Summer Escapes around the Sound

School is almost out in Western Washington and moms and dads everywhere are looking for weekeday and weekend adventures for all ages to keep the kids busy.  Fortunately the South Sound is loaded with outdoor escapades to keep everyone pleasurably occupied.

Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is a cheerful and educational trip for all.  Look and learn about animals and sea life from around the globe, watch animal presentations and take a break for lunch in the cafe or unpack and enjoy your lunch from home in one of the picnic areas.

Zoo Hours are May 21 – June 28  9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.  June 29 – Sept 03  8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.  For the most current updated information please visit 

The area has many quality outdoor skateparks located in Puyallup, Orting, Heidelburg Davis Park, Sprinker Recreation Center, Rainier Vista Park and Yauger Park.

Pack up the fam for a bike ride or walk and stop along one of the South Sounds paved trails for a picnic.  There are several to choose from:  Foothills Trail which stretches from Puyallup to South Prairie, the Chehalis Western Trail which goes from Rainier to Lacy and the Yelm-Tenino Trail.  You can find more information in the following links:

There are several farmers markets close by to fill your refrigerator and pantry with fresh and local foods.  The Puyallup Farmers Market is open both Saturdays through October 13th 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sundays through September 12th, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The market is located at 330 South Meridian.

The lively Sunday South Tacoma Market at Star Center in Metro Parks is filled with local fruits, flowers, meats, bakery products, specialty food items and handcrafted arts.  Watch the kids play, enjoy the live entertainment and take a cooking class or two.  The market runs June through September, Sundays only 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  3873 S. 66th St Tacoma.

Tacoma’s 6th Avenue Market is running May – September every Tuesday 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  This small neighborhood market is tucked into the 6th Avenue Art District and is filled with local farm products, specialty foods and handcrafted wares.  Walk the market and enjoy Alfresco Dining and listen to local musicians live.

Tacoma’s Downtown Giant Market, Broadway Market has a light carnival atmosphere and is fun for all ages.  Watch local entertainment while sitting on the grass and visit with the vendors while listening to local live musicians.  This market is filled with Washington Farmers, Fishermen, Nurserymen, Bakers and Cheesemakers.  Take in one of many Chef Demonstrations and Gardening Clinics and apply your new techniques at home.  This market runs May – October every Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is located at South 9th Street and Broadway.

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