Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tacoma Kids Weekly: Week of June 23, 2008

This coming week begins summer fun in the community in this area. It's the week when all of the programs begin which means there's lots of free fun to choose from if you happen to get bored at home.

Before I get started with the daily list, let me tell you about something that is available every day of the week beginning Monday. The Tacoma parks department runs a drop off program for ages 6 - 12 through the summer. At select parks, kids can spend the day playing (either directed or nondirected) play, playing in the water (either the wading pool or sprayground depending on which park they are at), and enjoying a free lunch and snack. The parks department website indicates that, while there are staff at hand, they are not responsible for the children. The children are free to come and go as they wish. What that means for us parents is that we need to decide if our children are old enough to be trusted on their own or we need to go along to supervise. Personally, I go with my kids, but you'd be surprised how many kids, of all ages, are there without parents. Lunch and snack are provided, is first come first serve (they do run out), and for the children only. Parents, bring your own food. Visit the Metro Parks website for locations and times. My kids love this program because there's water play and tons of kids to play with.

The Tacoma Library kicked off their summer reading program yesterday, as well. Throughout the summer, you will see library events listed here on the appropriate days. Most of the programs are repeated at several branches at different days and times. I will list each one on the appropriate day. If there is one that you just must see, check the website for all of the schedule performances and mark your calendar so you don't miss it.

Monday, June 23, 2008
Jaydeen Nation's Petting Zoo will be visiting the Swan Creek Branch of the Tacoma Library at 2pm. This small petting zoo was set up outside the library for kids to visit and pet the animals outside their mobile pens. My kids loved it last year at ages 7 and 5 simply because they love any chance to visit animals they can get.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Regal Cinemas kicks off their family film festival this week. Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, participating theaters offer G and PG films for free. Shows begin at 10am. Seating is first come, first serve. I have seen movies fill up, primarily because several local daycare/daycamps arrive by the busload. Because of this, I suggest you arrive no later than 9:15am to secure your place in line. The closer to the front of the line you are, the more likely you'll get the movie and seat of choice. Outside food and drink is not permitted; however, concessions are available. For a list of movies at our local theater, visit their website.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Regal Cinemas' family film festival takes place again today. See Tuesday for details.

Magician Jeff Evans will be doing a show at the South Tacoma branch of the Tacoma Library at 3pm. We have been to several of his library shows over the past three years. They all promote reading and use of the library. His tricks are usually related to popular children's books. For example, one of his popular tricks is to have a volunteer child help him make a sponge cake the Amelia Bedelia way. My kids and I have always enjoyed his shows, although sometimes he's not too careful with his slight of hand, making it easy for parents to see how his tricks are done. He'll fool the younger crowd that his shows are gear to though and they'll love his funny style.

Thursday, June 26, 2008
It's Tacoma Farmer's Market day! Head downtown to buy your week's fresh produce, browse through the arts and craft vendor booths, and enjoy the weekly entertainment. If you go this week, you'll be treated to the music of Southern Skies from Olympia. The market is open from 9am to 2pm and is located on Broadway between 9th and 11th. While you are there, don't forget to stop by the Children's Museum of Tacoma and let your kids play for free.

Magician Jeff Evans will be performing at the Fern Hill branch of the Tacoma Library at 3pm. See Wednesday for my review of his show.

Friday, June 27, 2008
The Taste of Tacoma begins today and goes through Sunday. Pt. Definance Park will be filled to the gills with food, arts and craft vendors, carnival rides, and free musical entertainment. For a low cost day, pack a lunch, browse but don't buy, and enjoy people-watching and music. My suggestion would be to go early or ride the bus as parking gets harder and harder to find as the day goes on. Often you'll have to park on a residential street a mile or more from the park and walk. For more information, a list of vendors, and a schedule of entertainers, visit their website. (On a side note, it's funny that this is called the "Taste of Tacoma" since most of the food vendors are not located in Tacoma.)

Magician Jeff Evans will be performing at the Mottet branch of the Tacoma Library at 11am. See Wednesday for more information about his shows.

The Tacoma Parks Department is putting on a carnival, complete with carnival games, inflatables, pony rides, and hands-on activities, at South Park from 5pm to 8pm. The website does not indicate whether there are any costs associated with their carnivals.

The Puyallup Public Library is putting on a spider-ific program for young readers at 3pm. Learn about the spiders from the book Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin, watch the movie based on the book, and create spidery crafts.

Saturday, June 28, 2008
The Taste of Tacoma continues today. See Friday for details.

Anyone who lives in the Tacoma City Limits can enjoy the Pt. Definance Zoo for free today. Just show up with your proof of residency (driver's license or utility bill) for each adult in the group. The zoo opens at 9:30am and I suggest you get there early. With the Taste of Tacoma going on later in the day (beginning at 11am), there will be a ton of traffic heading that way.

The Zambini Brothers will be putting on a puppet show at the Kobetich branch of the Tacoma Library at 3pm. I have not seen one of their puppet shows so I can't tell you anything about it. I have seen one of their giant roving puppets and it was very cool.

The Puyallup Public Library is hosting the Chalk the Walk program from 10am to 12pm. Let the kids come draw on the sidewalk in front of the library for free. Artists will be available to model and assist.

The Washington State History Museum is hosting the Northwest Native American Market and Festival between 10am and 5pm. There will be food, storytelling, music, and dance. Outdoor activities are free, or you can pay to visit the museum and activities inside.

Sunday, June 29, 2008
The Taste of Tacoma continues today. See Friday for details.

In the Spirit, the Northwest Native American Market and Festival continues. See Saturday for details.

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