Save An Extra 20% Off Local Groupons-Including the Santa Express (New Date)!

Update: Massive bummer alert. 

I was so excited to see this deal back that I didn’t notice the fine print. Turns out this Santa Train is for 21 and over.

Yes, it’s the, “Booze Cruise,” version of the Santa Express. I guess…..I don’t really get it either. 

Anyway, you can still take an extra 20% off a local Groupon, but don’t get this one to take the kids! 

If you bought this by mistake, I do apologize. Get in touch with Groupon, and they should be able to help you out. They’ve always been able to help me in the past. I will also get in touch with MRSR to see if they’re planning to offer more deals on the actual Santa Express for…you know….children! 


There is an additional Santa Train date available on Groupon.

This one is the Santa Express from Mt.Rainier Scenic Railroad that runs out of Elbe. You can read more about my family’s fall outing on this train here.

This deal gets you two tickets for 31.00, and while that’s still a good chunk of change, it is half off! You are allowed to buy up to two additional deals as gifts, so if you have a family of four, simply buy two Groupons. I doubled check with our friends at MRSR, and they confirmed that this is fine. PLUS, right now you can save an extra 20% off any local deal with code SALE. See-sometimes procrastination pays! 

Bigger Santa on train

Do note that you need to choose a particular ride and time and call to make your reservations after you buy your deal.

Kids 5-12 are 24.00, so you will save on their tickets with this deal, though not as much.
3 and 4 year olds are 15.00, and kids 2 and under are free, so don’t bother with it for them.  **Do mention them when you call-everyone needs a ticket to board, even the free tots.

The train ride itself is very fun. It’s a storybook perfect steam engine, and if your kids are fans of Thomas the Tank Engine or trains in general-they’ll LOVE it. You should know that it is very loud and jostles gently. If you have a child with sensory issues, this may not be the outing for you.

Reviews are mixed on the scenery-despite the name  you only get a little peak at Mt.Rainier. I  would consider this much more a trip about the experience.

During this ride, Santa will come out to mix and mingle with the kids, and there will be cocoa and cookies and a small gift for kids 12 and under. It sounds super cute to me! 

If the Santa Train isn’t of interest, you might want to have a look anyway. I see deals to the Hands-On Children’s Museum, Victorian Country Christmas (this one excludes weekends), the Harlem Globetrotters, the Flight Museum, and more! If you’ve been thinking of giving the gift of experience, it’s worth a look. Of course, I also have lots of other holiday fare coming your way-including plenty of Free fun!

You can head here to Groupon to check out all the available local events and activities deals. If you find one worth highlighting, leave a comment!


Sign Up Now For Teddie Bear Music: Music Classes For Children 2-6 And Their Parents!

I get lots of notes from Tacoma area parents of babies, toddles, and preschoolers looking to have fun.

Here’s a great program for moms and dads to enjoy with their little ones that I think you’ll just love.

Teddie Bear girl

It’s the Teddie Bear Music program from our sponsors at Ted Brown Music in Tacoma. I asked our friends at Ted Brown Music Outreach to explain the program, and they sent over the details below. It sounds So Cute!

Teddie Bear Music is a new musical adventure for parents and children, sponsored by Ted Brown Music Outreach. Join instructor Janice Berntsen as she shows you how to share the gift of music and movement with your young children, ages 0 to 6. Each session covers subjects ranging from culture and holidays to historical American music. Studies show that the more time spent playing, reading and making music with your children can improve their ability to think, reason, and express themselves. Teddie Bear Music helps develop those skills, but it’s also a lot of fun!

Teddie Bear

Parents of little ones in the 1-21/2 year old class will want to bring along a soft blanket. You and baby will clap, wiggle, and sing along with songs and lullabies from around the world. There will also be tapping, jumping, nursery rhymes, and dancing with ribbons and scarves.

The class for 21/2-4 year olds includes all of the above plus hand instruments and some advanced musical instruments, too!

Classes are Thursday mornings, and they meet at the Ted Brown Music location right by the Tacoma Mall. Each is a perfect 30 minute length.

