Cars, Tastes, the Earth, and Ca$h (what else is there?)

Here's a little lineup for your weekend and beyond!

Exotic Cars-

The Northwest Exotics Car Show at Carillon Point is this Sunday, April 24th from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at the top lot of the 2000 garage.  This free public event was created by a local high school student named Thomas Fathi that is a talented photographer with a passion for cars.  He and his friends have done a few shows over the past two years, and they hope to get to a regular Sunday show as things get back to normal.  

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Kirkland Ca$h-

The City of Kirkland's new "Kirkland Ca$h" program is striving to uplift our hard-hit local hospitality industry and small business economy.  This dollar-for-dollar certificate program runs through June 30th where you can book a 2-night minimum stay through the KirklandCash.com site and receive $100 to spend at a local participating business.  Participating hotels include The Heathman Hotel, The Woodmark Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Sattle-Kirkland, and Motel 6. You can spend your Kirkland Ca$h before 8/31/22 at an ever-growing list of retail shops, restaurants, service providers, activities, attractions, and more (some of my faves are on there).  Do you have visitors coming to town?  This sounds like a great way to point them to one of our local hotels while also encouraging more local spending.  Everyone wins. 

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Earth Month 2022-

Keep an eye on the City of Kirkland's 'Earth Month' page to stay up to date on green tips and events throughout the month and ALWAYS.  You can also learn more about our city's Sustainability Master Plan and sign up for updates here.  Lately, Mother Earth seems to be messing with us (was that hail the other day?) so I'm all for taking the very best care of her.

KUEarthDay
Kirkland Urban is also celebrating spring and  Earth Day. On Fri 4/22 from 11 am to 1 pm community members are welcome to drop off electronics for recycling outside the 400 building. KU is also launching its #PlantwithKU campaign with the goal of planting 20,000 trees in Tanzania through a partnership with ForestNation.  Attendees can pick up a tree kit under the Generosi-tree at 400 Urban Plaza.  And, did you know that KU has rooftop beehives? These buzzzzzy workers will have honey, soap, and candles available for anyone who stops by the event, and will you also have the opportunity to enter the Queen Bee naming contest.

KUBeWell
Following this Kirkland Urban event, on Sat 4/23 from 10 am-1 pm they are hosting a "Be Well" Event. Everyone is invited to this interactive experience of the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, mental, recreational, environmental, financial, social, physical, and spiritual.  That's a lot in 3 hours! And it is free and open to the public.  You'll encounter stretch yoga at 10 am, a soothing sound bath journey at 11:10 am, total HIIT workouts at 10:30 and 11:40, a bee workshop, mini-facials by Tru Allure Beauty boutique, an Aegis Living hydration station, and much more.  Family-friendly tunes and many local businesses will be showing up to share their purpose and make sure you are taking good care of yourself. 

 

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Taste of the World-

The City of Kirkland will be hosting its first annual "Taste of the World" event on 5/21 at Juanita Beach Park to celebrate and experience our diverse heritage- so mark your calendars now! There will be food trucks, an international bazaar with artisan craft vendors, live cultural music and dance, photos stations, and a "small world" for children with global crafts and games.  They also really need VOLUNTEERS (24 to be exact) to help out with their 3 shifts- please contact Abbie (425-587-3312) if you are able to lend a hand for this awesome new community event.


Austin's Salmon Mural Comes to Life

AustinSalmonMural2022 (5)    AustinSalmonMural2022 (5)    Austinsalmon2

Despite the gray and rainy days we've had lately, on Saturday 4/2, the sun knew to beam through the skies onto Spud Fish & Chips where a very cool community project was underway.   Each hour a new shift of local volunteers of all ages grabbed their brushes and paint buckets and got to work on the east wall of the building where young Austin Picinich's salmon mural was outlined and color-coded.  I saw families, city council members, students, dogs, and toddlers slapping paint alongside elders (that were making me nervous on those ladders). Everyone pitched in, thanks to Austin who came up with this idea during a week-long leadership summit where he wanted to create "a public art project to brighten up the community."  And that he did! 

