Designed for Gathering: Ocean 5

Opening this November,  Ocean5, has been designed as an innovative gathering destination in Gig Harbor. The 57,000-square-foot building, will be the first of its kind in the region. With a two-story laser challenge arena, exciting game room, ten pin and duckpin bowling and comfortable spaces for gathering. Ocean5 also specializes in private event and party spaces for groups from 5 to over 400, with dedicated event teams and banquet services.

The Ocean 5 concept was developed by long-time Gig Harbor resident Troy Alstead, the former chief operating officer of Starbucks. “Ocean5 has been a vision of mine for 10 years,” Alstead said. “Bringing this space to the community where we live and are raising our children is a huge part of that dream. I’m excited to be giving the South Sound a space where friends and groups have enough elbow room to relax and just have fun, whether they stay for an hour, an afternoon or a night out.”

Ocean5 gets its name from the idea that all five of the world’s great oceans are connected. The company’s goal is to provide a place that inspires connections between people, with the community, and the rest of the world, with the mission to enable and inspire small actions that create a positive impact to the health of our oceans, starting with Puget Sound.

Ocean5 is pursuing LEED certification, and is constructed sustainably with materials such as carpet tiles made of recycled fishing nets and reclaimed wood. The building will be heated and cooled by geothermal energy from over 3 miles of wells under the parking lot, significantly reducing energy use for a facility this size.

Also on the property is Table 47, a casual 300-seat restaurant that responsibly sources it’s ingredients and can be experienced either together or separately from Ocean5. Both businesses are now hiring for all positions. Open roles and applications can be found online at and

This new state-of-the-art facility will be located in the new Olympic Towne Center at 5268 Point Fosdick Drive NW Gig Harbor, WA 98335, just off the Olympic Drive interchange of Highway 16. For more information go to or find them on Facebook.

northwest trek wildlife park

Nature is calling you. To fun. To adventure. To an enchanting forest filled with amazing animals to see and learn about.

Nature is calling. And Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is answering with exciting adventure-filled days that enthrall adults as well as children.

The 725-acre wildlife park near Eatonville is just a short hop from most places in the Puget Sound region. And it’s well worth the drive.

Hop aboard a comfortable, heated tram for a naturalist-narrated tour through forests and meadows that are home to American bison, the national mammal; elk; caribou; bighorn sheep; moose; deer and a variety of other animals. All roam free in 435 acres of stunning meadows and forest through which your tram will wind. Many animals get so close you can see steam rising from their nostrils, hear their grunts and bugles during the fall mating season, and watch mothers tending calves, lambs and fawns in the spring and summer.

Walk paved pathways through the forest and stop to view native Northwest animals like black bears, gray wolves, foxes, Canada lynx, bobcats, river otters, beavers, wolverines and other animals in natural habitats.

And when the kids need to expend a little energy—or just have some fun—they can spend minutes or hours exploring Kids’ Trek, the half-acre, $1.9 million nature-inspired playground that opened in 2016. Toddlers to ’tweens have a blast climbing up and down rope nets and ladders, playing in the replica of a two-story-tall hollowed-out tree stump, splashing in a stream, constructing imaginary forts, building sand castles, whizzing down three different slides, and playing make-believe in kid-sized log cabins.

All of these activities are free with admission or membership to Northwest Trek, which is a recognized leader in the conservation of native Northwest animals.

Want even more adventure? Register for one of the Zip Wild zip line/challenge courses at There is an added fee for these thrills. More than 50,000 people have tested their mental toughness and physical agility on these courses over the last five years. They are open to ages 5 and up and sized for various ages and abilities—with two of them soaring more than five stories into the tree canopy.

So spend the day in awe. Nature is calling. And Northwest Trek is the easy-to-enjoy answer. KRIS SHERMAN

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
11610 Trek Dr E, Eatonville

Seabrook, family fun at the Washington Coast

Looking for a memorable beach trip with your family?  It doesn’t get any sweeter than the Washington Olympic Peninsula, north coast and the quaint  beachside community town called, Seabrook. This location offers a low-key vibe and all the amenities to create cherished family memories. There is much to explore at Seabrook.

