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April
18

Where to Find Little Free Libraries in Seattle

Seattle Libraries

The Little Free Library movement has been gaining popularity in cities all around the country, but few places have embraced it with more enthusiasm than Seattle. All around the city, you'll find Little Free Libraries where you can freely exchange books with friends and neighbors. Find something new and exciting to read while supporting a good cause in the process. Our brokers have more information on what Little Free Libraries are all about and where you can find some of the many Little Free Libraries in Seattle.

What is a Little Free Library?

The Little Free Library (LFL) movement started with simple goals, to provide a way for communities to freely exchange books and foster a love of reading in communities all around the country. In order to accomplish this goal, charters are issued to people who want to set up a Little Free Library in their neighborhood. Most Little Free Libraries come in the form of book exchange boxes holding a few dozen books, which are open for all to enjoy. You can download the LFL app or check the interactive map to help you easily find libraries close to you. It's also easy to register online if you're interested in setting up a new LFL in your own neighborhood near Seattle homes for sale.

Little Free Library Locations in Seattle

  • Essentia Seattle – 2008 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
    The employees at the Essentia mattress store in Seattle include many who enjoy a good book, so the team at the store came together to set up a Little Free Library to share that love of reading with everyone who happens to stop by. This LFL is located in the Belltown neighborhood, surrounded by other shops, salons, dining destinations, and residential properties.

  • Cayton Corner Park – 1625 19th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
    The Friends of Cayton Corner Park are hard at work designing and building a new park at the corner of 19th Ave. and Madison for everyone in the community to enjoy. They've set up an LFL in a temporary location that will be there throughout the construction process of the new park and plan to find a more permanent location for the LFL once Cayton Corner Park is officially ready to open to the community.

  • Center for Wooden Boats – 1010 Valley St., Seattle, WA 98109
    Interested in borrowing books with a nautical theme? One of the more distinctive Little Free Libraries in Seattle can be found at the Center for Wooden Boats, where the library exchange box is built from the bow of an old wooden rowboat. Fittingly, you can find this LFL on the docks in Lake South Union, and it's open for borrowing during regular business hours for the Center for Wooden Boats.

  • Alison Marti Little Free Library – 211 Howe St., Seattle, WA 98109
    Created in honor of a parent who instilled a love of reading in her children, the Alison Marti LFL is all about sharing that love of reading with the next generation of young bookworms. This LFL is regularly stocked with fresh children's books, from old, classic books that have been passed down for generations to the latest releases in children's literature. Stop by to grab a book to read to your own kids or donate a book for other children to enjoy.

  • Bagley Blues Little Free Library – 3812 Bagley Ave N., Seattle, WA 98103
    One of quite a few Little Free Libraries along Bagley Ave., the Bagley Blues LFL offers a unique perk. Along with a great rotating selection of different books, this library is built next to an herb garden in planters. The library's owner encourages visitors to take home a few sprigs of fresh herbs for themselves, along with a book.

  • John Hay Jaguars – 2235 12th Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119
    Constructed and signed by the 2020 fifth grade class from John Hay Elementary, the John Hay Jaguars LFL is a great example of the creativity that goes into building so many of the Little Free Libraries in Seattle. It includes a beautiful glass window, a shingled roof, and a red coat of paint to match the school's colors.

Ready to find a home close to all of the art, culture, and community spirit Seattle has to offer? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA, area.

May
25

Mini Golf Courses in Portland the Kids Will Love

Portland mini golf

The weather is warming up, and the kids are bouncing off the walls. Wondering what to do with them? How about a fun, family-friendly round of miniature golf? 

There are many great indoor and outdoor courses in the Portland area to enjoy a round of mini golf! To help you prepare for summer, we asked our brokers which courses their families enjoy the most. Here are their recommendations. 

  1. Glowing Greens: 509 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204
    Want to get out of the house right now? You don't have to wait for great weather to enjoy a round of mini golf at Glowing Greens. This indoor blacklight course is conveniently located in downtown Portland, not far from some of the best Portland homes for sale. The 13-hole course is appropriate for all ages and features 3D artwork, moving pirates, and more! It takes about 45-minutes to play through the course, making it the perfect family adventure or a great way to start off date night. If you're looking for a fun night out for the adults, you'll be glad to know the facility also has ax throwing, escape rooms, and a beer and wine pub!

  2. Laser Blasters: 8700 NE Vancouver Mall Dr., Suite 172 Vancouver, WA 98662
    While you're in the area looking at Vancouver homes for sale, you're sure to notice the Vancouver Mall where you'll find Laser Blasters. This fun location offers laser tag, virtual reality, escape rooms, and mini golf. Both adults and kids are sure to love the cool blacklight effects of this safari-themed, 14-hole mini golf course. You can also purchase combination tickets that allow you to play both mini golf and laser tag for one affordable price. 

  3. Chipper's Woods Miniature Golf: 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202
    The Oaks Park Amusement Park offers locals and visitors various rides, midway games, and mini golf. While it's a ton of fun to visit the entire park, you can also enjoy the Chipper's Woods miniature golf course on its own. The whole family is sure to enjoy playing an 18-hole round of mini golf under the oak trees. The course also offers incredible views of Portland's West Hills and the Willametter River. 

  4. Clutch Putt: 700 SE 122nd Ave., Portland, OR 97233
    Adults and families alike enjoy visiting Clutch Putt Mini Golf. This 18-hole mini golf course is quite simple, yet each hole is unique enough to keep things interesting. It offers a fun, friendly atmosphere for players of all ages. Since the course is covered, you can play rain or shine. They also serve beer, wine, and hard cider and have a food cart. 

  5. Hollywood Mini Golf: 1510 Northeast 37th Ave., Portland, OR 97232
    Part mini golf course and part art gallery, Hollywood Mini Golf provides an exciting experience you're sure to love! This course "challenges guests to see things through a different lens." You never know what you're going to find when you visit this super-unique indoor course. In addition to mini golf, they also have games like ping pong, pinball, foosball, cornhole, and more. This is the perfect location for a rainy-day adventure that's sure to keep everyone entertained!

  6. Eagle's Landing: 10220 SE Causey Ave., Happy Valley, OR 97086
    Whether you're looking for a great mini golf course or 27 holes of the real thing, you'll find it at Eagle's Landing. This golfing facility is geared towards players of all skill levels. The 36-hole mini golf course is equal parts fun and challenging. You'll love the scenic views and the holes that strategically curve in and out of mountains, trees, waterfalls, fountains, and more. The facility also offers a par-three course that's modeled after a European pitch and put course and a 9-hole soccer golf course. When you're done playing, we suggest taking the scenic route home. There are many beautiful Happy Valley homes for sale nearby, and you may find the perfect one for you and your family. 

          If you're looking for a family-friendly place to call home, the Portland area is perfect for you! There are many great homes for sale, and our experienced brokers would love to help you find your dream home. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started! 

          April
          12

          9 Reasons to Live Near a National Park

          National Park

          National parks are a true American treasure, handed down from one generation to the next.

          The Pacific Northwest has so many wonderful national parks to visit, or better yet, live near. 

          Stunning Crater Lake National Park is less than half a day's drive from Portland homes for saleOr explore 73 miles of Pacific Coast at Olympic National Park, roughly a two-hour drive from Seattle homes for sale

          Our brokers share nine top benefits of living near a national park. Do some of these surprise you? 

          1. More Opportunities for Quality Family Time
            In today's families, both kids and parents are likely to have fast-paced schedules that have them moving in different directions. Even gathering around the dinner table can be hard. National parks offer accessible hours along with a wide variety of activities and attractions to suit everyone. Simply packing a picnic lunch to enjoy after a pleasant hike is a relaxing getaway. Admission fees are nominal, with several free days during the year, to fit any budget. And most parks are pet-friendly so that Fido can tag along!

          2. Low-Cost Outdoor "Health Club"
            Do you pay ever-increasing membership dues to a conventional health club to fight for a parking spot and wait in line for a treadmill or elliptical machine? National parks are incredible open-air "fitness centers" that aren't confined by four walls and a roof. Available activities range from hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the summer to cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowboarding in the winter.

          3. Good for Mental and Emotional Health
            Physical fitness is only part of the equation for overall health. Spending time around nature has been proven to reduce stress and depression. In one study conducted in 2015, researchers examined the brain activity of two groups of people who took 90-minute walks, with one group in a natural setting and the other in an urban setting. The group from the outdoor setting had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is where negative self-talk usually occurs. 

          4. Greater Earning Power
            According to experts, areas with national parks tend to have a thriving tourist industry, which in turn creates more jobs and better financial opportunities.

          5. Promotes Childhood Development
            In another revealing result from the OSU study, researchers discovered that kids under the age of 5 who lived near national parks were 10 percent taller than their peers who lived further away. While this is no guarantee for your child's height, there's no question that youngsters who have frequent exposure to nature gain physical and mental benefits, such as the development of cognitive skills that help with classroom learning.

          6. Less Risk of Natural Disasters
            When you respect Mother Nature, she returns the favor. Forested areas in national parks remain untouched, which allows the trees to protect water sources. In addition, the West Coast is vulnerable to flooding, landslides, and other natural disasters that endanger the environment, along with humans and animals. Protected habitats stabilize the surrounding land, reducing the risk of such devastating incidents. 

          7. Eco-Friendly Access to Nature
            There has been a long struggle finding a balance between outdoor activities that are enjoyable and accessible without causing damage to the environment. National parks provide a venue to spend time outdoors with minimal impact on our natural resources.

          8. Maintains Biodiversity
            Over the years, society mistakenly believed that natural resources were infinite. Fishing, hunting, mining, and other practices were conducted with no thought about their long-term effects. Sadly, a number of ecosystems and animal species are now endangered today due to this behavior. National parks create protection for wetlands, forests, and other ecosystems and endangered animals such as gray wolves. 

          9. Strengthens Friendships and Social Interactions
            How often do you attempt to plan an outing with friends and spend most of the time debating over dinner, a movie, or a ball game? A lively walk or vigorous bike ride on the trails of a national park are activities everyone can agree on. Being outdoors is also a great way to escape the pressures of daily life and focus on communicating with friends and loved ones.

          Want to learn more about the parks around the Pacific Northwest? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

          April
          5

          April Showers: Guide to Installing a Smart System for Your Garden

          Smart System for Garden

          For nearly twenty years, smart homes have been surging in popularity as we embrace the technology that makes our lives easier. No longer limited to inside the home, technology has moved into the garden to make it more efficient as well.

          Our brokers know how important a lush lawn and curb appeal are when appealing to potential buyers. Whether you're getting your home ready to list or just want to enjoy an attractive landscape, consider installing a few of these smart devices.

          1. Smart sprinklers
            Setting a timer will certainly allow you to water whether or not you are home. But why stop there? You can control the sprinklers when you're away from home using an application on your phone or computer. If you prefer, you can use a sprinkler that gauges the amount of water your garden needs based on data from weather reports or even from sensing the moisture in the soil. Never again will your sprinklers go on while it is raining. 
             
          2. Weather stations or sensors
            These innovative devices monitor the weather conditions in your garden including temperature, wind, and humidity to deliver the information you need to care for your garden. You can receive detailed weather metrics to help keep the inside of your home comfortable as well. When integrated into a smart home ecosystem, adjustments will be made automatically. 

          3. Soil sensors
            Traditionally, while it is possible to get secondary education in agriculture, most home gardeners don't have the education required to analyze soil to determine what action is necessary to create the perfect balance of chemicals and moisture for a healthy garden. Add the questions of proper temperature and light and most of us would be lost. But we don't need to know all of that information when we have sensors to guide us. Are they necessary to grow a garden? No, but they certainly can make the process easier. Take your gardening to the next level and receive alerts on your mobile device for when you need to take action to keep the garden healthy. 

          4. Robotic lawnmowers
            Preprogrammed to operate on a schedule of your choosing, these handy tools ensure a  perfectly manicured lawn with little to no effort on your part. Powered by electricity, they run quietly and without fumes. Boundaries are defined by wires. If it should happen to rain, sensors will direct the unit back to its base. 

          5. Outdoor lighting
            One of the least expensive smart upgrades you can make to your garden, lighting options are also the most versatile. Fountains and other water features come to life with strategically placed lighting. Path lights with changing colors add magical hues to simple safety measures. Motion sensors illuminate spaces to stop would-be thieves in their tracks as spotlight cams capture their images. And who could deny the elegance of soft lighting in a seating area nestled in a flowery haven? Remote controls let you adjust the lighting according to your needs. 

          6. Wi-Fi booster
            Working from home and going to school online can be tedious and frustrating. But you can banish that cooped-up feeling by taking work and studies outside. It's possible for a Wi-Fi repeater or extender to do the trick, and add enough coverage to your garden to work or study efficiently. Unfortunately, that may not be sufficient. If not, you can dramatically expand your home network with a powerline adaptor. These exciting new options use the electric wiring of the house to transmit communication signals. They don't even require a complicated installation. 

          7. Entertainment options
            Whether you would enjoy dancing in the moonlight or watching movies under the stars, you can convert your garden to the perfect entertainment venue with waterproof Bluetooth speakers, outdoor television sets, or projectors. If you enjoy hosting dinner parties, smart grills and smokers can allow you to cook a delicious meal while socializing with your guests. They'll give you a short alert on your phone when you need to break away to attend to the food. 

          When you're ready to find the perfect place for your own garden paradise, contact us. We'll be happy to show you the finest homes throughout the area. 

          Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/13/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/13/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 8:34:57 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 11:51:39 PM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:20:09 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:24:14 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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