Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Get Out Your Hard Hats

I was just reminded recently by my friend Stephanie that Lowes and Home Depot offer free projects for kids/families on Saturday mornings. They have a couple really great ones coming up.

Click the links for more info.

Best $20 I've Ever Spent!

Mega Blocks in Fife is having an amazing warehouse sale starting today and going through Saturday, Dec. 6th (I believe until 3:00 p.m.). It was just the right thing to help me tie up all my loose ends for Christmas this year.

Here's what I bought for $20!
  • Items include Magnetix, Mega Blocks, Wipe Boards/Calendars (all sizes), Rose Art products, High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Strawberry Shortcake, Puzzles, Board Games, and so much more.
  • Follow parking to the back where the "Store" is. Employees will give you a big cardboard box to literally drag around with all your stuff. I think I might take my giant blue Ikea bag next time. WARNING: Dragging a heavy box and steering a stroller through a mass of people is difficult. Consider finding a babysitter for the kids. Lines were long on opening day - about an hour to get to the cashier (one of two).
  • IMPORTANT: Only cash is accepted and all sales are final.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

25 Items for $6.25!

Where can you go and buy 25 items of children's clothing or toys for $6.25? Kidz Kaboodle Children's and Maternity Resale in Tacoma!

Apparently, my friends and I are some of the last to know about this great find. Kidz Kaboodle is a consignment-type store. The last weekend of every month they do a quarter sale on their "items simply not purchased for resale due to a small stain, missing button, or just being too faded."

They open at 10 a.m. and the line is already long with anxious mothers. According to the owner who I spoke to and other experienced mothers, it can be somewhat risky to your physical being. Tables are filled with clothing and customers are left to weed through them. I could tell the mothers who had been there before...they're fast and know what they're looking for, so watch etiquette is left at the door!

I left with 25 great items of clothing, many name brands. I washed all of the them and they looked even better! It's a great way to stock up for this season and even next summer. If you have the time, go next door to their actual store and find super sales on even nicer items.

Oh, and one last thing, don't forget your big black garbage bag or giant blue Ikea bag, you're going to need it!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Need something to do on those cooler "indoor" days? Here are some ideas...

PUMP IT UP, Tacoma
3610 S. Pine Ste A
Tacoma, WA

  • Children ages 2 to 6 can drop in for bouncy fun at Pump It Up, an inflatable play center.
  • Two sessions: 9-10:15, and 10:30-11:45.
  • Admission is $7 per child and $5 per sibling. Parents play free and are required to accompany their child. Socks and a signed waiver required. Reservations not necessary but recommended: 253-752-5867
2310 Mildred St W
Tacoma, WA 98466
(253) 566-3233
  • Jungle Gym Play Park, Laser Tag, Game Room, Concessions
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Weekends 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Odyssey is a locally-run family fun center, sort of like Bullwinkles or Chuck-E-Cheese, but a little more mellow and sanely laid out. Unlike Chucky, the rather large jungle play area is gated and completely separate from any of the games requiring tokens. It's entirely possible to pay $5.50 for your kid to play there all afternoon without ever taking them by any of the games that cost money. Adults (with a paid child admission) and kids under 2 are free. This place is a great option right now when the weather has all the little ones climbing the walls. (Info from Jenyum at Tacoma Mama)
2501 S. Gateway Center
Federal Way, WA 98003
  • $1 All Shows Tuesdays; $2 All Other Shows
  • PG's now playing: Meet Dave and Kung Fu Panda

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Boo Time Again!

Here's a list of things for the kids to celebrate Halloween and stay busy this fall. I'll be updating as more info comes in.

  • Tacoma Farmers Market (Thursday, June-October) http://www.tacomafarmersmarket
    Parking - Ride the Tacoma Link! Park your car at the Tacoma Dome Park and Ride-located at 25th street and D street and take the latest in transportation… the Tacoma Link! It’s Free!
  • Tacoma Art Museum - (3rd Thursdays are Free! Extended hours 10 a.m.-8 p.m.)

    The Art Access Pass is a free family ticket to Tacoma Art Museum and the world of art!
    Library cardholders can check out an Art Access Pass from their local library and present the Pass at Tacoma Art Museum's admission desk to receive free family admission for four people, not including children five and under, who are always admitted free.

