The Children's Museum of Tacoma can be the perfect place to take the kids on a summer afternoon, a way to keep them busy during a break from school, or a great complement to a visit to the Tacoma Art Museum. Like Tacoma’s other museums, this museum for kids is located downtown close to lots of other things to do. Exhibits here are aimed at young children and keeping parents involved and engaged in the creativity of their kids.
Unlike Tacoma's other museums, this one is aimed squarely at kids eight and younger and their families - and there is no set admission fee. Admission is "pay as you will." Pay if you can afford it, but if you can't, the museum still welcomes you!
The Children's Museum of Tacoma is not the kind of museum where you wander galleries and look at items behind glass cases. Instead, the museum is a place of play.
Playscapes at Children's Museum of Tacoma
Exhibits at the Children's Museum of Tacoma are geared at children younger than eight all the way down to small babies. You will find both steady exhibits (called Playscapes) here as well as temporary ones to keep things fresh and new for repeat visitors. There are several permanent exhibits, and each has a Resource Guide designed to help adults help their children get the most out of the educational side of the play activities.
There are five Playscapes and each has a theme.
Playscapes can and do switch things up, so you might see the same Playscape name from one visit to the next, but the activities might have changed.
Becka's Studio is a place for kids to get creative and learn at the same time. Often the learning activity encompasses some math or science learning, such as learning to work with shapes, counting activities,
Woods is a Playscape that looks a bit like a woodsy, outdoor playground. Kids can climb and explore, but also built forts!
Water is just what you might guess - a Playscape filled with water toys and waterscapes galore. Kids can interact with a waterfall, changing its path, or play in still-water pools. This one is a sure hit!
Invention is the perfect place for tiny builders, with all kinds of toys and sets for kids to build and learn.
Voyager is the ultimate imagination inspiration - it's a vessel! Kids can climb aboard this ship and pretend to set sail, load the cargo, or whatever their imaginations guide them to do.
All the Playscapes are designed for kids to have fun, but learn and experience along the way. Best of all, kids love it here!
Programs Beyond Play
Children's Museum of Tacoma is also a place parents can look for camps. While camps for older children are plentiful, the children's museum often hosts winter, spring and/or summer break camps designed for children ages 3-6.
There's also a preschool program for both toddlers and young children, but it's popular and often has a wait list.
If you want to join in the fun with your child, grandchild, younger family member or friend's child, the Play to Learn program is a walk-in program where adults and kids can interact through fun activities.
The Children's Museum of Tacoma is a place where kids can learn, but it is also largely a place where kids can have fun. One of the best ways to experience the museum and enjoy a day out with the kids is to host a birthday here. The museum staff takes care of almost all the details, too, so you don’t have to!
Children's Museum of Tacoma is located at 1501 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, which is right in the heart of downtown Tacoma. Just a couple blocks away are Tacoma Art Museum and the Washington State History Museum. The history museum can be another great museum for families as many exhibits are interactive and designed for younger learners as well.