Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bellevue, WA Park Review : Wilburton Hill Park

I really just want to mention our favorite feature here because it is pretty unique.

The children's play area has a zip line swing. It is good for a wide variety of ages as you can do tricks as you get older. Obviously, use your judgement having your kids play on it, especially the littler ones. My kids love it. Check it out for a unique park experience.

Here is the park website, from the City of Bellevue.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Redmond, WA Park Reviews : Grasslawn Park

Grasslawn is one of those really big and really popular parks! It is very easy to find and has lots of different activities to keep you busy.

There are two different, very distinct play areas. The smaller one, right by 148th Ave, contains some water play activities. The much larger one, over by Old Redmond Road, has a really big, really fun climbing toy. (Well it is only fun if you don't have a child at just the wrong phase - good enough at climbing to get to the top, but not able or confident enough to get down! I've had to climb up many times!) For bigger kids this is really great. There are also other things around the really high climb for younger kids, plus swings and a sand box.

There are two parking lots, one near each play area. There are also two bathrooms - one near the small one plus another about halfway between the two.

Other perks of this big park are tennis courts, basketball courts, big open grass fields, and paved trails for practicing bikes and scooters.

Here's the park website, from the City of Redmond.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Bellevue, WA Park Reviews : Robinswood Park

This is a big park!

There are two side-by-side playgrounds - they are both really nice. The play area for little ones is actually quite nice and has several interesting and unusual features. The bigger one also has some really fun features and a really nice teeter-totter. There are also paved pathways near the play areas for those who want to ride bikes or scooters.

A couple of other interesting options of things to do while there:
  • play a game in the HUGE field
  • watch others play sports on the big and well used fields
  • VERY SHORT walk down to the pond and see the ducks
2430 148th Avenue SE

This is really easy to get to, being just North of I-90 on 148th!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Redmond, WA Park Reviews : Juel Community Park

We headed out to check out the park on one of our recent hot days!

Not much there... There is a Frisbee golf course and there were several groups playing games there even though it was a weekday afternoon. I considered playing a round with my little guys but there was so much high grass around that I wasn't sure we would have much luck. At first I thought the course was not very well maintained but there was a mowed area from each tee to the "hole." So now I am thinking the grass is a "hazard," which might be great for adults but looked like it would be super tricky for little guys or beginners.

The highlight for us was the community garden. We took a walk around it (looking only, no touching) and enjoyed identifying all the neat vegetables people were growing there at various levels of success.

By the way, there is a porta-potty right by the parking lot. Here's the link to the park website.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Bellevue, WA Park Reviews : Downtown Park

This park is huge! Huge grassy areas and a nice walking path, with a pretty pool with ducks.

At the south end there is a nice play structure with a variety of levels of activities. It is very sunny there! There is a nice bathroom building right by the play area including a family restroom.

There are several parking lots. The one on the west side of the park I would use if I were walking around. On the southwest corner, by the play structure, there is another one. If that one is full, like it was when I was there yesterday, there is another one, slightly further east that would be a shorter walk than the other.

This is a very popular park!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Redmond, WA Park Reviews : Westside Park and Spiritbrook Park

These are two small neighborhood parks that I really like. There is talk of "upgrading" them in the near future but I hope they don't change them too much.

Here are some things I like about these parks -
  • never crowded
  • huge grassy area for ball sports or any sort of running around
  • street parking right beside the park
  • swings and simple climbing structure with slides plus basketball goals
  • Spiritbrook has monkey bars
  • Westside Park has a wooded trail you can take to Marymoor Park

Of course, both are small parks without bathrooms.

Spiritbrook has no real shade where Westside can be shady at times.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Redmond, WA Park Reviews : Cascade View Park

This is a fun sunny park with a nice big play structure and a smaller play structure for littler kids. It's a bonus that there is also a huge grassy area for all kinds of playing.

Parking is on the street (never had a problem finding a spot) and there is no bathroom.

This is a good park for little ones to practice their trikes or scooters, either on the basketball court or on the paved path around the play structure.

Here's the link to the City of Redmond site for this park.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bellevue, WA Park Reviews : Kelsey Creek

This is a really nice park, because it really has some of everything.

There are big grassy areas for playing ball and running around.
There is a nice playground area.
There are trails through the woods for family friendly hiking and exploring.
There is an actual farm with animals to watch.

A few words about the play structure. This one is for the little guys mostly - so bring your toddlers and come on! The only thing that would make this a perfect place would be a fence around the play area to keep the littlest ones contained.

That said, there are some rope webs for the big kids to climb on as well. And my boys are pretty big and they still had a good time with a little imagination. Plus the bigger kids in your group could always play games in the grass nearby.

We were there in the afternoon and I want to note that the playground was in full sun, which was fabulous since we have been lacking in the sun department lately. There are a few trees around but I think this playground is mostly sunny all day.

It also has a bathroom right by the play structure and lots of parking. If the lot is full, you can park on the road all along the edge of the park on 130th Pl SE.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Redmond, WA Park Reviews : Idylwood Park

This is a fabulous park in Redmond!

The big caveat is that you have to walk a little ways from the parking lot. If you have littles, you may want to bring a stroller or a wagon for the path down to the lake and play structure.

This park has a really nice beach on Lake Sammamish. In the summer there is a lifeguard and everyone enjoys swimming in the lake. My kids love playing in the sand all year round.

The play structure is large and has multiple parts for different ages of kids. There is a very large grassy area for playing. There are lots of picnic tables and of course there are bathrooms.

Here is the link to the Redmond Parks site for this park.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Issaquah, WA Park Reviews: Lake Sammamish State Park

This is a neat park with a lot of beach area on the lake. It was too cold for swimming but they had two pretty large swimming areas roped off that I am sure are fun in the summertime. The sand area was not real big but there was some sandy beach for digging and playing,

There are two play structures that we saw in the park, and several trails that are good for exploring. The main thing about this park is the large grassy areas and huge number of picnic tables and grills. This is definitely the spot for your next barbecue or picnic. Plenty of room for your group, no matter the size.

There are, of course, plenty of bathrooms and a very large parking lot. There also were lot of sunny spots for those sunny spring or fall days where you need the sun to be warm!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Redmond, WA Park Reviews : Willows Creek Neighborhood Park

We tried out a new park today - Willows Creek Neighborhood Park!! This park is a hidden treasure. We live very nearby but never realized the park was there. It is a small park with one basketball goal, two picnic tables and a play structure. There is also a good amount of grass to run around in.

The play structure was really fun with lots and lots of neat ways to climb on and off. It looked small at first but they really fit a lot of activities into it. My four-year old reports that the BIG BLUE SLIDE was his favorite feature of the play structure.

There are two benches by the play structure for parents to rest on but be sure to choose the one not beside the trash can. It really smelled when we were there. In our short visit, we saw two different people walking their dogs and dropping their little baggies in the trash can so I think I know why.

There is a small parking area, with one handicapped space and two other parking spots. It is a small neighborhood park so no bathrooms are available to plan accordingly. I also like to note whether or not a park is shady or sunny but on such an overcast day as today, I was not able to collect that data. I am thinking it might be shady in the morning and sunny in the afternoon, but I'll have to go back and check it out.

Here's the link on the City of Redmond website to this park.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Green Smoothies Continued

I used the last of my spinach today....

2 cups raw spinach
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup frozen grapes
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup water

The texture on this one was a bit off. Not sure why. All the smoothies have been fine, but nothing spectacular. It is funny - you can't taste the "green" or see the "green" but I am pretty sure you can smell the "green." Maybe my nose is really senstitive but it seems that way to me. Which is fine I guess - who says the point is to completely hide the spinach anyway?

Friday, February 26, 2010

More Green Smoothie Experiments!

Today's smoothie was actually green! No blueberries to mask the color!

2 cups raw spinach
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup frozen grapes
1 cup frozen orange juice
1 cup water

It was really sweet and very good. The kids loved it. Maybe the best yet!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Green Smoothie Experiments

Today I started with this:

2 cups raw spinach and lettuce mix
1 cup peaches
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup orange juice

And it tasted very "green." So I added more blueberries and some grapes. Better but still tasted a bit weird. Or maybe smelled a bit weird - like lettuce. It was ok, but not great.

Not sure where to go from here. We don't like bananas in smoothies. Maybe I'll go back to including yogurt. And I think I will stick to spinach for the green part!