Sessions are one month long, and are a very reasonable 39.00 (If you’ve priced other mom and me music programs you know this is really a good deal)! You can check out more information about the program, here, though I think the easiest thing to do would be to give it a try!

To register, just call Stephanie at 253 272 3211 or register in person at any Ted Brown Music location. I’d love to hear your reviews and see your pics if you give it a try!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I would be very grateful if you’d mention Sounds Fun Mom when you call!

Turkey Trot Time!

Want to earn that turkey dinner? The Norpoint Turkey Trot is a fun run that happens every Thanksgiving morning, and if you and your family want to participate, you’ll want to sign up now.

I don’t fully understand paying money to run, but I know I have many fun run loving readers.

Turkey Trot


Anyway,  as I mentioned, it’s smart to sign up early. Later registration is 10.00 more, and if it fills up, there isn’t Any day-of sign up. You can choose from a 5K run (chip-timed), a 2 mile walk/run, and a kids’ dash. Costumes are encouraged and there is other holiday fun.

The run takes place at the Norpoint campus Thanksgiving morning. Think of it as earning an extra helping of stuffing and potatoes.

I could actually skip the turkey and just eat a plate of stuffing and potatoes. And gravy.

And here’s a tip reader, Mali, left over on the Facebook page. This tip was actually from a couple of years back-if anyone did this race last year and knows if this still happens, leave a comment!  You can get all the rest of the details about the Turkey Trot and registration options right here.

If you do the Turkey Trot – don’t miss out on the best part!! Stick around for the announcement of the ‘winners’ – they have a TON of free stuff that they toss into the crowd, that is usually dwindling by that point. I haven’t needed to buy Turkey dinner rolls for several years (a bakery donates a ton of stuff that gets thrown into the crowd) and 2 years ago I was given a $50 gift certificate to a spa. Water bottles, t-shirts, pedometers, etc. All and more given away. Right place, right time. It’s a fun morning!!

Happy Veteran’s Day

A special Sounds Fun Mom, “Thank you,” to those who serve and have served.

06-Veterans Day Parade 367

I am super proud that this site has been a helpful place for many military families right from the beginning.

I have a list of Veteran’s Day observances and things to do with the kids today  right here.

Do check the dates carefully, as a few have already occurred. Kid friendly outings today include a celebration of the state’s birthday, free admission to parks (bundle up!!), cheap rollerskating, and more.

Just  head here for the list!

Just Between Friends Sale Coming Up in Renton! Win A Pass to Shop First!!

Update: Congratulations to Ali and Patti who won the early admission passes. Happy shopping, gals. Let us know what you score.

If you didn’t win, you can purchase a prime time pass here, or if you’re eligible, you can sign up for an early admission pass here

Everyone  can also use this post for free entry to the public sale. I can’t wait to hear what you find!  Do read on for tips and scoop on this event.


I’ve got great news for all you bargain hunters!

There is another BIG Just Between Friends consignment event coming right up in Renton this week.

300x250 AD-JBF

If you’re needing to save on kids’ clothes or equipment, or  if you weren’t able to shop the other events, you’ll definitely want to make this one.  It’s in Renton, so perfect for my South King County readers, but Jenny, the organizer, promises it will be worth a trip for those of you further south.

This sale will have all the great bargains you love to find at a JBF sale, and if you’ve shopped it before, you should know that it has a brand new owner. Jenny currently runs the Olympia event, and she’s taking the Renton sale up a ‘notch, with more merchandise than ever and a quality shopping experience. She’s been a long time supporter of Sounds Fun Mom, and I promise you this girl knows how to run a sale!

If you’ve never been to a JBF event before, you have to give it a try. You’ll find rows and rows of gently used kids’ clothing and gear with sizes to fit preemies to teens You’ll also find books, toys, and equipment-all nicely organized and at prices much less than you’d pay for new goods.

I shopped the sale down here in Puyallup a couple of weeks ago, and I got the boys lots of high quality items, including several things that were brand new with the tags still on. Score!

Shopping Just Between Friends Sale Tacoma Puyallup

The sale dates and times are all below, but do make sure you read all the way to the bottom because there is a pretty awesome contest, too.  [Read more...]

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do November 7th-9th!

Looking for something kid friendly to do this weekend?

Here’s our weekly guide to South Sound area fun with activities for Tacoma, Puyallup, Olympia, and Your South Sound home!

You’ll find a list just like this-just for the South Sound-every Friday morning!

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


All Over

Kids’ Club at Michael’s Michael’s offers 30 minute craft sessions for kids for 2.00 from 10-12:oo.  It’s a Happy Snowman ornament.

  Story time at Barnes and Noble   Many Barnes and Noble locations host free, weekly story time events at 11AM.   Olympia seems to participate regularly; Lakewood has a special, Paddington Bear event today. I always encourage you to call your store to confirm participation, as it is really inconsistent in this chain.

Lowes Build And Grow All stores are full; this is a reminder if you signed up when I mentioned it. Missed it? Be sure you’re reading SFM on the regular!

South King County

Visit the HCC Mast Center  at Redondo   The center and its touch tanks of sea critters are free and open to the public every Saturday from 10-2

Auburn Veterans’ Day Parade-One of the biggest in the country! It’s a great chance to salute our troops, and it’s a whole lot of fun, too, especially for your little vehicle lovers. You’ll want to read my post here with everything you need to know about taking the kids to the Auburn Veteran’s Day parade!

[Read more...]

Weekend Preview!

Hi, friends,

Your weekend list is coming, but it’s going to be late today because, well……..I have a whole lot of life going on over here!

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If you’re reading this via email, you’ll want to come straight to the site to check for it later today.

In the meantime, you may want to read my post on taking the family to the Auburn Veterans’ Day Parade. It’s one of the biggest in the country!

I promise I’ll have the rest of your list, and more great ideas for Veteran’s Day, just as soon as I can!

Thanks for understanding.

Get Moving And Laughing With Just Dance 2015!

Do you ever look around and realize everyone in the family is staring at a screen?

If not, then you’ve got us beat. Yep, we work hard at limiting the boys’ screen time, but there are moments when my husband and I are just as guilty of zoning out when we should be tuning in.

That’s why I LOVE the Just Dance games because they’re  video games that get us up off the couch and having fun together.

Just Dance Blog One

Every time we have a family, “Dance off,” we end up laughing until our sides hurt. Oh, and you get a pretty great workout doing all that dancing! I also always like Henry to get more practice with his motor skills.

Just Dance 2015 features more than 40 songs, including popular tunes my kids recognized, and some awesome old-school tracks my husband and I enjoyed introducing them to (there was much eye rolling).  I am pretty unhip (Just ask my kids), so I enjoyed learning what songs my older son was into. He loved dancing to “Happy.”  by Pharrell Williams and “Love Me Again.” by John Newman. Henry and I did a little “Let It Go,” from  Frozen, naturally! Like other Just Dance titles, the graphics and moves are super fun, and there are enough songs to make it a game you’ll want to play again and again.

Ubisoft, the maker of Just Dance 2015, has also partnered with Amazon on a very cool anti-bullying program called, “Stomp Out Bullying.”  Their message is that “it’s okay to dance to your own beat!” I seriously love that, and I love that the game includes wacky moves and new songs designed to get teens to loosen up and be themselves.

Blog two

Our older son is a full-on tween, and I’ll be honest, I am legitimately scared for the teen years.  While he has a great group of friends, we worry about all the same things I’m sure you do, especially because he does wear his heart on his sleeve, and he cares deeply what his peers think of him.

Now, I don’t know if dancing around like a goof with us has made him bully proof, but I do know that it was great bonding and made for some great conversation.  Those opportunities are priceless in my book, and ‘ll let the boys laugh at my best dance moves any day if it means more of them.

You can check out Just Dance 2015 here or pick up a copy of Just Dance 2015 here at Amazon.

We just loved it, and I know your family will, too. It would be a great way to keep everyone entertained while you’re waiting for the turkey to be done!

