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!

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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!

Saturday

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  

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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

Lacey-Pool

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!

 

Ideas for Today And A Weekend Sneak Peek!

A quick note that there is another low tide this afternoon that should be a good one for beach exploration. It’s just slightly higher than yesterday’s. There is another one Friday that should be o.k. too (anything in the minus numbers is good-close to a -2 is really good).

Gig Harbor area readers may want to join Harbor WildWatch volunteers on an organized outing at Purdy, or the Seattle Aquarium will have staff on hand at several South King County area beaches for the next three days or so.

You can go here to read all about where to go, how to use the tide table, and how to find an event. It’s an easy outing to do on your own, too!

I also wanted to remind you that it’s King County Fair time in Enumclaw right now. This is a much smaller fair than the, “Big one,” and it’s a nice choice if you like your fair down-home style.

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Finally, a quick heads-up for Lego lovers (o.k…..parents of Lego lovers….) that there is a new Lego store opening up in Southcenter. They have a grand opening event Friday you might want to check out.

Don’t forget Friday is also half day for half price at the Point Defiance Zoo. If you can’t spring for a pass, and you’re not a City of Tacoma resident, this is pretty much the day you should go!

Friday is also Old Fashioned Family Fun Night out at Ft.Nisqually at Point Defiance.

I’ll have much more up tomorrow morning in your weekend list. It’s a particularly big weekend for festivals and outdoor movies.

 

Amazing Summer Birthday Party Special At WiggleWorks! Book Up To A Year In Advance At Great Price!

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of a brand new summer birthday party special from our sponsors at WiggleWorks at the South Hill Mall.

Book your party before 8/31, and you can get your weekend birthday party for just 129.00. AND you get a free, medium cheese pizza. That’s a 30% savings over their already very reasonable birthday packages. 

OR, Book a weekday party for just 99.00 AND get one free, medium cheese pizza. That’s a 40% savings.

And this isn’t a last minute, summer birthdays only deal. You can reserve your child’s special day up to one year in advance; you just need to book it by the end of August. 

puyallup indoor playground

As always, your party will be super fun and totally stress free. Every party includes

  • Admission for up to 16 children (15 guests + birthday child)
  • UNLIMITED PLAYTIME (in and out privileges included) for all your guests (under 48” in height) on our unique MOVING PLAYSCAPE on the day of the party.
  • Exclusive use of the ORANGE ROOM for 90 minutes.
  • 10 latex balloons (Two bouquets of 5 balloons each) in your choice of two of the following colors: Orange, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Black, White, or Pink
  • Colored paper products and utensils for party guests (excludes adults) in your choice of two of the following colors: Orange, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Black, White, or Pink
  • NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR ADULTS – White place settings for adult guests (up to 50 adults)
  • A WiggleWorks kids party coordinator who assists with party set up and clean up. Note from SFM: Real professionals who love their jobs and will truly let you relax!
  • Feel free to also ask about adding on themes, goody bags, or additional pizzas. There is also No Problem with bringing in your own food.

And, guys-can we just wrap our heads around this offer for a minute? 129.00 for a weekend party. You will NOT find an inclusive, indoor birthday party venue for young children for less than that. Period.

To be perfectly frank, I think you’d spend more than that trying to do one at home or in the park. This is an AMAZING deal, and you don’t have to hassle with any coupons or restrictions or wait until the last minute at some weird time. Don’t overthink this. It’s just as good as it sounds. Call and reserve yours now because dates are going to go fast when this gets around, and the only catch is you have to book it by August 31st. I think you should just do it now, don’t you?  Just call 253-445-6551 or head here to book online-you will automatically get this pricing even for your fall or winter party, and the process is super easy.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions are my own! We’d LOVE for you to mention Sounds Fun Mom when you call to book your party.  New party bookings for children under 48 inches, please. Additional charges apply for more than 16 children.

 

Great Fun And Free Events For Kids Today!

Some days there are just almost too many fun outings for your South Sound family! Today is one of them, but I wanted to at least highlight a few of your choices!

Story time at the Job Carr Museum-This tiny but fun museum in Old Town Tacoma hosts special story and craft times during the summer. It’s a quilting theme today. Admission is pay-as-you-will. Grown ups may want to return in the evening for the third in a series of walking tours. Learn about Tacoma in the 19th Century during today’s walk. Story times are prefect for ages 3-8 and go from 1-2PM.

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Speaking of walks, The Walk Tacoma event is just for kids today. It starts at the Children’s museum, and it’s a kid friendly 1.8 miles, and there will be special goodies for the kids, and maybe a special guest, too!  You can read more about it here. It starts at the museum at 12, and it’s free.

Wednesday always means big fun for kids in Auburn. Today’s Kids’ SummerStage performer is Louie Foxx, who’s great. He’s sort of a magician/comedian/stunt guy rolled into one.  He performs in Les Gove Park at 12. This is the big park by the sprayground. The little White River Valley Museum right there is also worth a visit. Do note this place will be JAM packed. If you don’t like crowds, this is not the one for you.

There is a low tide event at Owen Beach today. Meet at 10:30 to look for creatures revealed by low tide.

Explore the Shore at Owens Beach   Photos By Russ Carmack

Explore the Shore at Owens Beach Photos By Russ Carmack

Another great story time is at the Seymour Conservatory at Wright Park at 11AM. These are nature themed stories followed by a science project or simple craft. These are perfect for preschoolers-young primary age children. The conservatory is free, though a 3.00 donation is suggested. The conservatory is above the playground/sprayground in Wright Park. You might want to plan on some play or splashing after.

There are really great library events in Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and Enumclaw today. You can check those out in the calendar. Hint: Be sure to use the tools at the bottom to continue to the next page-the fun just keeps on going today!

For still more ideas, you can always check the Summer Guide. It’s just full of ideas for the whole summer long!

Free Mouth Guards For Young Athletes

Do your kids have mouth guards? If they’re among the 20 to 25 million kids participating in competitive sports, they probably  should!

If you’d like a mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth,  you can get one for FREE from our sponsors at Smiles Orthodontics, right in downtown Puyallup.

What does a mouth guard do, and why should your child use one? Here are some facts sent in by Dr. Larson  and his team.

mouthguards

Why Should Your Child Use A Mouth Guard?
  • 10-20% of sports injuries are to the face, teeth, or jaw
  • The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouth guards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling. Other experts include baseball and softball infielders on that list.
  • The Mouth Guard should be worn during practice and games
  • There is controversy over whether a mouth guard will help with concussions
  • What it WILL help with is limiting damage to the teeth, lips, cheeks, and braces
  • Teeth injured during sports can be broken, completely knocked out, or partially extruded

-Kids currently in orthodontic treatment should purchase a specialized mouth guard made just for braces. These can be found in your local sports stores.

Some Cleaning Tips

  • rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
  • transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents
  • never leave the mouth guard in the sun or in hot water
  • check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing

McKenna 2013 (59 of 75)

If you’d like a mouth guard for your young athlete, you can get stop in at Smiles Orthodontics and get one for FREE.  Dr. Larson provides them as a free service for kids in our community. They’re flavored, so your kids will like using them, and you can even get a color to match your local school!

It’s just another fun way Dr.Larson helps keep kids’ smiles healthy. We just love his big heart for our town and for our community’s kiddos. Of course, if you have any questions about mouth guard use, or about your child’s orthodontic needs, he and his team would be glad to talk to you. If your child is 7 or up, now is the time for a consult to find out if braces are in your future, and that first visit is always FREE! You can check out their website, or give them a call at 253.848.4537.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Information was provided by Dr.Larson. Opinions are my own! We are grateful to have Dr.Larson as our own son’s orthodontist, and we are super proud to have Smiles Orthodontics as a site sponsor. If you stop in for a FREE mouth guard or call for a complimentary initial consult, I’d appreciate it if you mentioned Sounds Fun Mom! Thanks!

U Pick Blueberries in the South Puget Sound

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Looking for a place to go blueberry picking? Our hot weather means they’re ripe now! Here’s a round up of u pick blueberry spots in Tacoma, Auburn, Olympia, Puyallup, and Enumclaw. If you know of another South Sound area place to take the kids blueberry picking, do let us know! I have only personally been to Charlotte’s, but all of these have been recommended by readers.

Charlotte’s Blueberry Park Tacoma FREE blueberry picking at this public park in Tacoma. No spray is used. Link takes you to a post with detailed info.

Linbo Blueberry Farm Puyallup  Open Friday, July 17th, Saturday July 18th, and Sunday July 19th from 9AM-7PM. Last days of the 2015 season. 2.50 per pound. No pesticides.  Loads of other information is on their u-pick page here.

 Blue Dot Blueberry Farm Enumclaw  26.00 for 12-13 pound buckets; you are asked to call ahead to see if they’re open for u-pick, although they sometimes update the banner on their home page. Organically managed.

Canter Berry Farm in Auburn-2.00/lb. They update the site daily after 6PM to let you know if u-pick is available.

Gile Blueberry Farm Olympia   Recommended by Olympia area mom Gretchen of the fun blog, That Mama Gretchen. If you’re looking for a new mom to follow, you’ll enjoy her fun site on her young family’s adventures.

Note that I have only included South Sound area spots, and I have only included those that offer u-pick. For more options, check Puget Sound Fresh. If you do know of an area u pick blueberry farm that I missed, leave a comment!

Tips:

  • At nearly all these places, you will need to bring CASH and your own containers to take your berries home in.  You will also need your own buckets for picking at Charlotte’s.
  • Make sure you have hats and sunscreen.
  • Leave your pets at home.
  • Go early in the day if you can.
  • Consider bringing small toys like matchbox cars that children can run along the rows if they get bored.
  • These are small, family run operations. If you have questions about their berries or their growing practices, give ’em a holler!

Other Berry Adventures:

Strawberries are done for the season, though you may still find raspberries at some farmer’s markets.

If you are looking for products that are pre picked and certified organic, two others to try are Wild Hare in Tacoma/Puyallup  (former Terry’s Berries), and the Johnson Farm in Olympia. 

A little later in the year you can go blackberry picking. I have a post on that do-it-yourself style adventure here! 

and finally…..two books that should be on every child’s shelf, just for fun (These are my Amazon links, but you can find them anywhere).

Blueberries for Sal

Jamberry

Mom Reviewed: Wicked at the Paramount

If you’re looking to treat your kids to a fun evening in Seattle this summer, WICKED is definitely worth your consideration. The Broadway blockbuster is at the Paramount Theater through August 2nd, and it’s a rollicking good time for the whole family, with some important messages, too.

I went with my 12 year old, and he gave it two thumbs way up-super high praise from a tween!

wicked sign

 

WICKED is the  winner of more than 100 international awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards. It is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, and tells,”…the untold story of the witches of  Oz,” as it follows the wicked witch from her birth as a shockingly green infant to her unlikely friendship with Glinda the Good and her transformation into the character you know (or thought you knew…).

The sets and the costumes were absolutely amazing, and the entire cast was outstanding. Carrie St.Louis, who played Glinda, was deliciously over-the-top. She reminded me a bit of Reese Witherspoon in her comedic roles with a dash of Lucille Ball thrown in. And, boy, can she sing! Alyssa Fox was terrific as the wicked witch, Elphaba. I was particularly impressed with the range of subtle emotions she brought to her character. It takes a skillful actress to transcend green body paint and a pointy black hat!

Carrie St. Louis and Alyssa Fox (Photo by Joan Marcus 2015)

The rest of the cast was equally delightful. Kristine Zbornik  as Madame Morrible was a particular scene stealer.

Young children will love the colorful costumes and sets and lively musical numbers.

Older kids will enjoy seeing a twist on the familiar story, while tweens and teens will likely relate to some of the story’s bigger themes, like trying to fit in when you feel like you do nothing but stand out. My 12 year old’s favorite part was when Elphaba was trying to learn the art of hair tossing and other, “Popular girl,” mannerisms.

There is one scene with some brief kissing, and there are many scenes of implied peril, as you’d expect in a good vs. wicked storyline-nothing more than what you would find in a Disney film, though more intense because it is a live show.

It does have a long run time, but the children I saw around us were captivated the whole time. I think it’s suitable for most children in 2nd grade and up.  I do think very young or sensitive children might be frightened by some of the more intense scenes, costumes, and special effects, which include lots of sudden and loud noises. And, yes, there are flying monkeys!

Even if you’ve seen another production of WICKED, I think you’ll be surprised and delighted by this one. The Paramount is simply a gorgeous venue, and everything about this show is first class.

A few tips if you’re going to go with children: [Read more…]

South Sound Sunday Fun

Sunday

Open trails at the Morse Wildlife Preserve in Graham  Monthly opening of this preserved spot. Low key outing with a short walk but fun-kids will enjoy walking on the boardwalks and up the bird watching tower. Parking is super tight here. Carpool if you go with a group.

It’s dog days at the Auburn Farmer’s Market. Stop by the info. booth at 11:45 to register your dog for the pet parade! Thanks reader, Becca, for this tip!  Look for free parking in the Sound Transit garage.

Art on the Ave on 6th Avenue in Tacoma   Live art, local vendors, 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!

PenMet Family Theater presents Dorothy in Wonderland 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.

Your trolley is back!  Need a destination? Consider going between Uptown-get some lunch or froyo- and downtown-walkable and you can see the free Harbor WildWatch exhibit in the Skansie visitor center.

Crafts of the Past at Ft.Nisqually  Traditional crafts are demonstrated Saturdays and Sundays through the fall. Included with fort admission. This outing is probably most interesting to school age children, though younger ones will enjoy running in and around the fort towers.  Also Sunday It’s sheep today-Saturday kids will be able to see sheep sheared and then see a spinning wheel in action.

Cornucopia Days in Kent carnival rides, street fair, vendors, and more! Be sure to look for the police and fire vehicles the kids can climb in.

 Family Fun Day and weiner dog races at Emerald Downs 

Historic Fort Steilacoom is now open for Sunday tours

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 soundsfunmom@gmail.com 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.