Awards season is upon us! And, we are so grateful to our readers for helping Sounds Fun Mom to become Best of Western Washington’s Top Parenting Blog of 2015! To say thank you, we wanted to share all of the Best of Western Washington winners that you won’t want to miss with your kiddos. We would love to hear what your favorites are in each of these categories, too!
Best Fun Place for Kids
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium wins first place as the Best Fun Place for Kids in Western Washington! We LOVE our amazing zoo with it’s ever expanding programs and exhibits. Most recently they have added the Jammin’ with Jellies exhibit, where you can be mesmerized by these beautiful creatures, explore jellyfish inspired artwork, and enjoy hands on activities.
There are a few other lesser known South Sound attractions you don’t want to miss on the Best of Western Washington List! Skate Tiffany’s is a roller rink and family fun center in Puyallup. What we love most about Skate Tiffany’s is that they often host special events for non-school days. Tiffany’s also participates in the Kids Skate Free deal in the summer. If you are looking around for something to keep your kiddos busy and active, especially in the winter months, stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.
The Little Farm at Windwater has been on the Best Of list for 5 years in a row! This is a petting farm for parties and popular birthday location for your little animal lover.
We love to review playgrounds around here, and were so excited to see some of our favorites make the list for Best of Western Washington. You will want to be sure to check out the following with your littles on a sunny day!
Point Defiance Park – Geocaching in Point Defiance is a free, easy and exciting way to spend a Saturday. Plus, you get awesome views of the Sound and feel like you are so much farther away from the city than you actually are! If no one in your family is into in that, you can simply take a nature walk through Point Defiance, and explore the several trails in the park that have the feel of a hike, ranging in length from 1-4 miles. Views include the Olympics and Cascades, and be sure to check out the newly renovated Pagoda or the Botanical Gardens.
Bradley Lake Park also made our list of Great South Sound playgrounds! One of the only playgrounds in the state specifically designed to be fully accesible for children with special needs, and a very popular spot for kids of all ages.
Kandle Park features a super sized climbing structure (watch that 2nd story-it’s a head bonker for anyone over 8), as well as a smaller version for the preschool set. Read our full Playground Report for all the details. In the summer time, you won’t want to miss the water park features at Kandle Pool. You will have to pay to get in, but it is well worth your money! The outdoor pool features a wave pool with gradual beach like entry, tot pool and spray ground. There is also a free spray ground that you can access in Kandle Park. But, it has direct views of Kandle Pool and your kids will likely beg you to get in!
Another park that made the Best of Western Washington list is Priest Point Park in Olympia. When you’re done at the playground, this is a truly gorgeous park with forested trails and a hike to the beach. Get our full Playground Report on Priest Point.
Discovery Playground at Les Gove Park in Auburn also ranks as one of our picks for South Sound’s Top 5 Playgrounds. We also love Fort Steilacoom. It boasts a great, fort-like structure, plus a sandbox and equipment suited to younger children. A wonderful place for active, imaginative play for kids of all ages. You can read our full Playground Report of the park the locals like to call Castle Park.
Tacoma’s very own LeMay Car Museum earned the #1 spot as Western Washington’s Best Museum. This is such a cool place that your kids won’t even think it’s a museum! Check out our post on the Family Zone and be sure to swing by the museum on the 3rd Saturday of each month where the LeMay hosts STEM workshops for kids that are included with admission.
Also making an appearance on the list is the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum, and the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia. You can get free admission to each of these museums by checking out our post on Free and Cheap Museum Going Around the South Sound.
Best Local Event
Washington State Fair takes the prize for Best Local Event, and that certainly goes without saying! When fair time rolls around, be sure to check back with us on all kinds of tips and tricks. Or, stay tuned for the Spring Fair coming April 14-17.
Also ranking as one of the Best Local Events in Western Washington is the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show. This year’s show runs June 3-5 at the Tacoma Convention Center. Adult passes are $20-$30, child passes (ages 6-14) are $10-$15, or free for those under age 6 with a paid adult. While that may sound pricy, it includes unlimited access to over 400 pinball and arcade games, with many rare and unique games on display. If your kid is a gamer, you will totally win parent of the year for scoring tix to this shindig!
What are some of your favorite Best of Places in the South Sound?