And, if you are a parent like me, sometimes you need to remember who you are without your kids in tow. In the spirit of reconnecting and rejuvenating, book a sitter and treat yourself to some “me” time with one of these local options.
1. Pamper Yourself
Take some time out of the hustle and bustle of daily live to make yourself feel better. Try a mani/pedi at T-Spa Nails in Tumwater or one of the other great nail salons in town. Your feet will thank you. Whether new to the idea or already a fan, spend an hour in a sensory deprivation tank at Oly Float. There you can reconnect to your inner self and find some peace of mind. For something different, make an appointment at the Speakeasy Salon, Spa and Bistro in downtown Olympia, a new business where you can sip a glass of wine while getting a perfect new cut. For ultimate relaxation, try a massage at Radiance Herbs and Massage where their experienced therapists will massage your worries away. Of course, budgets may limit this day of luxury, so select one or two of these restorative activities that appeals to you the most.
2. Reconnect with Friends
Let’s face it. If you are a parent, it can be really hard to juggle staying connected to friends on top of everything else. While your besties are understanding, often in the same boat, it is always good to take time to meet and share your lives. For those morning people out there, a coffee date at Forrey’s Forza in Hawk’s Prairie or Batdorf and Bronson downtown might be just the thing.
If afternoon is more your cup of tea, enjoy lunch at one of the area’s amazing eateries like Miso in Lacey or their new Hawks Prairie location, where you can create your own piece of heaven. Or, choose longtime favorite, Budd Bay Cafe, located right on the water. Meet for happy hour to enjoy a few cocktails and some food without breaking the bank. One of the best happy hours in town takes place at Ramblin Jack’s with its famous BBQ nachos and cozy atmosphere. Another great pick is Swing Wine Bar just up the road with its unique drinks and great view.
3. Bring Back the Romance
Busy days can quickly turn into busy months and years. It’s important to remember why you and your partner fell in love and a getaway – long or short – can rekindle the romance. Just a short drive out Highway 101 is the Little Creek Casino and Resort. Whether you are a gambler or not, there is something for everyone here. A full-service restaurant, oyster bar and nightclub pair with newly-renovated suites to make for a perfect night without the kids. Not going overnight? You can still find plenty to do right here in town. Start with dinner at Pizzeria La Gitana where you will feel transported to Europe while enjoying their delicious wood-fired pizza and amazing salads. Next, head just a few doors down for dessert and cocktails at the new Tipsy Piano Bar. With their candlelit tables and plush seating options, it is just the right place to get to know each other again.
4. Discover Your Creative Side
Even if you have never held a paintbrush, there are still plenty of ways to bring out the artist within. Let’s Paint is a unique art studio where they will help you create a masterpiece sure to give Vincent Van Gogh a run for his money. Olympia also has a wealth of local galleries from the iconic Childhood’s End and State of the Arts galleries to the innovative Gallery Boom, all of which are sure to get that creativity flowing. If the weather looks good, the Percival Plinth Project at Percival Landing is a great way to see artwork while also enjoying a nice stroll along the water.
5. Be a Big Kid
Take a day or evening and allow yourself to be a kid again. Hit the endless trampolines at BoomShaka in Tumwater or climb the walls at Cirque Rock Climbing Gym out in Lacey. And if you are really feeling wild, strap on your skates and relive those glory days at Skateland. Just remember, you are not as young as you once were and things do tend to break a little easier now. If you want something a little less adventurous, take a drive to Chehalis for a round of glow golf at Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf. Just a word of advice with these activities – don’t tell the kids. They may be a bit jealous you didn’t take them along for the fun.
6. Enjoy Local Shopping
Take some time to explore and support the many wonderful local businesses we have here in Olympia. Celebrating their 40th birthday this year, The Popinjay never disappoints with their handmade chocolates, jewelry, children’s gifts and more. Just down the block you will find the trendy favorite, Archibald Sisters, with everything you never knew you needed and perfect gift options you’d never come up with on your own. And for those one-of-a-kind gifts, try LC’s Black Bird Mercantile and Trading Company, which is constantly showcasing new items including interesting wines, housewares and barware.
There are many reasons to book a sitter, but my favorite has to be that it gives your children time to miss you. We all love being parents and engaging with our kids, but it is healthy for both of you to take some time apart. I know when I come home after a few hours, those evening snuggles are twice as nice.