If your kids’ idea of history is memorizing dates and dozing off during grandpa’s trips down memory lane, you’ll want to take them to one of many upcoming events where history is hands-on and full of life.
As you know, I’m a huge fan of the Washington State History Museum (you have a few more months to see the mummy exhibit), but there are many small area museums that offer bargain admission and a close-up look at local lore.
One of the best is the White River Valley Museum in Auburn. For all the scoop, you can read my post about it. It’s a great place for train lovers, or any kid-with its real caboose for climbing around and its great location right next to Les Gove Park. Wednesdays this summer the museum has special history story times from 10:30-11:30 right before the concerts in the park. Kids can enjoy crafts and other activities-free, no registration required.
A really small musuem is the Job Carr museum, a replica of the cabin of Tacoma’s first settler. I’ve written about it in my post on an outing to Old Town. This weekend, the museum hosts its Free Pioneer Days festival, and your kids can participate in gunny sack races and other games and contests kids did before the Wii.
If you have older kids, you might want to consider letting them rub elbows with ghosts at Tacoma’s living history cemetery tour this weekend. Actors will play the roles of some of the cemetery’s residents and lead a tour through the cemetery on South Tacoma Way. Tickets are 8.00.
In South King County, there are some similar events, though not at the cemetery. Voices of the Pioneers is an upcoming outdoor theater production telling the stories of some of those buried in the historic Saar cemetery near Kent. The Kent Historical Society offers kids’ programs through out the year. In fact, if you act fast, you can still sign up your preschooler for two days of Dinosaur Day Camp (pdf file) for just 8.00!
If none of these events are up your alley, consider exploring the smaller museums in you area. Many are only open in the summer months and all are worth a trip. Two outings on our summer bucket list are the Pioneer Farm Museum in Eatonville (get the bogo admission coupon from your Entertainment book) and Family Night at Fort Nisqually (I’ll remind you about this in a future weekend list).
If you’re one of my Kitsap area readers, take a trip out to the Naval Undersea Museum, a Free museum with a whole variety of outstanding exhibits and special free children’s programs on Wednesdays all summer. You can see a different kind of military history at Fort Steilacoom, which is open on Sundays from 1-4 through Labor Day. If your kids aren’t landlubbers, read my posts on the Gig Harbor’s Harbor History Museum and the Working Waterfront Museum at the Foss Waterway Seaport.
This is by no means a complete list, so If I’ve missed a favorite of yours, let me know! If you’re one of my newer readers, be sure to check my rundown of how to go to most big area museums for free with passes from your library, and if you’re a military family, check my post on the Blue Star Museum Program.