The Tacoma waterfront is the place to be for grandparents to enjoy activities with their grandkids. The revitalized waterfront offers many chances to enjoy quality entertainment, shopping and dining, and as a bonus, jaw dropping views of Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound as your backdrop.
Plenty of activities abound for a day out with the grandkids. Metro Parks Tacoma offers many attractions and activities such as Pt Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Or, take your grandkids to a day camp at The Children’s Museum of Tacoma. You could even go for a day of fun and play at Treetop Playgrounds. Once completed this fall, the new Point Ruston Grand Plaza will be an ideal place for outdoor activity for kids of all ages.
Pt. Defiance Park
Pt. Defiance Park, a large, expansive public recreation area of more than 700 acres, offers picnicking, boating, fishing and more. The Pt. Defiance peninsula separates Commencement Bay from the Tacoma Narrows and features many attractions, making this the destination of choice for Tacoma residents and visitors to spend a day with the grandkids.
- Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA): Dedicated to wildlife conservation, the 29-acre PDZA offers daily animal presentations and educational programs for entire families. PDZA offers onlookers the opportunity to view rare creatures and safely observe sharks. Daily events include the “Half Day for Half Price” special on July 17 and Tiger Conservation Weekend July 25-26. The facility’s Asian Forest, Rocky Shores, Arctic Tundra, Wild Wonders Outdoor theater, Camel Rides and Kids’ Zone are perfect for any young grandchild to explore.
- Five-Mile Drive: A winding road through the forest with impressive views of Puget Sound, the Olympic and Cascade mountains, and the Tacoma Narrows.
- Hiking: There are miles of hiking trails including Spine Trail, Triangle Trail, Rhododendron Garden Loop and the Promenade near Owen Beach. Regardless of your age, you will enjoy at least a handful of the many hiking trails at Pt. Defiance.
- Fort Nisqually Living History Museum: Visitors of all ages can discover what life in Washington Territory was like during the fur trade, when the Europeans first settled in the region. This wonderful museum offers visitors the history of British settlers in Washington, as well as a living history display. Visit the museum’s Facebook page for up-to-date information and upcoming events.
Children’s Museum of Tacoma
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma lets children play, climb, search and create as part of the on-hands learning process. It offers programs like the free “Play to Learn” program, in which children under six can participate in group activities with parents and grandparents. The museum provides themed camp programs and is available for birthday parties and private events.
Suited for children 3-12 years old, Treetops Playgrounds are something for the whole family. These play areas feature indoor and outdoor covered play equipment and spaces. Just remember the sock requirements for the indoor playground, and height and closed-shoe rules for outdoor play. More details on these facilities can be found on this Metro Parks Tacoma site.
Metro Parks Tacoma Activities
In addition to playgrounds, museums and zoos, grandparents can find plenty more to do with their grandkids via programs from Metro Parks Tacoma:
- Story Hour in the Conservatory: A monthly storytelling activity, where kids learn about nature and plants.
- Family Nature Walks: Naturalists lead participants on trails to learn about plants and animals.
- Second Sunday Music Series: Live acoustic music is held each month among the tropic floral setting of the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory.
- Shakespeare: The conservatory also hosts Shakespearean comedies and tragedies, sometimes with audience participation.
Coming soon – The Grand Plaza at Point Ruston
Point Ruston is a resort-inspired village being built on the Tacoma shorefront, with housing, shopping, entertainment, and a communal gathering place at the Grand Plaza. Point Ruston is a major part of Tacoma’s waterfront revitalization and it is quickly becoming a popular community gathering point. Visitors, retirees, and grandparents/grandkids will soon be able to enjoy the Point Ruston dining destination including:
- Mio Sushi: Japanese fusion dishes in a family friendly atmosphere, at an affordable price.
- WildFin American Grill: Meat, seafood and produce items for families and groups, with food for the kids, too!
- Two Town Pub & Café: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on an outdoor patio by the waterfront doubles as a coffee shop – OPEN TODAY!
- Jewel Box Cafe
- Dolce Si Sicilian Bakery and Cafe
Point Ruston’s dining options are great for seniors to spend a delightful waterfront day with the grandkids. Plus, activities abound at the neighboring Pt. Defiance Park for retirees and their grandkids.