Hello! I’m Ashley and I’m excited to talk about what a “typical” Saturday looks like for us here in Olympia, WA.
Our family just moved to the Pacific Northwest this summer after spending two years living abroad in Paris while my husband got his MBA. Prior to moving to Europe, we lived in Orange County, California, where both of our little girls were born. My husband and I met while going to school in Hawaii, but we’re both originally from California, so it’s been fun exploring this new region of the United States.
Olympia is the state capital of Washington and, while it has a bit of a small town feel to it, there is plenty to explore and more than enough kid friendly activities around the city.
8:00 AM – MORNING
We’re incredibly lucky if our girls sleep past 7:00 am. We love cooking at home–and our kids get a bit hangry (hungry + angry) if we wait too long to eat–so we always eat breakfast at the house. A usual weekend breakfast for us includes something like blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. We’re usually finishing up by around 8:00 am.
For the next hour or two, the girls play while my husband and I get ourselves, the girls, and the diaper bag packed and ready for the day. We’re usually able to get out the door by 9:30 or 10:00 depending on how big of a hurry we’re in.
10:00 AM – PERCIVAL LANDING PLAYGROUND
First, we head to the playground so the girls can run off some morning energy. The playground is part of the boardwalk on the marina and has amazing views of the capitol building and Puget Sound. Our girls love the swings, especially the one that has two seats, along with the merry-go-round and the toddler slide.
11:00 AM – OLYMPIA FARMER’S MARKET
The playground is a short walk to our city’s farmer’s market and we love getting some fresh, locally grown produce while we’re there. The farmer’s market has more than just fruit and veggies though. It also has a wide selection of cheeses, pastries, and meats, along with local businesses selling things like art, specialty soaps, and other handmade items. It’s definitely fun to walk through and there’s always a local band playing on the stage by the picnic area. On our first visit ever, there was a man making balloon animals; we’ve also seen ice cream carts and even a young lady selling her poetry since then. On this particular day, we picked up some donut peaches, a watermelon, and some picatums (peach apricot plum).
12:00 PM – LUNCH AT FARMER’S MARKET
Another great thing about the farmer’s market is the variety of food stalls it has. In the past we’ve gotten fish and chips from Dingey’s Cuisine but on this Saturday we grabbed some food (dumplings, chow mien, and chicken skewers) from Soba Noodle. There are also Mexican, Greek, Bavarian, and Indian food options so definitely something for everyone.
We ate our lunch in the picnic area while watching a local band called Malo Combo perform Latin jazz music. Our girls both danced around our table to the music in between bites per their usual and we finished up our meal by grabbing a very large waffle cone with 2 scoops of ice cream for all of us to share on our way back to the car.
A few other great morning activities in the area are The Hand’s on Children’s Museum (best kid’s museum I’ve ever been too. Seriously.), Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm (beautiful and incredibly kid friendly with a darling Fairy Garden for kids to play in. Plus the lingering lavender smell is bound to help little ones take a good afternoon nap, right?), and Priest Point Park (amazing Pirate themed playground and access to the Puget Sound).
1:30 PM – NAP TIME
We head home and put both the girls down for their afternoon naps a little later than when I normally have them sleep during the week. We do a bit of clean up around the house and make plans to meet up with an old friend from Hawaii for this evening.
Usually our youngest wakes up first and I quietly play with her until our oldest awakes. We sometimes let them watch a little show once they’re both awake (they love Octonauts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Sophia the First) and then get ready to head out for the evening.
5:00 PM – MEET FRIENDS FOR DINNER
We rarely go out to eat for dinner as my husband and I both enjoy cooking, so truthfully we don’t know very many restaurants around the city. However, one place that we’ve eaten at a couple times and where we met up with friends on this particular day was Lemon Grass, a great Thai restaurant that was fairly kid friendly and has great Pad Thai (that our youngest enjoyed helping me eat). We made sure to get some shrimp spring rolls for our girls (shrimp is one of their favorites) and some Honey Walnut Prawns (okay but not nearly as good as the Pad Thai) for my husband. I’ve also had their Yellow Curry since then and it was fantastic.
6:30 PM – EVENING WALK AROUND THE MARINA
One cool thing about the Olympia downtown is that it’s right on Puget Sound. Just a short walk from the restaurant brought us back to the Percival Landing boardwalk where we walked along the marina with our friends, catching up while our kids ran around playing together.
This inevitably led us to the playground where we started our day and we let our girls play until about sunset before saying good bye to our friends and heading home for the night.
A few other great afternoon activities in the area are Tolmie State park (calm beach area- the hottest part of the day here is usually the late afternoon), the Heritage Park Fountain (great for kids to run around getting wet in the summer while enjoying pretty views of the capitol), and Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (great place for an easy family hike or nature walk).
8 PM – BEDTIME
During the week, we try and have the girls in bed no later than 8 pm. Depending on what we do on the weekend though; we’re sometimes not home until about 8ish or later so we’re obviously a bit more lax then. On this particular Saturday we probably got home around close to bedtime so my husband and I tag-teamed and each got a child to bed as quickly as possible before having the rest of the evening to ourselves.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about what a typical Saturday is like for us here in Olympia, Washington! Follow our new adventures as we explore the Pacific Northwest on our instagram.