

From Greenwood to Beacon Hill, here are the places Seattleites want to live most.

By Seattle Met Staff  Edited by Darren Davis  2/27/2018 at 8:00am  Published in the March 2018 issue of Seattle Met | Courtesy of

SEATTLE IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW. How many times have prospective homebuyers heard this as both a boast and a warning? Yes, home prices continue to rise at unprecedented levels, thanks to a tech boom that keeps booming. But focusing only on this skyrocketing trajectory ignores the wealth of character found across Seattle’s neighborhoods. Using hard real estate data, and factoring in the less quantifiable (but nonetheless crucial) matter of what’s cool, here are the top 25 places to live in the city.


  • Walk Score: A 0–100 metric that reflects a neighborhood’s “walkability,” or its proximity to restaurants, shops, parks, and other amenities.
  • Transit Score: A 0–100 metric that reflects a neighborhood’s accessibility via public transit.
  • YOY: Year-over-year percentages show changes in real estate data from data collected the previous year.

1. Wallingford

Median Sale Price: $890k  •  Sale Price Change YoY: 11.3%  •  Homes Sold in 2017: 251  •  Median Rent: $2,979  •  Walk Score: 83  •  Transit Score: 59

Nestled comfortably between Lake Union and Green Lake, Wallingford is a centrally located neighborhood that could, in another city, be confused with a cozy suburb. Craftsman-style homes with handsome porches line streets dappled with sunlight in the summertime. But walk a few blocks to North 45th Street and suddenly Wallingford takes on a Main Street flair: record stores, local merchants, and unfussy eateries like the affordable sushi spot Musashi’s and of course the original Dick’s Burgers. Further south the surroundings transform into a hot up-and-coming destination for both brunch and happy hour, a stretch that hosts Eltana, the Whale Wins, Thackeray, and Pablo y Pablo, to name only a few. This trek leads to Wallingford’s emerald jewel: Gas Works Park, with its industrial architecture and panoramic view of downtown (and the seaplanes flying into and out of Lake Union), the most distinctive patch of green in the city.

2. Central District

Median Sale Price $770k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 10.8%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 256  •  Median Rent $2,700  •  Walk Score 88  •  Transit Score 67

Close to the perks of metropolitan life (lots of bus lines, Capitol Hill bars) but far enough from big-city chaos (bustling university campus, those same Capitol Hill bars) the Central District is a residential sweet spot. And people have taken notice. Many a starkly modern condo has sprouted up between nineteenth-century Victorian houses and craftsman revival homes. Jewish, Asian, and black communities have historically lived in the Central District, but the area’s becoming more gentrified—yes, the G-word—by the day. Now places like Chuck’s Hop Shop draw beer nerds with IPAs and funky sours, and Union Coffee and Squirrel Chops caffeinate nearby residents, while neon-lit Uncle Ike’s beckons cannabis seekers near and far. (It’s the highest-grossing pot shop in the state.) Some change that’s easy to get behind though: Judkins Park. What once was a deep ravine used as a dump has blossomed into a six-block stretch of green space and playfields. —Rosin Saez 

3. North Admiral

Median Sale Price $716k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 15.7%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 243  •  Median Rent $2,817  •  Walk Score 68  •  Transit Score 42

While residents to the west know the differing characteristics of their community across the bridge, Seattle at large has only lately started recognizing the distinct neighborhoods that make up what they’ve known all along as just West Seattle. North Admiral is one such community—one of the oldest neighborhoods in West Seattle and the place many Seattleites conjure when thinking of the peninsula. East of Alki and just above the heart of West Seattle, North Admiral embraces beachfront mansions on the Duwamish Head and, further inland, blocks of dignified homes flanking California Avenue. Long considered remote, even after the bridge opened, many homebuyers are now fighting each other off to move to West Seattle.

4. Fremont

Median Sale Price $801k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 22.3%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 264  •  Median Rent $2,628  •  Walk Score 84  •  Transit Score 58

For years, North 36th Avenue, the commercial center of Fremont, remained relatively unaffected by new development compared to its neighbors. The stretch is lined with old bike tinkerers, hippie shops, and midcentury houses turned into coffee shops, and Thai restaurants. But the recent upzone changes things, clearing the way for taller mixed-use residential buildings among (and, in many cases, in place of) the mixed-and-matched commercial tableau. Case in point Modern Korean gem Revel, until recently housed in an unassuming old one-story building, will soon find itself in the ground floor of a shiny new condominium. But fret not. The reliably weird Center of the Universe should weather the coming developments and still appear weird on the other end. Plus, its hillside microneighborhoods of incongruous streets and hidden stairways remain atop the list of Seattle’s most unique and sought-after residential zones.

 Fremont, the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe.”  IMAGE:  SHUTTERSTOCK/JOSEPH SOHM

Fremont, the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe.”


5. Capitol Hill

Median Sale Price $600k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 29.0%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 524  •  Median Rent $2,341  •  Walk Score 91  •  Transit Score 73

Every time someone declares Capitol Hill “over”—no longer the wild, creative heart of Seattle, thanks to parking woes, price tags, or the fact that the Block Party just feels so corporate these days, man—two newcomers discover it for the first time. They wander Lake View Cemetery at noon to marvel at the solitude, or wait in line at 1am for a cream cheese hot dog outside Neumos. Fresh faces walk Pike/Pine on a rowdy Friday night and feel like they’ve finally found their people. Lately the best advertisement for downtown housing is that it’s walking distance to Capitol Hill. The mark of a truly vital neighborhood is its ability to be reborn again and again, from auto-sales row to party central, from outsider haven to the city’s most in-demand real estate. Think Capitol Hill is over? That’s okay. For another resident, it’s just begun. —Allison Williams

6. Ballard

Median Sale Price $760k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 15.9%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 870  •  Median Rent $2,296  •  Walk Score 87  •  Transit Score 51

Just off the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the bustling City of Ballard sprouted a century ago from these marinas and fishermen’s terminals. Now its stretch of trendy boutiques and restaurants rivals the shopping and nightlife scenes anywhere else in Seattle. But the busy southern end of this increasingly popular neighborhood is just the front door, so to speak. New condominium developments give way to older apartment dwellings and then, as you go farther north, quiet single-family neighborhoods, peppered here and there with community parks and surprising pockets of bars and restaurants a bit more low key than the weekender favorite Ballard Ave. Travel west and, suddenly, a beach! Bonfires and kite surfers fill Golden Gardens every year as soon as the sun cooperates. It’s no wonder many residents want to again recognize Ballard as its own city.

7. Greenwood

Median Sale Price $635k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 6.4%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 359  •  Median Rent $2,486  •  Walk Score 85  •  Transit Score 52

Long coveted by young families looking for a quiet place to put down roots, Greenwood remains one of Seattle’s residential beating hearts. The neighborhood features traditional homes mixed with newer construction (the status quo across much of Seattle in 2018), laid out in a straightforward grid (not so typical for Seattle) and bisected by a commercial stretch of craft cocktail bars and family-friendly cafes. Greenwood can also claim most of the benefits of both a Seattle suburb and a more urban pocket. Far enough north from the commercial hubbub that surrounds Lake Union, kids can play outside their homes without worrying about cars speeding by on a shortcut to an after-work happy hour meetup. But it’s only around 15 minutes into downtown via Aurora or I-5. Expect a lot of competition in this consistently red-hot neighborhood. 

8. Leschi

Median Sale Price $779k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 6.0%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 132  •  Median Rent $2,943  •  Walk Score 72  •  Transit Score 53

Topographically speaking, Leschi is a neighborhood divided. Most of its identity centers on the Lake Washington shoreline, where cyclists pedal past pleasure boats bobbing in the harbor and a handful of restaurants (Meet the Moon, Daniel’s Broiler) cater to families and mature tech types. Down the street, tiny Leschi Market somehow has just the thing for both weeknight diners and sunbathers who surreptitiously drink rosé on the nearby T-dock in the summer. That pastoral vibe extends up the steep hillside. Houses might be tudors or ramblers, older or brand spanking new, but they all embrace those panoramic views. Atop the ridge, residents tend to identify with other, adjacent neighborhoods: Madrona with its quaint village strip or the Central District where residency doesn’t imply that you live in a lakefront mansion. But even these sedate blocks have the occasional flash of sparkling lake water. —Allecia Vermillion

 Leschi’s Lake Washington marina, with eyes on Bellevue.  IMAGE:  GEORGE COLE

Leschi’s Lake Washington marina, with eyes on Bellevue.


9. Montlake

Median Sale Price $1.2 million  •  Sale Price Change YoY 25.8%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 79  •  Median Rent $3,709  •  Walk Score 67  •  Transit Score 62


Less conspicuously wealthy than Madison Park, nearby Montlake still boasts idyllic communities of wide streets and old craftsman and tudor homes that will put you back some real cash. There’s something vaguely New England about many Montlake properties, with their pillars and porches and manicured lawns just asking for a game of croquet or a weekend afternoon of fetch with a well-trained pup. This sense of timelessness extends into Montlake’s own downtown district, nary a boxy condo in sight. Instead, the slip of a commercial zone contains the cozy neighborhood tableau of an upscale restaurant (Cafe Lago), a coffee shop (Fuel Coffee), a florist, a bike shop, and a handful of other local merchants. Bookended by two expansive parks, Interlaken and the Arboretum, Montlake is a posh community on the water surrounded by greenery. 

10. Bitter Lake

Median Sale Price $400k  •  Sale Price Change YoY –9.1%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 168  •  Median Rent $2,235  •  Walk Score 68  •  Transit Score 48

This sliver of a neighborhood (drive about a dozen blocks on Aurora Avenue and you’ll pass right by it) packs a lot of character into such small square mileage. Named for the body of water on its north end, Bitter Lake is a long-overlooked but up-and-coming area owing to its range of housing options—from new multifamily developments to old single-story homes to proud lakefront properties. The neighborhood’s density—high compared to other mixed-zone communities of apartments, condos, and single-family homes—means you won’t find the wide streets and long sidewalks that prospective homebuyers may require as the connective tissue between their home and the community. Instead, Bitter Lake reflects its location: a commuter-friendly residential pocket immediately adjacent to Highway 99 with enough space to settle in and put down roots.

11. Mount Baker

Median Sale Price $821k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 46.6%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 139  •  Median Rent $3,047  •  Walk Score 75  •  Transit Score 59

The craftsman homes are so tall and stately, you’d swear you were on the north end of Capitol Hill. But the people who occupy them are younger and less white than you’d expect. Mount Baker doesn’t have a ton of shops and restaurants, though the existing neighborhood fixtures are fiercely beloved, from Mioposto’s wood-fired breakfast pizzas to the impeccable microroasts at QED Coffee. Thanks to the Saloon, a recent arrival to the area, there’s even a place to get a good manhattan, sans children. Throw in some sprawling Olmsted-designed greenways, a beach, a legit playground, a light rail station, and easy access to downtown and the Eastside: Mount Baker may not have Capitol Hill’s rocking nightlife, but nobody hanging out at the Community Club (a hub of musical performances, yoga classes, even potlucks) seems to be complaining. —AV 

12. Beacon Hill

Median Sale Price $574k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 17.5%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 453  •  Median Rent $2,461  •  Walk Score 61*  •  Transit Score 65*

Walk around this southeast Seattle neighborhood and you might notice the wall murals, statues, and other public art celebrating a range of ethnic communities. Beacon Hill’s diverse residents, largely Asian or Pacific Islander and foreign born, have shaped the neighborhood into what it is now. Though much of the community contains single-family homes, it’s surrounded by cultural hubs exclusive to Beacon Hill. You can find social justice nonprofit El Centro de la Raza with its front-yard garden and playground, conveniently located by the light rail station and go-to cafe the Station. In North Beacon Hill, find ethnic food essentials at the Red Apple grocery store or spend a few sweaty hours climbing at the Seattle Bouldering Project. And there’s always Jefferson Park for a picnic date. —Hayat Norimine 

13. Fauntleroy

Median Sale Price $735k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 34.9%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 118  •  Median Rent $2,724  •  Walk Score 47  •  Transit Score 45

Out of all the neighborhoods in Seattle proper, even the peripheral residential communities to the north and south, like Bitter Lake and Rainier Beach, Fauntleroy is perhaps the most hidden from the heart of Seattle. Across the West Seattle Bridge, through the heart of West Seattle and downward into Fauntleroy Cove, this small pocket of cottages and bungalows blesses residents with a level of marine serenity that shouldn’t be possible just six miles from downtown Seattle. The sound laps gently upon the isolated cove, a strip of sand lined in parts with the neighborhood’s most covetable homes, offering peaceful (if chilly) walks in the gray months and knockout views of the Olympic Mountains on clear days. And if residents need to get away even further from the city for a weekend day trip, the Fauntleroy ferry dispatches daily escapes to nearby Vashon island and Southworth.

 The secluded Lincoln Park in Fauntleroy, a picturesque stroll year round.  IMAGE:  GOERGE COLE

The secluded Lincoln Park in Fauntleroy, a picturesque stroll year round.


14. South Lake Union

Median Sale Price $490k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 14.6%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 13  •  Median Rent $2,438  •  Walk Score 92  •  Transit Score 86


No other neighborhood better illustrates Seattle’s tech-driven boom than South Lake Union. Look at an aerial photo from just 10 years ago and note the skyline now (if you can see past all the cranes). What was once a low-key lakefront district filled mostly with warehouses transformed seemingly overnight into the epicenter of the city’s tech industry, now under the shadow of the Amazon headquarters. The blocks between Lake Union and Denny brim during the day with throngs of this new workforce, all heading to or from bites at any of the neighborhood’s wealth of fast-casual concepts or a quick refresh at barre or spin class. Then streets all but empty out at night, when the residents of SLU’s midsize to large condo developments either revel in the quiet or take advantage of the central location, making a quick trip downtown or to Capitol Hill.

15. Magnolia

Median Sale Price $868k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 19.7%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 489  •  Median Rent $3,056  •  Walk Score N/A  •  Transit Score N/A

Jutting west, out into the water on a branch of land—gloriously common in Seattle’s quirky geography—Magnolia is like the city’s forested backyard. Lush thickets of trees extend up the hillside from the water like green waves crashing against the shores. The woodland hides towers of multiunit residences and hamlets of sumptuous homes overlooking the water. To the south, Magnolia Park and its tree-lined bluffs boast panoramic views to the west and southwest. But it pales in size next to Discovery Park—the largest park in Seattle, almost a neighborhood unto itself. This expansive swath of public land somehow contains stretches of beach, a historic fort and forest trails, and wide lawns to lay down a picnic or toss a football. Magnolia is not the easiest to get to, it requires a skirt around Interbay and Queen Anne. But isolation is part of its charm.

16. Madison Park

Median Sale Price $1.8 million  •  Sale Price Change YoY 51.7%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 105  •  Median Rent $3,753  •  Walk Score 68  •  Transit Score 35

If there was ever a proper beachfront community in oceanless Seattle—complete with waterfront mansions and swaths of beautiful public land on which locals come to sun and swim and dream of owning something there one day—it’s Madison Park. The upscale community, facing Lake Washington and bordered to the west by the Washington Park Arboretum, feels like its own destination outside of Seattle. The homes in Madison Park are some of the most expensive in Seattle, and understandably so. Modern mansions and breathtaking tudors with long, gated driveways and expansive east-facing windows are as ostentatiously luxurious as Seattle gets. Nearby Madison Park Beach—a wide slope of grass that gets full afternoon sun in summer and leads directly to the shores of Lake Washington—is a local treasure whether you live in the neighborhood or are just visiting.

17. Lower Queen Anne

Median Sale Price $560k  •  Sale Price Change YoY –13.7%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 211  •  Median Rent $2,387  •  Walk Score 92  •  Transit Score 69

One of Seattle’s most dynamic neighborhoods is also one of the most overlooked. Lower Queen Anne’s proximity to KeyArena, Seattle Center, and McCaw Hall makes it a marquee destination for the arts, but it’s rarely thought of as a thriving residential community. Folded in among the busy thoroughfares of Roy and Mercer Streets, however, you’ll find blocks of classic multiunit residences, upscale condos, and even a fair amount of water views. It’s more accurate to think of Lower Queen Anne as a convergence of its neighbors: the self-sustaining community of Upper Queen Anne, and the cosmopolitan buzz of Belltown. And with Lower Queen Anne’s new upzone in place, allowing the construction of taller mixed-use buildings, the neighborhood will soon be flush with new residences, making it an even more viable option for urban dwellers than it’s been all along. 

18. Northgate

Median Sale Price $588k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 21.3%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 568  •  Median Rent $1,861  •  Walk Score N/A  •  Transit Score N/A

It wouldn’t be far fetched to guess the majority of Seattleites venture into Northgate primarily to visit the namesake mall. But thanks to a steep uptick in new development, this expansive community north on Interstate 5 contains dwelling options for both first-time homebuyers looking to get into the market with a condominium and new families vying for a place to spread out a bit. Expect Northgate to continue increasing in density, especially in the mixed-use midrise variety, as the forthcoming Northgate Light Rail Station (scheduled for 2021) makes the outlying neighborhood a more viable commuter option. Seattle’s willingness to invest in this transit infrastructure points to a future in which Northgate, known mostly as home to the largest enclosed mall in the city, gets folded into Seattle as one of its up-and-coming neighborhoods. 

19. Upper Queen Anne

Median Sale Price $845k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 16.1%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 600  •  Median Rent $3,048  •  Walk Score 70  •  Transit Score 59

Upper Queen Anne (or just Queen Anne, depending on whom you ask) is an instantly identifiable Seattle neighborhood: the big houses on the hill. Rising above the buzz of Lower Queen Anne to the south, and the lovable hippie community Fremont on the north side, the hill’s summit is among only a handful of places you’ll find platonic front lawns and proper backyards—a real white picket fence vibe—in the whole city. Its elevation, and the stateliness of the homes, gives Upper Queen Anne a bit of an esteemed air. But past the iconic Kerry Park view and the historic Victoria Townhomes, Queen Anne is actually quite a quaint and low-key neighborhood, the sort of supportive community that will keep a local grocer like Ken’s Market thriving even with a Trader Joe’s just down the way.

20. Columbia City

Median Sale Price $680k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 15.3%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 141  •  Median Rent $2,451  •  Walk Score 84  •  Transit Score 59

Gone are the days when Columbia City was a cherished secret: an oasis hidden in Rainier Valley, filled with sloping hills of traditional houses and handsome townhomes, and a most picturesque downtown tract. It boasts neighborhood staples of classic theater (Columbia City Theater), family breakfast favorite (Geraldine’s Counter), pub with live music (the Royal Room), and workaday local merchants trading pleasantries with familiar faces at the summer farmers market. Well, secret’s out. Even with the increase in new home construction and commuteworthy restaurants popping up along Rainier Avenue, Columbia City manages to hang on to its small-town vibes. This might be due to the distance from the city’s downtown core, but mostly it’s thanks to the loyal community who helped build and sustain the character of this distinct Seattle neighborhood, and who want every new resident to fall in love too.

 The Olympic Sculpture Park, near Belltown’s many midrise residences.  IMAGE:  SHUTTERSTOCK BY KEROCHAN

The Olympic Sculpture Park, near Belltown’s many midrise residences.


21. Belltown

Median Sale Price $677k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 20.9%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 389  •  Median Rent $2,213  •  Walk Score 97  •  Transit Score 98

Want to be in the thick of it? Belltown is a stark contrast from quiet residential neighborhoods with darling streets and ample parking. The Seattle urban center’s de facto entertainment district, Belltown forgoes playgrounds, family diners, and community theaters for urban dog parks, gastropubs, and nightclubs. A normal Friday might include happy hour frites and a pilsner at Belltown Brewing, then on to chic dinner staples like Tavolàta, ending with a nightcap at any of the reliable dives on Second Avenue. A plethora of old and new condo developments means there is no Lyft fee between last call and home—some with enviable views of Elliott Bay. But Belltown is not all nightlife. Its close proximity to both downtown and the Sound can make for a healthy routine of leisurely strolls to Pike Place Market or weekend jogs along the Olympic Sculpture Park. 

22. Ravenna

Median Sale Price $829k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 3.8%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 211  •  Median Rent $2,899  •  Walk Score 77  •  Transit Score 53

Ravenna made headlines in recent years as one of the hottest housing markets in the entire country. And understandably so. Tracts of gorgeous multistory homes and older mansions line wide streets dappled in green, and it’s quieter than you’d expect from a community so close to the University District and those rowdy youths. Central in the neighborhood, 65th Avenue provides the commercial anchor of grocers, bookstores, and a few bars pleasantly long in the tooth. Also historic is the nearly century-old Roosevelt High School, stately home of the Rough Riders. On the southern end of the neighborhood, the conjoined Ravenna and Cowen Parks provide a lush greenbelt with plenty of winding trails for a bit of respite. That’s why Seattleites move to Ravenna after all, for a little close-by peace and quiet.

23. South Park

Median Sale Price $393k  •  Sale Price Change YoY –3.1%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 55  •  Median Rent $2,114  •  Walk Score 59  •  Transit Score 37

As would-be homebuyers push farther outward from central Seattle to find affordable dwellings, many eyes (and no small amount of developer prospecting) now turn to what has long been considered the city’s most diverse neighborhood. South Park’s majority Hispanic population adds to a food and culture scene unlike anywhere else in Seattle. Out of the historically industrial region, fueled by the Duwamish River, springs a vibrant community filled with public art, traditional eateries, and festivals celebrating both Hispanic and Native American heritage. While an influx of new residents and construction drives the local cost of living up, South Park’s property values have not skyrocketed at unprecedented rates like elsewhere in the city, and local advocacy groups continue to do the work of ensuring the Seattle boom can coexist with the longtime residents of this diverse neighborhood.

24. Hillman City

Median Sale Price $613k  •  Median Sale Price YoY 25.0%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 83  •  Median Rent $2,346  •  Walk Score 84  •  Transit Score 54


Don’t get it confused with Columbia City. This southern stretch of Rainier Avenue may have once been considered outskirts to its desirable neighbor to the north, but Hillman City has taken on an exciting new identity following a period of relative stagnation amid a city experiencing unprecedented growth. But you could even think of Hillman City as Columbia City’s younger sibling. For one, it hosts some of the hippest new casual eats south of the stadiums, like Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max, Big Chickie, Full Tilt Ice Cream’s sister bar Hummingbird Saloon, and microroaster Tin Umbrella. The Hillman City Collaboratory—a coworking space and community incubator brought to the neighborhood’s historic district by two local arts organizations—points to an exciting future of Hillman City as a viable alternative dwelling for creative and civic-minded residents looking to venture out of the Capitol Hill bubble.

25. Georgetown

Median Sale Price $588k  •  Sale Price Change YoY 4.0%  •  Homes Sold in 2017 67  •  Median Rent $2,374  •  Walk Score 69  •  Transit Score 46

So much of Georgetown’s appeal comes from its apparent sovereignty: a neighborhood geographically disconnected from the rest of the city by industrial zones, with a brick-and-mortar, vaguely Southwest aesthetic all its own. This character keeps Georgetown a thriving commercial and residential district, even when it lacks abundant single-family home offerings compared to its neighbors. Just visit to understand its peculiar magic. Drive south—past the stadiums, past SoDo, through the Industrial District—and come upon something of a Route 66 town, brimming with vintage shops, music stores, and first-rate comic book retailer Fantagraphics Books. Biker bar–esque Smarty Pants and divey pool halls rub shoulders with a relatively newer crop of marquee eateries like Fonda La Catrina, Ciudad, and Brass Tacks. Also there’s a giant cowboy boot in a park and a trailer park mall full of vintage clothes and trinkets.

 A typical Georgetown street fair.  IMAGE:  PAUL CHRISTIAN GORDON

A typical Georgetown street fair.


Prepare for Spring! 6 Ways to Make the Most of the Coming Weekend

Bring some greenery into the house, give your bedroom a refresh and stretch your legs with a brisk walk

By Laura Gaskill | Courtesy of


1. Make a list of spring home projects you want to tackle. Whether you’re hoping to do a deep spring cleaning this year or have your eye on a bigger project — like remodeling the kitchen — this is a good time to start planning. Get all of your ideas on paper (or organized in a Houzz ideabook) and assess which projects you’d like to tackle first.


2. Pick out some new houseplants. A bit of extra greenery around the house in winter lifts spirits and helps clean the air. Even if you don’t need any more houseplants, a visit to the nursery is a cheerful outing in winter. Indulge in a browse, and maybe pick up some plant food or a new pot to give the plants you already have some TLC.


3. Give your bedroom a refresh. A clean, inviting bedroom makes for a more peaceful bedtime and restful sleep. Take some time to clear clutter from around your bed, make up the bed with fresh sheets and give the whole room a thorough vacuuming to get rid of built-up dust. (Don’t forget under the bed.)


4. Get to know your home tech devices. If you haven’t taken the time to figure out how all of the features on your smart devices work, why not make this the weekend you learn? Virtual home assistants and smart speakers can help with all sorts of tasks, from turning on lights to making calls — but not if you’re not sure how to use them! If you can’t figure it out, invite a tech-savvy friend over for coffee in exchange for a quick tutorial.


5. Read a book that’s already on your shelf. If you like to read, chances are you have a TBR (that’s “To Be Read,” for the uninitiated) stack somewhere in your house. Instead of adding yet another book, browse your own shelves and choose one to dive into next. Make yourself a pot of tea, sink into a favorite chair and escape for awhile.


6. Take a winter walk. Depending on where you live, the world outside your window may look like a snowy wonderland or on the cusp of spring. Either way, getting outdoors in winter probably takes some extra effort — but it’s usually well worth it. Bundle up well, and reward yourself for braving the elements by toting along a container of hot cider or cocoa.

Vote: The Seattle Magazine 2018 Readers' Choice Beer Awards

Help us determine the best in local beer, from Best Brew Pub to Best Beer Retailer to Most Iconic Washington Beer Brand and more.

BY: SEATTLE MAGAZINE STAFF | Posted February 22, 2018 | Courtesy of 


Seattle is a great beer town, and in our July issue, we're going to celebrate the best the city has to offer with our second annual Seattle Magazine Beer Awards.

But first: We want to hear from you!

We want you, our beloved readers, to help us determine the best in local beer, from Best Brew Pub to Best Beer Retailer to Most Iconic Washington Beer Brand and more. The top three finalists will be published, along with Kendall Jones' editor's pick for each category, in the July issue of Seattle Magazine, on sale June 19. 

 Click here and vote for your favorites. Entries are due by March 12.

Kirkland Trails Receive Funding to Establish New Connector Path

By Emily Manke | February 23, 2018

 Photo by Joanna Kresge

Photo by Joanna Kresge

The Eastside is known for its great commuter trails, though sadly, many of them don’t connect. Instead, cyclists and pedestrians, who are in it for the long haul, have to navigate neighborhood streets in place to augment their commute.

However, the recently-approved Washington state budget has allocated $2.5 million to connect King County and Kirkland trails by creating the Willows Road Regional Trail Connection.

The overall goal of the connection is to lessen traffic congestion while providing better connectivity between Eastside cities according to Kirkland City Council Member Dave Asher. “This is a great milestone for active transportation in our region. The connectivity from northeast Kirkland to Redmond and Woodinville brings the overall vision of the Eastside Rail Corridorone step closer to reality,” he said.


The Willows Road Regional Trail Connection will be one-third of a mile long. The pedestrian and bicycle trail will run east of and adjacent to Willows Road between Northeast 124th Street and 139th Avenue Northeast.  Along the Cross Kirkland Corridor, east of Slater Avenue Northeast, the Eastside Rail Corridor crosses Willows Road at 139th Avenue Northeast. The Sammamish River Trail crosses Willows Road at Northeast 124th Street.  Another section of the Willows Road Regional Trail Connection will connect Totem Lake, Redmond, and Woodinville.

This tiny section of trail will have huge benefits for the businesses along its path including Woodinville wineries, technology companies on Willows Road, and aerospace and manufacturing companies in Totem Lake.

“This is a win for Kirkland and a win for our neighbors,” Asher said. “The hard work of our full legislative delegation made this possible.”

The Willows Road Regional Trail Connection isn’t the only recent addition to Kirkland’s trail system and green spaces. In early February, city officials voted to purchase land that will expand Juanita Park. The purchase will preserve a crucial wildlife area, and could potentially create even more pedestrian-friendly trails.

Construction on the Willows Road Regional Trail Connection is scheduled to start in early 2019.

Kirkland to Expand Juanita Heights Park

By Zoe C. Branch | February 21, 2018 | Courtesy of 

Juanita Heights Park, located in Kirkland’s Finn Hill neighborhood, is getting a major upgrade: city council members voted last week to nearly double the size of the 6-acre park by adding 4.1 acres of undeveloped and forested land. The project will be a great addition to the neighborhood, which prioritizes the preservation of green spaces.

“As the city faces the challenges associated with a thousand new people moving to the Puget Sound every week, we continue to strategically expand our parks and preserve our remaining forested open spaces so our growing population has more places to recreate, gather, or seek solitude,” said Council Member Jon Pascal, chair of the Public Works, Parks and Human Services Committee. “This purchase will not only expand Juanita Heights Park and preserve crucial wildlife habitat, it will also enable the city to explore the possibility of building a walking trail to better connect the Finn Hill and Juanita neighborhoods.”

Funded by King County’s Conservation Futures Tax program, the addition was strongly supported by the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance and is in line with the recently implemented Finn Hill Neighborhood Plan.

The acquisition of the land will help the area stay on track with its efforts to protect the woodlands and open spaces that remain in Finn Hill. The new acreage will also allow for the extension of the existing trail system within the park.

The Heathman Hotel Gets New Digs

By Joanna Kresge | February 16, 2018 | Courtesy of

 Guestroom interior | The Heathman Kirkland | Image by KIPMAN Creative

Guestroom interior | The Heathman Kirkland | Image by KIPMAN Creative

astsiders looking for a staycation or a venue to host out of town guests might be surprised to learn that The Heathman Hotel has a brand new look.

The popular downtown Kirkland hotel recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its 91 guestrooms and suites, giving it a fresh and modern look.

“We’re thrilled to unveil a new look and feel at The Heathman that allows us to continue offering exceptional guest experiences,” said John Oppenheimer, CEO of Columbia Hospitality, which manages The Heathman Hotel. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in and around Kirkland — new shopping, dining, and recreation within walking distance — and we’re excited to establish The Heathman as the top boutique hotel in the heart of this vibrant waterfront neighborhood.”

The renovation, which was conceptualized by Seattle-based firm Interior Design International Inc., celebrates Kirkland and its rich history through the integration of several unique design features. For example, the addition of natural woven textiles pays homage to Kirkland’s woolen mill, the first in the state, which brought early economic success to the city during the Klondike Gold Rush and World War I. Additionally, the renovation also features a Pacific Northwest theme throughout. From the scenic waters of the Puget Sound to picturesque mountain vistas, each floor showcases a specific theme reminiscent of the region.

The subdued earth tones of the hotel’s previous aesthetic have given way to a lighter design with dynamic pops of rusty oranges, touches of bright yellows, and accents of cool blues. Combine these design elements with the hotel’s updated media hub, high-speed Wi-Fi, and warming gas fireplaces, for the perfect respite.

Beyond its new aesthetic features, fans of The Heathman’s spa services might be disappointed to learn that the spa is no longer a fixture on the property, however, The Heathman has converted that space into a vast array of conference and party spaces. General Manager Jim Larson said the hotel’s proximity to corporate campuses like Microsoft and nearby Google was the primary driver behind the decision.

The new meeting spaces are ideal for events as varied as wedding rehearsal dinners and corporate conferences, with numerous breakout rooms for the latter. The largest meeting space will accommodate up to 125 people seated at round tables, or 200 individuals in theater-style seating. And don’t worry, the staff can set up spa services at any local offsite facility if the need arises.

Also occupying the old spa territory is the hotel’s vast gym, which is open 24 hours, allowing guests to escape the gray, rainy Pacific Northwest weather. Conversely, if the weather is favorable, the Cross Kirkland Corridor is just a short walk away allowing pedestrians a pleasant jaunt about town.

Thank goodness for The Heathman’s fitness accommodations; guests will need to counterbalance the caloric intake from the rich food in The Heathman’s onsite restaurant, Trellis. Under the guidance of Le Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Benjamin Closson, the culinary team at Trellis crafts sumptuous dishes around fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Start with the Cheese Times Three platter with its selection of domestic and imported cheeses, crisps, and a mouth-watering honeycomb; follow that with the Baby Beets salad which features grilled radicchio, goat cheese, citrus, almond, orange citronette, and truffle oil; next, try the Foraged Mushroom Risotto. If you’re not full to bursting yet, you’ve got to experience Closson’s personal favorite dessert, the decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar topped with peanut better caramel ice cream and fresh raspberries.

No room reservation? No problem. Trellis is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stop in for happy hour. Bring your friends and enjoy one of Trellis’ signature drinks like a Woodinville Old Fashioned or a Coconut Eggnog. Adventurous diners also might enjoy a Chambong— think college frat party beer apparatus combined with a sleek glass champagne flute — filled with brut rose, prosecco, and brut champagne.

If you’d rather stay in your room and enjoy that new ambiance, don’t worry, Trellis will deliver to guest rooms. We highly recommend enjoying the Belgian waffles with caramelized rum bananas and fresh whipped cream from the comfort of your own room. Preferably in your plush Heathman bathrobe in front of your sizzling fire.

For reservations, call 1-888-264-5494 or visit The Heathman Hotel online.

Only 1 Washington City On List Of 'Safest Cities' In U.S.

Out of the 100 safest U.S. cities, only one in Washington state made the list compiled by NeighborhoodScout.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Feb 13, 2018 1:49 pm ET |  Courtesy of


SAMMAMISH, WA - A new analysis has ranked the 100 safest cities in America and just one cities in Washington made the list. NeighborhoodScout, a web-based platform from Location, Inc., compared the safety of cities with at least 25,000 people based on the total number of property and violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Their analysis, released Monday, found that 37 percent of the nation's safest cities reside in just two states: Massachusetts and Illinois, which had 19 and 18 cities on the list, respectively.

Sammamish was the 30th safest city in the country, with a crime index of 80 out of 100, with 100 being the safest. Sammamish is safer than 80 percent of cities in America, NeighborhoodScout says. There were 23 violent crimes in the city, a rate of 0.36 per 1,000 residents. There were no murders and 13 rapes. The report was made using FBI crime data.

The safest city in America, NeighborhoodScout says, is Ridgefield, Conn., with a crime index of 95. The city, which has just over 25,000 people, saw no murders, rapes or robberies last year.

Andrew Schiller, CEO and founder of Location, Inc. and NeighborhoodScout, said bedroom communities within large metro areas and near major urban centers such as Boston, Chicago, and New York continue to make their list.

