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.

Dave & Buster’s Auburn, WA is now open!

Dave & Buster’s Auburn, WA is now open!

The Dave & Buster’s Auburn, WA location is officially open as of 12/4/2017! At Dave & Buster’s you can EAT, DRINK, PLAY and WATCH SPORTS.

This 43,000+ sq. ft location at The Outlet Collection will offer chef-crafted food like the Hawg-A-Saurus Loaded Cheese Fries and BBBacon Burger (featuring three types of bacon!), innovative cocktails like Glow Kones, adult snow cones illuminated by glowing cubes, more than 190 of the latest arcade games. The new location will also feature a D&B Sports Bar, making it the ideal sports viewing destination for residents to cheer on the Hawks, Sounders and more with massive HD TVs and “better than the stadium” seating.

Dave & Buster's Auburn Washington

Now through 12/24 guests receive (1) FREE play on (4) games with the same day purchase of a $10 or more Power Card.

Weekly Specials
-Happy Hour (Mon-Fri 4:30-7pm) & Late Night Happy Hour (Sun-Thurs 10pm-close)
•1/2 Price Cocktails, $2.50 Domestic Pints, $1 off 22 oz Drafts, $1 off glasses of wine & $3 off bottles of wine
-Two for Tuesday: $2 Tacos & $2 select beers (All Day)
-1/2 Price Games Wednesday: All games are 1/2 Half Price (All Day)
-Thursday/Sunday/Monday Fall Football Game Day Specials (12/4/17- 2/4/18)
•$3.50 22 oz Select Draft Beers & $5 Game Day Appetizers

Located at: 1101 Outlet Collection Way, Auburn WA 98001
Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday 11am-12am   |   Friday-Saturday 11am-2am

Dave & Buster's Auburn WA

Dave & Buster’s hosted a VIP Event the night before opening and I was able to have a fun girls night. We had such an amazing time and were really treated like VIP’s. We started the evening off with a delicious plate of foods everything from steak to pot stickers, all the Dave & Buster’s staff were wonderful. The desserts were great! Large selection of games, something for everyone; The Walking Dead, Ghostbuster’s, a huge claw machine, Star Wars, air hockey and so many more.

Nice bar area and lots of huge screens throughout to watch sport games on! Good selection of prizes. Thinking of bringing the family? Dave & Buster’s isn’t just for adults, kids are welcome with an adult over 25 years old and limited to 5 kids per adult. I was very happy to see they had a family bathroom, I know this is very important to families so good job Dave & Buster’s!!

The place is noisy and lights flashing so keep that in mind for people with sensitivity issues.

Disclaimer: I received product for free, however I was not required to post. 

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW – Family Activities 11/9-11/12

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW – Family Activities 11/9-11/12

Why should mom and dad have all the fun?
It’s true, when the 2018-Model Seattle International Auto Show opens its doors on Thursday, Nov. 9, it will be packed with all the auto industry has to offer including electric and alternative fuel vehicles, ultra-high-end exotics, luxury rides, test drives and more. There are more than 500 vehicles to check out. The whole family can sit in the driver’s seats, inspect engines, kick tires, count cup holders, check trunk space, test drive vehicles and take in that new car smell. But, there’s also tons of fun for those not old enough to drive.

Returning to the show again this year is the popular free Kids Test Drive. Kids ages 3 – 7 will have fun test driving a variety of battery-powered cars on a special track just for them. Those not in the mood to drive can have fun painting and creating their own wooden dream cars, getting their face painted, having a portrait done by a Muggshotz caricaturist, or taking some fun, crazy and interesting photos in the Selfie Photo Booth and then sharing them across social media apps or printing them immediately. (Face painting is 12pm – 5pm Saturday and Sunday only). Also in the Kids Zone, located in the East Hall, a variety of family-friendly video games will be available in a 26-foot gaming truck, Saturday and Sunday. This area will include a virtual reality racing console that is sure to bring you right into the action!

The Hyundai Racing Gaming Experience will allow the gamers in the family, or anyone who has ever wondered what it’s like to drive a race car, test their driving skills while driving the GT 2025 in the current version of Gran Turismo 6 for Sony PlayStation3. Ford’s Forza video game allows players to race three Ford vehicles across different racing disciplines and courses.

Mom and Dad will have to drive but the whole family can have fun putting a variety of SUVs through the paces on the obstacle course track located in the North parking lot. Designed to simulate various on- and off-road terrain situations, the course allows drivers to test the features and performance of a variety of SUVs.
#ArtInMotionForKids – Nine popular Seattle artists were challenged to unleash their imagination and talent to create one-of-a-kind works of art using wheels or tires as their inspiration. The stunning works of art range from a vintage Ford Model T wood spoke wheel, hand-detailed with copper paint, to a hubcap transformed into a blossoming flower, to a burning tire made of glass and all will be on display at the show.

