Issaquah & Sammamish – Natural Spaces & Artsy Places

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These two towns are chock full of parks, lake, & unique places to dine & shop. In Issaquah you can learn all about salmon, visit a small zoo, shop at distinctive Gilman Village, and see a production at the Village Theater. Sammamish has a brand new park and a quaint lake for swimming and a summer concert series. Our round-up below highlights the best places to play, dine (with kids & date night), and shop!

  • PLAY:
    • Issaquah Community Center – Drop In Playground
      301 Rainier Blvd S – Issaquah 425.837.3300
      Drop in playtime for toddlers & pre-schoolers (with parent or caregiver). 8:00 am – 11:45 am Mon – Fri for $2.
    • Julius Boehm Pool
      50 SE Clark St – Issaquah 425.837.3350
      Swim classes, open swim and birthday party packages are available at this indoor pool. (No wading pool)
    • Revolution Gallery – Drop In Crafty Kids Camp
      317 NW Gilman Blvd #26 – In Issaquah’s Gilman Village!  425.392.4982
      Tuesdays & Thursdays at 4:30 pm. Ages 3 and up (with caregiver) will have fun making crafts out of glitter, ribbons, pompoms, beads and more in the upstairs area of this cool gallery. $5.00 goes towards the supplies. Hit the other shops and restaurants after the class is over!
    • Cougar Mountain Zoo
      19525 SE 54th – Issaquah 425.391.5508
      Visit this zoo to see smaller (but equally thrilling) animals such as  lemurs, antelope, birds, cougars and more! Don’t miss the Reindeer Festival in December. The zoo also offers birthday party packages. After the zoo, head into downtown Issaquah or Gilman Village for lunch.
    • Issaquah Salmon Hatchery
      125 West Sunset Way – Issaquah 425.427.0259
      While the official Salmon-run season is Mid-September through Mid-November, the hatchery is open from dawn – dusk, seven days a week. Indoor exhibits are usually open only until 4:30 pm. No charge for regular visits to the hatchery. Kids will love running all over the park-like grounds, looking at fish, and crossing the bridge (be sure to point out the animal footprints). Other programs offered (which require reservations) include: Super Salmon Sleuths Preschool Program field trips (a fun 2 hours filled with art projects, story, feeding of fish, and lots of exploring), Summer Salmon Science Camp, Tours, and Birthday Party Packages (unique and so fun!). Want to get lunch or dinner afterwards? Head down the street to kid-friendly Issaquah Brewery for lunch or dinner:
      Bonus: Don’t miss Issaquah’s yearly festival:  Issaquah Salmon Days; a weekend filled with food, fun, arts & crafts, and a parade to celebrate the salmon run.
  • Artsy Fartsy
  • Libraries and Story Times:
    • Issaquah Library 10 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah – 425.392.5430
      Story times for various age groups, check website for current schedule. Plus you’re right across from the Salmon Hatchery and near lots of great restaurants.
    • Sammamish Library 825 228th Ave NE, Sammamish – 425.836.8793
      Story times for various age groups, check website for current schedule.
    • Lilypad Books 317 NW Gilman Blvd #40 (In Gilman Village), Issaquah – 425.391.2758
      Story times on Wednesdays at 11:00 am.  Plan for extra time to stop by the cute restaurants in Gilman Village for lunch afterwards.
    • Barnes & Noble 1530 11th Ave NW, Issaquah (Pickering Place) – 425.557.8808
      Story times on Saturdays at Noon.
  • Parks We Love For Tots:
    Find addresses and directions, plus a list of all parks in Issaquah and Sammamish

    • Ebright Creek Park – 1317 212th Ave SE, Sammamish
      This park is brand-spanking new and we’re told it’s great! Kids love the climbing structures (seperate ones for different age groups) and the equipment is definitely not the same old stuff you might be used to. This park has a variety of very unique toys including a fun new version of a merry-go-round as well as plenty of swings, a sportcourt, lawn, trails, picnic areas, and restrooms.
    • Pine Lake Park – 228th Ave SE at SE 24th St, Sammamish
      Nestled in a wooded setting on the shores of Pine Lake, this park is the perfect respite from the heat of summer!  Swim at the beach, climb on the new play structures, play basketball, and have an evening picnic during the summer concert series or catch a Shakespeare performance!
    • Tibbett’s Valley Park – 965 12 Ave NW, Issaquah
      Tibbett’s Valley Park is a fun place to play on climbing toys, picnic, and play or watch sports on the many fields and courts. This park also has fun trails for exploring the Tibbetts Creek Greenway. A short drive from downtown Issaquah
  • EAT:
    A selection of RT faves for when you’re out and about with Little One. These picks are for dining options ALL of you will enjoy!

    • Issaquah Brewery
      35 Sunset Way, Downtown Issaquah – 425.557.1911
      Conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Issaquah (across from the library and next to the hatchery), this kid-friendly brewery is fun and relaxed. Families often sit in the back room where there is a lego table (thank you!) and room to roam. Kids also get crayons and their meal is served on a keepsake frisbee (but don’t tell ’em until after the meal!). Parents will enjoy pub faves such as kobe beef burgers and a variety of ales from the rogue family of beers. Head next door to the hatchery after your meal to run around, see the fish, and throw that frisbee!
    • DC’s Grill On The Plateau
      22850 NE 8th St, Sammamish (Saffron Plaza) – 425.898.1231
      DC’s Grill is part of the CSI family of restaurants which includes the Metropolitan Grill & the Union Square Grill so you know it’s going to be good! What’s even better is, it’s kid-friendly! High chairs, crayons, and kids menus…check!  Don’t miss Tuesday nights when kids eat free! Score!  (Parents…check it out for date night on Thursdays when it’s 1/2 price on bottled wine!) Just to tempt you…try the wedge salad, Steak Sinatra Brochettes, or the DC’s Macaroni & Cheese. Open for dinner 7 days a week and Sunday Brunch. Reservations recommended as it can get packed.
    • ALSO TRY:
  • DATE NIGHT:
    Sometimes you can get a break for a few hours and when you’re really lucky, you can get away for the whole night! Here are some RT picks for fabulous date nights…you might just have to make this a regular occurrence!

    • Jak’s Grill
      14 Front Street North, Issaquah (Downtown) 425.837.8834
      It looks unassuming from the outside, but the place is hopping once you step through the doors. Steak is absolutely their specialty-they even age it themselves-but you’ll also find an excellent assortment of non-beef items such as the Caribbean Pork Medallions, King Salmon and daily specials.  They don’t take reservations and it does tend to get busy, but it’s definitely worth the wait!
    • Fins Bistro
      301 Front Street North, Issaquah (Downtown) 425.392.0109
      Conveniently located right next door to the Village Theatre so you can enjoy dinner and a show. Call for reservations a few weeks prior to the show you’ll be seeing and they’ll make sure you’re out the door in time! Seafood is the specialty here with entrees like Peppered Swordfish, Macadamia Crusted Halibut, and Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna. You’ll also find some non-seafood choices. If you are going to a show, come back afterwards for dessert!
    • Sip Wine Bar & Restaurant
      1084 NE Park Drive, Issaquah Highlands 425.369.1181
      This wine bar/restaurant is in the new Issaquah Highlands area and, let’s just say, more than a few RT readers sent in this recommendation. The atmosphere with large fireplace, leather chairs, a 38 seat wine bar, and lovely outdoor patio makes this a cozy place for date night. The extensive wine list includes over 250 choices and 50 wines are offered by the glass. Flights are also popular. You can also nosh on the small plate offerings or choose from the salads, main entrees, and desserts. Mom’s night out anyone??? Ladies get 1/2 off glass pours every Thursday night!  And, don’t miss 1/2 off bottles of wine (under $100) every Wednesday and their special-event Winemaker’s Dinners.
    • DC’s Grill On The Plateau
      22850 NE 8th St, Sammamish (Saffron Plaza) – 425.898.1231
      We mentioned this one in the kid-friendly section but don’t forget to check it out for a great date night too…especially on Thursday nights when it’s 1/2 price on bottled wine.
    • Summer Night’s in the Park Concert Series-Pine Lake Park, Sammamish
      Thursday nights 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
    • Issaquah’s Concerts on The Green, Issaquah Community Center
      Tuesday nights 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Check here for the 2007 schedule.
  • SHOP:
    • Me ‘N Moms – Issaquah
      1480 NW Gilman Blvd, Issaquah – 425.427.5430
      The Issaquah consignment store just moved to a new location, not far from the previous one,  in Meadows (a shopping center across from McDonalds). They have a huge selection of consignment clothing, gear, and toys for Little One plus some maternity items for mom. They also carry brand new toys from Melissa & Doug, Robeez shoes, swim gear, and much more!
    • Gilman Village – Issaquah
      317 NW Gilman Blvd – 425.392.6802
      A charming, rustic setting with an eclectic mix of cute shops and restaurants. A handful of cute shops for kids include Lilypad Books, White Horse Toys, and the upscale clothing boutique Spoiled By Nana, which is one of the few places you can find little boy tuxes, flower girls dresses, and christening gowns. Spoiled by Nana also has a great selection of Baby Lulu, Little Mass, and Bunnies By The Bay. You don’t have to be a grandma to shop here, but, if she’s treating be sure to bring her along!  Hip RT mama’s needing a fashion pick-me-up should hit Girls’ Night Out and Daisy…also located in the village.
    • Mercer Store – Sammamish
      3046 Issaquah-Pine Lake Road SE in Pine Lake Village 425.392.2955
      This high fashion boutique (also located in University Village) has a huge assortment of jeans from all the hot designers. You’ll also find lingerie, cute tops, handbags, accessories, and jewelry from designers like Michael Stars, Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk, Sweet Pea, and Hanky Panky.
    • Issaquah Farmers Market
      Pickering Barn 1730 10th Ave NW-Issaquah
      Produce, flowers, arts & crafts, entertainment and music! Check the schedule for special event days such as Kid’d Day each month! 2007 Market runs from April 14 – October 13.
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