Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum

What is it with 3 and 1/2 year-olds and treasures? Is this a thing? Maybe its just our little guy, but lately all he can talk about is treasures, from finding treasures to receiving them as a reward.  The good news? Anything can be a treasure.  So as long as we call it such, anything can have the potential of being special to him.  The bad news? Since everything has the potential to be a treasure, we can spend a lot of time waiting around for a lollygagging preschooler investigating every nook and cranny along our way.

Sometimes it all works out though, like during our visit to the arboretum this past weekend.  As soon as Bergen was “released” from the jogging stroller to walk on his own, he requested the use of one of the bags we’d brought along for the dog’s (ahem) deposits.  I credited him for his smart thinking! He declared that he was going to search for treasures, and then for the next mile or so, he picked up anything that happened to catch his eye.  Rocks, sticks, leaves, blades of grass…they all went in the bag.

If you’re looking for a way to focus walks and hikes with your young children, you might just think about bringing a bag along for collecting! It’s easy, doesn’t require a whole lot of pre-planning, and Bergen was more than willing to toss the treasures back when our walk was complete.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

While Bergen was focused on finding treasures, I had the chance to admire early spring in the arboretum.  Yes, while the east coast is suffering through snow, ice, and bitter cold, we are experiencing abundant sunshine, flowers in bloom, warmer temperatures, and even (it seems to me) more active wildlife.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

 

Have any more tips on holding kids’ interest while walking and hiking? We’d love more ideas!

You can also check out our other tips for hiking with a preschooler.

 

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Baby Naming in Paradise: Big Decisions while Exploring Oahu’s Ka’ena Point State Park

How did you go about choosing names for your children? Or if you don’t have kids, do you know how your name was chosen? Was there a process involved? Maybe you just knew all along…or possibly the name was already picked out for you because of family history or obligations.  Whatever the case may be, I think the ways people decide on names is fascinating.  .

Amazing, really.  I mean, the possibilities are endless, and for me at least, the pressure to choose “correctly” can be overwhelming.

Names got tossed around all throughout both of our pregnancies.  One of us would might make a suggestion, and if it was acceptable to both of us, we might write it down on our list.   Then, after months of brainstorming, the narrowing down, nitty-gritty decision making happened in the same way: On vacation.

Oahu’s Ka’ena Point State Park | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Preschool Hikes: Discovering More in Seattle’s Discovery Park

Places often remain wonderful in mind because I haven’t quite discovered all they have to offer.  The mystery and unknown give me reason to come back and explore.  Magic remains.

Seattle’s Discovery Park is one example.  Maybe its because we usually fall into the same routine: Parking in the same area, hiking down the same stairs toward the beach, walking along the same stretch of shore.  Still beautiful, but I always knew there was more.

For this visit, I switched it up and we saw several aspects of the park that I’ve never seen.  And because of that I have an even greater appreciation for the place.  Even better, as you might expect my two little adventurers were also along for the ride, and for one of them (Georgia, 2 months) this was her very first visit.

Environmental Learning Center

I’d heard that there was an indoor learning space here, but never visited myself.  So to make sure we had a chance check it out, I made it our starting point.  The center proved to be a great spot to get our nature juices flowing.  The space is filled with books, puppets, and tons of other hands on materials for little ones to investigate before or after heading off on an outdoor adventure.

Seattle's Discovery Park | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Day Tripping: Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park

Travel with a brand-new baby, unless absolutely necessary, isn’t something we planned to do right away.  We planned to take it easy, one day at a time, and gauge the new addition’s temperament and needs.  We thought we might venture out, but nothing got written down on the calendar, if you know what I mean.

The thing is though, we’re still those same people who love to explore and stay active even when a tiny bundle is around.  Once the family visits had died down, and we had a free weekend, we thought we might as well try out a day trip.

Tacoma isn’t too far, under an hour’s drive from our home in Seattle, and we had on our bucket list to visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  We’re members of our own Woodland Park Zoo, but we were curious as to what was happening “down south” and knew it was an outing the whole family could handle.

Day Tripping: Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Preschool Hikes: Learning and Exploring at Squak Mountain State Park

What would you do if you were stuck between a Cougar and a Tiger?

…SQUAK!

A little joke that gets tossed around in the outdoor world as an answer for why Squak Mountain has such a name since it is situated between Cougar Mountain (to the West), and Tiger Mountain (to the East).

I don’t exactly know the real reason for the name–I believe it has to do with the native people of the region–but we did go on a sweet little hike here this past weekend and found our time to be a perfectly pleasant family adventure.

Preschool Hikes: Learning and Exploring at Squak Mountain State Park  | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Last Family of 3 Travel Adventure: Wallace Falls State Park

Before welcoming our newest family member into the world, we had one last travel adventure as a family of three.  It was important to use to spend some quality time together just before our lives turned upside down with new routines, a new normal, and new responsibilities.

Some time away brought a chance to bond and strengthen our unit, which inevitably brought along a lot of refection as well as anticipation.

