Boy, are we spoiled! It’s so easy to take where you live for granted, especially when you’re caught up in the whirlwind of work and family life. Rather than spend a fortune traveling elsewhere this summer, we recommend taking advantage of the seemingly infinite “fun things to do” that exist right here, in and around Bellevue
Free & Affordable Family Activities In & Around Bellevue
Here are some of our favorite ways to get out and about Bellevue – with kids and all – and still have a great time.
Mommy & Me Movies
If you consider that you can’t take your kid to almost any movie you want to watch for about 5-years, and if you have more than one kid, it can feel like parenthood means a decade-plus hiatus from “normal” movies and pop culture.
Enter: Mommy & Me Thursdays at the Bellevue Cinemark. Hurray to the managers for making this possible. Every Thursday morning at 10 a.m. the Cinemark open up a handful of theaters to show movies that are enjoyable for moms, but won’t inspire your kids to sink into moral depravity. You get to bring your kids and still see a fair sampling of the movies “normal” adults get to see – without having to spring for a babysitter.
Larsen Lake U-Pick Blueberry Farms
While the farms have existed since the 1940s, both Mercer Slough and Larsen Lake blueberry farms are now owned and operated by the Bellevue Parks & Community Services Department in an effort to preserve Bellevue’s agricultural heritage. You can take your family (or hook up with some friends and bring the kids along) for U-Pick blueberries in gorgeous pastoral settings.
Both locations are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays, from mid-July through September when the blueberries are at their most delicious. Heading to one or both of the farms is a great opportunity to get outside, delight in the abundance of nature and be a part of bringing your own food to the table.
Don’t feel like picking? No problem. Both farms also offer a wide variety of fresh seasonal produce, cut flowers and other farm-fresh offerings.
Spend an Afternoon at Creatively Yours
We could just highlight the entire Crossroads Shopping Area, since it has something for everyone – including about a gazillion different dining options. However, one of the highlights for kids is Creatively Yours, owned by Kathy Gregory. There, you and your little ones can delight in the creative realm, painting any number of ceramic wares. The store hosts parties, runs kids camps, and even offers Margarita and/or Salsa Themed parties (might want to leave the kids home for that one…).
Best of all, you get to enjoy a fantastic time with the kids, and leave with keepsakes for yourselves or holiday gifts for the extended family. It’s a win-win for all.
For more than two decades, Thistle Theater has been performing affordable puppet plays for children and their families. The group does an amazing job and children of all ages will delight in the imaginative world the performers conjure up at three different theaters, located in Belleview and Seattle. Performances are recommended for those 3+ and up and everyone pays the bargain price of $10 unless they’re a “babe in arms.”
Each performance lasts about 45-minutes, and we recommend allowing for extra time afterwards so you can meet the performers and spend some time with the puppets.
Adventura Aerial Adventure Park
Odds are, just saying those words will get your kids up and into the car faster than they’ve ever assembled before. We will note that a trip to the Adventura Aerial Adventure Park may require a bit of family division as the climbers must be at least 7-years old and weigh at least 65 pounds. That being said, it can wind up being a really great bonding experience for parents who are suffering through the plights of parenting an adolescent or teenager.
While they don’t consider themselves a “zip line or canopy tour facility,” there is plenty of zipping and zooming to be had. In a nutshell, the park provides, “…a physical environment where individual climbers encounter obstacles and challenge their ability to climb, jump, grab, haul, walk, swing and balance themselves while at heights of up to 50-feet above ground…the course includes a hydraulic zipline as an exit.” Yee haaaw!
Share Your Favorite Family Adventures With Us
What are your favorite things to do with the family when you’re out and about Bellevue? Share them with Overlake followers in the comment box below.