Does it feel like it costs a fortune to create holiday memories with your kids? It doesn’t have to! We’ve rounded up 12 great holiday outings to do with kids around Tacoma and the South Sound that are totally FREE! We’d love to hear your suggestions, too. Feel free to leave a comment or come join us on Facebook or Instagram!
Meet the reindeer at Watson’s Nursery.
The reindeer are outside, and it’s totally free to say, “Hello!” The inside of Watson’s is also festive this time of year, though there are a lot of gift items and plants-you probably want to stick to the outside with a stroller or very small children. Are you one of our South King County readers? You can find reindeer and camels at Carpinito Brothers in Kent!
We’ve updated our list of houses and neighborhoods with great Christmas lights, although we haven’t confirmed them all. If you have a spirit of adventure, we’d sure love your help with that. Hint!
See a Marionette show at the library.
These are free, drop-in events, and readers have said they’re much better than expected. You can attend one at any library (it doesn’t have to be the closest one to you)!
Grab your culture vultures! Did you know you can check out a museum pass from the library and go for free? It’s true! If you’re super clever you can score one to the history museum and see the train exhibit for free, but that is the *one* time of year these get tough to come by. This post has info. on other free museum days.
(free on a 3rd Thursday evening-3.00 suggested donation other days). The Conservatory is Warm, and it’s beautifully decorated this time of year. It makes for a nice place for festive holiday photos or just a warm up! Also check out their events, like Cocoa and Caroling for 3.00. You can play at Wright Park before or after. Yes, it’s cold, but it’s one of the city’s most beautiful parks. Bundle up!
This is a new event at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Tacoma. Go in the front entrance and you’ll see them right off the lobby. This is a Free event; donations are welcome, but there is no pressure. It’s a fairly quick stop, so think about combining it with a trip to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, which is pay-as-you-can and right across the street from the back entrance. On exhibit until January 2nd. Note: I am not sure on the hours on this. We are working on checking.
Here’s our list of spots where you can still get a pic with St. Nick for Free!
Check the link for the schedule. There is also a free Santa, though he gets very busy! If you haven’t been here, this is a surprisingly fun stop for a furniture store. There is a train with a button kids can push and a counter that sells fudge. The Sumner Library is nearby.
These are totally free events, supplies included! Several drop in sessions remain as of this writing.
This is a one mile, walk around light display at Gene Coulon Park in Renton, and it is totally free-nightly through January 1st! Olympia area friends should check out Olylightstravaganza
Take a hike.
Gather the family and come to experience the joy of a classic Christmas. Stay for FREE games, crafts and activities that celebrate the season. And, don’t miss the FREE photo with Santa!!! Ongoing-see link for schedule Free-unless you buy something 🙂
living nativity, wagon rides, Santa, and other fun December 2, 9th, and 16th from 3-6PM
Not Free But Cheap!
and as a bonus, here are a few ideas that aren’t free, but are pretty frugal. Some of these are from lovely sponsors and site friends.
the whole car load is 11.00 with the coupon.
One of the last Santa Breakfasts with spots, and it’s a deal! 9.00 for waffles, your Santa pic, and a special indoor skating session with, “Snow,” falling! But call fast on this one!
Tickets start at just 5.00!
You can see a show for just a few dollars at these spots!
Make ornaments at WiggleWorks!
WiggleWorks always has fun events all month long, and they’re free with your paid, all day admission to their warm and dry play space! The ornament making is every Wednesday in December from 11-1. you can check out all their events here!
And….if you liked these ideas, do come back! We’ll have even more ideas for winter break this week plus some awesome giveaways!
You may also like to check out these holiday posts: