Celebrating Spring

Erin Wing - Seattle
March 31, 2012

Spring is here, and thanks to all that rain, you've surely spotted a bit more color popping up from flower pots all around town. With longer days and a few extra glimpses of sunshine, Seattle kids are ready to hop out and smell the flowers, hunt for eggs, and meet those adorable farm babies. It's officially time to bid winter farewell and head outside to celebrate all things green and growing in the Pacific Northwest. Just don't forget your umbrella!

The Puyallup Spring Fair

Fall isn't the only time of year to "Do the Puyallup"! The Spring Fair is a smaller version of the famous fall event, but for families, this one is tops. Of course, you'll find the cutest baby animals, along with funnel cakes, cotton candy, rides and events galore. And who can resist watching piglets race around a track, dogs jumping off a dock, or grown men showing off their mad chainsaw carving skills? Unlike the fair in the fall, you'll find free parking, smaller crowds and cheaper admission. Yee-haw!

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

The Seattle Center is bloomin' with fun, this month. Celebrate Japanese heritage and our most beautiful symbol of spring, at the annual Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival. Learn traditional Japanese games; feel the beat as you watch Taiko drumming performances; and sample a yummy variety of Japanese food and drink at this popular spring gathering.

Woodland Park Zoo Bunny Bounce

Watch the animals munch and play with Easter-themed treats; and enjoy egg hunts and activities for all ages, including crafts, bunny encounters and egg-citing zoo programs throughout the day. At the Woodland Park Zoo Bunny Bash, kids will receive egg hunt bags while supplies last, so go early or bring your own basket to hold your loot. There will be different hunts for each age group. There is even a special self-serve egg hunt for your tiniest hoppers. All activities are free with zoo admission. If you don't fill up on Easter candy, hop over to the nearby Mae's Phinney Ridge Cafe for the best cinnamon roll in the world, or some hearty smoked salmon hash. Yum!

Earth Steward Garden Tours

Your little bugs can get their hands dirty in a good way at this informative event. Seattle Tilth invites children in preschool through sixth grade to enjoy some hands-on learning in the garden with the Earth Steward Garden Tours. Tours include a welcome activity, followed by learning stations where children learn about all things green, from herbs and flowers to compost and harvesting. Workshops run in both Wallingford and Issaquah, but if you choose the Issaquah location, you can leave your money at home. The City of Issaquah is footing the bill this year, so the workshop is free. (Call ahead to reserve your spot.) 

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

We know you can't wait to tiptoe through the Skagit Valley Tulip Fields! And while we're sure that you, Grandma, and your out-of-town guests could head north on a whim and spend hours leisurely admiring the blooms, successfully navigating the tulip fields with kids takes just a bit more planning. To make the most of the annual flower fest, treat it like any other busy venue in the metro area and go early. Lighter traffic through Everett, easier parking, and smaller crowds all definitely add up to a happier tulip tour for the tots. Consider packing a sketchpad, a magnifying glass, binoculars, or anything that will help kids enjoy the experience in a way that doesn't include picking, stomping or running. Lots of snacks and fun activities for the car trip are essential, plus boots to walk through the often muddy fields, and a change of shoes, (and maybe even clean pants) for the drive home. It's a fantastic family outing with plenty of fresh air and miles of gorgeous, colorful scenery for photo ops. (Don't forget the camera!) With a little planning, everyone will be smiling!

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