Read on for the whole weekend list! [Read more…]
Hike from Clark’s Creek South Park to the Puyallup Historical Fish Hatchery
This hike is only 1.25 miles round trip, but the trail has a big hill plus some narrow and overgrown stretches. Arriving at the hatchery is a great finale.
Park in the lot at Clark’s Creek Park South. (1700 12th Ave SW, Puyallup (12th Ave SW and 17th St SW) Here you will find restrooms if you need a pit stop and a great playground. Take the wide, paved path behind the play structure until you come to the T intersection. Turn left. Stick to this path until the trail splits; here you take the right trail. This is where the trail starts to narrow and climb.
The trail takes you through some really pretty, old growth forest and is nice and shaded. Read on for clear, step by step directions and photos of the rest of the trail! [Read more…]
Clark’s Creek Park South:
1700 12th Ave SW, Puyallup (12th Ave SW and 17th St SW)
This beautiful park has paved paths, a creek, hiking trails, a play structure, an off leash dog park, picnic shelter and lots of open, grassy space. The whole family can enjoy a day here–even the family dog.
Clark’s Creek Park has a north and south entrance. The south entrance is where you want to go for playing. Once you arrive, there is a good amount of parking and clean restrooms.
The play structure has several levels and offers various climbing structures, monkey bars and two slides. The play set is surrounded by paved paths for trike riding or a game of hopscotch. There are plenty of benches for parents. You’ll find lots of open grassy area for picnics or running around as well.
If you take the wide path behind the playground you will see a bit of the creek on your right and if you continue around to your left you’ll find an off leash dog park.
Bonus hike for two parks in one playdate:
If you want to take a short hike, you can walk to the next park, DeCoursey Park. The walk is flat and about 1.25 miles round trip. To go to DeCoursey, continue past the dog park until you reach Clark’s Creek Park North -you will know it by the baseball fields and tennis courts. Keep on the path that goes along the right side of the tennis courts. Go straight until you reach a big yellow gate. Go around the gate and cross the street. The trail entrance is a little to the left of where you cross and you will see a wooden bridge going over the creek.
Cross the bridge and take the dirt path that loops around to the left. You’ll cross another small bridge then arrive at the park. Since both parks have restrooms and benches, this is a perfect 2 in 1 park play date. To return to Clark’s Creek South Park, reverse the directions. Once you cross the street the yellow gate isn’t immediately visible, but the trail is marked by a Clark’s Creek Sign.
Read more about DeCoursey Park
Anyone going to the Rainiers Game Friday? If you are, come say, “Hi!”
We’ll have a table on the concourse along with our friends from Tacoma Public Schools and some other awesome community partners.
It should be a great day for a ball game, and it’s a fireworks Friday!
If you’re a Tacoma Public Schools family, there is also a deal available!
I hope to meet lots of you there!
If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to also read about the Little Caesar’s Family Meal Deal at the Rainiers. You can’t use it tonight or on any fireworks night, but you’ll have some other chances this summer.
Can you believe this weather?
If you’re looking to take the kids to a sprayground or splash pad in Tacoma or Puyallup, you’re in luck!
Six of Tacoma’s ten free, spray grounds are now open daily! The others are open on weekends and will also be open daily after Memorial Day. Metro Parks Tacoma spraygrounds and other Tacoma area splashy spots open now are below!
Spraygrounds and Splash Pads Open in Tacoma
Metro Parks Tacoma Spraygrounds Open (Six of Ten)
Kandle Park (Note this is the small splashpad outside the pool. The pool and its adjacent water feature will open June 17.)
Norpoint Park – 4818 Nassau Ave. N.E.
SERA Campus (near STAR Center) – 3873 S. 66th St.
Titlow Park – 8425 6th Ave.
Wright Park – 501 South I St.
Verlo Playfield – 4321 McKinley Ave.
These locations ONLY will be open every day this week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The sprayground at Point Ruston is also open.
The small splash pad in the kids’ zone at the Point Defiance Zoo is also open on, “Good weather afternoons”. I think today qualifies! It will be open daily beginning mid June.
Sprayground Open in Puyallup
Water features in Kent
Yes! The water feature in Kent at the Town Square Plaza is now on. These typically run dawn to dusk. They do seem to close for maintenance quite a lot, but I spoke to park staff this morning, and they are up and running today!
Fountains and Streams Open in Olympia
open year round except for Wednesdays, with periodic daily closures for cleaning.
open-always check the fb page for this one first as it closes often for maintenance and other issues.
Most other spots will open daily Memorial Day. You can see our complete list here for future planning!
Whatever you do, make sure everyone is wearing sunscreen and drinking water. Days like this are when sunburns happen! I would also strongly discourage actual swimming in lakes or the Sound as the water will still be dangerously cold. A little wading should feel good, though! Have a great one!
Do you need something to do with the kids this weekend? We’ve found some great, fun and free things to do around Tacoma, Puyallup, Lakewood, Olympia, Auburn, and Your part of the South Sound. Do be sure to also check the, “All over,” section this week. Have a great one!
Lego and Building Madness at the Sumner Library 4:30
Legos, Straws & Connectors, blocks and more to construct fabulous contraptions.
After School Craft Club at the Tillicum Library 3PM
Join us for Legos, board games, button-making and more.
Shrek the musical Jr. at Capital High School, Olympia Also Saturday; performance by Marshall Middle School
Big Just Between Friends Olympia consignment event. Score a bargain on gently used kids’ clothing and gear. All weekend!
Fairy Fest begins at Lakewold Gardens in Lakewood Hunt for fairy houses, see live entertainment, shop for fairy merch. 9.00 general admission; children 12 and under are free.
Featured Sponsor: Family Game Night at WiggleWorks Here’s a great chance to play at WiggleWorks with the whole family! WiggleWorks kids Puyallup is excited to announce our partnership with PLAYlive Nation! Enjoy playing board games with your little ones and getting the wiggles out on our playground, while older siblings get to play games on our BIG SCREEN TV, brought in by PLAYlive Nation! PS Adults can play, too! 5-7:30PM Free with admission
Hatchimals event at Toys R Us 12-2 free collectible and a coloring activity
Kids’ Club at Michael’s Stores 2.00/child for 30 minute sessions 10-12 It’s a, “Family Terrarium,” today-sort of a 3 D diorama of your family in a flower pot? You may also want to ask about summer activities.
“Little Ree,” Storytime at Barnes and Noble stores First picture book from The Pioneer Woman. We do suggest confirming events with your store as participation has been inconsistent in the past.
South King County
A free event for pet lovers and a special day for your four-legged family member or other furry friend. The event features an animal-related entertainment stage, the K9 Kings High Flying Dog Show, flydog and agility demos, and lots of vendors. Leashed, licensed and well-behaved pets welcome.
Touch a truck in Federal Way Don’t miss your chance to climb in and on big rigs of all kinds! We heard this was great last year.
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
Bear Camp at Northwest Trek Learn about staying safe around bears. Included with admission.
Puyallup/Greater Pierce County
NW Kids Fair at the Puyallup Fairgrounds Demonstrations, character appearances, and other fun! Let us know how this is if you go!
Read with a Service Member Story time, conversation and photo ops with real life heroes-local service members! Graham, South Hill and Sumner at 11AM Bonney Lake, Fife, and Orting at 2PM Ask at your library service desk for more information.
Totally Kid Only race at Wapato Park Low cost one or two mile races around the Wapato Lake trail just for kids 14 and under CANCELLED We apologize for any inconvenience; this was apparently cancelled after we published this list.
Job Carr Cabin Craft Saturday 1-4 scavenger hunts today Small but fun museum; admission is always pay as you will
In case the sun comes back, you’ll be glad to know that Tacoma’s free spray grounds are open on weekends. 10-8; daily openings begin May 27th.
Family nature walk at McKinley Park 1PM Not appropriate for strollers; perfect for ages 3 and up. These are free but advance registration is now required.
Tacoma Public Schools Students Pre-K through 5th Grade Parents and pre-K through 5th Grade students are invited to enjoy a day of fun Learning at the Union Ave Office Depot; Hands-on activities, make and takes and other fun. It’s free, but you are asked too register. For more information call 253-571-7980 or email: email@example.com
The Emporium of the Weird is in Tacoma this weekend I don’t know anything about this, but if you have older kids and a spirit of adventure, admission is free….It looks to be sort of a craft and knick knack fair with an emphasis on the quirky.
Queen Victoria’s Birthday at Fort Nisqually Party 1800s style with volunteers in period dress, games and demonstrations. We think the Fort is a lot of fun for children in the intermediate elementary age group, but even young ones will enjoy exploring the towers. Admission is 8.00-10.00.
Featured Sponsor: Children and all ages shows at the Pierce College Science Dome/planetarium Children’s show at 12:30 or 2PM; all ages at 3:15. The children’s show is shorter and interactive and now suitable for ages 3-12! Do bring cash or get your tickets in advance. This is a Great outing-If you haven’t gone yet, what are you waiting for? Note the current show has a very fun rocket theme, and is playing for just two more weekends!
Dragon Boat Festival at Thea’s Park This is races only, but they might be fun for the kids to watch. Free!
Free military admission at LeMay America’s Car Museum Adult admission here is spendy, so this may be worth doing if you’re a member of the military and have been wanting to visit.
Read with a Service Member Special story time with real heroes-local service members!
Parkland Spanaway, Tillicum, at 2:00 P; Steilacoom and UP at 11AM; check at your library service desk for more info.
Fairy Fest at Lakewold Gardens in Lakewood 10AM-4 all weekend Find fairy houses, enjoy fairy appearances and live entertainment, plus lots of opportunities to buy fairy items or treats.Admission to the garden also gets you admission to fairyfest. General admission is $9. Military, Seniors and Students $7. Children 12 and under are always FREE!
Featured Sponsor: Lacey S.T.E.M. fair It’s here! Don’t miss this FREE event with tons of hands on activities. If you have a kids who loves rockets, robots, or just building, tinkering, and learning, you won’t want to miss it! Huntamer Park 10AM-3:30
Experience the 2017 Armed Forces Day activities at JBLM-Lewis Main May 20 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums.
See military equipment, encampments and displays and enjoy carnival rides, bounce houses, a petting zoo, roving entertainers, a volksmarch, plus your favorite fair foods and vendor giveaways.
The day’s events are open to the general public; use I-5 Exit 119 for entrance. DOD ID cardholders can use any open gate.
Big Just Between Friends consignment event. Score a bargain on gently used kids’ clothing and gear. All weekend!
Story time, conversation, and photo ops with real life heroes!
Learn about,”Extremeophiles,” at the LOTT Wet Science Center presentation at 2PM followed by a microscope lab. Activities available all day. The center is free.
Read with a Service Member at the Key Center Library 11AM
Meet a real life hero for story time, conversation, and photo ops!
Visit the Gig Harbor Farmer’s Market veggies, artisan crafts, and much more!
Featured Sponsor: Mini Maestros Concert at UPS in Tacoma It’s Peter and the Wolf at 2:30 Each character is represented by a different instrument or group of instruments. No, “Petting zoo,” at this one, but a great show! Don’t miss this last kid friendly performance from the symphony this year! Perfect introduction to classical music, and especially great if you’re thinking about band or orchestra in the coming years!
Sunday family movie at the Auburn Library It’s Finding Dory 2PM
Last day for JBF Olympia. Many items should be half off.
Fairy Fest at Lakewold Gardens-see detailed listing above.
Know something great I missed? Want publicity for your group or advertising for your family friendly business? Just let me know! Things are starting to really *hop* around the South Sound with summer (and hopefully more sun!) around the corner. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, so you don’t miss a thing. We also have a weekly e-newsletter that comes out on Thursdays. It’s a sneak peek of this list, and it’s perfect if you like to plan your weekend a little further ahead of time.
If you value Sounds Fun Mom, will you help us grow this week by sharing the site with your friends, family, and (this is a big one) the businesses and events you visit?
If you can’t decide between the playground, a hike, or the beach, head north of Olympia to Burfoot Park, a county park tucked into Puget Sound that offers all three activities at no cost.
Just past the Burfoot Park sign is a road looping around the park, with several free parking lots along the circle giving access to different areas. The largest parking lot faces the playground. The structure features two steep slides and a rock-climbing wall, as well as a slide for younger children. There is a swing set with two bucket swings and four swings for older children. The playground is surrounded by a grassy field dotted with picnic tables and grills.
Take note that the public restrooms are not particularly close to the playground and are more easily reached from the next parking lot.
Hiking trails can be found on the perimeter of the park. Rhododendron Trail is most accessible from the large parking lot by the playground. It is a forested, unpaved trail about a fifteen-minute walk from the beach. Rhododendron Trail isn’t stroller accessible due to several areas with wooden stairs. The trail is mildly steep—my four-year-old requested a rest on the benches along the trail—but still doable for young hikers.
The trail forks occasionally, but is clearly marked with signs leading to the beach. There are also signs warning of poison ivy, so be sure to stay on the trail! Other trails include the Beach Trail and the Horizon Trail.
Rhododendron Trail ends on a rocky beach with a wide view of Puget Sound. Water shoes are a must, as the beach is entirely covered with rocks and shells—good for throwing into the water, but not for bare feet. During low tide the ground was crawling with tiny crabs, much to the delight of my boys. We also found sand dollars, clams, oysters, and tiny sea snails. A bald eagle circled overhead, at one point dipping into the water for a fishy meal.
