Awesome Kids’ Acting Camp in Dupont From Youth Acting Studio: Let’s Make A Movie! Plus, Check Out Fall Classes!

We’re so pleased to have our friends at Youth Acting Studio back as sponsors! There is still time for your young actors to make an amazing memory at one of their awesome summer camps coming up in Dupont-super convenient for those of you looking for kids’ acting opportunities near Lacey, Steilacoom, and the greater JBLM area.

Theater class for kids steilacooom wa

Plus, you can check out their fall line up and sign up for one of their great, youth acting classes for fall today! 

As always, Melissa’s instruction is top notch and positive. Kids will work on their acting chops while also developing poise, self-confidence, and so much more.

Melissa is professionally trained, and readers who have tried her classes and camps have absolutely raved about them.

Kids acting classes near jblm

And, seriously-how fun does this camp sound??? Your little wannabe stars will just love it! Here’s the scoop straight from Melissa!

  • This summer Youth Acting Studio is making its very own original movie! Our Half-Day Youth Acting Summer Camps starts August 10th right in Dupont, and we do have a few spots still open!  Our MOVIE is a fun adventure combining elements and characters of The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and the Adventures in Narnia!
  • We’ll be playing games, building teams, creating props and costumes as art projects, rehearsing, learning lines and doing production work!  Then we’ll have a special screening party for everyone to come see on the big screen!
If you’re ready to register (Of course you are!) all the details are below. If you have any troubles signing up, just email or call Melissa at or 917-330-3962, and she’ll help you personally!
Let’s Make a Movie – Camp Fantasyland- DuPont Parks and Rec
August 10 – 14
Ages 9 – 13 (OR with previous Youth Acting Studio training)
1 pm – 5 pm

DuPont Civic Building – EOC

Tuition: $139
(DuPont now accepts ONLINE registration with CC’s!!! The link on the page will lead you to the form which will require payment upon submission.)
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I’d love it if you could tell Melissa you found her camp and classes on Sounds Fun Mom!

South Sound Sunday Fun!

Looking for something fun to do with the kids today in Olympia, Puyallup, or Tacoma?

Or maybe you just need the link to info. on that salmon bake in Steilacoom? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a whole list of fun ideas for your South Sound family today.

Salmon Bake


It’s kids’ day at the Auburn Farmer’s Market

Renton River Days continues Kids’ zone and fun in Liberty Park;  rubber duck derby launches from Houser Way Bridge at 4:30.

Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival in Olympia Glo-Run Friday, cooking demos, farm tours, kids’ zone- 5.00 admission/kids 12 and under are free

Good guys car show at the fairgrounds in Puyallup  exhibits, kids’ activities, swap meet 20.00 adults/6.00 kids 7-12 and free for 6 and younger

Free admission to Tiffany’s Skate Inn in Puyallup from Sunday 12:30-3:30pm when you bring a donation of peanut butter for the food bank. Extra charge for rentals.

It’s Salmon Bake time in Steilacoom. 15.00 for a salmon meal/hot dog option for 6.00 12-4; shuttle available, or pay to park at Sunnyside Beach

Ethnic Fest at Wright Park  A cultural celebration with two full days of live entertainment, food, and more

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!

Historic Fort Steilacoom is now open for Sunday tours

Last show-PenMet Family Theater presents Dorothy in Wonderland in Gig Harbor Friday, Saturday, Sunday – July 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26th,  2015  Tickets Sales begin @ 6pm – Show Starts at 7pm. Sehmel Homestead Park, 10123 78th Avenue. Cost $5/person.  Outdoor showings; families are invited to bring picnics, blankets, chairs. Concessions available.

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Just looking to cool off? I hear ‘ya! Here’s our beat the heat round-up. with places to swim, favorite ice cream shops, best beaches, and more!

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 or use one of the icons up top to find us on your favorite social media.

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.

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

Need something to do with the kids today? We’ve got TONS of fun and free or cheap things to do with your South Sound family, including great fun, things to do with the kids in Tacoma, Puyallup, Olympia, Gig Harbor, and your neck of the woods.

Just need to keep cool? We’ve got the link to everything you need at the bottom of this list!

Celebrate cultures from around the world at Ethnic Fest in Wright Park this weekend.

Celebrate cultures from around the world at Ethnic Fest in Wright Park this weekend.


Too many library events to list individually at Pierce County Library branches today. Go here and use the interactive calendar to find something great near you! 

Juggling and funny stories at the Puyallup Public Library 3PM  Entertainer Chris Fascione today. Free, drop in summer reading program event

Summer movies in the park in Gig Harbor– Back to the Future   9:00PM Donkey Creek Park

Free evening concert with Recess Monkey at Meridian Habitat Park South Hill

Outdoor movies at Bradley Lake in Puyallup It’s an American Tail tonight; show at dusk

All Weekend

Renton River Days Head to Liberty Park for kids’ activities, a circus!, vendors, community info, and the rubber duck derby on Sunday.

Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival in Olympia Glo-Run Friday, cooking demos, farm tours, kids’ zone- 5.00 admission/kids 12 and under are free

Good guys car show at the fairgrounds in Puyallup  exhibits, kids’ activities, swap meet 20.00 adults/6.00 kids 7-12 and free for 6 and younger

Free admission to Tiffany’s Skate Inn in Puyallup when you bring a donation of peanut butter for the food bank. Extra charge for rentals; see link for sessions and details.


All Over

It’s U-Pick blueberry time! Check any spot before you head out-some may be done for the season already.

Kids’ Club at Michael’s Craft Stores  It’s a picture frame decorated with buttons today from 10AM-12  2.00 per half hour session

South King County

See All Weekend above for more

 PowellsWood Storytelling Festival  Various professional storytellers entertain audiences under tents in the beautiful gardens at PowellsWood. Henry and I went to this one year and really enjoyed it. It’s a quiet, low key afternoon with a variety of ages-so not a loud, kid-centric event, but the tellers are professionals and kept the all the kids I saw riveted. A good choice if you’d like some unplugged fun, and you have kids who can sit through a story reasonably well. A nice outing with grandparents.

Touch a Truck event at Westfield Southcenter  Big rigs and safety info! Great, free event for kids

Open hours at Mary Olson Farm in Auburn Drop in and visited the preserved farm in the summer. Donations welcome.

Carnival on the Dock at HCC Mast at Redondo  12-5 The MaST Center in Redondo is having its third annual “Carnival on the Dock” on Saturday, July 25th from noon to 5p. Think 1 part elementary school carnival combined with two parts of marine biology. Face painting, carnival games, touch tanks and marine science activities; by donation  This is great fun! Tell ’em we sent you!

Free community car show at the White River Amphitheater

Get your kilt on! It’s the Highland Games in Enumclaw

Puyallup/Sumner/Greater Pierce  

See, “All Weekend,” listings above for more Puyallup events

Bringing Literature to Life at the Summit Library 2PM  children’s performer brings characters to life

Tacoma  Keep Reading for dozens of fun events for Tacoma, Olympia, Gig Harbor, and more!  [Read more…]

Teen Summer Challenge: Free Summer Fun For Teens From the Pierce County Library System!

Summer reading isn’t just for kids!

Our friends at the Pierce County Library System have programming for all ages from babies to adults, and they have an especially cool program for your teens this year.

Any teen 13-18 can register and participate. To win prizes, they’ll need a Pierce County Library Card (they’re super easy to get).

Challenges include a series of activities. There is a whole range-from visiting a library to completing a photo scavenger hunt.  Kids earn points as they complete the activities.  Ten points can be converted into a ticket, and tickets can be entered for a chance to win some seriously awesome, teen-approved prizes.  Starbucks, anyone?


If this is sounding a little complicated, just turn it over to your teen. I promise he’ll be all over it in a matter of minutes.

There are also tons of free events just for teens and opportunities to get together.

I know that it can be really challenging to keep teenagers busy in the summer, especially if you’re also hoping to keep the screen time to a reasonable limit. I love that our library offers programming that keeps kids’ brains sharp, encourages them to get out in the community, and offers fun and safe opportunities for them to interact with their peers.

I also love the librarians who work in the teen/young adult section of our favorite libraries. If you encounter eye rolling trying to explain this program to your child, just let your nearest teen librarian take over and walk yourself over to some summer reading of your own. I promise your kids are going to love this summer challenge-even if they don’t admit to it!  Have them sign up today!

You’ll find links to downloadable reading logs, the interactive library calendar, and more information about all PCL system summer reading programs right here. 

Kids can get more information about the Teen Summer Challenge and sign up right here.


Puyallup Parks Department, “Carnival,” Wednesday the 22nd at Pioneer Park

Puyallup friends, Wednesday the 22nd is, “Midsummer Carnival,” time at Pioneer Park downtown-aka the one by the library and the spray park.

It sounds just like the one that used to be at the end of the summer. Kids get tickets for .25 and then spend some amount of them on simple, carnival style games-think bean bag toss and so forth. In the past they’ve been awarded small candies for their efforts.

It’s very similar to what you’d find at a PTA style carnival  or similar events. Lots of fun for not-too-big kids, in other words.

There is usually an inflatable and sno cones/cotton candy for sale, though I haven’t confirmed anything about this.

It’s 1-4PM at the park if you’d like to give it a shot with your guys.

Let’s Hike: Federation Forest And What Happened To The Hobbit Village

Federation Forest is a great destination if you’re wondering whether your hikers are ready to graduate from nature walks to longer adventures. Just don’t go looking for the Hobbit Village. Those gnomes and elves have disappeared as of this writing, but there is still plenty here to see.

It’s a state park, and while it’s just off 410, it tends to be overlooked as drivers zoom by on their way to other popular destinations. Even on a July weekend, our family was totally alone here.  It’s well worth a stop, especially if you’re looking to walk or hike with young children.


There are towering, moss covered trees to look at, and the forested trails give you that, “Out in the wild,” feel, even though you’re never too far from the highway (and civilization). These are real trails, so there will be some roots and mud to navigate, but they’re all flat and should be easy enough for most children. There are miles of trails here-close to 7 in total-, so you can decide how long of an adventure to have. It would be a great way to assess the kids’ readiness for something more challenging, and it’s a unique opportunity to walk level paths through old growth forest.


Federation Forest also used to be home to a Hobbit Village-a collection of whimsical figures that was a fun destination for kids. Unfortunately, it had become the target of vandals and litterbugs, and given the state parks system’s limited budget, keeping it cleaned up was impossible. So, the village was all hauled away……or was it…. On our recent visit, we found several figures-evidence that some explorers are determined to bring this tradition back. Will they stay or get hauled away by vandals or official clean up crews? That’s anybody’s guess. My boys were thrilled to find them, but since they could easily be gone at any time, I don’t think you want to set out to look for them and then have disappointed kiddos.This trail also has LOTS of blow downs on it. We had to scramble over several fallen trees and through quite a few mud bogs.

Christmas 2013 066

For these reasons, I can’t recommend the Hobbit Trail (or what used to be the Hobbit Trail), to any but the most intrepid explorers, but there are several other great trails here, and I still heartily recommend the rest of Federation Forest as a family friendly hiking destination. Since it’s a state park, you can even bring your dog, if he’s on a leash.  The East Trail has signs to help kids learn about plants and trees. The West Trail will give you glimpses of the rushing White River. These last two pics look a bit gloomy as they were from an adventure much earlier in the year. It’s a very pleasant hike on a hot summer’s day because the trees provide lots of great shade. On our off season hike it had a mysterious vibe-we could definitely see why someone had decide it was Hobbit territory! 

Christmas 2013 061

Here’s what to know before you go:

  • Federation Forest is a state park, so you will need a Discover WA pass. It’s off 410 past Enumclaw.
  • The interpretive center is closed, but you will see signage for the trails. If for some reason, the park’s main gate is closed, you can park along the road. Do be careful as cars whiz by FAST on 410. I mean-FAST.
  • Be prepared for mud. Even in the middle of our July heat wave we found some spots with fairly epic mud.
  • Take the East Trail to see a giant Sitka spruce and signs explaining native plants.
  • Take the West Trail to eventually see the White River below.
  • For trip reports on the rest of the park, check the site.
  • If for some reason, this one is a bust, you can back track to Mud Mountain Dam. There are interesting, family friendly walks there, including one down to a viewpoint where you can look at the dam, but your kids will probably be most interested in the playground and the wading pool.
  • If you can’t get enough of mystical creatures, you may want to find the gnome doors in nearby Bonney Lake. Last I heard, they were still around, though, these also, have had some issues with vandals.
  • Wally’s in Buckley is a nice stop for milkshakes and burgers on your way home. The wait is always long, so you may want to have some of the grown ups go to the playground with the kids. Try the blackberry shake.

Your children might also enjoy a geocaching adventure-a great way to add an element of adventure and discovery to a walk.




Deal On Train Rides With Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad

Groupon has a fun deal to Mt.Rainier Scenic Railroad right now.

This scenic train ride would be a fun summer excursion. It is spendy, so I definitely recommend taking advantage of this deal if you’ve been wanting to take your little train lover.  Plus, there is an EXTRA discount right now that will take another 20% off when you use the code HOT3.

Mt.Rainier Scenic Railroad runs a picture perfect steam engine that Thomas fans will LOVE, and there are lots of great photo ops.  I have a detailed review of this outing here. Btw, this deal now includes admission to the small museum-some of the trains that used to be out at Camp Six by Pt.Defiance ended up there. If you know someone loco for choo-choos, this outing won’t disappoint!


This deal gets you two tickets for the train ride and museum admission for 32.00. This is a good discount, even on the kids’ tickets, especially with the extra 20% off, which means you’re getting two for about 26.00.  Kids 2 and under are free-so don’t buy for them.

You can purchase one for yourself and then additional as gifts, so if you have a family of 4, you’ll want to buy 2, and so forth….Btw, I’ve checked with our MRSR friends, and it’s perfectly fine do this. The seating is all seat-yourself, so you won’t have any problem getting together. If you have an odd number in your family, consider inviting a grandparent. Grandpas, in particular, seem to get a kick out of this one.

Now, I’m not sure what these particular vouchers say, but in the past, you’ve needed to call up to make reservations with them prior to showing up. Please do look them over carefully and give the MRSR a call to book your seats or ask questions before heading out to Elbe. It also looks like you now need to purchase a separate 2.00 parking pass.

You can head here to check out this deal.  You can also use the extra 20% off on any other local deal, so you may want to have a look around. I see offers to Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center, Trampoline Nation, and lots of other fun spots for your South Sound staycation! You can use the HOT3 code up to three times!

Disclosure: Groupon links on this site are always are affiliates. We appreciate you using them on deals that work for you!

Groupon to the Renaissance Fair at Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake

Update-This has sold out. There were not other deals last year, but if one turns up for 2015, I’ll let you know!

If you missed it, I hope you’ll consider subscribing to the site, or just making us a more regular habit. We hate that you missed it, too!

Quick note that Groupon is offering a fun deal to the Renaissance Faire at the Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake. This was a popular one with readers last year, and I think it was the best deal that ended up being offered to this multi day, back-in-time festival.

I’ve never been, but if your idea of fun is hanging out with Lords and Ladies of yesteryear, or gnawing on a giant turkey leg, it might be the thing for you!

renaissance faire

Here’s a little more detail via Groupon

Glimpses into the Elizabethan era fulfill the mission of bringing a bygone Europe to life. Turning the Kelley Farm into the Village of Merriwick, entertainers of all types, from courtiers to peasants, engage fairgoers with a range of acts. Flanked by her entourage, Queen Elizabeth travels through the streets, perhaps on her way to watch the jousters compete for her phone number, or perhaps to watch sprightly performances.

Elsewhere, merchants peddle their wares to passersby, talking up goods such as hand-forged weapons and roasted turkey legs. Camel rides and bubble-filled buckets cater to kids, and adults can duck into two alehouses where quick-witted wenches pour draft microbrews and ciders.

Sounds like a hoot, right? And, right now you can use code FUNTIMES to save an extra 15% off! Note that there are several options for this deal-I think most of you would probably want the family day pass, which can be used any day of the festival.

This offer did sell out in the past, so if you’re interested head here to Groupon to check it out sooner rather than later. The FUNTIMES code can be used up to 3x, so you might want to see if there is anything else of interest if you’re needing to save on your summer staycation!

Disclosure: Groupon links are always my affiliates. Using them does not affect your price, but the site does receive a very small percentage of the sale. We do appreciate it! As always, though, read the fine print, and only get in on deals that are good ones for you and your family.

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do July 17th-19th!

Need something to do with the kids today? We’ve got TONS of fun and free or cheap things to do with your South Sound family, including great fun, things to do with the kids in Tacoma, Sumner, Gig Harbor, and your neck of the woods.

Just need to keep cool? We’ve got the link to everything you need at the bottom of this list!


All Over

It’s U-Pick blueberry time! The season will go fast at some of these spots.

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

South King County

Enumclaw King County Fair continues

Covington Days  July 18th-19th parade, carnival, kids’ activities

Auburn Avenue Kids Presents, “You’re  a Good Man Charlie Brown”  Afternoon and evening shows. Also one on Sunday. Low cost, children’s theater

Master Paynne’s Circus of Adventure Magic Show at the Des Moines Library 3-4PMAges 5 and older. Discover your inner spark by entering the fantastic world of Agatha Hetrodyne, Girl Genius. This magic show is pulled directly from the pages of the Hugo Award winning Graphic Novel, Girl Genius, by the magician who inspired a character in the story.

Lego Store Grand Opening at Westfield Southcenter  Opportunities to build with a master builder and other fun

 Tambourine Submarine: A Musical Odyssey Concert at Federal Way 320th Library Saturday, July 18, 2015
1:30 PM – 2:15 PM Family program, all ages welcome.
Take a high-energy, rocking journey aboard the imaginary “Tambourine Submarine,” a high-tech vessel that explores sea, space and time. Sing, dance and rock out with some of the Northwest’s most popular family entertainers.

Open hours at Mary Olson Farm in Auburn Drop in and visited the preserved farm in the summer. Donations welcome.

Touch tanks at HCC Mast at Redondo  Free and open to the public every Saturday from 10-2

Puyallup/Sumner/Greater Pierce  

Edegwood Picnic 11AM-4PM It’s your annual picnic, Edgewood.  Free hot dogs and sno cones while supplies last, vendors, games, contests, Elvis, and more. Edgemont Park.

Car show at Bumpy’s. Bumpy’s is still a bar, but all ages can check out the cool cars parked behind. Possibly more fun for your bigger, “Kid.”

Rhubarb Days in Sumner  Arts and crafts, kids’ activities, petting zoo, pie eating contest on Sunday, and more small town fun!

Tacoma  Keep Reading for dozens of fun events for Tacoma, Olympia, Gig Harbor, and more!  [Read more…]

Five Fun Swimming Pools For South Sound Kids

Stewart Heights Pool Tacoma

Stewart Heights Pool

What to love: Slides and a lazy river! Several readers think this one is less crowded now that Kandle has opened. Let us know if you agree! My older son went to an end of school party here (lucky duck) and loved it.

What to know: Evening session is weather dependent. Check here after 4 pm or call the pool’s phone message line: (253) 573-2532.

Children under the age of seven and those who cannot meet the height requirement must have an adult in the water within an arm’s length at all times while the child is in the water.

Open daily. Head here for admission fees and hours.

Kandle Pool Tacoma 

Kandle Pool

What to love: Wave pool! There is also a great playground, plus a separate tot pool and sprayground.

What to know: Evening session depends on weather and attendance- Check here after 4 pm or call the pool’s phone message line: (253) 404-3920. This is a popular spot-consider bringing some buddies to help wrangle everyone. There are lifeguards. We have a playground review (prior to the pool opening) here

 Open daily. Head here for admission fees and hours.

Henry Moses Aquatic Center, Renton

Henry Moses

What to love: Huge water slides, a lazy river, two pools, and more; bargain prices compared to the water park! This is the one you see from 167 as you’re coming into Renton.

What to know: It can close to non residents if it reaches capacity. Purchase tickets for one of two sessions up to three hours in advance. Yes, really. Here’s all the details on that. 

Fircrest Pool  


What to love: One of the only area wading pools left. A great option for those of you with toddlers. Zero depth entry, and a nice, large size for a wading pool.

What to know: Both the Fircrest pool and wading pool have hours open to the public but at other times they’re open to residents only. We have a post on the pool here, but your best bet is to call to check hours before you go. It’s much easier than trying to navigate their web site.

TangleWilde Pool Lacey


What to love: Bring your own food, in and out privileges, and a friendly atmosphere for a reasonable price!

What to know: Just a nice pool-no fancy frills here. It can close to non members if it reaches capacity. The swimming area at Long Lake can be your back up plan!

Please do attend to your children and pool policies even at pools with lifeguards. Here at SFM we strongly encourage swim lessons. It’s a life skill that’s particularly important out here.

Have fun!

Not near you? Head straight to the Sounds Fun Mom Get Wet List for a round up of every outdoor pool, fountain, spray park, and splashy place in the South Sound. I also have a list of swimming lakes here!