I'm sure the playground is just fine here, but the dog park is sad. It's a big rectangle of grass with a fence. No water source, no shade, just fenced in grass. There's apparently a membership you have to buy, too. There's at least one nicer dog park in spitting distance, though maybe this one is helpful if you live in the development.
This place has EVERYTHING. The downside is that you'll go in looking for one thing and come out having acquired several new hobbies. It's a big, sprawling store but it's very well organized, I was able to find what I knew I was looking for right away. I also got some helpful advice from people who seem to know their arts.
There are dozens of excellent Vietnamese restaurants all within a stone's throw of each other in this area. The food was good and at reasonable prices. What sets this place apart is that it's big, climate-controlled, and just overall has a nicer atmosphere than a lot of nearby places.
You'd never believe some of their offerings are vegan. I had the richest, butteriest-tasting biscuits here. The staff is really knowledgeable about the menu, they'll steer you right if you have specific dietary needs.
I tried to buy a few things here, spices and some frozen samosas, but they literally wouldn't serve me! I saw a man arranging DVDs at one of the counters and all of the registers were empty. When I asked him where to go to pay for my groceries, he wordlessly pointed to one of the registers.
So I walked over to one of the registers and put my groceries down. I stood there for five minutes (literally, I checked!) while the man arranging DVDs stared right at me. During that time he interacted with other customers, and he didn't seem to be in a particular hurry.
I tried to flag someone down, but no luck. Eventually I just left without buying anything. It's a shame because I just moved five minutes away and I use a lot of teas and spices, I would have been here all the time if I could have found someone to work the cash register.
We went hiking and Forks was our waypoint. It's just a small industry town, nothing really unusual about it apart from the Twilight thing. (The Twilight thing is hilarious, though. There's apparently Twilight-themed tours. Forks is extremely small, though, so I have no idea what you see on one of those tours. Thrill at the parking lot of the high school! Marvel at how rainy it is here!) Forks Outfitters serves basically any and every need you could possibly have without your need being so extreme that you go all the way to Port Angeles.
The place is a grocery store, hardware store, clothing store and outdoorsy stuff store all in one. Given how small the town is, I was really surprised by the variety of groceries. Decent selection of things like hummus and nice cheeses, nice produce display. There's also a little coffee shop attached to all of it.
I'm a Philadelphian. I spent most of my life there. Anyone from the Philly metro area will tell you that you can't get a Philly cheesesteak this far away from Philly. Even if they use the right kind of meat (I had one restaurant put cheese on a salisbury steak and call it a day!) they can't get the right kind of cheese, and if they get the right meat and cheese, they won't get the roll right.
I'll tell you, this is as close to a Philly cheesesteak as you can get without importing Amoroso rolls. The bread has the right consistency, they get the cheese right, the meat is cooked to perfection.
I've only been here a couple times, but each time I've been in I've been really happy with the service. The staff's friendly but won't bother you if you're reading something. Your food gets done quickly.
FYI: the fries are perfect here. It made me a little homesick.
I do my shopping in several different places. Central Co-op is one of them. It can be expensive to shop there, but if you do it right, you can save a ton of money on your essentials while eating organic and local foods.
The place is basically a heath food store. If you need vitamins or an obscure ingredient, you'll be happy with the selection. The produce is generally expensive, but there are a few reasonably-priced exceptions provided you eat things that are in season. I would probably buy meats here if money wasn't an object.
The best thing about the co-op is the bulk bins. You can bring your own container and fill up with all of your pantry staples. Rice, pasta, flour, oats, granola, loose leaf teas, spices, snack foods, legumes, dried fruit... I could go on forever. The co-op has bulk days, during which the bulk bins are discounted 15%. So it's good to stock up.
You don't have to buy in with the membership, but I did and it paid for itself with discounts over two months.
This museum is really wonderful and not included in the City Pass packet. If you're a tourist this might seem out of your way, given that most of the main attractions are clustered in a smallish area. Go to MOHAI anyway. Totally worth it!
First, the history of Seattle is told here in a really interesting, in depth way, everything from the original Native Americans to the settlers to the labor disputes. There's plenty to keep you busy, and plenty of things to keep a group with diverse interests involved. There's a room that plays a musical number about the great Seattle fire every fifteen minutes! It's possible that I will never forget that musical number.
MOHAI sits on Lake Union. It's very pretty on a nice day. You can explore the nearby museum of wooden boats (free!) and walk around the park area. There appear to be some boat-based tourist attractions and a couple nice restaurants nearby, so you can definitely make a whole day of this.