Its starting to get cold outside and soon the holiday season will be upon us; now is the perfect time to relax and do something fun for yourself. Either you will be traveling to see family and friends or might be hosting the whole crew; before the stress and craziness dawns spend some quality time with you family and yourself. Soon there will millions of festive holiday activities you can choose from but this November you actually have an equal amount of family fun across the Seattle to explore. Whether you’re looking for holiday gifts or maybe a gift for yourself, you want to learn something new or want to eat delicious food; there will be something for you on our list. If you do anything before this holiday season with your family or just for yourself, we ask you to relax and relieve your previous Halloween stress and lastly just enjoy this holiday season.
If you are an Art lover:
It’s the 30th anniversary of the Northwest Art and Fine Art Craft show this weekend. This year the fall art event will be held in hanger 30 in Magnuson Park and there will be free parking as well as kids under 12 get in for free. Over 115 artists and artisans will be displaying and selling their art. Grab your family or friends you’re a day of art strolling and you may even come away with a stunning new piece for your home. To get tickets and learn more about the event, click here: https://nwartalliance.org/event/30th-annual-best-of-the-northwest-art-and-fine-craft-show-fall-2018/
If you’re a foodie:
The Saturday before Thanksgiving in the little town of Issaquah they host Gilman Village Sip and Shop event. Come enjoy some snacks from local restaurants and sip on a wide variety of wines while strolling through the adorable shopping center at Gilman Village. There will also be three different musical groups to entertain shoppers and set the mood. To get more info and purchase tickets, click here: https://downtownissaquah.com/event/gilman-village-sip-shop/
If you have a curious mind:
Come celebrate the 45th Julefest at the Nordic Museum November 17th through the 18th. Learn about Scandinavian culture and enjoy some authentic sweet holiday treats. There will also be traditional Nordic music and local artisans to purchase any gifts for the holidays and for the grown ups there is a Valhalla beer garden to enjoy a Juletide cocktail. To find tickets and more information, click here: http://nordicmuseum.org/julefest
If you’re a nature lover:
On Veteran’s day all National Parks across the country will have free entry this is including Mt Rainer and Olympic National Parks. In part to make more national lands accessible to all the National Parks department set up free entry days. Load up the car, grab your water bottle and head out for a day trip even in the cold these Puget Sound parks are stunning. To plan your trip and learn more about free entry day, click here: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
It’s the night we’ve been waiting for all season and for some all year; tomorrow night is Halloween. Hundreds of little kids will get all dressed up, grab their candy buckets and stroll around the neighborhood trick or treating across the Seattle area. Its important to prepare your home and family for the spookiest night of the year. As we all know fall in the northwest usually means rain and this year will mostly likely be no different so grab your rain boots and make sure your entry way is clear and safe for every little trick or treaters. We have gathered some tips and ticks to help you prepare you home, your family and your pets for the Halloween holiday tomorrow. We wish you all a spooky and safe night.
Make your walkway safe and inviting while still keeping it spooky. On the 30th or during the Halloween day before it gets dark sweep your walk way and trim any trees or bushes that could impede the path of trick or treaters. If you have decorations along your entryway, make sure they are secured and wont fall down or out of any trees. Lastly make sure the path to the candy is illuminated either with overhead flood lights or small outdoor lights.
To prepare your kids and family for a night of trick or treating, make sure to check the weather before heading out. For the kiddos we recommend rain boots, sneakers, rain jackets and umbrella’s because it looks like it will rain. If your kids have a dark costume, add some reflective tape or flashlights to the front or back of their costume to protect them from cars and spot them from afar. If you’ve got little ones, you might want to start trick or treating at dusk or right as it gets dark because they may not last all night and you’ll want to keep them safe. Lastly make sure the kiddos bring home lots of sweet treats so that you can nibble off their stash.
If you plan on joining the trick or treating crew and want to bring along the doggo; make sure you grab some doggie bags and attach either reflective tape or flashlight to protect you and your pup. If your dog is very vocal or sensitive, during the trick or treating we recommend keeping your animals’ downstairs and away from the doorbell noise to help keep them calmer. If your pup can handle the commotion of Halloween, you could try keeping them upstairs but be weary not every little trick or treater may be a dog person.
With the leaves changing colors and the cool crisp air blowing outside, there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with a warm bowl of homemade soup. You may think only the Martha Stewart’s and Ina Garten’s of the world can make mouth watering soups or stews; but if you have the right ingredients and some fall inspiration, you can make the most delicious recipes. October, November and December are the best time for hearty soups and stews, not only because of the cool weather but also access to amazing ingredients like pumpkins, squash, carrots and broccoli. Plus, you can always add fun ingredients to give the soup a twist like bacon, cheese, bread and various types of fruit. Grab a large pot, the best local ingredients and your family to start a stewin. You will find below several recipes that can provide inspiration and guidance for your next meal.
Harvest Pumpkin Soup
There is nothing more traditional during the fall than eating something made from pumpkins. While this recipe calls for pumpkin puree you get at the grocery; it might be fun to pick out some little pumpkins with your family to create some bowls for this delicious soup. This recipe only takes about an hour to make and will serve eight hungry guest so either invite some friend over or make save the leftover for future meals. Find the recipe here: https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/recipes/a38807/harvest-pumpkin-soup-recipe-clv1112/
Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
Lets keep the orange theme going and move onto a great dish that includes two fall favorite vegetables the carrot and sweet potato. This recipe also calls for an usual twist including fresh honey crisp or Fiji apples and honey. To find the complete recipe and instructions click here: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/autumn-carrot-and-sweet-potato-soup.html
Spicy Sausage and White Bean Soup
When its cold outside, lets kick up the heat up with this fiery creation. You can adjust the amount of spiciness according to which sausage you choose and how much pepper flakes you add. Add parmesan to the top to add some salt and extra flavoring to this dish. To find the recipe click here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spicy-sausage-and-white-bean-soup
Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
This is a crowd favorite in my home, at least one of my family members makes it each fall usually around thanksgiving. This recipe can take up to three hours but each detail and ingredient cooking for so long is worth every bite. So head on down to the local farmers market and butcher shop to grab the best quality ingredients and start a stwein. To find the instructions and ingredient list click here: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beef-stew-in-red-wine-sauce
When we think of fall, the first thing that comes to mind is fields and fields of pumpkins ready for picking. Don’t settle for grocery store pumpkins, get out of this weekend and explore the gorgeous farmland that is right in our backyard. Eat some pumpkin donuts, snap some cute pics of the kids and you searching for the freshest produce and even try an old timey tradition the hayride. Many of the farms on our list are located just around an hour outside the city; so close you can almost taste it.
Oxbow Farm: Located in Carnation is the perfect place to take the family for a day of pumpkin picking and farm living. They have lost of fun and games for the kiddos including magic beans which is used as currency for fun activities around the farm. Head on over to their U-pick fields to fit the perfect pumpkin. While your there grab some seasonal veggies to bring home and whip up for a good dinner. To learn more, click here: http://www.oxbow.org/oxtober/
Mosby Farms: Just outside of Auburn, south of Seattle is the historic family run Mosby Farms. They not only have a pumpkin patch but also a corn maze in the shape of an owl. Along with great pumpkins, they have decorative gourds, ornamental corn and more for decorating your home this fall season. Head on down to Mosby farms for great fun and amazing pumpkins. To get more info, click here: http://mosbyfarm.com/pumpkin-patch/
Craven Farm: As one of Snohomish oldest pumpkin patches this year Craven Farm is celebrating its 35th of family fun. The fall festival is open from September 22nd until October 31st every day of the week. Activities include picking pumpkins, wandering through the corn maze, face painting, and apple slinger. The weekends can be very busy so plan ahead and come early to get the best parking spot and the best pumpkin. To see complete details and learn more, click here: http://www.cravenfarm.com/
Head on out to the countryside with your family and friends to find the perfect pumpkins for decorating and displaying. Since Halloween is right around the corner, don’t hesitate and head out to one of these great farms to experience the best fall tradition.
If you haven’t already started decorating your home for the upcoming holiday; this is the prefect time with the weather still moderately warm and no rain in the forecast. Over the past few years decorating for Halloween has become almost as intense as during the Christmas season. Some people go all out and turn their home into the neighborhoods very own haunted house and others place creatively decorated pumpkins to invite trick or treaters. Gather your friends and family to arrange home-made and store-bought decorations around your home before Halloween comes around.
Make your own:
Carving Pumpkins is the time-honored Halloween tradition that is fun for the whole family. Grab the kids, your friends and even the pups to go pick out the best pumpkin for decorating. You can always carve your pumpkins the traditional way but if you’re in the mood to try something new, attempt painting them or using glitter to shake things up.
Hanging cut outs and lights from the trees can be a fun twist to your home. Try cutting out bats and spiders from black paper or black Styrofoam and hang from fishing wire to get a spooky effect. Add some orange or purple lights to really showcase your hanging creations.
Spooky Wreath can be made from all sorts of materials including feathers, old t-shirts, toilet paper tubes, glitter and much more. The most important thing is to be creative and spooky, involve the kids in picking out colors and materials and then help them assemble the wreath. Once you’ve finished, hang outside and wait for the trick or treaters.
