Northwest Trek Discount – Half Price Senior Admission in September

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Here’s a great Northwest Trek discount for the month of September – get half-price admission for seniors, adults aged 65 & over, for the month of September. You’ll also get 10% off your food & beverage purchase at the cafe. The regular rate for seniors is $18.25 through September 30 (or $16.25 for military/Pierce County residents), so that would be $9.13/ea.

I think September is a great time to visit the park as the temperatures have cooled down a little bit, so hopefully the animals will be out roaming around more than they might have been in the summer months – yet you still have some beautiful weather to enjoy the park! We went several times this spring/summer as it is one of our favorite places around to visit the animals.

And for those of you who are looking for a little adventure, Northwest Trek has several zipline / challenge courses called Zip Wild Adventure Courses, for a wide range of ages & sizes (kids as small as 3 feet, 3″ tall can participate). The prices will range from $19.95 – $59.95, in addition to the general admission to NW Trek. However, seniors can get 10% off on the zipline adventures as well!



NW Getaway Ideas on a Budget (New Deals Updated Weekly) – Stay in Winthrop, WA for $63/nt, Book a Room at the Stanley Park Suite HOtel in Vancouver starting at $67/nt, and more!

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Cheap Weekend Getaways

Living in the Northwest we have so many wonderful options for budget friendly or cheap weekend getaways. Within driving distance we can see the mountains, wine country, beaches, and city getaways. We have access to family vacations, romantic escapes, outdoor vacations or urban site seeing. Plus, you can do many of these things on a budget too!

Here are our favorite picks this week, for some great deals you can get on Pacific Northwest Getaways. Be sure to bookmark this page (or pin it to your travel board here) as we will be updating it weekly (each Thursday) with new ideas!

If you want to know what some of these destinations are like, be sure to check out our northwest travel reviews page for some of our favorite affordable getaways (and savings tips).

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Frugal & Free Activities For Kids / Families in the Northwest!

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Northwest Fun & Frugal Events

Frugal & Free Activities For Kids / Families in the Northwest

Week Of 9/4 – 9/10

Here is this week’s list of family-friendly free or frugal events to do with kids for around the Northwest, as well as some events going on around  the country.  We have decided to go back to the list format as the calendar feature did not turn out to be as user-friendly as we had hoped. Hopefully this list feature will be more helpful for you to find the events quickly that you are interested in! Let us know how you like it & if you have any more feedback on how the Event list is working for you!

If you see a fun, frugal event that’s not listed, feel free to leave a comment so we can add that event to our list.

cheap event tickets seattle

Cheap Event Tickets for Seattle Area

Head to Goldstar and select Family events to easily find these:

  • Matilda – 5th Avenue Theater, Seattle – $38 – $120 (Reg $50 – $120)
  • Seattle Storm – As low as Free – $17
  • Movie Theater 4 Pack of Tickets for $34 ($54 value)
  • Oliver – $15.50 Tacoma Musical Playhouse
  • Find more Cheap Event Tickets for Seattle area on Goldstar HERE.

Cheap Event Tickets for Portland Area

Head to Goldstar and select Family events to easily find these:

  • Oregon Ducks College Football – Prices as low as $40
  • Sleeping with the Sharks – Sleepover at the Portland Aquarium – $35 (reg $59.99)
  • Discount tickets for the Portland Aquarium – $5 (reg $10.95)
  • Portland Thorns – National Women’s League Soccer – $8-12 (reg $13 – $17.50)
  • Find more Cheap Event Tickets for Portland area on Goldstar HERE.

 Northwest Fun & Frugal Events

Don’t forget to check out our Seattle Staycation, Festivals in the NW or Summer Fun Page for more ideas on many local activities and events, if you are looking for a specific event and want to save some money!

We also have a parks review page for ideas on fun and free parks to visit with the family!  We’d love if you shared a review of your favorite park as well and if we share it on our page, you’ll get a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Puget Sound Fairs & Festivals:

See our HUGE list of NW Fairs and Festivals here for upcoming events too!

Make sure to check out our Northwest Spring Consignment Sale Roundup for children’s clothing sales that will be happening this week and in the weeks to come around the Northwest in Washington, Oregon & Idaho.

Here are a few more family-friendly events you can check out:

Things To Do in Seattle Area

Friday, Sept 4, 2015 ~

Olympia Harbor Days; Olympia; Sept 4-6; FREE;  Harbor Days is an annual festival where tugboats return to the southernmost tip of Puget Sound for three days of entertainment, food, art, history, and a last farewell to the summer.

FREE Hands On Children’s Museum – Olympia; Hands On Children’s Museum is FREE 5 to 9 p.m. first Fridays

Free First Friday at BAM; Bellevue; FREE; 11:00 am – 8:00 pm; Free admission to Bellevue Arts Museum occurs every first Friday of the month.

Kruckeberg Garden TotsSeattle; 5/29 – 9/26 Fridays; 10:00am – 1:00pm; Drop in any time between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a fun nature exploration in this unique, naturalistic garden. Each week they offer a simple plant activity, a themed garden exploration, and a craft project. Ideal for ages 2 to 6 with a caregiver. $7 per family, free for KBGF members.

Saturday, Sept 5, 2015 ~

Blackberry Festival; Bremerton; Sept 5-7; No Admission Fee; Magicians and musicians. games and face painting. You little artists can even grab some colored chalk and make their mark.

Art in Action: Drop-in Art Activities at BIMA; Bainbridge Island; Sept 5 – 7; 11am-3pm; FREE; Get inspired by our current exhibits and try your hand at art! Art in Action is a free, drop-in art experience for all ages

Mary Olson Farm; Auburn; FREE donations appreciated;  12:00 pm – 5:00 pm; Take your family on a trip back in time to the Mary Olson Farm. Kids will love meeting our cows, chickens, horses and goats and going on a tour of the Olson’s farmhouse.

Free Miniature Train Rides – Skykomish; 10am-4pm Every Weekend Thru November 1st plus Holidays

Crafts of the Past – Tacoma; 11:00am  – 5:00 pm; Each weekend through September; $22 per family. Artist will host different craft making each Saturday at the Fort Nisqually Park in Point Defiance Park! Check site for this weeks schedule!

Concert Series at Chittenden Locks; Seattle; 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm; Free; Saturdays and Sundays

Bellevue Art Museums Get Crafty Saturday ; Bellevue; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; Free craft time for kids each Saturday. $2 material fee or free with admission

Sunday Sept 6, 2015 ~

Family Farm Days; Carnation; 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Oxbow will be open for FREE one Sunday every month, welcoming families and individuals wishing to see and experience the Kids’ Farm, Children’s Garden, and Living Playground.

Adventure Playground – Mercer Island; 1:00pm – 4:00pm; Adventure Playground is a one of a kind play area that allows kids to create their own play adventure, where kids are provided toolboxes, various building supplies, safety items and the freedom to create build-it-yourself play zones with the guidance of staff. Free, but Donations accepted.~See website for closed days and times.

Bicycle Sundays – Seattle; 10:00am – 6:00pm; Sept 13 and 20th/LAST DAYS.  The four-mile stretch of Lake Washington Boulevard between Mount Baker Beach and Seward Park is closed to motorized traffic 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. several Sundays through September.

Cast Off! Free Public Sail at the Center for Wooden Boats – Seattle; 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Free every Sunday; A Seattle tradition for more than 25 years! Our volunteer skippers and crew take passengers out on Lake Union for unforgettable voyages. Sprit boats, steam boats, electric boats, schooners, ketches, yawls, and yachts: come every Sunday to sail them all, year-round, rain or shine for free.

Monday Sept 7, 2015 ~

Jetty Island Open;  LAST WEEKEND! Everett; F, Sa 10am-9pm; $1 – $2 donation.  Hop a little Ferry and take a 5 minute ride to Jetty Island.  Discover the tide pools when the tides are way out. Fun for a day trip.

Thursday, Sept 10, 2015

Half Priced Admission Imagine Childrens Museum;  Everett; Thursday 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. is half priced ( $4.75/ea)

Free Admission To NAAM ; Seattle;  The Northwest African American Museum is free on the second Thursday of each month.

Things To Do in Portland

Portland area Festivals:

Friday Sept 4, 2015 ~.

