South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do December 19th-21st!

Looking for something kid friendly to do this weekend?

There are lots of holiday events and free family activities all around the South Sound this weekend. You’ll find a list just like this every Friday-just for families in  Tacoma, Puyallup, Olympia, Gig Harbor, and Your South Sound home!

Headed elsewhere? There is always lots more to explore  at ThriftyNWmom  thanks to frugal fun finder, Annaliese, of Grays Harbor Deals!

You can say hello to the reindeer at Watson's Nursery. Santa will also be on hand select days. No Photo courtesy of Watson's Nursery

You can say hello to the reindeer at Watson’s Nursery. Santa will also be on hand select days. Photo courtesy of Watson’s Nursery

Ongoing Holiday Events

Reindeer at Watson’s nursery, holiday events at The Old Cannery, Santa at the fairgrounds, Skating at the Polar Plaza in downtown Tacoma-See our holiday events guides for all the details.

It’s the last weekend for most Nutcrackers. See the complete list here.

Still need a Santa photo? If you don’t want to deal with the mall mobs, here is a list of options. Note that Santa at the North Pole at the fairgrounds is fully booked.

Fantasy Lights at Lake Spanaway

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo

Clam Lights has opened  at Gene Coulon Park in Renton 5-9PM nightly through January 1st. It’s Free!

Keep Reading for complete listings for Saturday and Sunday by area  
[Read more…]

Mom Reviewed: Walking With Dinosaurs At The Tacoma Dome

Are you thinking about going to Walking With Dinosaurs at the Tacoma Dome? There has been a ton of buzz about this Jurassic spectacular, and I was super excited to get the chance to go on opening night so I could bring you a review. I promise there aren’t any spoilers!

Dino Review One

 

My family had gotten a sneak peek of the show several weeks ago, so we were super excited about it even before it began,and we definitely weren’t disappointed.

Dino Review Two

The dinosaurs are incredibly realistic. They tower over the audience and roar at their prey, and they display an incredible range of personality. I know it sounds odd to say you feel like you get to know the dinosaurs, but you really do! These pics were taken from our seats so you can get an idea of what the experience is like.

The show was a great mix of education and entertainment. I was amazed at all we learned from the actor playing the palentologist/narrator, but it definitely didn’t feel like a boring lecture.

Both of my boys absolutely loved it, and my husband says it’s one of the best live shows he’s seen. There were lots of young dinosaur lovers around me who were on the edge of their seats the whole time.

A few things to know if you decide to go

  • It is dark and there are a number of sudden noises and lights. You might want to bring ear protection for young children. I would probably not take a little one with sensory issues.
  • I saw lots of preschoolers and none of them seemed to be frightened. I did see some younger children who were needing to sit on their parents’ laps.
  • The theater is configured so that all the seats really are good ones, though obviously you’ll feel a bit less part of the action from higher up.
  • The Tacoma Dome is a tad on the drafty side, so I’d dress in layers.
  • There are snacks for sale and some souvenirs, which are cute but on the pricey side in my opinion.
  • Be prepared to pay for parking, although we were able to find fairly close street parking for free near the Best Western (not at the actual hotel).
  • Do know that there will be lots of kids in attendance. The ones around us talked through out the show. While it didn’t bother us, if it would bother you, you may want to choose a section with more empty seats.

If you can fit this show in your budget this holiday season, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Dinosaur lovers in particular will be talking about it for years to come!  Don’t forget I have a post here with a code you can use on your ticket purchase. 

You can check out available tickets here at Ticketmaster. You can read more about the production here. 

Disclosure: My family was provided with tickets to facilitate this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

 

 

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale In Auburn

If you’re looking to score some last minute Christmas deals, or  if you’re a teacher,  homeschooler, or just a book lover, you’ll want to carve out some time to hit the Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale in Auburn.

I have to confess I almost forgot to remind you about this one-it runs today, tomorrow, and Saturday-through December 20th, so make plans now if you want to go.