Cobwebs are possibly the simplest and spookiest store-bought decoration you can find. You can hang them anywhere; we recommend underneath a covered area, so it will be easier to put away after the holiday. Adding some plastic spiders or leaves to the cobwebs will bring your décor to the next level.
Grave Headstones can be a little pricey but can be used every year and don’t require any extrusive set up. You can find a variety of headstones at stores like Target, Walmart, and home improvement stores in your area. We recommend planning and carefully digging the areas before decorating as to not destroy your yard.
Fake Skeletons are a great spooky decoration that you can add to any part of your yard like sitting on the porch, hiding in the garden or hand on the side of the house. Many skeletons will come with pre-decorated paint and such but if you really want to scare your family or friends try adding red paint or fake blood for an even spookier experience.
If you need more advice or ideas try going to Pinterest.com for fun and spooky inspiration. Stores like Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Party City and even thrift stores are great places to start your Halloween decorating adventure. We wish you and your family well during this Halloween season.
Fall is the one of the best times to explore the natural beauty and remarkable culture of the Northwest. Living in the Seattle area places you in the perfect area to wander nearby cities and towns like Vancouver, Leavenworth and more. As we have said before the weather in the Pacific Northwest can always unpredictable so plan your weekend trip carefully and thoughtfully. First step is to choose who will accompany you, maybe its your family or significant other, maybe you want to make it a friend’s get-together or maybe you just want some rest and relaxation to yourself. Next is too choose your destination, whether you’re going for an entire week or just the weekend these places on our list will be perfect for either trip. Check the weather before deciding on your tip and make sure your mode of transportation can safely get you to your destination. We recommend having four-wheel drive or snow tires if you plan on going to Leavenworth or Mt Rainier any time after mid-November. Read on to learn more about the amazing places in the Northwest for you perfect weekend getaway.
Just a short two- and half-hour drive north from Seattle and you find yourself not only in another city but another country. Vancouver is an amazing city full of so many fun and exciting things to do like, visit Granville Island, explore Stanley park, see the 2010 winter Olympic village and more. Like other major cities, Vancouver is a hub for incredible food and being one of the most diverse areas in Canada, chefs and restaurants share the world with you right in one place. There are a range of great hotels and variety of Airbnb options for you and entire squad. So, grab your passport, pack the car and start your journey up north. To help plan your trip: https://www.tourismvancouver.com/plan-your-trip/maps/
The cutest little Bavarian town outside of Germany can be found right in the middle of Washington. A two-hour drive east from Seattle and you’ve have arrived in Leavenworth, the breathtaking views and stunning architecture will transport you. There are so many fun activities to do including, hiking to Icicle creek, strolling in waterfront park or trying some delicious German food. Many of the hotels can book up during the winter and fall season; start planning your trip as soon as possible. To learn more about Leavenworth: https://leavenworth.org/
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Further south from Leavenworth is Mt Rainier the highest Mountain in the Cascades and state symbol that can be seen from Seattle on a clear sunny day. If Mt. Rainier national park is a great place to spend for a day trip, a weekend or more. During the fall and winter months part of the park closes due to safety, but Paradise visitor center is open during the winter to help patrons get information and learn more about the stunning landscape. If you are strong enough to brave the cold and snow, there are snow camping options; if you love a warm bed and delicious food try booking your stay at the National Park Inn. Every Washingtonian should visit Mt Rainier once in their life, why not now. To start planning your trip: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/index.htm
With Halloween right around the corner, its time to start planning your costumes, trick or treating route and buying up all the candy before its gone. Whether you choose to buy your Halloween costume or make it from scratch either way it should be a fun activity. Gather the kids together and choose a weekend to go exploring for fun costumes or pieces to complete an outfit. Stores like Fred Meyer, Party City, Spirit Halloween and thrift stores are the best places to start for your Halloween costume adventure. Now start thinking up ideas of the perfect costume for you and the entire family; if you are up for it try coordinating outfits for Halloween night around the neighborhood or an event hosted around the town.
If you choose to make your or your family’s costume from scratch, start with what you have in your own home. Look in your closet to see if you have any fun pieces you would like to use or can be the focal piece for your costume. Then see if you have any art materials around the house you can use to craft an outfit like using, spray paint, cardboard, markers, paper and more. Just remember if you are modeling your Halloween costume after a TV or literary character, animal or even a real person; you don’t have to identically look like that person, animal or character. Try incorporating pieces, colors and prints from their look to inspire and create your costume like creating a blue, red and gold ensemble to be Wonder Woman or wearing all white with black spots to be a Dalmatian. The possibilities are endless when you create your own costume.
