<b>FAMILY TIME | </b>By Caroline Lippert-Burrows For The Weekly Herald
For a chance to visit a waterfront community that is upbeat, clean, kid-friendly and dog-friendly, take a stroll down the streets of downtown Kirkland.
The streets are comfortable to walk on, there are lots of eateries to choose from, many wonderful shops to check out, great cast bronze art pieces to experience and of course, that fun-for-all Marina Park, where the entire family can get up close and personal with the water.
If you like colorful organic and cotton clothes and accessories, check out the Life Is Good store on Lake Street, which opened a little more than four months ago. The cotton is soft, the clothes are high quality and one of the shop’s owners, Marty Montano, told me that the T-shirts he sells are so durable they’ll last you for seven to eight years.
I couldn’t wait to go into Chalet Cadeau Gifts, particularly when I saw everything Easter and bunny in the storefront window. This large shop stocks lots of colorful trinkets, cards, glassware and inspiring messages. It also has a great kids section featuring a large variety of stuffed bears and decorative sea maidens. And, for all you dog lovers, there are pillows graced with your favorite dog breed.
Speaking of dogs, you’ll notice lots of them walking with their owners throughout downtown Kirkland.
Many of those owners head to Barkz, which carries not only natural and high quality dog food but also lots of fun items your dogs will want to take you to see. In fact, according to Garry Myall, the father of the shop’s owner, Kaitlyn, “Dogs are our best customers. They just bring people in with them so they can shop.”
One of the great reasons to visit downtown Kirkland is the chance to get up close with multiple delightful outdoor cast bronze art pieces. My favorite, “Puddle Jumpers,” features kids skipping along with big, bright smiles on their faces.
Walking the paths by the marina waterfront is a big draw to this downtown city. Davis Allen, 2, of Bellevue, was there with his parents, Ashley and Chris, and dog Bailey on the day I visited. Mom told me, “We love this park. It’s fun to come down here.”
So the next time you and your family and your dog would like a pleasant visit to see a waterfront city that will welcome you all, make the drive to downtown Kirkland. It’s something the whole family can have fun doing together.
For more information on downtown Kirkland, call the Greater Chamber of Commerce at 425-822-7066 or visit kirklandchamber.org.