Seattle’s Child “The Family Travel Issue” March/April 2023

Page 1

R SEATTLESCHILD.COM MARCH/APRIL 2023 FREE CHOMP The First Foods movement TOOLBOX Child-led play ready,set,go! issue the YOUR GUIDE TO A KID-FRIENDLY CITY ROMP Springtime blossoms & blooms 3 gnarly nearcations Smooth drive road tripping tips Seattle to Disneyland 101 Have baby, will travel Cruising to Alaska with kids
(206) 627-0528 8 Boston Street, Suite 2 Seattle, Washington, 98109 A family-oriented estate planning, real estate, and business law firm. March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 3 >> Contents Seattle’sChild „ Find us online at
March/April 2023 // Issue 498 p.15 WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! When you participate in our 2023 Reader Survey you’ll be given the opportunity to enter to win a 2-night stay at Semiahmoo on the Washington coast. WHAT PARENTS ARE TALKING ABOUT 5 TOOLBOX 8 DAD NEXT DOOR 9 ROMP 13 CHOMP 15 SHOP 17 FEATURE: FAMILY TRAVEL 20 3 NEARCATIONS 21 GETAWAY TO GREAT WOLF 23 NAT’L PARK VACAY 24 ROAD TRIP PLANNING 26 EXPLORE VANCOUVER ISLAND 28 ON THE ROAD WITH BABY 30 SCHWEITZER RESORT 31 NEWBIE’S GUIDE TO FAMILY RVing 32 SEATTLE TO DISNEYLAND ...................... 34 QUICK FLIGHT TO MONTEREY 36 CRUISING TO ALASKA WITH KIDS 38 Go to the 2023 Seattle’s Child Reader Survey
Cover photo by JOSHUA HUSTON Camper van provided by PEACE VANS


March/April 2023 // Issue 498

“Seattle is my town. I know this city inside and out… or so I thought until I had kids.”

Seattle’s Child is your guide to getting to know your city all over again. Finding things to do, places to eat, and how to get around — it’s a whole new ballgame with kids in tow. We’re interested in how parents make homes in a space-challenged urban environment, how families create community, and what parents are really talking about. Seattle’s Child reflects real Washington families and their broad range of parenting experiences.

ANN BERGMAN Publisher, Founder


Associate Publisher


Art Director

CHERYL MURFIN Managing Editor

JULIE HANSON Website Editor




JEFF LEE, MD Columnist











JULANN HILL Senior Account Manager 206-724-2453

ERICA GILSON Account Executive

AMBER ELBON Ad Production Manager


Seattle’s Child has provided useful information to parents since 1979. In addition to our magazine, look for our special themed publications — Everything Family, School and SummerTime — distributed free throughout the Puget Sound area. Seattle’s Child is published every other month. ONLINE


Twitter @SeaChildMag Instagram @seattleschildmag

MAIL c/o Postal Plus 1211 E. Denny Way, Seattle, WA 98112 VOICE 206-441-0191





Deadline is first of the month, one month prior to publication. Include date, time, cost, appropriate ages, address, contact information and description.

4 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023

»What Parents Are Talking About

Falling for public transit again

A new dad rediscovers the joy of buses, trains and streetcars with his baby

In early June 2021, Mom was in the throes of postpartum recovery and desperate for a well-earned nap, so I volunteered to take our newborn baby, Lena, for a few hours between nursing sessions.

I wanted to check out a new pavilion in Occidental Park designed by local architecture firm Olson Kundig, but it was a long walk from our Squire Park home. So I hailed the bus.

For the bus driver, a parent with a stroller is unremarkable. For me, it was a first-time experience, as just about everything was in those early days of Lena’s life. I tried to play it cool, but I likely blurted out “I’ve never done this before” as I popped the front wheels up onto the bus entrance, which the driver had lowered closer to the curb.

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 5
Education, health, development and more CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >
„ Find more local news for families on Don’t miss these stories on Meet our 2023 Unsung Heroes Take action: Bills aimed at preventing gun violence 1 2 12 museums to explore for FREE 3
Gregory and Lena waiting for the First Hill Streetcar.

«What Parents Are Talking About

While I had to fend off the well-meaning but unsolicited attention my adorable newborn elicited from fellow passengers — later solved by a trip to Village Maternity for a stroller cover — the rest of the ride was remarkably uneventful. The rocking seemed to lull Lena into an even deeper sleep as the bus made pickups and drop-offs.

Before I knew it, I was lounging under the London plane trees drinking a latte from Caffè Umbria while Lena dozed away. A short while later, I rolled onto the First Hill Streetcar, whose thoughtful accessible design keeps the platform and entrance at the same height — no wheel-popping required. I was home in time for Mom to wake up and nurse.

Thus began my most unexpected parenthood revelation: falling back in love with transit.

In college and in my 20s, I was a transit geek who carried paper timetables in the days before the Google Maps

app. But for the last several years, I’ve hitched up my bike for just about everything, whether commuting to work, meeting my wife for date night, visiting friends across town, or cruising to the lake for a swim. Riding a bike is usually the fastest way to get around Seattle, and I was usually a busy guy always on the brink of running late.

Lena brought that busy lifestyle to a screeching halt and Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program provided me with the leisure of 12 paid weeks off from my freelance writing career. If having a baby entailed a kind of “slow travel” lifestyle, then swapping a bike lock key for an ORCA card was a natural next step. When you’re not always in a race against the clock, waiting for the bus becomes less of an exercise in impatience.

What’s more, Seattle transit punched above its weight. The frequent bus routes (3 and 4) near our house whisked us to Swedish First Hill for lactation consultant appointments and the Polyclinic for checkups, then later to downtown for trips to Pike Place Market and visits to friends in Belltown. The First Hill streetcar ferried us home from Chinatown with a stroller laden with Uwajimaya groceries or from Pioneer Square after cheering at a Mariners game or browsing baby clothes at Flora and Henri. After walking with Lena in a carrier along our favorite trails and staircases in Leschi and Madrona to reach Lake Washington, the 27 or the 2 hauled us back uphill.

Along the way, bus drivers and passengers were unflaggingly

6410 23rd Ave NE Tulalip, WA 98271 360-716-2600
haʔɬ adsɬčil welcome 6 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023
Discover the history and culture of the Tulalip Tribes

«What Parents Are Talking About

courteous and helpful — giving up a seat or ensuring the stroller was secure before continuing to the next stop. Suddenly I wasn’t just another anonymous passenger but a caretaker people looked out for.

While we do own a car, I treated our parental leave summer as an opportunity to set the tone for how we will raise Lena. As Brazilian architect Jaime Lerner once said, “A car is like a mother-inlaw — if you let it, it will rule your life.” While that quip is vaguely sexist, its underlying sentiment is spot-on. I didn’t want to abandon my convictions entirely — namely, the belief that private cars should be used sparingly to get around walkable, transit-friendly cities like Seattle — just because I became a parent.

Even now that we’re back to work and a version of that harried lifestyle has returned, so far the pattern we set over that summer has persisted. The streetcar took us to and from October’s First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square — a new version of date night, with Lena in tow — and the bus carried us back and forth from Pier 62, where we met up with friends for Earshot Jazz Festival’s outdoor concert. Lena was also among the many who rode Link on the first day the Northgate extension opened.

Looking forward, I imagine for Lena’s 6th birthday present she’ll probably ask for a pony. But I know for sure she’ll be getting her ORCA card. Starting last fall, youth up to age 19 now ride buses, light rail, water taxis and streetcars in our region for free!

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 7


What every parent needs to have on hand

Child-led play: What it is and why you should try it

Camp Wahoo!

Camp Wahoo!

Camp Wahoo!

The funny thing about Pacific Northwest kids is that they barely notice the chill and it doesn’t appear to slow them down. In fact, if your kids are like mine, it’s nearly impossible to get them to wear a jacket even when it’s 39 degrees outside.

A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years.

A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years.

A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years.

For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at:

For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at:

For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at:

Most caregivers feel like broken records every morning, with a litany of requests: wear a jacket, eat your breakfast, and so on. Of course, we say these things because this is part of parenting, but in truth children’s lives are very directed by adult requests. Let’s take this month to explore the idea of child-led play, otherwise known as “special time.” (Who doesn’t want to do something called “special time”?)

Child-led play or ‘special time’

The idea of “special time” was developed by psychologist Dr. Sheila Eyberg in the 1970s. Her recommendation was to spend 5 to 10 minutes a day with a single child in child-led play.

Calling it “special time” and letting children know that this is their time to lead the play without adult expectations or suggestions sends a powerful message.

As adults, our challenge is to let them direct and avoid asking questions or using this as a teaching opportunity. If your child would like to scoot you around on a skateboard, go for it and resist the urge to teach them how to skateboard. This is pure, old-fashioned play.

What are the benefits of special time?

There are significant benefits to special time. Having some unstructured play time together helps children and caregivers with bonding and attachment. Joining your child in play and paying attention lets them know you’re interested in what they are doing and really listening. Studies have shown that there are benefits, including improved listening, decreased disruptive behavior and building better social skills.

What makes it special time?

In a nutshell, special time is a specific 5-10 minutes carved out with one child that you call “special time.” The essential focus is that the child leads the activities, not the parent. They are in charge, as long as it is safe. At its core, it’s pure attention and play (no screen time). The goal is to do it for 5-10 minutes every day, but even if you do it a few times a week there are benefits.

‘Special time’ = PRIDE

There’s a handy acronym to help you remember the tenets of “special time” or child-led play: PRIDE.

3P: Praise. This is an opportunity to give your child specific praise about behaviors. Give them a more specific compliment that shows you are paying attention. An example is, “I love the way you built that tower,” rather than a generic, “good job.”

3R: Reflect. This is particularly useful for smaller children. Reflect what your child says back to them. This lets them know you’re really listening. If they say, “build tower” you can respond with “you are building a tower.”

3I: Imitate. Join your child in play while letting them lead. This gives your child a sense of control, which is pretty fun. Let’s face it—children live in an adult-dominated world and 99.99% of


» Dad Next Door

A little encouragement from across the fence

The rich get richer

right? All we have to do is make sure our kids have tons of loving, intimate relationships with the people around them, and their lives will be peachy. Just like ours . . .

Why do we do it?

Why do we keep picking up that plastic spoon no matter how many times it gets hurled onto the floor? Why do we get down on our hands and knees and do the voices for Mommy and Daddy bunny until our brains congeal into cottage cheese? Why do we keep buying Legos no matter how many times we step on them in our stocking feet? Why do we stand in the freezing rain, next to a muddy field in the middle of November, while a hoard of 7-year-olds swarm pointlessly around a soccer ball like killer bees? Why do we sit through a half-dozen middle school “Welcome Prospective Families” presentations, eating stale sugar cookies in dingey cafeterias? Why do we listen patiently to accusations of unfairness and selfishness from teenagers who can’t even take a shower without leaving a trail of hair products and wet towels across the bathroom floor?


I’m guessing that, for most of us, the answer is easy. We want our kids to be happy. We think that somehow, the sacrifices we make, the crosses we bear and the tedium we endure will bring them one step closer to a healthier, happier existence.

But will it?

I hate to break it to you, but the answer is in and it has been for a long time. The Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has followed more than a thousand people for 84 years over several generations, has created a treasure trove of data on what conditions are associated with long-term happiness over a lifetime. Spoiler alert: it’s not which middle school you get into.

By far the greatest predictor of happiness is our closeness to our family, friends and social circles. Not only does it increase our chance of subjective well-being, it correlates strongly with better mental health, physical health, career success and longevity. It’s the magical ring to rule them all.

So, that means we’re done here,


But don’t lose heart. As complicated and elusive as intimacy seems, you’re in a better position to affect your kids’ future relationships than anyone else in the world. That’s because the way they go about forming attachments will be modeled on the first and most important one they experience—their attachment to you.

The mysterious thing we call “attraction,” which draws us to particular people more than others, is heavily influenced by the family crucible in which our relationship style is forged. The writer and parenting expert Dr. Becky Kennedy says we are often drawn to someone because we recognize that we have the corresponding puzzle piece that fits with theirs. If we learned, as children, that love meant pursuing an emotionally distant parent, that’s the kind of person we try to love. If we first experienced connection by rescuing and soothing an anxious, histrionic parent, we look for that same connection with someone else. On the other hand, if we experienced parents who loved us warmly and unconditionally, but with consistent boundaries and respect, that’s what we seek in our lovers and friends.

There’s an inherent unfairness to this. If, through no fault of your own, you were born to parents with a dysfunctional attachment style, you may find yourself recreating that style in your own life, and passing it on to your kids. On the other hand, if you won the lottery and ended up securely and intimately connected to your parents, you’ll probably buy even more winning tickets when you choose your romantic partners and friends. The rich get richer, and so do their children. It’s like capitalism, only with a reverse estate tax.

Luckily, history is not destiny. Even if your own relationship with your parents leaves something to be desired, you can still forge a healthier one with your kids. It’s hard work, though. It takes guts, and CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 >

June 26 –August 18 Preschool—8th grade Learning & Enrichment Outdoor Education Performing Arts Fine Arts Sports Day Camps Find registration information online: SUMMERTIME FUN! SUMMER TIME CAMPS AND CLASSES YOUTH March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 9
„ Read all of Jeff Lee’s columns on
But the greatest predictor of happiness is closeness to family


self-knowledge and a willingness to change. It can be more painful than a Lego piece in the tenderest part of your instep. But it’s almost guaranteed to improve your children’s happiness—and your own as well.

That leads me to one last little piece of free advice. Someday, when your kid has outgrown their knee-jerk impulse to completely disregard anything you say, they just might ask you how anyone can know if they should spend the rest of their life with someone.

Tell them to find out what that person’s relationship with their parents is like. History may not be destiny, but it’s a force to be reckoned with. They should know what they’re getting into.


Jeff Lee lives and writes in Seattle, WA



the time they are responding to adult demands.

3D: Describe. Narrate what your child is doing. Not by placing a judgment on it, but simply by describing their activity. An example is “you are building a big tower.”

3E. Enthusiasm. Relax into the moment and let your child know verbally and nonverbally that you are enjoying being with them and interested in what they are doing. Child-led play: Give it a try!

Special time is good for children and adults. While some of this seems intuitive, it’s easy to have child-led play fall to the wayside during our busy lives. Just taking a few minutes every day to remind our children that they are important and have good ideas pays off dividends in terms of happiness and behavior. It is also a sweet moment to pause, relax and just enjoy the funny quirkiness of the children in our lives.


Dr. Susanna Block, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente in Seattle and lives with her family in Queen Anne.


SUMMER TIME CAMPS AND CLASSES REGISTER NOW! GAGEACADEMY.ORG/SUMMERCA 206.323.4243 | @GAGEACADEMY SUMMER YOUTH ART CAMPS C M Y CM MY CY CMY K VV_SC_H6_2-15-23.pdf 1 2/15/23 12:33 PM Foundation Grades 2-8 Middle School Grades 6-9 Morningside Academy 206.709.9500 901 Lenora St, Seattle SUMMER SCHOOL March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 11 «DadNextDoor

The Russian School of Mathematics is an award-winning, afterschool math enrichment program. We use the rigorous study of mathematics as a vehicle to develop our students’ math fluency, intellect, and character, empowering them for life. Hybrid and in-person courses may be available; please inquire with our office for more information.

Schedule a FREE Math Evaluation! Math Classes Now Enrolling! Redmond (425) 616-3511 Factoria (425) 230-6452 Bellevue (425) 518-6114 3 Locations in WA Math Classes Now Enrolling SUMMER TIME CAMPS AND CLASSES Camp Wahoo! A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years. For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at: Camp Wahoo! A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years. For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at: Camp Wahoo! A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years. For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at: 12 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023


Things to do with kids

In search of blossoms and blooms

A spring rite worth exploring

Seattle is home to more than a thousand cherry trees donated by Japan as a symbol of friendship. You’ll find them in public gardens, neighborhood landscapes and near popular attractions throughout the city.

Along with other early spring bloomers like daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, plum trees, and magnolias, cherry trees begin to bud in February and peak in March and early April. There’s a 3-to-4-week window before petals fall to the ground,

creating spring “snow.”

To see these trees in all their splendor, head to:

The Quad at the University of Washington

The gorgeous 90-year-old Yoshino variety of trees were a gift from Japan. Rows of these trees line the rectangular pathway, usually crowded with people taking photos. Go early in the morning or late in the day for fewer crowds. Track the blossoms on the UW’s webcam of the Quad.

Washington Park Arboretum

You’ll find rows of cherry trees, azaleas, dogwoods and magnolias in this 230-acre garden park, especially as you stroll Azalea Way. The cherry trees here typically peak a couple weeks after the trees at UW. Limited parking is available by the Graham Visitors Center or the Seattle Japanese Garden.

Seattle Japanese Garden

What better place to see cherry blossoms than in a garden setting devoted to Japanese heritage? The Seattle Japanese Garden is a 3.5-acre garden with winding paths

5 things to do 5 cool climbs

Get up high to see phenomenal views


Heybrook Lookout

Once used by fire watchers, this lookout offers a view of Bridal Veil Falls worth the steep 2-mile round-trip trail and stairs that take you the 67 additional feet to the tower top.

U.S. Route 2, Gold Bar


Volunteer Park Water Tower

The 1906 brick water tower reservoir is the highest point on Capitol Hill and includes a 107-step climb to breathtaking views of Seattle surrounds.

1247 15th Ave. E, Seattle


Pinnacle Peak Tower

The crown at the top of Pinnacle Peak Park (a climb of 1,000 feet in one mile) is a 22-foot fire tower replica with stunning views from the deck.

26838 SE 481st St., Enumclaw


The Big Climb

We mean it. March 26 is your family’s chance to climb the Columbia Tower’s 1,311 steps to raise funds to fight blood cancer. Well-trained age 8 and older. Registration fee and fundraising requirements apply.


Base to Space

Climb the Space Needle?

The Base to Space climb in support of the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center happens each fall, so start training! Age 8 and older. Registration fee and fundraising requirements apply.

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 13
„ Subscribe to the Romp newsletter CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >
The cherry blossoms at The Quad at the University of Washington. CHERRY BLOSSOMS: COURTESY OF MARK STONE/UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON


that surround a central pond. Blossoms are not grouped together but dotted here and there across the landscape. Walk-ups are welcome during the week, but reservations are highly recommended on weekends. The garden is closed on Monday. Parking is free. Adults 18-64, $8; Youth 6–17,

Students and Adults 65+, $4; Children 0-5, FREE.

Seward Park

Seward Park has many of the cherry trees that were gifted to Seattle in the 1900s. You don’t have to travel very far to find them; some are located at the circle garden near the entrance. But don’t stop there. Take a walk around the 2.4-mile Shore Loop trail. The park is stroller- and bike-friendly.

Seattle Center

Cherry blossoms can be spotted all around Seattle Center. Many of the trees are donations from Japan that have taken root over the past several decades. Join the fun at the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival, April 14-16, 2023.

Kobe Terrace

Located on the northeast edge of the International District, Kobe Terrace is home to several Mt. Fuji cherry trees, which line the paths along the terraced hillside. The trees and the 200-ton stone lantern on the hill are gifts from the people of Seattle’s sister city of Kobe, Japan.

Other great viewing spots

The path around Green Lake is dotted with cherry trees shedding their white and pink petals along the 2.8-mile inner loop path every spring. Jefferson Park is another great viewing spot: the park was gifted 25 young cherry trees in 2012.

Beyond blossoms: Tulips and daffodils

Cherry blossoms aren’t the only early-spring bloom popular in the area. On April 21-23, thousands will make the 90-minute trek to Skagit Valley to view acre after acre of blooming tulips and daffodils during the 38th annual Skagit Tulip Festival. The festival includes three main destinations: Tulip Town, RoozenGaarde and Garden Rosalyn. At the same time, downtown Mount Vernon will host the associated Skagit Street Fair. Garden visit details

General admission to Tulip Town includes parking, entry and a trolley ride (weather permitting). Prices are $15 for ages 12 and older; $7 for kids 6-11; $13 for seniors and military. Kids 5 and younger are free. This spot has a cafe, indoor displays and a retail boutique.

RoozenGaarde charges $15 for everyone older than 2 to see its five-acre garden, 25-acre tulip field and 20-acre daffodil field. It also has a gift shop and tulip market.

Garden Rosalyn showcases beautiful tulip fields during the tulip festival and dahlias between May and early fall. As an added attraction, this park loves local fowl. Festival admission prices can be found on the garden website.

Roads may be congested on days that draw big crowds. Saturdays are generally the busiest, followed by Sundays, Fridays and Mondays (in that order). Rainy days equal smaller crowds.

Tulip festival organizers emphasize that they cannot guarantee when the tulips will bloom. When planning ahead, aiming for midApril is probably safest.

—Seattle’s Child Staff

K-12 Summer STEAM Day Camp with Open World by DigiPen Workshops in: Programming, Game Design, Art, Music, Robotics, and More! Locations in Redmond and Bothell (425) 629-5046 BRANDING GUIDE Version 09062022 SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 The branding guide was put designed + created by Your Plan B for DigiPen’s new Summer Program ”Open World - by DigiPen.” How and when to use the logo, fonts and colours are included in this guide. This PDF has been saved in a format that allows the marketing team, printer or any other designer who might need the scalable vector versions of the fonts, graphics and colours that make up the branding logos. Specifics are subject to change, so please check with the lead designer for the latest version. BY DIGIPEN OPEN WORLD Register now at SUMMER TIME CAMPS AND CLASSES Camp Wahoo! A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years. For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at: Camp Wahoo! A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years. For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at: Camp Wahoo! A unique week-long residential horse camp for gir ls and boys ages 9-16 years. For information, call toll free 509-674-9554 or visit us at: 14 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023 CHERRY BLOSSOMS: COURTESY OF MARK STONE/UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON TULIPS: COURTESY OF MARTY B. ANDERSON/SKAGIT VALLEY TULIP FESTIVAL

New in town

Dining rinkside


Eating with kids

The Kraken have settled into Seattle, and if families want to catch the team practicing, they can head to the Kraken Community Iceplex in Northgate. Hungry kids and grownups can grab a burger with a view of the ice at the site’s new 32 Bar & Grill, serving everything from poutine to pizza. (And, yes, there’s a kids’ menu.) — Jillian O’Connor 10601 5th Ave. NE,


Eating with kids

Cheap eats

The hole deal

New in Town The Boat

A family’s sweet legacy

For generations, Native people in the Pacific Northwest lived by a complex and seasonally changing diet referred to as First Foods. With colonization of the region, however, came the severing of ancestral tribal foodways. For more than a century, the introduction of foods high in refined sugars, processed carbohydrates and poor-quality fats have resulted in rampant diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses in

Native communities.

Hope on the rise

Hearts are full as candy company dating back to 1925 prepares for Valentine’s Day

For three generations, the Johnson family’s bread and butter has been a mix of delicate chocolates, crunchy peanut brittle and gooey caramels. It all started in 1925, when Russell Johnson began crafting

and selling chocolates while working at his parents’ shop in Tacoma. He and his wife, Irene, soon bought the business, managing it as a restaurant with a decadent candy selection. By the 1940s, the pair moved a few blocks

A movement to reclaim the traditional Northwest Native diet, rebuild community health and educate all people, not just tribal members, about First Foods and traditional foodways aims to change that. The revolution seeks to re-establish environmentally sound Native harvesting practices and dietary reliance on berries, nettles, shellfish, salmon and camas – the First Foods.

a Native foods nutritionist, has worked with most tribes in Washington to help rebuild First Foods foundations. She says it’s been an honor watching the gradual return to her people’s traditional foodways over time.

“Every tribe has some initiative dedicated to strengthening our food traditions and is making an effort to prioritize intergenerational teachings along the way,” says Segrest, owner of Tahoma Peak Solutions.

“For us, it is about healing,” she says. “For over a century, tribal communities have

away to the storefront in the city that the community now knows as the Johnson Candy Company. Today, behind that same window-filled storefront, featuring rows of handmade candies, the family-owned shop has become a true fixture in the city, with many loyal customers, some of whom have been patrons for more than half a century.

What’s a dine-out dream come true for parents? A restaurant that serves only one entree (in two versions) and one dessert (in two versions). That’s the story at The Boat which opened last fall. The owners of this pink, boatshaped hole-in-thewall serve co’m gà m m t , a delicious chicken and rice dish beloved in Vietnam. It’s a fried garlicencrusted cornish hen with rice cooked in chicken broth that appeals to taste buds of all ages (our 6-year-old friend raved about the chicken). Top off your $11-18 entree with $8 Vietnamese dessert waffles, called bánh k p (banana pandan or caramelized pineapple.) More raves. The Boat is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Many families with kids head to Ballard’s Dough Joy food truck for its egg-free, dairy-free, tree nut-free vegan doughnuts. But the flavors! Cookie Butta, chocoholic, strawberry milkshake, Over the Rainbow (a Pride tribute) and banana French toast, or mini doughnuts for dipping in caramel (or chocolate) will intrigue even avid consumers of animal products. On some weekends, patrons can grab the Chik’n & Waffle Skewer, a decadent kebab of three extra-large doughnut holes and two vegan nuggets. Coming soon as a Capitol Hill storefront.


5401 17th Ave. NW,

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 15
NEW IN TOWN: COURTESY OF THE BOAT „ More on feeding your family on
January/February 2022 SEATTLE’S CHILD 11 „ More feeding at
„ Findrestaurantskid-approved with great patio seating
The third and fourth generations of the Johnson candy family oversee the chocolate confections at their Tacoma candy shop.


experienced intentional severing from our ancestral foodways through federal, state and local policies that work to create obstacles for us to access our foods and medicines. Prioritizing our ancestral food teachings is about healing from that severing.”

The return to a First Foods diet, she says, has multiple impacts: “It is about prioritizing the treatment of these preventable diseases, and it is also about addressing the colonial impacts on our people.”

Segrest believes that educating non-Native people about the First Foods can sustain humans in the region. She says it will take all of us — Indigenous and non-Indigenous families — working together to revitalize the health of the land, water and other elements needed to supply an abundance of these staples.

“Increasing the visibility of our work to return to our ancestral foodways is part of addressing impacts; it is part of our healing story,” she says. “It is also important for others to recognize that we carry valuable ecological knowledge that will address issues of climate justice and food equality so rampant in our country at large.”

Mariana Harvey of the Yakama Nation is the Wild Foods and Medicines Tribal Relations Lead of GRuB. As the mother of a 4-year-old and 7-month-old, Harvey says she has been very intentional about connecting her kids to their ancestors’ traditional diet and developing their palate for such foods early on. An Indigenous diet helped nourish her children in utero, Harvey says. She considers her childrens’ very first foods – the milk from her body – “the best first medicine.”

Harvey is also a creator of the Tend, Gather & Grow Curriculum, a set of five toolkits developed by about a dozen Native and non-Native people to help families explore native and naturalized plants and foods of the Pacific Northwest region. The toolkits include Indigenous knowledge, stories, and plant and food medicine traditions.

Harvey has frequently heard her elders say that eating Native foods helps youngsters acclimate to their own land. She is passing that knowledge down to her children.

Involving her oldest child in foraging and other gathering processes—hunting for salmonberries near their house – builds interest in testing and “cherishing” those foods. At 3 months old, they were already out in the mountain huckleberry meadows together. Now Harvey’s looking forward

to this year’s nettle season as yet another chance to show her children the importance of First Foods and “the superpowers they bring.”

There is another Native food tradition that Harvey and her family honor: the gathering of foods by family members. The first solid food consumed by Harvey’s 4-year-old was elk hunted by an uncle. For her 7-month-old, it was salmon caught by a cousin. The family also incorporates traditional foods from the ancestors of Harvey’s partner, who is Mexica (or Aztec).

“Food is our identity,” she says. “Both cultures really uplift that.” Learn more

3To find out more about traditional foodways and culture, check out the hands-on activities and curricula offered at Search “Farm to ECE: Tribal Traditional Foods and Foodways.”

3Visit ál al Café located in Pioneer Square. Owned and operated by Chief Seattle Club, this modern-day cafe (“ ál al” is Lushootseed for “home”) reclaims and reintroduces traditional Indigenous foods, while showcasing Native-owned suppliers. While the food they serve is undoubtedly delicious, many will argue the overall experience is even richer.

Finding summer camps just got easier. » Use our online directory to search by type of activity, location, age range or camp length. Find a camp that’s just right for you and your child! 16 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023

Things we love Soapstone Orca Carving Kit

Got a child interested in trying out carving? Get them started with Studiostone Creative’s Soapstone Orca Carving Kit. Created by a B.C. sculptor, kits include a pre-cut soapstone base, file, polishing cloths, resin, and instructions – everything needed to carve a keepsake Orca whale in about 90 minutes. For ages 8 and older. Available at for $34.99. —Cheryl Murfin


Curious Kids Nature Journal

place for kids ages 6-11 to document what they see and learn in nature, whether at a park near home, in a forest, or along a beach.

The Pacific Northwest is a world of wonder and wondrous detail when it comes to the great outdoors. Seattle writer Fiona Cohen and illustrator Marni Fylling have created the perfect

“Curious Kids Nature Journal: 100 Ways to Explore the Outdoor Wonders of the Pacific Northwest,” published by Seattle-based Sasquatch Books, hit bookshelves in March.

In it, Cohen, a long-time contributor to Seattle’s Child, delivers fascinating

facts and descriptions of animals, plants and sea life common in the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, she invites young people to look for, observe and record what they see by writing or drawing in the 176-page journal. Spot a black-tailed deer? When? What time? Where? What was the deer doing? Were there any fawns nearby? Get the details! The author also encourages kids to be “citizen scientists” by sharing their observations with science groups like the Bumble Bee Watch project.

Fylling’s more than 100 gorgeous, scientifically accurate illustrations make identifying species easy. Together with Cohen’s writing, drawing and activity prompts, they promise to keep kids looking and discovering. And who knows? Perhaps it will inspire your young nature lover toward a career in natural science. It sure made this mama want to hit the trails with budding explorers.

Join Fiona Cohen in conversation with Seatte’s Child Things to Do editor Jasmin Thankachen on March 15 at Seattle’s Third Place Books Ravenna starting at 7 p.m. Or join them at Redmond’s Brick and Mortar Books, Redmond, on April 23 at 2 p.m.

Pete’s Paleo delivers healthy kids lunches

You want your kids to have healthy packed lunches, but it’s hard to find the time to make them from scratch, right? No worries, Pete’s Real Food has your back.

The Oregon-based meal delivery service now offers kid lunches for all types of eaters — gluten free, vegan, vegetarian or just plain picky!

Menus are mixand-match and gluten free. They’re delivered fresh, use seasonal produce and include humanely raised meat or plantbased protein. All packaging is eco-friendly.

Owner Pete Sevold says he wants kids to eat food that is delicious and healthy but is also committed to having a positive impact on the environment. No heat needed. Cost: $4.50-7.75 per meal.

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 17
„ More shopping local on
BOOK: COURTESY OF SASQUATCH BOOKS LUNCHES: COURTESY OF PETE’S REAL FOOD Check out Seattle’s Child contributor Fiona Cohen’s newest book
Lively + locally made New to PNW


Grades 2-10

1750 112th Ave. NE, Suite B-100, Bellevue 98004 425-777-7550

AoPS Academy Bellevue’s two-week summer courses meet daily to help students sharpen critical thinking, writing, and problem solving skills for the upcoming school year.

We offer advanced math, science, and language arts classes featuring activity-based learning designed to pique students’ curiosity and keep them engaged. Enroll today to secure your student’s spot.

summer camps!


Ages 10-15

University of Washington, Seattle Campus 888-512-8154

At Debate Camp, we provide a fun and inspiring space for youth to develop some timelessly important skills; to hear opposing views and confidently articulate their ideas well in the company of others. Debate Camp specializes in parliamentary debate, impromptu and prepared public speaking. We ensure that all program areas are highly interactive and suited to a variety of age groups (grades 5 to 10). Our camps are accredited by the American Camping Association and we offer day (Seattle) and overnight (Victoria, BC) camp options. All camp locations have multi-level instruction designed to suit all ability levels. Enrichment in a fun and traditional camp program. Join us!


Ages 3-18

Clubs throughout greater Bellevue 425-454-6162

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue is committed to providing highquality programs for youth during the summer. Our programs specifically focus on keeping kids engaged and active. From specialized theme camps, including Art, Cooking, Photography, Tech, Engineering and Video Production, to leadership opportunities and high school internships, there is a place for everyone at Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue’s summer camp!


Ages 6-17

Locations in Bellevue, Renton, Kent 425-654-0699 drama-camps/

When school is out – Drama is IN!

We offer Kent, Renton and Bellevue day camps for acting and drama including a variety of super fun weeklong themes that are run on half day and full day schedules. Working families will love the option of dropping off as early as 8am and picking up as late as 6pm (Drama Llama Daycare is $10/hour beyond 9am-4pm). Register before March 1st for last year’s rates.