On Halloween night check the weather before heading out and we recommend bringing a rain jacket or heavier coat for you and the kiddos; since October in the Northwest is always cold and usually rainy. If your kids’ costumes are dark blue or black colors; try attaching reflecting lights or tape to their costume or treat bucket. Don’t forget the rain-boots or tennis shoes since many neighborhoods in the Seattle area can be hilly and people’s pathways to their homes are often paved with rocks and concrete. Lastly if you’re thinking of dressing up your furry friend, you can find great costumes in variety of sizes at most Halloween stores and pet stores.
Finding or making you and your families Halloween costume should not be stressful; you should have fun exploring around town and building together. Remember to relax and take care of yourself this hectic Halloween season.
If you haven’t noticed the leaves changing colors or the cold front rolling in, then you must be living under a rock. It seems like mother nature flipped the fall switch on, since these last few days the temperature has slowly dropped, the rain has increased, and the leaves have started to fall. In the northwest the fall season can always be a little finicky you never know if its going to be a beautiful crisp day or if the rain will come pouring down. That’s why we in the PNW are always prepared with stylish rainboots, breathable rain jackets and great sweaters to layer. So why not help your home be prepared for the winter months to come with some simple steps now. We put together our tips and tricks to get your house ready this fall. Start your fall projects early as the weather will only get colder and more wet as the season goes on; before you know it Thanksgiving will be upon us.
Clean out your gutters: This is always a pain but necessary, in the Seattle area. If you are unable to reach certain areas or worried for your safety; we recommend hiring a service to come clean out your gutters. If you have a trusty ladder and feel up to the task; try cleaning out those pesky gutters on a clear day, windless day to make it easier on yourself.
Sweep walkways and porches: This is very important to do especially before the trick or treaters hit the pavement. Its essential during the fall after the leaves have fallen to sweep away before the next rainfall; because once the leaves are wet on the pavement they can be very slippery and even dangerous.
Check and prepare your furnace: First check the furnace to see if it still working properly and all the ducts are still functional, and nothing is broken. If there is anything structurally wrong with your furnace or thermostat I would call the manufacturer or home improvement store to help solve the issue. Clean and replaces any furnace filters if needed. Lastly, if everything seems to be in order and checked, set your thermostat (optimal temperature is 68 to 74 degrees) to start relaxing in your perfectly heated home.
Insulate windows and attic: by insulating these areas will prevent cold drafts throughout the house. Make sure your attic is insulated with non-toxic materials to keep you and your family healthy and safe. Many modern homes have insulated window treatments, but older homes require additional insulation like plastic strips or other sealing agents which can be found at most any home improvement store.
Now don’t forget your friends down at the neighborhood hardware store. If you have any immediate questions on how to prepare your home for the winter, call or head on down to a Home Depot, Lowes, Fred Meyer or an ACE hardware store to get detailed and quick info on all your fall projects. Once you have your home all ready for winter then you can curl up with a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and great book and simply relax.
Just like that it’s the start of a new month with a whole calendar worth of activities for you and the family. Just because it has gotten older does not mean the fun has to stop, in fact we think that the fall season has the best events for the entire family. All around the Seattle area there are tons of exciting adventures for your, your family and friends. While fall weather in the Northwest can be fussy, there are still amazing days spent outside with the leaves changing color and the cool crisp air blowing around you. We put together a list of fun fall activities with a mix of both outdoor and indoor events. Just make sure to check the weather and plan accordingly for your fun outside adventures. Gather the family and your friends and explore the Seattle area with these fun fall activities.
