It's time to start planning the Halloween activities for your little ones. Luckily, there are plenty to do on the Eastside and in Seattle to celebrate this weekend and next. Here are our top picks for free (or very cheap) events on the Eastside:

Saturday 10/23, 12-2, Free Mini Pumpkin Decorating 
Whole Foods in Redmond is hosting a drop-in event for kids from 12-2 to decorate pumpkins. Clementine art is providing the supplies and the help, and the kids will take home their awesome and spooky creations. No need to sign up, just drop in.

Friday, 10/29, 6-8, Fall Fun Fest
This special event for kids ages 1-6 is completely planned and run by youth from the Issaquah Youth Center. Bring your little ones in their costumes for some activity booths, toddler time toys, face painting, and and prizes. Registration not required. Held at the Issaquah Community Center Courts for $2 fee.

Saturday, 10/30, 1-4, Free Family Day: Dia de los Muertos
The Bellevue Art Museum is inviting families for a Mexican Festival with live entertainment, arts and crafts for kids, and an exploration of exciting cultures. 

Saturday, 10/30, 4:30-8, Halloween Activities
Crossroads Mall in Bellevue is hosting some Halloween activities, including a costume parade, trick or treating at select stores, and live music by the kids' rock band, the Not-its!

Sunday 10/31, 12-2, Trick or Treating
Rainy Halloween? No worries. The Whole Foods in Redmond is giving goodies away to little trick or treaters dressed up in their Halloween costumes.

Sunday 10/31, 4-6, Trick or Treating
Want to spend time outside but without going door to door? Take your little ones to the University Village in Seattle for some trick or treating between 4 to 6 on Halloween.

Sunday 10/31, 4-7, Halloween Family FunFest
The Bellevue Square Mall is once again hosting a family event with trick or treating, balloon-tying clowns, face painting, and live music. 

Sunday, 10/31, 5-7, Trick or Treating
The Redmond Town Center stores are giving away treats to little trick or treaters dressed up in their Halloween costumes. 

 
 
If you've been considering a music class for your little one, try one out next week at Musik Nest in Gilman Village in Issaquah. They're offering free class all week long, from August 30 to September 3. Most classes are designed for kids between 17 months and 3; some are up to age 4.


Check out the time slots and sign up at: http://www.themusiknest.com/Demonstration_class.htm


 
 
Looking for some ideas for Father's Day? We've got you covered! From gift ideas to fun family outings, your dad is guaranteed to have a great weekend!

Make Cookies and Crafts for Dad
Drop in at the Redmond Whole Foods Market this Saturday 6/19 from 12-2 to make special cookies for Father's day for $2 a cookie. No need to make a mess at home or buy supplies, stop by and take home beautifully decorated treats for dad.  For little ones ages 3+, stop by the Lakeshore Learning Store in Bellevue from 11-3 to make a free craft for dad. This week's craft is a special notepad holder just for dad.
More info: http://wholefoodsmarket.com/storesbeta/redmond/calendar
More info: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/general_content/store_locations/storeCrafts.jsp

Like Cars?
If dad is into cars, take him to the Fenders on Front Street car show (Sunday from 8 to 3) or Bothell's Country Village Car Show (Saturday from 12 to 3).
More info: http://www.fendersonfrontstreet.com/
More info: http://www.countryvillagebothell.com/

Festivals Around Town
Lucky for dads, this weekend is also a popular weekend for summer festivals as it's the last weekend of Spring.