What will one more member do to our dynamic?

Surely it could only get better.

Last Family of 3 Travel Adventure: Wallace Falls State Park | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

New Year’s Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway!

Are you a New Year’s resolution person? This year, I created more of a mantra rather than lofty goals as I figure I have enough “new” on my plate adding another little person to our world.

Always in the back of my mind (and that of my husband Slaed’s) though is budgeting and saving money.  Also of great importance and a major focus of our life? Our family’s mission to get out, experience, and explore.  Can you guess one of the ways we accomplish both?

Coupons!

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway! WildTalesof.com

We’ve sung the praises of the Chinook Book before, and I’m so happy to be back again this year.   All that we love about “the book” remains, but this year there are several new features that make the product (or “tool” as we like to think of it) even better and even more suitable for active families.  That’s why I’m excited to share that we get to give away SIX Chinook Book mobile apps to 6 lucky readers!

Recap: What is the Chinook Book?

The Chinook Book (print and mobile app versions) is a coupon book containing loads of valuable saving opportunities on dining, entertainment, recreation, groceries, and more.  The print version has coupons that are cut out and simply presented to the merchant at the time of purchase.

The mobile version works as a downloaded app on your phone (or mobile device).  Pull the coupon up on your phone or mobile device and show the merchant your screen.  A couple of clicks & your discount is applied!

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway! WildTalesof.com

What’s New?

  • Users have a full access subscription.  Instead of coupons expiring right before a new book/app comes out for the year (in the fall), users have access to coupons 12 months after the app is activated.  Before, all the coupons would just expire at the end of August and disappear, but now they remain for a full year after the subscription is activated.
  • With the app, users have access to ALL of the other cities where Chinook Book exists, so if you happen to be traveling to one of the other cities, you’ll get to load all the coupons & take advantage of big savings.  With family in Denver & the Bay Area, and Portland just a few hours away, this is HUGE for us!   Chinook has coupon packages in the following cities:
    • Denver, CO
    • The Bay Area
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • Portland, OR
    • Seattle, WA
    • And limited (but expanding packages) in…
      • Sacramento, CA
      • Corvallis & Eugene, OR
      • Salt Lake City, UT
      • Connecticut
  • Seattle’s Chinook book has an additional 120 new coupons compared to last year’s book! Here are a few from various categories that I am most excited about…
    • Dining:
      • Araya’s Place–A vegetarian Thai restaurant right in our neighborhood
      • Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee–One of Tom Douglas’ newest establishments
      • Capitol Cider–I’m a huge fan of cider & love that they offer a gluten-free menu
    • Family Activities:
      • Pacific Science Center–Can’t wait to explore the center again now that Bergen is a little older. Just getting to experience the butterfly room is enough to go!
      • Burke Museum–We’ve never been to this museum located in the University District, and I’d love to see the mask that inspired the Seahawks logo before the exhibit ends this summer.
      • Kids Discovery Museum (Bainbridge Island)–With tons of coupons on Bainbridge Island (including ferry discounts), we could create a whole day of savings.  Check out our Father’s Day of Savings on Bainbridge from a few years back.
    • Travel/Recreation:
      • Bloedel Reserve–An amazing public garden on Bainbridge Island…
      • Issaquah Paddle Sports–Would love to do some paddleboarding this summer!
      • Center for Wooden Boats–Would love to rent a canoe or row boat and paddle around Lake Union.
  • There are now “seasonal” offers included in the app.  These coupons come and go every two months, and there is a special tab (under the coupon section) where they can be accessed.  I love how this keeps “the book” fresh, and creates new opportunities for us to check out places around our region AND SAVE!

Our Savings Adventures so far…

We’ve only had the 2015 Chinook Book and app for a few weeks now, but we’ve ready put it to good use saving on coffee, lunch, and a visit to our local drug store.  The most memorable savings event though was a recent trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.  With the free youth or tot admission with the purchase of an adult admission, Bergen was able to visit the zoo and aquarium at no charge.

While we are members of the Woodland Park Zoo in our home city of Seattle, we’d never taken Bergen (or Georgia) to our “sister zoo” to the south.  We loved the opportunity to see a different set of animals with such a large focus on sealife.  The walruses were some of the most memorable animals for our family.  We still can’t get over their massive size! Getting to watch the tiger cubs romp and play was pretty special too!

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: Tacoma, WA | WildTalesof.com

 To Enter the Giveaway of 6 Chinook Book Mobile Subscriptions:

 Winner Winner…

6 Mobile Subscription Packs will be given away! Contest ends and all entries must be received by Friday, 1/30/15 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.  Winners will be chosen at random and notified on Monday, 2/2/15.  Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18 years or older.  After notification, winners have 3 days to connect.  Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Many thanks to Chinook Book-Seattle & Puget Sound for providing print and mobile packs for giveaway and review.  All opinions about the books and app are my own.  

New Years Savings: Chinook Book 2015 Giveaway! WildTalesof.com