WildLights now on at Woodland Park Zoo


It’s that festive time of year when Woodland Park Zoo lights up for the holiday season with its annual WildLights extravaganza. The special event is on now through January 1 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. nightly.

Over 600,000 energy-efficient LED lights can be seen throughout the zoo recreating wild animals and exotic destinations from across the globe,  including “Northern Lights,” “The Water Hole” and “Jungle Lights.”

There are both indoor and outdoor illuminated displays for guests of all ages to enjoy. Festive snacks will also be available as will the zoo’s decorated Historic Carousel for a festive ride.

While most of the zoo’s residents will be tucked in and fast asleep, the Day Exhibit, a showcase of reptiles and amphibians, and a portion of the Adaptations Building, featuring animals such as sloths, Indian flying foxes and meerkats, will be open for guests.

The zoo’s many birds of prey will also make periodic visits at the Raptor Barn throughout WildLights.

WildLights tickets cost $9.95 for adults (13+), $7.95 for children (3-12) and toddlers (2 and under) are free. Tickets can be purchased online or at zoo gates during regular zoo hours.

Night-of-event tickets will also be for sale at the zoo’s West Entrance, if not sold out.

WildLights ticket does not include admission to the zoo prior to 5:30 p.m. Parking is free. The event will happen rain or shine.

Locals encouraged to protect pets from cold this winter

With winter in full swing, Seattle Animal Shelter wants to remind locals about the importance for caring for pets in cold weather. As temperatures remain cold pets need extra attention from their owners to ensure their health and safety.

“Each fall and winter season, many pets are left out in the cold with little or no refuge,” says Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordan. “Pet owners need to take extra precautions during cold weather to prevent a potential tragedy from befalling their beloved pets.”

Locals are encourages to keep the following tips in mind to help keep pets safe in winter:

  • Dogs and cats can get frostbitten ears, noses and feet if left outside. Bring pets indoors during cold weather and take them out only when necessary.
  • Pets love the smell and taste of antifreeze, and even a small amount can kill them. Clean up spills at once and be alert for antifreeze on the ground or left out in open containers that have not been properly stored or disposed of.
  • If your dog must remain outside for a period of time, provide an elevated dog house with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out. The door should face away from the west or north to avoid cold winds. If you have a garage, consider installing a “doggie” door so your pet can seek protection from cold weather. Check water bowls to make sure they are not frozen and avoid using metal bowls, as your pet’s tongue could stick to the frozen metal.
  • Gently towel or blow-dry your dog or cat if he or she gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry and clean paws as well. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. Remember that chemicals used to melt snow and ice on driveways and sidewalks can burn your pet, so check the paws, mouth and belly after a walk.
  • Make sure your pet has a current Seattle pet license and always use a leash. When walking on snow, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. A pet license is your best insurance your pet will be returned to you.
  • Cats and kittens often nap on warm car engines and hoods. If your car was recently used, knock on the hood or honk the car horn before starting the engine.
  • Help your elderly or arthritic pets when they need to go outside.
  • Consider a sweater for short-coated breeds, such as Greyhounds and Chihuahuas, before taking them outside. But choose wisely. Sweaters made from certain fibers don’t insulate when they get wet and can actually remove heat from an animal’s body. Avoid sweaters made of cotton; wool and some synthetics provide insulation, even when wet.
  • Do not leave your pet alone in a car. It gets too cold and can quickly become a freezer, causing hypothermia and possibly death.
  • Be careful of fireplaces and portable heaters. Keep fireplaces screened and heaters out of reach, as pets may chew the cord or knock it over and cause a fire.
  • Like people, dogs and cats are more susceptible to illnesses in the winter. Take your pet to your veterinarian if symptoms occur.

The Seattle Animal Shelter (located at 2061 15th Ave W) is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., for adoptions and licensing. Click here to find out more about the Seattle Animal Shelter.

Have you seen Summit in Ballard?


My Ballard reader Ema emailed in to report that her dog, Summit, ran away in North Ballard on Friday, November 25.

Summit is a 2 year old lab, approx 40lb, spayed, and chipped. She is not wearing a collar but was last seen wearing a purple uw bandana.

“Summit has been spotted in Greenlake and near Carkeek Park. She is very friendly, responds to food, and will come when called. Please help me bring her home,” writes Ema.

If you have seen Summit email us at tips@myballard.com and we will pass on the information.

Nordic Heritage Museum seeks local support for 2016 Annual Fund


The Nordic Heritage Museum is seeking local support for their Winter 2016 Annual Fund. The annual fundraising event helps to cover operating costs of the Museum throughout the year.

“We are in a unique moment of transition, looking toward the future and the construction of the New Nordic Museum, but we cannot forget about the present. We depend on your support today to sustain our yearly operating budget. Your gift will help the Museum when it needs it most,” says the Nordic Heritage Museum team.

Donations  to the Winter 2016 Annual Fund allows the Museum to present programs and festivals to a wide audience, create new learning opportunities, and bring international exhibitions to the Museum.

According to the Museum, admission and membership revenues cover only 43% of the Museum’s budget, and the Annual Fund is an important way to keep their doors open.

Click here to donate and to find out more.

Donors needed for Holiday Blood Drive

Bloodworks NW is encouraging locals to give blood this Saturday during the Bloodworks NW Holiday Blood Drive.

Bloodworks is our local blood bank and the sole provider for hospitals and clinics in Western Washington. When accidents happen, Bloodworks needs to supply hospitals with extra blood.

“In order to meet the demand to keep our inventory up, we need help from our community this holiday season,” says Wendy Chu from Bloodworks NW.

The Bloodmobile will be parked at Ballard First Lutheran Church (2006 NW 65th St) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. this Saturday, December 3. Appointments last around 45 minutes and the mobile will be closed for lunch between 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Locals are encouraged to sign up in advance by contacting Sylvia Vikingstad at slyviastad@comcast.net.

Walk-ins on the day are welcome. Make sure to bring photo identification.

Chamber to transition into “Ballard Improvement Area” next year

Last month, the City of Seattle approved the creation of the Ballard Improvement Area (BIA). Due to this approval, The Ballard Chamber will become the BIA as of January 1, 2017.

According to the Ballard Chamber website, the BIA is set to be a long-term, sustainably-funded leadership organization that aims to represent Ballard’s businesses, residents and property owners.

The seven-year program will be funded through assessments on commercial and residential properties in the Ballard core. The map below designates the area of the BIA in bold:


A list of BIA supporters can be found on the Ballard Chamber website. “As a property owner and ratepayer, I believe the BIA is critical to ensuring Ballard has a strong, unified voice, remains economically vital and can represent our community on critical issues throughout the years ahead,” says Ballard community leader and property owner Tom Malone.

Mike Stewart, Executive Director, Ballard Chamber of Commerce, agrees with Malone. “After more than three years of community development and strategic planning, the BIA will implement programs and services that are critical to ensuring that Ballard remains a vibrant place to live, shop, work, eat and play,” says Stewart.

On January 1, 2017, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce will become The Ballard Alliance. As such The Ballard Alliance will administer the projects within the scope of the BIA, such as: Clean Streets and Graffiti Removal, Public Safety and Health Enhancement, Marketing and Promotions, Business Development and Advocacy/Urban Design/Transportation.

BIA funds will be used only to support these identified programs.The organization will adjust staffing resources and contracts appropriately to deliver these services.

Services currently provided by the Ballard Chamber will continue under The Ballard Alliance, including marketing, networking, and program opportunities. The Ballard Chamber will outline the specific details for current Chamber members that reside within and beyond the boundary of the BIA.

In addition to the BIA there are currently eight other Business Improvement Areas operating in the City of Seattle including – Downtown, Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, and the University District.

Click here to find out more about the BIA, click here to read the FAQs and click here to read the BIA Business Plan.

Amazon’s mysterious “Project X” could open on 15th this year


According to GeekWire, Amazon’s mysterious “Project X” could open on 15th Ave NW this year.

According to a recent report the Ballard store looks like it’s on track based to open in the near future. Last week the project received a temporary certificate of occupancy from the city, which indicates that major construction aspects of the project are finished, and that Amazon can begin to occupy the building.

The My Ballard team originally reported the news back in August when first news of the project was released.

Check out the below description of how the mysterious “Project X” officially works from the City of Seattle’s planning documents:

When placing an online order, customers will schedule a specific 15-minute to two-hour pick up window. Peak time slots will sell out, which will help manage traffic flow within the customer parking adjacent to the building.

When picking up purchased items, customers can either drive into a designated parking area with eight parking stalls where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars or they can walk into the retail area to pick up their items.

Customers will also be able to walk into the retail room to place orders on a tablet. Walk in customers will have their products delivered to them in the retail room.

A second drive-up grocery location, just south of downtown Seattle, is also apparently in progress.

According to GeekWire’s report, Amazon is not the only company planning a click-and-collect grocery model. Ballard Fred Meyer is reportedly getting ready to open its own pick up location before the new year.

What’s on this weekend

Have a lovely Thanksgiving Weekend in Ballard!

FRIDAY, November 25

  • Ballard Gives Black Friday event at businesses all over the neighborhood. Participating businesses are donating a portion of their sales to local non-profits.
  • Live Music
    • The Dusty 45’s with Bakelite 78 (Release)/Blackheart Honeymoon at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Tickets $18.
    • Honcho Poncho album release with The Mountain Flowers and Lowman Palace at Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) 9 p.m. Tickets $10.

SATURDAY, November 26

  • The annual Ballard Holiday Fest in Bergen Place from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Events features music, food, fun and a visit from Santa.
  • Small Business Saturday at Peddler Brewing (1514 NW Leary Way) from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. To thank their customers for supporting their small business, the team is offering 15% off all merchandise in our tasting room and online this Saturday.
  • Live Music
    • Perry Robinson with Jump Ensemble at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St) at 7 p.m. $8 cover.
    • Vaudeville Etiquette, Rust On The Rails, and Nick Foster Band at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Tickets $10.

SUNDAY, November 27

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Sunday Morning Meditation at Amazing Grace Spiritual Center (2007 NW 61st St) from 10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
  • Zumba Class at Ballard Elks (6411 Seaview Ave NW) from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. $5 suggested donation, all funds raised go to Ballard Elks charities. Classes are held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays each month.
  • Live Music
    • Open mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) sign-up at 7:30 p.m.
    • Sloucher with Fauna Shade & Pale Noise at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 8 p.m. Tickets $8.
    • Chinwave, T-Rigz and Everson Pines at Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) 8 p.m. Tickets $8.

Ballard businesses to give back this Black Friday


Ballard area businesses are putting a generous spin on Black Friday by participating in the annual Ballard Gives Black Friday event.

Business owners are encouraging shoppers to skip the crowds and shop locally in Ballard for a good cause.  A more socially-conscience effort is planned for the busiest shopping weekend of the year, as participating businesses are donating a portion of their sales to a local non-profit.  Many business owners are extending their donations throughout the weekend.

“We find our customers are very excited about the event and want to support the participating businesses.  In fact, many customers feel inspired and give to the charities above and beyond what their purchase alone accomplishes,” says Ryan Stauffer, Co-owner of Market Street Shoes.

Ballard Gives Black Friday was originally launched a few years ago by local merchants looking for a way to counter the “rampant shopping frenzy created by national brands, malls and big box stores and instead create an atmosphere of giving,” according to Stauffer.

Non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

Click here to learn more and find the local business that are participating.