While the number of days before school starts again dwindle, parks and recreation agencies around the South Sound are offering all types of programs and events to allow families, or grownups, to have just a little bit more fun.
Maybe you don’t have the time for a multi-day getaway. That’s OK. These agencies have day and night programs, and a couple of overnight campouts. It’s a chance to get out and have some fun with the family, while leaving the details – and sometimes even the driving – to someone else.
Here is a look at some of the events still on the summer calendar:
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Go climbing: The Federal Way Community Center has a 27-foot pinnacle for those wanting to give rock climbing a try. There is opening climbing, or classes for children. The pinnacle is available for opening climbing 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 2-5 p.m. Saturdays. There is a $3 fee for equipment rental for all people not members at the center. You can use your own equipment, as long as it meets safety requirements. A completed parent permission form is required for all climbers under 18 years of age. For more information, call 253-835-6900.
Explore Crystal Mountain: Lacey Parks and Recreation is offering a trip Saturday to Crystal Mountain. Participants on this family trip will ride up the mountain on the Mount Rainier gondola, traveling almost 2,500 feet in less than 10 minutes. There will be time to take in the views, as well as get a drink or snack at the Summit House. The group will then take a 6-mile hike down the Crystal Mountain Trail, rated as moderate, walking through meadows, and past alpine lakes and an old mining camp. Participants should bring a lunch to eat along the trail. This trip is for people ages 10 and older. The excursion, running from 8 a.m-5 p.m., leaving from Lacey City Hall. The cost is $49 per person. To register, contact 360-491-0857 or www.ci.lacey.wa.us.
Teen tubing trip: This adventure, for youth ages 12-17, will take them on a tubing trip down the Wenatchee River from Leavenworth. Participants will be able to beat the late summer heat during an afternoon float down the river. The trip will be led by staff from Leavenworth Outdoor Center. The tubes come with handles and cup holders, as well as a fitted life jacket. The cost of $39 includes transportation and single tube rental. Participants should bring a picnic lunch to eat along the riverside. After the float trip, the group will have time to explore Leavenworth’s shops and attractions. The trip will be from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 27, leaving from Lacey City Hall. You can register at 360-491-0857 or www.ci.lacey.wa.us.
Walking On!: This is a seniors program meant to get people out exercising. Participants warm inside the Lakewood Senior Activity Center and then will walk around Seeley Lake if the weather allows. Takes place 10:45-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sept. 11. The cost is $25 for residents and $28 for non-residents. Sign up at the department’s website.
Metro Parks Tacoma
Campout in the parks: Families can spend a night camping in a local park. On Aug. 23, the event will take place at Browns Point Lighthouse Park and at Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park on Aug. 30. You provide the camping supplies, and Metro Parks provides the food, games and entertainment. The campouts start at 7 p.m. and end at 8:30 a.m. the next day. The cost is $50 for a four-person tent space, $75 for a six-person space or $100 for an eight-person space. Register at metroparkstacoma.org.
Adult kayak trip: Kayakers ages 18 and older can join this trip to Ketron Island. Participants will paddle from Steilacoom to the small island on Aug. 17 from noon-3 p.m. The cost is $60 for district residents and $65 for non-residents. You can register at metroparkstacoma.org.
Family nature walks: Naturalists from the Tacoma Nature Center lead this short and easy walks through a local park. Participants will learn about the plants and animals that live in each park. The schedule is Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at Wapato Hills Park, 231 S. Wapato St.; Aug. 23 from 10-11 a.m. at Titlow Park, 8425 Sixth Ave.; and Aug. 30 from 1-2 p.m. at McKinley Park, 907 Upper Park St., all in Tacoma. The walks are free, but you must register at metroparkstacoma.org or call the center at 253-591-6439.
Nisqually Delta kayak trip: Explore the delta where the Nisqually River meets Puget Sound, with the chance to see all types of wildlife. This is a tour for beginner paddlers, taking place in calm, protected and generally shallow waters. For ages 12 and older. The cost is $69 and includes all the necessary equipment. The trip will department from the department’s boat house at the north end of Swantown Marina, 1210 Marine Dr. NE. To sign up, go to the department’s website.
Beginning kayak tour: This adult beginner kayaking tour will be from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 19. Students will learn the basic kayaking strokes, how to enter and exit a kayak from a dock and the maneuvers needed to maintain boat control in the water. The instruction takes place on the water, and all the paddling will take place within Gig Harbor. Participants should meet at Gig Harbor Rent A Boat, 8829 N. Harborview Dr.,and wear proper clothing and sun protection. They also need to bring completed registration and release forms, available online. The cost is $60. Register and learn more at penmetparks.org.
Raft a river: This trip down the White Salmon River offers plenty of whitewater excitement, fueled by melting glaciers. This trip Saturday runs rafters through “Top Drop,” a Class III+ rapid. You also will have the option to go over 10-foot “Husum Falls” near the end of the trip. This trip is for people 10 and older. The cost is $69 per person. The trip is being done in conjunction with Wildwater River Guides. To register, or for more information, contact 253-841-8515 or going to the county department’s website.
Bradley Lake campout: The Puyallup Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a community campout at Bradley Lake Saturday and Aug. 17. Participants will have the chance to sleepunder the stars after taking part in a number of activities for the whole family. There will be games, crafts and making s’mores over a campfire. A hot dog dinner and continental breakfast will be provided, and the movie “Goonies” (rated PG) will be shown on a big screen. The campout will start at 2 p.m. Saturday and wrap up about 10 a.m. the next morning. The cost is $20 and you must register by Monday. Do so by calling the recreation center at 253-841-5457. The park is at 531 31st Ave. SE, Puyallup. It includes a lake stocked with trout, walking trail and a large playground. To learn more at the city department’s website.
White River trip: The Puyallup department also is offering this weekend rafting trips on the White Salmon River. The trips will be 9 a.m-1 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 17. These trips, also are for peoples ages 10 and older, but you must be 12 or older to go over Husum Falls.The cost also is $69. To register, go to the agency’s website.
Paintball for kids: Youths ages 11-17 will have the chance to test their skills at Danger Zone Paintball at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Aug. 26 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The facility includes two large, wooded fields; a village with structures and vehicles and a speedball arena. The $50 fee includes admission, equipment and 500 rounds of paint, safety gear and transportation. No outside paint allowed. For more information, or to sign up, contact 360-754-4160 or the city’s website.