4th of July Fun!

Seattle has always been one of the best areas to enjoy the 4th of July (at least in our opinion!), and this year is proving to be no exception!

Komo News has put together a great list of all the festivities going on this July 4th weekend, and rest assured there is plenty to do!! You can find the link to their article here and if you have a favorite that you recommend over all the others, we'd love to hear about it in the comments below! The Bellevue Family 4th is always one of our favorites!

It's never too early to plan, as these events tend to fill up quickly, so have a game plan in place, and get ready for some FIREWORKS!!

Washington Brewer’s Festival!

This Father's Day weekend (June 19th – June 21st), the Washington Beer Commission is presenting its 10th Annual Washington Brewer's Festival at Marymoor Park in Redmond! This 3 day event will feature over 400 beers from over 105 Washington breweries, and is a fantastic chance to chat with your favorite local brewers or discover some hidden gems that you've never heard about. The event on Friday is 21 and up only, however Saturday and Sunday are open to all ages, and will feature games and activities for kids and adults alike!

More information and tickets can be found at the official event website here: http://washingtonbeer.com/festivals/washington-brewers-festival.php

With Marymoor Park only a short 15-20 minute drive from Kirkland itself, what better chance to spend an afternoon listening to live music and discovering your new favorite beer, especially with how fantastic our Washington weather has been lately! We'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below, whether you go this year, or have gone in the past, and we may even see you there!

Ride Around the Sound!

Looking for a fun activity this summer which combines both adventure and some great exercise in the sun? Well, we have you more than covered! Ride Around the Sound is an annual charity bike ride with proceeds benefiting the American Lung Association, and the bike route itself takes you all the way from downtown Seattle to the Bremerton Ferry Terminal in Kitsap County, where a huge celebration will be waiting for you!

The ride itself costs $35-$40 to join, with the proceeds going to the American Lung Association (ALA), however not only does it give you an amazing excuse to explore the towns and cities surrounding the ENTIRE Puget Sound itself, but there are also plenty of checkpoints along the way to grab a drink and socialize with other bikers, as well as that huge party for all of the participants and the ALA itself at the end!

So if you have a bicycle, need an excuse to get one, or are looking for an opportunity to give back while getting an amazing workout, head over to www.ridearoundthesound.org and sign-up for a spot TODAY!! We might even see you there!

Sip Tea Procured From a Tea Master at Smacha in Bellevue

Jason Chen launched a business selling wholesale tea in the late '90s, which eventually evolved into Smacha, an authentic tea house in Bellevue, about 15 years later. It wasn't that simple, though. During that time he became a tea master and traveled the world experimenting with teas and procuring the best ingredients from the right locations. His care and expertise comes through in every cup, according to those who frequent Smacha.

Regulars recommend having a seat at the bar, where you can enjoy the soothing indoor waterfall. Feel free to chat with a staff member behind the counter, who'd be happy to come up with some recommendations based on your preferences. Then, you can watch him or her as they craft a pot of cup of tea especially for you. They're also trained in the tea-growing process, and they can tell you about the region in which the tea you chose originated. If you'd like to recreate this experience at home, Smacha offers an extensive selection of tea and teaware for purchase.

14603 NE 20th Street
Bellevue, WA 98007
(425) 643-2117

Opening Day at The Market

The Market at the Pavilion at Marina Park in Kirkland is officially open for the 2015 season!

Finally it's that time of year again! The Kirkland Wednesday market is back at the Marina Park from June 3rd to September 30th, and there are plenty of things lined up.

Not only do they have all the favorite vendors coming back but they also have some new vendors setting up their stalls. There will be some great live music to look forward to as well, so don't miss out!

Come along and soak up the sun surrounded by delicious food including fresh fruit and veggies.

Farmer’s Market Fun!

