Living in the Northwest we have plenty of rainy days. When we have a Winter and Spring like we have this year (with an exceptionally high number of rainy days), the kids start to get a bit stir crazy. We have put together some of our favorite ways to get the kids out of the house and burn off some of that energy on a rainy day. You may also want to check your local community centers. Many of them offer indoor gym days, swimming fun, and even rock climbing walls!
We have put together a list of nine great ways to get the kids out of the house, that won’t break the bank with a little planning. Some are even free! Let us know if you have a favorite spot you love, that we have not included.
There are the standard go to options:
Movies (find $1 Summer Movies here)
Roller Skating (Sign up for free roller skating for kids here)
Ice Skating (Groupon often has deals on local Ice Rinks)
Bowling (Sign up for Kids Bowl FREE here)
Trampoline or Bouncy House fun (find out how to play on the Trampolines for FREE here)!
Here are some of our favorite indoor places to entertain the kids, that won’t break the budget:
If you want to get the kids out and enjoy something a little different than what I call the “go to” options we listed above. here are a few places my family has really enjoyed over the years.
Discovery Playtown – Indoor Play Ground, Lots of pretend fun for the kids – Maple Valley Wa.
Cost – $11.95 for the first child, $8.50 for second+, but it includes in and out privileges all day. Tip to save: get some friends together to go at the same time. Groups of 5+ kids get in for $8 ea, and then there are more friends to play with!
There are many pretend play areas for the kids to let their imaginations get to work. There is a veterinary clinic, beauty shop, store and more!
There is a tree house play structure, play outdoor fire pit and much more. My kids enjoyed the play area most up until around the age 8. There is internet access available for moms, and some table seating (it can fill up fast though).
Looking for a place to eat lunch with the kids. MOD pizza is very close, and you can get individual mini pizzas (made to order) for about $5 per pizza!
Debbie DoLittles (formally Jozee Rooz) Indoor Petting Zoo – Tacoma Wa
We visited when this was Jozee Rooz Indoor Petting Zoo. It is now Debbie DoLittles, and looks like it is even bigger and better! They now offer pony rides, donkey rides, parties, and much more!
One of my girls having a stare down with one of the animals!
Cost – $9 per person, 2 and under free. Rides on ponies or donkeys are an extra fee (but check Groupon first, we got a deal on there)!
My crew feeding the animals! Warning, the animals will charge you and even climb on your when you have the food. 2 of the kiddos loved this, one not so much, so just be aware of that fact.
There are different areas the kids can go in and hold some of the animals too. One of my girls spent lots of time cuddling with the rabbits. There was also a fox the kids were able to hold (and they loved that), plus snakes (eek!).
Indoor Bug Zoo – Bremerton Wa.
Cost – Free for all. It is a shop, too, so there are items you can purchase.
This small bug museum in Bremerton is one of our favorites. They have a scavenger hunt the kids can pick up at the entrance and find their way through the small bug zoo with that. This is fun for the younger kids.
They also have a reptile room in the back, and each time we have been in they have brought a snake out for the kids to hold. Creeps me out, but my kids young and old have all loved this!
You can also stop over at the USS Turner Joy Naval Museum with is nearby too, if you want to make a day out of the visit!
Tinkertopia – Indoor Creation Station Fun!
Cost – $7 per child for 1.5 hours of creation fun
Tinkertopia is lots of fun if your kids like to create. The shop is full of tons of reuse items, tools, and supplies. The kids go in and get 1.5 hours to just create whatever their young minds can come up with. There are other store fronts and museums near too, so you could make a full afternoon of the visit.
Everyone that I took had a great time (from 8 to 17 years old)! They all made different things, but each one was great. One of them made a cup and ball game, the other a giant pencil, and the oldest made a beautiful Mothers Day gift (she plans to put her baby brother’s footprint in the bottom frame). I loved how each of their creations was so different from the other. I thought this place was a great bargain, as it would have cost more then $7 per kid to have the craft supplies for such diverse projects on hand!
