Thursday, January 17, 2008

13 Free Things to Do This Week

Here are 13 fun and interesting things to do with your kids this week in and around Tacoma....STARTING TODAY!

1. Visit the Pt. Defiance Zoo. Tomorrow, January 18th, is a free day for Tacoma residents. All adults must bring along proof of residency to get in free of charge. They offer Tacoma residents a free day most months of the year.

2. Visit the Tacoma Art Museum. Today (and every third Thursday) admission is free all day.

3. Visit the Washington History Museum. Today (and every third Thursday) is free from 5pm to 8pm. It will also be free all day Monday for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. We went back in August and I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting it was. Even the kids enjoyed it.

4. Visit the Museum of Glass. Today (and every third Thursday) is free from 5pm to 8pm. If you can't stop by on a Thursday, visit the bridge of glass. It is GORGEOUS and open to the public at all times.

5. Check out City Blocks at Freighthouse Square. City Blocks is the studio of Dan Park, a LEGO certified professional. While there you may see his Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Space Needle. This is his working studio, not a store, but it is open for you to come look and see his work and a play place is provided for the kids. We have not been there before as I've just recently read an article about him. The link has a short video about him.

6. Take in a story time at the Fernhill or Swasey libraries. Both offer 10:30am story times each Friday for preschool. Young school-aged kids (k-1st) may enjoy the story too.

7. Got older kids? Take your teens to the Tacoma Library Main branch on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:30 for board games and card games with other teens or on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 for book club. They will be discussing Twilight by Stephanie Meyer this coming Wednesday.

8. Visit the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. The bridge spans I705, taking walkers from Union Square to the Museum of Glass' main entrance. The bridge is always open to the public and worth seeing even if you don't go to the museum itself. Make sure you visit both during the day and at night. The daylight and the nighttime back lighting make it appear totally different.

9. Go letterboxing. This fun hobby combines hiking with a treasure hunt with rubber stamp making. Make a "signature stamp", print up clues to the box you want to find, and go hunting. If you've never letterboxed, check out the link thoroughly so you fully understand the "rules" to keep it fun for everyone involved. Rehide the boxes well!

10. Take a hike at the Tacoma Nature Center. While there, take a look at the 100 year old ant hill. The ants should be in hibernation so this would be a good time to get a closer look or take children who may be afraid of getting close to a giant anthill. There are also seven letterboxes hidden along the trail if you letterbox.

11. Go hunting for historical markers and take your photo with them.

12. Visit Never Never Land at Pt. Defiance Park. This fun play area is slowly disappearing due to age, weather, and vandalism and is no longer being maintained by the parks department. Take a stroll down memory lane at the link (bottom of page) and then go see what it looks like now. Discuss the effects of age, weather, and vandalism with your kids and how we can help keep things nice for future generations.

13. Go to Naturefest at NW Trek. Ok this one isn't completely free but up to 4 kids get in free with every paying adult. County residents pay $13. Not a bad price. Tram and special activities run Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (January 19-21) for this special Martin Luther King event. Tram limited to the first 1500 visitors so go early.

Go ahead! Be spontaneous! Put aside formal school for a day and go have fun.
To see other Thursday Thirteen lists go here.

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ohAmanda said...

How fun! I've always wanted to go letterboxing!

Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

Great list! I read a good one yesterday: At Bradley Lake Park in Puyallup (behind the Walmart on South Hill) on Saturday the 19th between 2 & 7, the city will have trucked in huge loads of snow. Kids can make snowmen, have snowball fights, etc. and it should be a lot of fun...and it's free.

Here's a link with complete info:

Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

It left off the rest of the link:

which is (after the recreation-)


Lori's Light Extemporanea said...

I would love to go to the Bridge of Glass but there's no way I'd take my rambunctious toddler twins to the Museum thereof. In fact, I think I'll have nightmares about it tonight.

Happy Thursday!