List of free (or cheap) activities for Babies & Toddlers in Pierce County

Fun isn’t just for the older kids! Babies and toddlers can have it too! There are quite a few free or cheap activities for babies and toddlers in the Pierce County area. Story time, open gym, play to learn were all activities I really enjoyed taking Mason to when he was younger. It’s about time to start taking Piper to all these, especially while Mason’s at school and the park isn’t always an option.

If you are local to the Pierce County area and have young ones at home, please save or at least take a look at the list below. I will try to keep it updated and please if you know of anything I’ve forgotten to add, send me an email or leave a comment. And of course say hello if you see us!

Updated: 1/8/2018

  • Fircrest Community Center 555 Contra Costa Ave, Fircrest, WA 98466
    Toddler sized sports equipment for children. Child must be accompanied by an
    adult at all times.
    Days: Mondays & Wednesdays
    Time: 10:30- 11:30 AM
  • Lakewood Community Center 9112 Lakewood Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
    Parents are required to supervise their children at all times, maximum of three children per adult. For: Ages 5 & Under
    Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays, October-Mid June
    Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Fee: $2 drop-in per child
  • Key Peninsula Civic Center Indoor Park 17010 S. Vaughn Road
    Tuesday & Thursdays (now- June 7)
    9:30am-11:30am
    Suggested donation: $1.00 per child
  • Tacoma Nature Center – Open 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday-Saturday, go check out the indoor part, like the library there is no room to run but it has a great little quiet play section and a few live animals
  • Tacoma Children’s Museum – it’s free but they do accept donations, GREAT way to let your kids run. And to add a little extra fun and save money on parking (except Sundays when parking is free) we park at the Freight House Square(free) and ride the Tacoma link which is free!
  • Star Center – $7 per day or $15 a month at the play area. Check out the website for more info. The indoor playground is perfect for littles under 5.
  • Discovery Village – play all afternoon or day for less than $9, they have many sensory type play, perfect for young ones.
  • Wiggle Works – this one is definitely for the little ones as you have to be under 48″ to play, check their website for more information but admissions is under $10
  • Library – your child may not be able to run but it is a change of scenery from sitting in your house and it gets you out of the rain. Also check out their calendar for all kinds of fun events and story times they host.
    Block Play – The KaBOOM Imagination Playground travels to multiple Pierce County Library locations as well as some community sponsored events. It is made up of lightweight, oversized, mobile foam blocks and is meant to encourage and empower balanced and active play for children while building gross motor skills. 
    Story Times
    – check out the link for locations and times, too many to list.
    Babies 
    – Birth to 24 months, accompanied by an adult. Program length is 20-60 minutes. Join in with your child and enjoy books, action rhymes, knee bounces, songs and more.
    Toddlers – Ages 2-3, accompanied by an adult. Program length is 20-30 minutes. Enjoy simple picture books, songs, fingerplays and movement games.
    Preschoolers – Ages 3-6. Program length is 30 to 60 minutes. Stories, art activities, rhymes, singing and fingerplays are followed by a learning filled playtime for children and caregivers.
    Family/Bilingual – For families with preschool age children. Program length is 30 minutes. Pajamas may be worn to evening story times. Bilingual story times are offered in Spanish and English.

° Play to Learn is a free program for children and their adults to play and learn together. Drop in so no registration is required, 21 different locations. You can find the winter program schedule below or on their site, be sure to check their website for any date changes but I will try to update the list.

PROGRAM TIMES
Morning 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Evening 5 – 6:30 p.m. (Salishan Family Investment Center only)

MONDAY
January 8, 22, 29 | February 5, 12, 19, 26 | March 5, 12, 19, 26
*No Classes January 15

Madison Complex | 10 a.m.
3101 S. 43rd Street, Tacoma, WA 98409
Key Peninsula Civic Center | 10 a.m.
17010 S. Vaughn Road, Vaughn, WA 98394
South Hill Library | 1:30 p.m.
15420 Meridian East, Puyallup, WA 98375
Willard Early Learning Center | 1:30 p.m.
3201 S. D Street, Tacoma, WA 98418

TUESDAY
January 9, 23, 30 | February 6, 13, 20, 27 | March 6, 13, 20, 27
*No classes January 16

Charles Wright Academy | 10 a.m.
7723 Chambers Creek Rd. W., Tacoma, WA 98467
Regular class January 16 | No class March 27
Puyallup Public Library | 10 a.m.
324 South Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371
Inclusive Circle Time Only at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma | 10 a.m.
Instruction in American Sign Language and English
Tillicum/American Lake Gardens Community Service Center | 1:30 p.m.
14916 Washington Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98498
Sumner Pierce County Library | 1:30 p.m.
1116 Fryar Ave, Sumner, WA 98390
*No class January 30

Salishan Family Investment Center | 5 p.m.
1724 East 44th Street, Tacoma, WA 98404

WEDNESDAY
January 10, 24, 31 | February 7, 14, 21, 28 | March 7, 14, 21, 28
*No classes January 17

Parkland/Spanaway Library | 10 a.m.
13718 Pacific Ave S., Parkland, WA 98444
Graham Library | 1:30 p.m.
9202 224th Street E., Graham, WA 98338

Wednesday classes on Joint Base Lewis McChord.
Escape Zone | 10 a.m.
841 Fairway Road, McChord Field
Raindrops and Rainbows | 1:30 p.m.
8197 American Lake Drive, Lewis North

THURSDAY
January 11, 25 | February 1, 8, 15, 22 | March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
*No classes January 18

Lakewood Library | 10 a.m.
6300 Wildaire Rd. SW., Lakewood, WA 98499
Bay Terrace Community Center | 10 a.m.
2550 S. G St. Tacoma, WA 98405
Portland Ave. Community Center | 1:30 p.m.
3513 E. Portland Ave., Tacoma, WA 98404
Milton/Edgewood Pierce County Library | 1:30 p.m.
900 Meridian E., Suite 29, Milton, WA 98354
*No class January 11 & February 8

FRIDAY
January 12, 26 | February 2, 9, 16, 23 | March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
*No classes January 19

Asia Pacific Cultural Center | 10 a.m.
4851 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409
Key Peninsula Civic Center | 10 a.m.
17010 S. Vaughn Road, Vaughn, WA 98394
Prairie Ridge Recreation Hall | 10 a.m.
14205 215th Ave. E, Bonney Lake, WA, 98391

List of free (or cheap) activities for Babies & Toddlers in Pierce County

Pierce County Birthday Party Locations for Kids

Birthday’s are so magical for children, and they only have so many magical ones. It’s almost time to start planning Mason’s birthday party, we do a friends party every other year and we usually have it at a location. If you are local to the Pierce County area, we actually have quite a few locations for birthday parties. If you are planning a birthday party and need an idea, I’ve compiled a list of locations. Most we’ve been to a party at, a few only for younger kids, I’ll leave links and write a short review for the locations we’ve been!

*Perfect for little ones under 5
Updated 1/2018, prices may change so be sure to check out the prices page on each website.

University Place

*Odyssey 1 – for any age! This is a popular birthday location; with an arcade, jungle gym and laser tag. It does get busy during peak hours because it’s open to the public. So, if you are wanting less crowd than go for a weekday or early morning weekend. Included each party package you get a party attendant, set up and clean up, pizza, soda, 10 tokens for each child, supplies. Pizza taste good, and you have the option of purchasing more food/drinks. The jungle gym package $135.00 minimum, up to 7 kids, $15.99 for each additional child and the laser tag package $159.00 minimum for up to 8 kids, $16.99 for each additional guest

Rollin 253 – great price if your child likes skating and you do the public session party, they have plenty of the walker for beginner skaters, a few arcade games. You have the party room for an hour, we’ve been to one party here and the only thing I didn’t quite care for the party attendant wasn’t very attentive to the party and seemed very rushed and busy.

Narrows Bowling Alley – we’ve never attended a party here but this bowling alley is very fun, has a great arcade and lots of lanes. 3 different party packages; Basic $14.99 each child, Economy $9.99, Themed $17.99

Tacoma

Tower Lanes – we’ve bowled and played mini golf here but have never attended a party here! They have a small arcade area with pool tables. But you do have the option to do a bowling party $12.00 per child OR a mini golf party $12.00 per child

*Pt. Defiance Zoo – if you have an animal lover this location is perfect! Party package is $299 for 15 ticket admission, use of the room, unlimited carousel rides and a special visit from one of the animals.

*Tacoma Children’s Museum – this place is a lot of fun, great place for kids 10 and under! Packages up to 15 kids; $200 for shared play time or $300 for 1 hour private play time in the museum!

*Pump It Up – this is probably one of my favorite party places! Any age kid(and their adults) will love this place! You get the play area to yourself so if you had a little one and didn’t want some random preteens jumping all over your kid, this is your location. Not to mention these are the most involved party attendants I’ve seen, they will help yell tell kids to slow down or be nice! Go to the link for pricing!

Chuck E Cheese – if your child loves the arcade this is a good location for a party! They have three different party options; $13.99, $18.99, and $23.99 per child.

*Tacoma Nature Center

*STAR Center – this place is so much fun! The indoor play area is perfect for littles under 5 and the older kids love the outdoor play area. Package prices range from $120- 240

Stewart Heights Pool – have a summer kid? This pool is great fun and has a party room available, can bring in your own food.

Edgeworks Climbing – got a kid who loves to climb? Great birthday location idea. For up to 10 participants between $200-250

*Jozee Rooz – a petting zoo is always perfect for young children! And this place is fairly new to the Tacoma area. They have packages range from $100 to $300

Bounce E House – a place full of bounce houses and a party area, you can bring in outside food which is a huge plus. I haven’t been there in a while, we’ve played there once and been to one party at the old location. starts at $249

Edgeworks Climbing – if your child loves climbing you may want to check out their birthday party info $300 for 10 participants

Puyallup/Spanaway

Skate Tiffany’s – packages from $14.99 to $18.99 per person

Sprinker Ice Skating – got a fan of ice skating? We have a rink in Spanaway and has birthday party packages $170 and $200

*Wiggle Works – perfect for young children, 48″ and under! Prices range from $129-350

*The Little Gym – for ages 1-12 $225-315

*Jumping Juniors – a little farther out in Sumner, a new bounce house location with a little arcade area and baby/toddler closed off section. Go to the site for info http://jumpingjuniors.org/party-info/

Paintball Sports Park – perfect for the older ones and they have low-impact paintball which is just that the balls are traveling at a much slower pace and they have special markers they use. Must be 8 years and older to participate. $55 per player

Old McDebbies Farm & Jim’s U Fish – check out more info

Gig Harbor

*Discovery Village – small play area, for children preschool age and under. Packages for $80 and $325

ALL AREAS

*YMCA’s – go to the page for more info, depending on the location – they have pool, gym, gymnastic parties! For members and non members $150-200

*McDonalds – contact your local McDonalds for prices

*Parks/Pools – looking for a cheap option? Rent a parks picnic shelter and let the kids play on the playground for free!

Bowling Alley – there are more than the two I named!

Round Table Clubhouse – most have arcades and what kid doesn’t love pizza

Movie Theaters

 

Don’t see your location on here, send me an email and I will gladly add it to the list.

pierce county birthday party locations for kids

Free & cheap rainy day fun in Pierce County!


free & cheap rainy day fun in pierce county

If your family is anything like ours, you are always looking for a way to burn off energy and kill those winter blues. Especially where it rains 80% of the season 😉 And we’d be broke if we were paying $10+ every time your child needed to run and not get soaking wet! So, I’ve compiled a list of our favorite places to play that won’t break the bank.

FREE

Library – your child may not be able to run but it is a change of scenery from sitting in your house and it gets you out of the rain. Also check out their calendar for all kinds of fun events and story times they host.

Tacoma Children’s Museum – it’s free but they do accept donations, GREAT way to let your kids run. And to add a little extra fun and save money on parking (except Sundays when parking is free) we park at the Freight House Square(free) and ride the Tacoma link which is free!

Play to Learn – check out the website for all the dates/locations, but this is a amazing program put on by the Children’s Museum at local libraries and some schools, ages 0-5

Tacoma Nature Center – Open 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday-Saturday, go check out the indoor part, like the library there is no room to run but it has a great little quiet play section and a few live animals

“Covered” trails – there’s a chance you may get slightly wet, but when we need to get out for some fresh air and take a walk, we like the mostly covered trails at Pt. Defiance Park, Tacoma Nature Center(snake lake), Titlow

Covered Schools – some schools have a section near the playground with a covered area, sometimes they will have a basketball hoop under it but usually it’s just an open area. So, make sure you bring some toys(think hula hoops, balls, bike/scooter/skateboard) and go when school isn’t in session. It is a great free option that is covered and you get fresh air! I know Geiger Elementary in Tacoma and Whittier Elementary(a huge one) in Fircrest has a covered area.

CHEAP

(Insert your cities) Community Center – I know Fircrest and Lakewood have an open gym for the younger kids for like a dollar or two and they get to run around and play with the gym equipment

Star Center – $7 per day or $15 a month at the play area. Check out the website for more info. Mason really loves the covered outdoor area, so if you have older kids make sure you know the hours of the outdoor section

McDonalds – On occasion we will get a treat and play in the toys, just remember to WASH YOUR HANDS! And for anyone in the area I advise not going to the play area on 38th st near the Tacoma Mall, it’s nasty!

Round Table – we love going to the lunch buffet and at the University Place location they have a great little play area up top and us adults can sit at a table below and watch them play, the arcade games up top are even free. And the “Clubhouse” locations have a nice arcade area.

Odyssey 1 – play for $7-8, JUST REMEMBER TO WASH HANDS!! I will admit this is usually our last choice(or a birthday party) it’s a great way to run off energy but it is germ fest and we usually come home with a cold! Or play in the arcade or lazer tag

Pump it Up Tacoma – $8 per child for 2 hour session, just go to their website to check out their calendar. We love this place!

Bounce E House – $8 for a 2 hour session, check out the hours and more info

Discovery Village – play all afternoon or day for less than $9, they have many sensory type play, more for younger kids

Chuck E Cheese – bring money to play in the arcade, admission is free

Rolling 253 – check out the skate hours and prices online but they do have many good deals like early bird Fridays for $3

Tiffany’s Skating Rink in Puyallup – go to website for schedule

Sprinker Rec Center has ice skating- check website for skate times

Wiggle Works – this one is definitely for the little ones as you have to be under 48″ to play, check their website for more information but admissions is under $10

Jumping Juniors – bounce houses in Sumner, $7.50 for two hours of play, check out the website for hours

 

Hope I’ve helped you think up some fun for those rainy days.

Baby’s Five Month Update #Piper

Someone’s more like 5 1/2 months already, better late than never! Can’t believe how quick time flies and this little girl is almost half way to one. She is the perfect addition to our family and we all love her so much. Her smile will light up any room, her beautiful blue eyes will steal your heart and her loud upset cry will make you run for the hills 🙂

Her first Thanksgiving was pretty low key but great, dinner at home with just the four of us. Sickness had spread through out the house that week. Baby's Five Month Update

PIPER MAE
5 months

+ loves to be tickled, the dog, her brother, her bouncy activity center
+ rolls all around
+ working on sitting up
+ wears 9 month clothing or 6-12 months
+ only sleeps in her Magic Sleepsuit and still in Mom & Dad’s room
+ still easy going except when overly tired
+ still gets up at at least once a night
+ has tried a couple pureed foods, no dislikes but her favorite is peaches
+ our little blonde hair blued eyed babe
+ still fairly easy baby unless overly tired
+ loves to help Mom volunteer at brothers school and watching all the kids

Baby's Five Month Update

 

Why the Ergobaby Omni 360 is the best baby carrier for you?

Why the Ergobaby Omni 360 is the best baby carrier for you?

With both my kids I used a baby carrier; with my first (9 years ago) I had a carrier I found at Target, I had never even heard of the Ergobaby. It wasn’t until a few years ago I noticed some parents wearing their babies/toddlers in an Ergo, so after I found out I was pregnant with Piper I knew I had to get me one.

Let’s just start off by saying there are certain Baby Must Have items that should be on every new parents list and a good baby carrier is one of them. It can make life so much easier from grocery shopping to doing household chores. I’ve been wearing Piper in an Ergobaby since she was a couple days old and everyday since. Before I was sent the Omni 360, I bought myself the Original ErgoBaby. The past few months I’ve been able to experience both the carriers. I really like the Original Carrier but I really LOVE the Omni 360!

The Ergobaby Omni 360 does it all, literally! From week 1 to 36 months, it grows with you. It’s the most versatile carrier from Ergobaby. It offers all the carrying positions; front-facing you or front-facing out, back, hip, infant to toddler without needing to add an infant insert. Extra cushioned straps that are able to cross, holds baby in a hip healthy M shape and a lumbar support for extra back comfort. Comes in colors; khaki green, pure black, pearl grey, midnight blue. Easy instructional manual comes with the carrier, also find online and they have great demo videos.