Target First Fridays at the Portland Childrens Museum; Portland; Enjoy the Museum for free, courtesy of our friend Target on the first Friday of every month from 4–8 p.m

Tillamook Forest Center – Tillamook; Every Friday 11:30am; FREE; Are you looking for something fun to do in the forest? Join the Tillamook Forest Center staff for a variety of fascinating, forest-related programs. From Dutch oven cooking presentations to wildflower walks we’ve got something for everyone. Berry Walk, Browsing Beavers and Beautiful Butterflies are just a few of the topics. Check website for fun details.

Lets Go Camping – Various state park locations, weekends through 9/13; $30 per family. Tent, sleeping bags and mattress pads provided if you need them. Lots of fun activities for everyone. A very secure event with ranger-led activities and experienced volunteers on hand to assist you 24/7.

Red Yarn at Warehouse Cafe – Portland; 10:00 am – 10:45 am; Weaving together energetic live music, puppetry and storytelling, Red Yarn teaches positive values while reviving American folklore for a younger generation. Join Red Yarn & his lovable critters every Friday morning at Warehouse Cafe. Audiences will sing, dance, act, and experience the joy of community during Red Yarn’s interactive shows. This show is hosted by Warehouse Cafe, a coffee shop, market and community space committed to healthy food at fair.

Music From Mr. Hoo from The Alphabeticians – Portland; 11 am – 12 pm; Mr. Hoo will be singing songs with and for kids. He’ll play his guitar and sing some original songs, some Alphabeticians songs, some classic kid songs and Hoo knows what else? $5 per family.

Storytime and Craft at The Craft Factory; Portland; 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm; Free; Crafts and storytime collide! Fun!

Saturday Sept 5, 2015 ~

Dahlia Festival; Canby; FREE; 8:00 am – 6:00 pm; Floral arranging, Joy Entertainers – Balloon Artist & Face Painting

Dig the Pumpkin Patch Harvest Festival; Portland; FREE; Produce Market, Animal Barn, Gift Shop and Patio Cafe will be open, and hayrides will haul U-pick pumpkin hunters out to the big pumpkin fields. There’s also a bumpy cow train ride and an amazing hay pyramid that kids are free to jump around on for as long as you’ll let them.

Art In The Pearl – Portland; 9/5-9/7; Times vary see website for schedule. Community festival that fills the Northwest Portland Park blocks with art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages.

Al’s Kids Club; Various Locations (check website); $5 to cover materials; 11:00 am; Fun, educational classes designed to nurture children’s awareness, confidence and connections to the natural world, and foster hands-on learning. This week: Green Adventures: Create a Dinosaur Highland or Fairy Garden.

Super Saturday Demo Day; Portland; 11:00 am – 5:30 pm; Free; Every Saturday down at Finnegan’s Toys and Gifts! We do crafts and demos from 11:00am – 5:30pm. Learn a new game, color a picture, play with some sidewalk chalk, design your own jewelry or paper airplane, the possibilities are endless!

Oregon Pacific Railroad Train Rides at Rail Heritage Center – Portland;  1:00pm – 5:00pm; The Oregon Pacific Railroad is offering round trip diesel locomotive powered passenger train rides to the public from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, located near OMSI. Passenger trains will operate on Saturdays and depart the Oregon Rail Heritage Center at 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm and 4:30 pm. Rides last approximately 45 minutes. Locomotive cab rides are available for an additional fee.  Cost:  $5

Sunday, Sept 6, 2015 ~

Traveling Lantern Theatre Company; 11:00 am; $5 for children 5 and over; Artists Rep is thrilled to offer performances for children in its Alder lobby. Traveling Lantern will present interactive theatre performances for children every Sunday morning at 11am. The performances will run approximately 45 minutes and include a Q&A with the cast afterward. Tickets are $5 for all who attend over 5 years old.

Pointed Man Band at Village Ballroom – Portland; 10:00am – 10:45am; Pointed Man Band has stories to tell of adventure, emotions and even fun facts about bugs through music made for all to enjoy.  Original tunes, tall tales and plenty of High-Fives! You’ll dance, laugh and sing along as we all grow and play together.  Suggested $5/family


Bank Of America Museums On Us Free Entrance – 9/5 and 9/6; Bank Of America card holders can get free entrance to Museums Nationwide. Check website for participating museums in your area.

