Considering that New Year’s is a pretty hot-ticket holiday, it’d behoove you to let your friends know sooner rather than later that you’ll be hosting a party at your place. Paperless Post is a good alternative for those who don’t want to track down friends’ addresses, go out to buy a roll of stamps, or leave the house. For those on a budget, there are several free invitation designs to choose from.
Hire a carpool so no one has to drive home. This is best done by using a traditional car service that can be scheduled for pick up and home delivery. Other ride share companies like Uber and Lyft offer similar services but they cannot be reserved and on a busy night you might find your friends coming in late and leaving far later than desired.
For a refreshing alternative to Champagne, try Prosecco. For nonalcoholic selection try Twelve, a fizzy blend of fruit and herbal tea. It’s delicious and certainly more elegant than sparkling cider. Pellegrino and Perrier are also very nice to keep people happy and hydrated.
Don’t let people get hungry! Make it easy on yourself and your wallet. Get some fabulous, frozen pre-made appetizers and keep them rolling from the oven. Cheese and cracker, charcuterie and veggie platters that require no cooking and can be made ahead of time are always crowd pleasers. These can even be purchased from your local deli if time is more important than slicing and arranging your own cheese.
We’ve all been eating way too much sugar all December but if you want to do a small dessert and make it look special, dust some edible glitter onto your store bought cookies or cake. Yes, edible glitter is a thing.
Set up Pandora at a volume where you can hear it – but don’t have to raise voices to hear each other. Hipster Cocktail Party is a great one. Don’t let the name turn you off; the music they play is terrific. Bill Withers, Nina Simone, Van Morrison and Aretha Franklin are some regulars you’ll find on this station.
Print a family cookbook.
Ask everyone to send you a favorite recipe and have them bound into a book to take home.
Craft a DIY photo booth.
No need to rent; just get creative. Hang some frames from a tree or wallpaper a wall with holiday paper and keep a fun prop bin on hand. Then set up a phone on a tripod and snap away.
Make an all-inclusive monogram gift.
Embroider a family inside joke or favorite phrase on t-shirts, hoodies or towels. Great templates and pre-made designs are on www.Zazzle.com
Hand out family photo books.
Collect photos from Facebook (and ask the less than tech-savvy to send in), then have them bound in a beautiful book and make copies for everyone. A great option for this is Shutterfly.
Write Letters To Santa
Help your kids write cute letters to Santa, then mail them off to the North Pole.
Print tote bags embossed with your family tree.
A decidedly useful, interesting and non-hideous freebie.
Encourage family members to bring belongings they no longer want (clothes, furniture etc.) and do a family-style round robin. You just might end up with Aunt Cindy’s beloved tea towels…
Most of us already have our “ways” of doing Thanksgiving — ways our mother did it, ways our extended family did it, ways our neighborhood did it. Thanksgiving doesn’t lend itself well to trying out new traditions, but sometimes the situation calls for it — you can’t make it home for Thanksgiving, for example, or you have a family now and want to start traditions of your own. So what can you do to heighten, deepen, and extend Thanksgiving to its most memorable end?
- Start the day with an indulgent, relaxing breakfast.
While some people are firmly in the “no breakfast” camp to save room for the big meal later, we love the idea of starting the day in such a festive, delicious way! Pancakes, waffles, eggs, even pie – it’s all good.
- Take time for yourself before time with family.
As wonderful as Thanksgiving can be, we all know it can be exhausting and overwhelming. That’s why it’s such a good idea to deliberately take a little time for yourself during the day to make sure you enjoy the holiday on your terms.
- Remember loved ones who have passed.
Holidays can be bittersweet when beloved family members or friends are missing from the gathering. Look through old photo albums and recall funny, tender or important achievements of those who are gone but not forgotten.
- Write your thanks on a butcher paper tablecloth.
Cover the table with butcher paper. During the meal, distribute pens and ask each family member to write down a few things they’re thankful for on the paper and then take turns reading them out loud. We love the practice during the Thanksgiving meal of naming things you’re thankful for, and this is a unique way to do it – especially since you can tear off and save particularly meaningful memories.
- Let everyone toast!
Another way to make gratitude gushing even more festive is to let everyone make a toast. Raise your glass to the year, to your family, to your friends!
- Have the kids serve dessert.
Let the bigger kids get in on the action of serving to their family. Put them in charge of delivering dessert and coffee after the meal. The oldest can plate and pour while the younger kids can take orders and serve. It keeps them busy after the meal while the adults talk and gives them a broader sense of appreciation for the holiday.
- Have Thanksgiving dinner early.
Planning for a 3 p.m. dinner shifts the momentum of the day. An earlier meal creates a more relaxed celebration, plus there’s plenty of time to digest before going to bed. An earlier dinner also accommodates traveling guests and lets them return home at a reasonable hour.
- Take a long walk together after dinner.
No one is ready for dessert right after dinner anyway, so why not take that time to go on a long walk with your loved ones? Enjoy the cool, crispy (and hopefully dry) autumn weather and get the blood flowing again after all that rich food.
- If it’s just two of you, really treat yourself.
