The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is an educational space where children can play, explore, discover and learn. The Museum’s philosophy is that play is the right of every child and features five creative playscapes designed to spark imagination, encourage curiosity, engage the intellect, and celebrate the power of play. Created to cater for children of all ages, playscapes include Woods, Water, Voyager, Invention, and Becka’s Studio and focus on the fields of cognitive and critical thinking skills, creativity, social and emotional skills, fine and gross motor development, and early literacy learning. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma also offers a variety of daily and weekly activities ranging from STEAM workshops and Story Times to Exceptional Families Parent Workshops, Museum Fun Days. There are also several educational programs available to adults, families, and educators, including Preschool Powered by Play, The Muse Childcare Center, Play to Learn Outreach Program, the Gingerbread Jamboree, Summer and Winter Camps, and the Right to Play Gala.
The Children's Museum of Tacoma was established in 1985 to provide a space where children could learn, explore, and discover life skills through play. Built in downtown Tacoma by a group of educators, community leaders, and parents, the Museum has been serving families in the area for over 20 years with a variety of rotating multiple-theme exhibits, hands-on displays, fun activities and educational programs for children of all ages.
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma features five playscapes, namely Woods, Water, Voyager, Invention, and Becka’s Studio designed to engage children up to the age of eight years.
Woods reflects an outdoor space that evokes physical play, exploration, risk, and assessment in a comfortable, and cozy environment with elevated platforms and open spaces. Children can play with light in a dark area, build forts, shuttle supplies via pulleys, or settle into cozy nooks to read and discover. A particular toddlers area encourages early sensory exploration and gross motor play.
Water allows children to explore this liquid element with a sculptured rock waterfall, flowing offshoots, levers, cranks and floating objects to experiment with. Volumes of water can be changed, patterns of falling watched observed, floating objects navigated down streams and the flow of water changed, as well as playing with various states of liquid.
Created and built from fantastical childhood memories, Voyager beckons children to climb aboard and let their imaginations run wild. Kids can load cargo, pilot the vessel, jump into the head, and tinker with various wheels, gauges, and communication devices as they create endless pretend play scenarios. This playscape also features a tower that children can climb to communicate with the vessel, dig a sensory pit in its base.
Becka's Studio focuses on creative art making and expressions and experimental tinkering through artistic and scientific activities with unusual materials.Becka's Studio is a space in which budding artists can express their creativity in their unique ways, from independently focused artwork to messy projects.
Educational Programs / Activities
The Museum offers Tuesday Play Days exclusively for families with children who have special needs every Tuesday morning from 10:00 - 11:30 am. Daily and weekly activities at the Museum include STEAM activities where children of all ages and abilities can explore the fields of art, engineering, mathematics, science and technology through guided activities, Story Time between 1:00 and 2:00 pm every day, and a variety of art activities between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. Other activities at the Museum include Parent’s Night Out, Museum Fun Days, Exceptional Families Parent Workshops, Foster Family Caregiving Training, PBS Playdate, Sotabots Robotics, Wee Ones Weekly, and Art Sparks.
The Museum also offers several educational programs, including Preschool Powered by Play, The Muse Childcare Center, Play to Learn Outreach Program, the Gingerbread Jamboree, Summer and Winter Camps, the Right to Play Gala, and a variety of members-only programs.
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is located at 1501 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma and is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission to the Museum is on a ‘Pay As You Will’ basis and donations are welcomed.
1501 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402, Phone: 253-627-6031