Bass Pro ~ Hometown Festival!; September 5th and September 6th from 12 PM – 5 PM; Hometown free fun family event featuring  photo downloads, face painting, crafts, Funnel Cake (1pm-4pm) Hot Dogs (1-4pm) & Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler (2-5 pm) and more!

Michael’s Kids Club ~  Sept 5; 10 AM – 12:00; Kids can make and take Kids can make and take a Football Windsock. At just $2 per child, they get 30 minutes of creative craft fun, supplies included. Ages 3 and up. Sessions start every half hour from 10 AM – 11:30. See a store associate to sign up.

Home Depot Kids Workshop – Sept. 5; 9:00am to 12:00pm; Kids can participate in a workshop making a project monthly!  This month: Football Toss Game be sure and register.

Free Craft Activities at Lakeshore Learning Stores– Saturdays;  11am to 3pm; Kids can come to this free craft time each week for a new craft. This week: Desk Name plate Easel

Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes for Kids; Sept. 5, 10:00 am; make everything from chicken wings to French fries.

FREE National Parks Admission for 4th Graders; Starting in September 2015, every 4th grader will get an Every Kid in the Park pass food for FREE admission to all of America’s National Parks.

Discount Washington Huskies Football Tickets – $30 (Reg $55.50)

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Discount Washington Huskies Football Tickets for $30

Discount Washington Huskies Football Tickets – $30

We’ve found more discount football tickets – these discount tickets are for the University of Washington Huskies for the September 12th game at Husky Stadium against Sacramento State. Tickets are priced at $30 through Groupon & they are currently valued at $55.50, so this is a great savings!  These discount football tickets are not lasting long, so make sure to check them out soon if you’re interested!

And if you’re headed to the game, make sure to check out our Huskies Tailgate Guide with 25+ items tailgate items for Husky fans!

For those of you in Oregon, we also found discount Oregon Ducks Football tickets as low as $40, with several games to choose at a discount.


Discount Oregon Ducks Football Tickets – As low as $40/Seat

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Discount Oregon Ducks Football Tickets

Discount Oregon Ducks Football Tickets

If you are a fan of the University of Oregon Ducks, the football season is starting soon & we’ve found discount tickets for select football games thru These discount tickets are selling out fast, so check it out soon if you’re interested.  Don’t forget, there is also a service fee to add to the price, too, which will be listed with the ticket price.  Regular prices range from $46 – $92.50 while the discount prices range from $40 – $67.

All of the games are held in Eugene at Autzen Stadium.

Here are the dates that are still available::

Saturday September 19th – $40 / ea for Upper Reserved or Better

Saturday September 26th – $67

Saturday October 10th – $61

Saturday November 7th – $55

Make sure to check out more family-friendly Goldstar discount tickets for sporting events, concerts & shows happening in Portland and other locations around the Northwest.

Free Car Wash at Brown Bear Car Wash (Puget Sound) – Today (8/27)!

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 Free car wash

Today (8/27), get a FREE car wash at Brown Bear tunnel locations to celebrate their anniversary. Brown Bear will be offering a FREE Bear Essential car wash at all of their 21 automated “tunnel wash” locations in the Puget Sound area (so any location that is not “self service).


free car wash at brown bear

These free car wash deals can be popular. You might want to consider going early. We have heard great things about this event in the past though, and love that Brown Bear offers these as a way to give back every year!

Find a Brown Bear tunnel wash location near you.

Washington Huskies Football Tailgate Guide – 25+ Items for Game Day!

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Washington Huskies Football Tailgate Guide

Washington Huskies Football Tailgate Guide

The official football season kicks off for the University of Washington Huskies on Friday, September 4th against Boise State. It is time to start planning your tailgating festivities!  Here are some ideas we have put together for the ultimate Husky fan. There are definitely more frugal ways of putting together a Husky tailgate party, such as heading to the dollar store for purple party supplies (plates, cups, napkins, silverware, etc) and looking for non-logo colored accessories, but if you love to decorate in the Husky theme, we’ve found some of the best deals on Husky items for your parties.

