Our Japanese Auto Repair Blog
Halloween is just a few short weeks away, and the excitement for the celebrations is beginning to kick in! With a large mix of events in the Seattle area to get you into the spirit, there is something for everyone! From tame trick-or-treating events for the whole family to bone-chilling houses of horror for the older souls, you are bound to find plenty of ways to commemorate the scary season.
Here are just a few of the many Seattle Halloween events to check out before they vanish:
For the Little Boys and Ghouls:
Halloween is a wonderful opportunity to make memories with your family, and if your little ones are not quite ready for the truly terrifying, you may want to stick with these tamer Seattle events.
Monster Bash: Saturday, October 6th (Everett, WA)
Take your little monsters to the Flying Heritage and Armor Museum for all sorts of fun. Some of the events include a monster truck ride, trucks to touch and climb, scavenger hunt, face painting, and trick-or-treating, so be sure to have your family decked out in costumes to kick it up a notch.
This annual event at Woodland Park Zoo, aimed for kids twelve and under, is always a popular choice. Don a costume and learn about animal behavior as many of the zoo’s residents play with pumpkins in their habitats. It is enriching for both your kids and the zoo’s animals.
All aboard for lots of spooky stories as you hit the rails on a haunted train ride. Some of the stops include a cider pressing, kid’s activities, and of course, a trip to the top of Snoqualmie Falls.
Time for the Terrible Tweens:
Older children and teenagers may appreciate more tricks and fewer treats for their Halloween fun. These events may be more up their dark and gloomy alley.
Get ready for nightmares after visiting the six haunted attractions, including an “escape from the crypt” room added for 2018. The thrills and chills at this haunted house may leave you breathless. Nile Nightmares is a short drive from Seattle in Mountlake Terrace.
This annual Halloween-themed race and fun run benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If running isn’t your thing, you can join the 4K walk, treasure hunt, or costume contest. Plus, there is even a candy corn tasting bar! The Run Scared 5K and 10K are fun events for a great cause, and you can bring your dogs ― preferably in costume.
Georgetown Morgue: Weekends in October and the full week of Halloween (Seattle, WA)
A haunted house in an actual morgue is not for the weak of heart, but if you are feeling brave, you should give it a try. This event is not recommended for children under twelve unless you opt to go to the more child-friendly “lights-on” afternoon version.
For Old Souls Only:
Who says adults are too old for Halloween? Seattle has plenty of parties, plays, and other exciting events best enjoyed with your fellow night owls and witches.
Haunt at MoPOP: Saturday, October 27 (Seattle, WA)
It is a wild night for Halloween revelry, but it is held at a museum, so it has got a touch of the culture built right in. Expect amazing costumes, live music, and a lively party atmosphere for the over 21 crowds. Selling out every year, it is important to get your tickets early.
Can Can Productions puts on quite a show with this live music and dance version of the Tim Burton classic. Held at the Triple Door Theatre, this event has been a Seattle staple for almost two decades.
Get Spooky With Us!
Take some of the fear out of the Seattle Halloween fun by having your car serviced at Greg’s Japanese Auto. Our service team can diagnose problems and perform regular maintenance, so your vehicle is ready to take off when you need to. Make an appointment today!
When the days grow both shorter and cooler, you know the best season of the year is approaching; Autumn. To get into the spirit, there are plenty of activities to do in the fall. You and your family can visit some of the fabulous pumpkin patches and farms just a short drive from your Washington home. Here is a list of six of the most popular ones found around the area:
Weekends at this Washington pumpkin patch mean fun for the whole family. Fox Hollow Farm’s Fall Festival has something for every age, including a pumpkin patch, corn bin, hay maze for the younger crowd, racetracks, ATVs, inflatables, pony rides, haunted forest trails, horse-drawn carriage rides, and bonfires with smores. You will want to stay all day and night to take advantage of all that this farm has to offer.
It is almost Harvest Festival time at this family fun farm! Weekends in October mean endless fun for both the young and young at heart. You can start with a hayride to the U-pick pumpkin or flower fields to make your selection. Then, take the kids to the hay maze or check out the pumpkin trebuchet―a catapult-like contraption that lets you hurl a pumpkin into the air just for the thrill of it. You can also enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, and hot apple cider on the barn porch.
With 20 acres to explore, you and your family are virtually guaranteed to have a great time. The U-pick pumpkin patch and corn maze are across the street from each other, so be sure to make time to see it all. They also have a family fun yard with duck races, corn pin, barn animals, and a hay maze, as well as a produce and concessions stand featuring the Carpinito Brothers’ famous roasted sweet corn. Bring your family, your sense of adventure, and your appetite for the fall fun.
With over 40 acres of fun offered by Bob’s Corn and Pumpkin Farm, there is no possibility that you won’t enjoy yourself. A free hayride takes you into the farm, where you can find a 10-acre corn maze, a cow train, apple cannon, their U-pick pumpkin patch, corn crib, and big slides. For even more excitement, plan your visit at night to attempt the corn maze by flashlight and rent one of their 18 fire pits for smores. Plus, be sure to sample the homemade hot donuts and kettle corn!
Step back in time for some good old-fashioned fall fun at this pumpkin patch in Washington. Plan your visit on an autumn weekend to ride the steam train, see the animals in the 4-H barn, ride the many rides, and of course, find that perfect pumpkin to carve. They even have a pony trail, antique pedal cars, and live entertainment to make your special fall visit memorable.
This corn maze and pumpkin patch duo is a family fun farm by day and creepy thrill by night. In the evening, the corn maze is haunted for a spooky adventure to test your nerve. There is also a zombie paintball if you are feeling brave. And for the younger ones, night time can still be as fun; You can explore the calf-roping station, pick a pumpkin, or play a game of cornhole.
Plan Your Fall Fun Today
Before the first leaves begin to change color and beckon you to hit the road in search of activities to do in the fall, you should stop by Greg’s Japanese Auto to have your car serviced. Whether you need routine maintenance or a diagnostic evaluation, we can help you get your car ready for your next adventure. Make an appointment today.
The summer heat is waning, and the days are getting shorter, which can only mean that Fall is just around the corner. The Seattle fall season makes for a prime time to go cruising in your vehicle. If you are searching for the best places in Seattle to see Fall colors, look no further. Here are the Top 6 best places to see autumn colors in the Pacific Northwest:
1. Lincoln Park, Seattle
This West Seattle multi-purpose park is just North of the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal. Overlooking Puget Sound, its rocky beaches, beautiful meadows, and verdant forests are dotted with both picnic and play areas. In the Fall, the park’s 4.6 miles of walking paths are draped in blazing orange, vibrant reds, and bold yellows. In addition, a zip line, cable ride and abundant play elements make the park the perfect place to spend an autumn afternoon.
2. Montlake Fill, Seattle
Officially named the Union Bay Natural Area, this 74-acre nature area is situated on the University of Washington campus. The pristine wetlands and gorgeous grasslands are close to University Village shopping and Husky Stadium. With Mount Rainier and Lake Washington in the background, the gravel walking trails are an excellent way to spend a Fall day. Bring a pair of binoculars to this premier Seattle birding site to spot waterfowl and other birds peeking through the brilliant autumn colors.
3. Bellevue Botanical Gardens, Seattle
Standing as one of the top places to visit in Seattle, this urban refuge contains more than 50 acres of restored woodlands, natural wetlands and cultivated gardens. In the Fall, the breathtaking colors make it a can’t miss destination. Stop by the Visitor Center to learn about the courtyard gardens, pick up a treasure map for the kids, and decide where you want to wander. Take a class and learn about the best trees for color or just pick a trail and go. Remember to bring your camera to capture the fantastic view and vivid colors.
4. Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle
Hidden along the shores of Lake Washington, this 230-acre park contains a dynamic assortment of plants ― unlike any found in the American Northwest. Managed by the City of Seattle and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, the park offers self-guided, public, and private tours allowing you to explore the vast network of trails and interpretive signage. Stroll through the Woodland Garden and walk along Azalea Way as Fall is celebrated with riot of vibrant colors. Japanese maples, sorrel trees, witch hazels, and mountain ash are just a few of the trees that display gorgeous, intense shades of orange, red, yellow and purple during the autumn season at Washington Park Arboretum.
5. Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Seattle
If you want to get out of town, enjoy stunning mountain vistas and dense strands of the forest by driving through the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is also perfect for hikers and backpackers with over 700 ponds and lakes carved from this rugged terrain. Hike the seven miles to one of the Upper Enchantment Lakes or apply for a permit and spend the night. Crisp mountain air, and brilliant colors as far as the eye can see, make this a must for your Fall to-do list.
6. Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Seattle
Vibrant forest colors and an assortment of wildlife abound in this scenic gem located in Klickitat County, Washington (just outside of Portland, OR). Aspen, oak, and pine forests harbor long-bearded sego lily and Oregon coyote-thistle for one of the most diverse plant havens in Washington. The refuge is teeming with wildlife, from elk and Sandhill cranes, to deer and rare Oregon spotted frogs. Take the day and explore the valley, set ablaze with color and watch as fat gray squirrels prepare for winter and the snow geese, songbirds and swans head South.
Prepare For Your Fall Trips
Whether you are visiting the must-see places of Seattle or just want to explore the Pacific Northwest, make sure your car is serviced and ready to go. At Greg’s Japanese Auto, we will keep your vehicle running in top condition. Contact us to schedule your service today and be prepared for all of your fall time adventures!
Most automotive creators agree on this one – these next ten years might see more change in the automotive business than the last 20, and there’s been a great deal of progress in those previous 20 years.
Back in the day, there was no radar accessible to detect different vehicles out and about and most cameras still utilized film, making vehicle backup cameras impossible. Radios had either cassette players or CD players and messaging your friends while you were driving didn’t exist.
Today, vehicles have become so cutting edge from that point that it’s stunning. So, what can we expect cars to look like in just 10 more years?
The following deadline referred to by automotive creators as a tipping point is 2025: That’s the point at which they’re looking for cars of the future to drive themselves and for electric batteries to be more prevalent than ignition motors.
Other high-tech ideas automotive creators have are 3D printed exteriors, seamless integration between your car and other devices, automated braking systems, and new, increasingly detailed maps.
3-D Printed Exteriors
The idea of 3D printing automotive exteriors is a hotly contested one. On the one hand, it would make the production of cars cheaper, but place their human passengers at more risk, depending on the material used. Eliminating the use of aluminum has become a trend in car production over the last few years, and 3D printing future cars would be the next big step.
Seamless Device Integration
Integration between your phone and car already has happened in most newer models. But rather than using Bluetooth, as they do now, car companies are pushing for new technologies to streamline your experience (and reduce fatalities related to distracted driving.) Audi, for example, is working on a system that would monitor your pulse, body temperature, and other metrics to automatically adjust the AC, radio, and other features.
Automated Braking Systems
One of the significant movements in the works for cars ten years from now is the development of automatic braking systems, with the hope that fatalities and instances of rear-ending decreases. 20 companies, including big names like Toyota and Honda, signed an agreement to have automatic braking systems as a standard feature in all cars by the year 2022 – closer than you think.
Are these fancy bells and whistles not your thing? Do you cling to the car you have? Make it last with regular maintenance at Greg’s Japanese Auto. With emissions repair, pre-buyer inspection, scheduled maintenance, and diagnostic services head to Greg’s Japanese Auto for all your auto repair needs. If you want more information about what services are available or are ready to set up an appointment, please visit us online.
Are you heading on a road trip this summer but are wondering how to survive a road trip with kids? Tired of hearing the road-trip staple “are we there yet?” Here are five life hacks for your next long road trip with your kids.
Bring a Backpack
Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but a backpack full of toys on a road trip is a parent’s best friend! Try to throw in toys that aren’t messy (save that puzzle for the hotel room), but that can keep the kids engaged, like coloring books, travel board games, and maybe a Rubik’s cube or two. Hang the backpack on the seat in front of the child, and allow them to play peacefully to their heart’s content.
Play Team Games
In case the kids get bored of the backpack, have group games on hand! Scavenger hunts work well for longer trips or play games that require nothing but your eyes and some teamwork, like “I spy” or “20 Questions.” The road trip will be over before you know it!
Plan Out Those Pit Stops
You’ll have to stop for gas at some point, so why not stop someplace the whole family can enjoy! Spending half an hour at a local park or pit stop is an excellent way for your kids to stretch their legs and hopefully tire themselves out before you must hit the road again. Bringing a frisbee, a football, or a baseball and a glove to add some fun to the stop, but, aren’t required!
