Summer's not over yet! Six ways to live it up in August
Written by Kris Collingridge
Aug 01, 2008
In the Puget Sound region, summer often doesn't reliably start until well past the solstice. By the time the days start to shorten in August, we can often count on hot days and warm nights, which is perfect weather for our activity suggestions below. Enjoying the region's best season doesn't have to involve big outlays of cash or elaborate plans - just run out the door on a whim and grab hold, while you can, of the days that we remember all year long.
Rent a kayak at Ruston Recreational Kayak at Owen Beach and paddle the waters around Pt. Defiance Park (5605 N. Owen Beach Road, Tacoma. 253-759-8151, www.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php?id=80). Kids under 18 must ride in a double kayak with an adult, $17/first hour. Gig Harbor Rent-A-Boat (829 N. Harbor View Drive, Gig Harbor. 253-858-7341, http://www.gigharborrentaboat.com/) hosts a weekly moonlight community paddle, and rents kayaks ($14/hour), canoes ($20/hour), and pedal boats ($20/hour). Boston Harbor Marina (312 73rd Ave. N.E., Olympia. 360-357-5670, http://www.bostharbormarina.com/) goes one better: If you've had enough of kayaks, rowboats, canoes and pedal boats, you can take a sailboat out (from $90).
Blueberry picking is a classic late-summer activity in the Pacific Northwest; berries are usually available through late August. At Lindbo Blueberries (8405 Fruitland Ave. E., Puyallup. 253-229-6438, http://www.linboblueberries.com/), you can pick berries to the strains of classical music, Thursdays-Sundays only. Black River Blues Blueberry Farm (17132 Moon Road S.W., Rochester. 360-273-3489, http://www.blackriverblues.com/)
features 17 varieties of berries to choose from. At Poulsbo's The Blueberry Farm (4210 N.E. Parish Lane, 360-297-2173), organic blueberries are ripe the last weekend in August and the first weekend in September. Call and sign up for Carol, the owner's, email list so you'll know exactly when the berries are ready for picking. (Check with each location before showing up, because berry availability depends on the weather.)
3. Ice cream
Small-but-growing chain Maggie Moos Ice Cream and Treatery (625 Black Lake Blvd., Olympia. 360-754-6667, http://www.maggiemoos.com/) boasts 50 flavors of housemade ice cream on its menu. Belly up to the old-fashioned soda counter at Don's Ruston Market (5102 N. Winnifred St., Ruston. 253-759-8151. Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) for floats, shakes and sundaes. Mora Iced Creamery (139 Madrone Lane, Bainbridge Island. 206-855-1112, www.moraicedcreamery), whose owners moved to the U.S. from Argentina, serves up ice cream flavors that anyone who's been Buenos Aires would recognize: crema rusa, sabayon, dulce de leche, pistachio, marron glacee. Dozens of flavors - good luck choosing!
Is that a planet? A star? A satellite? Take advantage of clear night skies at one of the Tacoma Astronomical Society's free public nights. On Aug. 23, the group will be at the astronomy fair at Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup, noon-midnight. Next up is a free public night at Pierce College (9401 Farwest Drive S.W., Lakewood), Aug. 26, 9 a.m.-midnight. (253-537-1217, http://www.tas-online.org/). The Battle Point Astronomical Association hosts a show and star party at the Rudolph Planetarium (Battle Point Park, 11299 Arrow Point Drive, Bainbridge Island, 206-842-9452, http://www.bpastro.org/) on Aug. 23.
Get wet in the Lilypad Fountain in the Kids' Zone at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (5400 N. Pearl St. Tacoma. 253-591-5337 www.pdza.org/page.php?id=281) - but hurry. It's open only through Oct. 1. (Bring a change of clothes and water shoes.) Les Gove Park Rotary Play Sprayground (910 Ninth St. S.E., Auburn. www.ci.auburn.wa.us/parks/park_dir/les_gove.asp) is a popular location that boasts colorful water-spray features. Downtown Olympia's Heritage Park Fountain (330 Fifth Ave. S.W., www.ci.olympia.wa.us/cityservices/par/parks/HeritageFountain.htm) will have kids guessing which fountain spray will pop up next. It's closed Wednesdays.
Bring a blanket and low-backed chairs and pack a basket of snacks for later - outdoor movies abound during the summer season. Which are the best of the best for families? In Tacoma, the Summer Sounds and Comcast Series features Under the Moon, Bee Movie, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this month at locations around town (253-305-1000, http://www.metroparkstacoma.com/). CinemaGig at Skansie Brothers Park in Gig Harbor features The Water Horse and Enchanted (www.gigharborguide.com/movies.aspx). Auburn's Summer Sounds and Cinema Series screens Charlotte's Web and Bend it Like Beckham this month at Sunset and Game Farm parks (www.ci.auburn.wa.us/news_view.asp?nwID=73)
Kris Collingridge, ParentMap's Out & About editor, wishes that August would last for two months instead of one.