Neighborhood Kids family fun in bellingham & whatcom county


Kids Love Mid-Summer Arts Festivals

Summer must bring out the best in Northwest artists. While our little corner of the world has something beautiful to offer each season, several local communities celebrate the end of July with an arts festival. Take a look at some details about festival highlights that you and your kids won’t want to miss this year!

Bellingham Arts Festival and Chalk ArtFest
Saturday, July 31, 10 AM – 6 PM & Sunday, August 1, 11 AM – 5 PM
Cornwall Avenue and throughout Downtown Bellingham

Bellingham Arts Festival & Chalk ArtFest Bellingham Arts Festival & Chalk ArtFest
Photo by Tore Ofteness

Bellingham’s fifth annual art festival, previously known as La Bella Strada, showcases the craftsmanship of over 60 Northwest artisans. Along with vendors selling pottery, fine art, jewelry, and other crafts, there will also be local food vendors available for purchase and live music by local performers. Families will definitely want to stop by the Allied Arts Info Booth at 1400 Cornwall Avenue for activities that kids will love, like face-painting, drawing with oil pastels, and mandala making. If you venture away from Cornwall Avenue, you can also enjoy the magnificent chalk art by local artists of all ages that will decorate our city’s sidewalks. Until the next rainfall, at least.

Point Roberts Arts and Music Festival
Saturday, July 31, 11 AM – 7 PM & Sunday, August 1, 11 AM – 5 PM
Lighthouse Marine Park

Bellingham Arts Festival & Chalk ArtFest Bellingham Arts Festival
& Chalk ArtFest
Photo by Tore Ofteness

Artists of all disciplines, musicians, dancers, and culinary artists will share their talents at Lighthouse Marine Park for the Point Roberts Art Foundation‘s 15th Annual Point Roberts Arts & Music Festival. Kids can try their hand at making some art of their own, and have a chance to talk with the various artisans about their creations. Come ready to eat, dance, and celebrate Northwest art!

Samish Island Summer Arts Festival
Saturday, July 31, 10 AM to 5 PM
Samish Island Community Center

The quiet community of Samish Island invites visitors to attend their 14th annual Summer Arts Festival, featuring glass art, woodwork, photography, garden art, and much more, created by Northwest artists. This year’s featured artist is Kathy Huckleberry, a ceramic artist who celebrates the natural beauty and wildlife of Skagit County with custom mixed glazes and fused glass in her sculptures. Enjoy live music, buy lunch from Sigi’s Breads and Cinnabuns, and win a door prize!

How does your family celebrate the arts in the Northwest? Leave a comment below!

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Get Muddy at the Samish Bay Bivalve Bash

The Taylor Shellfish Oyster and Kids Mud Runner The Taylor Shellfish Oyster and Kids Mud Runner
Photo by Jon Rowley

Residents of the Pacific Northwest are well-known for several character traits distinct to our region. We love the outdoors, especially the water. We’re adventurous and always up for a challenge. Most importantly, we don’t mind getting a little bit dirty in the name of fun. Or a lot bit, as participants in the 8th Annual Samish Bay Bivalve Bash and Low Tide Mud Run on Saturday, July 24, 2010 will discover.

According to Bivalve Bash & Mud Run Coordinator Kate McDermott, the event in Bow began as a joint effort of the Skagit Conservation Education Alliance and Taylor Shellfish Farms in 2002.

“The Samish Bay Bivalve Bash was created as a way to celebrate all things bivalve and to bring attention to the very important need for clean water in Skagit County, and all over for that matter. Shellfish need clean water to grow and to be safe to eat,” Kate explained in an email.

“Clean water is important to all of us and we can all do our part to help by picking up pet waste, minimizing storm runoff, and making sure septic systems are in good condition,” she said.

Along with an auction, kids’ activities, oyster shucking competitions, live music, hula hooping, food booths, and more, the two highlights of the Bivalve Bash are the Low Tide Mud Run and the Oyster Shell Sculpture Competition.

Kids 100 Yard Mud Run Kids 100 Yard Mud Run
Photo by Jon Rowley

The Mud Run is a strenuous 250 yard race through the Samish Bay mud at low tide (approximately 10:49 AM). A 100 yard Mud Run for kids ages 8 to 12 follows at 11:30 AM. Cost is $15 for adults and $5 for kids (includes entry to Bivalve Bash). All finishers will receive a golden Mud Run oyster medallion. There are special medals for the first place finisher in each division (Men, Women, Boys, Girls) and prizes for the top three finishers in each division.

If you think you’re up to the Mud Run challenge (all runners must sign waiver and release before competing), Kate recommends wearing old shoes and duct taping them to your feet.

“The Super Jock ‘n Jill Duct Tape Tent will return this year to help anyone tape up tight. Even so, some runners may get a shoe sucked off in the mud so you might want to wear an old pair! Think light and keep moving in the mud. And, if anyone gets stuck, we’ll be on hand for rescues…before the incoming high tide!” Kate promised.

Check out Low Tide Mud Run for more race details and registration.

Kids on Beach Kids on Beach
Photo by Jon Rowley

After the race, hoses will be available for clean-up, and you’ll probably want to bring a change of clothes so you can enjoy the rest of the Bivalve Bash activities, including the world’s only Oyster Shell Sculpture Competition.

The sculpture content was added to the schedule of events in 2004 and has grown in popularity each year. All are invited to enjoy this year’s creations, or you can visit Oyster Shell Sculpture Competition to find out about entering in the competition.

Bivalve Bash admission fee is $5 per person; free for Mud Runners and kids age 6 and under. Food will be available for purchase on site. No coolers or dogs, please. Please note that all Bivalve Bash Parking is offsite and free with shuttle buses running from two locations in Edison and Bow every 15 to 20 minutes.

For more information, please visit Bivalve Bash or call Kate at (360) 766-6002.

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Ingredients for a Healthy Summer

Summer is finally here in the Pacific Northwest! Here are a few ideas to help your family stay healthy throughout the summer.

Ingredients for a Healthy Summer Picnics are a great summertime activity!
  • Have fresh, washed fruit in a bowl on the table throughout the day.
  • Have bottles of cold water in refrigerator, ready to grab on the go! Keep the bottles on lower shelves, so the younger kids can get them.
  • Have a variety of fresh vegetables and low-fat dip as appetizers before dinner. You might be surprised to see how many vegetables children will eat while waiting for dinner!
  • Make a list of your favorite grilled recipes and keep the ingredients on hand for quick dinners.
  • Always have enough gas for your grill!
  • Plan a walk, hike, stroll through the park, bicycle ride, swim, or another family activity as often as possible.
  • When you’re out and about, pack healthy and travel-well snacks, such as apples, pears, baby carrots, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, string cheese, and water.
  • When traveling by car, stop at rest areas or city parks every few hours and run around with the kids. Use the restroom, then play tag, hide-and-seek, or just race to different landmarks.
  • Adults should get at least 20 minutes of exercise five times per week.
  • Play whenever you get a chance! Children and teens should run around for at least one hour a day.
  • Enjoy being a family!

Carol Frazey is the author of The Fit School Newsletter, 36-week newsletter with the goal of educating you and your family about nutrition and exercise.

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