Family bliss on a budget

Friday, May 27, 2016 12:19 PM by Rachel Johnson

With summer right around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking about where to take the kids to have some fun in the sun. You’re in luck! Pierce County has so much to offer the pint-sized traveler while keeping the rest of the family entertained too.

Point Ruston- Tacoma 

Point Ruston’s new Splash Pad is a great place for kids to beat the heat. And while the kids are splashing around, parents can catch a bite to eat at Point Ruston’s new restaurant WildFin, right next door.  Located on the Puget Sound, WildFin’s outdoor patio is situated right near the Splash Pad. Point Ruston also boasts a new ferry-boat themed playground located at the Grand Plaza.  Your kids can climb, swing and play pretend.

Directly below WildFin, you’ll find the Wheel Fun Rentals office.  Take a ride on a Surrey, or Double Surrey all along the beautiful waterfront. Fun for the entire family!

Find out more about Point Ruston here.

 

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park – Eatonville

Kid’s Trek, the newest adventure to arrive at Northwest Trek, is a nature-inspired playground. Kids of all ages will enjoy exploring everything from splashing in the bubbling stream to climbing the tree-trunk nets. And it’s all free with admission into the park.

And while you’re there, meet the babies! Willow is the first moose born at Northwest Trek in 15 years. She’s sticking close to her mother and sightings have been frequent. Newborn bison calves, bighorn lambs and goslings can also all be spotted in the Free-Roaming Area.  A great outing for young and old.

More details about Northwest Trek are right here.

 

Crystal Mountain – Enumclaw

The Mt. Rainier Gondola will take your family up to the summit of Crystal Mountain. Your family will travel almost 2,500 vertical feet to the summit, where the view is simply amazing. Interpretive ranger walks are available on select days, or hike down with your family using a guide map or GPS Trail Map found on the Crystal Mountain App.   Gondola rides begin May 28 for their early summer season.

If hiking down a mountain isn’t on your list this summer, Crystal Mountain also offers horseback riding for kids 6 and up. Chinook Pass Outfitters will take you and your family through wild flower meadows to unspoiled mountain lakes. Even with the kids this proves to be a peaceful adventure.

Click here for how to best experience Crystal Mountain during the summer.

 

Stewart Heights Pool - Tacoma

With a 160-foot water slide to provide the rush, and a lazy river to meander down, the Stewart Heights Pool is a solid choice for a day away from the house. The zero-depth entry, bubble pool and water play structure make it easy for parents with younger kids, and the water basketball court can feed visitors’ competitive edge. This is one of the region’s water attractions that’s not known to many, but a universal favorite among those who know it.

One of the best parts is that it won’t break the bank, costing only $10 for adults for a full day of aquatic fun, $8 for kids and free for tots under five years old.  

For driving directions and more detailed information about Stewart Heights Pool, click here.

 

Waterfront Gig Harbor

From Gondola to Gondola! No need to take your kids to Italy this summer.  Instead take them to Gig Harbor’s waterfront where you’ll find the only Venetian gondola operation in the Pacific Northwest.  While a Gondola ride on the Puget Sound may sound like a romantic venture, the boat actually holds up to 6 people.  So, why not enjoy the ride as a family.

Get crafty! After the Gondola ride, head over to Java & Clay, a paint your own pottery studio on the Gig Harbor waterfront. Kids will have a great time selecting anything from piggy banks and cute little animals, to a special mug for mom or dad. While the kids are letting their creative juices flow, mom and dad can order a juice of their own. Coffee, wine, or beer can be purchased from their café. Making it a perfect summer outing.

For more about the arts, crafts and active side of Gig Harbor, visit this page.

 

Kandle Pool - Tacoma

If you’re used to paying the price of private waterparks to enjoy a good wave pool, you’re in for a treat! The first wave pool in Pierce County (and one of the only in Washington State) is also Tacoma’s newest outdoor pool, and at only $10 for adults and $8 for kids (free for tots under five years old), it’s a way for an entire family to beat the heat without breaking the bank.

Opening for business on June 18, the pool also has a shallow-entry side so children and people of all ages and abilities can enjoy the fun. A separate tot pool and sprayground round out the experience and its convenient location near the middle of Tacoma makes Kandle Pool a good choice for both locals and visitors.

Visit Kandle Pool’s website for more details on pricing and location.

Author: Rachel Johnson

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