Scholastic Books warehouse sale

These events are hosted by Scholastic, and you’ll find new, overstocks as well as, “Scratch and dent,” titles. Now, these used to say they were just for teachers and book fair volunteers, but the wording now includes school volunteers and homeschool groups. I’m pretty sure you fall under one of those categories! It’s very unlikely anyone will ask you, in any case. I’ve been several times, and I’ve never had anyone ask for any kind of id or information.

You can go here for more information, or to preregister and get a coupon if you want to do some serious shopping. The address and hours are below. Note that it’s very much a, “Warehouse-y,” area. They usually have a sandwich board out.

Auburn Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale  

Auburn warehouse hours

There isn’t an Olympia area event this go-round, but I’ll let you know if they have one in the future.

If you go to either of these, or if you’ve been in the past, feel free to leave us a comment and let us know how you did!

 

Give The Gift Of GET

You say your kids don’t need one more thing? I hear you!

Rather than getting another toy that will be forgotten by the New Year, consider investing in a gift that will help your child succeed for a lifetime!

GET_EmailPic1

The Guaranteed Education Tuition Program, or GET,  is Washington State’s 529 prepaid college tuition program. You prepay for all or some of the tuition your child will need in the future at today’s prices! 

GET makes it easy for parents, grandparents, and other family members to gift units. You can even print out cards right from their site!

GET certificate

It’s a GREAT gift from grandparents, especially if they’d like to honor a baby or young child who is really too young to understand presents anyway, and the sooner you start saving, the better!

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve been a GET family since our boys were babies, and we feel so good knowing that we’ll be able to send them to college when they’re ready. My mom always gives them a little extra towards their accounts on their birthdays, and it’s a great way to celebrate those milestones. Do they appreciate it now? Not really…but we know when they’re receiving their diplomas they’ll remember all the special people in their lives who helped them get there (You can use GET accounts for nearly any technical school or public or private college or university in the country, btw).

GET gift box

All the information about giving the gift of education through the GET program is right here.

If you’d like to suggest a gift to family and friends, you can do that here! 

If you haven’t yet created a GET account, you’ll want to check out this page with all the information you need

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As always, the opinions are my own. We are very grateful to our sponsors, and we Love when you mention Sounds Fun Mom when you check them out!

Kids’ Take Over And Winter Wonderland Workshop At WiggleWorks!

I’m so excited to tell you about two amazing events coming up from our friends at WiggleWorks Puyallup at the South Hill Mall.

If you need to get some shopping done without the kids, or you could just use a break, you’ll want to sign up NOW for the takeover on the 19th! That’s this Friday from 5-9PM. You get to drop off the kids, and they get to enjoy play time, dinner, crafts, and a movie! It’s all just 30.00 for the first child and 25.00 for siblings.

Takeover

That’s a great value for four hours of care from the highly trained and fun loving professional team at WiggleWorks.

You do need to register and pay in advance. Just email WWKPservice@wiggleworkskids.com

You can also sign up for their upcoming Winter Wonderland Workshop-Perfect for your Frozen fanatics!

Frozen workshop

That event is Saturday the 20th, and it will include special stories, crafts, and a visit and photo op with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna thanks to Emerald Kingdom Parties. Seriously-you don’t want to miss this one!

You can stay caught up with all the fun at WiggleWorks Puyallup by following their Facebook page.

Go here to get all the details about the Winter Wonderland event and sign up here.  To get your kids in on the take over just email WWKPservice@wiggleworkskids.com.  

Both of these have limited spaces left, so don’t wait long!

 

Disclosure: WiggleWorks is a site sponsor. I would LOVE for you to mention Sounds Fun Mom when you register your kiddos  for either of these fun activities.

Win Tickets To Walking With Dinosaurs!

Update: Congratulations to our winner, Caryn! Her comment below was selected by a random number generator (I could never choose any other way)!Dino winner

Caryn, I’ve sent you an email!

Thank you all for your tremendous interest in this giveaway. It really does help me keep bringing you great contests, and YES, we still have more coming!

If you’d like to get tickets to Walking With Dinosaurs, I do have an exclusive ticket discount for readers. You can read about it here! 

 

If you’ve been wishing for tickets to Walking With Dinosaurs coming to the Tacoma Dome, have I got a deal for you!

I’ve got a family 4 pack of tickets to give away to Friday night’s show! Woot-It just might be our biggest #WinLocal contest yet!     

Contest is over.

First, ICYMI, I’ve got a post all about this show, with all you need to know, and information on how to get ticket discounts if you’re just going to buy some so you don’t miss out!

I’ll wait here while you read all about it…….

Back?

dinosaur one

Let’s get straight to the contest then! It’s for a family four pack to the Friday night show of Walking With Dinosaurs at the Tacoma Dome. They can only be used for this location, at this time, so double check your calendar before you enter, and please, please leave an email you check and/or make a point of checking back for the winner’s name on Wednesday.

Ready to enter? I know you’re going to be excited about this one, so I’m going to give you lots of chances. [Read more…]

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do December 12th-14th!

Looking for something kid friendly to do this weekend?

There are lots of holiday events and free family activities all around the South Sound this weekend. You’ll find a list just like this every Friday-just for families in  Tacoma, Puyallup, Olympia, Gig Harbor, and Your South Sound home!

Headed elsewhere? There is always lots more to explore  at ThriftyNWmom  thanks to frugal fun finder, Annaliese, of Grays Harbor Deals!

You can say hello to the reindeer at Watson's Nursery. Santa will also be on hand select days. No Photo courtesy of Watson's Nursery

You can say hello to the reindeer at Watson’s Nursery. Santa will also be on hand select days. Photo courtesy of Watson’s Nursery

Ongoing Holiday Events

Reindeer at Watson’s nursery, holiday events at The Old Cannery, Santa at the fairgrounds, Skating at the Polar Plaza in downtown Tacoma-See our holiday events guides for all the details.

Fantasy Lights at Lake Spanaway

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo

Clam Lights has opened  at Gene Coulon Park in Renton 5-9PM nightly through January 1st. It’s Free!

Keep Reading for complete listings for Saturday and Sunday by area   [Read more…]

Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular Coming To Tacoma! Sneak Peek And A Discount Code!

Are you excited about Walking With Dinosaurs? If you aren’t already counting down the days until this Jurassic spectacle opens in Tacoma, I think you will be when you see some of the pics I got during a sneak peek! Oh, and yes, I have a coupon code for you.

First, I want to make sure you know this is a totally different dinosaur event than the one that came to Tacoma and Puyallup last year.

It’s been several years since this event, a huge,  you-are-there style, live theater spectacular based on the BBC series, was in the area. My husband and my older son went years ago, and my husband says it is honestly the best production he’s ever been to. If you have the room in your budget and  a young dinosaur lover in your life, it’s not to be missed!  Hint: It would be a great early Christmas gift from grandma and grandpa!

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Orange camera July-December 561

My family and I got a sneak peek at the show during the WIAA high school football championship. Check it out! Even my big kid was impressed.   That  life size, lifelike guy behind us is the Baby T-Rex, and he’s one of the smallest dinosaurs in the whole production. To give you some scale, he comes up to his mother’s Knee-and as you can see, he was taller than both my husband and I, and I promise we’re regular sized grown-ups! I’ve included a few more pics to give you an idea of how truly awesome this production is. It really does transport you back to the time of the dinosaurs.

dinosaur one

 

The organizers were nice enough to tell us a bit more about the production. I was really impressed to learn about the care they’ve put into making every detail as accurate as it can be. You’d be getting a tremendous value just from the educational aspects of the show, but it’s also enormously entertaining.

Brachio

Walking With Dinosaurs will be at the Tacoma Dome December 17th-21st, and our friends with the production gave me a discount code just for you!

Just use code KIDFUN and score

$5 off Price Level 2: $44.50 (reg. $49.50)  or

$3 off Price Level 3: $26.50 (reg. $29.50)
This special offer is good only at the #Tacoma location for the levels indicated, and it’s  valid on all shows except Sat 11am/3pm & Sun 1pm. 

There is also a current Goldstar offer available for this show. You can read about it here and see how the dates and seats available  compare to the deal you can score with the KIDFUN code.

You can use the code and see all the ticket options at Ticketmaster here.  There is tons more information about the show, including some great, educational activities for kids, and some awesome reviews here at the Walking With Dinosaurs official website.  They’re also on Facebook and your other favorite social media sites!

Photos two and three are property of Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular.

Disclosure: My family was provided with tickets to facilitate this review. I have not been otherwise compensated, and the opinions are my own!

 

Free Holiday Fun For Kids At Pierce County Library Branches

Could you use some FREE holiday activities to do with the kids? Who couldn’t, right?

Our friends at the Pierce County Library system asked me to remind you that they have a whole sleigh full of holiday programming this month, and it’s all FREE!

I’ve mentioned some of these great events in our holiday guide and weekend lists already, and I know quite a few of you had a great time making gingerbread houses this weekend.

DSC_0034smaller

What else is coming up?

One fun happening is , “Puppets Please.” This is a marionette in the round show, and I heard from several readers last year that the description really doesn’t do this event justice. It’s definitely not your ordinary puppet show.

Free marionette puppet show at Pierce County Library branches

There are also more gingerbread house making events, ornament and craft making sessions, holiday concerts, and more. Gig Harbor readers, be sure to stop in New Year’s Eve for a kid friendly celebration!

You can see the complete list of puppet shows here. *This is a pdf.

The best way to check out all the other upcoming holiday fun is to head to the library’s website. You can attend events at Any library branch whether or not it’s your, “Regular,” location. Although all events are free, a few branches require registration, so be sure to check that before you head out! Note that some time slots at South Hill are full, but they have added others, so keep scrolling!

Gingerbread house photo by Chris Tumbusch, courtesy of Pierce County Library

Disclosure: Sounds Fun Mom is very proud of our partnership with the Pierce County Library System, and has received compensation and promotional consideration in exchange for this post.

Win Two Tickets To Jack And The Beanstalk From Centerstage Theater-Federal Way

If you’re looking for a funny, active holiday show for the kids this season, I’ve got just the ticket!

Actually, I’ve got a pair of tickets, and I’m giving them away! Yep, it’s our latest great South Sound experience gift, a holiday tradition here at SFM I like to call #WinLocal!

Today’s contest is for two adult priced tickets to the 7PM showing of  Jack and the Beanstalk from Centerstage Theater in Federal Way on Friday, December 12th.

Jack and the Beanstalk One

Do make sure you can use  these before you enter, as the prize is just for this show. The winner will get a pair of tickets,  so if you want to take the whole family, you’ll need to buy some more, but the kids’ are just 10.00. You seat yourself when you arrive, so it won’t be any problem sitting as a whole group. If you want to leave the kiddos at home (GASP!) this would also be a fun date night.

Now, you should also know that this is NOT your mother’s Jack and the Beanstalk. Every year, Centerstage puts on a pantomime-no, not mime-I promise everyone in the play talks. And sings! And tells some truly Terrible jokes!

Jack and the Beanstalk 2

Pantomime in the English tradition is all about puns and slightly bawdy humor. The artistic director, Alan, likes to call it, “Naughty but not nasty.”

Our whole family loved it. My husband and I loved the send-ups of popular 80s pop hits and Broadway numbers, and my kids loved getting to boo the villain and cheer for the heroes. There is lots of interaction in this show, so it’s a great choice if your kids are a bit on the lively side or new to theater!  Henry said I should also mention the tap dancing cow and the giant puppets! I don’t want to give too much more away, but if you’d like a more detailed review, there is one here at the TNT.

The slightly PG jokes went right over my kids’ heads, and the audience on the afternoon we saw the show was made up of preschoolers to grandparents-all having a great time. But, if you would be offended by jokes about same gender attraction, potty humor, and/or a male actor in a dress (a total scene stealer!) then this is not the show for you.

If you’d like a holiday production where laughter is encouraged and the jokes keep on coming, I think you’ll love it as much as we did.  The theater is at the Dumas Bay Centre, and it’s a lovely, small theater. There is a brief intermission during the show, but the snack options are pretty limited-I’d eat before you go. The local cast is talented and friendly, and they’ll be glad to pose for photos in the lobby after the show.

Now, this is going to be a quick giveaway so you can make it to the show Friday, and we’re going to keep the contest simple, too! [Read more…]