By Jackie Fender
Though we have met the Winter Solstice head on and the daylight hours will slowly begin to stretch to a more reasonable hour, the coldest months are still ahead. That being said, though they act like wild animals, small children do not hibernate with the change of season and any parent knows those little beasts have some major energy to run off, regardless of the frigid temperatures outside. So what’s a parent to do? You could bundle up with some layers or pop inside to play away. There are a number of spots throughout the South Sound that provide fun indoor activities for your little one to run off some steam. So, baby its cold outside, let’s play inside at a few of these Tacoma-area places:
The South Sound is lucky enough to host two phenomenal children’s museums, the Hands on Children’s Museum of Olympia and the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. Both establishments house a plethora of hands on activities perfect for children ranging from the toddler stage to about 10-years-old. It’s a cornucopia of stimuli for all senses with lots of color, sound and texture to encourage your child to learn with play as they use their imaginations and journey through discoveries and adventures with water play, building and more. Both also host a variety of activities throughout the month from special crafts and seasonal interactive displays.
Hands on Children’s Museum
414 Jefferson St NE, Olympia
Tuesdays – Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Sundays and Mondays: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
General Admission is $10.95
Children’s Museum of Tacoma
1501 Pacific Ave, Tacoma
Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m,
Third Thursday of each month 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. for Arts Walk
Admission: Pay As You Will
Little Gym of Puyallup
The Little Gym of Puyallup offers gymnastic classes and workshops for the uber minis with parent/child sessions up to school age children 6- to 12-years-old. The equipment helps those little ones of yours build coordination and encourages them to be the spry little nymphs they are. Other classes include Karate and Sports Skills Development. You can opt for the same weekly classes or mix and match. Still can’t decide? Little Gym of Puyallup also offers 3-week Big Discoveries Introductory Experience for $45 to give you a feel for the place.
The Little Gym of Puyallup
3850 S Meridian, Puyallup
Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Admission prices depend on course registration
Lace up those wheels and get to skating at Rollin’ 253! With skate classes, open skate paired with tunes and more, Rollin’ 253 is classic roller rink fun. Visit Rollin253.com for schedule, fees and upcoming special events.
Rollin 253 2101 W Mildred Street, Tacoma
Odyssey One is another fabulous go to for the whole family offering everything from an indoor play place for climbing and rolling around for the minis to an arcade teeming with loads of games and even laser tag for the big kids. There’s grub onsite (pizza party style), and lots of swag to be earned with tickets that pop from some of the game play. Th indoor Jungle Gym includes a ball pit, tunnels, swings and more for a mere $1.95 for ages 2 and younger, and $5.95 for those ages 2 and up. Full play place package price varies depending on chosen activities and meal pairing, but it’s guaranteed indoor fun for all.
Odyssey One 2310 W Mildred Street, Tacoma
Sundays – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 9 p.m
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Pump It Up
Tacoma’s Pump It Up is tucked away near the Tacoma Mall but offers big fun for the whole family with indoor inflatables that are simply put, behemoths! Though they may be best known as a birthday party venue, Pump It Up offers daily Open Jump time for two hours of freestyle, uninterrupted jump time. That’s two hours to run, jump, slide and use those imaginations away from the chilly outdoor park play. Make sure to wear socks, they are required.
Pump it Up
3610 South Pine St, Tacoma
Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – noon, and 4:00 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Admission is $8 per person.
Frog n Kiwi Café
Located in the University Place Library complex, Frog n Kiwi is a perfect go to for a little cup of joe, snacks and playtime for the kids. There’s wifi, roasted bean concoctions, and a whole room designated for the little ones to climb and play with others. With seating available in the play place, grownups can easily make a visit to Frog n Kiwi a playdate with their adult friends where they can enjoy good conversation between sips while keeping a watchful eye on the little ones who are confined to the room and ultimately entertained with all of the activity options. Bonus, Frog n Kiwi’s locale makes a trip to the library a cinch before or after making it a well-rounded day for the family.
Frog n Kiwi Café
3609 Market Place West, University Place
Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Admission is $6.99 for the first child, $4.99 each additional child (café purchase not required)