This week for Red Tricycle, I wrote about University Village shopping center. It really is a one stop shop.
Some days, it's a struggle to plan for kid-sized activities when there's adult-sized stuff to get done. Those are the days when University Village is a shining beacon in our perpetually gray skies. You really can do just about any errand and squeeze in some fun . Groceries? The QFC on NE 45th has, gasp!, childcare while you shop. Mani and Pedi? Julep Nail Salon has Mommy Mondays, when kids can enjoy storytime while you get pampered. Kidddie cut? Try The Salon at Kid's Club where you can also sign up for a cool hair-braiding class. Moms and kiddos can wile away the hours at Paint the Town ceramic studio. Shop? Well, the sky's the limit, from the newly remodeled Village Maternity to Sole Food for sweet kicks to Alhambra Warehouse for really great, really cheap tees. And then there's the matter of noshing. Sure, you can do World Wrappsor the easy burger and shake at Johnny Rockets. But if you did, you'd miss out on one of the best dining adventures around - the uber kid-friendly conveyor-belt at BlueCSushi; bring a Japanese movie like Totoro or Kikis Delivery Service and they just might play it on their big screen TV. A Specialty's cookie or Red Mango yogurt will top off your visit. Hot Gossip: Trophy Cupcakes will be opening soon on 'Kid Row', the conveniently located strip of shops adjacent to the awesome covered play area. Psst... Really in need of some personal time? Whirlwinds Drop-In Childcare, a few blocks from U-Village, has been a mommy's secret weapon for years.
A few elaborations on what I wrote: Julep Nail Salon is opening a Bellevue location in March. It's in the shopping center on Bellevue Way across from Safeway, where there's a UPS store and Quiznos.
Also, I intervewed the owner of Whirlwinds -- what a very cool concept. It is "drop in" childcare. Kids ages 2 to 6 can come for a maximum of 4 hours, at $8 per hour. (Siblings are $4). The best part is that you can reserve in advance or last minute, and as long as there is room (they take up to 20 kids) you're in. Plus, they don't charge if you have to cancel at last minute. The place is run by Marybeth O'Neill, who is a longtime Laurelhurst pre-school owner, and she is all about accomodating moms who just need a little help every now and then.