Backed by 30 total years of experience that includes teaching kayaking and selling equipment for REI, Barbara Gronseth shares her passion for the outdoors through Issaquah Paddle Sports. Profiled in the Issaquah Press, Barbara and her team—which includes husband George—rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and NuCanoe Kayaks to all ages of outdoorsmen. Since Issaquah Paddle Sports is located within Lake Sammamish State Park near Tibbetts Beach, its protected beach affords visitors a relaxed setting for launching into the lake.
Beyond supplying guests with equipment, Barbara's team also leads programs that range from guided tours to experiences designed exclusively for women and kids. Additionally, the staff arranges lessons in kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding through parent company Kayak Academy. Back at the clubhouse, attendants dispense replenishments such as Clif Bars, SmartWater, and caviar cupcakes.
In 2005, a group of avid badminton players finally pinpointed their favorite part of the game: community. Springing from this insight, they opened Bellevue Badminton Club, inviting members to mingle or hide from exes behind their rackets on 11 courts open 24/7. The club’s coaches, including Israel's 1998 national champion and a seven-time national collegiate title winner, lead private lessons and classes. For juniors and adults alike, classes range from laid-back to competitive based on pupils' abilities and goals.
When learners vacate the courts, members and nonmembers have free rein to play drop-in matches or trace outlines of each other in chalk. Round-robin doubles and singles leagues cultivate atmospheres of amiable competition, enabled by top-shelf Yonex equipment found at the pro shop.
Based on the documentary A Well-Founded Fear and true stories from real-life refugees, Take Me America examines the plight of refugees seeking asylum in America through the lens of musical theater. Audiences sway to melodies by Bob Christianson and lyrics by Bill Nabel as seven refugees from China, Sudan, Haiti, and other countries realize their destinies depend on the actions of three American agents. Projections immerse viewers into the story with globetrotting visuals, propelling them across national boundaries without the hassle of bringing their theater snacks through customs.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
Within Skatebarn's 45,000 square feet of skating space, half pipes and launches patiently perch and wait for the skateboards, rollerblades, bikes, and skates that glide over their surfaces. During two-hour sessions, skaters can freewheel throughout the area, jumping and coasting over rails, verts, ramps, and drops as smoothly as a family of olive-oiled seals. Skatebarn hosts a variety of events and skateboard, BMX, scooter, and rollerblade contests. All skaters must sign a waiver before officially entering into skate territory.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.