Neighborhood Kids family fun in bellingham & whatcom county


Family Bowling in Whatcom County

Bowling ball and pins Bring the family to a local bowling alley!

With the change from summer to fall, you might be looking for more kid-friendly indoor activities. A trip to the bowling alley on a rainy afternoon is a great way to get kids off the couch and enjoying time together as a family.

Variations of bowling have been played for centuries with the common goal of rolling a ball along a flat surface to knock over pins or reach some kind of target. According to United States Bowling Conference, the rules of the game as we know it were standardized in New York City on September 9, 1895.

Bowling leagues and tournaments are popular group activities for adults, but playing a few games as a family is an enjoyable pastime too. Bowling is an awesome location for a birthday party as well; many bowling alleys have special rates and options for parties too!

On the next rainy day, check out one of these Whatcom County bowling alleys with your family. Contact them directly to find hours and rates!

20th Century Bowling
1411 North State Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 734-5250

Family Perks: Café, Birthday Party Packages, Youth Lessons, Cosmic Bowling

Park Bowl
4175 Meridian
Bellingham, WA 98226
(360) 734-1430

Family Perks: Restaurant, Birthday Party Packages, Youth League, Cosmic Bowling, Billiards and Arcade Room

Mt. Baker Lanes
1788 Labounty Drive
Ferndale, Washington 98248
(360) 384-0235

Family Perks: Restaurant, Birthday Party Packages, Family Day (Sundays)

What’s your family’s favorite part about a trip to the bowling alley? Leave a comment to let us know!

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The Bike Shop Empowers Kids with Bikes

For nearly 100 years, bicycles have been associated with childhood. Learning to ride a bike is a milestone for nearly all of us in our transition from youth to adulthood. Besides, who else but an energetic child has the stamina to ride for hours on end?

The Bike Shop Bike Swap The Bike Shop’s First Annual Bike Swap
Photo by Theresa Carpine

“Bikes are synonymous with independence for children. The freedom they bring seems to be a universal experience,” said Matthew Velguth, director of The Bike Shop, in an email interview.

Matthew kept all these ideas in mind when developing an outreach program for a First Nations community in eastern Canada in 2002.

“I had worked with at-risk youth for years and had good success, but I always saw them return to failing behavior when they returned to the same environments,” Matthew said.

Matthew’s project in Canada encouraged self-esteem and empowerment for kids through bike ownership and maintenance. He continued the project in Portland, Maine for four years and opened in Bellingham in 2010.

The Bike Shop is a non-profit child-centered project for participants from low-income homes. With a $10 contribution, kids can purchase a bike of their own, and are taught to keep their bikes in top riding condition using shop resources as well.

The Shop also leads weekend rides for kids age eight and up so they can practice bicycle safety and explore unfamiliar areas of town with adult guides.

Nearly one hundred local kids have already participated in the program and Matthew hopes that The Bike Shop will be able to achieve the financial stability needed to continue its success as a youth outreach program.

An upcoming fundraising event for The Bike Shop is the Bellingham Summer Bike Swap on Saturday, August 21, 2010 from noon to 4 PM at Bellingham Sportsplex. The Bike Shop’s first Bike Swap in May was so successful that a summer Swap was added to the calendar. An Early Bird donation of $2 gets you in for your first choice of bikes between 10 AM and noon. Early admission fees and ten percent of the bike sales will benefit The Bike Shop.

The Bike Shop Bike Swap The Bike Shop’s First Annual Bike Swap
Photo by Theresa Carpine

“A Bike Swap is a natural fit for a bicycle project,” Matthew said. “People enjoy buying and selling at a venue where buyers are blinded from sellers, so there is no pressure either way: no one showing up at your door, no need to make an appointment with a person that you don’t know. There are dozens of bikes that might be a fit at a variety of prices. All in all, people are pleased whether buying or selling.”

If you’d like to support The Shop, consider making a financial donation, volunteering your time as a Weekend Ride Guide, or donating your family’s old bikes. “Currently smaller bikes, trikes to 20″, are in short supply, but honestly we can use any size,” Matthew said. He also encourages people to spread the word to families and kids who can make use of The Shop’s resources.

“The participant contributions are used to fund our weekend rides, so these kids are paying their own way. This is not a ‘gimme gimme’ program, but instead teaches anti-entitlement empowerment,” said Matthew.

The Shop is located at 558 Sterling Drive, near Sterling Drive Church of Christ behind Bellis Fair Mall. Visit The Bike Shop or call (360) 758-2035 for more information about this great program for Bellingham kids!

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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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