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Chimposium in Ellensburg

Published on: March 29, 2007

'Hidden Gems' contest winner

We asked all "Hidden Gems" survey participants to share their favorite
"off the beaten path" activity with their kids. Our readers had many
creative and fun suggestions, from a visit to South Seattle's Kubota
gardens to lunch in Seattle's International District to a Bainbridge
Island ferry ride.

The winning entry, submitted by Becky Snyder, was a daytrip to Central
Washington University in Ellensburg, home to the Chimposium,
a one-hour educational workshop involving CWU's world-renowned signing
chimpanzees. "It's an amazing program for older children," Snyder says.
"They get to attend a lecture and observe the chimps using American
Sign Language."

Snyder says that during the 90-minute drive,
she and husband Art, daughter Savannah, 9, and son Hunter, 5, will stop
for breakfast at the Family Pancake House on Snoqualmie Pass on the way
to Ellensburg, or visit Roslyn's Village Pizza on the way home.

The Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute's Chimposiums are held
each weekend, March through November, on Saturday mornings at 9:15 and
10:45 a.m. and Sunday afternoons at 12:30 and 2 p.m. Topics include the
culture of free-living chimpanzees and chimpanzee sign language
conversations, plus a guided observation of Washoe, one of four signing
chimpanzees at the Institute, and her family.

Prepaid reservations are recommended, and credit card or payment by
check or cash is required in advance. To hold your spot for a Saturday
or Sunday Chimposium, call 509-963-2244 weekdays between the hours of 9
a.m.-4:30 p.m. Chimposium tuition is $10 per adult and $7.50 per
student (defined as preschool-aged children, K-12 and college students).


More about our Hidden Gems Contest:
Talk about monkeying around with success.

Each year, we ask our readers to name their favorite family friendly
shops, restaurants, parks and getaways. But this time, we changed the
rules: Using the theme "Hidden Gems of Puget Sound," we asked parents
to focus on locally owned businesses and out-of-the-way places. We even
offered a prize for the best personal "Hidden Gem" -- an activity you
do with your kids that is off the beaten path.

Admittedly, keeping national chains out of the mix is a tough
challenge. From grabbing a morning latte to buying groceries, national
names often figure into our daily routine. But our resourceful readers
rose to the occasion, offering their favorite local family hangouts,
from kids' hair salons and shoe stores to pizza places and ice cream

To round out the list, we asked a group of our writers to come up with
their own "Hidden Gems" for each category: shopping, food,
entertainment and services. We think their ideas are also jewels that
will surprise and delight you.

As for the monkey business, that figures into the last question on our
survey: "an activity you do with your kids that is off the beaten path
or that others wouldn't know about."

Our winning entry, submitted by Becky Snyder of Sammamish, was a day
trip to Central Washington University in Ellensburg, home to the
Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute and its "Chimposium"
workshop. "A true 'Hidden Gem' that very few people know about," Snyder

For her winning suggestion, Snyder will receive a family membership to
the KidsQuest Children's Museum in Factoria.

Thanks to all our readers and writers for sharing their gems!

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