Touch a Firetruck Storytime at South Library

At my house, we adore firetrucks.  If you’ve ever had a toddler, then you know that pointing out the window and shouting “Fire Truck!!” or “Train”, even when you are alone (yes, Ive done this too) is building up to the future Slug Bug fests on family road trips.  I’m looking forward to that.

The South Tacoma Library on Saturday May 5th at  10:30am you can read some firefighter stories and then walk next door to talk to the firemen at the station house.

3411 South 56th Street
Tacoma, WA  98409
(253) 617-7809

Lego Club at Tacoma Main Library

(Pic courtesy of LEGO website)

Join the LEGO club at the Tacoma Main library in downtown on May 13th from 1:30-3pm.  The Tacoma Main library supplies the LEGOS and you supply the creativity and energy into building something spectacular.  If you are prepared, you can use the following link to download directions of what to build straight from the LEGO website: Or, if you have an iPhone, there is an app for that. (Look for Lego instructions by ArtelPlus)

FREE days at National Parks

America’s Best Idea – the national parks – gets even better with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees.* Find a list of WA national parks (there are 15!) here.

Mark your calendar for these fee-free dates in 2012:

  • January 14-16
    Martin Luther King Jr. weekend
  • April 21-29
    National Park Week
  • June 9
    Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29
    National Public Lands Day
  • November 10-12
    Veterans Day weekend

To make the fun even more affordable, check out these discounts and special offers from park partners and neighboring businesses:

Here’s a tip – many of your 397 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Parks in WA can be found:

  • Coupeville

  • Vancouver
  • Seattle – Klondike Gold Rush
  • Stehekin – Lake Chelan
  • Lake Roosevelt (Near Canadian border)
  • Lewis & Clark trail
  • Jerome (Near ID border)
  • Mt Rainer
  • Nez Pierce
  • North Cascades – Marblemount
  • Port Angeles – Olympic
  • Newhalem – Ross Lake
  • Friday Harbor – San Juan Island
  • Walla Walla – Whitman Mission

Spring Fair in Puyallup

The Spring fair is awesome! Especially for younger children.  The venue is MUCH smaller than the Western Washington aka: Puyallup fair in the fall and is a great idea for a mini excursion with the littles.  My favorite part is always the animals, they are included in the cost of admission.  While fair food is fun (who DOESN’T like fried food on a stick??) it can be costly.  So here are my tips for having a great time, for less money:

First – Safety

  1. Go early – The later you go, the more crowds and its easier to lose track of children
  2. For younger kids – get them a “lost” bracelet which lets you put parent name and phone number.  Kids can’t get it off and if you DO get separated, teach them to go to a UNIFORMED officer.  You can be reunited that way.
  3. For older kids – consider the bracelet if they don’t have the phone number memorized, and show them where the kids lost and found is, or pick another spot and agree to meet there if separated.
  4. Take a picture – before you go in, take a picture of everyone, at least 3/4ths body to get clothing, hair style but close enough to the face so its recognizable, if someone says “describe what your child was wearing”

This might be a bit overkill, but simple steps – in addition to plain keeping an eye out, can make the whole experience even more fun!  For cheaper entry, plan ahead:

  • Thursday April 19th (TOMORROW) is Kids get in FREE day from 2pm to 10pm
  • Friday is Military FREE appreciation day
  • Discount passes are available at FredMeyer, Safeway and South Hill Mall. Remember, kids 5 and Under are FREE
  • When buying your discount tickets, ask if they have any Ride Saver Pack Coupons left – That will get you 6 rides for $16.  This is a HUGE savings because it is per-ride, NOT per-ticket! On THURSDAY, you can buy the discount tickets inside the fair.

Fun events:

  • Fiesta Mexicana – You can see dancing horses, listen to music and eat wonderful food – absorbing a different, but warm and inviting culture
  • KidZone – Has FREE face painting (again go early cause lines are usually long) and FREE Rock U interactive exhibit which allows you to play and experience different types of instruments. Don’t forget to hit the gardening activities before you go home to plan a pumpkin or sunflower seed to take home.
  • Creative Kids – If your child is an artist, you can enter them in a 4H style contest.
  • Puyallup School District Science Fair: On Thursday and Sunday you can watch students perform wonderful feats of science. If your child is science minded, take a stroll through there, looking at all the projects and explaining the topics.  Its a great learning opportunity, for everyone! Ever see ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

The Fair website has a complete planner tool so you can add events and print out an itinerary if you are a planner like myself.  But, just go out and HAVE FUN!

Play Blocks Storytime at Main Tacoma Library

At the Main Tacoma library branch downtown Tacoma, tomorrow April 18th at 10:30am, you can play with toys and have a short 15 minute storytime.  This is a great idea for kids under age 3.

Join us for a shorter 15-minute storytime then play with blocks and other toys. Great for building fine motor and pre-literacy skills.

Find more times here: