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Category: Activities Near Joint Base Lewis McChord

Yes, it rains in the beautiful PNW – that’s what makes it so green here! Some people are worried that there is nothing fun for kids when the weather isn’t so great…THAT’S NOT TRUE! One great place to visit for JBLM area indoor play is the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. I have taken my kids here numerous times and they love it! One of my favorite things is that it is donation based only! You don’t have to break the bank to go! They do have days that are not open to the public so make sure you check the hours before you go. Mondays are reserved for members only and Tuesdays are reserved for special needs play.

The kids can spend hours here and be completely entertained! There is also a cafe in the lobby if drinks or snacks are needed. I love that there is plenty of space to sit and watch your children play, sometimes places like this lack seating areas. The staff is always wandering around as well to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and that all the rules are being followed.

My daughter also did a summer camp here and she really enjoyed it. It was five days and from 9am-2pm and the kids were required to pack a lunch. It was a great intro into what kindergarten was going to be like. The camps are a little pricey, but I’m really glad that we did it. They also offer a bunch of other stuff as well:

After we have our fun at the museum, we always head over to Hello Cupcake for a special treat so make sure to check that out as well!

Are you relocating to the JBLM area and looking for fun things to? Make sure to follow this blog and also check out the JBLM Relocation Sponsor Facebook page.

 

Are you looking for a place to gets some plants to spruce up your new home??? I know just the place to go…Watson’s!! We did some major landscaping at our house this year and I was ready to plant. I had heard about Watson’s and figured I would give it a shot; so glad I did!! This place was so much fun and had so many options to choose from. Lots of knowledgeable staff available to answer questions and suggest plants based on your yard and preference. I don’t really enjoy yard work so I was hunting for the plant it and forget about it plants! I also wanted a lot of evergreen shrubs to they would stay nice and green all year.

When I first walked in I was so overwhelmed by all the choices! It was so nice to have such a big selection!

They also had amazing home decor stuff as well. I really could have spent all day here! And, if you did want to spend a majority of the day you wouldn’t have to worry about getting hungry of thirsty because inside the main building is Anton’s Cafe!

If you are in need of amazing plants or home decor or even just ideas for your new home in the JBLM area, I highly recommend checking this place out. They even have some cool events that happen during winter too (reindeer come visit)!

If you are in the JBLM area and looking for things to do, make sure follow this blog and head over to my Facebook page to see even more stuff about the JBLM area and#jblmareathingstodo.

Are you relocating to the JBLM area? We would be happy to set up a personalized home search for you. An actual person will search listings for you on a regular basis and only send homes that are actively on the market, meet your criteria and will qualify for your specified financing. Set up your JBLM area home search today!

Subscribe to The Compass, a JBLM area newsletter

 

Thinking about making a day trip up to Seattle? Since the travel time from JBLM to Seattle is a little less than an hour, it makes for a great trip! We decided to head up there and celebrate our daughter’s 5th birthday by taking her to lunch at the Space Needle and then headed over to the Pacific Science Center.

To get to the Space Needle (we wanted it to be a surprise) we parked at Westlake Center and then hopped on the monorail for the short trip over to the Needle. On the way there, the kids noticed an awesome park right by EMP so we promised we would check it out after the ‘surprises.’

When we arrived at the Space Needle the kids were super excited!  When we checked in for the restaurant (we had made reservations and let them know it was her birthday). When the elevator doors opened at the top, little miss was greeted by the staff at the desk with a heartfelt happy birthday, it made her feel so special. On our table was a birthday card for her signed by the staff. I was very impressed with all of that! Take a look at my Space Needle Yelp review. The birthday dessert was awesome and the food was pretty good too. The service we received was amazing and incredibly friendly. And the views…amazing! Keep in mind that the menu prices are a bit high, but they do include the ride up. For example, my lamb burger was about $25, which seems high, but I would have paid $22 just to ride up to the observation desk. So really I had a $3 + tip burger, not too bad!!

After lunch, we walked over to the Pacific Science Center. It was pretty much exactly the same as I had remembered it as a kid…I was a little disappointed. I really thought it would have been a little more updated and fun. While the kids did have a pretty good time, I would not suggest this for kids under around 7 or so (ours are 3 and 5). Most of the stuff was over their heads as I explain in my Pacific Science Center Yelp review. We skipped out on the IMAX experience but I would like to take them to that when they get a bit older.

Our final stop was at that park next to EMP. It’s called Artists-at-Play and it is amazing! I wish we would have spent more time here; the kids were having SO MUCH FUN! I have to admit, I was pretty nervous letting them climb up that high the first time, they did great though so I didn’t worry too much after that! They must have climbed up those ropes stairs at least 10 times in the 30 minutes they were there. I really wish this playground was closer to home so I could go more often!

So, that was our day trip to Seattle, and it was a lot of fun. The kids keep asking to go back again! There is still so much for them to explore up there so we will head up again soon. Next time we will hit up more of the Seattle Center and the Seattle Children’s Museum.

If you are in the JBLM area and looking for things to do, make sure follow this blog and head over to my Facebook page to see even more stuff about the JBLM area and #jblmareathingstodo.

Are you relocating to the JBLM area? We would be happy to set up a personalized home search for you. An actual person will search listings for you on a regular basis and only send homes that are actively on the market, meet your criteria and will qualify for your specified financing. Set up your JBLM area home search today!

Subscribe to The Compass, a JBLM area newsletter

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With the super hot weather lately, it’s nice to find a park that has lots of shade! That way the kiddos can play without the worry of heat exhaustion or sunburns! Wildwood Park in Puyallup is just the place! On 80 gorgeous acres with ball fields, playground, trails  and picnic areas you can’t go wrong! Not only does this park have shaded shelters you could enjoy a meal in, but the entire playground area is shaded! Most of the walking trails are shaded the entire way as well. The playground has a nice little creek that runs next to it, perfect for little feet. There are also a number of geo-caches there if you’re into that kind of stuff! We tried to find some but the trails are so vast that we eventually gave up since my kids are fairly young to stay focused for a while!

If you do want to walk on the trails, I highly suggest taking a look at the Wildwood Park map. There are so many trails to choose from! There also the Jim Martinson Exercise Trail that has signs throughout the trail with exercises to do and necessary equipment.

Video tour of Wildwood Park

Driving directions from JBLM to Wildwood Park

Yelp reviews of Wildwood Park, including mine!

To see more fun things to do in the JBLM area, check out other posts on my blog

or follow me on Facebook at JBLM Relocation Sponsor.

Moving to JBLM? Check out area information and JBLM homes for sale.

 

Great_Wolf_LodgeOk, I think most of us have heard of Great Wolf Lodge, but maybe not. I had heard of it, but really hadn’t looked into it too much because I thought my kids ( five and three) would be too young to have fun. Not only that, I didn’t think they would be strong enough swimmers to enjoy themselves…well I was WRONG!

My sister just recently graduated from college and it was her idea to go on a whole family trip to Great Wolf. If it hadn’t been for her wanting to do that, I probably would have put it off for at least another year or two. Boy am I glad we went now! The kids had a blast! I was amazed at the fact that they were tall enough to go on everything except for the Howlin’ Tornado. Of course, on the bigger slides they rode with the adults. It’s nice that they have a spot on their website where you can explore by age to make planning the visit a bit easier.

If you’ve never been before, let me give you just a little bit of advice…be prepared to spend LOTS of money! I actually didn’t think the price for the Kid Kamp room was all that bad, but we did go during the week when the prices are a bit lower, I highly suggest doing that. Also, make sure to check Groupon for any deals they may have going on. One thing I would do next time is bring my own food! I would have saved a lot of money doing that. Each room has a mini fridge and a microwave so it would be easy to cook stuff ahead and bring it. We saw lots of people with coolers and grocery bags checking in…guess they knew what they were doing!

All-in-all, we had a great time and will definitely return. The nice lady at check in said the quietest times to first where the first couple weeks in May and the month of September (after Labor day). We might have to look into that for next time!

To see more fun things to do in the JBLM area, check out other posts on my blog or follow me on Facebook at JBLM Relocation Sponsor.

 

Family Fun CenterNow that the weather is starting to turn a little it’s time to find places to play inside! Unless you want to brave the rain at the park, indoor play is the way to go in Western Washington. Only 45 minutes or so north of JBLM (in Tukwila) is the Family Fun Center & Bulwinkle’s Restaurant.

Admission into the Fun Center is free, it’s all the attractions that cost money. We took the kiddos here over the summer and they had so much fun! It’s a perfect place to go on occasion to spoil the kids. Even though there are lots of outdoor activities, there is a TON to do inside as well. In 2016 they will be adding a bowling alley so there will even be more to do! It is easy to make this an all day adventure.

