Have you ever heard of a bike playground? A pump track, yes, but I hadn’t heard of a bike playground until last summer when we visited Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club headquarters. Cascade has a small learning course used for classes and camps, but recommended we visit the larger version located in White Center/Southwest Seattle at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park.
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Every time of year is appropriate for a nature walk, but our family particularly loves fall as a chance to get outside, and enjoy the fresh, crisp air. Here in Seattle, we’re experiencing the perfect scenario. Bright, vibrant autumn leaves remain on the trees, but those leaves of yellow, red, and orange are also falling to the ground. There’s something so satisfying and magical about walking through a trail or sidewalk filled with leaves listening to them crunch with each step.
Georgia and I recently ventured back east to visit family in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Before I dive into the details of our trip, I thought I’d explain first how we got there. Instead of flying directly to Charlotte, we opted to fly to the Raleigh-Durham airport. We then rented a car, and drove the rest of the way, about 3 hours, to our ultimate destination just south of Charlotte.
I outline why we love this option when flying (especially with kids) in our “No Layovers!” post, but basically, we are loyal to Alaska Airlines, and our air carrier of choice does not yet have a direct flight to Charlotte. Sure we could fly to another city and connect to Charlotte all through the Alaska Airlines interface, but when it comes down to it, another flight would add more time, more variables for delays, baggage issues, and other possible headaches. Especially when a car rental is necessary anyway, flying direct to an airport that isn’t necessarily the closest is a great option.
Not that we ever need an excuse to head out on an outdoor adventure, but with Slaed out of town on a recent weekend, I knew that the kids and I could not sit idle. When solo-parenting, I find it’s a lot more fun and manageable to get out and be active rather than dwell on my lack of partnership!
Gold Creek Pond has been on our list of places to visit for several years now. As the kids and I headed down I-90, I must admit that I second guessed myself several times. It was pouring rain. Blinding, hard to see the car in front of me, worried about driving too fast and too close to other cars, RAIN. Where was the friendly, misty Seattle area rain that we are used to?
I started going over alternatives in my head, and how I was going to break it to the kids that we wouldn’t actually be making it to this hiking spot. And as those alternatives churned in mind, I just kept driving. I talked myself through the overwhelm, and convinced myself not to abandon our plans. Eventually those intermittent downpours subsided and we found ourselves at the trail head! I’m so glad that I didn’t chicken out.
Here you’ll see some quick highlights of our visit, and hopefully you’ll see why we think Gold Creek Pond is such a great outdoor destination for kids!
Fall Visit to Gold Creek Pond with Kids
We visited on the first day of October, so the fall colors were not out in their full glory, but the peeks that we saw were gorgeous! I imagine at by mid October, the oranges, reds, and yellows are out in their full glory.
Along with the changing leaves and cooler temperatures, at least here in Seattle, we often see an influx of spiders. Luckily we don’t find them much in our house, but it is a lot of fun to spot spiders on our walks. The webs are particularly beautiful lit up in the early morning sprinkled with dew. What’s your feeling on these 8-legged creatures: Do you share our appreciation or do you steer clear?
No matter your attitude, spiders and Halloween go hand and hand. The kids love pointing out the creepy, hairy critters decorating our neighbor’s porches and stairs. In the spirit of the season, I wanted to share a handful of our favorite children’s books where a spider is featured.
We’re all for simple and intentional around here when it comes to holidays. In an effort to spend more time connecting and having fun, preferably outside and/or adventuring, we opt for easy, not fussy.
For Halloween, with ideas in mind, we often hit up our local consignment stores and thrift shops, and browse our neighborhood parenting network for costumes. Last year for Georgia’s costume, we did things a little differently though.
We live in Seattle. Chances are, we’re going to be presented with some precipitation on Halloween. At the very least, even if it doesn’t rain, there will be some left over puddles from when it did a day or two before. So rather than have to put rain gear over her costume for trick or treating, we turned her rain gear into a costume!