Outdoor Weekend Frolics and Hunts

Here are some ideas for a few safe outdoor activities that are just around the corner for kids, teens, and adults. We can still have fun with masks and distance! Thanks for keeping it creative Kirkland. 

ScavHuntEye on the Prize Flyer
Eye on the Prize Scavenger Hunt

Calling all Teens - get off your screens and get downtown! This event is March 5th-7th and your 14-18-year-olds need to register by March 4th. Join the hunt through downtown Kirkland, solve the clues, find the hidden pictures, decode the cipher, and submit your final answer for a chance to win a gift card for coffee, food, and treats from these local merchants and more! Donors include: Ben & Jerry's, Sirena Gelato, Thruline Coffee, The Shake Shack, Coffee and Cone, Just Poke, Zeeks Pizza, Cafe Ladro, and The French Bakery.   Sign up for the Eye on the Prize teen scavenger hunt for a chance to win!  Thank you to Lake Washington High School PTSA for your partnership with this event.  Register for free at kirklandparks.net (course 10993)

 

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Pot of Gold Nugget Hunt
(how can you not attend something that uses the word nugget?)

You don’t need the luck of the Irish to participate in this event, just your peepers!  All kids between the ages of 4-8, join in the hunt for gold nuggets starting March 13-16 at McAuliffe Park.   Make sure you are in the main park located on the east side of 106th Ave.  Find a gold nugget, turn it over to see if you won a prize. Snap a photo and send to: Jvandiver@kirklandwa.gov to claim your prize.  Only one prize per person.  This event is free.  Remember to take your nugget with you!  The contest ends March 16th.  Register to participate now for event #11053 at kirklandparks.net.

Shamrockrun2021Orcasphoto<-Photo cred: Orcas Running

Orcarunning LWPT+Logo+Transparent+Flat+copy KirklandUrban_v_x2_4cp

Orca Running and Lake WA Physical Therapy's Kirkland Shamrock Adventure Run Hosted by Kirkland Urban (say that 3 times fast?!)

Shopping, living and dining center Kirkland Urban is home to the 2021 Kirkland Shamrock Adventure Run on Saturday, March 13 from 10-1:30.  Orca Running and Lake Washington Physical Therapy have partnered to bring back this race in the hopes the community can get outside and have fun while staying socially distant. Runners will visit local Kirkland retailers in the downtown Kirkland/Houghton areas for a family-friendly "choose your own adventure" fun-run and scavenger hunt. 

Runners will start and end at Kirkland Urban’s Urban Plaza Way. They will have one hour to collect as many tickets as possible from local participating retailers around downtown Kirkland, including Dough Zone, Power Hour 360 and Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy. Runners will return to the finish line to submit their tickets and collect their medal. Tickets will be used for a prize drawing that will take place at a later date. 

Prizes will be gift cards donated by local Kirkland retailers that will be mailed to winners after the race.

Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. Participants will receive their bib and a special collectors’ map in the mail before the race. For those with dogs, there is a special doggy registration add-on available for $10.

When participants register, they will sign up for a time slot to start the run. Groups of ten people will start every five minutes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to ensure there is no crowding. Registration is limited to 300 participants this year per social distancing guidelines.

Online pre-registration closes the day before the race at 8:00 p.m. For more information and registration, visit https://www.orcarunning.com/kirklandshamrockrun/.

Retailer specials for race participants include:

 


Heart of Kirkland Scavenger Hunt

Heart of Kirkland Final Flyer_ (002)

Want to bring a little action and solve a mystery instead of the usual monotony of your days? Nothing like a good old scavenger hunt to mix things up.  Get yourself ready for this month-long citywide contest where you collect a weekly clue to help solve a final riddle and be entered to win a prize drawing. Why not??!! This is for the 18+ crowd because you could be winning an overnight for two at the Heathman with dinner at Hearth.  Woot! There are lots of other fun sponsors/gift cards. Sign up on www.kirklandparks.net. It's FREE, but your voluntary donation will go towards the Kirkland Parks & Community Service Scholarship Fund that helps enable families to participate in programs. 


Go Duff Around on Lake WA

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Perhaps we are not completely trapped this holiday season??? What if there was a Christmas miracle that allowed you to escape your home in a safe and special sort of way? Duffy Electric Boats to the rescue!  There are six of these tricked-out little rides docked right at the Kirkland Marina decorated with holiday lights so you can be part of your very own lighted holiday boat parade.  Bah-humbug to the pandemic,  THIS we can do-grab your family and masks and go. It's a one-hour ride for $149 plus insurance/tax and your household has a boat all to yourselves.  You are your own captain (or you can pay extra for one) and since they are electric, powered by 16 golf cart batteries, they are quiet and zero-emission. You don't even need a boater's license since your max speed will be 7mph.  This special 1hr rental with holiday pricing is available through January 3rd.


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When I asked my kids if they would like to do a holiday boat ride on our own Duffy boat, you would have thought I asked them if they'd like to go to the Caribbean.  "All of us?! On a boat ride? Where? When? This Saturday!!?"  they shrieked. We don't get out much anymore so putting on our big coats and holiday cheer and hopping in the car together for a mile ride to the marina for a new adventure was quite the novel experience.  We checked in at the tent on the south end of Marina Park and headed to the dock where the masked staff welcomed us and told us some super simple instructions about how to operate the boat.  The minimum rental age is 21. Each boat has a different color holiday-themed light trim and when it was time to go, we all launched off in a straight line to follow the lead yacht with blue lights.  My kids were not sad to discover a sealed container of iced holiday cookies that await the guests of each Duffy boat. The clear canvas sides of the 21' vessel zip up or down and there's even a little heater which keeps the adorable holiday-themed interior quite comfortable.  Onward! Our mini-parade headed south past Carillon's fabulous light display and continued on into Cozy Cove where we could oooh-and-ahhh at the homes and their displays also.  Staff is there to catch your boat and tie it up when you dock in the same area where you started. 

Duffyparade   Duffyparade
If you haven't heard of Duffy Boats, it's an interesting story how Marshall "Duffy" Duffield designed the Duffy boats over 45 years ago and they became an integral part of the lifestyle in his city of Newport Beach, CA where he also later became mayor.  The City of Kirkland did an RFP back in 2019 for tourism at the marina, which sparked hoteliers Troy Longwith (former GM of our Heathman) and Tanner Eriksen, who lives in Newport, to pitch the Duffy idea for Kirkland.  And so here we are, and the Kirkland Duffies have seen many marriage proposals, memorials, and even a wedding!  There are different themed boats too- Seahawks, Cougs, and Huskies are all represented in these cleverly named boats such as Duff'n Hawks, Duff'n Around, Duff'n Good Times, to name a few. The Duff'n Hawks boat was featured twice on the intro to Sunday Night Football on NBC and features the work of street artist Kelsey Montague, who is known for her collaboration with Taylor Swift and the Wings of Nashville.  I appreciate that Troy and Tanner have an enthusiasm for Kirkland and also that they bring their hotel expertise to their  Duffy boats.  There are four scheduled bookings for each Duffy in an evening, and the boats are cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected between each session. They also use a cold-fogging solution that is similar to the one hotels use to keep their guests extra safe. 

So, are YOU going to "Do the Duffy?" (<-- weird watching pre-COVID videos sometimes, right?) You can book your Winterfest Light Cruise online here or email info@duffyboatfun.com or call/text 425-588-1716.  Enjoy!


Let's Fast-forward to Winter Holidays

....and 2021 ( ooops, did I say that out loud?).  Here's an early rundown of some distanced holiday fun coming at you.  Because really, what else do we have to do? I am now wearing hoodies every day just like my teenagers. It's not a good look, but it sure is comfortable!  And I may or may not be losing my marbles over here. My kids tell me I'm repeating myself and then five minutes later I can't even remember what I was going to say. It may or may not come back to me a few hours later, but I do realize I'm forgetting something. Is this some kind of stay-at-home brain-melting dementia? Oh yeah, I know I know, holiday updates..that's what I was doing. Here you go:

Tree
Kirkland's tree-
the tree is going up downtown, even if there will not be a tree-lighting ceremony as in years past.  The tree will be installed in Marina Park in early December, so head on over with your masks on for some family photos.

Google Lights- a classic Kirkland event postponed until 2021


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Santa's Mailbox
- coming soon! This will appear on the corner of Lake St/Kirkland Ave AND at Kirkland Urban this year! Email volunteer@kirklanddowntown.org to help with replies and help spread some cheer.

 

Holiday Lights Contest Flyer2020

Holiday Lights Contest: Nov 16-Dec 18
The Kirkland Park's Dept is hosting the first annual city-wide Holiday Lights Contest for homes and businesses. People can register their home or business for free and decorate from November 16-December 18. A committee will drive to each location to judge and choose a winner for each category. Winners will be announced on the Park's Dept Facebook page and will win a victory yard/window sign. Participants can register at https://bit.ly/3nAeohR

Below is the event information, and the flyer is attached to this email. We hope to spread some joy this holiday season in fun and safe way.

Contest Rules:

  1. Decorations must be visible from driveway.
  2. Decorations must be available and lit up on December 19-20 between 5 to 8 p.m. for the judging.
  3. Each category winner will win a victory yard sign (or window sign for businesses) to announce their special status to all who drive by!
  4. Winners will be announced on December 21. Winners will also be announced on our Kirkland Parks Facebook page. 
  5. Registration closes December 18 at Noon. 

Decorate and enter your home or business into one of the following categories:

  • Best Home Display
  • Best Business Display
  • Best Apartment/Condo Doorway or Balcony Display

 

Holidayhometourvirtual
Assistance League of the Eastside 2020 Holiday Virtual Home Tour- Nov 28-Dec 6

It’s not too late to get your tickets. Get inspired by lovely holiday décor, creative stay-at-home holiday entertaining ideas and wonderful gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. They are excited to share their virtual tour with you, and hope that you will join in celebrating the joy of giving back to those most vulnerable in our community who need our support, now more than ever.

Purchase tickets through December 6 at https://www.aleastside.org/holiday-event-2020.

Your $35 ticket allows unlimited access from November 28 through December 6.  

KIN
KIN Virtual Alternative Gift Fair- Dec 5th

For over 25 years, Kirkland Interfaith Network has (KIN) been organizing and hosting an Alternative Gift Fair. The Fair is an opportunity for community members to make a donation to their choice of local charitable agencies in honor of someone on their gift list. They receive a gift card that they can present to the person they are honoring. No wrapping, no boxes – just a simple and meaningful remembrance. Their gift gives twice – once to the charity to support their important causes, and again for the person being honored.

Participants are asked to register for the Fair in advance via Eventbrite at https://tinyurl.com/KINFair2020. Before the Fair starts, KIN will email the Zoom link to all registered participants, who can then come on December 5 anytime between 11AM and 3PM. After entering the online lobby, participants will choose which organizations they’d like to learn more about. KIN volunteers with send them to whichever breakout rooms they’d like to go, where they can chat with a volunteer or staff of the organization. There’s no pressure to make a donation right there on the spot – when they leave, they’ll have all the information needed to ponder on the right gift and then donate. Gift cards will be sent either via postal mail, or emailed or downloaded for printing at home. Please register now by going to https://tinyurl.com/KINFair2020. There’s no cost to attend.

 


The Village's VIRTUAL Hween Costume Contest

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I thought you'd enjoy this photo of me from Halloween 2013.  It's one of my faves because nobody recognized me and my kids were crying and running, confused to hear my voice but not seeing me in that face at all.  This year, there's a big contest in classic 2020 VIRTUAL style and yes, there are prizes..$50 gift cards to some of your favorite spots!  So get your silly, scary, crazy, hilarious costumes on at HOME this year and participate in the The Village at Totem Lake's 'Spooktacular' Virtual Halloween Costume Contest.  All family members- parents, kids, pets, are encourage to get decked out and enter.  Instructions are on their Insta Page. Snap and share a photo between Oct 19-30th and use the hashtag #TotemLakeHalloween and stay tuned for the winners to be announced on Oct 31st in the following categories:

Costume Categories:

  1. Best Princess or Superhero (prize: $50 gift card to one of The Village’s eateries)
  2. Best Make-up (prize: $50 Ulta Beauty gift card)
  3. Best Pet Costume (prize: $50 All The Best Pet Care gift card)
  4. Best Nails (prize: $50 Anthony Vince’ Nail Spa gift card)
  5. Judge’s Choice (prize: $50 gift card of winner’s choice at one of the stores above)

I'll be looking forward to your creativity!

  

 


The Great Pumpkin Carving Contest

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Kirklanders, it's time to sharpen those knives and the creative side of your brain and let's get carving.  This contest is FREE for all ages. 

Contest Rules:
1. Carve your pumpkin (pumpkins must be carved, but paint and other décor allowed).
2. Submit a photo of your carved pumpkin with your name and pumpkin title to: tharrison@kirklandwa.gov.
3. Only one entry per person.
4. Entries must be received by October 25th.
5. The public will vote for their favorite design on the Kirkland Parks & Community Services Facebook page October 26-29th. Top 3 designs with the most "Likes" will win!
6. Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
7. Winner will be announced October 30th!

What’s better then pie and coffee?

Free pie and coffee! Thank you to the prize donors: 203° F Coffee (direct trade, ethically sourced coffees), and Shari’s (home of award winning pies).


Dog Days of Kirkland: Virtual Style

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We can't sit around doing nothing forever, people.  The beloved annual 'Dog Days of Kirkland' dogshow contest will be online this year, so you and your pooch can participate from the comfort of your own home.  How very 2020 of us!  This dog photo contest means that you will be uploading photos of your trusted furry friend to one of the nine categories on kirklandparks.net, where they will then be shared on Facebook and voters can pick their faves. It's FREE!  Register your dog now through Sept 3rd.  Photos will be posted on Facebook for a 'likes' contest from Sept 5-12th.  Top winners will receive a gift card from Denny's Pet World and the grand prize winner receives a delux pet protrait session with Jennifer Wollman Photography.  I have no pets, just a houseful of teenagers so I will be looking out for your cute shots!


Kirkland's Virtual 4th of July

From our 4th of July Committee:

4thofJulyvirtual

A message from Kirkland Downtown Association regarding 4th of July celebration:

 This year 4th of July is going to look a little different. To still celebrate as a community, we are creating a virtual parade and fireworks show to stream live on FB and Kirkland TV.

This will give us an opportunity to “gather together” from the comfort and safety of our own spaces and enjoy images and footage of 4th of July celebrations from the last 20 years.

How fun it will be to see how floats, styles, and downtown have evolved since we began Celebrate Kirkland in 2000. Pay attention and you just may see some familiar faces that have participated through the years.

Join us at Noon on Saturday, July 4th on the Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July! Facebook page or on Kirkland TV for the parade and fireworks show.

We would also love to see how you are celebrating! As you deck your homes, selves, pets, or children with red, white, and blue, we would love you to post your pictures with the below hashtags.


#CelebrateKirkland!2020 #KirklandTogether #WeGotThisKirkland


Kirkland's Seniors Cruise the Blvd

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The graduating class of 2020 has definitely had some special end of year moments robbed of them due to the Coronavirus restrictions.  But on Thursday evening, the rains stopped and the sun shone down on hundreds of smiling capped and gowned teenagers from Lake Washington High School, Juanita High School, Eastside Prep, Emerson and the International School.  A giant 'unofficial' parade of cars honked, shrieked, danced and  let loose down the Lake St/Lake WA Blvd in Kirkland as parents and socially distanced bystanders clapped and cheered them on from the street.  For those 45 minutes, life even felt a little bit 'normal' as kids got to see each other and feel the love and support of their friends, family and community.  Finally, a celebration!  I don't have a senior, but I still found myself holding back a few tears of pride for this amazing group of teens. 

Perhaps this grass-roots effort just started a new Kirkland tradition.  LW parent, Kristen Estes, helped the group of moms that put this effort together and commented, "We are so thankful to the Kirkland community for helping us celebrate the Class of 2020 during these unique times.  it was fun to see everyone come together and make this a special event for the graduating class of 2020."  Perhaps years from now Kirkland grads will read about COVID-19 in their history books and go charging out the door for their annual community graduation 'senior cruise' through our city remembering how it all started. I hope so. 

You've got this Class of 2020.  Congrats!


Kirkland's 4th Parade Cancelled

Shinydime
I've had a few, what I call,  "shiny dime days" recently.  When paying for something with cash pre-COVID  (back when we used to be out and use real money on occasion), and inevitably, somehow a shiny skinny little dime always escapes my clutches. Who invented those little buggers? Anyway, you know the feeling, everyone at the register hears it pliiiinkkk to the floor and offers to helps as it makes its edgy winding escape under a counter or into an unreachable crevice.  "Aaah, don't worry about it," I'd say not wanting to further advertise my clumsy hands or fret over ten cents.  Now in 2020,  I am losing days like I used to lose dimes.  I'll never get either of them back.  I may be waking up with intent, albeit a little later, but not-so-much really happens.   Maybe I've emptied some dishwashers, written a few emails, gone for a walk or watched movies with the fam.  Perhaps every day.  They are slipping through my fingers just like the shiny dimes, and I find myself still saying, "aaah, don't worry about it."  Because there's always tomorrow.  When this is all over I hope I can motivate myself to get more than one thing done in a day.  And I'll be picking up those dimes! 

As we look about 60 tomorrows into the future, it turns out we will still be celebrating America's birthday on July 4th, just not in the traditional way Kirkland is accustomed to.  Here is the update from Celebrate Kirkland taken from their website:

We have experienced unprecedented changes and adaptions in our daily lives since the beginning of March as our community and country have faced the impacts of our current health crisis. Kirkland Downtown Association cares deeply about the safety and well-being of our neighbors so we are continuing the theme of adapting and overcoming by exploring creative and safe ways we can celebrate Kirkland this 4th of July. While we won’t be having our traditional parade, community picnic, and fireworks as we have in the past, we are working on some extra-special ways to celebrate safely.
We look forward to the days we can join together again in our parks and businesses. When that day comes, rest assured, we will have a celebration like no other.

Can we drop firewarks from really high drones for us all to see from our homes? Flags in front of every home? A car parade for each neighborhood?  Hot dog and beer touchless delivery? Whatever it is, I know we'll figure it out-hang in there, Kirkland. #wegotthis