We travel the world full time together as a family in our sailboat, SV Rum Barrel. When we're not on our boat we are on our next adventure... exploring something new.
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My family and I used to live in the Tacoma area before we converted to the boating lifestyle. We did a lot of things around the city and today I’m listing some of the best things to do with your family around Tacoma, Washington.
The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is definitely one of the nicest Zoo’s I’ve been to. They have one of the best kid zones I’ve seen. It’s meant for younger kids but even I at 14 years old, find it extremely fun. They have every animal you can think of, most native to Washington but they do have some exceptions, like the animals in their Asian Forest Sanctuary or their Arctic Tundra. They also have a carousel!
I personally think glass art is beautiful! I’d love to make my own, and guess what. You can at this museum. Not only do they have beautiful exhibits to all the crazy glass art, from guitars, to chairs, to domes, animals and sculptures…but they also offer workshops on how to make your own. They also have events and tours around the museum or you can just do your own thing. Either way you have to see the giant inflatable duck they have outside.
The Stairs and Slides are really fun… and are a great way to tire the kids out. The whole family enjoyed this one. Me and my sister were running up and down the stairs non-stop for hours, my dad even got on the slides with us. We were all tired out a the end and we made a few new friends as there’s almost always other kids playing around… especially because the ferry dock is right next to it. It’s definitely worth the visit.
The Foss Waterway Seaport is a very diverse museum and definitely one of the more interesting museums i’ve been too… but that just might be because i’m interested in all things marine. That’s what this museum is all about, they teach things like the inner-workings of different sea vessels, motors and engines for those vessels, along with history and stories that go along with them.
They teach about power boats, wooden boats and how most of them were made. You can even get on most of the boats inside the museum. Right below the giant whale there are skeletons that are on display above you and you can get on the giant ships still on the ocean outside of the establishment. Overall it’s definitely a really cool museum and one you should definitely check out if you have the chance.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is giant. Driving or walking along it is so fun. You get to see all the passing sailboats and barges below. Sometimes you can spot marine life like whales and/or dolphins below you, and you can almost always see the beautiful view of Mount Rainer. It’s for sure something to try while in Tacoma. While the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Museum isn’t technically located in Tacoma, it’s a cool one to check out if you have time to cross the bridge it into Gig Harbor from Tacoma.
You should definitely bring your family to the Tacoma Art Museum if anybody in your family gets excited by bright colors and awesome art like I do. They have oil paintings, glass art, felt sculptures, pop art statements, metal, clay and copper sculptures. There’s a lot to see and do at the art museum. And if your kid’s have short attention spans like me, this is the perfect place to visit and make memories at with your family.
Heritage Hill Airpark
Heritage Hill Airpark is on the Joint base Lewis McChord and a really awesome spot to check out it is full of old US army airplanes and other aircraft. Click here for more information on how to get base access. You can run around checking them all out. You can’t get in them or touch any of them. They’re really cool to look at and it’s definitely a fun spot to check out and enjoyable for the whole family.
Lewis Army Museum
The Lewis Army Museum is also on the Joint Base Lewis McChord. It is a historical museum, they have old cars, airplanes, Tanks, and more outside. It’s a museum that is packed full of history from Lewis and Clark to Memorabilia of World War 2. There’s even food on display of what the soldiers had in their MRE’s back in the day. It’s one of those places where kids will be able to experience history over just reading about it. My little sister loved seeing all the big tanks and planes. It’s super interesting and something you have to check out!
Point Defiance Park is next to/ in the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. So if you go visit one of these attractions you should visit the other (kill two birds with one stone type thing). In the park they have a super cute Japanese garden to explore. They also have a beautiful rose garden and Rhododendron garden as-well. Theres a lot of grass and space for the kids to run around in if the zoo hasn’t tired them out already, while the parents get a break.
One of the restaurant’s we ate at a few times is Boathouse 19 and it was so good. They have different types of seafood, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and desert. And for kid’s they have chicken, seafood, burgers and soup. Kid’s menu includes a side and drink with the main dish. My sister and i got the chicken and it was really good, and then giant bowl of ice-cream to share. it was definitely one of the better places I’ve been to. And once you’re done you can walk along the dock next to the restaurant.
If you are visiting the Tacoma Area and you have time to check out some of the other neighboring cities here are more places you should visit with your family.
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