Bothell Country Village
Address: 23718 7 Ave SE, Bothell, WA
Phone: (425) 483-2250
Cost: Train rides $2.50 each
Wow! This place was so unexpected! About 25 minutes from downtown Bellevue, this is a shopping village dressed up like a frontier town, with cute shops and ice cream stores. There is even a glass-blowing shop where, for $20, anyone over 10 can blow their own glass (with help, of course). But what really impressed me was how kid-friendly it is. There are ponds, ducks, roosters walking around loose, and even some bunnies. There is a playground with slides and a fun little merry go round. There is a super cute shop, Bella and Max, that sells fun clothes for kiddos, and has a little hair salon for children upstairs (say hi to Juliet if you go). Best of all, there is a wonderful train ride. It is a little car shaped like a train that pulls train cars behind it on a tour of the whole property. It isn’t always scenic, but it usually is, and for $2.50 each, it was well worth the money. My toddler loved it! This place is now a family destination!
Great Play of North Shore
Address: 6748 NE 181st Street, Kenmore
Phone: (425) 486-7900
The North Shore now has a great place to take kids for fun activities and exercise – Great Play! This amazing concept of an interactive gym allows kiddos to experience physical activities in a new way. Your kids will build self-confidence, learn developmentally appropriate skills, and have a great time with caring coaches. Their birthday parties are also highly rated and seasonal camps sell-out quickly. Check out Great Play of North Shore soon and see why so many parents and kids are raving about it!
Jump Planet Inflatable Playground
Address: 22310 20th Ave SE, #200 Bothell, WA 98021
Phone: (425) 481-5867 (jump)
Age: 2 and up
Cost: $6 for first child, $4 for siblings
Here is a fantastic secret about the Eastside- it is dotted with Inflatable Playgrounds! We are talking the big inflatable bouncy houses that you used to jump on at fairs and festivals. Now our kids can drop-in almost every day to get their bounce on. Even better, we can jump too! Jump Planet has drop in times several times a week, divided by age, so kids under 6 don’t have to get trampled by the older kids. The schedule changes, so be sure to check the website for info.
Kids Workshops at Home Depot
Address: 18333 120th Ave NE, Bothell 98011
Phone: (425) 806-9300
Age: 5 – 12 yrs (with a parent)
If you have a hubby like mine, one who loves to do projects around the house, then chances are you probably spend a lot of time on the weekends at Home Depot. So much time, in fact, that the cashiers know you and you know who will be working at various times throughout the day. Anyway, why not give your kiddo a break from being dragged from plumbing to power tools and let him (or her!) build something at a Kids Workshop. On the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. kids can take part in constructing educational and practical projects, such as birdhouses or bughouses (unlike hubby, who might be converting our garage fridge into a Keggerator).
Seattle Times Printing Plant Tour
Address: North Creek Facility 19200 120th Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011
Phone: (425) 489-7000
Age: 8 and up
There is a bit of a debate here at Ruby Slipper Guide about whether or not tours are fun for kids. Personally, I loved going on tours as a kid- but I was kind of a nerd, I guess (look at me now, though- I’m a Ruby Slipper Super Star!). I figure there must be other kids out there like me who would actually find a tour of the newspaper printing plant fascinating. If you have one of those kids, lucky you! This tour is about an hour long and they are strict on the age- 8 and up. The tour goes through the whole process, including giant robots picking up huge rolls of paper. The scheduling changes, so you have to call to find out what’s available. They also do tours for classrooms and groups.
Tickled Pink Spa
Address: Bothell Country Village, 817 238th st Se Bothell Suite J, Bothell, WA 98021
Age: Toddlers to teens
Do you have a little princess who just loves to feel like a grown-up and wants to get pampered? Tickled Pink is the place for them! It’s all about manicures, pedicures, facials, and looking pretty. This is a spa party boutique just for kids, right down to the cute robes they get to wear. Kids can have individual appointments, group appointments, even birthday parties. It looks like such a fun way for kids to get their girly on!
The Village Bean Coffee Shop
Address: Bothell Country Village, 720 238th St. SE, Suite A, Bothell, WA 98021
Cost: Free; Coffee varies
The Village Bean is a designed to be kid-friendly, making it a perfect spot to meet friends while your little one plays. There are lots of tables for the grown-ups to sit at while the kids play at the toy tables. There is a train table, a wall filled with magnets, even a wall with pipes for mixing gravity with balls (see the slideshow below). There are lots of books and other little play things. Best of all, this is clearly a place that welcomes little people; the motto is “A gathering place for children, parents, and friends.”
The coffee is moderately priced, and the menu includes offerings tailored to those with kids along. There are fresh sandwiches made-to-order, including a kids menu. There are also snacks appropriate for moms OR kids, like granola, goldfish crackers, and string cheese.The added bonus of a trip to The Village Bean is being able to spend some time at the super kid-friendly Bothell Country Village. If you are looking for a way to fill a morning, The Village Bean and Bothell Country Village are a great place to play.