South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do August 28th-30th!

Need something great to do this weekend? Send summer off with a blast with our weekend list of awesome free events for kids and families in Tacoma, Olympia, and everywhere in between.

We have an awesome list just like this every Friday, just for South Sound families, and tons of other fun ideas every other day of the week!

 

Saturday

All Over

The last true low tide of the summer is this morning around 11:30. Find a beach near you to explore! 

Kids’ Club at Michael’s Craft Stores  It’s a bookmark from 10AM-12  2.00 per half hour session

South King County

Open hours at Mary Olson Farm in Auburn Drop in and visited the preserved farm in the summer. Donations welcome. Farmhouse tours at 1 and 3. This is a quieter outing but really neat for kids-reader Becca said her family ended up with a private tour last weekend! Last weekend!

Visit the HCC Mast Center at Redondo   Touch tanks with sea critters free and open to the public Saturdays from 10AM-2

Feeding Frenzy at Northwest Trek   Special themed activities included with admission. Admission is pricey, but it does include your tram ride, and is a full day of fun (Did your kids get passes from a summer reading program?). You may also add a Trek membership to an existing zoo membership-worth it if you’d go more than twice a year.

Puyallup

Go Green Games at Meridian Habitat Park  bounce houses, garbage truck demonstrations, games, and mascots including Rhubarb and Blitz. 1-4 PM FREE

Update-we’re hearing that the Go Green Games have been canceled due to the windstorm. 

Tacoma/South Tacoma/ Parkland

FREE kids’ clothing and gear swap at King’s Books in Tacoma from 12-2

Tour the lighthouse keeper’s cottage and museum at Brown’s Point Lighthouse Park 1-4PM   Much more fun continues below! Keep reading!  [Read more…]

Spots Available In Free Preschool ECEAP Program in Northeast Tacoma

I ran into reader, Katie, while we were out and about.

I was watching Henry do ill-advised, “Surfing,” on a spinning ring thing, and she was handing out information about FREE (Yes, free) preschool programs in NE Tacoma.

The Tacoma School District offers ECEAP and Head Start preschool at several locations. It’s free if you qualify based on your income.

Children 3-5 attend half day classes four days a week.  A variety of family support opportunities are provided, in addition to a traditional preschool program with nutritious meals and snacks.

The slots at the North East Tacoma location are newer, and Katie says they’re working on getting the word out to families who might qualify. In the past, families have had to trek to Federal Way, so Katie thinks there are some neighborhood families who would probably like to enroll if they knew about it!

If you’re interested in the ECEAP Program at Northeast Tacoma Elementary School, you can call 252 571 6986. If you’re interested in another Tacoma area ECEAP or Head Start program, call 253 571 1049. If you live in a different part of the South Sound, the easiest thing to do is to call your school district office. Ask to speak to someone with the early learning department if the first person you get isn’t sure.

Families who may qualify include those with limited income, those experiencing homelessness, those caring for children in foster care, families receiving TANF or SSI, and children with a disability or an IEP.

For other options, be sure to check our preschool guide in the menu bar!

Free Kids’ Clothing And Gear Swap In Tacoma Saturday

Hey, Tacoma, have you got some kids’ clothes, toys, books, or gear you don’t use any more?

Want to see it go to a new home, but you don’t have time to deal with consigning it or having a garage sale? Or maybe you could use some, “Stuff,” yourself?

kids swap

Have I got your solution! Reader Allison is organizing a 2nd free swap for Tacoma area parents at King’s Books this Saturday, the 29th, from 12-2.

Just bring any clothes, books, or gear you don’t love and use any more. Take what you need; leave what you don’t! Simple, right?

Now, you should know that this is a swap, and it’s about community. You will not make any money at this event. You will also not buy anything at this event! It is possible that you’ll bring some cool stuff to donate and leave empty handed because there just isn’t anything right for you. If any of that would bug you, this is not the event for you. And that’s o.k.! I just want you to have a clear picture before hand. There aren’t rules, and Allison wants to keep it fun and casual in the spirit of making friends, reducing waste, and helping fellow parents. Any leftover items will be donated.