Go on Adventures
There’s no doubt you’ve seen billboards advertising some wacky things, like the World’s Largest Jellybean or the Smallest Castle in the United States. If you’ve got time, at least drive by whatever it is with your kids in tow! Not only does this give you and your kids some cool bragging rights or a cocktail party conversation starter for you, but it also gives you something to think about besides how long you have before you get to your destination.
Plan Your Timing
Plan to leave for your longer trips in the middle of the night so that the kids can stay asleep for most of the ride.
Before you go anywhere with your kids, awake or asleep, make sure your car is safe and running at its best with a trip to Greg’s Japanese Auto shop. We can get your car in tip-top shape and ready to hit the road with our many affordable services. Check us out online or call 1-800-79-GREGS to make an appointment.
Tablets, smart phones, and laptops can be incredibly helpful when traveling. They help keep young ones entertained on long trips, keeping them calm and happy when you are on the road. While these screens have their uses, it is a good idea to give your kids lots of screen-free time as well. Road trips can be a great opportunity to bond with your family instead of staring at a screen. Too much screen time can lead to the development of chronic headaches and attention disorders in young children, making it important to find screen-free road trip activities your whole family can enjoy.
One of the oldest screen-free activities is still one of the most entertaining. Before your trip, pick up or download a variety of Mad Libs. You can find them on almost any topic you like, so you are sure to wind up with ones that match your child’s interests. Not only are they entertaining, but you can also use them to reinforce or teach the parts of speech to your children.
20 (or 10 or 5) Questions
This is a great way to pass the time and help your children add a range of descriptive words to their vocabulary. Simply pick a topic, such as cartoon characters, animals, or plants. One person picks a character, animal, etc., and everyone else takes turns asking questions about it to find out what it is.
Guess the Song
Make a playlist on your phone or iPod that contains songs everyone in your family likes. Put the playlist on shuffle and award points to family members that can guess the song that is playing the fastest. You can adapt this for younger children by adding nursery rhymes and other songs they enjoy.
Read or Enjoy Books on Tape
As long as no one gets car sick from reading, bring along a few books for private, quiet entertainment. Younger children may enjoy “find the image” books or activity books, with a story and some type of challenge You can also pick a story the whole family enjoys and listen to it on tape.
If you have two or more kids, pick up a few magnetic travel games. These can keep your children occupied for hours.
Once you figure out which screen-free activities you and your family may enjoy most, you should turn your focus to your car. Be sure to have it examined and fully inspected before heading out on the road to keep you and your family safe. Visit us at Greg’s Japanese Auto for all your servicing and maintenance needs. Our focus is on taking care of you and your car, wherever you are!
Car companies have always been in heated competition, constantly trying to produce vehicles that outperform others in their class. Taking advantage of current trends and the latest technology is how these companies stay ahead. This includes the development of self-driving cars. When it comes to determining who is winning the self-driving car race, there are a few companies that are leading the pack.
Tesla is one of the best-known self-driving car companies, with its Autopilot project making repeated appearances in the news. Elon Musk is well-known for his determination and eagerness to push the envelope, which bodes well for the Autopilot. In the self-driving car race, data is key, and by just 2016, Tesla had already logged about 780 million miles of data. This much data is sure to give them a huge advantage.
While Tesla has brand recognition, Waymo has clear successes. Their cars have already driven over five million miles in 25 cities. Waymo also has an entire fleet of Chrysler minivans capable of navigating San Francisco streets. Their data shows an incredibly low rate of disengagement (incidents when a human engineer or driver had to manually control the steering wheel), especially when compared to the Tesla. California tests also resulted in fewer accidents than other companies; just three collisions in over 350,000 miles. Waymo’s goal is to begin a commercial passenger service using driverless vans by the end of 2018. If they achieve this goal, they could come out as the clear leader in the self-driving car race.
GM intends to launch a hailing ride project in 2019 using driverless cars. While they do not have the same real-world tests as Waymo, they do have a major investor. The extra cash invested into the company by SoftBank has allowed them to fully finance their self-driving car business. Another advantage GM has over the competition is their company-owned factory, just north of Detroit. This factory allows them to produce self-driving cars at a lower manufacturing cost, which is likely going to be reflected in the final sticker price.
Even cars that drive themselves require regular maintenance to perform well. Bring your vehicle, self-driving or otherwise, in to see us at Greg’s Japanese Auto. We have over 30 years of experience ensuring that drivers like you can continue to enjoy their vehicle’s strong performance on the road. Visit us online or give us a call to schedule your maintenance appointment today.
Taking weekend road trips from Seattle is a great way to unwind and recharge after a stressful week. They can also be the perfect chance to bond with friends, loved ones, or family members. Living in Seattle gives residents some fantastic options for weekend getaways, with a destination for almost every person. Here are just a few of the best road trips from Seattle.
Located in Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island is a great getaway. You can arrange to stay for the day, or you can rent one of the beautiful cottages that line the shore on Airbnb. The island itself is filled with parks, gardens, and beautiful waterfront villages. Winslow is a highly recommended area, as it has numerous shops, dining options, wineries, and a distillery.
Friday Harbor is a short drive away, less than four hours, but once you are there, it feels like a whole new world. This adorable tiny hamlet gives those tired of the bustle of Seattle a small-town break. Visitors can walk along the beach, explore the tiny village, and enjoy some of the area’s best live music. There is a ferry from the mainland to Friday Harbor, so you can leave your car behind, saving some extra cash and enjoying the stunning scenery.
Westport is a beautiful beachside town with a lot for visitors to do. It is only a two and half hour drive away from midtown Seattle, making it a great choice for a day trip or for an extended stay. You can enjoy amazing seafood, including some of the best fish and chips in the region. Visitors can also get more involved in their food preparation, pulling crabs from the ocean for your dinner and picking local produce to use in your evening cocktails.
Individuals looking for a more athletic getaway option can visit Mount Rainier. The spot is also perfect for couples, friend groups, and families alike. In the middle of winter, the skiing options are incredible, with numerous trails for beginners and experts alike. The summer months are perfect for mountain climbing. You can easily find tours geared to individuals of all skill levels.
Before you head out for your Seattle road trip, be sure you bring your car into Greg’s Japanese Auto. Our skilled service technicians can inspect and detail your vehicle, getting it in the best possible condition. This guarantees your road trip goes off without a hitch, delays, or any fears about breakdowns in the middle of your weekend. Greg’s also offers a free 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance Program with almost every service. Contact us by phone or visit us at any one of our locations in Western Washington today to learn more or to book your service appointment.
Image Credit: oneinchpunch/Shutterstock
Taking fun family road trips is a great way to stay connected with your family, especially if school and work stress have interfered with other family time. Living in Seattle presents numerous options for destinations. Consider taking one of these best family road trips today.
1. Lake Chelan
Less than four hours away, Lake Chelan is a great destination for families with young kids. This is a sunny destination, with a ton of outdoor activities, including a tour of the nearby lakes and numerous festivals throughout the year.
2. Cle Elum
If you are searching for a destination filled with athletic, outdoor activities like biking, horseback riding, and boat rentals, Cle Elum is the perfect spot for you. You can also find a ton of family-friendly restaurants and indoor entertainment options as well, making it a great choice for families of all ages and sizes.
3. Copalis Beach
Families search for a quiet, beautiful spot without a ton of planned activities may want to consider Copalis Beach. Bring a stack of games, books, and crafts for the perfect bonding experience. Enjoy time on the beach, in a cozy cabin, or at one of the beautiful resorts in the area.
Families looking for an international experience may want to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is just a short ride away with a decent exchange rate. Special spots you must visit include the Kids Market in Granville Island, the Vancouver Aquarium, and Stanley Park.
5. Port Townsend
Port Townsend is a charming Victorian seaport, filled with galleries, boutiques, and fantastic dining options. There are parks, tours, and a science center, making it a fantastic destination for families with multiple kids and a vast array of interests.
This is a great destination with a diverse range of activities, including walking tours, spa treatments, and a ton of places to hike. It is only about two hours away from Seattle, so you can go for the day or extend your stay for the weekend.
7. Olympic National Park
You and your whole family are going to love the beautiful beach, stunning rainforest, and hot springs that adorn this national park. Day hikes of varying lengths and skill levels can keep you busy and in shape.
Before you pack your family away for one of the many fun road trips from Seattle available to you, take your car into Greg’s Japanese Auto for servicing. Our friendly and efficient technicians can complete a full inspection of your car, taking time to ensure it is running well so you and your family can enjoy a safe adventure on the road. Greg’s also offers a free 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance Program with almost every service. Contact us by phone or visit one of our locations in Western Washington to learn more.