Lately, there’s been a lack of excitement around our house about going to school.
Everyone, including our three dogs, begs for an extra 20 minutes of sleep every school day.
Thankfully, spring break is just around the corner.
Every year, our family looks forward to a solid week of sleeping in, relaxing and trying out a new family activity or two. Ideally, the much-needed break helps us regain focus for the end of the school year. But it’s also a great excuse to spend time together without worrying about homework, sports and alarm clocks.
Here are some activities you might want to check out:
1. Plan a museum visit
Most South Sound museums participate in some type of “First Friday” or “First Thursday” event, when they open their doors for free one evening a month. (Or if those don’t fit in your schedule, you can always check out a museum pass at your local library branch.)
In addition, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, 1501 Pacific Ave., offers “pay as you will” every day. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call 253-627-6031 or go to playtacoma.org.
Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia, will offer free admission 5 p.m.-9 p.m. April 3. The theme will be “Nano Days,” an exploration of small science, such as iridescent butterfly wings. For more information, call 360-956-0818, or go to hocm.org.
Several Seattle-area museums offer free admission during certain hours on the first Thursday of the month. Our kids really enjoyed the Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle. It will offer free admission 5 p.m.-9 p.m. April 2. For more information, call 206-764-5720 or go to museumofflight.org.
2. Let the kids jump that energy away at Whirligig
Bouncy houses, face painting and kid-friendly entertainment are just a few of the activities at Whirligig from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 3-19 at the Seattle Center Armory, 305 Harrison St.
The annual carnival is designed for ages 12 and younger. There’s even a Toddler Zone. Ride tickets are $1.50 each or $8 for an all-day pass. Rides are free on Thursdays. For those who want to avoid crowds, organizers recommend going Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. (Note: The rides will close at 2 p.m. April 16.) For more information, call 206-684-7200 or go to seattlecenter.com.
3. Soak up the Puyallup Spring Fair
The Spring Fair runs April 16-19 at the Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. SW, Puyallup. I think it’s fate that this is the last few days of my kids’ spring break, and they already have scones on the mind.
This year’s fair will feature a monster-truck show, a slamfest derby, and many of the favorite rides and eats of the fall Washington State Fair. Hours vary. Regular gate admission ranges from $8-$10; it’s free for kids 5 and younger. For more information, including other discounts, go to thefair.com.
4. Watch a flick in a historic movie theater
Our family is slightly obsessed with historic movie theaters (we’ve been to a bunch of them, all around the state), so this is an exciting one for us.
“Gremlins” will show at the historic Centralia Fox Theatre, 123 S. Tower Ave., at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $8 a person or $20 for a family of three or four. Concessions will be available.
Tickets can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com/event/1337218. For more information, call 360-623-1103 or go to centraliafoxtheatre.com.
5. Catch a magic show
South Sound magician Jeff Evans will present Reading Magic from 11 a.m.-noon April 9 at Yelm Timberland Library, 210 Prairie Park St. NE. The free show is part of Timberland’s districtwide Family Read & Sing Aloud program and is open to the public. For more information, call 360-458-3374.
6. Explore Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
The zoo has scheduled several spring break events, including secret code scavenger hunts, hands-on and enrichment activities (where the animals get special treats) between March 30 and April 3. Most of the activities are between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and are included with admission, which ranges from $6.75 to $17 a person. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is at 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. For more information, call 253-591-5337✔ or go to pdza.org.✔