Oly Third Thursday includes a Block Party

Downtown Olympia’s Third Thursdays are a community celebration of Olympia’s unique culture, art, food, music and shopping. The summer Third Thursdays — May through September — will also include block parties featuring live music and beverages from Northwest Beerwerks Beer Truck.

The June 20 block party, located in the US Bank parking lot on the corner of 4th and Washington, will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will open with music by Winehouse, followed by Broadway Olympia Productions and Tsunami Pinata.  A fun element of each Third Thursday is the Challenge Game! Stop by our info the corner of 4th & Washington and pick up a Challenge Game or pick up the Challenge Game at a Third Thursday business. Participants can visit each business to get another letter to solve the phrase of the month. Complete the phrase and enter to win a prize! We love to see so many groups of friends and families return month after month to participate in the Challenge Game. Challenge Game prizes in June are from Three Magnets Brewery, Hot Toddy & Compass Rose.

Summer Camps & Kid-Friendly Activities


Summer camp offers children an experience all their own without Mom or Dad supervising their every move or decision. Yes, camp counselors are keeping a close watch. But kids away from home become more resilient and learn how to do more things on their own. Summer camp helps kids have enriching experiences, be a part of a special community, form new relationships and grow. For parents, the best part is watching the kids become more confident because of activities they were doing at camp.

A summer full of memories, growth, experience, and friends—what could be better?

Camp Fire Orca campfireorca.org

Cascade Christian THRIVE cascadechristian.org/thrive

Coding with Kids codingwithkids.com

Harbor WildWatch harborwildwatch.org

PenMet Parks penmetparks.org

Pierce County Park Camps piercecountywa.org/1423/Camps

Salvation Army Camp Arnold tsacamparnold.org

YMCA Summer Day Camp symcapkc.org/camp/summer-2019

YMCA Camp Seymour Overnight campseymour.org


If summer camp isn’t your thing, or you prefer to spend time as a family, there are plenty of activities, programs and classes to keep you busy this summer. Choose from a wide range of recreational activities for all ages and abilities—early childhood, youth, adult or people with disabilities. Whether sports, fitness and wellness classes, or other activities, there is plenty of fun for everyone!

Auburn Kids SummerStage auburnwa.gov

Hands On Children’s Museum hocm.org/summersplashfestival

Kindermusik at Kiddos & Kin kiddosandkin.com

Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & Farm lattinscider.com

Museums & Nature Centers metroparkstacoma.org/attractions

Music Off Main rhubarbpiecapital.com/event/music-off-main-9

Open Arts Studio openartsstudio.com

Puget Sound Estuarium sseacenter.org

Star Center metroparkstacoma.org/star

Tiptoe Through the Tidepools tacomanaturecenter.org

Tunes @ Tapps ci.bonney-lake.wa.us.org


“Night Out” – Kristina Kuzmic

Everyone needs an evening of laughter and inspiration once in a while, especially parents. On Friday, July 26, the comedian Kristina Kuzmic will share her experiences as a mother and overall cheerleader for her family. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma.

Kuzmic has gained millions of followers on YouTube and Facebook through videos about raising children, being an immigrant and more. Her videos are hilarious and inspirational at the same time. They provide viewers with a sense that they’re not alone, while also letting them laugh.

Since her first video in 2011, Kuzmic has received critical acclaim for her videos on the Huffington Post, People magazine, Cosmopolitan, and the San Francisco Globe. Video topics include parents’ relationship with their children, breastfeeding in public and why she’s “totally cool” if her children are upset with her. In 2011 she was chosen from 15,000 applicants as the winner of “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” Kuzmic went on to have a reality show, The Ambush Cook, on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Now she’s ready to share her parenting advice and comedy with a live audience. Her Hope and Humor Tour is taking her throughout the U.S. The comedian considers this a “night out” show. According to her website, Kuzmic “might wear actual pants or she might be in week-old dirty pajamas, depending on the intensity of motherhood that week.”

A self-described “sanitation engineer, chef, chauffeur, and conflict resolution guru” for her three children, Kuzmic says she struggles with parenting just as much as anyone. With wit and charm, she works hard to help parents and others know they’re not alone.

Tickets for the Pantages event range from $29 to $39. A VIP package for $75 includes a meet-and-greet with Kuzmic before the show.


For Additional Information


McMenamins Elks Temple to Start Making Magic in Tacoma

Tacoma had been holding its collective breath in anticipation. The long-awaited McMenamins Elks Temple finally opened for business in April. It is the only McMenamins hotel property in the South Sound. Yes, it’s a 45-guest-room hotel, but so much more is at the heart of the enchanting experience you’re sure to have. The 700-personcapacity Spanish Ballroom is an epic live music venue. Among the five craft cocktail bars are a tiki bar with an “interactive waterfall fountain” and a hidden bar for adventure-seekers.

You can quench your thirst at a seven-barrel brewery with a 16-tap tasting room. McMenamins purchased the historic Elks building in 2007. But construction on the crumbling and waterlogged structure didn’t get into full swing until a decade later. (Tacoma has been holding its breath for a very long time.) An enormous amount of renovation and restoration has transformed the 1915 eye-catcher into an inspiring gathering spot for both locals and tourists.

Prepare to be wowed by the striking architecture of É. Frère Champney that landed the Elks Temple on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides the grand Spanish Ballroom, there’s a spectacular atrium and expansive views of Puget Sound’s Commencement Bay and Thea Foss Waterway. Outside, the adjacent Spanish Steps down the hillside were modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome.

McMenamins enlisted regional artists to bring the seven floors to life. They even preserved large graffiti that had accumulated during the temple’s previous decades-long vacancy. Glistening down from above throughout the temple is quite possibly the best collection of lighting fixtures and chandeliers on the West Coast. McMenamins spent more than five years gathering the collection from far-flung locales like Morocco and New York. There’s also a local beauty from the shuttered Orpheum Theater in Seattle.

So don’t forget to look up! Look for McMenamins’ magic in every corner. Follow the right footsteps or white rabbit and you may even find yourself in the secret bar.


For Additional Information


Summer “Wow” At Lakewood’s SummerFEST

Glowing hot air balloons. 30 food trucks. Beer garden. Live music. Classic cars. International Festival. Aerial motocross. Circus acts. Local vendors. Art. Pony rides. Triathalon. Pop-up skate park. Seahawks Beast Bus. There really is something to “wow” the whole family at Lakewood’s SummerFEST.

For 22 years, SummerFEST has entertained and engaged community in Lakewood. On Saturday, July 13, Ft. Steilacoom Park will transform into a free outdoor festival that dreams are made of. From 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., 45,000 people are expected to take part in the event.

Tunes will be playing in the park all day, featuring Pearl Jam and Journey tribute bands and the disco-rific Aphrodisiacs. See dances and special performances representing more than 14 different countries on the International Festival stage.

Grab your SummerFEST Passport, and all ages can try golf, tennis, soccer, football, yoga, fencing, kick-boxing, volleyball, disc golf, Tae Kwon Do, trapeze, and a collection of art projects.

“We want families to walk away inspired by having tried something new, and perhaps having found a sport they are passionate about,” says SummerFEST organizer Sally Gilpin Martinez with City of Lakewood Parks and Recreation. “Putting intention into SummerFEST is what differentiates it. People feel the difference. Our parks and recreation department is genuine about making an impact on the health of families in our community.”

Stroll through the Partners for Parks Classic Car Show, a hit with enthusiasts, collectors and the rest of us, and see who wins “Best Of” in 35 different categories. If you prefer fewer wheels, X Games bronze medalist Robert Haslam will perform freestyle motocross tricks throughout the day. If people-power is more your speed, pre-register for the SummerFEST Triathalon, which concludes at the celebration.

Enter the art contest sponsored by Lakewood Arts Commission with your best interpretation of the theme “The Greatest Showman,” which will play on the big outdoor screen at night. Youth ages 4-16 will be judged by age group and awarded prizes. Find entry forms on the SummerFEST website.  