Places to Nosh

Frontager’s Pizza:

Rustic and eclectic yet family friendly. We love this bistro style pizzeria, offering Neapolitan style  hand-made pizzas, favorites include egg and bacon pizza and heirloom salad with fresh mozzarella. Simply delicious. Notice the old fashion utensils and decor which is stylish and in line with the rustic design and style of Seabrook. 21 Seabrook Ave

Red velvet cupcake by the Sea:

Family owned, this bakery and coffee house is the perfect welcoming spot to  have a scrumptious breakfast and indulge. The crew starts  baking at 4am each day. The scent of fresh cinnamon rolls fills the air when you walk in. They create a lovely menu including baked goods and sandwiches. They also offer a delicious locally roasted Batdorf and Bronson coffee. 202 S Meriweather St


Mill 109 Restaurant and Pub

This pub style yet, family-friendly restaurant providing a cozy atmosphere one would expect to find in a traditional beach town. Bring your appetite as they are serving up tried and true staples of Northwest coastal cuisine as well as contemporary family fare. This cozy location offers Pacific Northwest dining meets homespun comfort. They also have a wide and varied cocktail menu. 5 W Myrtle Ln

Activities and Amenities

Whether your family enjoys surfing, hiking, fishing, or just exploring, Seabrook’s, Olympic Peninsula  beach side location has all.

Firepit bonfire – Seabrook has three large and four small fire pits, that guest are invited to use

South Crescent Indoor Pool – Includes a Jacuzzi spa

Buck’s Bike Rentals – Cruiser bike rentals to cruise the neighborhood or get some exercise

Kite-flying – Rentals available at Buck’s Bikes

Olympic Rain Forest – Just 30 minutes away, lake & historical lodge

Crescent Park – Shuffleboard and horseshoes

Roosevelt Beach Drive – Rugged vehicles can head south 2.5 miles on Hwy 109 and turn right onto Roosevelt Beach

With so many amenities, outdoor activities, shopping, and dining Seabrook is easily becoming a Northwest favorite escape destination. Enjoy Seabrook for your next family escape where memories are made and shared. leah grout



The Ultimate Puget Sound Summer

As summer pushes its way up the temperature scale, cities in the South Sound open their doors to tourism, showcasing the many activities they have to offer.


Washington’s capital hosts a number of summer events, starting with the Deschutes Duck Dash on June 3, when thousands of rubber ducks float down the river, each benefiting youth and charities. The South Sound BBQ Festival takes place July 8, and the Thurston County Fair is the next month. Throughout the summer you can take the opportunity to catch a concert in Huntamer and Sylvester parks, as well as the three-day Dixieland Jazz Festival.

Heading north on the freeway, DuPont offers its own exciting summer draws. Munch on McNamara’s Apple Bacon Burger either before or after hiking the Sequalitchew Creek Trail. August 18-20 is the Five Star Classic Car Show. The weekend event highlights luxurious cars, includes raffles and benefits several organizations.

With a theater district, golf courses, farmers markets and more, the Tacoma area offers endless possibilities for a great summer. Spend some time outdoors in Fort Steilacoom Park and then enjoy an oldfashioned milkshake inside Steilacoom’s historic Bair Drug & Hardware building. Or take in the visual feast at Tacoma Art Museum and then go to a concert at the Tacoma Dome. If you plan your trip just right, you can catch Bruno Mars there on Monday, July 24.

The rhubarb capital of the world, Sumner is a summer classic. Besides its pies, you can check out the Parliament Distillery, which serves marshmallow moonshine. Another Sumner classic is Classy Chassis, a car show lining the town’s downtown street. From old hot rods to antique farm trucks, this August event sees countless visitors ogling these precious vehicles.

June 3-4 is the Maritime Gig Festival, consisting of games, a parade, races, food and music in this charming harbor town. Later the same month, June 24-25, make time for the Gig Harbor Garden Tour. You’ll visit multiple beautiful gardens—all up to par with a colorful summer—and proceeds fund literacy programs.

With live music throughout the summer and the Murder Mystery Dinner Train from June through October, Chehalis has summer happenings down to a science. Two big events include the Billetproof hot rod and custom show on June 24 and the Garlic Fest and Craft Show August 2527. This city embraces the summer season head-on year after year.

Listen up! W Hotels unveils first sound suite

W Seattle unveiled the first W Sound Suite to launch in North America at W Seattle. The private music studio, writer’s room and lounge offers a retreat for musicians and producers to write and record tracks while on the road.  Hotel guests are also able to get in on the fun by booking the studio to live out their rock star dreams.

“As one of the most iconic music capitals in the world, I couldn’t think of a more ideal location for our first W Sound Suite in North America than W Seattle,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The W brand has long been synonymous with music, from the live music programming in our buzzing Living Rooms to musicians choosing to stay with us while on tour.  The W Sound Suite provides the perfect professional environment for when inspiration strikes – any time, day or night, complemented by 24 hour room service, of course!”

The W Sound Suite at W Seattle follows the opening of the world’s first W Sound Suite at W Bali – Seminyak last year, with additional W Sound Suites set to debut at W Hollywood and W Barcelona in the coming months.  W Sound Suites are in part the brainchild of the W brand’s North American Music Director, DJ White Shadow, the Chicago-based producer best known for his work with Lady Gaga. He worked with W Seattle to optimize the Sound Suite’s layout and select equipment for professional use and sound quality.

“Musicians are constantly on the road, where it’s difficult to find an accessible, professional-quality space to record,” said DJ White Shadow. “In Seattle, a city known worldwide for its music scene, W Hotels has brought recording space to the artist, allowing them to create whenever inspiration strikes.”

“From Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, to Modest Mouse and Macklemore, Seattle has been a music mecca for decades,” said Richard Hill, General Manager, W Seattle. “We are excited to present local and visiting artists alike with a space to write, record and relax in the heart of downtown, steps away from legendary concert halls like Benaroya Hall and the Triple Door where world-renowned artists perform and inspire.”

For the latest sounds to come out of W Sound Suites or to book your session, visit Join the conversation with @WSeattle and #WMUSIC.

Images: John-Marcus Strole

Escape to Woodinville Wine Country

Why go out of state when you can enjoy wonderful wine and food right here in the Northwest? Head north to Woodinville and you will be delighted to find a day trip offering a large selection of wineries, all in Woodinville. We recommend the following favorites.

àMaurice Cellars
14463 Woodinville-Redmond Rd NE
425.466.2027 //
àMaurice Cellars is owned and operated by the Schafer family, fifth-generation Washingtonians. This boutique winery is known for creating authentic, food-friendly wines.

purple-webPurple Café and Wine Bar
14459 Woodinville-Redmond Rd NE
425.483.7129 //
Purple Café and Wine Bar features a global wine selection coupled with a menu that blends classic American styles with seasonal Northwest ingredients—all in an informal atmosphere. The restaurant was founded by husband and wife Larry and Tabitha Kurofsky. ShowCase lunch favorites include: chicken salad, flatbread and, for a more filling meal, beef sugo with herbed potato gnocchi. The head chef notes, “We pride ourselves in giving our customers more than they expect.”

matthews-webMatthews Winery
16116 140th Place NE
425.487.9810 //
The history and heritage of Matthews Winery is deeply rooted in Bordeaux-inspired wines, from rich, opulent red blends to crisp floral whites. Established in 1993, Matthews Winery is home to a production facility, tasting room and to the “Estate House,” an event center and bed and breakfast. It is now doing farm-to-table dinners and is excited to integrate food into the wine experience with an organic garden.

J & A’s Winery
19501 144th Ave NE
206.409.4841 //
J & A’s is a cozy boutique winery in the Woodinville warehouse district. Owner Dick Mettler started his wine career when he was 12 years old, helping his father make wine. “Not everything should be a competition,” he says. “Some things should simply be enjoyed. Glasses of wine with good friends, quiet moments with loved ones and the devotion of friendly dogs.”

pondera-webPondera Winery
19501 144th Ave NE
425.486.8500 //
Pondera Winery is a family-owned boutique winery located in the Woodinville warehouse district. The winery specializes in the production of high-quality, well-balanced red varietals and Bordeaux-style blends. With a lovely array of art on display, the winery believes that “Wine is art that you drink.”

For additional information:


Girls’ trip to Bellevue

Fall is here, the leaves are turning and that often means that outdoor outings are winding down. Time to gather your girlfriends for a trip to Bellevue—a quick escape that offers high-end “spa-ing,” savvy shopping and lively dining. We recommend making the following stops for a memorable day in swanky Bellevue and perhaps getting a start on holiday shopping.

p1170273Truce, 600 Bellevue Way

Located at the Westin Bellevue, Truce offers upscale treatments in a tranquil boutique spa setting. A trip to Truce is a revitalizing vacation for your mind and body. Allow extra time for lingering in the infrared heated sauna and the cozy and inviting waiting lounge.

Phone: 425-454-0622,

Boutique shopping in Old Bellevue

10230 Main St.

A celebrated Pacific Northwest company. It takes four glass artists and three layers of glass to create each one-of-a-kind glass cup, votive or bowl. With each Glassybaby purchase, a portion of the proceeds goes to charities dedicated to healing.

Phone: 425-256-2927, glassybaby

Fran’s Chocolates, 10036 Main St.

Handcrafted artisan confections from a Pacific Northwest staple. The Bellevue location is an elegant European-style shop with selections by the piece, luxurious gift assortments and paired dessert wines.

Phone: 425-453-1698, franschocolates

520 Bar and Grill, 10146 Main St.

A pub-style grill that is a charming spot for ladies looking for yummy food and cocktails. We recommend the fish tacos, spicy and savory.

Phone: 425-864-7083, 520 Bar and Grill

Luxe shopping at The Shops at The Bravern, 11111 NE Eighth St.

The Bravern features classic, timeless architecture and lush landscaping, reflecting the intimate qualities of a European village while staying true to Northwest sensibilities. Start your browsing at Neiman Marcus for its well-edited selection of luxury merchandise and exemplary customer service in a spacious, contemporary setting. Stop in at Tod’s for shoes and leather goods that are entirely handcrafted in Italy. Moncler outerwear merges style with technological research assisted by experts in activities linked to the world of the mountain. And don’t miss a new addition to the Shops at the Bravern: the Prada boutique, combining contemporary, cutting-edge sophistication with one-of-a-kind, sublimely-crafted clothing and leather goods for men and women. shops-at-the-bravern-saturday-night-fountain

Phone: 425-456-8795, thebravern

Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main St.

Bellevue Botanical Garden is an urban refuge, encompassing 53 acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands and natural wetlands. The garden is open until dusk.

Phone: 425-452-2750, bellevuebotanical

Take a Recreation Vacation

CTB_MountainBike_Horizongal (1)This summer, our capital city will host an adrenaline-fueled race that pairs the best of the region: award-winning ales and adventure. Capitol to Bay Relay, taking place on Aug. 6, is an adventure race that includes mountain and road biking, running and paddling. Recently sanctioned as an official adventure race by the United States Adventure Racing Association, the relay allows competitors to participate solo, but encourages them to compete in tandem or with a team.

The course begins in Capitol State Forest and ends in downtown Olympia, totaling 37 miles of the region’s mountains, waterways and prairies. The best part: It ends with entry to Olympia Brewfest, a tasting celebration with 30-plus beers, live music and food.

Experts agree that pairing beer and exercise is a fruitful combination. A recent medical study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University found positive connections between exercise and beer. The study, as reported by The New York Times, shows an “unequivocal correlation between exercising on any given day and subsequently drinking, especially if someone exercised more than usual.”

So grab your friends and let the “training” begin! The Capitol to Bay Relay website offers a detailed map of the course for training preparations. Thurston County is home to several top spots for imbibing post-workout, including Top Rung Brewing in Lacey, Oly Tap Room on the Olympia waterfront and Three Magnets Brewing in downtown Olympia.

For more information or to register, visit The Capitol to Bay Relay is organized as a benefit for the PARC Foundation of Thurston County, which is dedicated to preserving the vital green spaces of our natural surroundings, and expanding and supporting works of art and artists in the community.

To plan your trip, go to

Play Around The Sound 2016

mt-rainierThere is really no better place than the Pacific Northwest during summertime. We are lucky to have such a beautiful playground. With no short-age of things to do, how do you go about choosing? ShowCase checked out some of the best local attractions and compiled them here. So get out your calendar and prepare for some serious playtime.