Meet the
18 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023 Special Advertising Section
Get to know these


Entering grades 1-8 1701 20th Ave. S, Seattle 98144 206-763-1167

Hamlin Robinson School ignites the academic and creative potential of students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Students discover the joy of learning, build self-esteem, explore creative potential, and acquire specific language skills necessary for success. HRS Summer Academy is for students entering grades 1-8. Summer Academy offers a 3 ½-week Slingerland® morning class and a variety of afternoon camps. The Summer Academy class and Summer Academy camps can be combined to create a full-day experience.


Ages 3-12

5 Seattle locations - see website for details 206-726-7972

Join Launch for a fun summer program centered around the theme of “Around the World,” with lots of cool activities that help kids make friends, create, discover and learn! We’ll navigate the global community with each of the seven continents as our weekly theme, and learn about each area’s unique culture through food, music, art, geography, animal life, sports, outdoor play and guest speakers.


Ages 10-18

Seattle Camp, University of Washington 800-319-0884

Live out your sportscasting dream at the nation’s #1 sports broadcasting camp for sports fanatics ages 10-18. Join us at the University of Washington for our one-week day or overnight camp from July 31-August 4. Learn from top professionals in the industry; meet sportscasters and athletes; tour stadiums; host your own on-camera sports and PTI-style debate shows; meet top sportscasters and athletes, practice anchoring with a teleprompter, sideline reporting, and podcasting; make friendships that’ll last a lifetime and much more.


Ages 2-18 22500 NE Marketplace Drive, Suite 100. Redmond 98053 425-549-3434

Summit Week Long Camps are known for being the highlight of the Summer!

Led by our energetic staff, each day is filled with games, crafts, and of course dancing! At the end of the week, campers get to present a special themed show to their families and friends.

“(He) comes home everyday saying it was the best day ever!”

-2021 Camp Family

Special Advertising Section March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 19

set, go!

Withsummer just around the corner, now is the time to start planning your next close-to-home nearcation or longer family getaway! Whether you are fulfilling your dream of visiting Disneyland with kids, thinking about RVing across the country or just need ideas on where to go, what to listen to along the way and what to do when you get there, we’ve got you covered.

Need ideas for planning a family getaway? The travel section online at is a great resource. It’s full of articles offering fun trips and useful tips for navigating travel with kids.

20 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023
Hoh Rainforest
read more online

at Waterfront Park which runs March 4-December 23 this year. Don’t miss Portland’s famous food carts or iconic Voodoo donuts.

Kids will have the most fun, however, at Portland’s family attractions: the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and Washington Park. A worldclass museum for all ages, OMSI features five exhibit halls with interactive permanent and temporary exhibits. Be aware that the museum can take the better part of a day.

Empress Hotel 150 miles (nearcations)

International Rose Test Garden

3 totally doable




Hopping a plane doesn’t compute for many family budgets, but within a few hours’ drive your family can enjoy awesome getaways around the Northwest. Here are three to get you started.

Oregon’s Rose City is known for its strong public transportation, excellent food and ample family-oriented experiences, whether for a weekend or several days.

Consider staying in Northwest Portland to experience one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods: NW 23rd Avenue. Northwest Portland offers shops, boutiques, galleries, theaters and

restaurants galore with appeal for families, as well as Powell’s Books, the largest new/used bookstore in the world. From the Northwest district, it’s an easy streetcar ride to downtown. In fact, you may want to ditch the car and travel light rail (TriMet’s MAX) or streetcar much of the time. Hit places like Portland Art Museum and nearby Lan Su Chinese Garden. From there, visit Portland’s Saturday Market

Washington Park, one of Portland’s best-loved parks, features 400 acres of trees, gardens, playgrounds and attractions. From downtown, take the MAX to the Washington Park train stop, the deepest station in the U.S. You can easily spend a day here visiting the Oregon Zoo, International Rose Test Garden with the adjacent Children’s Park, or Japanese Garden.

STAY: Inn @ Northrup Station. Suites in Alice-in-Wonderland colors come with kitchenettes. You’ll have on-foot access to Forest Park for walking and biking trails. Rooms start at $180 with discount rates.


A waterfront British Columbia capital, Victoria offers a Commonwealth experience you just don’t get in the U.S., with English-style shops, double-decker buses, Parliament buildings and lots of tea.

Victoria’s compact size makes for easy sightseeing and shopping on foot. When little legs grow tired, hop a city bus – many are double-decker and extra fun for Yankee kids.

Centrally located Inner Harbour holds the Parliament Buildings and historic Empress Hotel, Victoria’s focal point. Here also, the Royal BC Museum offers families a great introduction to B.C. history. Kids will love wandering through models of turn-of-the-century streets, a Chinese shop, and Chief Kwakwabalasami’s house. Other area faves for kids include Miniature World, Victoria Bug Zoo, and Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Try Government Street for souvenirs and Chinatown’s Fan Tan Alley to experience the narrowest street in Canada.


March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 21
your family can rock in 150 miles or less

PEPS offers peer-support programs for expectant parents, parents of newborns, infants, or adolescents and teens, plus affinity groups. Families can connect on weekdays and weeknights in virtual, in-person, and hybrid groups.



If the weather holds, Victoria’s outdoor gardens are not to be missed. Butchart Gardens, 14 miles north of Victoria, offers premier display gardens. Beacon Hill Park is beautiful and free and a short walk from downtown, offering bridges, ponds, gardens and wildlife. The very young won’t want to miss the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm.

STAY: Royal Scot, 425 Quebec St., 800-663-7515. Also check ferry-hotel packages on the Victoria Clipper website for some great deals.

TREAT: Try the White Heather Tea Room for afternoon tea with older children, from $42-60. Reservations are recommended. Or, grab a cup of the freshest coffee in town at Bows & Arrows.

Hoh Rain Forest

For wilderness, head to the world-famous Hoh Rain Forest. Truly, it’s the peninsula’s best-kept secret.

Home to one of the largest old-growth stands in the northern hemisphere, the Hoh receives 140-170 inches of rain annually, but chances are good you’ll see it between showers. Walk the .8-mile interpretive Hall of Mosses trail for draping club moss, lichen, and Sitka spruce, as well as the adjacent 1.2-mile Spruce Nature Trail for views of the Hoh River. Watch for local Roosevelt elk around the Visitor Center. Try beautiful Second Beach near La Push for sand, sea stacks, and tide pools. The .75-mile access trail is perfect for all ages. Further south, Ruby Beach and a series of beaches (Beach 1, 2, 3 and so on) along the southern end of the coastal park strip also make for family-friendly beach combing, especially if you opt for Kalaloch Lodge. More at

Tiny Forks provides an inexpensive base from which to explore the “West End.” Catch up on the Twilight action here, the tourist wave that erupted a few years ago after Stephenie Meyer’s vampire series. Older kids may want to check out the self-guided tour of Twilight sites.

STAY: Olympic Suites Inn, 1-800-262-3433. Kalaloch Lodge offers rooms, suites and cabins, 1-866-662-9928.

a PEPS Group today!
Find support, connection, and resources for your family!
22 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023
Flexible Pricing program fees and Financial Assistance available for all groups.
3 totally doable


A40-minute road trip to Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park and theme resort is a time-honored tradition for many families in the Seattle area. But like anything else involving large groups of children and lots of splashing, yelling and buying, parents will have to brace themselves.

With its multiple waterslides and handson exploration and creative activities, this nearcation in Grand Mount, Washington is open year-round and offers something for everyone, from babies to teens to parents.

Watery highlights

There are lifeguarded slides or pools to cover every age group and comfort level, from the seriously steep drop of Howlin’ Tornado for the big kids and daring parents, to Slap Tail Pond, an intense wave pool where you can decide how far you want to go. (Note: the wave pool gets pretty rough in the deeper spots.) Slides are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m daily.

As a veteran of many Disneyland visits, I tend to immerse myself. So I had a great time for more than a day. But by hour 45 at this resort, I required an umbrella cocktail at approximately 10:52 a.m. Within two hours of

150 miles (nearcations)

my expiration, even the kids (then 10 and 7) were fine with going home. Waterslides are amazing, but you’ll know when you’re done. Keep in mind that a limited number of day passes are available each day, and the prices start at $50 per person. Children younger than 2 do not need a pass.

Highlights on land

Kids will get a kick out of nightly pajama story time and daytime story times; morning yoga with resort characters; the Great Clock Tower Show, a big hit with younger kids; an arcade with video games, skill cranes and Skee-Ball; a glowing golf course; two spas, including one for kids and one for adults; a mirror maze and Oliver’s Mining Co. (both for an additional fee); and Shadowquest and MagiQuest, interactive magic wand games that keep kids running all over the resort — when they buy a wand or a game. The Howlers Peak Ropes Course, just outside the water park, provides a climbing challenge for children who are at least 4 feet tall. Tickets are extra. And for parents: a fitness center. Along with your bathing suit

Consider taking earplugs. The noise levels in the rooms (which start at $229 and include water park access) can vary. Life jackets are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. They are strongly recommended for kids under 4 feet tall and for weak swimmers.

Inflatables from home are verboten.

Where to eat

Pizza, subs and salads are sold at the takeout restaurant, Hungry As A Wolf. There’s also a buffet restaurant, a fast-food stand in the water park and a fancier sit-down grill. An ice cream and sweets stand will be a hit. Did I mention the wine service? We also ventured out to the Mariachi Alegre Mexican restaurant in Rochester. It’s good Mexican food served by a cheerful staff — and not a single arcade noise or pool echo in the whole joint.

How to save

Bring food to save money on meals and beverages. Rooms have mini-refrigerators. Parents can get the biggest financial bang for their buck by arriving at 1 p.m. the day of check-in and staying until 8 p.m. the day of checkout. Very good deals are often available on multiple-night stays, especially if you go with another family.

Notes about volumes and lines

For kids bothered by loud noise or prone to overstimulation, consider noise-canceling headphones. Kids unable to handle long waits? Big slides are less crowded in the hours just after opening.

Best tip: Go with adult friends. One Seattle mom I talked to loves moms-and-kiddos trips: “Go with a girlfriend — and it is fun!”

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 23
Your guide to the water resort just up the road

150 miles


Beaches, mountains and a rainforest, all in one journey!

Olympic National Park is an unusual gem of a place on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and a perfect place for a family trip.

It is sprawling and varied, home to mountains, a rainforest, beautiful lakes and hot springs, to name just a few attractions. There are many, many ways to explore and enjoy it.

Here is one possible itinerary. You could reverse the itinerary to avoid an extra-long first day.

Day 1: Kalaloch Lodge

This stunning cash-free, card-only facility, perched above the beach, is run by a national parks concessionaire and is popular for its beach access, lovely views and cabins that are well-equipped and fully self-contained but sans Wi-Fi (we got reasonably strong cell and data signals).

Pro tip: Study the lodging options carefully, and plan food accordingly. Some cabins have full kitchens; others are kitchenettes and lack ovens. The dining room is serving dinner only (as of January 2023), and there

are not a lot of other restaurants (or other services) nearby. You could put together meals from what you find in the on-site camp store, but … they will be meals from a camp store.

The weather was good, so we took a side trip to the Hoh Rainforest (this could wait until Day 2). There are informational signs, some well-marked short walks and a visitor center (open daily in summer; Friday through Sunday in the off-season and closed January and February).

Day 1, alternate idea: Stay at nearby Lake Quinault Lodge.

Day 2: to Port Angeles

Heading north you’ll pass several beaches, rainforest access (see above) and the town of Forks (of “Twilight” fame), among other things. Highway 101 hugs the shores of spectacular Lake Crescent for a while. There are plenty of opportunities to pull off the highway to stretch your legs, grab a snack or photos.

A road closure meant we missed Hurricane Ridge, one of the highlights of the national park, but we got more time in Port Angeles. It has a great waterfront walking trail, a year-round farmers market and good views of ship traffic, including the Black Ball Ferry departing for Victoria, B.C. One regret:

We pulled into the Lake Crescent Lodge parking lot and explored the area a little bit but did not go the extra mile (literally, a mile!) to Marymere Falls.

Day 3: Port Townsend

It’s not a long drive from Port Angeles to Port Townsend. First order of business: Make sure everyone knows how to pronounce Sequim: It’s Skwim.

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is not too far off the highway and is a gem. It’s clearly a popular destination, but officials have converted some trails to one-way to help manage crowds.

We’ve long had a soft spot for Victorian Port Townsend. I swear, the shops get cuter every year! We bought books and coffee; dinner was takeout fish and chips. Our daughter got a huge kick out of the deer roaming the residential areas and also the restored old “fire bell tower.” Climb the stairs between the upper and lower parts of town before you hit one of several bakeries and ice cream shops. The journey home

We made lots of detours and stops. We could not resist driving down Egg & I Road (its real name), an homage to the classic Northwest tale by Betty MacDonald. You can’t tell where the author lived, but you can get a

Kalaloch Beach

Hoh Rainforest

bit of a feel for her life.

Finn River Farm & Cidery is a fun stop right outside of town. They have a short but varied menu (serving Thursday through Sunday as of January 2023) plus food trucks on weekends, and you can walk through parts of the orchard.

We opted to drive through Port Gamble to Kingston and catch the ferry to Edmonds to conclude our Olympic National Park family trip. Bainbridge to Seattle is also a fine option.

The regions’ other national parks

After a grand tour of Olympic National Park, you’ll be primed for visiting Washington’s other two national parks. But take note: Mount Rainier National Park is so popular that it can be difficult to enter on weekend mornings, especially in the summer and fall. The Nisqually entrance can see traffic backups of an hour or more. Try mid-week.

North Cascades National Park is best suited for visitors seeking challenging hikes. And what a payoff: sweeping vistas of the Cascade Mountains, Washington’s natural beauty at its best.

Experience our top-rated science museum! Explore our exciting exhibitions Tour the USS Blueback submarine Catch a planetarium show Climb and play in the Science Playground Test hands-on experiments in our labs March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 25

150 miles (road trips)


You have 10 days and want to see some national parks. Or, you have a single goal — say, Disneyland — and want to design a road trip around it.

The details

My family once completed an 18-day, 4,000-mile road trip through seven states. And we were still speaking to each other at the end!

When I announced our intention to do this, a friend responded, “That’s amazing! I wouldn’t even know how to begin to plan such an adventure.”

This made me realize that not everyone is married to a geography lover/wannabe travel agent who loves nothing more than a good AAA map and guidebook. But that needn’t stop you from hitting the road with your family. Here’s how.

The plan

First, set your timeframe and a rough idea of where you’d like to go. For instance:

Sit down with a paper map or atlas (my family is retro that way). Think about what ideally constitutes a “day’s drive” for your family. If you’re new to this, start with 3 or 4 hours. Departing the Seattle area, for example, Day 1 will take you as far as Spokane or Portland or Vancouver, B.C. Sketch out an itinerary based on how far you want to go and what you want to see along the way.

Hint: Underplan, don’t overplan. You can always find something additional to do like check out a cool local playground.

Break up the driving: There’s always something to see along the way: parks, waterfalls, dams and sculptures to name just a few. You could leave this to chance, or you could research it. Larger points of interest will be evident from your map. Smaller points of interest will be evident as you gaze out the window. (See “underplan,” above.)

Reserve places to sleep: While I love the idea of driving until you’re ready to stop, don’t do it with kids. Reserve ahead. Hint: Hotel/ motel pools are usually a hit with kids, and a nice reward/relaxation after a day in the car. Consider joining a loyalty program. You’ll always know what to expect from your lodging, and you’ll earn benefits along the way.

Speaking of hotels and sleeping: When planning a trip, consider how often you want to pack and unpack. It can be exhausting dragging everything out of the car and then back in. Don’t underestimate the luxurious feeling of staying in the same place for consecutive nights, at least once or twice on a long vacation.

Reserve other things: If your research has led you to a cool cave tour or other attraction, go ahead and book it. Things fill up fast, especially in summer months! Some national parks now require timed-entry reservations during peak season. If you have a special restaurant in mind, reserve that, too; you’ll be

26 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023
Preparation will make for a smoother ride, but it doesn’t have to be difficult

glad you did.

What to take

Pack drinks and snacks. To save money and landfill space, give each family member a reusable water bottle and have them fill it each morning.

Bring first-aid basics and any medications that family members will need. Don’t forget sunscreen and bug spray.

Packing: This is a great thing for kids to learn. You’ll have to figure out how much autonomy to give them. (One year I gave my daughter too much autonomy and she neglected to pack any underwear or socks for our weeklong vacation.) Consider the weather forecast and what you plan to do, also how many personal or “comfort” items you have room for. How many clothes you pack could depend on laundry facilities at the places you reserve

Don’t forget

Screen/device time. Figure this out in advance or you might hear yourself bellowing, “Why are you on your phone when there’s beautiful scenery all around us?!?” more often than you would like.

Have a food plan. Perhaps bring your own (simple) breakfast, have a picnic lunch along the way, then dinner at a restaurant. Yes, bring the cooler. Set a budget. Or at least think about it. Food, gas and lodging are obvious expenses, along with fees for attractions. Will you buy souvenirs and gifts?

My family collects Christmas ornaments from places we visit. Consider whether you’ll want to treat your kids to souvenirs, have them buy their own or some combination thereof.

The homefront: Stop your mail and anything else that needs stopping. If you have pets, arrange for their care well ahead of time.

Now that you’re prepared, don’t expect things to go perfectly, because they won’t. Enjoy the change of pace. Try something new. Memories are about to be made.

WRITTEN BY SEATTLE MOM and author Chelsey Glasson, Black Box is a cautionary tale about pregnancy discrimination and a call to action.

Glasson shares her path from feeling like a grateful and proud tech worker, to spending her breaks crying as a vulnerable outcast, to filing a lawsuit against one of the world’s biggest tech giants. Readers will walk away with a better understanding of how to navigate workplace discrimination and harassment and the changes that need to happen to make the path to holding employers accountable more accessible.

Your guide to a kid-friendly city Subscribe to our free e-newsletters for family fun around the Puget Sound! deliv ed to y r inb ! » Sign up for the newsletter and read more about the book at BLACKBOXTHEBOOK.COM BLACK BOX A Pregnancy Discrimination Memoir CHELSEY GLASSON COMING SOON
“One year I gave my daughter too much autonomy and she neglected to pack any underwear or socks for our weeklong vacation.”

150 miles (road trips)

No reservation? No problem.

Where to get a last-minute campsite

State parks, national parks and national forests all hold places for latecomers

If you yearn to go camping, but every campground you usually haunt is all reserved, there’s hope.

Even if you don’t have a reservation, there are quite a few first-come, first-served campsites in Washington State Parks and other public lands.

Be prepared — and flexible: Pay attention to the amenities at the campground. (Do you need to pack water in?) Have a backup plan or two in case your perfect spot is taken. Before you go, research nearby campgrounds, motels and other places to stay so you don’t have to turn tail and go home.

The early camper gets the site: Be ready to go (packed, full tank) early in the morning to get a jump on the crowds.

Shoot for the middle: Show up in the middle of the week or on the tail end of the weekend to improve odds of getting a campsite. Bonus: fewer crowds.

Think outside the box: Try the lovely spots in our article “Want to take the kids camping? Here’s how to get a spot at the last minute,” online at

State Parks with first-come, first-served sites

3Joemma Beach State Park: 19 primitive tent sites.

3Mount Spokane State Park: 8 standard sites and more than 12,000 acres to explore.

3Obstruction Pass State Park: 10 primitive sites; take your car on the ferry or arrive by boat or kayak.

3Sucia Island Marine State Park: 60 standard sites accessible only by watercraft.

3Wallace Falls State Park: Set out early to score one of the two prime sites.

State Parks with a combination of reserved and first-come, first-served sites:

3Blake Island Marine State Park: 44 sites.

3Cape Disappointment State Park: 5 sites for spontaneous campers.

3Curlew Lake State Park: 29 sites for last-minute campers.

3Jarrell Cove State Park: 14 sites for campers without reservations.

3Lewis and Clark State Park: 9 first-come, firstserved sites.

3Schafer State Park: 19 no-reservation sites.

National parks and forests

All three national parks in Washington have some first-come, first-served sites. For details, go to Get details about the few no-reservation sites in Washington’s national forests on the U.S. Forest Service website visit/forests-and-grasslands

Driving the wild coastline of VANCOUVER ISLAND

Ucluelet, just south of the park.

Filled with miles of accessible beaches and moss-filled forests, and home to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the West Coast of Vancouver Island is an ideal destination for families who want to explore the wild coastline of our neighbors to the north.

Planning your stay: Start early

Our trip had two legs, which included both renting a house and camping. For the first leg, we rented an Airbnb in

For camping, we found a spot in a campground just north of the park. A bonus: The beach at our campground turned out to be my favorite of the beaches we visited. I highly recommend really considering how your family likes to travel and booking sites and accommodations well in advance.

Getting into Canada: Check your documents

Months leading up to the trip, I’d diligently checked and re-checked that our kids only needed birth certificates to get across the border. So imagine my horror when I pulled out all of our documents and realized that my husband’s

28 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023
beaches, marine life,
hiking and adventure await story and photographs by ELLIE WHITE

passport had expired three years earlier. Luckily we learned that his enhanced driver’s license was all he needed to get into Canada.

Lesson learned: Check the current requirements for entry. To save time, go to the ArriveCAN (at to scan in your documents and COVID vaccination records, then show the customs agent the barcode at the border.

Getting there: What to see and where to go on this 5+-hour journey

Getting to the West Coast of Vancouver Island is a beautiful but long journey. After crossing the border, you have a short drive to the ferry terminal and a 2-hour ferry ride to Nanaimo. Make sure you arrive early –the ferry website encourages you to be there an hour early, and will cancel your reservation if you don’t arrive early enough. From there it’s three more hours in the car until you reach the coast.

Along the way: check out goats that live on a roof at a shop in the city of Coombs. Pull off at Cathedral Grove for a quick stroll among 800-year-old trees. And get any last wiggles out at Port Alberni before making the last half of the trip across the island

to the coast through largely uninhabited countryside.

Highlights of our trip:

Beach accessibility: As you drive along the coast between Ucluelet and Tofino, there are numerous beaches, all open to you. Some beaches are a short (often steep) hike from the parking lot. Others are just steps away from your car. We didn’t get to all of them and wished we could have visited some of them again.

Learning: In summer, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve offers a variety of educational programs at the beach. At the talk we went to, our kids learned about bears, cougars, and wolves and examined replica skulls, tracks and poop from these predominant predators of the area. We later found bear poop on a hike!

Balance bikes on the beach: Our toddlers could not get enough of riding their balance bikes on the hard-packed sandy beaches.

Weather considerations:

When it rained on Vancouver Island, we headed to the Ucluelet Aquarium. Local sea life is brought into the aquarium for visitors to enjoy and then released back to the ocean. We saw some animals during low tide at the

beach, but at the aquarium, we got an upclose view of some wild and amazing marine life. We also went hiking on a heavily forested trail in the morning. What could have been a miserable day camping in the rain turned into a day where we hardly even noticed the rain.


Laundry: Frequent beach stops mean tons of sand and dirt. We put the machines at our rental house and campsite to good use.

Food: With rising food prices and a remote location, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that food was more expensive than we anticipated. Consider bringing food but check border restrictions at

Pre-trip reading

To give your kids a sense of what they might discover on the wild coastline of Vancouver Island, I recommend Roy Henry Vickers’ beautifully illustrated Northwest Coast legend stories, the incredible photography in the Pacific Wild children’s books and author Deborah Hodge’s West Coast Wild children’s book series.

If your family loves beaches, surfing, nature walks, wildlife, and wild, accessible landscapes, Vancouver Island may be just the ticket for you.

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 29

150 miles (road trips)

Have baby, WILL TRAVEL .

Lessons of a solo parent’s year road tripping with a baby

When I had my first baby, I was a single parent with serious wanderlust. My little one and I traveled to 12 states during her first 12 months. Sometimes we took quick weekend jaunts, sometimes multi-week road trips. Here’s what I learned about solo road tripping with an infant. Stay at motels, not hotels

At a hotel, getting from your car to your room involves traipsing past an office, down a hallway, and riding up an elevator. It’ll take three trips just to get your suitcase, cooler and portable crib into the room. And you’ll probably leave something important in the car, which you’ll realize after the baby falls asleep. I once had to wake up my sleeping child because I’d left the bag with my contact solution and toothbrush in the car and was too paranoid to leave her alone in the room. At a motel, your car is right outside your door so you can deposit the baby in the room and then bring in the suitcase, cooler, diaper stash, crib, grocery bags and toiletries. Pack all your overnight essentials in one bag

This eliminates the need to slink out to your car at night to retrieve your toothbrush. After two hours on the road, my car descends into a collection of bags, each carrying disparate essential items, so I admit I haven’t pulled this one off. But, you’ll be glad you did if you can. Don’t book lodging ahead of time

If you are afraid places will book up, or are positive you’ll make it to your destination, then book ahead. But if you’re traveling through a string of towns, flexibility is key. Suppose the baby falls asleep right before reaching your planned destination. Keep your foot on the accelerator and make it to the next town.

On the other hand, if that screaming from the backseat isn’t going to end, waiting allows you to stop sooner than expected. When my daughter and I drove from Denver to San Francisco to Seattle, we hit our planned destinations about half the time. When she started her “I’m bored” scream an hour outside of Salt Lake City, I was glad I hadn’t booked a place in Utah’s capital. Instead, I spotted a camping sign, made a quick left turn, and pitched a tent on Strawberry Reservoir. She was happily crawling through the dirt moments later.

Bring a tent

I hadn’t planned on camping between Denver and California, but luckily had thrown a tent in the car just in case. My daughter and I watched the sun set over the lake and ate snacks for dinner. The next morning I stopped in Salt Lake City to treat myself to a Starbucks with the money I’d saved by foregoing a motel.

Eat picnics, not at restaurants

The last thing your baby will want to do after being strapped in a car seat is spend time in a high chair at a restaurant. Pack a cooler and find parks for meal stops. Have food to last a day, and keep that fuel tank above the halfway point

You won’t want to wake the baby to get gas, and sometimes you won’t want to leave your motel (or campsite) for dinner.

Join a nationwide fitness club where child care is included

Without my jogging stroller, the best way for me to stay in shape while traveling is to stop at 24 Hour Fitness clubs along the way. There is a glorious rush of freedom when you hand off your kid mid-roadtrip. Or consider planning a child-free afternoon for yourself mid-trip by Googling for daycares or nanny services in the area and asking about a daily rate. Or set up a sitter for a day through ser-

vices like Helpr, and Sittercity. Follow other parents’ posts

To figure out what to do with kids along the way, follow the Instragrams of families who live in places you are traveling. Never drive exhausted

Ever. Even if your baby is asleep and you are desperate to make up some miles. If you are tired, it’s not worth it. While we’re talking safety, consider these purchases:

3A well stocked first aid kit and plenty of extra water to keep in the car.

3A roadside assistance plan like AAA.

3Consider a satellite communicator like Garmin’s inReach. This device (once you purchase a monthly subscription) will allow you to text, email or even send out an SOS in non-cell areas.

3Consider using an app like Find My that will allow you to share your location with a friend or family member.

Enjoy the ride!

Traveling with an infant gives you an excuse to stop every couple of hours at weird places you normally wouldn’t explore. I never would have discovered Dinosaur National Monument or picnicked near tiny Trout Lake or tasted pickle upside-down pie in Pie Town, New Mexico if it hadn’t been for my daughter.

30 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023


large TV, projector, cozy sectional, fireplace and a backgammon board). Mountainside fun

150 miles (road trips)

Off-season visits to ski destinations like Schweitzer Resort have become a favorite vacation for my non-skiing family.

Embarking on a road trip to Schweitzer Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho

This year, we embarked on a solo-parent road trip, driving six hours to Schweitzer Resort’s Humbird Hotel. Nestled in the Selkirk Mountains just above Sandpoint, the 31-room timber-laden boutique hotel was named after the Humbird Logging Company, which operated in the early 1900s. We found its accommodations offered the perfect balance of relaxation and activity.

Cozy setting with thoughtful touches

Humbird’s relatively small size made it feel welcoming right from the get-go. We were greeted with a much-needed coffee for me and steamers for the kids before venturing up to explore our room.

I appreciated the kid-oriented attention to detail. Black-out curtains helped prevent early morning awakenings. The queen beds were low enough that my kids could climb in themselves. An open closet and movable pegs on the wall allowed them to easily access their own clothes.

Special Amenities

The third floor, where we stayed, was also home to most special amenities. I snuck in a little “me time” at the fitness center before borrowing the co-working space. We visited the spectacular Glass Room most mornings to play foosball while admiring views of Lake Pend Oreille (there’s also a

If you ask my kids, the best part of our stay was the day we used our Ultimate Fun Pass. This all-inclusive ticket gets you a bag of jewels for gem mining, plus unlimited rides on the chairlift, trampoline jumper, climbing wall and zip line.

A couple of activities were off the table for our family at Schweitzer Resort. Zip line riders must be at least 8 years old and weigh at least 60 pounds, while horseback riders have to be at least 10. My kids weren’t disappointed. They said a quick hello to the horses and never looked back; there are many fun options.

Mining for gems went quickly, but my 3-year-old enjoyed turning the sluice boxes into boats he could send down the current while my 6-year-old identified her gems with the included chart.

Both kids liked scaling the climbing wall, which has different levels of difficulty on each side, but the real show-stealer was the Trampoline Thing. Strapped to bungees on each side, my kids tested the meaning of “unlimited” as they jumped high in the sky and practiced flips for hours. With engaging employees (who are parents themselves) giving the kids tips and encouragement, I got to cheer them on from a shady seat before managing a handful of my own flips.

If you only choose one activity while on site, make it the chairlift. We passed over wildflowers and impressive mountain bikers

hurtling down 40 miles of bike trails before having lunch at the Sky House. On our second day, we took the half-mile Summit View loop to pick juicy huckleberries.

Even during an active vacation, our family needs some downtime. Schweitzer Resort offers a selection of activity pails for about $5-10 per 24-hour period. My daughter made paper-bag puppets and tissue-paper butterflies with the Craft Time bucket. My son played “Keepy Uppy” with the balloons in the Indoor Energy Buster pail. Later we relaxed in the pool and hot tubs on the third floor.

If you run out of things to do on the mountain, Sandpoint’s shopping and dining center is just 30 minutes down the road.

Where to eat on and off the mountain

After our long drive to Schweitzer, we took full advantage of the walkable on-site dining options. Gourmandie offers casual breakfast items and small plates for lunch. We ate sandwiches and pasta at the Sky House (at the top of the chairlift). My kids were a little wiggly for our gourmet dinner at the Crow’s Bench, but sharing the fondue appetizer gave them full bellies and a fun activity.

On our night in Sandpoint, we loved the arcade games, quirky touches (including a unique nursing area in an old vault) and the historic federal building setting of MickDuff’s Brewpub.

What to know before you stay

3Rooms at the Humbird start at $278 per night in the summer and $361 in the winter. Spring and fall rates are lower (starting at $216 per night).

3The Ultimate Fun Pass is $30 for kids 7 and younger and $40 for guests 8 and older. Chairlift rides are about $20 per person and the trampoline is $8 per ride. It’s easy to get your money’s worth on the pass.

3Schweitzer’s summer season is late June through Labor Day.

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 31
A family trip to Schweitzer Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho
read more online
the full version of this article
to “Family friendly trip to Schweitzer Resort” at
story and photographs by NATASHA DILLINGER

150 miles (road trips)

The newbie’s guide to A FAMILY RV ADVENTURE

A local family embraces this vacation trend

My family’s been consumed by wanderlust, but finding the time and money to travel extensively is difficult. Enter the RV — a vehicle with travel flexibility as well as a shower, toilet, kitchen and beds.

We had never been in an RV and wanted to

experience this road-tripping option. It seems as though RV travel is an adventure that every family should try, at least once.

Finding a campground

Before we could rent a vehicle, we needed a place to park it. I was looking for something with full hookups (electricity, sewer and water services for the RV) and close to the beach, along with the option to use park showers and bathrooms (just in case). A tall order, but we found the perfect spot at Ocean City State Park ($35/night). Keep in mind that spring and summer are busy camping months in RV

parks, so book early.

The rental and cost

After much research and advice from friends, we rented an RV in March, during the off-season. Seattle is not lacking for RV rental companies. (We used Northwest Adventure Rentals.) Be aware of hidden costs, such as liability and insurance, and be sure to check with your own insurance company about coverage for a rental RV. It may save you money.

Loading up all the extras

In general, I’m an over-packer. Although

32 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023

the rental company provided us with everything from pots and pans to linens, I needed to make sure we had extra towels and sheets, flashlights, a toolkit, bottled water, lots of air freshener and definitely extra toilet paper.

We also packed games, stuffed animals, our favorite snacks and books. With all that we brought, I was amazed by the ample storage! The vehicle was equipped with deep cabinets, plenty of drawers and a huge overhead bunk above the cab.

The noisy drive

My husband drove to the campsite; I took the wheel on our way back. White-knuckled and driving in the slow lane, we lurched ahead, carefully making wide turns. We had never driven such a large vehicle before and it took time to get used to it.

Our kids sat comfortably at the dinette with lap belts, reading their books and playing games. It was not the smoothest drive, but we adjusted

and managed the three-hour journey to the Pacific Coast without incident.

Hooking up and settling in

Once we got to the site, we pulled up to our connection points and hooked up our electricity and water systems. We used the two slide-outs that expand the dining and formal bedroom areas, and extended the awning outside. My kids were in awe: “So cool!”

Sleeping. Bring earplugs!

Cold nights are miserable when we camp outdoors, but sleeping in an RV is luxury. Having a heating system indoors makes everything very comfortable, along with cushy beds, fluffy pillows and fresh sheets. After converting the dining table and the small couch into beds, there was plenty of room to snooze. My older son was curious: “Does the kitchen turn into a bed too?”

If you can get over the hum of the heater, the collective snoring of your family and the croaking of frogs outside, you are in for a good night’s rest. But I have to admit howling wind and rain pounding on the roof threw my sleep off.

The chef’s kitchen

Our kitchen was equipped with a gas stove, a large refrigerator, a freezer and a microwave that also functioned as an oven. That allowed us to whip up kid favorites like spaghetti, burritos, sandwiches and even a small roast with steamed veggies and mashed potatoes. Camping never tasted so good!

Bathroom duty

It was small but it did its job. The toilets were flushable and waste went into a tank under the RV. We easily drained it into the park’s sewage system before we left. NOTE: Remember to hook up to the main sewage system, even on short trips. We quickly found that out when our shower stall flooded!

Beating the rain

When it rained, we opted to stay inside . . .

This is what I imagined an RV vacation would be — family around a tiny table, playing game after game, laughing and ribbing each other. But after a while things got a little stuffy. The solution to our claustrophobia was easy: We simply opened the vents and stepped outside to befriend the rain.

Heading home

The RV seemed a lot bigger when we got it home. Overtaking our tiny driveway, it took on a life of its own. We connected it to our outdoor power source so our boys could have a final vacation dinner in it. As we said our goodbyes in the morning, I suggested we give our Sunseeker a name.

“Ruby,” I suggested.

The kids had a better idea: “The Road Venturer.”

read more online

For the full version of this article go to “The newbie’s guide to a family RV adventure” at

Traveling companions

Invite audiobooks, travel guides and podcasts along for the ride!

A great story can take your family a lot of miles on a road trip.

Audiobooks, podcasts and audio guides give kids and parents a chance to experience stories and scenery at the same time. Not to mention, listening to stories, rather than reading them, is an excellent way for kids to hear fluency and richness of language, while at the same time increasing their vocabulary. Since booklength works often translate to eight or more hours of listening time, they may reduce the number of comments like “I’m bored!” or “When will we get there?” you need to deflect along the way.


Seattle Public, Pierce County, and King County libraries have thousands of audiobooks available on CD to check out or download. Consider bringing required school reading along for the ride – and then have conversations with your kids about them. Audiobooks can also be purchased at local booksellers, Amazon, and Scholastic’s website. Phone apps like Audible expand the list of available choices exponentially.

Travel guide apps

The last few years have also seen the rise of road-tripping audio guide apps. Such apps will let you know what’s ahead of you so you can pull over or at least look. Just Ahead: Audio Travel Guides is one of the best out there, bringing scenery to life with notes on wildlife, geology, flora, and history as you move along the road.


Don’t forget podcasts on your next road trip. “Stories Podcast: A bedtime show for kids of all ages” is a popular choice. For young kids, especially boys, the “Growing Boy Stories” podcast is a fun ride. It was created by Steven Dunham, an English instructor at Bellevue College.

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 33

900 miles (trips worth a flight)

SEAT T LE TO DISNEYLAND AND BACK: 10 tips to navigate by

It’s a digital world at the happiest place on earth

As parents, we shamelessly deprived our kids. We made them wait until they were teenagers before we bit the bullet, hopped a cheap (compared to current airfares) flight to California and made our way to the Happiest Place on Earth: Disneyland, USA.

Outside The Pandemic Years, we have gone to Disneyland a couple times a year since 2014, which is my only credential for offering advice on how to navigate this enormous and privileged parental rite of passage. No, we are not loaded. We just happen to reside both in Southern California and Washington and for years were eligible for Disneyland’s Southern California resident annual pass, which made going regularly to the theme park crazy-affordable.

Things have changed over those years that pass is history, attractions have come and gone, the system for beating the lines has changed, crowds have grown, the Disney phone app is kind of a must these days. Still, a visit to the original theme park in the Disney collection can be a magical adventure especially in 2023, which marks Disneyland’s 100th anniversary.

Here are tips for making that dream come true.

#1 Wait for it

In fact, I’ve already given you my first tip: Wait ’til your kids are old enough to appreciate or at least handle (physically and emotionally) the plane trek, the anticipation, the long wait times for rides, the crowds, the weather and the walking that are all part and parcel of a day at Disneyland. An informal survey of 20 Disneyland tourism and navigation websites suggests waiting until at least age 4.

But I have to admit watching my 13- and 16-yearolds trade in their teenage bravado for tiaras, mouse ears and younger-kid enthusiasm made a true pixie-dust believer out of me. I’m just saying, waiting was the best Disney decision my family made.

#2 Time it right

June, July, first half of August . . . stay in Seattle. These can be the hottest, most packed park days of the year.

Go for low-crowd days. Numerous blogs offer crowd counters and crowd calendars to help figure out best dates. My favorite: 3UndercoverTourist. com, which also offers great full-day game plans

to hit all the biggies. Also, avoid major theme-y holidays, weekends, school breaks and popular vacation weeks. If possible, plan a mid-week visit to take advantage of lower census on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Purchase tickets online as far in advance as humanly possible. Or, in Disney terms, up to 120 days before you plan to go. Multi-day tickets are less expensive per day than single day tickets and they don’t need to be used consecutively. Close friends from Seattle came to visit us in our Venice home a couple years ago and took their 10-year-old son to Disneyland on a Tuesday, to Venice Beach on Wednesday and back to Disneyland on Thursday. They had a blast, had time to digest each day and didn’t get overwhelmed.

#3 Touch down at John Wayne

Yes, it is generally a few dollars cheaper to fly into the Los Angeles International Airport from Seattle. But fly into much smaller John Wayne Airport anyway. It’s closer, smaller and far less chaotic. If you plan far in advance, one-way tickets can be found for under

$100 per passenger (Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines are your best bets).

#4 Stay at a Disneyland resort

I hate giving this advice because for the price of a night at one of the three Disney hotels located in and around Disneyland, I could feed my family for two months. A room sleeps up to five adults and runs between $500 and $700 (or way more) per night. The thing is, there are a few benefits: 1) resort guests get into parks 30 minutes before everyone else 2) discounts 3) restaurants on the premises where characters come to visit and 4) you can easily get a midday nap without having to find your car. If you ignore tip #1 and bring very young children, staying at an attached hotel can be a sanity saver.

Note, there are waaaaay cheaper options within walking distance of the park. Our favorite is Anaheim Camelot Inn where those same five adults can sleep and eat breakfast for around $240 a night.

#5 Download Disneyland Mobile App BEFORE you go

Not only download it, wander around in it. Get to know it. Make it your best

34 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023

friend. Of all the changes that my family has seen at Disneyland in the last eight years, use of an app to navigate everything from park entrance to ride waiting times to paid reservations on the busiest rides to food purchases and restaurant reservations is the biggest. Once you’ve purchased your Disneyland tickets, you can start using the app to plan your park itinerary, look at menus and plan meals and tick off a lot of other boxes before you even leave Seattle. Many food venues in the park rely on the app. You can shop with it. It practically does your laundry. So don’t fight it, the new Disneyland is a digital Disneyland.

HINT: Save yourself time, upload your credit card into the Disney app before you go to the park.

#6 Get in the park entry line early. We mean it. EARLY.

In general, security starts letting visitors into the park about 30 minutes before the official park opening. You are able to walk into the park and down to the end of Main Street until you hit a rope that is laid across the path. Getting to “rope drop”

gives you a big leg up on other visitors in terms of the time it takes to get to your most coveted rides. Get there by 7 a.m. Even if you stay at a resort and have early access, get there 30 minutes to an hour before your entry time.

#7 Bring food

There are lots of snacks at Disneyland—very expensive, largely unhealthy snacks that will hop your kids up and then drop them down into a sugar coma. Unless you add the balance of healthy foods. So go ahead and book your meals— way in advance if you can—at the very expensive restaurants sprinkled around the park. But save a lot of money with a backpack full of healthy snacks that will stave off hunger, boost energy throughout the day and save you from hangry family breakdowns. HINT: You cannot take glass bottles and containers into the park.

#8 Bring the Kraken (or Seahawks or Storm or . . .)

Show your Seattle or other local team spirit in the form of brightly colored matching T-shirts or jackets so that you

can easily see your kids and they can see you in a sea of other families (many of whom will be wearing matching shirts from their home teams). Use mobile phone locators on each family member’s phone. And for younger children, consider purchasing a child tracking bracelet (like the Washington-state developed Littlebird tracker) or other wearable device such as an Apple Airtag.

#9 Beat the looooong lines

There have been books written on how to avoid waiting for rides at Disney parks. Google it and you’ll find hundreds of ideas. But I’ll boil it down to just three:

1. Use the single rider line. Yes, that means members of your family will not sit in the same car or carriage. But really? Who cares?

2. For very popular rides, use the Lightning Lane option in your app to purchase a spot closer to the front of the line. You can only purchase Lightning Lane spots two times in a single day. Or, pay $25 per person to use the app’s Genie+ service, which allows visitors Lightning Lane entrance times on select attractions, one at a time, all day long.

3. Go early, stay late. The shortest lines are first thing in the morning (because you heeded tip #6) and the last few hours before the park closes, when the youngest wrung-out visitors and their parents have thrown in the towel. Some rides close early, so check end times. HINT: Kids not into parades? Lines shorten up when the evening parade is rolling down Main Street.

#10 How to meet your favorite characters

Let’s face it, we’re all here because we fell in love with a Disney movie character or two. . . or 10. If your kids really, really have their hearts set on seeing a specific character, consider a character breakfast or meal event.

Happy 100th

Disneyland Resort has built a few surprises into its 100th anniversary celebration, including the platinum color throughout the park, highlighting storytellers and creators, new rides and more. The popular Toontown section of the park reopens March 8.

Check out the park’s Guide to Disney100 on the resort blog at

Homeward bound

You might be tempted to race home the morning after your whirlwind day or days in the park. Consider a later flight – say in the evening or at night. Ask for a late check-out from your hotel. Spend the morning in the pool, going through photos, enjoying breakfast. A little downtime before the airport rush is a helpful way to transition from the Happiest Place on Earth back to real life in Seattle.

For the full 15-tip version of this article go to “Seattle to Disneyland: 15 tips to navigate by” at

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 35
read more online

900 miles (trips worth a flight)


A quick flight from Seattle offers family fun aplenty

and photographs

Awhole world of wonder is a short flight away in Monterey, California.

Known for its turquoise-colored coast, abundant wildlife, nature preserves, sunny beaches and iconic Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row, Monterey offers a range of adventure, from free beachcombing to more luxury-level activities and attractions.

Monterey Aquarium

Monterey Aquarium tops my family’s to-do list on the California coast. Located on Monterey Bay, the facility is home to more than 75,000 animals and plants, including hammerhead sharks, large sea turtles, a variety of majestically glowing jellyfish, a 557-pound sea bass and large schools of fish. Octopus camouflage themselves among the rocks and seahorses swirl in the rhythmic movements of water. And outside behind the aquarium the Pacific Ocean, where all this life came from, awaits. Grab a stationary telescope stand to view the area and possibly spot the seal, cormorant or pelicans native to Monterey Bay.

Interactive is the name of this marine game. Monterey Aquarium is dotted with touch tanks, including one where you can touch bat rays. Water play tables and a kids’ zone are on the second floor. Bring a change of clothes. It’s $180 for a family of four. A high cost, but worth it for the sea of surprises and learning we discovered.

Hiking Big Sur:

Redwood forests to turquoise waters

Big Sur is a 45-minute drive from Monterey, cruising along scenic Pacific Coast Highway. The redwood forest has enormous trees, ranging from 200 to 350 feet, each aging gracefully at upwards of 500 years old. Stop at Big Sur Deli to gather food and drinks for your hike. Ours was led by a guide from Big Sur Guides and Hiking, but simply hitting these pristine trails on your own is a fine option.

Hint: Don’t skip a walk down the Partington Cove Trail to an old tunnel, carved into the mountainside. The scenery is jaw-dropping.

Horseback riding on Pebble Beach

Ok, it’s a splurge at $65-$125 per person, but viewing the Del Monte forest and the Pacific Coast on horseback with Pebble Beach’s Equestrian Center was a real thrill for my family. Riding is suitable for children older than 8. My kids had very little experience with horseback riding but felt comfortable with the trail and the

Horseback Riding

calm horses that they were on. The center offers leisurely pony rides for younger kids too.

Ride a surrey along the coast

Peddling a four-person surrey was perhaps the most exciting and active part of our trip. Rent your ride on the Monterey Recreation Trail at one of many Adventures by the Sea retail shops ($50-$200 depending on size and season). If you want an activity that fosters teamwork, this is it. Parents take the wheel and ring the bell, while the rest of the family puts pedal to the metal. My youngest son couldn’t reach the pedals, so he cheered us on as we pumped up the hills. My kids still talk about this experience, one of our best memories from this vacation.

Butterflies everywhere

Not far from Monterey, in Pacific Grove, is the Monarch Sanctuary. Tucked at the very rear of The Butterfly Grove Inn, you’ll make your way past a colorful butterfly mural and into an inviting garden. Here the fragrance of fallen eucalyptus leaves intoxicates as golden-winged monarchs flutter about before landing on towering cypress trees. In fall, hundreds, if not thousands, are camouflaged between the shadows of leaves and branches. Placards around

the garden provide fascinating facts about these insects and their migratory cycle.

Cruise control:

The scenic 17-mile drive

It’s a 17-mile drive through Del Monte Forest and Pebble Beach, one of the most famous drives in California. An $11.25 toll at the beginning of the drive is the only cost (and it will be refunded if you dine at a Pebble Beach restaurant). A local pamphlet navigates you around the loop, providing destination names and a little history about all 17 points of interest. We were especially interested in Bird Rock and Seal Rock — both wildlife refuges. If you listen closely at these stops, you sometimes hear seals barking as they bob in the water or sun themselves on white rocks. Don’t miss The Lone Cypress stop to see the 250+-year-old tree that sits braving the elements and overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Fun in the sand:

Tide pooling and beachcombing

We stopped at Lover’s Point Park in Pacific Grove during low tide and found a treasure trove of mussels and anemone lining the rocks. The kids found purple sea urchins, moon snails, clams and the gulls that were trying to break them open. Watching the sunset from the cliffs

36 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023
Monterey Aquarium Redwood Forest

above with a cinnamon bun from a local cafe was the end of our pretty perfect day out.

Good eats right on the runway

Monterey has many family-friendly dining options. We loved Woody’s Restaurant & Bar at the Monterey Airport. Thinking mediocre sandwiches and watered-down drinks? Think again. Chef and owner Tim Wood is an award-winning culinary artist. The restaurant sits atop the airport runway. So head out to the observation deck to wave at pilots getting ready for takeoff while your meal is prepared.


Alaska Airlines offers a direct 2-hour afternoon flight from SeaTac to Monterey. The airline is planning to expand direct service and offer more flight times soon.

read more online

For the full version of this article go to “10 family friendly things to do in Monterey” at

It’s so much more than a gift! Washington State Heirloom Birth Certificate

A portion of the proceeds from each birth certificate benefits the Children’s Trust Fund of Washington, administered by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families Strengthening Families Program.

• This official birth certificate is personally signed by the Governor and State Registrar.

• Certificate is 8 1/2 x 11 and includes the name, date and place of birth, as well as the name and birthplace of the parent(s).

• Frameable keepsake.

• For each $45 purchase of an Heirloom Birth Certificate, $20 is tax deductible.

To find out more information on Children’s Trust and child abuse prevention in Washington State visit: or visit the Department of Health to order your own Heirloom Birth Certificate.

DCYF FS_0010 (09-19)

March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 37

700 nautical miles (cruise to Alaska)


Should you take an Alaska cruise with kids? Absolutely!

That is, if you like wildlife, spectacular scenery, pampering and all the food you can eat. Several cruise lines depart regularly from Seattle (and Vancouver, B.C., an easy trip from Seattle) on various Alaska itineraries. Children sometimes travel fairly cheaply with fare-paying adults. You may be crammed into the tiniest room you’ve ever seen, but you’ll make it work. Here are a few tips:

Make use of Kids’ Club (or whatever they call it on your cruise). Kids can make friends from around the country (and the world!) while playing games, doing crafts, exploring the ship, making pizza and decorating cupcakes, to name just a few of the free activities our daughter and her cousins (ages 11 and 12) enjoyed. Typically the kids are divided by age group and the facility has set hours, with extras like meals and late-night care available for an additional fee. This program allowed the adults in our group to go wine tasting, exercise and nap, among other “grown-up” activities.

Think about how much freedom you want your kids to have. Especially if you’re on a mega- (or even mini-mega) ship, it’s possible to get lost or separated. I did not

anticipate that at my daughter’s age (11) the kids’ program would let her sign herself out. This privilege required parental OK, and we decided not to give it.

Unpack. Most cruises are seven days (the time flies by, trust me) and with most rooms being pretty, ahem, cozy, there’s no room to leave suitcases lying around.

Read the daily event listing. There is so much going on. It’s not all bingo and shopping. There is no excuse for being bored on a cruise — unless you want to be.

Bring binoculars and be on the lookout for wildlife. There were whale sightings on our cruise, and the Inside Passage route often travels close enough to shore to witness animals that might be active there.

Plan (but don’t overplan) for the weather. Yes, it’s Alaska. No, it’s not the Arctic. Unless you’re taking a more exotic excursion than we did, you’re likely not going to need boots, hats and fleece-lined jackets. In fact, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit. Our late-June trip featured lots of swimming (outdoors for the kids) and there was a covered, indoor adults-only pool, too.

Think about screen time, Wi-Fi and so on in advance. Our phone carrier charges extra for use in Canada (or in international waters). Many ships offer Wi-Fi packages for an extra charge. I was surprised to catch myself thinking, on more than one occasion, “If only I could text my husband.” The ships are big, but I always found him!

Meeting spot: Speaking of separation, make some sort of plan in advance as to where, if there’s an unexpected separation or failed rendezvous, everyone should gather.

And a final warning: After a week of always-available buffets, nice dining rooms and twice-daily housekeeping service, coming home can be brutal. But you’ll survive.

Several cruise lines have voyages departing from Seattle or Vancouver, B.C., including Celebrity, Princess and Norwegian. Holland America is based in Seattle.

Take a taste of sailing

Want to see if a cruise is a good fit for your family, or get on the water without blowing through a week of vacation time? Consider a two-day trial on a Princess Cruises

Pacific Coastal voyage from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. Spend your evening at sea enjoying the ship’s family-friendly entertainment, and wake up in Vancouver. Then stroll Granville Island and explore downtown before hopping on a short flight back to Seattle. For a more scenic ride home, take Amtrak’s Cascades train.

38 SEATTLE’S CHILD March/April 2023
A few things to consider if you take the plunge

That Moment When You Ca n ' t Stop Smiling /

Taking a breath of fresh salt air. That first sunset on the beach. A big bite of a gooey s’more. Moments matter and they last forever. Semiahmoo Resort has been the backdrop for countless memories, and we look forward to helping you create yours. Whatever moment you are looking for, you will find it here no matter the season.


Eco-friendly diapers recycled into renewable energy! Nest diapers are... Simple. Sustainable. Smart. 77 years of offering sustainable diaper solutions! Partnering with you for all of your diapering needs from birth to potty training. 206-634-2229 Weekly service includes diaper delivery, pick up and responsible disposal to recycle diapers... from waste to energy! • eco-friendly • made with sustainable materials • free of harmful chemicals, lotions, perfume & known allergens • soft and absorbent • healthy for baby and our environment March/April 2023 SEATTLE’S CHILD 39 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine, WA 98230 855.917.3767 |
Reserve your tickets See for yourself why we’re #1

Articles inside

Cruising to Alaska with kids

page 38

Family fun in Monterey, California

pages 36-37

Seattle to Disneyland and back: 10 tips to navigate by

pages 34-35

Traveling companions: Invite audiobooks, travel guides and podcasts along for the ride!

page 33

The newbie’s guide to a family RV adventure

pages 32-33

Try an off-season resort vacation

page 31

Have baby, will travel.

page 30

Driving the wild coastline of Vancouver Island

pages 28-29

Where to get a last-minute campsite

page 28

How to plan a summer family road trip

pages 26-27

Exploring Olympic National Park

pages 24-25

Howlin’ at Great Wolf Lodge

page 23

3 totally doable WEEKEND GETAWAYS

pages 21-22

Family travel: Ready, set, go!

page 20

Meet the Camp: Get to know these summer camps!

pages 18-19

New to PNW: Pete’s Paleo delivers healthy kids lunches

page 17

Things we love: Soapstone Orca Carving Kit

page 17

»Shop: Curious Kids Nature Journal

page 17

New in Town: The Boat

page 15

»Chomp: Reclaiming First Foods

pages 15-16

5 cool climbs

page 13

»Romp: In search of blossoms and blooms

pages 13-14

» Dad Next Door: The rich get richer

pages 9, 11

»ToolBox: Child-led play: What it is and why you should try it

pages 8, 11

Falling for Public Transit Again

pages 5-7
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.