Frugal & Free Activities For Kids / Families in the Northwest

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Find a list of free & frugal family events around the Northwest in Seattle & Oregon - updated with new events weekly!We’ve got kind of a slowed down event listing this weekend, but still, some fun things to do and check out. Lots of free admissions to some museum to name something. We hope you have a great weekend!

Make sure to check out these fun ideas around the Northwest:

And if you find 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 for Seattle Area

Head to Goldstar and select Family events to easily find these. Some of the tickets sell out fast, so it’s a good idea to buy ahead if you see an event your family would want to attend!

Cheap Event Tickets for Portland Area

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

Free Things To Do in Seattle Area

Free Museum Days

First Thursday Free Museum Days

First Friday Free Museum Days

Free Museum Passes Through King County Libraries

The Center for Wooden Boats – Free Boat Rides

The Center for Wooden Boats is a resource for all who love sailing or wooden boats, and it has things to do for free. Admission is free and allows you the chance to get up close to the collection of non-motorized boats. Free sails take place every Sunday on Lake Union. Sign up is only in person the day of the sail so get there early.

Free Entrance Days for Tacoma Residence to Point Defiance Zoo

Point Definance Zoo – Free To Residence Of Tacoma- Tacoma; Free entrance all day to residence of The City Of Tacoma. Requires proof of residency (picture ID and utility bill).

Water Weekends at the Marine Science & Technology Center (MaST) –

Saturdays 10am – 2pm; kids can explore sea life with touch tanks & more.

Fun & Free Factory Tours

Low Cost Things To Do in Seattle / Tacoma Area

Teen Tix – $5 Event Tickets

Free Things to Do in the Portland Area

Low Cost things to do in the Portland Area

National Events:

Barnes & Noble Saturday Storytime – Enter your zip code to see special storytime events at your local Barnes & Noble store.

Michaels’ Kids Club – every Saturday from 10am-noon; $2 for children ages 3 and up with all supplies included. There are also special projects for spring break. Check your local Michael’s store to see if they are participating in this weeks’ project.

Lakeshore Learning Stores– every Saturday from 11am-3pm there are fun free crafts at Lakeshore Learning Stores for ages 3 and up. Check with your local store to see if they are participating.


  1. Thank u, thank u, thank u for going back to original format- took no time at all to check and plan. I am one of your biggest advertisersn- I tell all the school moms about your site – love it.

  2. Hi, Thrifty NW Mom! Thanks for featuring our Thundereggstravaganza event. I’d like to share a couple of small corrections: our event runs from 10 AM through 5 PM, not 11 to 1. (We are having talks at 11 and 1). Also, please note that children 4 and under are free!

  3. I agree with Lori! I haven’t been to your site in a while because I found the other style to difficult to use. I just came back and am thankful you changed back. So much more user friendly. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Sarah! We’re sorry it was a frustrating experience, please always tell us if you’re having any frustrations and we will work on solutions. We definitely want this as user-friendly as possible!

  4. Tacoma Concert Band: Clarinets and Brass at the Museum of Glass
    2pm Saturday Aug 6th FREE, just outside the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

    Here’s the info from their e-mail
    Tacoma Concert Band presents…
    Clarinets and Brass
    at the Museum of Glass!
    Free and fun for the whole family!
    TCB band members are performing a free summer concert featuring a clarinet choir (12 clarinets) and a brass quintet, on the terrace of the Museum of Glass.

    Join us on Saturday afternoon, August 6th, at 2:00 p.m.
    for a delightful hour of music, played by members of the Northwest’s premier symphonic band.

    You’ll also have a chance to learn about the TCB’s upcoming season, which will feature, among others, world-class guest soloists on clarinet (Robert Spring) and brass (trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti and saxophone soloist Erik Steighner).

    Bring the whole family. The weather should be great, the setting beautiful, and the music sublime.

    See you there!

  5. Hello! We appreciate the shout-out but did want to mention that our name was changed last October to Living Computers: Museum + Labs.

  6. You can meet Catboy from PJ Masks today from 12-4 at Learning Express Toys in The Landing in Renton. My sons are excited to meet him! :)

  7. The Festival of Trees has ended. We tried to go last weekend and there were no trees. Apparently they had already been auctioned off.

  8. Hi there! There is a free production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
    The show will be provided free and open to all ages!

    Charles Schulz’s classic musical “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” comes to Newcastle this February presented by the Newcastle Players in partnership with Newport Creative Arts. The show, produced by Tony Ventrella Productions and King County’s 4Culture, is the first of the inaugural season for the theater group.