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

The Amazon link is my affiliate.

Deal On Tickets To Walking With Dinosaurs Event Coming To The Tacoma Dome!

My awesome pal Cheryl found this discount on Walking With Dinosaurs over on Goldstar! 


Goldstar is a ticket reseller. I’ve used them several times with great results. Quite a few of you have asked me to keep an eye out for coupons or deals to this event, so I definitely think this is worth checking out.

Update: Just to clarify, this is a different (and I think most folks would probably say bigger and better) event than the one that you may have seen last year. This group hasn’t been in the US for several years.  We did enjoy the group last year, but this one is really a different kind of thing. Here’s what they tweeted to me.

walking with dinos tweets

Walking with dinosaurs T dome

This deal gets you a nice discount on several different December dates for this dinosaur spectacular.

This is a huge production with life size (Seriously!) realistic dinosaurs roaming the floor of the dome. It’s based on the BBC production, and it’s really amazing. My husband took our older son when it was here years ago, and it was one of the highlights of his little life to that point. By the way, it’s a totally different (and much bigger) production than the dino event that was in Puyallup recently, so don’t confuse the two.

Now, at the risk of stating the obvious, this is probably not for children with fears of large animals or noises, or little ones with sensory issues.  Also, even at a discount, it’s a pretty good chunk of change. But if you have a kiddo in love with dinosaurs, it would be an AWESOME experience gift. You can get more information about the event at their website.

I won’t be surprised if we see more offers to this event pop up, but this is the only one I’ve found to this point, so if you’re planning on going to Walking With the Dinosaurs, I definitely think you’ll want to check out this Goldstar offer. 

Disclosure: The Goldstar link is my affiliate, and the site receives 3.50 if you purchase a ticket through it. While I do appreciate it, please don’t ever buy any tickets unless it’s an event that works for your family!

Save Extra On Groupons For Fun Activities-Including Deals To Victorian Country Christmas And The Hands-On Children’s Museum!

Groupon is offering an extra 15% off things to do-my favorite kind of Groupon!

If you’re going to Victorian Country Christmas, you’ll want to snap up the deal on admission.

Victorian Christmas

It’s half-off -an offer that will beat any coupon you’re likely to find to this fun, holiday event at the Puyallup fairgrounds.

Oh, and don’t forget it’s the new home of the North Pole, and Santa (Well, the Santa you used to find at the South Hill mall anyway)!  To be perfectly honest, this event has not really my cup of tea in the past,  but I know many of you do like to go, so here’s your heads up!

Head here to get the Groupon for the Victorian Country Christmas.  Edited to add: Thanks to eagle-eyed reader, Megan, for pointing out that the Groupon deal is only good for December 3rd-5th, and can’t be used on Saturday or Sunday. You’ll want to pass if that would be a deal breaker for you. I apologize for not seeing that when I initially posted-if you bought it hoping for a weekend entry, I’d give Groupon cs a call and ask about a refund. They’ve been very good about that in the past. If you CAN make the 3rd-5th work, it’s a great deal, and it might be less crowded.

Head here if you’d like to check out their website. 

If that’s not your thing, you may want to check out the other events and activities on Groupon because right now you can save an additional 15% off any events/activities deal with code FUNTIMES.

One to consider is this fun deal to reader favorite the Hands-On Children’s Museum in Olympia. You can go free on first Friday evenings, but they do tend to be crowded, and while you can get a pass from the Timberland Regional System, they can be hard to come by. I also really like that this deal offers a nice savings and lets you choose the number of admissions you need.  It would be a fun one to use on a rainy day or file away for your next, “Staycation.”

If you’ve been to either of these with your kiddos, I’d love for you to leave a comment with your review and tips! If you find another deal worth considering, let us know that, too!

Olympia Hands on Children's Museum

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliates, and if you make a purchase through an affiliate link, the site receives a small portion of your purchase price. It doesn’t affect the amount you pay at all! I do appreciate you using them, but I never want you to get in on any deal that isn’t a great one for you and your family.