Admission prices updated March, 2017.
Start your engines, Tacoma-The LeMay Museum has added a new Family Zone, and I think your little car fans are going to love it.
Debbie Kray, the education manager at the museum, gave the boys and I a sneak peek before the official opening last week.
The highlight (at least if you ask my kids) is a full size pinewood derby track where junior engineers can test and race vehicles of different weights. There is a physics lesson here, but my guys were more focused on beating each other!
There is also a real 1920s Dodge kids can, “Drive.” The boys loved cranking the engine and stepping on the gas. Expect lots of cool sound effects and working lights! There is also a cutaway section of a car so budding mechanics can see how everything works, and a table where kids in the 2-5 set can drive toy cars on a cross country road trip. There are also future plans for a make and take area, and various educational programs will be offered for school groups.
Now, this area isn’t huge, so I wouldn’t go here just for this space. It is definitely an addition you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting with kiddos, and I think it’s a welcome one to a destination that has a lot of, “Look but don’t touch.” Think of it as a pit stop on your trip around the museum (all puns intended).
On other levels of the museum there are lots and lots of cars to look at, and an area where kids can race slot cars or try out the simulator (check the height requirement on the simulator before you promise this one). These both have additional charges. You get a nice, long 10 minutes with the slot cars for 3.00, and I do think it’s a must-do!
Museum admission is on the spendy side. Adults are 18.00 and kids ages 6-12 are 10.00.The slot cars are 3.00 and the race car simulator is 8.00, and oh, yeah-you’ll have to pay to park if you use the lot. It’s right by the Tacoma Dome, and there are plenty of other free parking options, including the parking garage across from Freighthouse Square, if you’re willing to hoof it a bit. Kiddos under 5 are free, and you can save a few bucks this month if you bring in a canned food donation, making it a nice outing for those of you with preschool age car lovers if you can make plans soon. You can also get a value package that’s a good deal for adults and kids over 5 who are planning on doing the racing simulator. Otherwise, I think you’re better off bringing in a couple of cans.
If you still need a pic with Santa you might want to go this weekend. You can bring your camera and take one for free, or they’ll even do it for you and put it on Flickr. He’ll be in a vintage auto instead of the usual sleigh.
I also think it’s a great destination if you have some car enthusiasts to entertain (visiting in laws over the holidays maybe?)-with the new family zone it’s a nice outing for grandpa, dad, and the kids. Just don’t be surprised if it’s your biggest “Kids,” who still have the most fun.
Another way to save on your entry is to round up your school or homeschool group. Group admission for educational groups is available at a hefty discount.
If you think you might go more than a couple times in a year, you could also consider a family membership. They also have occasional specials on Facebook. The museum is open 7 days a week from 10AM-5PM. It will be open until 3PM Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas and New Years Eve.
One final note: There is frequently a Groupon to the LeMay Family Collection. This is a Totally different place out in Spanaway where the remainder of the LeMay collection is housed. It’s a must see for serious car enthusiasts, but it doesn’t offer much for children-and again, it’s a totally different place.
If you check out the new Family Zone at the LeMay-America’s Car Museum-let me know what you think of it. I always love your reviews!