At long last, it's that time of year again; when local farms set up stands, and tasty, fresh produce is only down the road. That's right, farmers markets are BACK in the Eastside, and we've got a list of the big three for you so you won't ever be left wondering where to go for the freshest ingredients that taste so good you'll swear you grew them yourself! There is currently a major market in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond, so no matter where your summer adventures take you in the area, there will always be a market close by! You will find all of the information on the markets below, and we'd love to hear about your experiences at each of them in the comments! Have a favorite market? A favorite stand? Let us know!

Without further ado:

-Redmond Saturday Market
When: Saturdays from 9AM-3PM until Oct 27th
Where: 7730 Leary Way NE, Redmond, WA 98052

-Kirkland Wednesday Market
When: Wednesdays from 2PM – 7PM starting June 4th until Sept 24th
Where: 328 Parkplace, Kirkland WA 98033 (Right along the waterfront at the park!)

-Bellevue Farmers Market
When: Thursdays from 3PM-7PM until October 15th
Where: Bellevue Presbyterian Church Parking Lot, 1717 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA 98004

Happy eating and who knows, maybe we'll even see you there!

Bellevue Downtown Park: A Beautiful Oasis

Bellevue Downtown Park lets you get away from it all in downtown Bellevue. The park has plenty of amenities, like a playground, running trails, and a pond with a waterfall. Blow off some steam solo by going for a stroll, run, or bike ride, or head over with a group of friends to play Frisbee in the open field. Plenty of benches are available if you'd prefer to sit and people watch. Bring a picnic to enjoy the beautiful views while enjoying lunch. Check out the many events held in the summer, like movies in the park and Fourth of July activities. In the winter an ice skating rink is available.

It's open dawn to 11 p.m. every day.

Bellevue Downtown Park
10201 NE 4th Street
Bellevue, WA 98004
(425) 452-6885

Choose From More Than 200 Varieties of Tea at Savrika

With more than 200 varieties of tea available, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the choices at Savrika. You shouldn't, though. The staffers here are called tea guides, and they're trained to do just that: guide you to a tea that's right for you based on your preferences. They'll let you "sample" various teas by taking the lids off the canisters and allowing you to smell them, which can give a strong clue as to how they'll taste.

Rupa Gadre opened Savrika in September 2012 because she couldn't find a place in the Kirkland area where she could enjoy a cup or pot of quality tea. She wanted to make it inviting and serene, where guests would feel free to sit and linger while chatting with friends, reading, or working quietly on a laptop. By all accounts, she succeeded. Customers call Savrika a little getaway where they can treat themselves to a hot cup of tea and a sweet or savory bite to eat. And, as an added little bonus, every cup of tea comes with a small piece of chocolate.

115 Kirkland Avenue
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 298-6570

Kirkland Shamrock Run this Saturday!

The Kirkland Shamrock Run is a fun-filled 5k celebrating Kirkland, healthy living and of course St. Patrick's Day! Come join multitudes of other Irish culture enthusiasts on March 14th, 2015 to run or walk through downtown Kirkland. Benefiting local non-profits, this event has become a tradition for many area residents. Be sure to join the post-race party at Wilde Rover for a pint. Take a look around and come join us on March 14th.

Visit www.kirklandshamrockrun.com for more details and to purchase your tickets today!

Enjoy Local Beer and Play Mini Golf at Kirkland’s Flatstick Pub

Chances are you haven't experienced a place like Flatstick Pub. The name doesn't adequately describe what this place is all about; it's an indoor nine-hole miniature golf course that has 24 Washington state-brewed beers and ciders on tap. Some visitors say it reminds them of a cool bowling alley, except instead of bowling, it's mini golfing.

The courses are challenging, customers say, and most of the materials are upcycled and refurbished. Some old kegs are even incorporated into the courses. If you don't want to play golf, you don't have to. You can play cards, a board game, or simply sit at the bar and enjoy a beer or cider. There's no kitchen here, but you can buy a pre-made sandwich or salad courtesy of Molly's. One of the biggest selling points of Flatstick Pub is it allows dogs, so feel free to bring your pup with you.

Flatstick Pub
15 Lake St.
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 242-1618

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