Out and About in Kent
Kent boasts a wide range of retail stores including antiques, gifts, clothes, books, furniture, crafts and floral. It offers plenty of parking and lots of places to eat. Residents and visitors alike regularly enjoy the historic small-town atmosphere that is easy and enjoyable to walk. Downtown Kent is also home to the Kent Regional Library and Sister Cities International Park.
Kent Station is a 470,000-square-foot “mixed use urban village” that includes retail, entertainment, education and office space all in one thoughtfully designed project. Created as a pedestrian-oriented town center, Kent Station offers local, regional and national retailers and restaurants, and a 14-screen movie theater. It’s adjacent to the Sounder Commuter Rail Station and parking garage, allowing commuters to shop, dine or see a movie after work and before heading home.
The Great Wall Shopping Mall in Kent is the largest full-service Asian mall in the greater Seattle area. Shoppers can smell the enticing aroma of herbs, seafood, incense, and exotic and tasty food wafting through the air. Located on about nine acres, the mall encompasses more than 100,000 square feet. It is anchored by an Asian grocery store where customers can shop for hundreds of hard-to-find Asian products.
Kent’s East Hill offers the East Hill Carriage Antique Mall, a popular destination for antique hounds. In 2010 the new Kent Events Center opened. This beautiful space can host lavish banquets, parties and has many ethnic restaurants and shops. Further north along 104th Avenue, an international area is developing with Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Indian and Chinese restaurants, as well as stores selling clothes and even videos for an increasingly diverse population. The West Hill area boasts a wide variety of high-quality and convenient choices to those who live and work in the area.
The Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is nationally recognized for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Management. There are 68 parks and open spaces spread over 1,400 acres within the Kent Parks system. There is a full range of services and classes for youth, teens, adults and disabled citizens.
Residents can enjoy 27 holes of first-class golf at the Riverbend Golf Complex.
Events and Attractions
The Cornucopia Days annual celebration takes place in July and features entertainment, food, a street fair, carnival, parade, and the popular Dragon Boat Races. A project of the Kent Lions Club, this celebration is Kent’s oldest continuing event and the largest street fair in the Northwest.
The Fourth of July Celebration at Lake Meridian features family entertainment, athletic activities and games, community projects, music, craft booths, food vendors, fireworks, and much more.
The City of Kent sponsors the Summer Concert Series of free concerts by regional and national performers. Shows include family performances on Thursday evenings, children’s concerts on Wednesdays, and lunch hour performances on Tuesdays in downtown Kent. These presentations of music, dance and theater are held in four of Kent’s most beautiful parks.
The Greater Kent Historical Society Museum, located in the Bereiter House, is one of Kent’s oldest and finest homes – a 1908 Craftsman-style, three-story house with carriage entry. The home is furnished with period furniture and an extensive gallery of local historical artifacts.
The Kent Valley Ice Center is located at the northeast corner of Russell Road Park and James Street. This 58,500-square-foot arena includes two National Hockey League regulation-size rinks, a 4,000-square-foot interactive game room, the largest pro shop in the Northwest, ten oversized locker rooms, private party rooms, a restaurant overlooking the ice, offices, and ballet and weight-training rooms.
The Kent Arts Commission performance season runs from October through May and includes annual performances of The Nutcracker and Magical Strings Celtic Yuletide Concerts. National touring theater companies and a variety of musicians from around the country round out each season.
ShoWare Center is a beautiful, state-of-the-art arena in downtown Kent. The home of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League will welcome home games starting in January 2011 through the end of the regular season in mid March. It is also home of the Kent Predators, a new professional indoor football league. The Predators season begins mid-March.
The Emerald Downs horse racetrack in Auburn is a 166-acre facility offering five months of live racing on its one-mile oval track from April through October, and full card simulcasting from tracks around the nation year-round.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, located in Kent, features a collection of vintage hydroplanes spanning seven decades, including boats that won 17 Gold Cups. Learn about the history of hydroplane racing and famous drivers dating back to the turn-of-the-last-century.