Santa Express on Groupon

The Santa train is 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.

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!  [Read more...]

Free and Cheap Museum Going Around the South Sound

A museum trip is a great way to spend a rainy day with the kids, and you can almost always get in for FREE! One of the best deals going is the free museum passes available from area libraries. Just check ‘em out like you’d borrow a book, show up at your museum of choice, and in you go! Here’s my attempt at a summary of your options:


Note: The new Children’s Museum in Tacoma is pay-as-you-will every day, thanks to a very generous, 5 year grant from Key Bank. No special pass or coupon needed-just show up and donate as you’re able!

Pierce County Library System-Passes to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, the Museum of Glass, and the Tacoma Art Museum Passes are on display in the lucite holders on the end of the stacks when they’re available. To check, type “Museum Pass,” into the catalog to search. It will show whether passes are in at your branch, although you cannot reserve them. More information. [Read more...]

Win Tickets To Disney On Ice!

I’ve gotten lots of questions about Disney on Ice deals and discounts, so I’m thrilled to bring you all the scoop today and (wait for it…..) a ticket giveaway!!

First, a little about the show!

Mickey and Minne at Disney on Ice

The theme this time is Let’s Celebrate, and your kids will get to see Mickey and Minnie and over 50 other beloved Disney characters, including the Disney Princesses, Lilo and Stitch, and dozens of other friends. There will be favorite Disney songs as well as contemporary music as the characters experience holidays and celebrations from around the world. 

If you have Disney fans at your house, I know they’ll be captivated by it all!

The show runs November 12-17th at the Showare Center in Kent, with future dates in Everett.  There are some shows with discounted tickets. All the information on that is below. I will also let you know if I find any future deals or discount codes, or if tickets pop up on any deal sites. Don’t forget to scroll down for the giveaway! I know-you’re already there……. [Read more...]

Meet WiggleWorks Kids Puyallup

You may have noticed WiggleWorks, Puyallup’s newest indoor play place, has joined our sponsorship team. Woot!

If you’ve already been, you know that this bright and fun place right at the South Hill Mall is just made for the preschool set. You probably also noticed that everything from their unique, moving equipment to their bathrooms is kept spotlessly clean. Honestly? It even smelled good on my visit!

While you can’t see them, you should also know that WiggleWorks facilities have many special safety features that go far beyond what is required.

wiggleworks puyallup

Oh, and whether you’re a regular or planning a first time visit, I want to make sure you know that there is always a deal to be had!  [Read more...]

Play To Learn This Week

Play to Learn is always a great rainy day outing for the preschool set.

These are special story times in partnership with the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. Each week features a different theme and special activities, in addition to play, songs, and circle time. All events are free, drop-ins, and all locations are open to the public! You can get more information here, or just try one out this week! The South Hill library also has them organized around special themes!  They’re all FREE and open to the public-even those at community locations.

If these don’t turn out to be your cup of tea, there are many other story times at all area libraries. We don’t typically list these in our calendar, only because there are sooooooo many! If you’ve got a favorite, I’d love for you to leave a comment and let us know! You’ll find the complete schedule below.

Play to Learn


Play to Learn Schedule Fall 2014

Morning 10AM-11:30

Afternoon 1:30-3

Monday [Read more...]

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

Wow! If you’re looking for something to do with your family around Tacoma this weekend, I’ve got you covered!

There are great events and activities for children and families all over the South Sound this weekend-whether your stomping grounds are near Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, or somewhere in between,  there is something fun for you to do!

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


The big Just Between Friends sale continues at the Puyallup fairgrounds this weekend-go to this one without the kids!

The big Just Between Friends sale continues at the Puyallup fairgrounds this weekend-go to this one without the kids!

[Read more...]

The Pierce County Library System Presents DIY Fest!

The Pierce County Library System just keeps on hosting great events for your family!

The latest is DIY fest, an event you’re going to love if you’re a gardener, crafter, do-it-yourselfer, or just wish you were!

Do it yourself festival at pierce county library system

Local authors and exhibitors will be there with information on gardening, farming, household sustainability, and handcrafts. And, yes, there will be plenty to interest your kiddos. 

I’m honestly not crafty OR handy, but I’m obsessed with these shows on HGTV, and I’m definitely looking forward to checking out this event. I just have to make sure my husband doesn’t decide we need chickens and goats. Wish me luck!

DIY Fest will be at the Fruitland Grange (You know-near the Costco in Puyallup), and it’s FREE. It’s November 15th from 10AM-3. I’ll definitely remind you, but I knew some of you would want to put this fun event on your calendars now.

You can get more information about this event (There may still be exhibitor spaces) here! 

Oh, and if you’re feeling inspired, don’t forget that you can find tons of great books on all kinds of DIY topics at your library! And if you need to get a card, their great contest for new card holders is running through the end of the month!

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Pierce County Library is a 2013 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are entirely my own! I LOVE it when you mention Sounds Fun Mom at events and businesses you visit. Thanks!


Visit the Crazy and Creative World of Tinkertopia!

With the wet season upon us, I thought I’d update some posts on favorite area places for creative and cozy play. First up: Tinkertopia!

Tacoma’s Tinkertopia is a craft supply store like no other, and it would be a great rainy day destination with your kids this week.

If Willy Wonka opened a store for artists it might look like Tinkertopia. The owners call it a, “Creative Reuse Center,” and it’s filled with a dizzying array of recycled materials looking for a new lease on life. Henry was in heaven wandering from bin to bin looking for materials for his, “Inventions.”

Tinkertopia [Read more...]

Stay Connected With Life360!

My kids are big trick or treating fans. In fact, Henry has his Ninja Turtle costume and has already been practicing! Hey, you can never be too prepared!

We’ve told our 11 year old this is probably his last year on the doorbelling for candy circuit (Call me a big meanie, but I think it’s a little weird when you have kids with mustaches at your door!). Anyway, naturally he wants to be allowed to go around by himself with his bff and some neighborhood pals.

Life 360 first

Now, I was a little nervous about letting him roam the ‘hood on his own, but then I remembered the coolest app I learned about this summer.

It’s called Life 360, and it’s the easiest way to stay connected with your kiddos without being ‘ahem…a, “Smother mother.”

You simply create a private circle of friends and family members. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to see where everyone is on a map and even send a group message, with one quick check. No more burning your minutes texting, “Where are you?” fifty times! I love that I’ll have the peace of mind of knowing where my big kid is without interrupting his fun. Here’s a screenshot from my hubby’s phone to give you an idea of how it works.

Life360 locator app

You can also set up alerts for when circle members arrive at certain locations. Let’s say you have a tween or teen who is a bit of the, “Absent minded professor,” type. Now, instead of having to text him from work, you can get an automatic alert letting you know he’s arrived home after school safe and sound!

I think this is just the perfect thing for Halloween. I also think it would be great if you and your spouse are dividing duties at a school carnival, or heck-the corn maze!  You can also easily create separate groups, for example, if you’d like a temporary circle just for the trick or treating gang.

Now, this is some seriously space age technology. When I saw my exact location pulled up on my hubby’s phone for the first time I was pretty blown away. It makes sense, then, that Life360 is a tool for families. It’s about staying connected to your kids, your spouse- the very nearest and dearest people in your life. You’ll also be glad to know that Life360 uses bank level security to keep your information safe, and no one can add you to a circle without your permission.

Over 43 million families are already using Life 360 to make it simple to stay connected, no matter how busy their schedules get. If you’d like to give it a try, it’s FREE and easy to download. Do know that it will fill in suggested circle members for you. Go to the bottom of the screen and choose the manual entry option, if you don’t want to do that.  You can check out all the features and get answers to your questions here, at the website. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own!







Membership Deals to WiggleWorks Puyallup-Plus, An Indoor Play Deal Round-Up!

Our friends at Puyallup’s WiggleWorks are running a membership deal on Groupon you might want to check out.

Note that you’ll need to scroll down a bit to see the offer for the Silver membership.  It’s 65.00, and it gets one child entry for half-off, or 5.00, on EVERY visit for ONE YEAR from the time of your first visit.

If you go twice a month, it will pay for itself in a little over six months.

If you go A LOT, you might also consider their Gold Level membership, which gets one child Unlimited, free visits for one full year from the time of purchase. It’s 255.00, so a pretty healthy chunk of change, but a good investment if you’re regulars.

wiggleworks puyallup

Both levels also include a discount on products and services, and the Gold Level also includes priority registration for special events.

Now, anytime you’re springing for a membership, I think you should think about how often you’d really go and do the math for yourself.

If it’s just more than you want to commit to, I’d encourage you to check out the WiggleWorks web site to see all the discounts available every day . I bet they have more than you realized!  The best deals can be had by getting a group of friends together. Brilliant idea for a rainy day, right? [Read more...]