Ergobaby Omni 360

The Ergobaby Omni 360 is so easy to use, you can do it all without needing an extra pair of hands, you can even buckle the back by yourself and it isn’t complicated with a bunch of extra buttons and straps. It has extra safety features that can be done with one hand. VERY comfortable, I haven’t experienced any back pain even after wearing it for 3 hours straight. The carrier not only fits all sizes of baby, but also most adults. I’m plus size and the carrier fits me perfectly and is adjustable. I love how it doesn’t require an infant insert, like the Original does – don’t get me wrong the infant insert worked in the Original but it would occasionally need to be adjusted.

I love how I’m able to bond with my baby and be able to carry her with my hands being free. We use the carrier for shopping trips, trips to the park, cooking dinner, doing household chores like vacuuming. It has a built in cover that we use frequently for naptime and a cover from the rain, which we get a lot of in the PNW. It also comes with a removable pouch that is convenient for carrying your cell phone and/or a small wallet, for those days you don’t want to carry around your purse.

Ergobaby baby carrier

Front facing in
From newborn
Min. 7 lbs & Min. 20 in
(Best position for baby during 4th trimester 0-4 months)

Front facing out
From ~ 5 months
Min. 14 lbs
(Use once baby has strong head control and baby’s chin should also fully clear over the top of the carrier)

Hip
From ~ 6 months
Min. 17.2 lbs
(Use once baby can sit up on her/his own)

Back
From ~ 6 months
Min. 17.2 lbs
(Use once baby can sit up on her/his own)

 

The ABC’s of Baby Wearing!

A is for airway
Can you see baby’s face? Keep child close enough and in view at all times.

B is for body position
Front carry: be sure the baby supports the baby without slumping, with baby’s knees at or above bum.
Facing out: make sure baby has complete head and neck control and chin above carrier.
Back & Hip carries: baby should be sitting unassisted.

C is for comfort
The carrier should be comfortable for you and baby. If you do not feel comfortable and confident with the carry you are doing, please contact Ergobaby directly.

 

10% Off Code: jo8KbuYBBM
Details: Works for one item in the shopping cart
Expires: September 30, 2018

ErgoBaby Omni 360

Instagram: @ergobaby
Facebook: facebook.com/ergobaby
Twitter: twitter.com/ergobaby
Pinterest: pinterest.com/ergobaby

 

Disclaimer: I received product in exchange for this post, however my love and opinion of Ergobaby is all my own. This post contains affiliate links.  #Ergobaby #LoveCarriesOn

Why Freshly Picked should be the go-to shoe for your baby!!

Why Freshly Picked should be the go-to shoe for your baby!!

I love shoes! They are my number one thing to shop for and accessorize with. So of course, Piper needs a collection of the cutest shoes!! With shopping for shoes comes a few rules(if you want to call them that), for children and adults alike.

When shopping for the best shoe for baby, these are key;
1. Skip any sort of support – their little feet are still forming so as natural to the barefoot as possible
2. Comfort – they should be comfortable for them to wear
3. Durable – nothing worst then spending money on a shoe that doesn’t last

freshly picked moccasins

Moccasins make the perfect shoe for babies and toddlers. They are as close to barefoot as you can get, with protection from the ground. I learned about Freshly Picked while I was pregnant with Piper and knew she had to have a pair! (Or two…)

What first attracted me to them was the cute and fun designs; they have ones with flamingos, or donuts, or cars and so many more. When Piper’s first pair arrived, I was very impressed. I decided to get a solid color, the Emerald. They are a beautiful color, I am able to pair them with different outfits, they are comfortable, easy to put on her and don’t fall off easily. We haven’t had any issues with the dye staining the feet or clothing either.

freshly picked moccasins

Freshly Picked moccasins are high quality leather, very durable but also very comfortable and flexible. Soft soles and as close to barefoot as you can get with protection from the ground. Which is what you should look for in buying shoes for your baby and/or toddler.

The Moccasins come in fun and cute designs, as well as solid colors. Sizes range from 0-9, you can find the sizing chart here. Freshly Picked not only sells soft-soled Moccasins, but Sandals (sizes 3-12) as well as Hard-Soled (sizes 7-13). Designs for boys, girls and unisex.

freshly picked moccasins

I am very pleased with my baby girl’s first pair of shoes, moccasins from Freshly Picked. — Tabitha

freshly picked moccasins



Disclaimer: I received product in exchange for this post, however my love and opinion of Freshly Picked is all my own. This post may contain affiliate links.