Kruckeberg Botanic Garden transforms four acres into a lush paradise of more than 2,000 species of plants including hardwoods, rhododendrons, and ferns along with more than 40 bird species. Guests can traverse the garden’s themed collections, wandering first through the Asian collection, then onto the oaks and native plant demonstration garden, where carefully selected specimens demonstrate the beauty of local plants. Though the garden features a wondrous blend of exotic flora, its main theme is plants native to the Northwest Region, and the garden also sells younger versions of its species in the nursery.
Monahan Studio's philosophy revolves around encouragement: anyone can create art, and should have fun doing it. Drawing and painting classes for adults fuel creativity, whereas children’s sessions cover everything from paper collage to sculpture. Private lessons pair students with an instructor who customizes a project to the client's ability level and speed. Illustration services are also available for traditional publishers and self-publishing authors.
The Bavarian Ice Festival blends winter activities, snow sculptures, and holiday lights into two days of revelry amid Leavenworth's ivory snowflakes. Busses operated by Alki Tours depart at 8 a.m. and deliver Saturday visitors to downtown Leavenworth, where the annual Smooshing contest finds teams of four atop 8-foot wooden planks as they glide merrily down Front Street and safely away from escaped dinosaurs. Guests can relax under warm blankets and sip hot chocolate or coffee during a 40-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride. First day visitors also take in the artwork of an ice-sculpting contest, a slippery footed tug-of-war, and an ice cube scramble or frisbee sweep for the kids.
For more than a century, Woodland Park Zoo's 92 acres of exhibits have provided an urban oasis replete with nearly 1,100 individual animals, representing almost 300 species and 75 animal vocations, such as jaguar dentist. Ooh and ahh your way through more than a dozen exhibits representing the exotic wilds of Australia, Africa, and Bug World. Should the sight of the king of the jungle paralyze you with fear, visit the golden lion tamarin, an endangered Brazilian primate that was hunted for its fur by hopelessly misinformed gold prospectors. Debate the appropriate classification of the red panda (aka the firefox), or marvel at the soaring majesty and silly names of the Hottentot teal, bufflehead duck, and Temminick's tragopan. The diverse array of flora and fauna ensures that every art lover will uncover a masterpiece within Mother Nature's gallery.
Conveniently located in the heart of historic Ballard, the Ballard Inn, built in 1902 as an American-Scandinavian Bank, offers sixteen elegant rooms with many modern amenities. The area that surrounds this boutique hotel is an enjoyable hodgepodge of Scandinavian immigrant influence and maritime culture, interspersed with a thriving and innovative art scene. The recently remodeled rooms come in four different varieties, but each offers a flat-panel TV, plush bath robes, and a twin, full, or king bed with a goose down comforter. The hotel also provides access to a nearby 50,000 square-foot health club and parking is available upon request. Friendly desk employees eagerly help with directions to area restaurants, bars, shopping and sightseeing.
Dify Fitness’s founder and head trainer Mark Haner likes to joke around, talk, sing praises of his hometown, and above all, assist kids and adults on the journey toward long-term wellness. For more than 11 years, Mark coached local teens on high-school basketball and track teams, eventually extending his fitness expertise to adults via private-training sessions, boot camps, and instructional online fitness videos. Defying the stereotypical behaviors associated with hardhearted drill-sergeant trainers, Mark’s good-natured teaching methods include constant encouragement and nutritional support, and never yelling or laughing at a toupee knocked askew during jump-rope warm-ups.