South Sound Sunday Fun!

Get out with the kids today! Lots of fun and affordable things to with the family in Tacoma and all over.

Do note that it’s marathon day in Tacoma if you’re out and about early this morning.


May the 4th Be With You  Star Wars build at Toys R Us. Free mini figure while supplies last. These do seem to have gotten more popular. 12-2

Guinness World Record Hopscotch attempt at the University of Puget Sound-Tacoma  join in the attempt to set a new record for the longest hopscotch course. Art activities for the kids, barbecue, and more. 10AM-1PM. 253-879-3100.  The campus isn’t huge, so I’m guessing you’ll be able to find a giant hopscotch event fairly easily.

Crafts of the Past at Fort Nisqually  Each weekend, artisans demonstrate a different craft from the past. This weekend’s is leather tooling. There will be a hands-on activity for participants. Included with paid admission.    We think the fort is most interesting for school age children with some interest in history. available between 11AM-5PM

Just Between Friends event in Renton  Huge sale on gently used kids’ gear and duds! Jenny of the Olympia event has taken over this sale-the closest JBF event to Seattle, and she’s made it better than ever   Half-off many items today.

Family Fun Day at the Meeker Mansion in Puyallup

Family Days at Meeker Mansion include pioneer games, storytelling, dress up, arts & crafts and a tour of the mansion. $10 per family; begin in the Education Building, 11am-2pm.  May 3:Victorian Spring~plant seeds, paint a ladybug.    312 Spring St., Puyallup, WA

Note from SFM: One of these ^ was canceled at the last minute last year, so I’m a little leery about listing it, but it does look super fun! I’ve included all the contact info. if you want to double check before you go. If you’re nearby, it’s probably worth a chance!

Cinco de Mayo celebration at Wild Waves

w and the Budgie exhibit open for the season at the Point Defiance Zoo   *Zoo admission is pricey. We suggest investing in an annual pass unless you can take advantage of free days for City of Tacoma residents. Saturday is likely to be busy. Go early if you want to feed the budgies, or you’ll find their tummies full.  All day; also Sunday

If you’re new here-welcome! We’d love to have you join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to the daily emails, follow us on our NEW Instagram, or just make us your daily habit. We have new ideas just for South Sound families, and an amazing list like this one every Friday morning!

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do May 1st-3rd!

Wow! If you want something free and fun to do with kids this weekend, and you happen to live in Tacoma, Puyallup, Lakewood, Lacey, or Olympia-boy, have I got you covered.

Our weekend list is full of festivals, bargains, and good old fashioned fun for your South Sound family. As always, give a holler if I missed something great!


Bounce Play in Gig Harbor  free inflatable time and conversation for moms and preschoolers and tots  Missed it this week? Follow them on Fb and preregister to hold your spot for next time.

Indoor Park at Pen-Met Indoor Soccer Center in Gig Harbor  Every Friday from 11:15-12:30; toys usually left up longer  2.00/child

It’s always kids’ night out at Pump It Up on Fridays. Call for details and to hold your spot.

Many libraries have story times and fun on Fridays. Here is the Puyallup Public Library site, and here is the PCL site.

Just Between Friends event in Renton  Huge sale on gently used kids’ gear and duds! Jenny of the Olympia event has taken over this sale-the closest JBF event to Seattle, and she’s made it better than ever!

Scholastic Books Sale at Bates South Tacoma Campus   Book bargains, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and kids’ activities

Celebrate May Day at Wright Park in Tacoma with the Puget Sound Revels tonight

Free Friday night at the Hands-On Children’s Museum in Olympia

Studio West presents Peter Pan at the Washington Center for Performing Arts in Olympia


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Causes We Love: Support The March Of Dimes Because Every Baby Is Born To Be Great!

Our older son is almost a teenager.

O.K….technically he has about a year to go, but he already seems impossibly old, especially when I can close my eyes and still feel the weight of his little body curled up on me as an infant, and his hand slipping out of mine as he opened the door to kindergarten.

Bloggers Flier Mother's Day FINAL (1)-0

Impossible, I tell you!

Here’s a secret, though: While I miss those baby years, it’s also an amazing thing to watch your kids turning into the people they were always meant to be-even if you have to spend a few days tiptoeing around a surly stranger between peeks.

The March of Dimes believes all babies are born to be great, and I am thrilled to be helping promote their #imbornto campaign.

For more than 75 years, the March of Dimes has helped babies be strong and healthy through research that has lead to vaccines, education, and breakthroughs. In fact, if you’re 75 or younger, you can consider yourself and your children March of Dimes babies, too!

Currently, the March of Dimes is working on preventing premature birth. I was startled to learn that one in nine babies in this country is born prematurely. As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, premature birth comes with the potential for all kinds of complications, and sadly, many of those little babies won’t make it to their first birthdays.

I am so proud to be one of 39 bloggers (39 weeks is the length of a full term pregnancy, of course), helping spread the word about the #imbornto campaign.

You can help, too!  From Mother’s Day until Father’s Day, look for opportunities to shop, donate, or take part in promotions with great retail partners who have created products to help support the March of Dimes.


I love the Alex and Ani Special Delivery Bangle (these would be perfect gifts if you know a mom-to-be), or tuck Kmart’s adorable puppy ornament into your mom’s Mother’s Day gift. There are tons of fun and adorable options from a variety of great retailers, and you can see them all here. 


I really do love when I can shop for a great cause, don’t you? I’ll be sharing more about this campaign in the coming weeks and inviting you (Yes, you!) to join me at a reader get together to learn more. Do be on the lookout for that announcement.

In the meantime, I do hope you’ll consider making some purchases that will benefit the March of Dimes when you’re shopping for Mother’s or Father’s Day gifts, baby showers, or just a little, “Thank you,” for someone special.

You can also read more about the #imbornto campaign here. 

I’d love to hear what you think your baby was born to do! I’d especially love to hear from those of you who have had preemies and have been touched by the important work of the March of Dimes. I’d be honored if you’d share your story with us.

Disclosure: I am thrilled to be one of the 39 bloggers working on the #imbornto campaign as a member of the #MoDSquad This is a sponsored campaign. It includes messaging provided by the client, but the opinions, as always, are my own.


Register Now For Michael’s Passport to Imagination

Looking for free or low cost fun for the kids this summer?

Michael’s has opened registration for their popular kids’ craft classes, Passport to Imagination.

Passport to Imagination

Sessions are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 10AM-12. You can sign up for one or all of them. They begin the week of June 14th and run through the week of July 26th.

Each is 5.00 per session or 12.00 for three, which is a pretty good deal for a kids’ program that includes supplies and instruction.

There are weekly themes this year. I’ll be honest; I preferred the cool cultural themes they’ve had in the past, but there are still some cute crafts planned for this summer. I love the Duck Tape bracelet.


You can see all the projects and dates here. 

To sign up, you can go into your store or register online. To register online you’ll want to click, “Sign up now,” then, “Kids’ Programs.” Then, you’ll want to input your zip code to find your store, select it, and choose, “Passport to Imagination,” from the pull down. That last bit is the only tricky thing, because otherwise you won’t see them.

My store had spots for each session, but they are limited to around 8 kids a piece, so as you can imagine, they go fast.  Now, I haven’t done these with the boys, so if you have, please do leave a comment. I think the craft takes less than the two hours, but there is some extra time for the kids to just draw or use the materials provided. My impression is that parents usually stick around rather than dropping off, but two hours would be a long time to hang out in Michael’s (at least for me….) so I could be wrong. I’ll work on finding out for sure, but do leave a comment if you know!

For more ideas for crafty campers, you can check, Specialty Camps or Fine Arts Camps  in our Summer Camp Guide. I’ll also have tons of free and low cost summer fun all season long. The, “Official,” summer guide will launch the first week of May. I know! We’re pretty excited about it, too!

Scholastic Books Sale Event at Bates in South Tacoma!

The only thing better than a bargain is a bargain on a book!

It’s time for another  Scholastic Book Fair at Bates Technical College in Tacoma , a great chance to score books for your kids’ summer reading at a great price. It’s also a great opportunity for teachers and homeschoolers looking to build up a classroom library.


The prices are up to 80% off, and there are some coupons available if you really want to do a lot of shopping.  Plus, they’ll have kids’ activities available and Clifford the Big Red Dog will be on hand. Now, the language on these events is a little odd, because it makes them sound, “Exclusive,” to teachers and book fair volunteers. I can tell you that I’ve been to lots and lots of these, both as a teacher, and as, “Just,” a mom and never once has anyone asked me for any i.d. or anything else. If you feel nervous about it, the flyer now clearly includes, “Homeschool Personnel,” and I think you all fall under that category!

You can get more information about the event or register for your coupon here at the Scholastic site.   You can get more information about this particular sale at Bates, right here!  If you go on the 30th, you might want to stay for one of their Brain Series lectures. This one is on young children and screen time.

If these dates don’t work for you, there are Scholastic Warehouse sales fairly regularly, including an upcoming event in Tumwater mid May and one in Auburn mid June.

I know a lot of you are regulars at these book sales. I’d love for you to leave a comment with your best tips!



Get Ready To Register For The Next Lowe’s Build And Grow

Registration for the next Lowe’s Build and Grow, kids’ building event, opens April 27th-that’s Monday!

Lowes big

These popular, free activities for kids do require advance registration, and they seem to fill faster and faster every time!

This one is a Mother’s Day Planter, and the event is on Saturday, May 9th. Speaking of Mother’s Day…..yes, we will have a complete guide to Mother’s Day events coming soon! If you want to register for the Lowe’s event, just head here when sign up opens. 

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do April 24th-26th!

Ever wished you could find free things to do with the kids right around Tacoma, Olympia, or your South Sound home?

Have I got a list for you! Hint, hint! Just keep on reading for scoop on family fun all around the South Puget Sound.


Bounce Play in Gig Harbor  free inflatable time and conversation for moms and preschoolers and tots  Missed it this week? Follow them on Fb and preregister to hold your spot for next time.

Indoor Park at Pen-Met Indoor Soccer Center in Gig Harbor  Every Friday from 11:15-12:30; toys usually left up longer  2.00/child

It’s always kids’ night out at Pump It Up on Fridays. Call for details and to hold your spot.

Many libraries have story times and fun on Fridays. Here is the Puyallup Public Library site, and here is the PCL site.


All Over

Parks Appreciation Day Most communities are hosting clean up and beautification efforts at area parks. To get in on one, call your local parks department.

Area YMCAs are hosting Healthy Kids Day.   Free day of activities for all. If you have an area Y, it is likely participating, but do check with yours at first. I’ve confirmed Auburn and Puyallup-Mel Korum.

Michael’s Kids Club 2.00 for half hour sessions

South King County

Touch tanks at HCC Mast at Redondo  Free and open to the public every Saturday from 10-2  Did you see my post on their amazing, nearly free summer camps for 4th-6th graders??

Sing along Sound of Music in Auburn  might be fun for older children; my sister and my mom and I did this one year. It was a hoot.


Lego my Library   Lego story time at the Puyallup Public Library 11AM

Dia De Los Ninos/Day Of The Children at the Puyallup Public Library 2-4PM  crafts, food, character appearance from the Llama in Pajamas, bicycle helmet fitting and giveaway while supplies last, free bilingual book for each child

Tacoma/South Tacoma/Lakewood

Baby Bump Expo at the Tacoma Convention Center

Visit the Job Carr Cabin Museum in Old Town from 1-4 small, but free (donations accepted) and interesting

Family nature walk at the Tacoma Nature Center   Volunteer naturalists lead family friendly walks. Free but you’re asked to sign up. Not suitable for strollers. Perfect for ages 3 and up. 1PM

Norwegian Heritage Festival at PLU  food, entertainment, demonstrations 11AM-3PM

Family movie matinee at the Tillicum Library 1PM

Children’s Day and Day of the Books  at the Lakewood Library at 2PM music, storytelling, free books, and fun. Open to all with a special invitation to Spanish speaking families.

Children and all ages shows at the Pierce College Science Dome/planetarium CASH only at the door


Procession of the species   An only in Olympia style parade with costumed performers, giant puppets, and an array of fanciful creations celebrating animals and the Earth

Spring Arts Walk in Downtown Olympia   In conjunction with the Procession of the Species, many downtown businesses and galleries will host open house events and family friendly activities  You can get a printable map or an app to your phone with locations.

The Magic of Ink Art at the Olympia Library   An art walk event-watch a comic book artist in action!  1PM

St. Martin’s dragon boat festival at the Port Plaza in Olympia  ceremonies, performances, and dragon boat races!

Visit the new South Sound Estuarium  10AM-3PM

Visit the LOTT Wet Science Center  Free and open to the public every weekend. Special hours in conjunction with arts walk this weekend- Spring Arts Walk and the Procession of the Species are here! We’re open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on April 25, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 26. We’ll have a variety of family art activities to enjoy, and local art and photography on display.

Hint: If you are thinking you should allow extra time for navigating your way around Olympia this weekend, I think you’re right!

Gig Harbor

The Gig Harbor Farmer’s Market is now open!

Arbor Day Celebration

It’s Healthy Kids day at your YMCA!


Ugandan kids’ choir performances in Lacey and Olympia today

Golf Bug Craft at the South Hill Library 2PM

Do check back later today, as I have still more listing to add-some days there are too many fun things and only one me! As always, I’d also love to hear from you if you know something great we need to include.

New here? I do hope you’ll use your favorite social media button up top to keep it touch!

Free Family Event At the Slater Museum at UPS

Tacoma! Tonight is your last chance this school year to take the kiddos to a FREE family evening at the Slater Museum of Natural History at UPS.

The Slater Museum is a smallish little museum devoted to natural history-think cases of bugs and lots and lots of stuffed, dead things.

ht i

It’s a great, hidden gem for your budding scientists and naturalists-assuming they’re not squeamish about stuffed, dead animals.

Tonight is an ,”Earth,” day celebration with special attention to moles and other diggers. Cute, right?

There will be a hands-on planting activity for kids, live animal guests, and as always, lots of opportunities to talk to museum volunteers and see their collections.

You can get more information here.   The event runs this evening, Thursday April 23rd, from 6-7:30. While this is their last special family day this school year, there are a few more open days, or you can make an appointment for your Scout or homeschool group. It is closed after May, as it’s run by students, and they go home for the summer. Ah, summer-hurry and get here!

If you make it to this event, or check out the museum another time, we’d love to hear your review!

Free Day At Washington State Parks!

A quick note that Wednesday the 22nd is a FREE day for Washington State Parks-no Discover Pass required.

Washington state parks

It’s in honor of Earth Day if you’re curious why it’s on a somewhat, random weekday.

Monte Cisto Hike and Jon fishing 042

Where to go? Dash Point and Saltwater are fabulous choices not too far from most of you.

Tolmie is fantastic if you’re near Olympia. I’ve never been, but I’ve heard Millersylvania has really nice walks that are stroller friendly.

If you’re up for a teensy bit of a jaunt, I’ve personally been meaning to get to Federation Forest and do the Hobbit Trail for ages.

You can see all our awesome parks alphabetically or by region, right here! 

If you can’t get out today, I do think the Discover Pass is well worth the 30.00 investment. Or, you can head here for the list of upcoming free days-the next one is May 10th.

Note that Mt.Rainier National Park and other federal sites are not included in this free day. You can see free days for National Parks here. You’ll have to wait a while on these.

Don’t forget you can always find more outdoor adventure via our menu bar up top!

Disclosure: That’s our dog on a hike. No, it wasn’t in a state park. I’m kind of pooped tonight, and I needed a picture quickly. Isn’t he handsome? I promise he wasn’t that tired either. He likes to hang his tongue out like that to be dramatic.


Tonight! Expert Behind, “Mean Girls,”- Rosalind Wiseman- Lectures At Annie Wright

Tacoma! Here’s a great opportunity to see nationally recognized author Rosalind Wiseman, right at Annie Wright.

Wiseman is the author of the bestseller, Queen Bees and Wannabes, the serious inspiration for the funny movie, Mean Girls.

If you have a tween or teenage girl, you’ve no doubt worried about how to guide her through peer pressure, bullying, and cliques. I have friends who have told me they have seen this kind of behavior even in kindergarten!

queen bees

Yikes, right?

In her lecture, Wiseman will help you understand what’s really going on between adolescent boys and girls today, and how social group dynamics influence their interactions.

She will speak on how to

  • Teach young people to treat each other with dignity
  • Help tweens and teens navigate mean girl cliques and the new rules of the boy world
  • Know when to stand up for your kid and when to step aside
 I know this is a bit last minute, but if you can carve out some time this evening, I know you won’t regret it. This is really a wonderful opportunity to hear a nationally regarded expert right here. The lecture is brought to you by Annie Wright, one of our partners here at Sounds Fun Mom, as well as the team at Parent Map. They put on truly outstanding events every time.
If you’d like to attend, I do have a discount code for you! Just head here  for more information and ticket purchase and use code FF2015 for 5.00 off.