Austin teamed up with Urban Artworks on this project that helped raise awareness for our local salmon while bringing our friendly and artfully adventurous citizens together to work on a common goal.  Juanita Creek is nearby and classified as a salmon-spawning creek. While many of us think of the sockeye, chinook, and coho, the Kokanee salmon (depicted in the mural) were previously thought to be extinct in Lake Washington until recently.  This is a meaningful and timely reminder to reduce our pollution footprint, volunteer or donate to local organizations that are making a difference, or volunteer to become a SalmonWatcher yourself!

 

    AustinSalmonMural2022 (5)  <-Austin & his mom Kate (clearly an A+ parent)    AustinSalmonMural2022 (5) I heard there will be a time-lapse video of the mural's creation

The mural turned out fabulous- the colors really pop! And it was inspiring to see how 160+ volunteers each contributed their own brushstrokes to make this come to life.  I'm sure you can spot my sharp painting skills... I worked on the blue letters of the 'Spud Fish & Chips' logo on the food container. Very detailed. Laser focus.  Just kidding, I'm sure Austin had to go touch up my work afterward (thanks Austin!). 

Now with the Save Our Salmon mural complete, I'm thinking an " I Eat Trucks" mural for the truck-eating bridge on Kirkland Ave should be next??  Just sayin'.  

Austinalmostdone photo


4th of July in Kirkland 2022

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The last two years have been a big disappointment to a city that LOVES celebrating the 4th of July.  But for 2022, we are back in business with our patriotic parade! Unfortunately, the fireworks show will not be back due to numerous challenges (100% price increase on fireworks, costly barge rental, and environmental and noise concerns).  But we will be TOGETHER AGAIN, lining the streets, laughing and dancing on floats in red white, and blue like it's 2019.  Some other fun activities are in the works, so stay tuned for more announcements on www.celebratekirkland.org .   

For more good fun, there is also a Celebrate Kirkland t-shirt design contest! All ages are encouraged to enter and the theme is "Celebrate Kirkland,  Together Again,"  Entries due by May 1st. Details are here- good luck! 


Pi Day, Spa Day, and Puffy Jacket Dining

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Monday is Pi Day which seems like a perfectly good reason to celebrate! On March 14 from 3-5 p.m., families are invited to Kirkland Urban to participate in a π (pi) recitation competition (start practicing now, folks), an interactive scavenger hunt, giveaways from a variety of retailers at Kirkland Urban, a live DJ, and other kid-friendly activities.  This event is free and open to the public. Fun fact: Pi day is my son's birthday and he doesn't even like pie ( a crime).

StillSpaMarch HydraFacialHydraFacial photo cred: Woodmark Hotel/Still Spa
Never turn away a spa day.  The Still Spa at the Woodmark in Carillon Point has just launched 10 new spa treatments designed to relax and rejuvenate your body for summer. There's a HydraFacial that uses patented technology to cleanse, extract, and hydrate the skin.  Other newbies are the Himalayan Salt Body Treatment and the Herbal Cellulite Treatment (hmmmm..) and a Firming Vibrant-C Facial to get you glowing again.  Their full treatment menu found here. Tickets are also available for Still Spa's Quarterly Passport event on Tues 3/22 3-8 pm called 'Spring Into Relaxation' which is great to grab a friend and get pampered.

HearthPuffy Jacket2022 Puffy Jacket Pop-Up photo cred: Heathman Hotel/Hearth
Hearth at The Heathman
is running their infamous Puffy Jacket Pop-Up Dining Series Weds through Sat 5-9 pm through April 2nd. Throw on your puffer for this unique experience where you will enjoy cocktails, fresh rustic foods with local ingredients, and the heated patio's outdoor dining.  This limited-time menu really has me struggling to decide between the PNW Seafood Stew and the Red Wine Braised Short Rib.  I will be there next week, so expect a follow-up with more photos and tips!  You can call 425-284-5900 or visit OpenTable for a reservation. 

 


Kids' Spring Events- Register Now!

Pot of God Nugget Hunt

Pot of Gold Nugget Hunt :

You don’t need the luck of the Irish to participate in this event, just your peepers! All kids between the ages of 3-9, join in the hunt for gold nuggets starting March 12th at the North Kirkland Community Center. 

Make sure you are on the playground side of the park. Nuggets can be anywhere, off the sidewalk, in a flower bed, or near the play structures, keep your eyes open! Find the gold nugget with your name on it and keep it for good luck. One special gold nugget will have the word PRIZE written on the bottom. 

If you find the PRIZE nugget, keep it, snap a photo and send to: Jvandiver@kirklandwa.gov to claim your prize. Contest ends March 13th. There are two dedicated nugget hunting times, sign up for the time that works best with your schedule. We have split the times up to allow for plenty of parking for everyone!

Registration closes March 9. Register online at https://bit.ly/35Rw58G

Pot of God Nugget Hunt

Mermaid Ball:

Kirkland Parks and Community Services presents our 3rd annual Mermaid Ball!

Come along and follow me to the bottom of the sea where we’ll join in the Jamboree at the Mermaid Ball! Enjoy refreshments, dancing, a mermaid craft, and a commemorative photo at our 3rd annual Mermaid Ball. If you’ve loved our winter-themed ball, wait till you see our “under the sea” theme! Make a splash with your little mermaid and sign up early for this event before it’s sold out!

Ages 3 to 10 years with Dad, Grandpas, uncles, or other father figures. Register online at https://bit.ly/3CeszSd


Walking/Eating/Drinking around Kirkland

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First and foremost, there is a Kirkland Wine, Beer, and Spirits Walk on April 1st. No April foolin' either. 5-9pm and tickets are on sale now ($30).  You must show your vaccine card upon arrival. Then the fun begins as you start at The Heathman Hotel and walk to the participating merchants for your tasty beverages.  I like how they are stepping it up from a 'wine walk' to a 'wine/beer/spirits' walk.  We are no longer messing around- you have been forewarned. Get your tickets early, these shenanigans always sell out.

Bobaeinterior Bobaedrinks

Another less-tipsy beverage option in downtown Kirkland on Lake St. S  is the new Bobae Coffee & Tea.  This family-owned boba shop focuses on quality ingredients by avoiding artificial powders and syrups and brewing only high-grade teas.  Their ceremonial matcha is from a family farm in Japan and each cup is hand-whisked.  The service was amazing because the person taking my order was super friendly and spent extra time helping me find the right drink.  Since my usual fave, the mango matcha, is not in season yet she convinced me to try their red, white & matcha drink which was delish (photo).    I'll admit I was a little worried when I watched them hand-pour the bright green matcha into my drink wondering if it might taste a little too 'earthy,' but it was spot-on with a nice little strawberry flavor mixed in too.  You can also order from their site here (complete with photos!).  Apparently, their boba doughnuts are pretty famous too, but I didn't get a chance to try them.  There's another great reason to go back! Take note of their days/hours- Open Weds thru Sun 1-8 pm When they are you'll know it by their fans starting to line up on the sidewalk.

 


Trending in Houghton

The hot topics this week seem to be trending in Houghton, starting with the tragic closure of Menchie's Froyo in Houghton Plaza.  They wrote a farewell note on Facebook and encouraged us all to come in one last time before they close this Thursday (open 11-8 each day until then).  I hope they have my fave coconut flavor and the little dark chocolate chips this week. 

A little further up the street, we have the controversial La Quinta Inn being purchased by King County and turned into permanent supportive housing.  Our City Manager, Kurt Triplett, has issued a letter to clarify the city's intent, which is to be a good neighbor in the continuum of care for people experiencing homelessness. There is also a page with more details about the project here.  And some colorful community debate in public forums along with a little protest planned for Weds.            