If you’re interested, please do go here to the Facebook page about the event and read the pinned posts. Allison could also use some help, so let her know if you’re available. King’s Books, btw, is a super cool store if you’re a book lover. You will need to supervise your kiddos if you bring them along. There are children’s books, but it is a book store. There is also a comic book store next door. Again, you would need to supervise them here, as it’s small, and not suitable for unsupervised little ones.

I’ll remind you about this event in our weekend list, but I knew some of you would want to plan for it now.

Watch As Smiles Orthodontics Makes This Little Girl’s Year With Taylor Swift Tickets!

Get out your Kleenex! We love to share good news stories when we have a chance.
This one comes from our sponsors at Smiles Orthodontics.
They’ve been running an Amazing contest this summer with the chance to win Taylor Swift tickets. You’ll love this sweet story about the winner, little Kyleigh.
Nine year old Kyleigh had been saving all her money to get tickets when she found out that her dad, who serves in the military, was being transferred to Turkey. Well, his orders changed, but by that time, she had stopped saving and the tickets had already gone on sale.
 Kyleigh thought she had missed her chance to go to the concert, but she kept entering the Smiles Contest by doing things like answering trivia questions about Taylor and solving puzzles.
 A week before the August 8th concert, Aubrey got a call at work letting her know that Kyleigh had won!
 Aubrey was shaking with excitement for her little girl, but she managed not to tell her until they could go into Smiles to pick up their prize, which included three tickets to the sold out concert and a poster. Everyone in the office was holding back tears of joy for this sweet family. Just click to watch the whole thing….the best part is when Kyleigh explains why she thinks she’s there! Seriously-it’s adorable.
Taylor Swift preview
As you can see,  Kyleigh and her mom and dad enjoyed the concert together.  Kyleigh danced with her glowing wrist band, sang along to every song, and got piggy back rides from dad. All three of them also loved the surprise guest appearance from Russel Wilson and Ciara.
It was truly a night that this family will remember forever.
While this contest is over, there are always fun things happening at Smiles Orthodontics. You can keep up with them on their Facebook page.
And while they can’t give all their families Taylor Swift tickets, Dr.Larson and his team will  make sure every patient has a beautiful smile for life.
If you’ve been wondering if your child needs an orthodontist, why not call and make an appointment today? 7 (yes, 7!) is the perfect time for that first visit (Of course older tweens and teens are welcome, too, and so are grown-ups)! A first visit is always Free and you’ll get a no pressure consultation with Dr.Larson. There are limited appointments available before school resumes. Do it now before you have to schedule around your busy fall. You can schedule a visit via their website  or by calling 253.848.4537.  Please do let them know you saw them on Sounds Fun Mom!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with a combination of provided copy and my opinion. As always, we appreciate your consideration of the sponsors who make this space possible!

Let’s Pick Blackberries! Picking Tips Plus My Mom’s Cobbler Recipe!

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the end of summer, might I suggest Cobbler? Mmmm…..cobbler.

O.k. first you’re going to have to pick a few blackberries. I have some tips on doing that, or just scroll on down for the recipe!

Now, let me acknowledge that I had originally planned this post to run last week, but then there was that crazy rain. And then, today, I see it’s kind of wet out. Could this post be cursed? Maybe! I’m running it anyway. I think you can dodge a few raindrops for cobbler-amIright?  Yes, the picking was better a couple weeks ago, we still found plenty on our trip yesterday-even if we did have to look a little higher and lower.

The kind you see most around here are Himalayan blackberries. These are the big, fat berries growing on bushes with thick, thorny stalks.  The slightly smaller ones are called Evergreen blackberries. They have the more delicate, lacy looking leaves. You can see pictures of both here.

Neither type is native, but they’ve thrived around here like gangbusters. Left to their own devices, they’ll take over your yard in no time.

There is also a trailing blackberry that grows very close to the ground. It’s actually a native plant, but much less common. The kind you see at the store are probably cultivated, thornless blackberries-but really, you’re not going to pay for blackberries this time of year, are you?

It’s not hard to find a good picking spot. We try to find an area away from the heaviest traffic that hasn’t been chemically sprayed. Do keep in mind that berries will stain and blackberry thorns can be serious business-especially around eyes and your kiddos delicate skin, so do be cautious. We picked ours on the section of the Foothills Trail between Puyallup and Orting. Quite frankly, my husband picked about 95% of them. I kept searching for the perfect spot, and both boys lost interest in about five minutes. Luckily the oldest had brought his skateboard. My friend Tracy always has her youngest bring small toys when she goes berry picking, like cars he can run in the dirt. I think that’s a pretty great idea.

Now, I’m really not trying to add a lot of drama here, but if you’re new to the area, you should know that every once in a while, you will find poison oak mixed in with blackberry-especially near the water or on bluffs. The rule is, “Leaves of three; leave them be.” Just take a look at your blackberry spot before you start picking, and if you see another bush/tree mixed in with the berry vines, make sure you’re not looking at this (scroll down for the one on the left that says, “Summertime Flowering,”) and you’ll be fine. They tend to be shiny, but the unique grouping of 3 is your best bet for steering clear.

Blackberries are delicious right off the vine, or in freezer jam, but our favorite way to enjoy them is in cobbler. It took some doing (mainly because she doesn’t use a recipe), but I got my mom to share her cobbler recipe. She says to tell you she’s not responsible for failures, but really-can you go wrong here? I don’t think so!

cobbler

My Mom’s Cobbler Recipe

2 1/4 cups Bisquick baking mix
2/3 cup milk (buttermilk if you have it)  SFM Note: I had to use a lot more buttermilk than this. Maybe because I used gluten free mix? I don’t know….
1T sugar (optional)
Stir until soft dough forms.
Knead 10 times.
Roll or press to 1/2″ thick.  SFM Note: Try not to let the kids overwork the dough.
Spread with 2 tablespoons butter
Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of brown sugar.
Roll it up like for cinnamon rolls.
Slice in about 9 pieces.
Rinse about 4 cups of black berries.
Dump them in a 2 1/2 qt casserole dish.
Stir in 3/4 cup sugar.
Top with the biscuit spirals spaced evenly.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until biscuits are golden.
Top with ice cream or whipped cream and serve. SFM Note: Do the ice cream!

Got a favorite picking spot or recipe to share? Or are blackberries just a thorn in your side? Either way, I love to hear your comments!

Photo Credit: Stock xchng

South Sound Sunday Fun!

Sunday

Get adult admission to Wild Waves for half-off or 19.99 with a donation of new school supplies

Family Day at Emerald Downs-Pony rides, face painting, and bounce houses along with your horse racing. I believe these start at 1PM. Some activities are weather dependent.

America’s Cup Tour at the Foss Waterway Seaport  walk aboard tours and sails on the replica of the schooner America  Tours are free with admission to the museum, which is reasonable, or 5.00 alone. 2-3 hour sails on the ship are 75.00 and do include museum admission.  The museum is lots of fun for kids, though I personally think it’s tricky to tell what is o.k. to touch, and my kids have been scolded here on multiple visits. No biggie-just prepping you.

Sand in the City continues-Grandparents’ Day today

Sunday Farmer’s Market at STAR Center in South Tacoma and the Center at Norpoint Many other areas now have a Farmer’s Market open on Sundays. Get your fresh on! The Auburn Farmer’s Market is another great choice.

Historic Fort Steilacoom is now open for Sunday tours 1-4PM

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Working on your bucket list for the rest of the summer? Check out our 10 Must-Do adventures! 

As always, if you know something we missed or you’d like publicity or advertising for your group, get in touch! You can email me at soundsfunmom@gmail.com or use one of the icons up top to find us on your favorite social media.

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do August 21st-23rd!

Need something great to do this weekend? Send summer off with a blast with our weekend list of awesome free events for kids and families in Tacoma, Olympia, and everywhere in between.

We have an awesome list just like this every Friday, just for South Sound families, and tons of other fun ideas every other day of the week!

Friday

Learn about blubber with Harbor WildWatch at the Key Center Library for kids in K-3  2:30

Wow! It’s a big evening for outdoor movies! Most are free and include family activities before the outdoor showings at dusk. Use the links provided for more details.

Pier Peer at Boston Harbor Marina-Olympia  Come see sea critters by dock light!

Popsicle anyone? Watch animals cool off with ice treats Saturday at the Point Defiance Zoo. Included with admission.

Popsicle anyone? Watch animals cool off with ice treats Saturday at the Point Defiance Zoo. Included with admission.

Saturday

All Over

Kids’ Club at Michael’s Craft Stores  It’s a pencil topper from 10AM-12  2.00 per half hour session

South King County

Open hours at Mary Olson Farm in Auburn Drop in and visited the preserved farm in the summer. Donations welcome. Farmhouse tours at 1 and 3. This is a quieter outing but really neat for kids-reader Becca said her family ended up with a private tour last weekend!

Fun run/walk in Auburn to benefit Avery Huffman

Health Fair in Auburn  vendors, demos, kids’ bike rodeo, appearance by Seahawk mascot, Blitz, and more

Visit the HCC Mast Center at Redondo   Touch tanks with sea critters free and open to the public Saturdays from 10AM-2

Movie in the park in Fife It’s Cinderella (I believe it’s the older one)

Back to School Giveaway and Carnival at Mountain View Community Center in Edgewood  Free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts, dental screenings, and carnival fun for kids 10-2

Auction to Benefit Avery Huffman

Puyallup

Free children’s activities with the master gardeners in Puyallup  It’s a pirate theme today; at the WSU demonstration garden. Last program of the summer!

Outdoor movie at Bradley Lake in Puyallup   Concert before hand; community camp out after, but you must have pre-registered for this. The music and the movie are free and open to all  Looks like the movie is Big Hero 6-I got some of this info. muddled with last night’s movie. Sorry for anyone we confused!

Tacoma/South Tacoma/ Parkland

America’s Cup Tour at the Foss Waterway Seaport  walk aboard tours and sails on the replica of the schooner America  Tours are free with admission to the museum, which is reasonable, or 5.00 alone. 2-3 hour sails on the ship are 75.00 and do include museum admission.  The museum is lots of fun for kids, though I personally think it’s tricky to tell what is o.k. to touch, and my kids have been scolded here on multiple visits. No biggie-just prepping you.

Arctic Blast at Point Defiance Zoo  Watch animals enjoyed special ice treats. Included with admission. Note from SFM: The zoo gets spendy fast. We suggest investing in an annual pass unless you can take advantage of monthly free days for City of Tacoma residents.

Family nature walk at McKinley Park   Volunteer naturalists lead family friendly walks. Not suitable for strollers; perfect for ages 3 and up.

Hilltop Street Fair  Live entertainment, kids’ activities, book giveaway, vendors, and more!

Storm drain marking event with Citizens for a Healthy Bay at Wapato Park  Call to pre register

Mobile Food Fest at Sprinker Rec Center 12-7  Free admission; bring money for tastes from a variety of food trucks

Children and all ages shows at the Science Dome presentations and shows on the overhead dome at the area’s only indoor, digital planetarium. Great, low cost, indoor activity-we really recommend the children’s version! Bring cash-no cards can be accepted at the venue. 3.00 as of this writing Children’s show is Pluto today; all ages is moons.

Olympia/Lacey/Beyond

Sand in the City!   It’s a beach party right in the city! Big fun with sand sculpting, kids’ activities, discounted admission to the HOCM, and more.

Back to School event with South Sound Church  School supply and backpack giveaway, free haircuts, hot dogs, and more

American Tall Tales at Olympia Family Theater  5.00 tickets  45 minute show with Paul Bunyan and other familiar stories. Doors open at 10AM; show at 10:30

Pie in the Library  Community pie contest in Lacey

Rainier Round-Up Days parade, vendors, small town fun!

TugBoat tours  Free tours of historic tugboat, The Sandman at Percival Landing most weekends

Play at the LOTT Wet Science Center  Free and open 10AM-4PM Saturday and Sunday-special hours in conjunction with the big Sand in the City weekend.

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Gig Harbor 

Superhero training camp at the Gig Harbor Library  Activities, superhero costume design and more super fun!

Your trolley is back!   Ride it before the summer ends!

Sunday

Get adult admission to Wild Waves for half-off or 19.99 with a donation of new school supplies

Family Day at Emerald Downs-Pony rides, face painting, and bounce houses along with your horse racing. I believe these start at 1PM. Some activities are weather dependent.

America’s Cup Tour at the Foss Waterway Seaport  walk aboard tours and sails on the replica of the schooner America  Tours are free with admission to the museum, which is reasonable, or 5.00 alone. 2-3 hour sails on the ship are 75.00 and do include museum admission.  The museum is lots of fun for kids, though I personally think it’s tricky to tell what is o.k. to touch, and my kids have been scolded here on multiple visits. No biggie-just prepping you.

Sand in the City continues-Grandparents’ Day today

Sunday Farmer’s Market at STAR Center in South Tacoma and the Center at Norpoint Many other areas now have a Farmer’s Market open on Sundays. Get your fresh on! The Auburn Farmer’s Market is another great choice.

Historic Fort Steilacoom is now open for Sunday tours 1-4PM

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Working on your bucket list for the rest of the summer? Check out our 10 Must-Do adventures! 

As always, if you know something we missed or you’d like publicity or advertising for your group, get in touch! You can email me at soundsfunmom@gmail.com or use one of the icons up top to find us on your favorite social media.

Coming Soon!

A quick note to email subscribers (and others) that the weekend list is on the way!

It should be live on the site by noon. We hope to see you here!

We are actively working on adding staff to keep up with our growth (and all the fun)! Let us know if you’d like to be part of our team.

Just Between Friends Sale In Olympia: Win A Pass To Prime Time Shopping!

Update: Congratulations to our winners whose comments were chosen via random number generator! 

They were notified by email.

I do apologize for the delay in this announcement. I typically email our winners first, and then, quite frankly, I had to go to a medical appointment.

If you didn’t win, you can still show this post on your phone for free entry at any point during the sale. I’ll also have another great giveaway during the Puyallup event. Happy shopping! If you have any concerns about this giveaway, or other feedback, you are always welcome to email me at soundsfunmom@gmail.com. I do value your readership.

Lacey and Olympia area readers, the huge, Just Between Friends, kids’ consignment event is coming right up August 27th-30th!  This is a great chance to score all kinds of kids’ duds and gear at bargain prices. If you need to save on clothes, toys, or equipment for your little ones (and who doesn’t???) this is a sale you won’t want to miss! And make sure to read this whole post, because you can WIN a pass to the prime time shopping event. Woot!

FreeAmission_FA!5

Organizer, Jenny, tell us:  You don’t want to miss this HUGE Back to School (Fall/Winter) consignment sale. Find awesome deals on gently used children’s and maternity merchandise (typically 50-90% off retail pricing). Browse over 12,000 sf of children’s clothing (newborn to teens), maternity and nursing items, toys, puzzles, games, children electronics, bedroom decor, bath & potty training essentials, infant gear and equipment including cribs & beds, swings, bouncy chairs, strollers, high chairs, pack’n’plays & more!

Just Between Friends Sale

I always enjoy shopping JBF events because the merch is all clean and organized, and there is So Much to choose from. Plus, you know with kids’ consignment, you’re getting items that were likely barely used! They even check all the gear to make sure it isn’t on a recall list. You won’t get that at a garage sale!  If you know someone with a new baby on the way, make sure they know about this one! The pics below are ones I took at a different JBF event, but you’ll find similar awesomeness at this one. Jenny tells me it gets bigger every time! Oh, and feel free to show this pass on your phone for FREE entry.

Read on for the rest of the details and your chance to win a pass to shop first!

Just Between friends sale puyallup

 

Address: Cooper Point Marketplace – 1200 Cooper Point Rd. SW, Olympia 98502  (we will be in a vacant retail space in Cooper Point Marketplace, near the Capital Mall)

Sale Dates And Time

Thurs (8/27) 4p Prime Time Shopping 10$  online or $15 at the door).   OR win a pass here (Keep reading for that)! 

5p Exclusive presale for 1st time parents, military families, teachers, & foster parents. You must signup online to register for this presale 

Fri (8/28) 9a-8p ($2 Admission) or show this post for free entry!

Sat (8/29) 9a-6p ($1 Admission) or show this post for free entry!

Sun (8/30) 8a-2p 50% Off Sale (FREE Admission)

The complete schedule is also here.

If your own closets could use a good clean out, be sure to get information about consigning at the next event while you’re there! Jenny also keeps the JBF Olympia Facebook page up to date, so you may want to like that. Don’t forget to keep this post handy for your free admission to the sale.

But, wait…..I mentioned a giveaway! Yep-FOUR lucky readers will win a pass to the prime time shopping event. This is lets you shop before everyone else! If you’re a big brand hunter, or you just like to get first crack at the goodies, you’ll definitely want to score one of these.

We’re going to keep this contest super simple.

  • For a first, required entry, simply leave a comment on this post telling us why you’d like to shop JBF Olympia first! If you’ve shopped a JBF event before, and you want to leave your favorite tips, that would be great, too!
  • For a second, optional entry, share the information about the sale! A fb share is easy, but feel free to text your sister, tell your Mops group, or whatever…..Then come back and leave a comment telling us what you did.
  • For a third, optional entry, subscribe to JBF Olympia emails, and come back and tell us you did so.

To improve your odds, you’ll need to leave your entries as separate comments. Update-Winners were chosen via random number generator and have been notified via email.

Good Luck! What bargains are You hoping to score?

Disclosure: Sounds Fun Mom receives promotional consideration at the JBF Olympia sale in exchange for this post. Be sure to let the folks there know you’re a reader!

Shop The Outlet Collection For Back To School

If you’re back to school shopping soon, I hope you’ll consider checking out our new sponsors at The Outlet Collection.

I took our big kid last weekend, and guys-it is sooooooo much nicer shopping there than at your typical mall.

Outlet collection

It’s clean, it’s bright, and there are tons of budget friendly, trendy stores to shop. Plus, the aisles are nice and wide so you will never, ever get bumped into by a pack of teenagers looking at their phones. I know I sound like an old, grumpy mom here (Hey, if the shoes I found at the Nordstrom Rack fit…..), but I don’t care.

Seriously, upgrade your shopping experience! I have some more tips on shopping with a tween coming later, but for now, just trust me: No matter who you’re shopping for, this is the place to go. They’re also running some fun back to school promotions- you could win a shopping spree just for doing a little texting and taking a selfie (If you’re shopping with your tween or teen, feel free to have them help with this)….

Earning for Learning

They also have an awesome way you can earn money for your school. Earning for Learning runs all the way through October 1st. Basically, you just take your receipts to guest services, and designate a school to award your, “Points,” to. The winning school can get up to 10,000.00!!  Think of all the bake sales you wouldn’t have to do! If you’re involved with fundraising or the PTA at your school, I’d really encourage you to look into this program. It’s one of several great community efforts The Outlet Collection does during the year. You can read all about it here.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions are my own!