Here’s the scoop on a fun Tacoma event coming up Friday.
It’s Family Fun Night at Fort Nisqually, a once-a-year chance to take a picnic to the fort and enjoy some old-fashioned play and treats ( Your kids will love the candy cannon)!
Tickets are 8.00 for adults and 5.00 for kids 4-17. Or, pay a max of 25.00 per family (there are also military discounts).
While not totally frugal, I think it’s reasonable for a memorable summer evening! My family and I have done this twice now. It’s a low key event-kids can do things like potato sack races, or check out the blacksmithing, or just walk around the fort. My boys most enjoyed the old-fashioned games.
I enjoyed just relaxing on the grounds and getting everyone together and unplugged! If a quieter outing without a lot of lines or shouting or bells or whistles sounds good to you, this is just the thing. If you prefer more-well, excitement-this is not the one for you. You do want to bring a picnic and a cloth. You can sit on the porch of the buildings, but most folks spread it out on the lawn. We went without a picnic one year because my husband and I were doing this awful diet. It was just a lot less fun, to be honest.
Here are a few more tips based on our experience, plus some hints I’ve gotten from the organizers.
- This is a popular event. If you’d like to avoid the line-up for tickets you can go in early, enjoy the fort if you want, and then leave while they set up. When you return, you can just show your receipt and skip the line. If you do this, be sure to let them know you’re buying for the evening event, as it’s more than regular, daytime admission. Note from SFM: We’ve never found the line to be a big deal, and we actually typically arrive a bit after it starts-so, there’s another strategy for you.
- Lemonade and ice cream will be available while supplies last, but the rest of the food (with the exception of that candy cannon) is do-it-yourself, so pack a picnic!
- There is some parking at the Fort, or the overflow area at what used to be Camp Six, where the trains were, should be open as well. Note from SFM: I haven’t checked on this, but there will be signage.
- If you have a kid in braces, bring some candy in your pockets, because the candy cannon is all taffy. They do it several times during the night, so if your kids miss out initially, there will be more chances. Again, though, feel free to bring a back up supply!
You might also consider buying a membership if your family are big fort fans. It’s not a place we see a lot of deals for, and it might be a fun addition to your usual zoo trip. If you’re new to the area, the Fort is a recreation of the area’s first European trading settlement, originally located near Dupont in the 1800s. It’s at Pt.Defiance but is a separate facility than the zoo. You can read more about 19th Century Family Fun night and the fort here.
If this isn’t your cup of tea, no worries! There is a ton going on this weekend, and I’ll have that list up Friday morning as always!