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And if all of that stresses you out and you'd prefer to focus on some fun....families on the Eastside (and beyond) are invited to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Kirkland Urban!
Friday, Feb. 11 from 6-8 p.m, come by the Kirkland Urban Plaza to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.

This FREE Lunar New Year celebration will feature:

  • Lion and dragon dances at 6, 7 and 7:30 p.m., performed by Mak Fai Lion Dance
  • A traditional Vietnamese Fan dance at 6:30 p.m.
  • A whimsical lantern display designed by Top Knotch Events
  • Calligraphy by Mak Fai Lion Dance
  • The Year of the Tiger surprise ball giveaways by Wheelhouse promotions
  • Special moments captured by Passion In Movement Videography and Dakota Elizabeth

 


Wines and Valentine's

Natural Wine
When you put up a "Natural Wine" shop sign in Kirkland's downtown (200 Central Way) you are going to pique some curiosity.  Healthy, sustainable, chemical-free drinking is always a welcomed philosophy at our house! But they aren't ever open.  I think I've stopped by at least four times during posted open hours only to fog up the glass with my breath against the window wondering when they might let me in.  There appears to be wine in there (and ice cream too!?).  Am I being punk'd? Let me in!! Oh, and shoutout to The Grape Choice for being consistently awesome (and open) since the dawn of time. 

Here are some other fun ideas for your sweet February...

Galentineflyer
The Galentine’s Day Celebration is a special event on Feb 13 from 10-4 pm at the North Kirkland Community Center (tickets $5) that will bring together a group of local, women-owned businesses, to celebrate and support the women in our community. Along with shopping for a special gift from our local vendors, there will be demonstrations and competitions, local musical artists, goodie bags, and giveaways! Reserve your spot today at https://bit.ly/32X1DZE

The new improved and totally on-point Beach Cafe at Carillon Point has a fabulous dinner plan for Valentine's Day ($85/per person).  And they've just fired up their happy hour again from 4-5:30 too.

Hearth at The Heathman likes to spread the love of Valentine's out a bit with their magical menu being offered on Feb 11th, 12th, and 14th from 5-9.  But it fills up fast.  Menu and reservation link here.

Or how about a visit to this new Yuan Spa at The Village at Totem Lake?

You could always send something fun from Lady Yum for Valentine's too!

Feel free to add other events/specials I missed or some of your favorite Valentine's activities in the comments (keepin' in Rated G for all audiences) ~j

 


Polar Plunge on 1/22 + Extra Ice Please

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With all of our children on the same holiday break, our family escaped to the warm beaches of Waikiki for a little sunshine this Christmas.  Imagine our surprise when we returned to all of this snow! Brrr! We looked a little silly exiting SeaTac in our flip-flops and shorts in 20-degree weather.  This immediately made me dread the severity of the impending Polar Plunge 'cleansing' that typically takes place on January 1st each year in Marina Park.  Hundreds of crazy locals rush towards the frigid waters of Lake Washington to shock their systems into a reset for the new year.  This has always been an unsanctioned event that has taken on a life of its own, an unwritten yet beloved tradition of Kirklanders.   But then I found this!

Kirkland Patch has reported that Kirkland Parks & Community Services will host a "January Jump" on Jan 22nd at Houghton Beach Park, complete with trivia, prizes, games, contests, food trucks, and free clam chowder courtesy of Ivar's.  Despite the New Year's tardiness (as we've become generally accustomed to during this pandemic), it sounds like we are really elevating our game.   If you want in on the action, you will have to register online in advance for $5 or pay $10 on the event day,  and you can also receive a t-shirt ($15 advanced reg) to recognize your insanity bravery. Proceeds benefit the Recreation Scholarship Fund.  And in true 2020/2021/2022 (!!?) fashion, there will also be a virtual option ($10) that sounds cozy, albeit symbolically unfulfilling. Registration link is on the Kirkland Parks Website or you can call 425-587-3336.  

Can I get this body bathing suit ready by the 22nd? That's a tall order. Will the sun come out and warm up the lake so I don't have a heart attack that day?  Also doubtful.  But I could use a shock to the system.  A little wake up call of sorts.  Whichever day you decide (or not) to take the LEAP, let's make this a great, well ok I'd setttle for just 'better', 2022.  Love you Kirkland. xo


Hohohoppin' into the Holiday Season

Okay my little Kirkland Elves, let's see what is in store for us this holiday...feel free to comment with other fun things I may have missed that you want to share.

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2nd Annual Holiday Lights Contest
- But hurry! FREE registration closes Dec 6th at noon. Decorate your home and also submit a photo to jvandiver@kirklandwa.gov by 12/9 at 5pm. The top 3 winners will be announced on 12/16 and receive a victory yard sign so they will be the envy of all of Kirkland.

Ladies Night Out at The Village at Totem Lake- 12/9  4-7 pm: happy hour, a wreath-making or Santa painting workshop and food and beverages.  Grab a friend and buy your tickets here. The Village also has carols scheduled and of course, storytime with Ms. Claus at Barnes & Noble. 

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Kirkland Winter Market-
Dec 11th 10 am-2 pm at Kirkland Urban/Peter Kirk Promenade.  This is the last one, so be sure to check out these local vendors for winter produce, flowers, foods, and crafts. 

Duffyparade
Make your own parade with Duffy Boat's Holiday Light Cruise- Carillon Point Marina thru 1/2/22.  4 nightly parades at 3:30, 5:00, 6:30, and 8 pm.  Be your own captain on an electric boat that is fully enclosed, heated, and fits 10 people. Book here. Our family did this last year- super fun!

Gingerbread
Gingerbread House contest
- on display at participating stores downtown.

"Sips & Snowballs" Wine Walk- Dec 17th 5 pm-9 pm for early admission. 21 and over. Buy your $25-$30 tickets here now so you can embark on a fun holiday adventure of shop-hopping and wine tasting.

Google Musical Holiday Lights on the Cross Kirkland Corridor- 12/8-1/1 nightly from 5-10 pm. Free show of 10,000 LED lights. You'll find this treasure at the Family Fitness and Play Area on the Cross Kirkland Corridor near the Google campus.

Visits with Santa- You can still catch the Big Guy at Kirkland Urban on Sat 12/11 11 am-2 pm and Sat 12/18 11 am- 2 pm.  Crafts and a selfie-station too.

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"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
- live performances at Studio East through Dec 19th. Tickets are $20 student/senior and $25/adult.

Argosy Christmas Ship Festival- 12/11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 22. $50/adults, $47 seniors, $37 youth, and under 3 are free.  This is always such a unique and festive way to enjoy the lake and holiday lights and carols.

Bonfires
Community Bonfires
- Gather and watch the Christmas Ships by land!  Marina Park Sat 12/11 2:10-2:35 and O.O. Denny Park Sunday 12/19 2:35-2:55 pm.  Bonfires can be cancelled due to weather or burn bans. Call 425-587-3345 for 'day of' weather info.

The 12K's of Christmas is BACK- Registration is open for this Sun 12/12 festive run that starts in Marina Park.

Spa-La-La Still Spa Holiday Event- Tues 12/14 3-8pm at Still Spa at the Woodmark. Passport style with express treatments, complimentary wine, skincare and beauty advice, exclusive discounts, and special prizes.  Buy your tickets here before they're gone. 

Crab Cakeswoodmark 1 (photo cred: Woodmark)
Carillon Kitchen (to-go holiday meals $85/pp)  and Beach Café (3 courses, $95/pp) both have amazing Christmas dining options. Take out orders must be placed by 12/18 by calling 425-739-6363.  Reservations for Beach Café are through Open Table ONLY

 

Mailbox
Santa's Mailbox
- you will find it in front of the downtown Bank of America until Dec 18th.  Don't forget! Your little ones will get a reply! hohoho