Tag Archives: Get Out of Town

10 Tips for seeing Disney on Ice in Seattle

We had a great time going to the newest Disney on Ice production, Let’s Celebrate, last week at Everett’s XFinity Arena. This was Everett’s first time going (Josh’s too, come to think of it!) and he was amazed — every little piece of the show made his eyes grow wider. It’s pretty impressive in the eyes of a 4-year-old, when you think about it!

Here are a few tips that we’ve gathered from attending Disney on Ice shows for the past few years. While these tips apply specifically to the Seattle-area show at the XFinity Arena, most of them can also be applied to wherever you’re seeing Disney on Ice.

Disney on Ice Tips

1. Get tickets along a row with a rail
When you’re ordering tickets, try to get a row that is in between two sections so that you have a railing in front of your kids, not a person, sitting in a seat, who will likely have little feet kicking them all evening. We were in row eight, which was awesome. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house, since they shrink down the arena to fit the show, but the closer you can get to the ice, the better, of course.

2. Don’t get there too early
Waiting with kids can be torture. Waiting with your kids before they’re about to see their favorite Disney characters takes things to a whole new depth. We were in our seats 20-minutes before the show started and it was about 10-minutes too long. For the kids and for us.

3. Grab street parking
There is plenty of free street parking around the arena… take advantage of it! We usually troll the side streets on the north side of the arena and have always found a spot less than two-blocks away.

4. Feed your kids first
This is obvious, right? There is food available at the arena — think typical stadium-style food… and prices — but filling your kids up with food before you go would be a good idea, especially since the moment the show comes on, there is no way they’re sitting still to eat!

5. Be prepared for the stuff
And, by “stuff,” we mean everything Disney under the sun. Shirts and stuffed animals and snow cones in commemorative cups and photo opps and ohmygoddness so much stuff. Make a plan before you go — either make it clear to your kiddos that you aren’t doing “stuff” or let them know they have a dollar limit or that they can pick one thing or whatever works for your family. Just be prepared. Because it’s in your face for the entire show (even when you’re in your seats) and it’s everywhere. Also, bring cash. Some vendors don’t take credit cards and it’s much quicker, too.

6. Pee before you sit down
Another obvious, yet not-so-obvious tip. The bathroom lines for the short intermission are LONG and each mom usually has at least two kids. That’s a lot of peeing. If you have Dad with you, send the kids to the bathroom with him. The lines are 100x shorter.

7. Find the beer
They have beer. Find your closest beer location before you get to your seats and make sure you have a parent-to-parent hand signal in place for when you need a refill.

8. Get to your seats on time
When we were there, a family of 15 (I kid you not), was trying to find their seats, directly in front of us, for the first five minutes of the show. My kids nearly rioted, as did the kids all around us. Don’t be a jerk, get to your seats when they give the warning announcement.

9. Don’t worry about your kids bugging people
If there was ever a time to let your kids jump up and down, scream, dance and talk in an outside voice, this is it. They encourage kids to get up and move to enjoy the show and you can feel free to let them. Everyone is doing it and nobody cares. It’s the best.

10. Sneak out a side door
When the show is over, getting out of that arena is killer. Instead of heading back to the front doors, where you entered, find a set of super-tall stairs that lead outside and hike out that way. They’ll likely put you further from where you parked, but it’s worth it go avoid the bottleneck in the arena hallways… with kids in tow.

To find the next performance in the Seattle area, or the area local to you, visit the Disney on Ice website. Psst! Tickets for Disney on Ice Frozen go on sale in January for the November 2015 shows… might want to mark your calendar!

photo and tickets courtesy of feld entertainment.
no additional compensation received.
all opinions are my own.

6 Kid-Friendly Places to Visit in Seattle

6 Kid-friendly places to visit in Seattle… that you’ve never heard of

When we lived in Seattle and since we’ve moved, there’s nothing I love more than helping friends (and strangers!) who are visiting Seattle customize their trip — helping them discover restaurants that are off of the beaten track, local favorites for shopping and places to take their little ones. Friends and “friends” on Facebook will probably tell you that it’s super annoying, but with so, so, so many gems to share, I can’t help myself.

Here are some of our family’s favorites when we lived in Seattle that will get you out of your tourist-rut, while still making you feel like you had an adventure when you visit the city:

1. Lincoln Park

Alki beach, blah, blah, blah. Sure, it’s pretty. And beachy. And it will remind you that rollerblades do actually still exist. But, our favorite West Seattle beach is Lincoln Park, which is around the corner from its popular sister, Alki. Highlights include: A long beach with soft rocks for throwing in the water and tons of driftwood for building sweet forts. The best close-up view of ferries coming and going to the peninsula. A wide paved path that is perfect for strollers, scooters, bikes and plain old feet. A fun playground that’s tucked in the woods and includes a zip line. Find it: Lincoln Park, 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136

2. The Armory

It’s likely that you’ve been here when you’ve visited the Seattle Center before, but this food court has recently been through a major renovation and has been re-branded as The Armory. With a sampling of many of Seattle’s best and most popular restaurants in one place, it’s worth stopping here for lunch or dinner on your way into or out-of-town. You’ll get to try the Seattle foodie-favorites without needing a reservation (which will likely be at 9 p.m. anyway). Highlights include: The kid-sized tables and chairs for your littlest dining companions. Everything on the menu at Skillet, especially the Kale Caesar Salad. Creative kid-centric food at Bean Sprouts Cafe. Find it: The Armory, Seattle Center, Park in the parking garage on Fifth Avenue North, across the street from the EMP at 325 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109

3. The Locks

I’m guessing that you’ve actually heard of The Locks because Ballard, the Seattle neighborhood where they’re located, is about half-populated with people who grew up in Bellingham. When we lived in Seattle, if we were going to run into anyone we knew from Bellingham, it would be in Ballard, without a doubt. The Locks, or more formally, The Ballard Locks or the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is where the fresh water of Lake Union meets the saltwater of the Sound, and where boats (of all sizes) and fish go through the locks (a water elevator, of sorts) to get from one side to the other. Highlights include: Watching the fish swim from the underwater viewing spot, Checking out the gigantic, intricate fishing boats up close as they pass through on their way to adventures in Canada and Alaska. Grabbing fish n’ chips nearby — there are a few spots within walking distance. Find it: The Ballard Locks, 3015 NW 54th St., Seattle, WA 98107

4. PlayDate SEA

If you’re looking for an indoor adventure when you visit Seattle, because it’s raining, again, check out PlayDate SEA. This place opened just before we moved from Seattle and it is a favorite for local families with little ones who need to run off some rainy day energy. It’s just off of the freeway at Mercer Street, making it convenient to add-on to other Seattle adventures or a great place to meet up with friends who live in the city. Highlights include: Parents aren’t charged an admission fee. Kids up to age 14 can play (and they will have fun!). They serve yummy Stumptown Coffee. Find it: PlayDate SEA, 1275 Mercer St., Seattle, WA 98109

5. Columbia Center Sky View Observatory

Want the absolute best view of Seattle? Head 73 floors up in the sky to the Columbia Center Sky View Observatory. Located in that huge black tower that looms over downtown (you often can’t even see the top on a cloudy day!), this is a Seattle adventure that even many Seattleites haven’t experienced. Find step-by-step instructions on how to get to the top on Red Tricycle, including how to find the world’s highest Starbucks. Highlights include: Kids under age 5 are free. You get a sweet peek into the Seahawks’ stadium. There is a ton of space in the observation room for your kids to roam around freely. Find it: Columbia Center Sky View Observatory, 701 Fifth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

6. Columbia City

If you’re looking for a new neighborhood to explore when you visit Seattle, head south of downtown to Columbia City. This spot is where young families are flocking to buy homes and settle down, without giving in to becoming suburbanites and its full of fun places to shop, delicious restaurants, historical buildings and tons of community and character. Highlights include: If you’re in downtown Seattle, you can jump on the Light Rail (access under Westlake Center) and take it to Columbia City. Pinball and ice cream at Full Tilt. Live music and art, always. Find it: Visit the Columbia City Business Association website for directions

 What is your favorite tourist-free place to visit in Seattle with your kids?