I was pretty impressed with how clean everything was! There were a lot of people there when we went, but still, the rides were clean and all the games were clean as well. We didn’t eat at the restaurant while we were there, so I’m not sure what the food was like. I do know that it was a pretty simple menu primarily geared towards children.

The miniature golf was my favorite! I love how the course was put together and the scenes were adorable! We only played the Arctic side, but Memory Lane looked pretty cute as well. The mini golf is open all year so even if it’s a little chilly, you can still get a good game in.

My kids are only three and four but they still had a blast! This place has a great age range. At their young age there was a ton of stuff to do and still a lot that we can explore the next times as they get older. Click here to see a full list of attractions. We will definitely be making trips back!

To see more fun things to do in the JBLM area, check out other posts on my blog or follow me on Facebook at JBLM Relocation Sponsor.

 

Oh Canada!

We just took a quick family vacation up to Victoria, BC to celebrate our anniversary. I have been going there off and on since I was a kid and it’s a lot of fun. This is a nice, easy vacation from the JBLM area. Just a two hour drive to the ferry (if you take the Coho – you can take your car on that one) and then a 90 minute ferry ride. We did a package deal through the Coho and paid $499 for the ferry ride round trip and two nights at the hotel. Pretty good deal! See all the pics I took on my Facebook page, the link to the album is: https://goo.gl/uc3CBx. Here’s a little about what we did…I am going to split this up into a few posts or it would just be way too long…

DAY ONE:

Waiting for the ferry

Waiting for the ferry

With kids in tow, we drove up to Port Angeles to catch the Coho Ferry (about a two hour drive from the JBLM area). We did this so we could take our car over with us and make getting around with little ones easier. They LOVED the ferry ride and it was fairly quick, only about 90 minutes. They also had food aboard, not the greatest, but it was perfect for lunch for this kids.

After going through Canadian customs with my lovely four year old sitting in the back saying that she wasn’t my kid…we headed over to the hotel. Yes, she sat in the back saying ‘we’re not your children’ over and over again after the customs officer asked if both kids belonged to both of us…it was just awesome! Anyway, back to the hotel…we chose to stay at the Hotel Grand Pacific because of its kid friendliness. At check in they handed each of our little ones a welcome bag with fun stuff for them, it was pretty neat. They have a kid pool that’s only two feet deep which the kids loved, but it was freezing! I really wish they would have turned up the temp! Out front they hand out duck food so you can feed the resident ducks living in the pond. That was a blast! They had little babies and they all ate out of our hands! They also offered a kid friendly high tea which we took advantage of on our last day.

After all of that, we walked down to the docks and hopped onto one of the Water Taxis and headed over to Fisherman’s Wharf. This ferry ride was a lot of fun for both us and the kids. Riding in a tiny boat in the harbor with all the boat traffic and sea planes taking off and landing constantly was really fun to watch.

Once we arrived at Fisherman’s Wharf, we walked around a bit and looked at all the floating homes and businesses. Everything is on a float tied up to a dock, kinda neat. These homes weren’t house boats, they were actual homes built on a float. Yes, they were smaller, but most of them were two stories and pretty pricey!

We grabbed some dinner from the restaurants on the floats, hotdogs and poutine from Grilligan’s for the kiddos and sushi from Rockn’Rolls for the hubby and I and ate on the dock in the sunshine and enjoyed people watching. Then over to Jackson’s Ice Cream and we got HUGE ice cream cones then headed back on the Water Taxi to the hotel. Hit up the pool for a bit and then hit the sack!

See all the pictures I took on my Facebook page, here is the link to the album: https://goo.gl/uc3CBx

Day two adventure to follow!

 

 

Downtown Olympia is full of things to do. The other day I took my kids down to the harbor, checked out the playground, the waterfront tower and the Heritage Park Fountain. We had a blast!

Olympia Waterfront

Olympia Waterfront

The harbor is just gorgeous during the summer time especially. Looking at all the boats reminds me of how much I want one but…then I remember just how much of a money pit they are. Maybe one of these days if I happen to have lots of extra cash just laying around… :o)

The playground is lots of fun for the kiddos, I just wish it has a little bit more shade for me! Right next to the Playground is the Oly Taproom, which I have heard may good things about although I haven’t had a chance to get there myself. After playing at the park for a bit we headed over to the tower to climb up to the top and see the fountain from afar! That way the kids got to see where we were headed to.

I must say that once we got to the fountain is was crazy packed! They had a YMCA summer camp there so…lots of kids. Most of the kids were older and a bit crazy so my kids were a little hesitant to even go near the fountain, although my son did make an attempt but then got hit in the face with water and wanted nothing more to do with it.

To see all the pictures from this trip head over to my Facebook page JBLM Relocation Sponsor.

Are you PCS’ing to JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord)? If so, make sure you give this blog a good look-over, it has lots of information. Also, check out Phil Sharp Homes to search homes for sale Olympia or homes for sale Lacey.

 

 

20150508_111044Trying to beat the heat with the kids right now? It sure has been a hot one so far, and the kids do need a break from the sunshine every once and a while. A great place to head over to is Pump It Up of Tacoma. Nice and cool with tons to keep the kids occupied!

My two had a blast here and it was so hard to get them to leave! They really could have stayed until they passed out!

 

 

Keep your eyes open on Groupon for specials, I paid half price doing this! Also, check out the Pump It Up of Tacoma Facebook page for info. This would also be an awesome place for a kids birthday party!

Are you looking for things to do around the JBLM area? My sure to check out other fun things on this blog and also check out my JBLM Relocation Sponsor Facebook page for things to do in the greater Ft. Lewis area.

 
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View of the water from the playground

Ruston way is such an awesome place! I love taking the kids here for a bike ride during the week when it’s a little slower. Sometimes on the weekends the path is pretty packed and makes riding a bike (especially one with a trailer hauling two kids) a little difficult. When we ride down there I start at the Chinese Reconciliation Park (which is beautiful) and then ride all the way down to the playground at Point Ruston. There the kids get a chance to play for a while and I get to stretch and relax. Then we head back and stop about half way to throw rocks in the water (something the could do ALL DAY).

There are so many restaurants down there with amazing food and places to buy fresh seafood, ice cream, coffee or grab a cold beer (all different places, don’t worry no salmon ice cream or crab coffee)! One of my favorite places to dine down on the water is the Lobster Shop. My husband and I have gone there quite a few times for our anniversary and way back in the day we went there for dinner before prom!

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Such an amazing view…I could look at this all day!

I have yet to check out the ice cream place because I always forget to throw my wallet in the bike trailer. Luckily my kids can’t read yet so they don’t know that they are missing out on ice cream cones! Next time I will remember to take the wallet! I highly suggest making some time to head to Ruston and checking out all that it has to offer. Click this link for directions to Ruston Way from Ft. Lewis. To see more photos of Ruston and other activities around the JBLM area, make sure to check out my Facebook page, JBLM Relocation Sponsor.

 

1901444_914850151867177_1852503438192129297_nOh my goodness, I can’t believe that I forgot to blog about this! Well, now’s not too late. A while back some friends of mine and I went to a wine and painting event at Uncorked Canvas in Tacoma. It was so much fun! I am not the artistic type, as in TERRIBLE at it! So, needless to say, I was pretty nervous about going to this and seeing what kind of hideous painting I was going to create for my daughter’s room.

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These are some of the different paintings they have available. You can check out their website or the Uncorked Canvas Facebook Page for a schedule of events. They even offer private parties, which would be a blast! For the class I attended, we were to paint Rapunzel’s Castle…

I must say the instructor and her assistant were amazing! I actually painted something that turned out good! My daughter was SO impressed (granted she is only four) but it’s for her so that’s what mattered!

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Look what I made! I can’t believe it! I love how it turned out and goes perfect in her princess room! There are all kinds of places that you can do wine and painting so make sure you check some out!

 

 

 

 

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Every year in May is the Lacey Spring Fun Fair at St. Martin’s University. I have been attending this event for so long, that I actually used to perform in it back in the day when I was little and doing dance. Now I get the fun of taking my kids here and watching them enjoy all the activities!

Let me tell you, this just gets better and better every year! If you are looking for FREE fun (that’s right, I said FREE), in the Ft. Lewis area, don’t miss this one. All activities at the Lacey Spring Fun Fair are FREE!!!!!!!

 

Ok…you get my point :o) Every activity is truly free! The only things you have to pay for are food and anything that you would want to buy from the local companies at booths set up around the fair. This year, my son (aka little man) was a winner in the #lsff photo contest! We won an awesome basket provided by St. Martin’s full of stuff my husband loves since he is alumni!

I can’t wait to go again next year!

Too see all the photos that I took, check out my Facebook page, JBLM Relocation Sponsor