Going to the show won’t break the family piggy bank as children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult, compliments of BECU. There’s also discounted parking ($8) available on Saturday and Sunday, at the Union Garage with the purchase of an e-ticket. An added bonus, E-ticket holders can avoid waiting in box office ticket lines by using the E-ticket entrance at the show.

The Seattle International Auto Show will be open to the public Thursday, November 9 through Sunday, November 12, 2017 at the CenturyLink Field Event Center, located at 800 Occidental Drive South, in Seattle. Show hours are Thursday, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults at the gate (13 & over); and $15 if purchased on the show website,$14 for senior citizens (62 and older) and $14 for Military (with any D.O.D. ID). Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Attendees can sign up for a FREE one-year subscription to Motor Trend, courtesy of the Washington State Automobile Dealers Association. Advance sale discount adult E-tickets can be purchased online at www.SeattleAutoShow.com.

 

We’ll be attending this weekend, be sure to follow along on my Instagram and Twitter accounts. Hashtag #SeattleAutoShow ! Say HI if you see us!!

Disclaimer: I wasn’t compensated for this post, however my family and I will be receiving tickets to attend.

Do you know about Goodwill’s hidden side??

Goodwill's hidden side

When you hear Goodwill, the first thing that comes to mind is thrift shop. A place to donate and shop for gently used items. Do you know anything about the hidden side of Goodwill? Before participating in a media tour of the hidden side of Goodwill, the only other thing I knew besides shopping/donating, was that they hire folks with disabilities.

A group of us bloggers got to take a tour of the Milgard Work Opportunity Center, which is right here in Downtown Tacoma it is a school house that serves 9,800 unemployed with training/job placement programs.

Goodwill uses thrift store revenue, community support, and their training campuses to provide career skills, other education and job placement in a variety of fields. As a unique nonprofit business serving 15 counties, thrift shop revenue, and public donations fuel programs that help people with limited income, disablities and disadvatages overcome barriers to employment. This year Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region will help 9800 people with key skills and contacts to become indepedent selfsupporting citizens with a higher quality of life. Of these, more than 2,800 people will be offered jobs including office, culiary, contruction barista, catering, retail, custodial, warehouse, transportation and logistics careers thanks to partnerships with 1,300 companies across Washington. These career development and placement services are funded through generous financial gifts, grants, fees, commercial services and the operation of 37 thrift stores(including the online store) throughout the western, southwest and central Washington operations.

Programs and resources they offer adults, youth and seniors include but not limited to;

Women to Work support services for single mothers and their families!
Financial Education build your personal financial stability and independence.
M.A.T.H. Center (Ages 16+) up your math skills for school, work, play & life. (I am horrible at math, so this center would be perfect for me!!)
Culinary Skills Training hands-on and classroom culinary training for entry-level food service jobs.
Barista Training learn espresso techniques and cafe operations in a real-world setting.
Computer & Office Skills Training earn your computer and office skills certification in 10 weeks!
General Education Degree Program
Warehouse & Logistics Training 
Youth Build which provides young people(16-24) the opportunity to work towards their GED while learning job skills in the construction trades.
Job Resource Room personalized service to assist you in your job search, information on Goodwill programs and community resources
REACH Center for youth

Goodwill's hidden side

To find out more about what Goodwill has to offer, visit goodwillwa.org and/or visit the Milgard Work Opportunity Center located 714 S. 27th Street, Tacoma WA 98409


If you’re interested in seeing how the students are learning first hand, you can actually stop into either of the barista training centers and enjoy a cup of coffee. Or enjoy lunch at the culinary training center!

goodwill's barista trainingMilgard Work Opportunity Center
714 S. 27th Street, Tacoma
Hours:
Mon-Thur 7am – 4pm
Fri 7am – 3pm
Sat & Sun closed

Hilltop Regional Health Center
1202 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma
Hours:
Mon-Fri 7am – 2:30pm
Sat & Sun closed

goodwill's neighborhood bistroMilgard Work Opportunity Center
714 S. 27th Street, Tacoma
Hours:
Mon – Fri, 11am-1pm

Goodwill's hidden side Goodwill's hidden side

Last but not least, I’m sure you’ve probably visited an actual physical store but did you know Goodwill has an online store? It’s easy to shop and you can find some amazing items/treasures.

Goodwill's hidden side



Disclaimer: I received product, however I wasn’t required to post and all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.