Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tacoma Kids Weekly: Week of June 30, 2008

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. We visited the library this week to report our progress for the summer reading club and see Jeff Evan's funny magic show. We went to the library yesterday for the free day. We went early to both miss the traffic going to the Taste of Tacoma and beat the heat. We played in the newly expanded Kids Zone and watched the new Wild Wonder's presentation before heading home. We spent part of the last two days playing outside with the sprinkler to try to beat the heat. All-in-all, it turned out to be a fun week. Now I have to catch up on the housework. One consequence of being away from home is the house falls apart around you. But that's ok with us.

So, here's this week's list:
First of all, don't forget that the spraygrounds and wading pools at various Tacoma parks are open. Kids love playing in the water and on the playground. The summer playground program runs Monday through Friday, is free, and includes staffed activities, lunch, and snack (food first come, first serve for children ages 6-12 only). You can also put together your own picnic lunch and enjoy the good weather.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Regal Cinemas is offering free family films every Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The movie starts at 10am but I advise arriving no later than 9:30am. Arriving between 9am and 9:15am is better. Seating is first come, first serve and they do sell out at some shows. Arriving late means you may not get to see your choice of movie or any movie at all. I follow the choices at Lakewood 15 on S. 84th. This week, they will be showing Doogal and Shrek the Third. For other theaters, check out their website.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
See Regal Cinemas above on Tuesday.

The Tacoma Nature Center and Pt. Defiance Zoo are hosting a nature discovery night at Jane Clark park. You can learn about frogs, learn about conservation, and participate in frog activities. The fun takes place from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

Thursday, July 3, 2008
It's Tacoma Farmer's Market Day. Visit the market between 9am and 2pm on Broadway between 9th and 11th. Support local farmers and buy the freshest produce available. This week's musical entertainment is Todd Koeppen, a Christian artist. While you are there, don't forget to visit the Tacoma Children's Museum, which is free during market time.

Tall Ships begins today with the Parade of Sails, which begins around 10am. The ships will sail across Commencement Bay and parallel to Ruston Way to the Foss Waterway. I'm thinking this would a perfect day to plan a picnic on the waterfront.

The Tall Ships festival continues at Foss Waterway beginning at noon and going through 8pm. Ships will not be available for touring today but all land activities will be up and running. The festival is free and features food, music, kids activities, living history, and much more.

Friday, July 4, 2008
Tall Ships continues today (see Thursday for more information). You can enjoy the land activities for free. Ships are available for touring for just $10 for most of the ships and $20 for all of the ships. Ticket prices are for adults and teens; children 10 and under are free with an adult. Discount coupons are available at State Farms Insurance offices. The USCG Eagle is free for everyone. Sailing cruises start at $40 a person. Here's a direct link to the times and free family fun.

The Freedom Fair takes place along Ruston Way today. Admission is free. The fair includes arts/craft vendors, food vendors, musical entertainment, carnival rides, and plenty of people watching. The fair ends with a great fireworks display. My advice is don't stay for the fireworks but do what we do. Each year, a very nice lady up the hill a ways on the corner of N. Yakima and N. 12th invites everyone to use her lawn to view the fireworks. She has a completely unobstructed view of the fireworks straight ahead of you (rather than craning your neck up) and she is far enough way that it isn't quite so loud. The best part is that you can usually find parking nearby and be in your car on your way home before the waterfront crowd has even made it off Ruston Way. It takes up 10 minutes to get home compared to the 2 hours the time we went to the waterfront. The only drawback is there is no bathroom nearby; you must walk down to Ruston Way for that.

Titlow Pool and Stewart Heights Pool have free open swim today from 12pm to 5pm. Titlow has a large pool with both shallow (3ft) and deep ends and a very shallow wading pool. The pools are separated by a fence so you don't have to worry too much about your little ones falling into the big pool Stewart Heights has a zero depth entry, lazy river, bubble pool, water play structure, and waterslide.

Saturday, July 5, 2008
Tall Ships continues today (see Wednesday and Thursday for more information).

Home Depot's kids workshop takes place this morning between 9am and noon. The event is free; home depot provides all of the supplies and tools needed to build a simple wooden kit with the kids. Kids new to the program will also receive an orange apron similar to the one's employees wear and a pin to place on their apron for each kit they complete. I recommend bringing along a pair of needle-nosed pliers to holding nails while your kids hammer. We'll be building bird houses this month. You will probably see the kids and I at the S. 72nd Home Depot around 9am or 9:30am.

Sunday, July 6, 2008
Tall Ships continues today (see Wednesday and Thursday for more details).

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