Busy Mama: Put down electronic devices and get going

OlympianApril 6, 2014 

Good news: This could very well be the year that the B-word — you know, the one that rhymes with “shored” — isn’t uttered in your house during spring break.

Why? Because I’ve got your back and have rounded up some great ideas to keep families busy this week, or even later in the month. Check ’em out:

Let the kids bounce until they’re worn out at Whirligig, which runs daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. through April 20 at the Seattle Center Armory main floor, 305 Harrison St., Seattle.

The annual carnival features bounce houses, balloon artists, face painting, kid-friendly entertainment and other activities for ages 12 and younger.

Ride tickets are $1.50 each or $7.50 for an all-day pass. Rides are free on Thursdays and will close at 2 p.m. April 17.

For more information, call 206-684-7200 or go to seattlecenter.com/whirligig.

Participate in the Math for Life scavenger hunt, hosted by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce.

Through April 20, South Sound students are encouraged to visit at least five participating businesses to learn how they use math on a daily basis, answer a math question, get a stamp and enter to win prizes, including a Kindle Fire or Android tablet. To download a map for the scavenger hunt, go to thurstonchamber.com.

Last year, more than 700 students, mostly from Olympia, North Thurston and Tumwater school districts participated in the event, according to the chamber’s website.

Visit the Olympia Farmers Market, which is held Saturdays during the winter but rang in its regular season Thursday.

Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. For more information, call 360-352-9096 or go to olympiafarmersmarket.com.

View critters such as alpacas and turtles, sculpt mud pies, and create kites and other crafts at the Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. NE., Olympia.

The museum is offering free spring break activities with paid admission or membership during certain hours (mostly between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) through April 16.

Admission ranges from $8.95-$10.95 and is free for children younger than 1. For more information, call 360-956-0818 or go to hocm.org.

Take a guided walking tour at Wolf Haven, 3111 Offut Lake Road SE, Tenino. Spring hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays.

Wolf Haven is closed Tuesdays.

Tours start every hour on the hour, and the last tour departs at 3 p.m.

Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for ages 4-12, and $10 for seniors, students and active-duty military members with identification. For more information, call 800-448-9653 or go to wolfhaven.org.

Snap pictures, smell flowers and just generally go ga-ga at Skagit County’s annual Tulip Festival, which is set to run through the end of April.

Every spring, thousands of people visit the area to see the tulips burst into bloom.

Why not join them and make all of your Facebook friends envious of the beautiful family photo opps that tulip farms offer?

To view a map and brochure of the main activities, which include a street fair in Mount Vernon, go to tulipfestival.org.

Hear experts’ tips on raising your kids, enjoy family entertainment including Radio Disney, and browse booths at the annual Northwest Family Expo from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 12 at the Pacific Sports and Events Center, 2645 S. 80th St., Tacoma.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and free for ages 12 and younger and military with identification. A family pass for as many as five people is $20. Ticket proceeds benefit Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

For more information, go to nwfamilyexpo.com.

Learn how to recycle unique items into art from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday at the Olympia Timberland Regional Library, 313 Eighth Ave. SE, Olympia. The free Tinkertopia workshop is geared toward students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Registration is required. For more information, go to trl.org or call 360-352-0595.

Staff writer Lisa Pemberton is one busy mama with three children. Reach her at 360-754-5433 or lpemberton@ theolympian.com.

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