Plus, if you go on a Thursday, the Harmon Brewery right down the street has a kids eat free day!
There is also a similar place in the Greenwood area of Seattle called Seattle ReCreative. We have not personally been there, but it looks like a great alternative if you live on the North end!
5) Karaoke Fun – Rent a room to sing away – Round 1 in Tukwila, Wa.
Cost – As low as $7 per hour for 4 pp. You rent the room based on the time and number of people you have with you, but it can be an affordable way for the kids to have some singing fun. You can even order from the cafe, and have the food brought into the room.
It is attached to the Southcenter Mall. Round 1 itself also has bowling, games and more, but you could head into the mall for the play structure, library and more too. If you head out here, you might want to check out our review of fun in this area, as there is also a fun Virtual Sports spot, iFly and more nearby.
Family Fun Center – Tukwila or Edmonds Wa.
Cost – The Family Fun Center is a little more then some of these other options, but if you plan ahead and grab a Groupon it can make it more affordable. The deals on Groupon come and go, but grab them when they do and its a great way to save for a spot the kids really love.
Another way to save is to just do the indoor play area. They do have an indoor Kidopolis playground that is only $6 per kid too (you can even get a $1 off coupon right now), if you want to just do that. Those are pictures of the slides from the climbing structure. The kids can play for hours on that alone.
Here is the Frog jumper. There are also video games, bowling, 3-d movie rides, bumper cars, laser tag, putt putt and more for the kids to enjoy. More ideas near here can be found in this article too!
The Outlet Collection Mall in Auburn
The mall is not the first place you might think of for outdoor fun, but it’s one my kids love. At the Outlet Mall in Auburn (formally SuperMall), there is a play structure for little kids, but they also have mechanical animals you can rent to ride around the mall (and you can put two kids on one)!
Plus, there are the hamster balls (which my kids absolutely love). You will also find an indoor carousel (it was $2 per person last time we visited), play area for younger kids, and a discount books store to spend some time in to make an entire afternoon of fun for the family.
You can also sign up for their kids club here, and kids will get a free drawstring backpack, as well as access to free events throughout the year.
Photo Credit: Playdate Seattle
Cost – FREE on Wed. after 5pm! Otherwise its $12 per child ($8 for toddlers) and parents are free.
Playdate Seattle is an 8000 square foot indoor playground + cafe for lots of kid fun, and a spot for parents to relax. There are free puppet shows Friday evenings at 6:30 pm too.
Kids Science Labs – Greenlake area of North Seattle
Cost – FREE Trial Class (so free for your first visit)!
They offer science classes that make learning fun for kids! all classes are 75 minute, drop-off classes as long as the child is potty trained.
A few extra ideas for indoor fun if you have older kids include:
Indoor Go Karts
These are not cheap, but you can often find them on Groupon to save. We recently visited GrandPrix Raceway in Tacoma, and it was $20 for 20 laps (one heat). You can get it for less then that on Groupon right now. You have to be 5 feet to ride their karts (and you will want to call ahead to make sure they are not closed for a private party before traveling out there).
My kids love Virtual Sports, and they often have discount packages available on Get My Perks, or Groupon. There is VR fun, Laser Tag and great pizza. Plus, there are right down the street from SkyKarts, if you wanted to add in Go Kart fun too!
Sounds Fun Mom has a round up of indoor playgrounds in the South Sound area too, if you’re looking for more ideas.
More affordable fun things to explore in the Northwest for families:
- Woodland Park Zoo Rainy Day 50% off Discounts (and they have a fun indoor park in the zoo called the Zoomazium)
- Rainy Day Activity for Kids – Scavenger Hunt!
- Staycation Seattle – Things To Do In Seattle (& Greater Seattle)!
- Staycation Bellevue – Things to do on the Eastside
- Frugal & Free Activities For Kids – Weekly Round Up
- Free National Parks Day 2018 – Find all the Free National Parks Days for the Year
- Free Camping – Washington and Oregon Sites You Can Stay at for FREE!