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Today was windy and rainy. I mean really windy (which is weird, because it isn’t often windy here, which is maybe why I noticed the wind more . . . it’s circlicle). ANYHOW, Grace’s school thought it would be a good idea to have a half day Thursday and then Friday and Monday off from school. I’m pretty sure the President’s would be appalled by the lack of time spent in school on their behalf. ANYHOW (again), I had to get out of this house. I would rather spend half the day hollering at them in front of strangers than trapped in the house hollering at them.

Off to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma we went, via the Tacoma Link Light Rail (we parked at the Tacoma Dome Station). Why light rail? Why not drive down there? Parallel parking. That’s why. It’s street parking or hope to get a spot in the super tiny lot next door.  I grew up in the suburbs, where acre upon acre of parking spaces (normal sized ones, not the tiny ones they have in Hawaii) sprawled everywhere. I never had to parallel park. It wasn’t on my drivers test. And frankly, I still can’t do it. So we took the lightrail. It was an awesome idea if I do say so myself.

We walked the one blustery block to the Museum and were greeted with .  . . a line. A line?! What the heck? I know it’s Saturday and I fully expected it to be packed. However, the museum only has one person working the check in desk. That poor girl was taking count of everyone, trying to sell memberships and pass out locker keys as fast as she could. I know they just reopened in this new space, but they need to streamline the system. It’s  pay as you will. So unless you plan on making your donation by credit card, you shouldn’t have to stand in line. At all. After a one minute orientation, we were allowed in. Do the people who think up orientation at a kids museum have kids themselves?

The museum features a giant tree house, two huge water tables with a mash up of every garden water feature imaginable, a big bird with wings climbing thingy, tubes that shoot out scarves and a huge art room. I’m no children’s museum expert, but I’ve been to a couple and the highlights of this one are:

  1. It’s clean. Probably due to the newness, but none of the toys or features looked like a staph infection waiting to happen.
  2. The waterplay area is huge and they have plenty of smocks.  Also, the two different water tables have lots of different activities, not just the typical boats and fish (did I mention the garden water feature mashup?)
  3. They have a lot of stuff to do. Lot’s of nooks and crannies you don’t see at first the kids can discover.

Overall, we all had fun. Jane was a little overwhelmed, but who wouldn’t be with a million screaming kids around. I’ll definitely go back. On a weekday. After I’ve checked every local school schedule to make sure no one is off. If you’re in the area, check it out. Plus, we saw lots of restaurants and coffee places on the ride down there, for the inevitable moment you exit the museum and hear “I’m SO HUNGRY. I might die if you don’t feed me”

Groovy glow in the dark write on the walls room.

This is just one of two water table waterfalls.

Jane ran away from me across the rope bridge. She must know I have a terrible fear of them and this was her chance to escape.

They let you paint on the windows! I could left Jane there for an hour and she wouldn't have noticed. I DIDN'T THOUGH.

Top: Giant bird (with rockets at the back). The wings flap and everything. Bottom: only half the art room. Huge. HUGE!

Giant tubey thing. I'm sure there is a real name for it. But I didn't pay attention at orientation.

Hey, pose for a picture outside even though the wind is gusting to 35 mph. Because I'm your mother! And I said so!

Check out our sweet ride.