New Years Eve Fun – Tacoma

First Night in Tacoma: Downtown Tacoma on Dec 31st from 6:30-Midnight

  • Programs for kids
  • Events all through downtown
  • Fire Dancers, Giant Puppets and the Worlds Shortest Parade

Buttons for entry to all the events is $10 for ages 10yrs+ and FREE for those younger and $14 on Dec 31st

New Years Eve Jump at Pump it Up: $10 Dec 31st from 10am-12pm (ages 2-5) or from 6-9pm (ages 9-14)
*Pre-registration is encouraged

  • 2 slices pizza & apple juice
  • Jump time and a craft
New Years DAY Jump at Pump it UP: $7/$5 (2nd child) Jan 1st from 10-12pm for ages 4-12 – again NOT a drop-off event
Happy Noon Year! at Tacoma Main Library (FREE) Dec 31st 11am
Countdown to noon at an event featuring music by Nancy Stewart.  Decorate a festive party hat, sing songs and have a toast to watch the ball drop at noon. 
Fantasy Lights 5-9pm on Dec 31st and Jan 1st see Holiday page for more details
Point Defiance Zoolights 5-9pm on Dec 31st and Jan 1st 
Tickets at Fred Meyer are only $7 and $8.25 at the gate!
Polar Bear Plunge Jan 1st at 10am for the kiddos and 12pm for adults
*Free, but participants receive coupon for the zoo (remember to bring change of clothes, and a towel, and a hot cocoa!!)

Parents Night Out

Pump It Up Tacoma has a Parents Night Out on Thursdays.  You can drop the kiddos off from 5:30 and pick them up at 8:30 (3hrs) for $15.  The admission includes 2 slices of pizza, drink, jump time, games, stories and more.

Additionally, Cheers West offers free appetizers to parents participating.

North End New Years Eve Celebration – Seattle

Seattle Child Magazine has a great list of events in Seattle for children to celebrate the New Years holiday.  Everything from New Years countdowns to other parties at Childrens Museums and the Discovery Museum.  Just because they can’t stay up until midnight, doesn’t mean they don’t want to celebrate too!  Ive been to several of these venues over the last few years and here are my favorites:

  • NY countdown at the Children’s Museum, Seattle
  • Noon Party at Kids Discovery Museum on Bainbridge
  • New Years Eve Festivities at Seattle Center, Seattle

Recycalpyso Music and Instruments in Puyallup

At the Puyallup library, you can join the jam session and learn all about the history of steel drum music.  Kids of all ages can explore creative ways to turn items they already know about into musical instruments.  This is a concert and a workshop all in one.  Come by and have fun!

More Winter Fun

I found a couple of really great resources for everyone while either on Winter break, or ways to combat the heater-blues.  If you are anything like me, the months of January, February and March can be anti-climatic, especially after the magic of the holiday season.  And, as we have had record dry month in December (I hope I didn’t jinx it!), I am placing a few more great ideas here for cold-weather OUTDOOR fun!

Dig for Razor Clams
Four beaches have opened up for holiday clam dig.  Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beachs are open for a razor clam dig Thursday and Friday Dec 22nd and 23rd.  See more here:  The Department of Fish and Wildlife officials expect a lot of people so buy your license before heading to the coast to avoid lines at the dealers there.  (Go local spend money in your own county.)

Nisqually Bird Walk
Each Wednesday, Phil Kelley leads a walk through the Nisqually National WIldlife Refuge.  The walk is almost 4 miles and starts at 8am.  Call 360-459-1499 or email for more information $3 entrance fee for adults.

Take a Hike
There are plenty of lower elevation hikes that can be found, from the 6mile drive at Point Defiance, or the walk along Ruston Way or even an afternoon at Dash Point state park.  Remember, if you are using a state or federal reserve there are usually admission fees or you can buy a discovery pass.  If you are going in December, ask when the passes expire! Also, the Tacoma News Tribune has great hike ideas.  One here can be found at:

Go play in the snow!
Metro Parks has a great program for family fun up to Mt. Rainier starting in January: Tickets are only $20 for a family of 4 and they transport up the mountain too!
Dates are:

  • Jan 22 Snowshoe hike 9-4pm
  • Jan 29 Snow Day 9-4pm
  • Feb 11 Snow Day 9-4pm
  • Feb 18 Snow Day 9-4pm
  • Feb 25 Snowshoe hike 9-4pm
  • Mar 3 Snow Day 9-4pm
Or, you can drive up to Mt. Rainier or Olympic National Park yourself.  There is a $15 vehicle fee at both locations.  See and  Both parks offer great, lower cost options for kids to go sledding or playing in the snow, and all in our own back yard!
Snoqualmie pass also has rates for innertubing fun that are not too hefty: