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Week 156 - Suitcase In Seattle

Photo credit: Natasha D

For the 156th week of "7 QUESTION SUNDAY" we shine the spotlight on another influential individual from the PNW. Natasha is a mom using social media to help other families explore the PNW with ideas, reviews, and all things family fun.

4EVRGRN: Hey, ND! Tell us a little about yourselves.

ND: Hi! I'm Natasha, a Seattle-based mom of two young kids sharing our favorite playgrounds, hikes, activities, and travel around the PNW (and sometimes further). I grew up in CA (I know, one of those dreaded transplants) and feel like I was meant to move to Washington. The green forests and mountain views are a huge draw, not to mention all the opportunities to be near water like our lakes, waterfalls, rocky beaches, and anything on a boat. My background is in finance and accounting, but I've started dabbling in freelance writing as another outlet to share our family's favorite things to do (I bring an undying love of spreadsheets to all my planning). 

  1. How did you decide to document raising a family in the PNW?

ND: The decision was sort of gradual. Finding all the best activities and things to do near Seattle was always fun for me and I often shared with co-workers and friends. Then the pandemic hit and my husband had an injury (he's since recovered!) so my kids and I were doing a lot of solo adventuring. Masterminding trips on my own made me feel strong and capable and I wanted to document that feeling and the memories we were creating, but also help other families experience the same sensation. I hope that taking some of the legwork out of planning makes it easier for other caregivers to adventure, too. 

  1. Favorite learning activity in the PNW?

ND: Tide pools! The variety and beauty of sea creatures that live on our rocky coasts are astounding and I feel like I'm constantly learning more about them. We're so fortunate to have multiple organizations (like the Seattle Aquarium, Tacoma Nature Center, Harbor WildWatch and Pt Defiance Zoo & Aquarium) that host beach walks or naturalists during summer low tides. We can pop down to a nearby beach, ask questions and get help identifying things like sea stars and anemones before just enjoying time at the beach. It's free and a low investment of energy and time that I love sharing with my kids. 

  1. Best place to take the family to experience nature?

ND: Any WA State Park! We camp several times over the summer, but also do day trips to places like St Edward State Park, Cama Beach, and Fort Casey. The parks tend to have well-maintained trails with shorter options for kids, facilities like restrooms and concessions and sometimes even fun activities (like Cama Beach's Center for Wooden Boats). We're able to combine a little of everyone's favorite outdoor activities in a way that feels comfortable. 

  1. What is one thing everyone who visits the PNW with kids must do?

ND: Ride a boat! It can be a ferry ride to one of our favorite islands, a water taxi trip over to West Seattle, an ice cream tour on Lake Union or a rental from the Center for Wooden Boats. You can't beat the views and it's something that can be adapted to a wide range of abilities and interests. 

  1. Favorite local kids’ product?

ND: We aren't super big shoppers, and I wouldn't classify this as a "kids" product, but we just bought the 8oz MiiR camp cups for the kids and they have been awesome. The lid spout has a sliding closure so they're less likely to spill when we're camping, and they love having "big kid" cups for cocoa and tea.  

  1. What makes raising a family in the PNW so special?

ND: I'm a person who thrives on variety and I feel like I will never run out of places to take my kids. We have museums and symphonies (with kids programming and free passes through the library!), amazing playgrounds that are gradually becoming more inclusive, and so many opportunities to experience nature together across the PNW.

Find the best family places on Instagram @suitecaseinseattle