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7 Great Children's Museums for Northwest Families

Guide to kids' museums to visit around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Author Elisa Murray

Published on: March 12, 2019

7 Great Children's Museums for Northwest Families

kids playing at the children's museum of tacoma
Photo courtesy Children's Museum of Tacoma

Children’s Museum of Tacoma: the price is right

Why go? At 10,000 square feet, Children’s Museum of Tacoma isn’t huge, but it has a huge draw. Since it opened in 2012, it has offered pay-as-you-will admission, and has no plans to change that anytime soon. This means that you can stop off for an hour, without worrying about whether you’ve gotten your money’s worth. The museum is built around four playscapes (Woods, Water, Invention and Voyager) and favorite activities include the wood-cabin tunnel, water table, marine vessel with tower, air pipes, lit Lego table and art studio (called Becka’s Studio).

Good to know: Since last year, Children's Museum of Tacoma has partnered with Tacoma Art Museum on an innovative program where families can do an art project related to a TAM exhibit (currently, “Animals, Landscapes and Portraits”) and then visit TAM with a free Family Explorer Pass to see the actual exhibit.

Fees and deals: Admission is pay-as-you-will; one-third of the museum’s visitors are low-income. Membership starts at $115 and members receive perks such as member-only Mondays. In keeping with its equitable admission policy, the museum offers other special programs, including Tuesday Play Days (10–11:30 a.m.) for children and families with special needs; and a free child-adult outreach program called Play to Learn at locations across Pierce County.  

Nearby fun: The rest of Tacoma’s Museum District is a short walk away, including the Washington State History Museum (awesome model train layout); Tacoma Art Museum (free art studio in the lobby); and the Museum of Glass, with its Chihuly Bridge of Glass and Hot Shop.

Info: Go to Children's Museum of Tacoma's website for more information; find the museum at 1501 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma

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