    Starring Adam Minton as Charlie Brown, Jenn Ollivier as Lucy, Jelani Kee as Snoopy, Sarah Fairchild as Sally, Jake Atwood as Linus, and Manny Golez as Schroeder, the charming and uplifting story based on Schulz’s comic strip “Peanuts” with music and lyrics by Clark Gesner will run six shows including two matinees over the course of two weekends in February at the Newport Covenant Church in Bellevue. Choreographed by Tony Pallozzi with Musical Director Benjamin Bentler and Directed by Mary Rudd.

    1. Hi Natalie – The list is updated every Thursday. This list is the one that includes all the events we highlighted through the 28th (many of the weekday events are library events, or community parks ones, so you should be able to find those in your local library or parks departments listings. Thanks!

  9. Dacha Theatre is touging an original, musical fairytale show for all ages, called “The Bee-Man of Orn” through Ballard and Phinney Ridge. There are sliding scale ($20/$10) and Pay-What-You-Can tickets available for every performance!

    Saturday 12/1 — Ballard Underground — 5:30PM
    Saturday 12/8 — Phinney Neighborhood Association — 5:00PM
    Friday 12/14 — Phinney Neighborhood Association — 6:30PM
    Friday 12/21 — Ballard Underground — 6:30PM

    More info on the ticket website:

    Thank you!

  10. Hello, thrifty moms! Here is a free live music event.

    DATE Saturday, February 23, 2019
    TIME 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm PST
    WHERE Third Place Books – Lake Forest Park
    17171 Bothell Way NE
    AGE RECOMMENDATION Toddler, Preschool, Elementary School, 30 somethings
    Catchy, colorful, kindie pop-rock for the full fun-loving family. Acoustic Show!


    See you there ;)

  11. I love in Tacoma, WA but noticed not one single event listed for my area. Is thus a standard for Thrifty NW MOM? Your answer is appreciated.

    1. Hi Jami – we definitely include events in the Tacoma area when we find them, my kids and I love heading there for family fun (we usually highlight the larger events, so not library days etc), but we are not aware of too many events there this weekend. If we missed something we can definitely add it. You might want to also check out Sounds Fun Mom ( if you do not already follow her She shares about South Sound events and happenings, so should have lots of great info for where you live. Thanks so much! Sia

  12. Hi team: Here’s a fun free event coming up soon.

    Goldfish Swim School of Shoreline Grand Opening Party
    Saturday, Nov. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m.

    Goldfish Swim School of Shoreline
    15901 Westminster Way North
    Shoreline, WA 98133


    Goldfish Swim School, the leading premier learn-to-swim franchise, will host its grand opening event: a fun-filled party the whole family will enjoy. The swim school will open its doors for a free family swim with music, face-painting, balloons, a selfie station and more. Attendees are encouraged to test the waters—literally—and get to know the school’s certified instructors and lifeguards who help teach children a life-saving skill in a fun and positive environment. Goldfish Swim School will provide light snacks and drinks.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Christine! Feel free to email us if you ever have any free or frugal events – thriftynorthwestmom (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. Hello! Here is a great family fun event in Oregon City.
    Clackamas Rep’s
    Wing It, An Interactive Show for Kids
    December 7 and 14 at 10:30am
    Osterman Theatre
    19600 Molalla Ave Oregon City OR 97045
    Tickets are $5 cash or check at the door

    Wing It is an interactive show that teaches kids about theatre with song, dance and lots of audience participation.

  14. Hello There!
    I would like to add my event to your website. It’s FREE, Family Friendly and in Thurston County. We’ve done this event for 15 years and it’s highly organized and quite popular. Parents bring their children to peruse a huge children’s book section. They can have cocoa and brownies and read their books at our cafe where there is live music. People spend hours here. Details are below. Please contact me if you’d like more information of if you need an image. Thanks!

    Books, Brownies & Beans
    Books, Brownies and Beans is a book lovers paradise. It is one of the largest one-day used book sales in the South Sound. Thousands of used books will be for sale — Pulitzer Prize winners to children’s books, DVDs, games. Enjoy all kinds of brownies, live music, coffee and an enormous selection of used books. Bring the whole family. Prices are deeply discounted starting at around $1. This is a FREE event. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own tote bags. To benefit the Olympia area homeless.

    Date: Saturday, February 22, 2020
    Time: 9am to 4pm
    Place: Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
    2315 Division St. NW, Olympia, WA, 98502 • 360-786-6383

    More Information:

    Questions: Darlene Sarkela
    [email protected]
    360-786-6383 Ext. 100

  15. Hi, your section on “Free Entrance Days for Tacoma Residence to Point Defiance Zoo” it’s “residents” not residence…. just thought I would point that out… And do you guys ever do anything for the Olympia/Thurston county area??

    1. Thanks for letting us know, it is an old article we need to get updated, so we will be sure to get that fixed. We have a handful of articles on visiting Great Wolf Lodge. We have also shared some on Tenino, and Rainier and then various other spots on our social pages too. Are you interested in something specific? Thanks!

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