  • Library Storytimes - (Most start end of Sept/beginning of Oct). Check your local library for details.
  • For more detailed activities, check your city's parks & rec guide for fall.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

DO and DON'T

Do: Take you kids to the Barnum and Bailey Circus in Everett. Pay $9 a ticket by buying on presale with a promo code from KOMO News. Parking is cheap and it's a smaller event center than others I've been to. Only bad thing about that, the show seemed scaled down as well. Oh ya, DO bring ear plugs and your own snacks (they must make more off souvenirs and food than tickets).

Don't: Try to get to the circus while other people are trying to get to another major event (i.e. The U of W vs. BYU game).

Do: Go to the Puyallup Fair and enjoy people watching and farm animals. Ride the rides at your own risk. If you know your kids will want to, buy tickets beforehand at a reduced rate. See for more info. Bring a stroller and a small backpack filled with healthy snacks. Bring a change of clothing for kids in case the weather turns and remember the sunscreen.

Don't: I repeat, DON'T go on opening day just because it's free from 10 a.m. - noon. Parking is always $10 no matter if it's a fair lot or private lot up the road. You'll spend more in gas waiting to get through traffic than you will buying an entry ticket. Also, don't expect to find somewhere convenient to nurse a baby. It's nearly impossible.

All in all, both are fun options and worth the trips. Just be smart about when you go!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I'll admit it, I've once again become a library nerd. I can only speak for Pierce County Libraries, but they are great! We have completely stopped renting DVD's and buying CD's. The search options are all online now and you can even request items and renew online. There are even some great resources for parents/caregivers:

Check your local library schedule for storytimes, puppet shows, concerts, and other special activities for the little ones.

Free Summer Movies

Even though the summer is almost over, look forward to more free family movies from Regal Cinemas next year. Here's the info:

When school's out, kids around the country visit selected Regal theatres for the Free Family Film Festival. It's a fun-filled nine weeks of movies for kids and parents. Since 1991, Regal has provided this service to the community, and best of all it's FREE!

Selected G & PG movies start at 10AM each Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival. First-come, first-served seating is limited to theatre capacity. The Free Family Film Festival is safe, lots of fun and a great way for kids to spend a weekday morning in the summer.

It's best to get there by at least 9:45 a.m. to get a good seat. Daycares & summer camps bring kids in by the bus load!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Hollow Zoo Pass

So, this is an amazing deal... It's called the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Bridge Membership and is a two-year family zoo membership with reciprocity for $75! Friends of mine have used theirs to also get free admission to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.

More Info:

Reciprocation Info:
As a Member of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, you are eligible for FREE or reduced admission (or other discounts) at the following Zoos, Aquariums, and Science-Technology Centers. To receive your benefit, show your current Happy Hollow membership card and photo identification when visiting any of the facilities included on the AZA Reciprocation List and the ASTC Passport List below.

Beat the Heat

Known by many different names, spraygrounds, wading pools, & splash parks are a great way to beat the heat without worrying about your kid drowning! Here is the link to Tacoma Parks & Rec. where you can find one near you. I'm not sure if Seattle has actual splash parks, but their P&R link shows a zillion wading pools.

Auburn Rotary Spray Park at Les Gove Park - Sprayground is new and fun. Turn in and park near the library. Every time I've gone it has been very crowded to the point of turning my toddler to play in the dirt (so glad we went all that way to play in the dirt).

Jefferson Park (Tacoma) - Wonderful sprayground, playground, and picnic areas. Lots of shade. Parking close. Doesn't feel crowded even with a lot of people. Look for the ice cream truck that circles by often.

Pioneer Park Wading Pool (Puyallup) - Check for hours as they vary. Season is short and doesn't start until mid-July. Nice place to go with a group. Library story times start around 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. Wading pool opens at noon unless there is a summer concert, then 1:30 p.m.

Tacoma Children's Museum

Not as extensive as some of the other Children's Museum's we've been to, but fun on a rainy day. Check out the pass from any Pierce County Library for 3 weeks to get in free.

Downtown Tacoma. Took me forever to find because I was looking for a large separate building. Look for the red doors. Parking out front is up to 2 hours free or there are nearby parking garages.