We’ve put together a list of tailgating must-haves for any Huskies fan:

Quik Shade Instant Canopy in Purple


Quik Shade Expedition Instant Canopy – $98.99 + Free 2 day shipping with Prime


NCAA Washington Huskies Elite Chair, Adult, Purple – $40.90


NCAA Washington Huskies Quad Chair, Adult, Purple – $34.61 (Reg. $44.95)

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Seattle Center – Artists at Play Playground

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artists at play playground

Seattle Center Artists at Play Park

The Pacific Northwest is filled with many opportunities to get your kids out and active on a budget. At the top of that list are the many parks we have throughout the Northwest. These include National Parks, State Parks, Neighborhood Parks, Water Parks, Lakes, Skate Parks and more! Lets face it though, not all parks are created equal. Not every family is looking for the same thing in a park outing, and different parks appeal to different ages. Some are all day outings, and some are perfect for a short outing. This park, the Artists at Play Playground, is a great day adventure as there is more to do in the immediate area, in addition to the playground.

Be sure to check out our Staycation Seattle post for many more ideas on what to do in downtown Seattle too!

We also post a weekly Frugal Family Fun roundup, of each weeks best and most affordable entertainment and event options for families. Be sure to check that out for more ideas on what to do on a budget!

seattle center park

Seattle Center Artists at Play Playground / Park


My girls and I have been to this park twice now, and it is the kids favorite park! I have to say I was impressed with the park as well. It seems like so many parks being built these days are smaller then I recall as a kid, but this one has some serious climbing structures, as well as big slides and more! We spent 4 hours in this area having fun for a total of $25 ($6 for parking for 4 hours and lunch at Mod Pizza – you could do it for less if you packed your own lunch).

A couple of my girls favorite things about the park include: 

  • Great climbing structures
  • Big tall slides to play on
  • So much else to do in the area (including the Seattle Center Fountain for water play)!

Things To Know: (fees, parking availability, are there bathroom facilities, what to bring)

If you do not live near the Seattle Center area, your biggest cost getting to this park will be transportation. You can take public transportation, or drive in and pay for parking.  More information on how to get to the Seattle Center can be found here.

The Artists at Play playground is located between EMP and the Center House.

A couple of notes on parking in Seattle if you choose to drive in: 

  • Sundays are free parking days if you can find street parking (as well as holidays).
  • If you can find street parking, it generally ends up being the most affordable ($1.50 per hour). We arrived at 9:30 am and were able to easily get street parking nearby. By 11 am the spots where filling up, and much tougher to find.
  • You can find more parking information and rates here (Seattle Center is between Queen Anne Ave &  5th Ave. and Mercer Street Denny Way on this map (using the Denny Triangle)

Tips for visiting:

  • There are public restrooms in the Seattle Center House.
  • Bring a towel and clothes for water play if you plan to let your kids enjoy playing in the Fountain nearby.

seattle center toddler area

Recommended for ages:

We saw kids of all ages playing here. It is geared mostly towards elementary age kids though, but there are a few smaller areas that younger kids can play on too.

Recommended eating spots nearby:

The playground is next to the Seattle Center House, which is full of lots of different dining options. There is also a great coffee spot, The Grind, right across the street next to the Bill and Melinda Gates Visitors Center.

seattle center park


You can find directions to the Seattle Center here, and more details on where you will find the Artists at Play Park here.

park at Seattle center


Its days later, and my kids are still talking about how much fun they had on our day down at the Seattle Center. We initially planned to do the Space Needle as a splurge, but the kids were having so much with all the free stuff, we decided to save our money and do that another time. There were kids of all ages at the park, and everyone seemed to be having a blast.

There are different areas for the kids to play at this park. There is a climbing structure that is very high compared to most playgrounds. The kids loved this one, and it can get crowded, but its very exciting for them to be able to climb so high. There are two large metal slides that come down from the climbing structure. The slides are high, but not super fast.

seattle playground

In addition to the climbing structure, there is an in the ground merry go round (that you can turn like you do the tea cups at Disneyland so nobody has to push it). There are also a few swings and many musical type toys (chimes to play, microphones to talk through etc). There is also a large maze on the ground the kids can work their way through.

There is plenty of seating for parents around the park. There is also a shaved ice stand for treats while the kids play, right on site.

My kids have officially sanctioned this playground their favorite one, and they have been to quite a few. I think its really the height of the climbing structure that makes this park fun for kids that are getting a little older. I love it because there are so many other things to do in the area that I can turn it into a outing that they will remember, and not spend a fortune for all that fun!

Additional Tips: (are there BBQ pits onsite, rental facilities, etc.)

If your able to visit during a weekday, verses the weekends you can avoid the larger crowds.

Beyond the playground, there are some other great free activities in walking distance. Here are a few of my kids favorites:

seattle center fountain 2

We did not come prepared with swim clothes – but I just could not keep the kids out of the fountain. It was worth letting them soak their brand new school clothes for sure!

The Seattle Center Fountain (Free)

The kids had a BLAST playing at the center fountain on a hot day recently. They told me that is was their favorite water park (their words, not mine)!  There were lots of kids playing when we were there, and the water is treated so it should be safe to play in. I tried taking them to a different local water park a few days later, and all they could talk about was wanting to go back to play at this fountain.

Seattle Center fountain

They play music to the fountain, and put on water shows to the music from time to time too. The day we were there, when they let all the fountains flow a beautiful rainbow would pop up.  My kids could not get enough time in this water fountain, they just loved it.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Visitor Center (Free)

After lunch I took the kids over to the Bill and Melinda Gates Visitor Center. Its right across the street and admission is free for all. I had visited the center previously without the kids, but was not sure what they would think. They loved it. The visitors center is not huge (4 small rooms with exhibits to work your way through) but there are a number of things for the kids to do, especially in the last room. And they can learn about helping others, so its not only fun but also educational.

bill gates poster Bill gates poster 2

A couple of things the kids can do at the visitors center, is take a picture of themselves and it will display on a large movie screen in the room. My kids got a kick out of this. You can also send one to your email address or share on Facebook (thats one my kids took above).

They can also design posters about making a difference, and send to yourself. Those are the posters my kids designed above.

Bill gates Nissiah Bill gates adayah

And, there is a table with lots of different connect type of toys for the kids to play with. They can design their own inventions, name them and take a picture of them to save! Those are the two my kids did during our recent visit above.

Find out more about the Bill and Melinda Gates visitor center here, with hours ect.

There are a number of other paid attractions in this area that are very popular (like the Space Needle, and Pacific Science Center). Some more free things you can do, that we did not make it to include the Frye Museum and Skate Park. The Monorail is also very affordable if you want to take a trip down to the shopping district of Seattle. Find all of these ideas and more in our Seattle Staycation post here.

Point Defiance Zoo & Northwest Trek Giveaway – Four 4 Pack Passes for the Zoo & Four 4 Pack Passes for Northwest Trek!

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Point Defiance Zoo & Northwest Trek Giveaway

For those of you in the South Sound area or thinking of visiting the area to take advantage of the last few weeks of summertime, two of the most popular places to take your family and friends for a day trip are the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek.  Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is out in Eatonville, which is on the way to Mt Rainier National Park (Paradise side). The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is in Tacoma, down close to the waterfront & Puget Sound.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium:

Point Defiance Zoo Cubs

If you’ve never been to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA), they have a great variety of animals & sea life – everything from sharks & seahorses, polar bears & peacocks (you’ll see these guys walking all over the zoo), tortoises & tigers and much more! Your kids will love the adorable clouded leopard cubs and the live animal show at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater is one of my girls’ favorite things to do at the zoo. The aquarium also has a new Jellies exhibit to learn all about jellyfish.

Not only is the zoo & aquarium awesome to visit, but you can make a day out of your visit by heading into the Point Defiance park after you leave the zoo. They have walking trails,  Rose & Rhodedenron Gardens, a fun playground for kids, Owens Beach for beach time for the kids, a walk along the water watching the ferries & much more.