For years to come, remember the colorful hot air balloons from Seattle Ballooning lit up against the night sky in a dazzling display, choreographed to music– the perfect close to a not-to-be-missed (and remember, it’s free!) festival.


For more information, call (253) 983-7758 or visit the SummerFEST website here.

Community Center Brings Tacoma’s Eastside Together

Metro Parks Tacoma. Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at the Eastside Community Center.. Photos by Russ Carmack

A new addition to Tacoma’s Eastside neighborhood has been stirring up a lot of excitement. On Oct. 20, Metro Parks Tacoma welcomed the community to the newly constructed Eastside Community Center. Within the first month, more than 2,200 people became pass holders to access the 55,000-square-foot facility. The center includes a multiuse gymnasium, sound recording studio, social hall, culinary kitchen, weight room and cardio-fitness areas, and a large pool with a party room, lap lanes, diving board and hot tub/spa.

While the center’s amenities definitely warrant high marks, what’s more impressive is how this building is bringing a community together. During the design process, youth from the area participated in workshops, site visits and guided design brainstorming with industry professionals to provide input for the culinary kitchen and sound recording studio. With the building now complete, these youth can be proud of their influence, which led to the trendy wall color and comfy hangout couches in the sound recording studio.

Large hearts on the floor of the kitchen serve as a reminder that the kitchen is the heart of a home.

Matthew Etienne, one of the students who contributed to the process, could hardly contain his enthusiasm when he toured the building shortly before it opened. “It means so much—it’s such a big deal—it’s for everybody,” he said. “It really touches my heart to see that somebody actually cares about the Eastside, and about the kids.”

Partnerships with nonprofit groups are also helping to strengthen community bonds. Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound has been able to double the number of students it serves on the Eastside. Catholic Community Services uses the culinary kitchen to prepare and serve a nutritious and delicious lunch two days a week for seniors. Several other groups use the meeting spaces throughout the week to teach skills or provide services.

“We hope to become the hub of the Eastside,” said Ben Foster, the center’s supervisor. “This can be where everyone comes for business meetings, community events, health and fitness, or just to play. We want everyone to utilize it and feel welcome.”


For Additional Information

Eastside Community Center
1721 East 56th St, Tacoma

A Day of Pampering at Point Ruston

Situated on the picturesque Commencement Bay waterfront, Point Ruston is the perfect place for a day of pampering for your mom, your girlfriends or just yourself. Whether you have a special day to celebrate or just need a day to kick back and relax, you’ll find everything you could need nestled together in this growing resort-like destination.

Start your day by enjoying a mimosa and the stunning view at Wild-Fin American Grill. This Northwest original boasts a locally sourced menu and offers a terrific weekend brunch. After fueling up, get ready to explore some of the unique specialty shops. Blush, Purpose Boutique, and Rebels & Lovers are all stocked with this spring’s hottest fashion trends.

If you need to freshen up your home décor, don’t miss TREE. From modern and contemporary furniture, to rustic and vintage pieces sourced from around the world, there’s always something uniquely beautiful to see at TREE.

Get your afternoon coffee at Anthem or the Jewel Box, two adorable cafes with plenty of delicious treats. Enjoy a stroll along the walking path that connects Point Ruston to the waterfront parks all the way to Tacoma’s Old Town. Or stay put and take in a movie at Point Ruston’s Galaxy theaters.

Make sure to leave time to stop in for spa treatments at Pink Polish and The Intaglio Salon, where you can enjoy an exceptional manicure, pedicure or salon experience that will have you relaxed and looking fantastic.

Finally, take a quick peek at the farmers market stalls and pick up some tasty seasonal treats and a beautiful bouquet to grace your home and remind you of your delightful day at Point Ruston.


For Additional Information


Savings Made Simple: WA College Savings

In today’s world, where the price of a bachelor’s degree can rival that of a single-family home, having a 529 college savings plan can offer young parents peace of mind. It’s easy to enroll, either on your own or through a financial adviser, and once you’re signed up you can set up automatic contributions to fund the account. Your investment grows tax-free and won’t be taxed when you withdraw, as long as the money is used to pay for qualified education expenses.

Beyond the double benefit of tax-deferred investment growth combined with tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses, there are a number of advantages to saving in a 529 account. A brand-new benefit as of January 1, 2018, is you can use 529s to save for private school tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade. This provides tax savings for parents who plan to send their kids to private school.

You can withdraw up to $10,000 per year, per student for this purpose. Additionally, you can set up an unlimited number of plans, and there are no rules on who the beneficiary can be. This means you can create an account for a relative, friend, or yourself. The gift of education is one that will open doors to a world of opportunity and is sure to last a lifetime.

For many new parents, receiving a college fund as a baby gift packs a stronger punch than a new toy or baby bib. “Giving the gift of higher education is really amazing,” says Lucas Minor, Interim WA529 Director. “An entire family can participate. When someone is saving for your child’s future and cares about your child’s success, it reduces barriers and encourages kids to grow up with the incentive and expectation to attend college.” When opened for a newborn baby, the account has 18 years to grow, with interest compounding on interest, making it an especially savvy present for money-minded gift-givers.


Compare Washington 529 Plans

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans. Explore both options to find the right plan for you.

wastate529.wa.gov | 800.955.2318

GET 529 Prepaid Tuition Program

The GET prepaid tuition plan lets a saver or account holder purchase units or credits at participating colleges and universities (usually public and in-state) for future tuition and mandatory fees at current prices for the beneficiary. Enrollment through May 31, 2019.

get.wa.gov | 800.955.2318

DreamAhead 529 College Investment Plan

The DreamAhead education savings plan lets a saver open an investment account to save for the beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expenses—tuition, mandatory fees and room and board. Withdrawals from education savings plan accounts can generally be used at any college or university, including some non-U.S. colleges and universities.

dreamahead.wa.gov | 844.529.5845

Tacoma Art Museum’s New Wing is in Full Bloom this Spring

If you listen carefully you can almost hear the flowers opening on the life-size glass trees by Debora Moore that recently debuted at the Tacoma Art Museum. Commissioned last January for the opening of the new Benaroya Wing, these majestic art pieces are a fitting representation of the museum’s new and bold expansion embracing the medium of glass.

David Setford, TAM’s executive director, sees the new wing as a natural expression of the museum’s mission focusing on the art and artists of the Northwest. He notes that the museum has a longtime interest in glass. This is evidenced by the museum’s earliest glass exhibition in 1971, precisely when the glass scene was really getting hot.

Seattle glass aficionados Jack and Rebecca Benaroya selected the Tacoma museum to receive their collection of over 300 objects. The collection represents the finest achievements by important artists whose work tells the story of Northwest art and identity. The artwork joins the museum’s already robust glass collection. The Benaroya Collection will allow for a deeper reflection on the history and impact of glass in the region and beyond.

In addition, the collection places Tacoma Art Museum into an elite realm of museums with exceptional collections of studio glass. Tacoma, of course, has a longtime connection to the medium and a reputation as the epicenter for modern glass. The city is the birthplace of internationally revered artist Dale Chihuly, as well as the nationally acclaimed Hilltop Artists program. The Museum of Glass and numerous working hot shops also dot the city. Whether you are entranced by Moore’s glittering trees or inspired by classic Chihuly forms, TAM’s new wing will add another jewel to our region. It is sure to attract attention from across the country and around the world.


For Additional Information


Ladies’ Night Out – Providence Christmas Forest

The Christmas in the Forest Gala Dinner and Auction drew 300 attendees. Guests enjoyed the auctioneer John Curley, who is the co-host of the Tom and Curley Show on KIRO radio and former host of KING 5’s Evening Magazine.

More than $280,000 was raised during the Funda-Need portion of the gala, benefiting Providence hospice services. The entire Christmas in the Forest event ran for several days and raised just over $600,000 in total.