Help me find a gift for my awesome friend?
January 14, 2014 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a gift for my awesome friend? Difficulty: she and her husband and 2 year old son are moving across the country to Seattle in a week.

One of my close girlfriends is leaving Boston for Seattle. I am sad about losing geographical closeness, but so happy for the family - her husband, who my husband and I are also close friends with, got a great new job out there, and they'll be much closer to her parents. They've been such great friends over the years and we are really going to miss them, but I'd like to get them something to make the transition to a new city maybe a little easier. Also to say thanks, since she's been incredibly helpful and patient in answering my oh-my-god-i'm-having-a-baby questions lately (I'm due in June, woo!).

I know they've rented a house in Ballard, but I'm not sure where, exactly. I was thinking like a restaurant gift certificate or something along those lines, but I've only been to Seattle once and we only spent an afternoon in Ballard. Mefites of Seattle, what neighborhood gem would you like to have heard about early on? Or can you suggest something better that a young family might be interested in? Price range up to $100. Thank you so much for your help!
posted by hungrybruno to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't help but think a gift certificate to bed, bath, and beyond or home depot would be really good for those times during a move when something is missing, broken, or realization that the rental didn't come with curtains.
posted by royalsong at 10:01 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are a couple of prior Asks that might be useful to you? Apologies if you've already seen them.

Are they driving to Seattle? You could make them a guide to cool things to stop at and do with a toddler on the way, and maybe give them a nice framed photo of you with them together? (a little bit different than what you asked, but throwing the idea out anyway)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:05 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just a note about the Home Depot/Bed Bath & Beyond suggestion, the nearest HD to Ballard is in Bitterlake, and the nearest BBB is downtown, so a more convenient gift certificate if you decide to go that route is to Fred Meyer, there's one at each end of the Ballard area and they have all kinds of houseware-type things that the newly-moved might need.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:09 AM on January 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yeah, if they are driving then a basket of snacks and fun stuff for the little one to do (easily acquired from the 1 Spot at Target) would be so nice.

Also, not sure how much you want to spend but a zoo membership would be awesome.
posted by dawkins_7 at 10:20 AM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry I don't have specific Ballard recs either, but as a person who just moved you might also consider a gift certificate to their local grocery store or food coop or a smaller neighborhood hardware store (or multiple gift cards!). Fred Meyer is not a bad suggestion because of the sheer variety and amount of stuff they carry including small appliances (it's kind of like a combo of Target plus a full supermarket) but their offerings are pretty conventional big boxy (though the chain is a regional fixture so might be fun for newbies to explore.)
posted by dahliachewswell at 10:21 AM on January 14, 2014

In addition to the practical stuff, if you're object is to get them out of their new home and exploring their newly adopted city, a restaurant selection in an interesting area will certainly do that.

There are a lot of great places in Seattle, including some very walkable areas in Ballard, but there are some really fantastic places outside the neighborhood but not too far.

A gift cert for Bizzaro's Italian Cafe might be enjoyable. It's not a terribly long drive. Don't be fooled by the Guy Fieri endoresement, it really is good. They might also appreciate a gift card for Serious Pie & Biscuit which is excellent and not too far either.

As for Ballard proper, if they are into herbs, chocolate , teas, bitters & c., you should tell them about Dandelion Botannical (caveat: I'm related to the owners—I have no financial stake, but they're good people.) I don't know if they sell gift certs, but it's worth mentioning to them if nothing else. It is within a very short walk of an excellent cafe that has some of the most amazing drinking chocolate you'll ever find.
posted by Hylas at 10:21 AM on January 14, 2014

The only real recommendation I can think of for something that's not to be missed in Ballard is the Ballard Farmers Market, but of course they don't have gift certificates. Maybe some cash in an envelope marked "for the Ballard Farmers Market"?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:29 AM on January 14, 2014

I live in Ballard. Do they like CDs/Vinyl? Sonic Boom Records is a great indie record shop. Do they like books? Secret Garden Books is a great indie bookshop. Restaurants in Ballard that are yummy and welcoming to families with small children include Senor Moose, the Hi-Life, and Sam's Sushi. The best place for brunch is The Dish. If they are foodies and want to pick up some yummy imported condiments and teas, they could use a gift certificate to Savour. If they want some cool posters for their new house, they could go to Annie's. Cool indie toys for the kids? Clover!

I agree that Fred Meyer is more conveniently located than Home Depot or Lowe's.
posted by matildaben at 10:39 AM on January 14, 2014

You guys are awesome, the Fred Meyer suggestions is exactly what I was looking for. I know they know about it (we talked about it last week with a Seattle native), but a gift certificate might be just the thing!

Luckily they are flying, but something for the wee one to do on the plane is likely to be well received, also.

Happy to hear more suggestions, if you've got them. Thanks!
posted by hungrybruno at 11:33 AM on January 14, 2014

What is your gift deadline?
posted by michellenoel at 12:00 PM on January 14, 2014

Ideally, uh, Friday? We're going to their house for a goodbye get together and pantry clean out on Saturday night. But I'm open to ideas that need a longer lead time, as I could always mail something.
posted by hungrybruno at 12:58 PM on January 14, 2014

This isn't really in the line of a gift certificate, but you may want to let them know there is an awesome splash park kitty corner to the library. (This will be more relevant when it's a little warmer.) The library also has a huge amount of stuff for kids, from frequent storytimes, to puzzles and stuffed animals to play with, and board books which are on the honor system, rather than on a library card.

The best park to visit with/meet other parents is Salmon Bay Park. The sand area is filled with donated toys and there are always lots of other small children around.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:39 PM on January 14, 2014

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