Kenmore’s new family destination
The Hangar Building and Town Square Are a ‘Living Room’ For the Community
Photo: Ashley Breckel
Last week on my social media feed, I noticed that not one, not two, but three, friends were posting pictures and videos of themselves and their kids at a cool looking spot I’d never heard of before. Who knew that downtown Kenmore was home to a hot new destination for families? Naturally, my family and I made a beeline to see it all for ourselves.
The Town Square and Hangar building officially opened to the public on August 25, but they’ve been quietly attracting visitors for a few weeks now. Designed to build a sense of community for residents and give them a local sense of place where they can meet up and interact face to face, the space is open to anyone and everyone. In just one visit, we saw students typing away on laptops (the WiFi is free!), moms chatting over coffee, colleagues meeting about a work project, and families stopping in for a little playtime.
The Hangar building is a bright, modern and open space with tons of windows and a massive roll up hangar-style door that connects the building to the Town Square. There are a few different groupings of long communal tables and chairs—including a miniature table and chairs one for the little ones—as well as comfy oversized chairs gathered around a double-sided fireplace that are perfect for reading or leisurely sipping a latte.
At the back of the room, visitors will find Diva Espresso—a Northwest favorite with excellent coffee. On our visit, after getting the lay of the land, we headed straight for the counter and an afternoon pick-me-up: ice tea and a cookie. That was when we learned that they also serve beer and wine! While alcoholic beverages have to be consumed within the cafe space, we must admit we were somewhat giddy at the thought of a play date that could coincide with happy hour.
With cookies in hand, we made our way to the bookshelf stacked with toys, art supplies and games for the kids. The toys were in great condition, and we picked a few to play with at the kids’ table near the windows. Soon enough though, it was time to shelve the games and head outside to let the kids burn off the extra energy supplied by the cookies.
The Town Square is nearly 13,000 square feet of beautifully designed outdoor gathering space in front of the Hangar building. The little ones took full advantage of the kinetic water feature in the square to cool off while the adults sat nearby at colorful cafe tables or perched on the “dock”, a long wooden structure made for dangling your feet and relaxing. This is a great space to chat with other moms or just have a moment to sit while the kids get some exercise. Giant rocks are scattered throughout the square, giving kids a place to climb or adults a place to enjoy lunch. The rocks are even heated with radiant heat—so even when the weather turns cool, they’ll be a nice place to sit and take a load off.
One of the kids’ favorite features was the piano on the steps. Painted and provided by the Pianos in the Parks project, the kids ran back and forth between it and the spray area—splashing and banging on the keys.
Furry friends will be able to make use of the doggie station with a water bowl and bag dispenser, and cyclists will enjoy the bike racks and maintenance station with air and tools, should they encounter a flat tire while riding on the nearby Burke-Gilman trail.
Both the building and the outdoor area are stunning and will give people a place to go year-round, no matter the weather. We think it’s a particularly great place for moms who need to get out of the house and entertain the kids on long afternoons or early mornings, or for families to let kids play and run around on the weekends.
Call your mom friends and make a date to get some coffee and catch up while the kids entertain themselves. We predict you’ll want to make it a standing weekly date.
IF YOU GO:
Where: 6728 NE 181st St., Kenmore
When: Monday through Saturday, 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Sunday, 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Amenities: Free parking, free wifi, kid’s toys, coffee, food, wine and beer.