A quick list of go-to’s for rainy days that do not include the TV or tearing out my hair:
Park at the Tacoma dome station and ride the link light rail for FREE through downtown to get where you need to go!
3rd Thursday Artwalk see prior post here
Library story hour
- Find a library near you and enjoy their story time. It gives your voice a rest and lets the younger crowd experience someone else’s take on their favorite and new stories too. At the library, you can also check out passes to the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and the WA State History Museum in Downtown Tacoma!
Fire Department Tour –
- When my boys turned 4, we went on a tour of a fire station in Tacoma. The firefighters were amazing! When they are in house (check here) they are usually more than accomodating someone stopping by for a quick tour and are really great with the kids. Be aware, if they just came in from a call or if they get a call, its not the best time and they may usher you out quick.
Play to Learn –
- A FREE learning environment that combines play with learning. Supported through donations and staffed with people from the Childrens Museum ensure the content is quality and the kids have fun. Personnally recommended for birth through about age 4. Locations all over Tacoma see: Play to Learn
Go Roller Skating
- Wheelz Skate Arena: Tacoma 2101 Mildred St
- Pattison’s West Skating Center: Federal Way 34222 Pacific Highway S Admission between $4-$7
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is a great place to take the kids. They have bubble time and educational activities and crafts. Check out their new location in Tacoma and admission is DONATION! Park at the Park-n-Ride by the Tacoma Dome and ride the tram downtown for free! (use the 15th street/Convention center stop and walk downhill 1 block) Enjoy the train time with the kids too! See review here
Foss Waterway Seaport
Wed-Fri from 10-5 and Sat/Sun from 12-5pm, ages 4 and up can enjoy innovative activities like building their own wooden boat or pretend to set to work loading containers on a ship or a rail car. (Maybe this will help translate into clothes that are picked up and placed in the hamper…dare I hope?) Click here for more information…Adults are $7, kiddos are $4 ea or $15/family of 5
- 1st Saturday of the Month – FREE Fun with Arts and Crafts between 10-2pm, ages 2-10
- 3rd Saturday of the Month – Playday, open the toy box and play. Its a great way to try out a game you might actually want to purchase. 10-2pm, ages 2-10. *Small fee may apply – check the website for details.
- Mondays – Lego Days 11-4pm
- Wednesdays – Tot Time for finger play, puzzles and games at 10:30 ages 2-4
- Thursdays – Creation Station where you can create the most amazing pieces of art. 10-5pm
- Sundays – Free Family Game day from 2-4pm
**If the event is not listed as free, there may be a small fee
Tacoma NW Model Rail Road –
If you find yourself at a loss on a Saturday from 10-2pm or a Tues from 6:30-8pm, head over to Freighthouse Square and look in the basement for one of the coolest things around. You can visit the Model Railroad folks. Remember no touching without permission, but the members are always nice and courteous towards little guys and girls who love trains. And, they don’t charge entry for watching!
Pump it Up –
Pump it up has several pre-school drop in times during the week. I let my boys run off the energy while I sip a warm cup of coffee (top on, brought from home – just the way I like it) and then we go home and have a picnic on the living room floor. 9:30-12pm Mon-Thurs $7/Child (Adults Free) Ages 2-8 Pump it Up
Odyssey I –
The play area has no time limitations. This is a huge bonus, when the cost for one child is $5.95 (2+) and $1.95 (1+). Go either way before lunch and go home for lunch/nap, or after you’ve already eaten. The pizza here is definately only something that a toddler would want. Odyssey I
Yes, there Ive said it…Occasionally, we go to the indoor playland at McDonalds. I always set the rules before we leave, and follow through. If it is a particularly tight month, I will feed them before we go and let them know they can have each a $1 french fry, and I will bring apple slices. They get to play on the play land, feel they got a treat, and all for $2! Not a bad deal. I always warn my boys that if they fuss about not getting nuggets, burger, ____(Fill in the blank), I pack it up and go home. This option for moms with nerves of steel and able to follow through on the threats..:)
Discovery Village in Gig Harbor
Drop in for some hands-on learning fun, a kid friendly cafe with healthy eats and 5 main play exhibits for all age groups. Discovery Village also offers weekly events, story and art times.
- Free Fridays – Soundbridge at Benaroya Hall lets children play instruments and experience sound after noon on Fridays for FREE
- First Thursdays – See here prior post here
- Childrens Museum of Seattle – If you are already in Seattle, there are a couple of really great ways to enjoy the museum for cheap. This is a really great and really big museum, but if you are routinely in Seattle, then this is the way to go! *Last hour of each day is donation only (4-5pm) *QUEST (EBT) card is $1 all day admission and WA state Medical Coupon holders get in FREE!
- Seattle Bug Safari in Seattle. With over 50 different species of insects, spiders, millipedes and scorpions, there is much to excite your little critter at the bug safari. Check the calendar before you arrive as hours are subject to change.
At home activities
- Rake the leaves in your yard in a big pile. Then jump like crazy. Not only a great way for kids to burn some energy, but if your camera can keep up, these can be great pictures to send out with Christmas cards.
- Bring out the camping gear – We have been known to go “camping” in our living room. We bring out the tent, set up sleeping bags, tell ghost stories and go on “hikes” where we find the things Mom hides around the house, like a scavenger hunt.
- Drive the car out of the garage and set up an obstacle course or a circuit training course with jump ropes, hopscotch, or skate/ride bikes etc. Also let them use the sidewalk chalk inside the garage, easy clean up and they stay dry.
- Google “Childrens Crafts” and print out coloring pages, or worksheets to trace letters/numbers and more. I like http://www.teachthechildrenwell.com/science.html for science and other learning activities online.