To close our afternoon, we spotted a vibrantly colored woodpecker on our hike back to the parking lot. Burfoot Park burgeons with opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities and appreciate the natural beauty of Puget Sound.
Lorren Lemmons is a mama to two blue-eyed boys, a military wife, a nurse, a bibliophile, and a writer. She recently moved to Lacey from Los Angeles.
If you like your fun hands-on and free, don’t miss the Lacey S.T.E.M. fair!
It’s back again this year, with even more FREE things for kids to see and do.
The event will be this Saturday, May 20th, from 10AM to 3:30PM at Huntamer Park in Lacey.
The free, award winning event will showcase school clubs, hobbyists, and businesses from all over Thurston County will be on hand with all kinds of fun activities and demonstrations. It’s a great way for kids to see real world applications for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Highlights from this year’s event include the robotics demonstrations, air powered rocket launches, a solar powered ducky dash, drones, military robots, interactive Lego activities.
I know we already had you at Lego and rockets, but if that’s not enough for you, you can also see a free and fun science show presented by Alex Zerbe, the “Zaniac” at 12:00pm. Alex has performed all over the world, and my kids think he’s awesome. His shows are a wild combination of stunts and science. You don’t want to miss it!
Why S.T.E.M.? The Washington State S.T.E.M. Organization website states “S.T.E.M isn’t just for scientists and engineers. Washington’s economy is rooted in S.T.E.M. It’s simple: in the 21st century, STEM opens doors for every student to succeed.” Spoiler alert: Your kids will likely just think they’re having an awesome day full of cool demonstrations and hands on fun. You don’t have to tell them they’re learning if you don’t want to!
You can get more information about this event here at the city’s website or call the Lacey Parks and Recreation Department at (360) 491-0857.
This is a post from one of our favorite sponsors with a deal just for you!
Wow! We have got one hot deal on play from our friends at WiggleWorks, and it’s Just. For. You!
If you’ve got littles, you already know that WiggleWorks at the South Hill Mall is the best place for fun for little kids near Puyallup, Tacoma, or just about anywhere close. We love their special, moving play equipment and their squeaky clean facilities.
What’s the deal? It’s their Summer Play Pass, and the folks at WiggleWorks are offering an Early Bird Special just for our readers.
This special runs May 15th-May 29th. Regular pricing takes effect May 30th, so don’t wait long!
Your Early Bird purchase gets you the UNLIMITED summer play pass for just 49.99. Each pass gets one kiddo unlimited play privileges for the rest of May and all summer long from June 1st to August 31st. That will pay for itself with fewer than two visits a month from May-August. Wowza!
We definitely still have some rainy days ahead, and WiggleWorks is also great on days that are too hot, days when the playground is a madhouse, and days when you just need to get everyone out of the house and tired enough for a good long nap!
To get your Summer Play Pass at the early bird price, just head here. You can also buy them in store, but you have to ask for the Sounds Fun Mom special. You can do that, right?
Remember: The price goes up May 30th, so grab yours now! You’ll be glad you did all summer long!!
Have you heard of the Bonney Lake Sky Stone? Because this huge rock holds historical and cultural significance, it was preserved –even as suburbia took over and a neighborhood grew around it. This giant is a glacial erratic, deposited by retreating glaciers around 13,000 years ago. At 12 feet long and 4.5 feet high, the rock has pits on the surface that were man made, possibly to mark astrological and geological formations by early Native Americans. It has been examined by astronomers, geologists, archaeologists and even Salish medicine men.
You can visit the Sky Stone, look for one of the Bonney Lake Gnome doors, play in the small park and even take a short hike. The park is located in a cul de sac of the Naches Terrace neighborhood. There are helpful signs to help you find the park.
There are exactly two parking spots near the entrance of the park itself (and one is a handicapped spot) but there is street parking available. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Once you’ve parked, walk along the gravel path. You will pass a small play structure and picnic table on your left.
The Sky Stone is enclosed in a chain link fence, but is unlocked so that you can go in and see it up close. A plaque offers more information.
Once you’ve checked out the big rock, look around the wooded area near the Sky Stone for one of the Bonney Lake Gnome Doors. (Hint: look up! The doors were recently replaced after vandals took several. The new ones were placed higher.)
There is a short hiking path if you want to take a walk. The beginning has an incline and goes along behind the houses. Once you get to the top of a small hill, the trail is more forested and natural. The path goes for about a half mile then ends abruptly at a chain link fence. It is about one mile round trip.
You can find more information on the Sky Stone here.