Happy Thanksgiving!

From my turkeys to yours…….Happy Thanksgiving!


Here at Sounds Fun Mom, we are truly thankful for you, our readers. Without you…….it’s just typing! If you’re having a last minute dining crisis, your best bet is to check Open Table to see where you can get in (There’s always Chinese)!

If you’d like to do something after you eat, Fantasy Lights at Lake Spanaway opens tonight!See this post for your Fantasy Lights info. and coupon for 2015. 

If you’d like to do something other than shopping tomorrow, Keri has an amazing list of family adventures here.

If you’re trying to entertain a whole pack of visiting relatives never fear! I’ll have your whole list of South Sound family events and activities up for you Friday. Full disclosure: I may sleep in a bit. Turkey hangover is real.

I’ll see you then! 


Fantasy Lights

Here’s all the information on Fantasy Lights for 2015, including how to get your half-off coupon for Fantasy Lights, and the dates when you go for half-off!

If you’re new to the area, you may not know about this Lakewood area light display, so here’s all the scoop!

Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Lake is a drive-thru light show that is one of the Tacoma area’s favorite family holiday traditions.

It’s the only light display in the area you can drive-thru, and if you have young children, I can’t say enough about how nice it is to ooh and aah from the comfort of your cozy car!


As you drive by the displays you can tune your car radio to special Christmas music played by local school groups.

The light displays themselves are traditional Christmas themes, and they have a more old-fashioned, homespun feel than you might find at a sleeker light display. Honestly, that’s one of the many things we love about Fantasy Lights. It’s just a sweet, magical outing, especially with your little ones.

It’s also one of the most affordable Christmas activities around. Pricing is by the car load, so load up the mini van, because one, low-priced ticket gets in any vehicle up to 24 passengers!


Plus, this year, there are again a series of half-off nights. Fantasy Lights Half price nights are Nov 30, Dec 1, 2, 7, 8, 9.  That means you can take the whole gang for just 7.00! That’s about the most affordable holiday fun I know about (aside from driving around your own neighborhood)!


If you don’t want to go on a half-off night, you can still save 3.00 by prepurchasing your ticket at the Sprinker Rec Center or the Lakewood Community Center, or by presenting the coupon found here or in the Hometown Values Magazine, or at various community locations including McLendons stores and on post, at The Ranger.  The Fantasy Lights coupon can be used any day except for the half-off nights.

Do note that because of how they collect and audit money, you do need a physical coupon. They can’t let you show them one on your phone etc….

Do know that some nights, especially weekends, can have long waits of up to an hour. You can also expect a bit more traffic than usual on half-off nights.  My family has always gone on a Sunday late in the season, and we’ve never had to wait at all. You can always bring along a tin of cookies and some cocoa!

Finally, while I think this is a sweet family outing for just about everyone, if you do have a child with sensory issues, or fears of the dark, it may not be for you. If you find yourself in a meltdown mid-drive, signal to one of the flaggers around the route, and they will try to help you exit sooner.

We will also be giving away Fantasy Lights ticket soon, as part of our annual #WinLocal series. Check back for that! Fantasy Lights runs November 26th-January 1st. You can check out the Pierce County Parks site if you need more info.

Disclosure: We are thrilled to be media sponsors of Fantasy Lights this year. We have received compensation for this post, plus tickets for purposes of giveaways and recognition as a sponsor. We’ve had mad love for this tradition for years!

The BEST Apps For Kids!

Need an activity for your little ones that’s safe, fun, warm, and educational?

There’s an app for that!

No, really….the Pierce County Library system has screened and hand selected the very best apps for kids. I know there are So Many; wading through them and trying to find something developmentally appropriate can be a serious chore.

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Well, it’s a chore no more, because the trusted team at the Pierce County Library (one of the nation’s best library systems) has done it for you. They’ve found the ones that are truly educational and just right for your 2-6 year olds.

“Pigeon Presents Mo…on the Go!” and “Grow a reader” and “Minecraft pocket edition” are a few of the new apps recommended by Pierce County Library System. The library’s recommended app database features 64 apps for preschoolers and 18 apps for kindergarten through second grade. To be chosen, an app must support the five research-based early learning practices of talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. Both Android and Apple apps are reviewed. Many apps are free, and recommendations are updated several time a year! 

What are you waiting for? Find the full list of recommendations at the library’s Digital Kids page.

Bigger kids and grown-ups aren’t left out. The Pierce County Library has many digital offerings for kids and adults, including music, magazines, movies and TV shows as well as e-books and audiobooks. Download or stream to your electronic device of choice. All free with a Pierce County Library Card.

Be sure to pass this on. If you put together a newsletter for a class, homeschool group, or mom’s club, this would be a great tip to pass along!

Disclosure: We are proud to be sponsored by the Pierce County Library System. Thank them for their support of Sounds Fun Mom if you have a chance!

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do November 20th-22nd!

This weekend’s list is full of free fun for the kids in Tacoma, Lakewood, Gig Harbor, and your part of the South Sound!

Bundle up and have an adventure! Don’t forget to check our South Sound Holiday fun tab in the menu bar for TONS of great round-ups to help you plan for the holidays and beyond!

Sunday is your chance to walk through Fantasy Lights before it becomes a drive thru event.

Sunday is your chance to walk through Fantasy Lights before it becomes a drive thru event.


CWU Family night at the Pierce College Science Dome  Free, hands-on science activities, followed by a show in the science dome. 5:30-7

Turkey bowling on ice at the Sprinker Rec Center  Free admission to public skate with a canned food donation; try turkey bowling!

Overnight at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn   Advance registration and fees required


All Over

 The Little Kids’ Table Story Time at Barnes and Noble stores. Check your store for times. We do suggest calling your store to confirm details, as participation seems to vary, even when stores are listed as participating.

Babies First Christmas event at Babies R Us Stores  Story, giveaways, prizes 11AM

South King County

Santa arrives in Renton (tree lighting)  and Federal Way  See this post and look under South King County for details

Battle of the Badges Turkey Bowl  Auburn firefighters and police officers square off. Free event, but you’re asked to bring a canned food donation.

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

Teen Night at Trampoline Nation


Half-off at Northwest Trek with a canned food donation! 

Puyallup/Bonney Lake/Greater Pierce

See this post for more details on Santa stops: The North Pole at the Fair is open; the reindeer are at Watson’s nursery. Look under Tacoma/Greater Piere

Lego my Library at the Puyallup Library 11AM Free, drop in program. Hear a short story and enjoy building time..

International Games Day at the Library Drop in and play new and old favorites. 10-12 at Summit 10-5 at Sumner  Also 2-4 at Puyallup Public Library downtown

Play with our friends at WiggleWorks!  Always warm and dry; lot of fun specials.

Bonney Lake H.S. Is putting on Alice in Wonderland this weekend. Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. At the sumner performing arts center


Get your skate on! It’s opening day at the Franciscan Polar Plaza downtown

International Game Day Celebration at the main branch of the Tacoma Public Library  Drop in and play a variety of games. Separate sign-up for Pokemon DS tournament.

Santa Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops   See this post and look under Tacoma/Pierce County

Play and Grow Storytime at the Wheelock Library

Community block party at the Parkland/Spanaway Library 10AM  Drop in and build!

Thanksgiving craft at the Tillicum Library  Drop in and make a placemat! 2PM

Visit Jozee Rooz Indoor Petting Zoo

Keep reading-there’s so much more! 

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Victorian Country Christmas On Groupon: Plus, See The Extreme Scream “Tree,” Lighting!

Note-Links to Groupons are always my affiliates! 

If you like to kick off the holiday season by getting your shop on, you’ll want to check out this Groupon to the Victorian County Christmas! Note that I’ve never been to this, and I didn’t take the time to read the fine print, but I know this is a favorite tradition for many of you, so I wanted to be sure you saw it, as you can get tickets for basically half-off.

Victorian County Christmas

And, if you time it right, you can also see the lighting of the Extreme Scream, “Christmas Tree,”

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The Groupon is valid December 2nd-4th, but Not on Saturday and Sunday. If you go on the 2nd, you can see the Extreme Scream, “Christmas Tree,” lighting and enjoy some free refreshments and Santa’s arrival!  The tree lighting will be at 5:15, and you do need a ticket to the Victorian Country Christmas to see it up close.

You might also want to go to the North Pole at the Fair and get your kids’ Santa pics while you’re there. Note that these are separate events this year, so you’ll need tickets to each if you want to do them both. The North Pole At the Fair is here.

Head here to check out the Victorian County Christmas Groupon.  This did sell out last year, so don’t wait too long, but as always, do read the fine print!

For more fun deals, you can check our Deal of the Day page!

And, just for fun…..here are some Extreme Scream Tree facts from our friends at the fair!

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Reclaim Delicious Meals In No Time Flat With Bumble Bee SuperFresh!


Has it been a while since you’ve served a main course that doesn’t come in nugget form? I hear you! We’re super busy at our house this time of year, and we are always looking for meal ideas that are quick and actually tasty, too!

Naturally, I was super excited to get to try the new SuperFresh products from Bumble Bee. Fancy, healthy food that’s a snap to prepare? I’m in!


But-I was also skeptical. We do eat a fair amount of seafood, and if there is one thing that I want really fresh, it’s fish! I was a little nervous about trying fish from a box (Technically a pouch in a box, but you get my point).

The verdict? The  Seared Ahi Tuna was as fresh and delicious as any we’ve had-including meals we’ve enjoyed in fancy restaurants (or at least restaurants that don’t deliver crayons to the table). It’s the first ever sushi quality, “Thaw and serve,” packaged seafood product. It stays frozen during the processing and is never fully defrosted or re-frozen during preparation. That means the quality is on par with what you’d expect from fine chefs!  It also means you don’t get that fishy smell all over your kitchen.

The whole line of Bumble Bee SuperFresh products is super simple to prepare. We’re talking gourmet meals in 25 minutes or less with virtually no work on your part, people! My boys are true Northwest kids, and they love fresh fish. They both thought the Ahi was delicious, but honestly, we were a little sorry we’d wasted it on them.  Each package has a generous amount for two, so I suggest you put the kids to bed and have a fancy date night at your house. Reclaim grown-up meals, my friends. You can do this!

The Ahi is probably the simplest to fix of all the SuperFresh proucts. It’s delicious with just a side of soy and Wasabi. We served ours over a simple chopped salad.

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Chopped Salad With Ahi Tuna And Wasabi

To Make

  • Defrost the tuna according to package directions. Note: Our fridge might be extra chilly, because it did take a bit longer than the package suggested.
  • Finely chop your choice of greens and vegetables to equal approximately 3 Cups.
  • We used Napa cabbage, red cabbage, romaine, scallions, and carrots.
  • Arrange salad on plates. Top with tuna.
  • Drizzle Wasabi paste on the outside. When you eat, try to get a bit of crunch, tuna, and Wasabi in each bite. It’s amazing!

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If Ahi sounds too sophisticated for the taste buds at your house, you can also look for the other varieties pictured above. We’re excited to try them all.

I found mine at Safeway in one of the end cap freezers. You can ask your store manager if you have trouble finding it. Do be sure to visit the Bumble Bee SuperFresh site first, so you’ll have a high value coupon to take with you! 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do November 13th-15th!

We’ve highlighted some great events coming up this weekend. Be sure to also check out our Calendar for other events not mentioned that might be of interest to you and your family.

All Weekend

Disney On Ice presents Frozen at the Showare Center in Kent Allow plenty of time for parking and traffic and bring plenty ‘o money for your Elsa sno-cone and souvenirs! Just take your wallet and….let it go..…In all seriousness, we’ve heard it’s great, and your Frozen fans will love it if you can swing it.

All Over

The Little Snow Plow Story Time at Barnes and Noble stores. Check your store for times. We do suggest calling your store to confirm details, as participation seems to vary, even when stores are listed as participating.

Kids’ Club at Michael’s Craft Stores  It’s a felt mouse Christmas craft today. 10AM-12  2.00 per half hour session

Lowe’s Build And Grow It’s a pull-back car today. Advance registration is now required for these popular, free building workshops for kids.

Free kids’ STEM workshops at McClendon Stores-Takes you to a post with details and a link to register.

South King County

Auburn Avenue Kids presents The Reluctant Dragon  Tickets 8.00  This looks like a cute one!

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


Half-off at Northwest Trek with a canned food donation! 

Open House at Mountain Lodge Farm  The farm’s site is here.


Special Lego storytime at the Puyallup Library with children’s singer/song writer, Eric Ode 11AM Free, drop in program. Hear a short stories and enjoy building time. Eric Ode will talk about his new children’s book, Big Foot Does Not Like Birthday Parties. Copies will be available for purchase/signing.

Train show at the Puyallup fairgrounds  The boys and I have been to this. When we went there was tons to look at and buy and not much to touch, but it does sound like they’ve added some kids’ activities. Leave a review if you go!

Friends of the Bonney Lake Library used book sale-all weekend.


Family nature walk at McKinley Park volunteer naturalists lead free nature walks. Not suitable for strollers; perfect for ages 3 and up 10AM

Block Play at the University Place Library 10AM Drop in and build!

Play and Grow Storytime at the Wheelock Library

Crazy math games at the Fern Hill Library new program for kids in grades 2-5; special incentives for kids who make all eight sessions. Register

Lego and Building Madness at the Steilacoom Library  Drop in and build with the library’s Legos and other building materials.

Family movie madness at the Tillicum Library 1PM newer releases; call for title

Native American Heritage Month at the Lakewood Library 1:30-3:30; hands-on activities and learning

Winter Jam 2015 Christian Music’s largest tour. Family friendly; good for Christian music loving tweens and teens.

Pier Peer at the Point Defiance Marina Open to ages 8 and up; Evening event where you can try and see sea creatures drawn to the dock lights! My husband and older son did this once; they didn’t see a lot of critters but had a good time being out and getting the cocoa after! Registration and fees required.

Keep reading-there’s so much more! 

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Last Days To Save 5.00 When You Reserve Your Spot With Santa At North Pole At The Fair!

A quick reminder from Santa and his helpers at the North Pole (the North Pole down at the Puyallup Fairgrounds, that is….).

3 kids with background

You have just a few more days to reserve your spot for pictures and save 5.00!

If this is your Santa, you probably already know that sessions will sell out, so do it now while you’re thinking about it!

We’ve been going to, “Our,” Santa and his top notch photography crew since we moved to Puyallup, and it’s one holiday tradition we won’t compromise on. We loved the new North Pole Experience last year, and it should be even bigger and better this year.

You can make your reservations and get any other information you need right here!   You can also visit them on Facebook if you have questions. Do be a little patient; Santa and his elves are hard at work this time of year, and you-know-who knows if you’ve been naughty or nice!  The price goes up Saturday, so don’t wait to make your reservation! 

Disclosure: Santa’s photographer is a long time friend of the site. We also like Santa. :)

Win Tickets To The Stunt Dog Experience: Great Family Show Coming To Tacoma!

I’m so excited to tell you about an amazing show for kids of all ages coming to Tacoma.

It’s the Stunt Dog Experience, and if you’re looking for a great holiday show for the whole family this season, you do not want to miss it. We have our own amazing rescue dog here at the SFM house, and we are seriously so psyched for this fun show!

Sounds Fun Mom_Stunt Dogs

You’ll see the stunt dogs perform amazing tricks, big air jumps, and acrobatic feats! These canine performers prove just how amazing rescue dogs can be.


The Stunt Dogs have been seen on Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, Animal Planet, and The Late Show with David Letterman! Their over-the-top doggy antics will have the whole family cheering!


Plus, when you bring your family to see Stunt Dog Experience at 2:30 or 7:30 p.m. you can enjoy the annual Holiday Tree Lighting as well! This beloved annual tradition is complete with hot cocoa, a brass band playing carols, and a visit from Santa! The Tree Lighting kicks off at 5 p.m. in the Pantages Lobby, and it’s the sweetest way to start your holidays.  If you’re one of my Tacoma area readers, you don’t want to miss this special tradition.

You can get tickets to the Stunt Dogs here. They’re very reasonably priced for a big-time event that will appeal to the whole family.

I also have a set to give away to one lucky reader. Woot! Yep, I’ve got a family 4 pack of tickets to the 7:30 show. Do note the tickets are only good for this day and time, so go double check your calendar before you enter. I’ll wait……….Ready? O.K. then! Keep Reading for easy entry directions!  [Read more…]

Tacoma Santa Mini Sessions To Benefit The Think Small Project For NICU Families

Here’s a fun photo op. with Santa for Tacoma area readers that benefits a good cause!

Patricia, the principal photographer at Illusions of Grandeur, sent this in:

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“We are so excited that Santa will be joining us in our downtown Tacoma studio on November 14th. This is a great opportunity to get your Santa pictures done before the holiday rush and avoid the wait in long mall lines!

All of the proceeds from the Santa pictures will benefit the Think Small Project which helps provide care packages to parents of babies in local hospital neonatal intensive care units.

A non-refundable retainer of $30 holds your session, and will be applied towards the package of your choice (package prices start at $30 for prints and a digital only package is just $45). Please use the MAKE RESERVATION button on this page to reserve and pay for your session.

Once your reservation is processed, you will be e-mailed an order form to choose your desired print package. Feel free to print and fill out the order form in advance and bring it with you or you can fill it out at the session. We will be able to take cash, checks, and credit cards.

Please arrive early, we will have snacks and coloring available to keep the kids busy until your scheduled session. If you arrive late, the time will be taken from your session since the sessions are scheduled close together.

We are limiting the number of people in each session to 4, if you have additional people, you will need to purchase 2 consecutive session blocks.

Santa can’t wait to see you!”

These sessions are November 14th, so yeah-get on it!