Northwest Trek:

Northwest Trek Baby Moose

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is definitely a place you must visit if you’ve never been & once you’ve visited, you will want to keep going back! It’s filled with over 400 acres of meadows and forests that you can explore with a Discovery Tram Tour to see native Northwest animals out in their natural habitat, but up close via the tram. Or they also offer a number of animals to visit with their Walking Tour.

Right now is baby season at Northwest Trek too, where you’ll see mamas & their babies such as a caribou calf, bison calves and even the  adorable new moose calf born July 17th on the park’s 40th birthday. She’s the first moose calf in 15 years at Northwest Trek, so this is definitely a time to go visit & see if you can spot the moose calf  & other animals babies on the tram tour.

NW Trek Get OUt of the Rut Event

Northwest Trek often has additional programs going on as well, so you might want to time your visit with one of the special programs going on. Over Labor Day weekend, September 5th – 7th, they will have their Get Out of the Rut event. This is a great opportunity to learn about the “rut” or breeding season for elk, deer, caribou, & bighorn sheep as well as take part in a number of activities.

Giveaway – 8 Sets of 4 Pack Tickets to the

Point Defiance Zoo & Northwest Trek

We have teamed up with the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek for a big giveaway that we think you all will love!!

Here’s what we are giving away::

  • 4 Pack of Tickets to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium  – 4 Winners
  • 4 Pack of Tickets to Northwest Trek – 4 Winners

There will be a total of 8 winners for this giveaway & you will either win a 4 pack of tickets to the PDZA or Northwest Trek!

This giveaway will end on Wednesday August 26th, at 9pm pst.

The winners will be drawn using “And the Winner Is” plugin and announced on the blog.  We will also email the winners. The winners will have 48 hours to contact me, otherwise a new winner will be drawn. US residents only & you must be 18 yrs or older to enter the giveaway. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way.

Here’s how to enter this giveaway::

1st Entry (required entry): Let us know what you love about the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek (if you’ve never been to either, let us know what you’re most looking forward to)

Extra Entries : (make sure these are all separate comments, with a comment for each entry)

2) Subscribe to the Thrifty NW Mom email (must be verified). Leave a comment to let us know you’re subscribed!

3) Leave a comment here saying you follow Northwest Trek and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Facebook. 

4) Follow us on Pinterest, and then leave a comment here saying you do so.

5) Follow both Jen & Sia on Instagram & leave a comment saying you do so.

6) Share this giveaway using one of the share buttons at the bottom of the post. Leave a comment to let us know how you shared – Facebook, Twitter,  email, word of mouth, in a Facebook group, Pinterest,  you name it!


Disclosure:  Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium & Northwest Trek are providing these tickets to Thrifty NW Mom winners. No compensation was given to us, we just know how much you all love these local attractions. A 4 pack of tickets to either Northwest Trek or PDZA will be given to  8 Thrifty NW Mom winners randomly chosen.  All opinions are 100% mine. See our disclosure policy  for more details

Free National Parks Day 2015 – Free Admission on August 25th for National Park Service Birthday

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Free National Parks Day 2014

The National Parks have announced the FREE National Parks Days for 2015! On these Fee Free Days, you can get admission to National Parks  and Forests or Wildlife Refuges across the US that usually charge fees to enjoy. There are many that are free as well, but there are 107 parks for you to enjoy on these fee-free days. Such a great way to explore new parks or old favorites with your family on a budget!

One fee-free day is coming up next week – next Tuesday August 25th. This is the National Park Service’s birthday, so they are celebrating by offering FREE entrance into the National Parks on this date. They have also published this fun resource on 99 ways to find your park, with lots of great ideas of things you can do at the park to inspire you!

I love these fee free days and we have some beautiful parks in the NW worth exploring. Pack a picnic to take on your trek and all you need is some gas to get there for a great money saving day out!

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Here are the Free National Parks days schedule for 2015-

  • August 25th – National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26th – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11th – Veterans Day

Looking for a suggestion on where to go? Read about my family trip to Mt. Rainier National Park (pictures included!).

Do you have a favorite National Park you would like to recommend to the rest of us?  Leave a comment below, or share on the Thrifty NW Mom Facebook page (you can even upload your favorite photo from your family’s trip there!).