5 Free or Thrifty Things to Do for Tacoma Families
Tacoma has a lot to offer for every family, even those on a tight budget. Often days when school is not in session, it is hard to entertain kids who are used to constant stimulation without breaking the bank. Luckily, no matter what day of the year your kids start complaining about boredom, there are plenty of local activities to keep everyone occupied.
Explore the City’s Art and History
Embrace your artistic side every third Thursday of the month in Tacoma’s Museum District. From 5 to 8 p.m. enjoy the evening hours, meet artists, and peruse the art galleries at the Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Art Museum. Any day of the week explore Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork found in the Bridge of Glass or take the Pierce County Public Art walking tour. Visit the Washington State History Museum free of charge every third Thursday from 2-8 p.m.
Take in the Scenery
Enjoy the vast view of Commencement Bay, the Port of Tacoma, and Mount Rainier at Fireman’s Park. Set your eyes on the totem pole constructed in 1903 at the park that gets its name from Engine House Number 6. Admire the collection of approximately 100 sculpted trees on display outdoors at the Pacific Bonsai Museum six days a week.
Beat the Heat
Point Ruston’s Splash Pad is a way to cool down on warm summer days. For a beautiful sight, check out the lights at night as they reflect on the sprays of water. Grab a bite to eat at one of the numerous nearby restaurants. Stewart Heights Pool entertains like an expensive water park at only $10 for adults and $8 for kids ages 5 and older. Swim in the 8,500 square foot swimming pool, float down the lazy river, get drenched under the tumble buckets, or glide down the water slide.
Children’s Museum of Tacoma
This museum offers “pay as you will” to all families; therefore you can visit the museum for a donation of your choice. Becoming a member has its benefits too and is inexpensive at $100 annually for the family unit. As a member, you are welcome on Mondays when the building is closed to the public and an hour early on Saturdays. Fall and winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday starting Sept. 19. On Tuesday, doors open from 10 – 11:30 a.m. for a special needs play day.
Make a Meal Plan With the Family
With all the farmers’ markets in Pierce County, you are likely to find more than a couple which fit into your hectic schedule. Make a list of the produce that is grown locally during the season you’re shopping. Sit down with the family and have each person search for a recipe they’d like to try using the ingredients on the list. Non-readers can get assistance in searching for ingredients from adults or other literate members of the family. Let each person create a placemat at the table for his or her special product. Make. Eat. Repeat.
Regardless of the size or age of your family, you can find exciting activities to bring you closer together. Every moment may not be blissful, but they are all gifts.
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