"These safe communities within the urban/suburban fabric of America's largest metropolitan areas often combine access to high-paying jobs in the urban center, decent schools, and a high quality of life," Schiller said in a release. "This access to opportunity increases home values, with the result often being lower crime."
The safest cities rankings list differs from NeighborhoodScout's list of the most dangerous cities because it comprises both violent and property crimes. The group says the general public tends to equate a "dangerous" city with "violent" crime and a "safe" city with safety from both property crime and violence.

NeighborhoodScout says its analysis includes all reported crimes from all 18,000 local law enforcement agencies across the country.

Patch reporter Dan Hampton contributed to this report.

Photo via Shutterstock

The Season for Chocolate Lovers

By Shelby Rowe Moyer | February 9, 2018 | Courtesy of


nstead of reaching for an ordinary box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day, we recommend a multitude of local chocolate-makers who create each confection with a little extra love.



The beloved chocolate confections shop has been ingrained in Issaquah’s tapestry since 1956, when founder Julius Boehm moved his operations from the Seattle area to the forested foothills of the Eastside. Boehm, a 1924 Austrian Olympic runner, immigrated to the Pacific Northwest in 1941 after fleeing Hitler’s reign.

Boehm and the current candy-shop owner, Bernard Garbusjuk, bonded over their similar immigration experiences, and Garbusjuk worked with Boehm for 10 years before his death in 1981. Garbusjuk followed the footsteps of his Austrian ancestors as a candy maker and underwent intensive culinary training in Germany. Step through the quaint doors of the shop to find dozens of handcrafted sweets, from classic sea salt and caramel chocolate boxes to bars etched in the shape of Washington state. For those who love digging into the process, Boehm’s offers chocolate-making classes that include a tour of the factory and the adjacent chalet where Boehm lived, and a guided session with participants making more than a pound of chocolate treats to take home.


Also on the property is a replica of a 12th-century Switzerland chapel, featuring a re-creation of Michelangelo’s Creation of Man. The chapel was a vision of Boehm that came to fruition shortly before his death, and is reserved for weddings and tours. Boehm’s Candies & Chocolate is a truly special landmark in Issaquah, with no end in sight. Garbusjuk is passing the business on to his two children, who are learning the company from the ground up.


The doors to Fran’s Chocolates in Bellevue and Seattle are like the entrance to heaven. Bite-size chocolate truffles are delicately wrapped in paper foil, beckoning onlookers to have a taste. Fran Bigelow’s name has become synonymous with exceptional chocolate; it was a trip to Paris that inspired her affinity for “pure” and “simple” flavors. Bigelow opened her first patisserie and chocolate shop in 1982, and is credited for “sparking the artisan chocolate renaissance in the United States” some time later.


“We make chocolate. Amazing, delicious, mind-bending, wonderful chocolate,” according to the founder of Theo chocolate, and we could leave it at that as a perfect summation of the delectable company. But its origin story is truly inspiring. Founder Joe Whinney first started exploring organic cocoa beans in 1994, and fell in love with the people farming the land in Central America and Africa. In 2006, Whinney created Theo chocolate and brought the first organic chocolate to the United States. Theo’s mission is to “create a more beautiful, compassionate, and enduring world by responsibly making delicious and inspiring products for everyone.”


Erin Andrews embarked on a family trip to Belize and showed her daughters cacao farms. She fell in love with chocolate and launched the first iteration of her chocolate company in Belize. As of now, she’s been in the business for eight years and recently moved into a new location as the first chocolate factory at Pike Place Market.

23 Lunar New Year 2018 Events In Seattle

Where to Welcome the Year of the Dog with Lion and Dragon Dances, Dumplings, Lucky Envelopes, and More

by Stranger Things To Do Staff

 The  Lunar New Year in Chinatown  festival is the biggest event in Seattle, complete with dragon and lion dances, taiko drumming, and the beloved $3 food walk. CHAM ROEUN BUNPHOATH

The Lunar New Year in Chinatown festival is the biggest event in Seattle, complete with dragon and lion dances, taiko drumming, and the beloved $3 food walk. CHAM ROEUN BUNPHOATH

The Lunar New Year officially begins on February 16, but Seattle celebrations to welcome the Year of the Dog start well before then. We've rounded them all up below, from the Lunar New Year in Chinatown festival to Seattle Symphony's Celebrate Asia concert, and from Têt in Seattle - Vietnamese Lunar New Year to a celebration at Lucky Envelope Brewing. Find them all below, or on our Lunar New Year calendar.


Lunar New Year at Uwajimaya
The Asian grocery store chain will celebrate Lunar New Year by giving out lucky red envelopes with special prizes to customers who spend $30 or more. At the Seattle store on February 10 and 11, Yenbo Huang will also demonstrate Chinese calligraphy, copies of which will be available for purchase. There will also be colorful lion dance performances in Seattle and Renton on February 10, and in Bellevue on February 18.


Lunar New Year at Tacoma Dome
Celebrate Lunar New Year with the Asia Pacific Cultural Center by visiting over 90 booths and watching live performances from around the world.

Lunar New Year Banquet
See traditional performances, bid on auction items, and enjoy a special House of Hong menu to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year Dumpling Party
Bid adieu to the Year of Rooster and welcome in the Year of the Dog with a plate of delicious dumplings from Callus. Proceeds from the party benefit China Residencies, a non-profit directory and advisory platform for artists to "engage in creative exchange through residency programs in China."

Lunar New Year Fair
See a traditional lion dance before picking up a "passport" to go on a Lunar New Year tour through the Wing Luke Museum. There you'll find games, crafts, stories, face painting, a scavenger hunt, raffle prizes, and more.

Lunar New Year Gala
Ring in the Year of the Dog at the UW Chinese Student Association's 51st Annual Lunar New Year Gala, which is open to the public. There will be food, games, and prizes.

Sammamish Chinese New Year
Experience Chinese traditions surrounding the Lunar New Year by seeing performances by the International Lion Dance Team, watching a martial arts demonstration, live music, and dance, taking in visual arts, and visiting interactive booths.


Têt in Seattle - Vietnamese Lunar New Year
The Lunar New Year is celebrated not only in China, but also in Vietnam, Korea, and other countries. Explore the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Vietnam through live performances, hands-on activities, foods, crafts, games, martial arts, and a market.


Celebrate Asia
Seattle Symphony will perform their annual Celebrate Asia concert, which has celebrated traditions of Seattle’s Asian communities for 10 years now. This year's concert will feature music by famous Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Indian composers. There will also be lion dancers and drummers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year Celebration: Stories & Tea/Pastry Pairing
Sip tea, snack on pastries baked by Yana Bacheva Guerrero to represent symbols of good fortune, and learn about traditional symbols and rituals of prosperity for the Chinese New Year, like red envelopes and paper with Chinese words.

Lunar New Year in Chinatown
Ring in the Year of the Dog at this massive Lunar New Year celebration that showcases the diversity, richness, and culture of the Asian community. See traditional dragon and lion dances, Japanese Taiko drumming, martial arts, and other cultural performances on the Main Stage, plus arts and crafts and family activities—and don't miss the $3 food walk.


Lunar New Year at Great American Casino
Snag limited-edition $8 collectible chips in red envelopes and take in a dragon dance for the Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year at Wild Ginger
See a traditional lion dance performance by the International Lion Dance & Martial Arts Team in celebration of Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year: Red Envelopes
For Chinese New Year, Super Six will be distributing lucky red envelopes stuffed with surprise coupons with every check—yours could contain 50-percent-off your drinks, buy-one-get-one-free musubi deals, or half-off a hat or sweatshirt.


2018 Year of the Dog Chinese New Year Celebration
Ballard’s Lucky Envelope Brewing cofounders Barry Chan and Raymond Kwan named their business for the Chinese tradition of giving out colorful red packets stuffed with paper cash to bring good fortune for occasions such as the Lunar New Year (the color red is associated with energy and prosperity). To usher in the Year of the Dog, they’ve planned an all-out weekend celebration with five special “culturally inspired” beer releases, food trucks with sweet and savory taiyaki from BeanFish on Saturday and teriyaki rice bowls from Byte on Sunday, and—of course—red envelope giveaways with deals tucked inside.


Chungee's 8 Year Anniversary and Chinese New Year
Usher in the Year of the Dog with as well as Chungee's eighth anniversary with a special lion dance performance, homestyle Cantonese food, cocktails, and beer.

Lunar New Year at Phoenix Tea
Drink tea, eat snacks, make art, and write down your intentions at this Lunar New Year party.


Lincoln District Lunar New Year
See performances representing Lunar New Year traditions from around the world—including Thailand, Mexico, Hawaii, Somalia, Cambodia, and more—at this Tacoma event. Performers include Poerava Group, Variya, Esplandor Mexicano, Samuel Danh, Kanoelani Galiza, Rukio, and others.

Lunar New Year at Stevens Pass
Shred your way down the mountain and into the Lunar New Year. Then, watch a lion dance, enjoy traditional food specials, join a torchlight parade, and meet "avalanche dogs."

Musang Chinese New Year Pop-Up
This month's edition of Musang, a recurring pop-up brunch, will celebrate Chinese New Year by "honoring the many Chinese influences in Filipino Cuisine."


Lunar New Year at Bellevue Collection
See martial arts, music, and dance performances, and taste food from Din Tai Fung and Baron's Xi'an Kitchen and Bar, at this Lunar New Year celebration.


Gung Haggis Fat Choy Seattle 2018
This curious cultural fusion is the only event that fuses the celebration of Scottish poet Robert Burns' birthday with the Chinese Lunar New Year. There's lion dancers and bagpipes, a special Presentation of the Haggis, and a recitation of Robert Burns' "Address to the Haggis."

ICHS Lunar New Year 5k
Celebrate the Year of the Dog by running or walking this annual 5K.

Your Ultimate Guide to Where to Eat Out (or Order Food From) for Valentine's Day 2018 in Seattle

Heart-Shaped Pizza Deliveries, Splurgy Dinners, No-Reservation Dessert Nights, and More

by Stranger Things To Do Staff  |  Courtesy of

 Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about expensive steak dinners— Ba Bar  will offer a giant bowl of pho for two, complete with happiness dumplings, prosecco, and chocolate cake, all for a cool $48 per couple. BA BAR CAPITOL HILL

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about expensive steak dinners—Ba Bar will offer a giant bowl of pho for two, complete with happiness dumplings, prosecco, and chocolate cake, all for a cool $48 per couple. BA BAR CAPITOL HILL

We know you can't go just anywhere for your Valentine's victuals, so we've rounded up all the Valentine's Day events in town so that you can choose your own adventure. You can get dressed to the nines for a high-end affair at Tilth or Eden Hill, or go low-key with a beer dinner at Belltown Brewing or Ghostfish. Dining in more your style? Not to worry—we've compiled a selection of gifts and treats that you can get delivered right to your or your loved one's door, like oysters from Taylor Shellfish, heart-shaped pizzas from Big Mario's, or confections from Cupcake Royale. Still want to go out, but don't have the time or budget for a full dinner? We've also included drinks- and dessert-only options, like Oola's Valentine's Boozy Hot Chocolate Bar and Coyle's Bakeshop's Dessert Night. Follow the links below for full menus and reservation links, and, for even more inspiration, check out our complete Valentine's Day calendar.

Note: We advise you to make your reservations as soon as possible, as many of these locations may already be fully booked and deadlines are fast approaching for pickup orders. Call ahead to make sure.

Jump to: Dinners | Desserts | Drinks | Classes | Food to Order


All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar
Scott Mickelson's four-course dinner includes Oysters Rockefeller, salmon en papillote or New York steak, and raspberry chocolate panna cotta or ganache for dessert.

Bluwater Bistro
Dine on surf and turf (lobster tail and filet mignon) and a complimentary glass of champagne. There will also be a jazz quartet on Valentine's Day evening.

El Gaucho
At this combination Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day event, dine on three courses with choices like crab avocado crostini, filet mignon, vegetarian jambalaya, and bread pudding while taking in a burlesque cabaret show hosted by ringmaster Armitage Shanks.

Dunbar Room
Nurse a cocktail near the Dunbar Room's crackling fire before enjoying a luxurious three-course meal that includes wild mushroom bruschetta, rabbit cacciatore, Wagyu steak bolognese, and passionfruit cannoli that "will bring a tear to your eye."

Ada's Technical Books: Love at the Lab
Indulge in amuse-bouche with avocado toast and roasted tomato polenta bites, cocktails, and a choice of rich duck egg carbonara with king trumpet mushroom "bacon" or Brussels sprout risotto with Meyer lemon for the main course.

Chef Shota Nakajima's six-course Japanese menu showcases lobster tempura and a molten lava cake with cedar smoked gelato and red miso caramel.

The sumptuous feast at Maria Hines' trattoria includes options such as beef cheek ragu, beet and fennel pappardelle with ricotta salata, Taylor Shellfish mussels with preserved Meyer lemon and chilies, and limoncello tiramisu.

The craft cocktail bar and restaurant has a four-course menu with chrysanthemum and caviar blinis, beef tartare with smoked quail egg, hanger steak and smoked black cod, and red velvet cake.

Bar Cotto
The salumeria will have hearty, comforting choices like braised beef short ribs with polenta, roasted fennel, and gremolata and a funghi pizza. End with an ice cream sandwich with chocolate gelato and hot fudge.

Baron's Xi'an Kitchen & Bar
The contemporary Chinese restaurant will have a limited amount of two-top tables for couples but will have plenty of room for groups, with romantic reimagined Chinese fare like passionfruit prawns, champagne sea bass, black pepper Wagyu beef, Peking duck, and royal pan-fried seafood noodles. They'll also have cocktails, like the lavender Empress Royale or the rose-colored Strawberry Basil Martini, and an in-house sommelier will be on hand for wine pairings.

Belltown Brewing
For a laid-back Valentine's Day, the Belltown brewery will serve pancetta fennel salad, pork chops, and strawberries with strawberry gastrique, along with an optional beer pairing flight with four beers.

The Bookstore Bar
Let whiskey whisk you away with a four-course journey, with whiskey-infused dishes like duck confit salad with a scallion whiskey agrodolce and cocktail pairings like a yuzu whiskey highball.

Bramling Cross
The cozy gastropub's lobster-focused menu features lobster deviled eggs, lobster fritters, whole grilled lobster, and pickle fries with dill aioli, with malted chocolate budino for dessert. Upgrade with filet mignon or a wine or beer pairing.

Cafe Pettirosso
The Capitol Hill cafe will serve a vegan-friendly prix-fixe menu and a limited menu of their usual offerings.

Columbia Tower Club
This elegant dinner features a choice of roast chicken or Chilean sea bass for the main dish, and views from the Columbia Tower.

Copperleaf Restaurant
This luxe seven-course meal features Maine lobster ravioli, caramelized diver scallops, and Theo milk chocolate Bavarian.

Derby, Ethan Stowell's restaurant inside the upscale car club The Shop, has a lobster-themed menu, from smoked lobster bruschetta to a whole grilled lobster.

Eden Hill
Chef Maximillian Petty's characteristically playful menu includes innovations like a crispy pig ear salad, a chestnut pecorino tortellini, a grown-up "snack pack" with whiskey caramel and dark chocolate pudding with real 24K gold, and a honeycomb lollipop.

Elysian Bar
Sip some thematically appropriate brews like the Bitter Patter Triple IPA and Raspy Whisper Chocolate Raspberry Gose alongside a three-course prix-fixe dinner.

Ghostfish Brewing Company
Every course of this three-course dinner in the mezzanine overlooking Ghostfish's brew floor is paired with a 7oz pour of beer, including a surprise.

Goldfinch Tavern
This "romantic feast for two" features a variety of shared plates, like goat cheese bruschetta and roasted mushrooms with fried duck egg; a shared pasta dish of gramigna pasta with hazelnuts; and choices of Oregon lamb chops, lemon marinated albacore, seared king salmon, or truffle risotto for the main course.

Snack on beets and burrata or lobster risotto while guitarist Enrique Hanao provides the soundtrack.

Heartwood Provisions
Treat yourself to Cupid worthy-comestibles such as Kusshi oysters, steak tartare with egg yolk jam, and dry-aged ribeye, all while swilling a selection of top-notch champagne from Heartwood's special menu.

Brendan McGill's fresh menu at the locally focused Bainbridge Island restaurant includes wood-fired bone marrow with Buddha's hand, ube and sweet potato terrine, broiled raclette, braised mangalitsa pork belly, and more.

Hollywood Tavern
Share a menu for two, with shrimp cocktail, prime rib or salmon, crème brûlée, and chocolate covered strawberries. Afterwards, cozy up to the outdoor fire pit with a drink.

Hot Stove Society
Love stinks, and so do the ripe, odiferous cheeses featured in every dish of this six-course meal with beverage pairings and demonstrations.

How to Cook a Wolf
The MFK Fisher-inspired restaurant in Queen Anne will have hamachi crudo with pomegranate, radish, and chili; a tagliarini with uni sauce and Dungeness crab with pangrattato; and a chickpea panisse.

Itto's Tapas
The Moroccan and Spanish tapas place will serve housemade date jam and goat cheese on baguettes, sea bass or lamb chops, and chocolate cordials with strawberry gastrique.

This bright, refreshingly unpretentious menu from the lively, irreverent French bistro (which earned a nod in Imbibe magazine at the end of 2017 for Wine Bar of the Year) showcases such "sensual and titillating gustatory delights" as albacore with preserved lemon and radish and Dungeness crab with salsify, celeriac, and carrot. There’s also a pretty palette of pairings, with natural wines in shades of pink, rosé, and red, spirits, and, for dessert, chocolates.

Lark is a perennial favorite for Valentine’s Day, and for good reason: Chef John Sundstrom's beloved high-end mainstay offers up a generous, clever menu that’s by turns luxurious and light, with raclette tartine, a rich egg yolk risotto, a PB&J foie gras pavé with huckleberry jam and fluffy peanut butter "snow" on brioche, and chèvre and wild mushroom cannelloni. It’s all finished off with a tangy blood orange and coconut milkshake.

Le Messe
The first Valentine's Day menu from the brand new restaurant by Brian Clevenger has risotto with wild mushrooms, salsify, and mascarpone and an amerena cherry sorbet.

The modern Middle Eastern eatery will have a special chef's tasting menu, a rosé cocktail, and hand-painted truffles.

Marine Hardware
Ethan Stowell's intimate Ballard spot has oysters on the half shell, crispy pork rillette, roasted king crab, and roasted beet salad, and an assortment of mignardises and truffles to finish.

Each course of this sweet and swoony supper from Marmite co-owners and couple Bruce and Sara Naftaly symbolizes an aspect of love: oysters for their aphrodisiac properties, nettle soup (the dish Bruce won Sara over with after they picked 33 gallons of nettles at Discovery Park on their first date, aww), cheese blintzes with wild mushrooms and pickled peaches to represent the "sincere warmth" of love, and Chateaubriand beef and wine in honor of François-René de Chateaubriand, founder of French romanticism. Chocolate cake for dessert, naturally.

Savor a three-course dinner with oysters on the half shell, oxtail pappardelle, and blood orange cheesecake. You'll also be helping support FareStart's mission to provide "the next level of needs to help move people toward a higher wage on their journey to security and self-sufficiency."

Enjoy a romantic French-inspired six-course menu while being serenaded with accordion music from Bonnie Birch.

Mercato Stellina
The Italian brick-oven pizzeria’s cozy Pike Place location, which just opened in December and features a window where guests can watch pasta being made by hand, will serve options like steak tartare and foie gras on fragrant, herb-studded pizza breads, as well as hand-shaped stuffed caramelle pasta in a prosecco-spiked blood orange sauce and chicken tortellini in a savory parmesan broth. The meal will be topped off with a choice of chocolate budino with olive oil and sea salt or blood orange granita, and strains of live accordion music from musician Lenny Luzzi will set the tone for a romantic repast straight out of Lady and the Tramp.

The Tangletown cafe will have seared foie gras with brioche and fig jam, Kusshi oysters, king crab ravioli, and olive oil lemon cake.

Omega Ouzeri
The Greek Capitol Hill fixture offers a prix-fixe menu with three courses with options like saganaki (flaming cheese), lobster pasta, and passionfruit cake, as well as a dinner menu of highlights.

Osteria La Spiga
The rustic Northern Italian osteria has chestnut crepes with wild mushroom sauce, smoked tuna carpaccio with fennel and orange, pan poached monkfish with smashed potatoes, and chocolate budino.

The Valentine's standby has Dungeness crab and lobster bisque, prime rib, roast chicken, and a "Cupid's duo for two" (white and dark chocolate fondue with graham cracker dust, toasted marshmallows, and cookie hearts) for dessert.

Poco Wine + Spirits
Choose between chorizo or harissa chicken, side dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon-wrapped dates, and chocolate lava cake or apple cobbler, with a bottle of Carignan or Petite Syrah.

The bright, cheerful, Thali-style restaurant's menu features warm mussel and smoked potato salad, celery root ravioli, braised short ribs, and desserts in unexpected combinations like chili peanut ice cream with masala popcorn and butterscotch baklava with coffee custard sauce.

Brian Clevenger's West Seattle restaurant will serve sunchoke "chips and dip" with salmon roe and chives and handmade rigatoni with brussels sprout pesto.

Rione XIII
The Roman-inspired restaurant will have white truffle ravioli, risotto cacio e pepe, and linguini nero with clams and pangrattato, with tiramisu for dessert.

Michael Mina's trés French five-course menu includes oysters and caviar, escargot en croute, Maine lobster thermidor, char-grilled and butter-basted chateubriand, and a Valrhona chocolate pot au creme.

This four-course tasting menu from executive chef Derek Simcik starts with a fresh hamachi crudo and ends with a profiterole filled with dark chocolate mousse and pomegranate curd.

This decadent four-course menu features foie gras mousse, butternut squash mezzaluna, braised beef short ribs, and pomegranate cheesecake, with the Alex Guilbert Trio providing music.

Staple & Fancy
Ethan Stowell's Italian eatery offers raw oysters, burrata with green apple and chive, foie gras crostini with fig and balsamic compote, gnocchi with braised short ribs, and yogurt panna cotta.

The French-Vietnamese fusion gem will serve an inventive menu with a golden shrimp "toast" bun, Dungeness crab cakes, and a gianduja-cassia bark "creamsicle."

The Italian-American restaurant housed within Hotel Ballard will serve caramelized cauliflower agnolotti, grilled lamb loin, and chocolate hazelnut mousse crunch.

Tavolàta Capitol Hill and Tavolàta Belltown
Both locations of the pasta-focused eatery will have pork belly with parsnip puree and kumquat agrodolce; black truffle risotto with cauliflower, leeks and Parmigiano-Reggiano; and tagliatelle with oysters.

The perennial farm-to-table favorite offers a rustically romantic menu that includes Kusshi oysters with yuzu mignonette, house-made frascatelli with foraged mushrooms, and goat cheese semifreddo for dessert.

Executive Chef Steven Ariel's simple, classic menu features a baby green salad with tender beets, an alder-smoked prime rib steak and shrimp, and chocolate and salted caramel mousse cake.

Waterways Cruises
On this cruise, feast your eyes on views of Lake Washington and Lake Union while you dine on a four-course menu with a choice of lamb, sockeye salmon, or gnocchi. Add on V-Day staples like roses and chocolate-covered strawberries.

The Herbfarm
The upscale dining destination ratchets up their already amorous ambience with "an abundance of roses, candles, champagne and romantic music to set the mood" at this multi-course meal, with wine pairings culled from their 25,000+-bottle cellar.

Ba Bar
Pho is for lovers: Slurp a giant bowl of noodles for two and enjoy sparkling wine, "happiness dumplings" and chocolate raspberry decadence cake.

Dexter Brewhouse
Dive into a special Valentine's menu with a rich, yolky salade Lyonnaise; lamb chops or vegetarian lasagna; and a dark chocolate cheesecake with a dark cherry reduction.

Lady Yum
Come dressed as a queen and celebrate the Galentines in your life with bottomless champagne, macarons, snacks, drink specials, and special prizes.

Ray's Cafe
The Ray's Boathouse sibling will offer its regular menu as well as "a variety of decadent date night specials."

Redhook Brewlab
Savor a four-course menu, with shiitake and squash tempura, hamachi poke, and local beef, along with limited release beer pairings in Brewlab's private dining room.


The Nest: Sweet Tooth Experience
Indulge your sweet cravings with a tasting menu of confections including white chocolate with pistachio and rosewater and milk chocolate with baguette ice cream and olive oil jam. Then take in the sultry stylings of vocalist Caety Sagoian at the Nest's Love or Lust party.

The Cookie Counter
The Greenwood vegan bakery and ice cream shop's V-Day mixer includes a warm cookie sundae/"pizookie" ("a fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookie baked up in an individual pie tin, topped with two scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, whip cream, sprinkles, and two cherries"), new rotating flavors, Valentine's Day Mad Libs, a photo booth, candlelight treats, and board games. Wear red, pink, or hearts to enter a raffle for $25 at Cookie Counter. 15% of all proceeds will go to Luvable Dog Rescue, and guests are encouraged to bring donations.

Coyle's Bakeshop
For the debut edition of their “Bakeshop Dessert Night,” Coyle’s Bakeshop is transforming their quaint, chandelier-illuminated Greenwood bakery space into a Parisian bistro-slanted “low-key dessert restaurant” for the evening, serving lemon tarts, profiteroles, and ille flotante (“floating island,” a foaming meringue set adrift on a puddle of creme anglaise) alongside coupes of champagne cocktails and a steady flow of sparkling wine. No reservations are necessary, so it’s an ideal last-minute date or additional stop at the end of your night.

Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery
In the tradition of Leslie Knope, this day for "ladies celebrating ladies" features scoops on pink waffle cones, a selfie station with props, an exclusive ice cream flavor for the occasion, and treats like chocolate boxes, pastries, cakes, espresso, and more.

Hot Cakes
For the holiday, the molten chocolate cakery is re-releasing their "bling blings," a gourmet, gilded version of a Hostess Ding Dong: "moist, dark chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate butter cream then hand-dipped in organic 55% dark chocolate" in a shiny gold wrapping.

Lady Yum
The macaron maker has Red Velvet and Burnin' Love (a spicy hot tamale flavor) treats available for the month of February.

Molly Moon's Ice Cream
Heat things up with the ice cream parlor's limited-time Valentine's flavor, Mexican hot chocolate spiked with organic cinnamon from Red Ape Cinnamon (available in scoops and pints).

Raised Doughnuts
Get a box with a glazed strawberry doughnut and three raspberry doughnut holes from the sought-after doughnut pop-up, available through Blossoms Studios for a limited time. There are also gift packages with doughnuts and flowers available.

Theo Chocolate
Everybody's favorite Phinney chocolatier offers a variety of treats for the holiday: My Cherry Baby (a milk chocolate bar with chewy dried and freeze-dried cherry bits); Salted Black Licorice (a salty dark chocolate bar with a subtle anise flavor); Love Is Love (an eight-piece box of mixed chocolates); and Casanova, a "sensual" collection of caramels in Catuaba Lemon Verbena, Lavender Jalapeno, Ginger Rose, and Honey Saffron.


The "urban winery" and tasting bar will have specials just for Valentine's Day, like their Love Potion No. 9 (a blushing, fizzy sparkling wine with preserved hibiscus) and cannoli for dessert.

Frolik: Be My Valentine Bash
Sip sparkling rosé and cocktails while participating in icebreakers and consorting with eligible singles. Join one of three age groups (20s-30s, 30s-40s, or 40+).

OOLA Distillery
Customize your own spirituous hot cocoa from indi chocolate with a selection of OOLA's vodka, gin, and whiskey, and top with add-ons like toasted marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, caramel sauce.

Pine Box
Spread the love with sour ales from New Belgium, like Oscar, Felix, & Imperial Frambozen, on tap.

Seattle Caviar Company
Enjoy blushing-pink bubbles, taste seven varieties of caviar, and end with heart-shaped toast points topped with caviar and crème fraiche.


Boat Street Kitchen: Cooking Class
If you'd rather spend Valentine's Day in the comfort of your home with a home-cooked meal but don't know what to make, Boat Street Kitchen will show you how with this cooking class that includes dinner and wine.

Cookie Decorating at Nuflours
Gluten-free eaters can join in the cookie decorating fun with this informal, hands-on class, which will teach you how to embellish your cookies with sugars, glitter, icing, and more.

Truffle Making & Flower Arranging Workshop
Feeling crafty? At this hands-on workshop, the artisan chocolatiers of indi chocolate will teach you how to make delectable hand-rolled truffles and customize them with your favorite toppings, and Jessica Helton, founder of Studio Bloom, will show you how to arrange delicate blossoms in a bouquet to take home with you. Nurse your choice of a 72% drinking chocolate, OOLA's whiskey, or a glass of red Wildridge Winery wine while you linger over your creations.

Valentine's Day Bean to Bar Chocolate Making Class
If you've ever wondered how to make chocolate from scratch, here's your chance. You'll learn how to roast, refine and temper chocolate starting with cacao beans and go home with a free chocolate bar of your choice.


Big Mario's
Convey your feelings for the objection of your affection with a cheesy, heart-shaped pie delivered right to their door by Big Mario's. Add a single rose and, if you wish, a custom message.

Cupcake Royale
For February's Filled with Love series, Cupcake Royale has created a series of filled cupcakes, including Fluffernutter, Butterscotch, Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake, and Raspberry White Chocolate. There are also dozens topped with "hugs and kisses" and conversation hearts, a Valentine's classic dozen and Valentine's favorites dozen with staples like red velvet. And if you need something more potent, don't forget Deathcake, Cupcake Royale's famous "lovingly lethal" dessert with three layers of Jacobsen Sea Salt "chocolate decadence," chocolate cake, and Stumptown espresso ganache (also available in a gluten free version).
Deadline to order: No later than noon on Tuesday, February 13.

Piroshky Piroshky
The Pike Place Market pastry purveyor is offering a Valentine’s Day gift box with seven sweet piroshkies of your choosing.
Deadline to order: Friday, February 9 for shipping before Valentine's Day. Monday, February 12 for pick-up on Valentine's Day at Pike Place, Northgate Mall, Westfield Southcenter, and Columbia Center.

Nancy Stuart, whose Instagram bio says she "dreams in buttercream," makes gorgeous, showstopping cakes. Snap up a mini four-layer cake perfectly sized for two, in flavors like chocolate-hazelnut, strawberry vanilla, and PB&J (or get a bundle of all three).
Deadline to order: Sunday, February 11. Pick-up will be available at SPRUCE in Bellingham between 4 and 6 pm on Valentine's Day.

Taylor Shellfish
Give the gift of shellfish with a pre-order from the premier oyster supplier.
Deadline to order: Not listed, order ahead to be safe and specify desired delivery date.

Trophy Cupcakes
The cupcakery’s “Happy Valentine” dozen includes cupcakes in chocolate raspberry, chocolate vanilla, and vanilla vanilla, decked out with candy hearts and decorative picks. If you like your pastries petite, they also have adorable red velvet and chocolate raspberry minis sprinkled with tiny hearts.
Deadline to order: Not listed, order ahead to be safe and specify desired delivery date.

29 Places to Celebrate Mardi Gras 2018 in Seattle

Where to Get King Cake, Dance to Brazilian Carnaval Music, Find Party Beads, and More

by Stranger Things To Do Staff  |  Courtesy of

 Whether you want to eat king cake or get decked out with beads and go dancing, there's a Mardi Gras event for you in Seattle. SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Whether you want to eat king cake or get decked out with beads and go dancing, there's a Mardi Gras event for you in Seattle. SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 13, this year, and there are tons of opportunities in Seattle to raise a glass to the the party-filled and culturally diverse holiday. Whether you're looking to let loose early, the day-of, or a few days after, we've got you covered, from Columbia City's Beatwalk Fat Tuesday to Brazilian Carnaval 2018: Mardi Gras!, and from the Mardi Gras Mayhem 5K to the French Quarter Kitchen's party with hush puppies and beignets. Plus, at the end of this list, we've rounded up all of the places to get king cake, paçzki, and other Mardi Gras treats at bakeries, grocery stores, and other restaurants around Seattle.


Sebi's Bistro Fat Thursday Polish Donuts
Get a taste of Mardi Gras early at this traditional Polish celebration with donuts, pastries, and other sugary treats.


Tavern Hall Mardi Gras
Get in a festive state of mind with a Mardi Gras menu, Louisiana beer, and cocktails in Bellevue.


The Great Royal Room Mardi Gras Celebration
The Columbia City venue will celebrate Mardi Gras over three evenings: A Tribute to Fats Domino on Friday, Caribbean Carnival Fete on Saturday, and Fat Tuesday on Mardi Gras itself.


Mardi Gras & Music Festival
Visit our neighbors in Burien for a Mardi Gras celebration, live music, and a pub crawl.

Mardi Gras at Emerald City Trapeze
Make your Mardi Gras "dark and sexy" at this cabaret circus show, where flying trapeze artists, variety acts, and aerial artists will perform before joining guests on the floor for a dance party. Don't miss the themed cocktails.

Mardi Gras at Highline
Dance along to local bands Butterflies of Death and Butt Dial, take in burlesque performances by Scandal From Bohemia, Momo La Vein, Evan Vicious, Ruby T. Gray, Bunny Rarebits, Carmen Caliente, Namii, and Bella Lunacy, and enjoy Mardi Gras-themed libations.

Mardi Gras Masquerade Party Cruise
Board a three-hour cruise for this Fat Tuesday fête, which includes Creole-inspired appetizers, a DJ and dancing, drink specials, beads, and a mask.

FEBRUARY 10 & 14

Mardi Gras: A Valentine's Cabaret
At this combination Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day event, dine on three courses with choices like crab avocado crostini, filet mignon, vegetarian jambalaya, and bread pudding while taking in a burlesque cabaret show hosted by ringmaster Armitage Shanks.


Fastelavn is a children's carnival traditionally celebrated in Denmark (as well as Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Estonia, Latvia, and the Faroe Islands) a couple days before Ash Wednesday. This celebration features a barrel piñata, candy, crafts, a "beat the cat out of the barrel" contest to chase away the lingering spirit of winter, and more.

Petit Troll
Stop by the Fremont Sunday Market to join the Neon Brass Party for a flashy mini parade a couple days before Fat Tuesday. They'll be decked out in glittery costumes as they galavant down the street with mini floats in tow.


The 5 Spot Mardi Gras
The homey Queen Anne diner will celebrate with Big Easy food specials, like a crawfish boil and Dungeness crab and duck gumbo, and live music from the Acheevers. Whoever finds a tiny plastic baby baked into their slice of king cake for dessert will reign supreme for a day by winning a $50 card.

B's Po Boy Mardi Gras
In the hedonistic spirit of the holiday, heap your plate with crawfish etouffee, gumbo, red beans and rice, and king cakes from the authentic New Orleans-style joint's buffet, with sets from Big Easy-inspired band Super-Krewe.

Beatwalk Fat Tuesday 2018
Multiple venues in Columbia City will have live music and drink specials for Mardi Gras, in addition to a second-line parade led by Jazz Night School.

Fat Tuesday Celebration with Thomas Marriott & Friends
Jazz trumpeter Thomas Marriott has won the Golden Ear from Earshot Jazz seven times. He and his band will perform at jazz hangout Tula's for a riotous Fat Tuesday celebration.

French Quarter Kitchen Mardi Gras
The newly rebranded French Quarter Kitchen (formerly Absinthe Brasserie) will go all-out for the occasion, with free hush puppies and beignets, king cake, complimentary rum punch, burlesque performances by Briq House and Verity Germaine, all-night happy hour specials, and giveaways.

Ivar's Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Party
Don a mask or themed attire for Ivar's Fat Tuesday fête, with live zydeco music, door prizes, a buffet of Cajun and Creole comestibles like crawfish cakes and fried green tomato muffulettas, and hot blueberry beignets and king cakes for dessert.

Poly Gras: A Mardi Gras Celebration
The controlled tempest that is the Polyrhythmics brings the funk for Mardi Gras, supported by Ten Man Brass Band and DJ Abe Beeson for an all-out dance party.

Toulouse Petit Mardi Gras
The Cajun-Creole kitchen is throwing a bash with drink specials, beads, masquerade masks, prizes, and music from the Dixie Land Band and DJ Marty Mar.


Anderson School Seafood Boil
Roll up your sleeves and tuck into a Fat Tuesday feast of oysters on the half shell, crab, steamer clams, prawns, mussels, kielbasa sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes, and more right on the table. As they write, "Le Bonne Temps Rouler!"


Brazilian Carnaval 2018: Mardi Gras!
Eduardo and Ana Paula Mendonça present this Seattle-based celebration of Brazilian Carnaval (an annual festival with parades, dancing, singing, and celebration that happens before Lent begins) that will take into account issues of power, racial exclusion, and social inequality. Attendees will get to experience a wide variety of region- and culture-specific Brazilian music and dance.

Stone Lounge Brazilian Party
DJ Neto will be laying down Brazilian, funk, and reggae music, with support from special guest Junior do Cavaco.

Royal Esquire Club Mardi Gras
Celebrate Mardi Gras with beads, feathers, masks, parasols, and live Zydeco music.


Mardi Gras Mayhem 5K
Don your party beads for a Mardi Gras 5K around Magnuson Park.


Amandine Bakeshop
The regal Galette des Rois at Sara Naftaly’s bakery comes topped with its own cute little paper glitter crown.

Bakery Nouveau
The venerable bakeshop has been busy frying up paçzki, a Polish donut treat, filled with chocolate, vanilla, or raspberry pastry cream or house-made apple tatin, available at all three locations until February 13. Their king cake, made with braised croissant dough and rolled with apple tatin and raisins, is blinged out with gold and purple sugar and is available by the slice or whole cake (the whole ones have beads!).

Le Panier
The French patisserie’s Galette des Rois can be requested through special order until February 14, depending on availability (call ahead to make sure).

Metropolitan Market
The upscale grocer is selling fried, glazed paçzki oozing with jelly and sweet cream until February 13, while supplies last. (Pre-orders are advised; call your local store or stop by to ensure yours.)

Sugar Bakery
The First Hill bakery bakes king cake with a buttery brioche dough and three choices of filling: bourbon pecan, strawberry cream cheese, or vanilla cream cheese. It’s adorned with colored sugar and beads and comes with a plastic baby inside. Whole cakes can be pre-ordered by calling 206-749-4105 until March 5, and it’s also available by the slice on Thursdays and Fridays.

Where Ya At Matt
The roving New Orleans street food truck serves colored sugar-sprinkled King’s Cake by the slice.

Where to Dine Out for Valentine’s Day: 2018 Edition

For Valentines and Galentines, Tinder dates and soul mates.

By Diane Stephani  2/1/2018 at 9:30am

Reservations, as always, are key. 

Six courses with dishes like chicken nanban with shiitake puree, lobster tempura, beef tenderloin with mayo mashed potatoes, and molten lava cake with cedar smoked gelato and red miso caramel. $90 per person

Four courses including pancetta-mozzarella panini with spicy fonduta and roasted potatoes, kale salad with avocado and blood orange, lasagna bolognese with marinara, and caramel cake with coffee frosting and brown butter streusel. $65 per person 

Bookstore Bar and Cafe 
Westland Distillery selections paired with a four-course menu: shigoku oysters, duck confit salad, 72-hour braised zabuton steak with celeriac puree, and torchon foie gras with pear textures and whiskey gastrique. $60 per person, $80 with whiskey pairings

El Gaucho Seattle 
Three courses accompanied by a cabaret show. Choose from options like crab avocado crostini, filet mignon, sea bass, vegetarian jambalaya, and bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and praline-rum sauce. $150 per person

Heartwood Provisions 
Five courses with geoduck, seared yellowtail with sunchoke puree, dry-aged ribeye with parsnip confit, and coconut tapioca with condensed milk foam. $95 per person

Eight courses such as wood-fired bone marrow, ube and sweet potato terrine, squid ink bucatini, sunchoke and celeriac risotto, and dry-aged beef ribeye. $120 per person, optional $60 for beverage pairings

Four courses with raclette tartine, caramelized onion soup, lamb chops with sunchoke puree and red wine sauce, and a blood orange and coconut milkshake. $120 per person, $55 optional wine pairing

Le Messe 
An amuse of celeriac soup with pesto and black truffle, plus three courses such as ahi tuna with pomello, farro, and green goddess dressing, black cod with Manilla clams and garbanzo beans, risotto with wild mushrooms, salsify, and mascarpone, and amarena cherry sorbet with mint and sea salt. $75 per person

Mercato Stellina 
Live music by Lenny Luzzi, five courses with kushi oysters and radish salsa with yuzu lemon, steak tartare with quail egg, foie gras with apple and pear compote, chicken tortellini, and blood orange sorbet.$65 per person, $40 optional wine pairing

Three courses with Dungeness crab and lobster bisque, surf  and turf, organic roast chicken, and mascarpone cheesecake with raspberry coulis. $75 per person, $12–$15 beverage pairing

Four courses: sunchoke chips and dip with salmon roe and chives, hamachi crudo, rigatoni with brussels sprout pesto, lamb loin with polenta, bitter greens, and saba, and an almond and olive oil cake with gremolata and caramel. $70 per person

Five courses with oysters and caviar with eucalyptus creme fraiche, Maine lobster thermadore with cognac creme, and champignon de Paris and tarragon. $125 per person, $65–$85 for beverage pairing

Six courses with braised oxtail risotto, roasted lamb chop with melted leeks, fritti misti, and pistachio-mascarpone cream with luxardo cherry mousse. $115 per person, $50 for wine pairing

Four courses with choices like hamachi sashimi, salmon roe on crispy sticky rice, glazed turkey wing, Dungeness crab cake with sesame noodles, and caramelized banana cake. $75 per person, $35 for wine pairings

Four courses with caviar dip and chips, Dungeness crab salad with aleppo pepper, egg yolk raviolo with sheep’s milk ricotta, grilled lamb loin with Baharat spice, and chocolate hazelnut mousse crunch. $75 per person, additional $19 for bubbles pairing

Three courses which include tomato tagliatelle with pesto, bacon, and ricotta salata, beef cheeks with roasted garlic, speck, and celeriac gremolata, and chestnut semifreddo with buttermilk, bay leaf, and green apple. $75 per person

Volunteer Park Cafe 
Five courses including prawn salad with citrus and avocado, seafood consomme, duck breast with sweet potato puree and apple-cress salad, pork tenderloin with escarole and pear chutney, and chocolate mousse with raspberries and pistachio crumble. $95 per person, $130 with wine pairings

5 Things You Need to Eat and Drink in February

lil woody's burger pic.jpg

Image Credit: Courtesy of Li'l Woody's

Meet chef Holly Smith and her fancy-pants lamb burger.

Who else is cheering for the fact that all those resolutions about less booze, fewer carbs, no sugar in January can be tossed out the window now? Life’s too short to not have the occasional (or regular) mid-day cookie or whiskey after work. Enjoy yourself, and check out these food-and-drink highlights in February:

Get your burger on.
Li’l Woody’s is again running their much-anticipated Burger Month, where four chefs create masterful specials for the local burger chain, one for each week in February. First up is Café Juanita’s Holly Smith, with her Ranch Lamb Burger: organic lamb, curry lime mayo, pickled red onion, arugula and (the wild card here) raw cauliflower, available through Feb. 5. You can check out the full lineup here—I’m most excited about Adana chef Shota Nakajima’s burger because it involves my favorite Japanese potato chips. 

Learn the wonders of paczki.
Paczki (pronounced PONCH-kee) are filled Polish doughnuts eaten before Lent, another excuse for people to deprive themselves of delicious things. Bakery Nouveau gets out the deep fryer for paczki every year in this short window—find them at all three locations until Feb. 13, when they’re gone for another year.

Up your pre-flight meal game.
Sea-Tac is in the middle of a major restaurant overhaul, promising offshoots of popular local businesses to keep us well fed prior to a flight. (Someone told me my first year in Seattle to take a sunny vacation sometime in February, and no advice has been more valuable.) Café Flora is launching Floret between terminals A and B starting Feb. 6; the 2,000-square-foot space will be the first vegetarian and vegan restaurant at the airport and serve all day. Dine in is available, when your flight to Palm Springs is inevitably delayed because the weather is terrible here, but take-out will, of course, be an option as well.

Celebrate our local ladies.
On Feb. 11, the Northwest Women Stars of Food and Wine will bring female chefs, sommeliers and winemakers for an epic feast, and $50 gets you in. Look for the likes of Chera Amlag (Hood Famous Bakeshop), Carrie Mashaney (Mamnoon), Nicole Matson (How to Cook a Wolf), Tamara Murphy (Terra Plata), Lisa Nakamura (Gnocchi Bar) and Rachel Yang (Revel, Trove, Joule) plus dozens of lady wine-and-beer makers and talented sommeliers.

Blow out the candles.
Tavolata is celebrating 11 years in Belltown—a lifetime in restaurant years—with a birthday-themed Sunday feast, also Feb. 11. If you haven’t been to one of these monthly communal dinners, I highly recommend it: It’s a steal at $55 per person (for an array of salads and salumi, multiple pasta dishes and proteins like pork chops and swordfish) and I’ve made some really excellent friends by striking up a conversation with strangers around the table. Plus, this one involves confetti cake and party hats. Make a reservation here

Winter is the Perfect Time for Locals to Visit Pike Place Market

9 places for Seattleites to check out at the market when the sky is dark and the lines are short.

BY: LESLIE KELLY |  Courtesy of

 Image Credit:  Photo via iStock.

Image Credit: Photo via iStock.

Here are a few of my favorite places -- new and old -- at this iconic landmark that we’re so fortunate to have right in the middle of our city. Please, go! Like, now!!

Cafe Campagne recently got a refresh, now the cozy dining room can peek into the open kitchen and watch chef Daisley Gordon and his crew turn out French classics like cassoulet, bouillbaisse and steak-frites. There’s also a tasty new meat-free option worth trying: Assiette de saladesfeatures a vegetable salad on marinated lentils. Big bonus: The new bread oven in the kitchen is now turning out some beautiful baguettes and croissants daily.

  Crossaints at Cafe Campagne

Crossaints at Cafe Campagne

Can we all agree, it’s a whole lot more fun to eat food on a stick? Get a naturally fermented, good-for-your-gut sour pickle on a stick at Britt’s, for the perfect $3 walking around snack. Guaruntee you’ll get some “where’d you get that?” queries out on the cobblestone streets. Tell ‘em it’s just down the hall from the magical Creamery, across from sweet Shy Giant Frozen Yogurt and kitty corner from the loveable Oriental Mart, home of some amazing Filipino home cooking.

  Andrew from Britt's shares a sour pickle. 

Andrew from Britt's shares a sour pickle. 

Did you know Seattle’s oldest wine shop has a club? I didn’t either until just a few weeks ago when a friend clued me in. It’s $40 a month for three bottles selected by the sharp staff at Pike & Western, and that also includes 15 percent off the rest of your purchases at this snug space that’s filled with all sorts of great options you’re not going to find elsewhere.

Honest Biscuits is rightly famous for its signature sandwiches, but I’m a huge fan of the grits, which you can and most certainly should order on the side. Or, assemble your own winning break-y by asking for a fried egg on top, with some kale salad on the side. This humble take-away venue is located in the awesome new MarketFront addition. What? You haven’t been to the new MarketFront? Make tracks, already!

Also in MarketFront, indi chocolates not only sells its bean-to-bar products, but serves espresso drinks and some really wonderful hot sipping chocolate. If the timing’s right, you might even catch the crew turning those thoughtfully sourced cacao beans into the dark chocolate that this business has gained acclaim for producing.

Bavarian Meats not only has one of the most interesting deli counters in the city, it’s become a destination for sausage lovers looking for their lunchtime link fix.

The new Jalapeno Popper Bratwurst will warm you right up down to your wool socks, with those fiery peppers, cream cheese and caramelized onions tucked inside the casing, turning this German classic into something that once you try it, you’re going to go to bed thinking about and wake up craving. Yes, it’s that good.

Oh, also! They’re now selling the whiskey cured bacon that blew judges away at last year’s Beer and Bacon Classic (which is coming right up… save the date: April 28 at Safeco Field).


Nothing brand new at The Crumpet Shop. Well, except that Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler were in recently, getting their maple butter crumpets on. (Really!) Very cool, guys, but I’m still a sucker for the marmalade partnered with Stilton cheese. Everything’s organic here and there’s free refills on hot tea.

Kastoori Grill does a decent lunch buffet that almost always includes a very good goat curry, but you’re definitely gonna wanna save room for the soft serve mango ice cream. This brain-freeze-inducing, orange-y swirl is the real reason I frequent this spot.

Mercato Stellina opened late last year and has been kinda flying under the radar. Which means you can still snag a table at lunch or dinner. And when you get settled in, do not miss Joe Obaya’s exceptional handmade pasta. Standouts include tender Dungeness crab gnocchi, tagliatelle Bolognese and Draper Valley chicken tortellini in a prosciutto-parm brodo. Great cocktails and stellar pizza, too.  

Bolognese at Mercato Stellina.jpg

And that’s just a start. There’s so much more to explore. See you there?


FEBRUARY IS SEATTLE MUSEUM MONTH, when visitors staying in select area hotels are invited to explore the city’s museums for half off the regular price of admission.

From jamming on a guitar at MoPOP to climbing into a jet fighter cockpit at the Museum of Flight, Museum Month is an awesome opportunity to dive into Seattle’s diverse collection of multi-sensory exhibitions, with hands-on doses of art, culture, and science. And no, you don’t have to use your “inside voice.”

MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly EMP Museum)

From the bizarre, iridescent architecture of Frank O. Gehry to the 35-foot-tall tornado-shaped tower of guitars that welcomes visitors, the Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP, is an experience for the senses. 

For some serious musical inspiration move into the space decked out in psychedelic oranges, pinks, and purples — that’s Hendrix. Even if you’re not a music fan per se, as you come face to face with Jimi’s life and legacy you’ll get a zoomed-out, macro look at the musical scene of the 1960’s and how it influenced the next 50 years. Move upstairs into the Sound Lab and pick up a guitar, sit down at the drums or keyboard and practice your solo or jam with friends. The private sound booths are a fan favorite so snag an empty one and claim your 10 minutes of booth time and compose your masterpiece. A rotating selection of exhibits featuring musical and creative icons fill the remains of the cavernous interiors of MoPOP.

Music covered, continue on your way to a full-on immersion in all things sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Three exhibits covering our “hopes, dreams, and fears” (get it?) feature props and interactive displays from popular works of cinema, literature and art. This is Seattle’s paradise for pop culture. Prepare to geek out.

Where to find it: Seattle Center – 325 Fifth Ave N

Seattle Pinball Museum

No matter how advanced video games and VR become, there will always be an undeniable (and I would say superior) pleasure in the physical banging, bouncing, blinking, and cajoling (and endless frustration) of a pinball machine. Celebrate your old-school love of pinball at the aptly named Seattle Pinball Museum — it opened in 2010, redefining “kinetic art,” and showcases machines just a few years old all the way back to 1934.

$15 gets you in the door (half off during Museum Month, of course) to play the rotating selection of 50+ machines to your heart’s content. Just try not to TILT!

Where to find it: 508 Maynard Ave S

The Center for Wooden Boats

 Photo: The Center for Wooden Boats

Photo: The Center for Wooden Boats

Seattle and the surrounding Puget Sound have a deep history of small maritime vessels (that is, boats) that goes all the way back to the native tribes who plied the waters with cedar-hulled canoes. On the shores of South Lake Union, The Center for Wooden Boatsinvites visitors to not only see their collection of boats but to actually get out on the water in one. Sign up for sailing lessons or rent yourself a sloop (you’ll find especially good rates off-season in February). Take a class, attend a lecture, a workshop, or a field trip, or just walk the docks exploring the vessels (100% free).

Intrigued, but not ready to sail on your own? Pedal-boat rentals for non-sailers are maybe more your speed (and hey, better exercise).

Where to find it: 1010 Valley St

Chihuly Garden and Glass / Museum of Glass

 Photo: Chihuly Garden and Glass

Photo: Chihuly Garden and Glass

There’s really only one name in American sculptural glass: Dale Chihuly. And aside from actually being the glass-blowing genius himself, the closest you can get to the jaw-dropping works created by Seattle’s master artist is at Chihuly Garden and Glass. The centerpiece of the outdoor/indoor experience is the Glasshouse, a 4,500-square-foot conservatory housing a suspended swirl of enormous red, orange, and yellow glass blossoms. Instagram heaven. Seriously, spend five seconds on their website and good luck not adding it to your list. This isn’t just glass, this is…another more colorful, more vibrant world.

If Chihuly Garden & Glass only whets your appetite (the odds are surprisingly good), how about some live glass blowing? Hop in the car or train and head to Tacoma’s Museum of Glass to watch artists in the Hot Shop transform molten blobs into masterpieces (and, of course, to check out the museum itself). Eye-catching both inside and out, wandering around the museum’s exterior (it’s right along the waterway) and catching the sculptures in the moonlight is worth it, too.

Where to find them: Seattle Center – 305 Harrison St (Chihuly Garden and Glass); 1801 Dock St, Tacoma (Museum of Glass)

Pacific Science Center

 Photo:  ctj71081

Photo: ctj71081

It’s always super cheesy when someone says “children of all ages will love,” but… The Pacific Science Center is most definitely a children-of-all-ages kind of place, whether it’s cheesy to say so or not. There’s a rotating calendar of exhibits and programs, but my favorites always involve the Life Sciences exhibits — the Saltwater Tide Pool where you can get up close to an anemone, and the Tropical Butterfly House where, regardless of the weather outside, the temperature is 80° and butterflies fill the air. Magical! There’s also an IMAX dome in case you need some additional eye candy.

Bonus: This area totally feels like a theme park — it was designed by Minoru Yamasaki for the 1962 World’s Fair. Within easy walking distance are the International Fountain, MoPOP, the Space Needle, and the aforementioned Chihuly Garden and Glass. In other words, this makes for one heck of a great day in Seattle.

Where to find it: Seattle Center – 200 Second Ave N

Seattle Aquarium / Woodland Park Zoo

 Photo: Ryan Hawk for Woodland Park Zoo

Photo: Ryan Hawk for Woodland Park Zoo

Because they’re not exactly museums, I’m going to lump these two together. I do think it’s cool, however, that the aquarium and zoo are both joining the Museum Month fun because a) I love me some animals (the otters at the aquarium are everything) and b) these are great options for the kiddos.

The Seattle Aquarium is on the waterfront, an easy stop on your sightseeing walk, and is a fascinating way to explore the marine life that fills the Puget Sound. Be sure to check out the diver shows, the daily octopus feedings, and two more favorites — the moon jellies and the seals. The Woodland Park Zoo, on the other hand, is a few minutes’ drive from downtown and adjacent to Woodland Park and Green Lake. There are more than 1,000 animals, and you’ll see everything from ocelots to mountain goats to red pandas to tree kangaroos.

Where to find them: 1483 Alaskan Way (Seattle Aquarium); 5500 Phinney Ave N (Woodland Park Zoo)

Seattle Art Museum

 Photo:  Antonio Campoy

Wandering from collection to collection, exhibit to exhibit, in the Seattle Art Museum is the best remedy for that nagging art itch. SAM collections include thousands of works from a wide range of ancient and modern cultures (the collection of African masks is one of my faves), and rotating exhibits brings world-class modern and classical art into the space.

All that ruminating over masterpieces can work up an appetite. Afterward, grab a bite at SAM’s Taste Restaurant, a casual-but-classy street-level spot serving salads and sandwiches with locally-sourced ingredients.

Where to find it: 1300 1st Ave

USS Turner Joy Museum Ship

 Photo:  Mlouns  at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo: Mlouns at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

An hour-long ferry ride from the Seattle waterfront, in the nearby city of Bremerton (home to an enormous naval shipyard), a decommissioned and painstakingly preserved Vietnam-era naval destroyer — aka the USS Turner Joy DD-951 — waits at the end of a dock to be explored by curious visitors. I remember being awestruck as a kid visiting the big, gun-metal-grey war boat, scampering through passageways and gawking at the giant weaponry.

Whether you’re a naval history buff or not, the USS Turner Joy is fascinating and a fun way to spend an hour or two (and a great excuse to jump on the ferry and explore nearby maritime communities like Bremerton).

Where to find it: 300 Washington Beach Ave, Bremerton

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

 Photo: Andrew Waits for The Burke Museum

Photo: Andrew Waits for The Burke Museum

The collections at The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (comprising more than 16 million objects!) tell the story of life on planet Earth. Founded in 1885, this is the oldest public museum in Washington state and, as an active research museum, also serves communities of academics, researchers, and students from around the world. From indigenous artifacts to dino bones, The Burke has always been, and hopefully always will be, a place to learn.

A half day here is a highlight to any University of Washington Campus visit, and you’ll leave knowing a bit (or a lot) about Washington’s history, in particular through exhibits such as “Washington’s First Dinosaur,” “Pacific Voices,” and “Life and Times of Washington State” (more about disaster, lava, and ice than you probably realize).

Where to find it: NE 45th St & 17th Ave NE

Museum of Flight

 Photo:  Benson Kua

Photo: Benson Kua

For millennia, humankind dreamed of flight. In 1903, that dream was achieved by the Wright brothers, and in a little over a century we have perfected flight and used it to visit other worlds. Occupying the south end of Boeing Field, The Museum of Flight has offered a celebration of this achievement since 1965. More than 175 air and spacecraft are on display, spanning all eras of human flight. You can even climb into the cockpit of a SR-71A Blackbird reconnaissance plane — the fastest, highest-flying jet ever built.

Seattle may not be the birthplace of flight, but with local employer Boeing celebrating 100 years, it’s safe to say this is a thing Seattle knows a thing or two about.

Where to find it: 9404 E Marginal Way S