Parental Guidance: January 2010

Seattle mag contributor Kavita Varma-White gives us the scoop on the hottest kids' trends in the cit

Give it a twirl
It used to be that kid-friendly cafés were places where you could get a latte while the kids rooted through a lone box of toys in the corner. But the newest player, Queen Anne’s Twirl CafE (2111 Queen Anne Ave N; 206.283.4552; twirlcafe.com), is a game changer. The contemporary, nearly 2,000-square-foot space functions as an espresso bar and community meeting spot. Parents can nosh on breakfast or lunch, or sip an espresso while little ones expend energy in the adjacent play area, which looks like an urban jungle, replete with hanging vines and a cool tree-house lounge. Upstairs, a classroom holds music, yoga and tumbling classes for kids, plus parenting and exercise classes for adults. From the bamboo furnishings to its menu of mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients, Twirl has a natural, earthy, welcoming vibe, which was all part of owner Rebecca Pelletier’s mission. When the weather is gross and the kids are climbing the walls, Pelletier, the mother of a 2-year-old, says, “This is a place you want to be."

Art and Soul
It used to be that kid-friendly cafés were places where you could get a latte while the kids rooted through a lone box of toys in the corner. But the newest player, Queen Anne’s Twirl CafE (2111 Queen Anne Ave N; 206.283.4552; twirlcafe.com), is a game changer. The contemporary, nearly 2,000-square-foot space functions as an espresso bar and community meeting spot. Parents can nosh on breakfast or lunch, or sip an espresso while little ones expend energy in the adjacent play area, which looks like an urban jungle, replete with hanging vines and a cool tree-house lounge. Upstairs, a classroom holds music, yoga and tumbling classes for kids, plus parenting and exercise classes for adults. From the bamboo furnishings to its menu of mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients, Twirl has a natural, earthy, welcoming vibe, which was all part of owner Rebecca Pelletier’s mission. When the weather is gross and the kids are climbing the walls, Pelletier, the mother of a 2-year-old, says, “This is a place you want to be.”

Let's Make a Deal
Self-described as being “frugal but fancy, thrifty and thorough,” sisters and stay-at-home moms Esther and Jennifer Magnotti started Seattle Moms Deal Finder (seattlemomsdealfinder.com) as a way to share their passion for shopping and saving. In just two years, the blog has exploded, with robust advertising revenue, a weekly TV gig (Tuesdays at 8:15 a.m. on KONG-TV’s morning news), and more than 1,500 Facebook fans who loyally click (sometimes multiple times a day) to find deals on everything from local baby- and kid-friendly products and services to restaurants and online retailers. The blog frequently gives roundups of other Seattle-area daily deal vendors (such as Groupon, Zulily, Living Social and Mamapedia), making it a convenient way to find lots of savings in one spot.

Save the date
Considering sending the kids to Catholic school next year? Now is the time to do your research. While the official archdiocese-sponsored Catholic Schools Week is January 30 to February 5, many area Catholic schools hold open houses at other times during the month. Visit seecelebrateandlive.org and click on “CSD Calendar” for more information.

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