The "Swedish Midsummer Festival" is taking place at Bellevue's Vasa Park this Sunday at 9 am and is free and open to anyone. 
More info: http://www.vasaparkresort.com/1521.html

The popular and eclectic Fremont Fair and Solstice parade is happening this weekend. The parade is on Saturday but festivities take place all weekend long.
More info: http://www.fremontfair.org/events.php

Nature Walks and Canoes
If dad likes being outdoors, consider taking him to Bellevue's Mercer Slough for a free guided tour on Saturday from 2-3 to explore the city's largest wetland. More info: http://www.ci.bellevue.wa.us/mercer_slough.htm

On Sunday, get dad on a Canoe for a 4-mile paddle that begins on Enatai Beach Park. Registration is required for this guided family event.
More info: http://www.ci.bellevue.wa.us/mercer_slough.htm

The Museum of Flight Free for Dads
Stop by a Bartell Drugstore anytime and pick up a free pass for dad good on Father's Day. Enjoy a new air exhibit featuring real helicopters for a day full of heroes and helicopters. More info: http://www.museumofflight.org/

Other Ideas
Take dad to one of the Eastside Parks for a picnic and some play, especially since the sun is planning to finally come out on Sunday. Or if the weather doesn't behave, take dad along to see Toy Story 3 in theaters this weekend.
 
 
By the looks of it, we may not see sun again for a while. But not to worry, it's a busy week for free and cheap events, so you'll have plenty to do with your little ones. Here are some of the week's highlights; but you can also take a look at our calendar for more suggestions.

Tuesday May 11: Creative Fun!
Attend a playday at U-Village in Seattle. This week, Kumon is hosting the free playdate with an educational activity time, with stories, counting, alphabet, and singing. Parents also receive special discounts for the day at U-village stores. Prefer to stay on the Eastside? Attend a Free Kindermusik session for some creative musical fun at the Kirkland Library at 10 or 11 a.m.

Wednesday May 12: Play at the Farm
Drop-in for a playdate at Fox Hollow Farm. Play with furry friends, enjoy games on the large ball field, bounce on the huge inflatable castles, explore Issaquah Creek, and drive miniature John Deere trucks and tractors. Playdates are only offered once a month, and are $6 a person.

Thursday May 13: Story Time and Free Music!
As this is the last week for story times at most libraries before the summer program begins, take your little ones to a Toddler Story Time at the Issaquah Library at 10 or 11 a.m. In the evening, the Sammamish Library will be hosting a free music class by Musik Nest at 7 PM.

Friday May 14: Friday Night Kid Concert
Head over to Crossroads Mall at 5 p.m. for a free and award winning kid show by Danna Banana on the Market Stage. 

Saturday May 15: Museums and More
It's Family day at the EMP (Experience Music Project) and Family Festival day at the SAM (Seattle Art Museum). The SAM festival will be filled with activities, including a free concert by Casper Babypants, kids crafts, face painting, and much more. Prefer to stay on this side of the lake? head over to the Kirkland Library at 2PM for a musical fieldtrip with Recess Monkey.

Sunday May 16: Crazy golf
It's crazy golf day at the South Bellevue Community Center. Families with preschoolers and elementary age kids will enjoy miniature golf, Wii golf, chipping practice and popcorn.


 
 
Tomorrow some of our favorite museums have free entry and they're well worth the trip to Seattle. The Burke Museum at the University of Washington is a great place to take kids of all ages to see fossils and learn about different cultures. The museum also has a play area perfect for toddlers and preschoolers filled with books, puzzles, and dinosaurs. The Seattle Art Museum also has free entry and is always fun because of the changing exhibits. In the evening, the Museum of Flight and the EMP are also free.

If you have infants or toddlers, Kindermusik is offering classes at the Kirkland library once a week in May. Check out our Calendar for dates and times. The classes are fun and engaging for little ones, and best of all - they're free!

With Mother's day coming up this weekend, here are some ideas for things to do with your family all weekend long:

Crafty Saturday!
Start celebrating on Saturday at the Redmond Whole Foods Market, where kids can create a flower bouquet for their moms for only $10. There will be two sessions, so sign up early to guarantee your kids a spot. Prefer to spend less money? Try a free Mother's day craft activity at the Lakeshore Learning Store in Bellevue or a $2 craft activity at the Bellevue Art Museum.

A Family Train Ride
Moms ride free all weekend at the Northwest Railway Museum. Take a 65 minute excursion from Snoqualmie and enjoy the beautiful views. Check out the Museum's website for train schedule. Cost: $12/adult and $8/child.

Canoe the Slough
On Sunday, the Bellevue Park Rangers will lead the way on a 3-hour family canoe ride through the Mercer Slough. You will enjoy the views and learn about the different strategies wildlife mothers have for raising and protecting their young. Cost: $12-$14. Pre-registration is required

Sing Together to Help Other Moms & Daughters
Sunday night at the Kirkland Performance Center, attend a Sign-A-long Sound of Music event and help make a difference for the residents of Valle de la Cruz in Lempira Honduras. Donations (suggested is $25-$35) will go directly to the Water 1st International foundation to help give families clean water in their homes. More info at: http://www.kpcenter.org/cgi-bin/event.cgi?id=455
 
 
It's the last week of April and we might have some sun finally coming our way. With nature hikes and a farm playdate, we have some ideas about how to spend time outside (and inside too for the rainy days). Here are our top picks for the week. Check out our calendar for even more things to do.

Mom and Me at Mercer Slough
Monday, April 26th, 10 a.m.
Become a naturalist with your child and learn how to observe and explore the small wonders of the Mercer Slough and practice together. Pre-registration required. Best for ages 3-5.
Register at: www.myparksandrecreation.com Course #: 46304 ($5)

Chickens, Pigs, and Bears....Oh My! Puppet Show
Thursday, April 29th, 4:30 p.m. (Crossroads) and 7 p.m. (Bellevue Library)
Come watch and participate as puppeteers perform The Three Little Pigs, The Little Red Hen and The Three Bears (a version that doesn’t include Goldilocks)!
No registration required. But get there early! (Free)

Musik Nest
Thursday, April 29th, 7 p.m. (Sammamish Library)
Share songs, dance, rhythm and new ways to enjoy music with your toddler!
Registration not required. (Free)

Asian Art Museum Family Day
Saturday, May 1st, All day
The Asian Art Museum is free for families on the first Saturday of each month. For more info: http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/visitSAAM.asp?val=locationSAAMheader

Fox Hollow Farm Family playdate
Saturday, May 1st, 1-4
A program is designed for parents with young children. Play with furry friends (horses, goats, chickens, pigs, peacocks, bunnies, kittens), enjoy games on our large ball field, bounce on the HUGE inflatable castles, explore Issaquah Creek, and drive miniature John Deere trucks and tractors. Bring a picnic or there will be hotdogs, kettle corn, cotton candy, and drinks available. No reservation required, just show up! ($6)
 
 
Mother's day is just around the corner and we have several suggestions for how to spend the weekend with your family.

Crafty Saturday!
Start celebrating on Saturday at the Redmond Whole Foods Market, where kids can create a flower bouquet for their moms for only $10. There will be two sessions, so sign up early to guarantee your kids a spot. Prefer to spend less money? Try a free Mother's day craft activity at the Lakeshore Learning Store in Bellevue or a $2 craft activity at the Bellevue Art Museum.

A Family Train Ride
Moms ride free all weekend at the Northwest Railway Museum. Take a 65 minute excursion from Snoqualmie and enjoy the beautiful views. Check out the Museum's website for train schedule. Cost: $12/adult and $8/child.

Canoe the Slough
On Sunday, the Bellevue Park Rangers will lead the way on a 3-hour family canoe ride through the Mercer Slough. You will enjoy the views and learn about the different strategies wildlife mothers have for raising and protecting their young. Cost: $12-$14. Pre-registration is required

Sing Together to Help Other Moms & Daughters
Sunday night at the Kirkland Performance Center, attend a Sign-A-long Sound of Music event and help make a difference for the residents of Valle de la Cruz in Lempira Honduras. Donations (suggested is $25-$35) will go directly to the Water 1st International foundation to help give families clean water in their homes. More info at: http://www.kpcenter.org/cgi-bin/event.cgi?id=455

 
 
Have you signed up for summer camps yet? No worries there are still plenty of openings, but sign up now to reserve you child's spot.

We've looked at most of the camps happening on the Seattle Eastside and created a new page to make it easy for you to find what you're looking for.
 
 
Stop by Bellevue Square Mall this week and check out the remaining items on clearance at Pottery Barn Kids before it shuts its doors. Display merchandise is going fast.

And if you haven't been to the u-village playdays in Seattle, consider going this Tuesday for an activity hour at Kumon. You also get a discount card for the day at participating shops.

Earth day is coming up and this weekend, there will be lots of celebrations around town (check out our previous blog post). So, plan early as you may have to register for some of them.
 
 
 
While we're still recovering from all the Easter egg hunts and celebrations, we're starting to plan for the next big day: Earth Day. It's a great time to teach kids about the environment, conservation, and making the right choices for our planet.

Here are some wonderful Earth Day events on the Eastside to help you celebrate with your kids.

(Free) Earth Day-Arbor Day Celebration
Saturday April 17th, 8:30-1
Lewis Creek Park (Lakemont, Bellevue)
Start the morning volunteering (8:30-11am) [don't forget to register with the park in advance] and join other volunteers to plan trees and shrubs, remove invasive plants and improve trails. Or just go for Family Festival, which starts at 11am, and begins with a tree planting ceremony, a raffle, and family fun eco-stations throughout the park.  

(Free) Earth Day Craft Activity
Saturday April 17th, 11-3
Lakeshore Learning Store (Bellevue)
This weekly craft event will focus on Earth day and have kids create and decorate an Earth Day bag that they can use to clean up the environment.
More at: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/general_content/store_locations/storeCrafts.jsp

(Free) Earth Day Celebration at Orange Blossom Society
Saturday April 17th, 11-2
Orange Blossom Society (Redmond)
The Redmond Fire Department, Green Redmond Partnership, Shaklee and other local 'green' companies will be there to teach you about how you can do your part to support Mother Earth. The parking lot will be closed so that kids can bring their bikes and learn about bike safety with the Fireme. There will also be a free Kid Yoga Class and Gardening tips.
More at: http://www.orangeblossomsociety.com/special-events.html

(Free for kids) Bellevue Art Museum Earth Day Family Celebration
Sunday, April 18th, 1-4
Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue)
Join Bellevue Arts Museum for an afternoon of art projects and artist demonstrations celebrating Earth Day with the themes of recycling and reusing materials. Several local artists will be on hand demonstrating how they recycle objects into new and usable works of art.
More at: http://www.bellevuearts.org/calendar.htm

(Free) Little Lake-to-Lake 5K walk
Wednesday, April 21st, 2-6pm
Lake Hills Greenbelt (Bellevue)
Celebrate Earth Day with a family/stroller/wheelchair-friendly trail walk that follows the Lake Hills Greenbelt Trail connecting Larsen and Phantom Lakes.  Walkers are invited to stop along the way at earth education stations set up within the park. Event highlights include the Larsen Lake Pioneer Cabin, King County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, Puget Sound Energy's Green Power Program, and Eastside Audubon Society. Registration takes place the morning of the event at the start location.
Contact Debbie Pettersson - 425-452-7106 or dpettersson@bellevuewa.gov

(Free) Earth Day Story Time
Thursday, April 22nd, 11am and 2pm
Pottery Barn Kids in Bellevue Square (Bellevue)
Story time featuring tales about caring for the planet, as well as other earth-friendly activities. Throughout the day, they'll be giving kids a special gift that they can plant at home!

(Free) Earth Day Celebration at Whole Foods
Saturday, April 24th, 11-1
Whole Foods Market (Redmond Location)
A party to celebrate Earth Month, with kids' activities, tips for reducing, reusing and recycling, lots of samples to try, and of course cake!
More at: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/redmond/storecalendar.php