It can be hard to justify making a huge Thanksgiving meal when it’s just two of you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less special, or even any less of a treat. In fact, it should be more so. Make it special by treating yourselves to nicer ingredients and better wine than you would normally use if you were cooking for a large group.
- Stay connected with family members far away.
If you can’t be with your loved ones on Thanksgiving, thankfully you can still be together — just virtually! Do a video call or Google Hangout before dinner, or Facetime family members in for the giving-thanks portion of the evening.
Summer Day Camps 2016
Summer time is quickly approaching and suddenly that old feeling of dread and/or panic sets in… the kids are going to be home with nothing to do.
Bainbridge Island has a myriad of opportunities for children of all ages to learn and have fun this summer while school is out.
Islandwood Summer Day Camps invite children to open their imaginations in rich natural settings. They offer day camps for children from Pre-Kindergarten through the 9th grade.
The Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District offers a wide variety of classes and programs for children of all ages, all summer long. To download the full catalog for the entire summer of 2016 offerings click HERE.
Do your children enjoy soccer? Bainbridge Island FC offers summer camps for children starting as young as 3 years old!
Ok, it isn’t a summer camp but it surely is not to be missed. The Grand Old Fourth has been Bainbridge Island's biggest party for 48 years with a mile-long hometown parade, street fair with more than 100 booths including 30 food vendors, live music, kids' entertainment and games, pony rides, beer and wine garden, classic and electric car show, family fun run, pancake breakfast topped off with fireworks over Eagle Harbor at dusk. Admission is free and your entire family will love it!
Date: 12/3/2015 TO 12/20/2015
Time: 7:30 PM TO 3:00 PM
Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's MARY POPPINS Everyone’s favorite practically-perfect nanny takes the stage in this Supercalifragilistic musical adventure. MARY POPPINS is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and astonishing stagecraft.
Free First Thursday at KiDiMu
Time: 10:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
On the first Thursday of the month, families are invited to explore KiDiMu! Enjoy a free-admission day. Have fun with a variety of hands-on exhibits and art activities. All are welcome! 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bainbridge Working Studios Winter Celebration
Date: 12/4/2015 TO 12/6/2015
Time: 10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Holiday sale at three Artist studios all located within one mile of each other. Mesolini Glass Studio, Cecil Ross – Woodworker, Raquel's Mosaics. We are all located within a mile of each other on Madison Ave NE, 4 miles from the ferry terminal. Definitely worth a visit!
Date: 12/4/2015 TO 12/5/2015
Time: 7:30 PM TO 8:45 PM
St Barnabas Episcopal Church
1187 Wyatt Way NW
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
The title of the program is “Star of Wonder” featuring Ola Gjeilo's O Magnum Mysterium (Serenity) with cello. Other works include songs by Burt, Rutter, Besig, Mendelssohn, Helvey, Willan, and Longhurt's arrangement of The First Noel. Concert dates and times: Fri. Dec 4 @ 7:30 pm Sat. Dec 5 @ 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm.
The EDGE Improv
Time: 7:30 PM TO 9:30 PM
Spice up your holidays with The EDGE Improv. For more than two laughter-filled decades, the troupe’s riotous antics have inspired rave reviews from people from all walks of life. Join The EDGE December 5 for a jolly launch to the holiday season and an ingeniously improvised evening of on-the-spot comedy, all from audience suggestions.
Heyday Farm Breakfast & Tour
Time: 9:00 AM TO 11:00 AM
Farmhouse and Kitchen on Old Mill Road
4370 Old Mill Road NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Come to the farm for a hearty breakfast featuring sweet breads, eggs and farm sausage. To help you work up an appetite, breakfast includes a guided farm tour prior to eating. See gardens, greenhouses, pasture and forest. Learn about the farm's history and how the creamery operates complete with a view of the lovely Dutch belted dairy cows at home in barn and pasture.
Pet Santa Photos
Time: 1:00 PM TO 4:00 PM
Bay Hay and Feed
10355 NE Valley Rd
Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110
Bring your family and pets to take Holiday photos with Santa! This fun event will not only give you some fun family photos, but all proceeds go to benefit Kitsap Humane Society. Digital Photos Only–an online photo album will be set-up and viewed only by participants. All ages and all pets! (no livestock, please).
The Nutcracker Preview at KiDiMu
Time: 11:30 AM
Get a sneak preview of this beloved holiday classic and try some ballet moves yourself! See a selection of dances from Olympic Performance Group‘s this year’s production inspired by pop-up books and meet the young ballet dancers who will invite the audience to dance along after their performance. Be sure to bring your camera! Then join author and artist Lynn Brunelle to create your own pop-up book craft.
Gingerbread Houses – DIY Workshop at KiDiMu
Date: 12/6/2015 TO 12/12/2015
Time: 10:30 AM TO 2:00 PM
Be a part of KiDiMu’s annual holiday tradition! Visit a special Art Station to create season’s favorite construction. All materials will be provided. A self-guided activity available: Sunday: 12:30 – 2 p.m. weekdays: 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. & Saturday (while supply lasts): 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Autumn festivities are always a wonderful way to get ready for colder weather and give children so much joy following the end of summer vacation. There are a host of activities on Bainbridge this month for the entire family to enjoy.
Friday October 16th and Saturday October 17th, from 6pm to 8pm, Bainbridge Gardens is sponsoring their 22nd Annual Pumpkin Walk.
The Pumpkin Walk is a fun, festive, family-oriented event hosted by Bainbridge Gardens for two nights every October. The proceeds of this popular, non-scary event benefit the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club. Hundreds of people of all ages come to walk along Bainbridge Gardens’ historic Nature Trail, glowing with a grand display of nearly 300 lighted, carved pumpkins. For many families, the Pumpkin Walk has become a Halloween tradition. Kids enjoy winding through our Harvest Hay Maze and jumping in the inflatable Bounce House. You can have your picture taken with the “Great Pumpkin”! The Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club provides face painting and carnival games with prizes.
My grand-daughter Annabella has entered her own carved pumpkin for this year’s event and she is delighted to be able to wear her Halloween costume to the event, as well.
Monday, October 19th from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, KidiMu is sponsoring Messy Monday – a messy experimentation and sensory exploration featuring mini pumpkin painting… Children will practice sensory and motor skills, and use imagination as they create their masterpiece with paint and dish brushes.
IslandWood is hosting their 11th Annual Howl-O-Ween on Sunday, October 25th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Bring your own pumpkin or purchase one theirs. Other activities include a Pumpkin Walk through the woods, a Pumpkin Meadow for the little tykes, dancing, fortune tellers and more!
The Historic Lynwood Center Theater will be screening Beetlejuice on October 28th for only $5 a ticket!
Last but not least, on October 31st, downtown Bainbridge Island merchants will close Winslow Way at 3:30 p.m. and sponsor a safe trick-or-treating evening with spooky family fun.
Come in costume, listen for spooky tunes from the Eagle Harbor Church bell tower, drink free hot cider and place your vote for the best merchant costume at the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association booth on Winslow Way.
Located in the Lynwood Center neighborhood of charming Bainbridge Island, Pleasant Beach Village is a new community destination. The Village includes Manor House, Bainbridge Island's premier special events venue, The Beach House Restaurant, The Inn at Pleasant Beach and a variety of shops.
With the beautiful architecture, exciting new infratructure and the festive Holiday decorations, the Pleasant Beach Villag is a great place to visit, eat and shop.
A warm environment and friendly staff are waiting to serve you a great cup of coffee and fresh pastries.
The Barn Cat is a lovely store with fabulous items for your Holiday Shopping – and they are open until 8pm on Thursdays!
One of my favorite places is the PAWS Center where my grandaughter adopted her first kitten. A fluffy new member of the Family is always a great Holiday gift – especially when they are rescued!
Sunday the 14th of December, don't miss the Santa Brunch at the Manor House!
Winslow was vibrant and busy this Saturday for Small Business Saturday, with everyone excited about the tree lighting ceremony and getting started on their holiday shopping.
Local shops were busy getting decorated and preparing for large crowds of shoppers to start the Buy Local Season of Giving.
Petit and Olson are open in their new location. The new space is large and the inventory is varied and really fantastic.
For the younger set, Calico Cat has also expanded their store and there are so many cute things to look at, you’ll feel like a kid all over again!
Staying beautiful and finding great gifts alike is easy at Firefly Salon. No one wants frizzy hair or roots with so many fun events going on this season!
Bainbridge Tech Solutions partnered up with another local tech company, SMB Nation and offered free tech advice all day, along with free gourmet popcorn and Storyville Coffee.
And speaking of coffee, Bainbridge Bakers was open with their newly expanded space offering a warm space, good coffee and free wifi.
Other Bainbridge Island Holiday Festivities this month include:
December 5th, 1st Friday ArtWalk on Winslow Way
December 5th and 6th, Amabile Choir Holiday Concerts at Saint Barnabus Episcopal Church
December 5th and 6th, The Bethlehem Experience at the intersection of Sunrise Drive and Valley Road (across from Bay Hay & Feed
December 9th, Wearable Art Show at The Island Gallery
December 5th thru December 21st, SPAMALOT! At Bainbridge Performing Arts
December 13th, Heydey Farm Holiday Baking Class
December 13th thru January 5th, Holiday Village at Bloedel Reserve
December 19th, Heydey Farms Guided Farm Tour
December 31st, New Years Eve Dance Party at the Treehouse Café
~Don’t miss Bainbridge Island’s biggest party!
You’re invited to attend and participate in the Grand Old 4th of July Parade and Community Celebration on Friday, July 4th, 2014. Now in its 47th Year, the Grand Old 4th includes a Pancake Breakfast, all-day Street Fair, foot races (benefiting Bainbridge Youth Services), a Classic Car Show, Historic Baseball Game, Music, Food, Entertainment, a Beer Garden, and plenty of Family Fun—all capped off by the “Best Small Town Parade in America.” The mile-long parade begins at 1 p.m. sharp!
The Grand Old 4th is produced and presented by the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, with the help of dozens of volunteers and a handful of loyal sponsoring businesses.
For more information visit this website: http://grandold4th.com/