Issaquah Salmon Days: October Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th
If you’ve never been the Issaquah Salmon Days event is a celebrating the return of the salmon to their home at the hatchery. There will be a parade starts at 10 am on Saturday going down Front street heading north to Gilman Blvd; you will not want to miss this parade since it kicks off the entire weekend of fun. Stay for the amazing food options, great games for the kids and learn more about the Salmon of the Northwest. To get info on parking and learn more about Salmon Days click here: http://www.issaquahchamber.com/salmondays
Kelsey Creek Farm Fair: October Saturday 6th
The Kelsey Creek Farm puts on this fall fair every year and there are mountains of fun for the whole family including tractor rides, decorating pumpkins and great entertainment. Parking can be found at Wilburton park nearby and free shuttle between the park and Kelsey Creek Farm. Entrance to the event is free but some activities have a fee, so plan ahead and bring some cash. To get complete event details and learn more click here: https://bellevuewa.gov/city-news/kelsey-farm-fair-18
Fright Fest at Wild Waves Park: Weekends starting September 28th to October 28th
If you have older kids or have a weekend night for just the adults drive on down to Wild Waves for a night of fright. Only open during Friday through Sunday evenings, tickets start at around $15 and they go fast so buy ahead and be prepared for some good scares. If you want to bring the little ones they are have an area called Booville for non-scary, enjoyable activities for kids under 12. To learn more about Fright Fest and buy tickets, click here: https://www.wildwaves.com/frightfest.php
Haunted Chocolate Factory Tour: October 18th-21st & 25th-28th
See the Seattle Chocolates Factory like never before, haunted from the cholate loving ghost. Wander through the factory to find some clues that will help you and your family solve the mystery and hopefully leave with some yummy treats. Tickets are between $10 and $7, but purchase them fast, so you can secure your spots. To find tickets and get more info, click here: https://www.experiencechocolate.co/hauntedtour
Pumpkin Bash at the Woodland Park Zoo: October Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th
The animals get to enjoy their very own pumpkins and the humans get to enjoy enjoyable activities like trick-or-treating and crafting. The event is free with zoo admission and children under 12 with a Halloween costume can get in free with the parent. To purchase tickets and get more information click here: https://www.zoo.org/events#pumpkinbash
Weather you and your family wants to learn more about the Northwest, want to see amazing animals or wanted the haunted experience; this October you will find all these activities and more. Just because its cold outside does not mean your family can’t have fun this fall. Grab your rain boots, your cozy sweaters and discover something new right around the corner.
As we settle into fall and the cold weather comes out, we all need a sweet treat to provide a little pick me up. The quintessential flavors of fall include apples, pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and of course Halloween candy. There is nothing better than curling up on the couch or your favorite comfy chair near the window with a pumpkin cookie or slice of cinnamon roll pound cake. While you can always go out and buy some fall treats; we think it much more fun to make your own desserts at home with your friends or family. Check your pantry and/or head on down to the store for the basic ingredients that you will need for many of these recipes, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract. Also make sure that you have the correct baking sheets and pans before you start; check the recipe website to find materials you might need and special ingredients for the dessert. We put together our favorite five fall desserts.
Pumpkin cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting: Pumpkin and cream cheese are the perfect fall pairing just like the PB&J sandwich. These are perfect treats for a fall bake sale, a Halloween party or just for your family and friends to enjoy. Grab a can of pumpkin from the grocery store and make sure you have ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger before you start baking. You can find the complete recipe and instructions click here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/229108/pumpkin-cookies-with-cream-cheese-frosting-the-worlds-best/?internalSource=rotd&referringId=17213&referringContentType=Recipe%20Hub
Glazed Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake: Making cinnamon rolls has always been a struggle for people; waiting for the yeast to rise, adding enough sugar or cinnamon and then making the perfect glaze. This Cinnamon pound cake recipe is perfect for even the casual or beginner baker. Besides having cinnamon, butter and sugar in this recipe, it also calls for Greek yogurt that keeps the pound cake nice and moist. To find pictures, ingredients and full recipe click here: https://dinnerthendessert.com/cinnamon-roll-pound-cake/
Apple Crisp: Living in Washington is one of the best luxuries because we are closer to the freshest and most delicious apples in the world. Making an apple crisp will not only be a crowd-pleaser but a mouthwatering delicious dessert you will never forget. Many recipes call for granny smith apples, but you can also use gala or honey crisp apples. When baking your apple crisp, don’t forget to pick a pint of vanilla ice cream to go with your dessert. To watch a video and see the recipe click here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/12409/apple-crisp-ii/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=Search&clickId=cardslot%203
Halloween Candy Brownies: We know Halloween has not passed yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t find the deals on candy now. This is a great recipe to make with the kiddos as they can add their favorite candy to the brownie mix right before baking. Try adding fun ingredients like pretzels, chips, nuts or dried fruit to the mix. To find pictures and recipe click here: https://thegoldlininggirl.com/2015/10/leftover-halloween-candy-bar-brownies/
Carmel Apples: Making and decorating caramel apples were my favorite fall tradition growing up. Its something fun you can do with the whole family and share with friends. Try adding crushed candies, Oreos, nuts, chocolate or other fun toppings to your caramel apples. To find a great caramel recipe click here: https://www.marthastewart.com/925884/caramel-apples
We encourage you to try a new recipe or stick to a family favorite. Just get in the kitchen and start baking, it will be a fun and relaxing way to pass the day away. Bring these fall sweet treats to an event or enjoy them just to your self at home on the couch.