One of Tacoma’s family favorites is the Independence Day Freedom Fair, located on Ruston Way and in historic Old Town. Celebrate our nation’s independence with a day of family activities capped with a spectacular fireworks show.Later in the month, July 16 and 17, take a weekend and enjoy the Tacoma Maritime Fest. This annual event includes plenty of kid-friendly activities, ships to explore and free boat tours of the Foss Waterway and the Port of Tacoma.Admission to both events is free. For more information and a schedule of events, visit and

Gig Harbor
Story_Fisherman Gig HarborSlow down a bit and take a boating trip out to Gig Harbor. Enjoy a flight of whiskey at Heritage Distillery or a bowl of clam chowder at the Tides Tavern in historic downtown. Stroll along the waterfront and stop in at the Harbor History Museum for activities for kids and grown-ups. Later in the evening, catch an outdoor concert at Summer Sounds at Skansie or take a blanket and some popcorn for Friday Family Fun Movies in the Park.

Head out to Enumclaw over the weekend of July 29 and 30 for the Enumclaw Rotary Street Fair. Besides terrific food and vendors, visitors can check out local art at the Arts Alive Gallery on Cole Street. Stop by Tracy’s Roadside Produce for farm-fresh produce, jams, jellies and even local Washington wines.

Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater have activities and events for everyone this summer. Tour our state capitol or the Olympic Flight Museum. Get in touch with your wild side at Wolf Haven International in Tenino or the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Take the kids to the Hands On Children’s Museum or enjoy an adult outing on the South Sound Wine Trail. For more Top 10 attractions, go to

Story_Home Course Golf DupontA town steeped in rich Pacific Northwest history, DuPont is a fascinating place for a historical perspective. Visit the DuPont Historical Museum to view photos, maps and more. Looking to explore? DuPont has a thriving parks system filled with hiking and biking trails for the whole family.

Story_Puyallup Market_RGBDowntown Puyallup offers friendly hometown charm in both shopping and dining. For a taste of fresh, local food and art, visit the Farmers’ Market in Pioneer Park. This unique market features only local vendors, farmers and artists and is sure to be a favorite.

Seattle has much to offer year round and is particularly spectacular during the summer months. With so many unique neighborhoods, Seattle boasts numerous markets, street fairs and an abundance of exceptional dining experiences. There are also the familiar local attractions such as Pike Place Market and the Great Wheel. Coffee snobs might want to visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room located just nine blocks from the original store at Pike Place. Check out the helpful links below for more information.

Family-Friendly, Ride to Rail, Ride and Farm Tour

willapa-hills-trailRolling alongside a scenic river, through forests and right next to pastoral farmland, the Willapa Hills Trail in south-west Washington will see its first large-scale bicycle event this summer.

Geared for families and recreational cyclists, the first annual Willapa Hills Trail Fat Tire Ride & Festival will take place June 25–26. Registration is open for the leisure ride, which will cover 22 miles each day along mostly flat trails from Chehalis to Pe Ell and back.

The ride will take cyclists from just off the Interstate 5 corridor to the valleys of west Lewis County, home to many farms that grow produce and make cheeses that are available in markets from Portland to Seattle, as well as online. Several of these farms along one section of the trail will host a side trip for riders to stop and briefly tour the farms, sample food and buy some food to go.

Highlights of the Fat Tire Ride & Festival include the farm tour, the adjacent Rainbow Falls State Park, and live music and more in the community of Pe Ell, itself a major stop on the trail.

The Willapa Hills Trail was built as a railroad in the late 1800s, providing passenger and freight service between Chehalis and South Bend, Washington. Service waned over the years, and Washington State Parks bought the right-of-way in the 1990s. Major improvements have been made, including nearly six miles of paved trail between Chehalis and the small town of Adna, and three new bridges spanning the Chehalis River.

Cost for the event is $30, with a family rate of $80 for up to five people. Riders are encouraged to bring extra cash to purchase food and drink at the farm tour and in Pe Ell.

Any bike other than a lightweight road bike is suitable for the trail.

For additional information: