Staying dry: Indoor play spaces for the rainy season (South edition)
Written by Kris Collingridge
Federal Way Community Center. The pool’s cool! Spend a couple of hours floating in the “lazy river” or practicing your dog paddle. Lots of other play opportunities on the schedule, including an indoor play time; purchase a daily pass ($4–$8, ages 2 and younger free) for access to everything. 876 S 333rd St. Federal Way. 253-835-6900.
White River Valley Museum. Kids can explore the history of South King County as they wander hands-on exhibits that include replicas of the Auburn Depot and downtown of the 1920s, and a Japanese farm house from around the turn of the last century. $1–$2, Wednesdays always free. 918 H St. S.E. (in Les Gove Park), Auburn. 253-288-7433.
Metropolitan Gymnastics. Drop by the Kent gymnastics center, which offers sessions on Mondays through Saturdays, for open play on the equipment. $6 first hour, members $4. Check Metropolitan Gymnastics for schedule updates. 6822 S. 190th St., Kent. 425-282-5010.
Pattison’s West Skate Center. Head to the Federal Way skating rink on Sundays from 6:30–8:30 p.m. for a whopping active-fun deal: three or more skate for $3.50 each, and rentals are free. Check for an updated skating schedule. 34222 Pacific Highway S., Federal Way, 253-838-5788.
Northwest Trek. Most of the Trek is outdoors, but the indoor Cheney Family Discovery Center (which includes the new Korum Korner) is a fine place to spend a rainy day. Look for lots of natural history activities-kids can examine animal pelts, color, look at a salamander or toad, and much more. Free with admission ($7.50–$15.50, discount to county citizens, younger than 3 free), open during Trek hours (visit its Web site for current hours). 11610 Trek Dr. E., Eatonville. 360-832-6117.
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. After a spin through the South Pacific or North Pacific aquariums, make sure to stop by the Marine Discovery Center, where kids can touch sea critters, try on costumes, create art and explore conservation topics. Free with admission ($5–$13), open daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. 253-404-3805.
Pump It Up. Hit the bouncies! Lots of big, active play for kids at Pump It Up’s drop-in play time on the inflatables. Ages 5 and younger. First child $6, siblings $4. Check Web site for the current schedule. 3610 S. Pine St., Suite A, Tacoma. 253-752-5867.
Museum of Glass. After taking a look at the artists at work in the Hot Shop, head to the studio for a little creating of your own. Resident artists lead visitors through a different project every month — visit its Web site for current times. Free with admission ($5–$12, ages 6 and younger free). Museum of Glass, 1801 E. Dock St., Tacoma. 866-4MU-SEUM.
Washington State History Museum. Kids love the miniature train display on the fifth floor-and the scavenger hunt (for elementary ages) through the museum will keep them busy (and active) for hours. Free with admission ($6–$8, ages 5 and younger free). Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 888-238-4373.
Skateland. Nothing like taking a spin around the roller rink to blow off some energy. Family Night’s a bargain at just $4 (Fridays 6:30–8:30 p.m.), and so is the Wednesday afternoon after-school skate (3:30–5:30 p.m., $3). Visit the Web site to check the schedule. 2725 12th Ave. N.E., Olympia. 360-352-9943.
Michael’s Arts & Crafts. Head to the arts and crafts store with the kids on Saturdays to make a craft — visit the Michael's Web site or call the store to find out what’s up this week. Two locations: 5730 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. S.W., Lakewood, 253-584-2058 and 701 Sleater Kinney Road (South Sound Center), Lacey, 360-923-0550.
Black Hills Gymnastics. Preschoolers are invited to play on the equipment during the Friday morning (11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) Open Gym. $7 per child. 7961A 29th Ave. N.E., Lacey. 360-413-9855.
Hands On Children’s Museum. Set your child loose in the museum’s Tot Spot, where she can explore arts and crafts and dramatic play. There’s a space for infants and crawlers, too. In the Young at Art studio, kids can get crafty with different art materials. Free with admission ($4.95–$7.95, younger than 12 months free). Open Mondays–Saturdays 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sundays noon–5 p.m. 106 11th Ave. S.W., Olympia. 360-956-0818.
Cabela’s. Spend a rainy afternoon in the outdoor emporium, gawking at the full-size animal displays (watch out for the polar bear) and aquariums. It’s free fun, if you can get away without buying anything. 1600 Gateway Blvd. N.E., Lacey. 360-252-3500.
Kris Collingridge is ParentMap’s Out & About editor.