Inexpensive family trip ideas for sports fans

In our Northwest corner of the country football fans literally cause quakes. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that football is showing up big time on the shores of the South Puget Sound with the Gridiron Glory exhibit at the Washington State History Museum.

In this undiscovered--and inexpensive, corner of the Pacific Northwest, kids and parents can enjoy the perfect summer roadtrip in our family-friendly cities. And for the Go-For-It family with some sports lovers in the mix, Tacoma and Pierce County can score high on your family’s journey.

What do to:


Seahawks Lombardi Trophy

Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football Hall of Fame at the Washington State History Museum:

Walk through footballs history, and great moments at this interactive exhibit on display through September. All aspects of America’s favorite sport are on display. Monday night devotees and the unindoctrinated can enjoy the range of angles, from football’s science to its impact on pop culture. And if your ego can stand it, see how your flexed arm measure up to the muscles of some of football’s most famous athletes.

Gridiron Glory Display

Great value tip: The Tacoma Museum District Pass will save you up to 25% on all six downtown Tacoma Museums. Pick them up at any of the participating museums or buy the district pass online. They are good for one full year. 

Cheney Stadium

Minor League Baseball at its finest at Cheney Stadium:

From the crack of the bat, to the kid’s running of the bases, a game withThe Tacoma Rainiers is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Grownups will love the concession stand, which includes Northwest beers and classic seafood options.

The Rainiers is a key feeder team for the Seattle Mariners, and Cheney Stadium is where legends like Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr played before becoming stars.  Check the Rainiers schedule for home games.

Play a Round of Footgolf

The South Sound has it’s share of Championship golf courses, but also has a variety of courses that are more about smiles than scores. Footgolf has taken off in Pierce County, and if you are guessing what it is, you are probably right. This soccer-golf hybrid is a perfect family game that gets you moving. Footgolf is available at Meadow Park Golf Course and Fort Steilacoom Golf Course in Lakewood.

Chambers Bay Homepage photo

If you want to get a little closer to that championship golf experience of Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 U.S. Open, but want the free version, take your family on the stunning stroll around Chambers Creek. This trail takes you by a beautiful playground – a local favorite, and along stunning views of the world-famous course and the Puget Sound's salty beaches. The full trail involves some hills, but visitors can also drive toward the driving range for a hill-free version. 

Where to Eat

Enjoy good food, friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere at any of these  family-friendly restaurants.

Carr's Restaurant in Lakewood  Omelette in


Breakfast = No skimping on servings at Carr’s Restaurant in Lakewood. Rumor is they had to make a special spatula to flip their giant pancakes. Best of all it will cost you less than most Starbucks coffees.

The Poodle Dog in Fife – The classic diner experience from your cup-a-joe to that perfect BLT.

LunchHarmon Restaurant in downtown Tacoma offers classic American fair in a hip, lodge-like setting. Just up the hill is The Swiss. One of Tacoma's hottest nightspots, it is open to families until 8 p.m.

DinnerThe Old Spaghetti Factory, the fun and affordable 3-course meal is always a winner at this warm and welcoming restaurant.

Dessert: Shake it Up – From retro malt shops to hidden-away corner stores, try one of the South Sound’s best milkshakes.

Craft Crawl with the Family:

In the South Sound, we like to involve the kids in everything northwest. And if that includes having your kids next to you while you enjoy a craft ale fresh from the tap now and again, allthebetter. Most of Pierce County’s tasting rooms allow kids – and take out pizza. Ride Tacoma’s free light rail downtown that has eight craft breweries – and growing. For more, and to learn how to take home a special growler for free, check out the South Sound Craft Crawl.

Father and Daughter Play in Fife


Where to Stay:

Known for being half way and half the price, Fife is conveniently located just minutes from the Tacoma Dome, Port of Tacoma, Interstate-5 and major cities and hosts a large variety of affordable hotels.

Pierce County has many affordable hotels, explore exactly what you need for your trip – search by indoor pools, free breakfast and other amenities.




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