A trip to Tacoma that will need a revisit (Tacoma Museum of Glass, Washington)

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When I get an adventure in my head it’s hard to convince me otherwise, and for some reason I decided our last day of the winter break needed to happen outside of Seattle.  I’ve really been wanting to see the eagles that are up near the Nooksack River in Bellingham ever since the kids had a close encounter and became enthralled with them, but we woke up too late to trek that far north so we’ll have to save that for another January weekend day.  So, I convinced the kids we’d go try the Tacoma Children’s Museum that was on my Mohai reciprocal pass so we could have a free day there and then spend the money we saved on treats.

Except when we got there I could already see kids bouncing all over the walls from the outside (I have trouble with germs and crowds and when you are late you guarantee BOTH at kids’ museums) and the nearby parking lot is inaccessible Monday through Friday. There is also a festive outdoor skating rink here in the winter so I think that added to the crowd factor too. And since I’m very particular about where and how I park, this added to the impossibility of actually going to this museum that day after all.

And that’s when I found signs directing me to the TacomaGlass Museum and I remembered that it was on the MOHAI pass too.  It had a great parking lot underneath and seemed close enough to the Children’s Museum that we could check out the Glass Museum, eat lunch and pop in to the Children’s Museum if we still wanted to explore Tacoma a little more.

cone shaped glass museum

The Mohai pass saved me the 25 dollars it would have cost to visit the Glass Museum.  I asked what kids liked to see here and I was directed to the “HOT SHOP”, a working glass-blowing studio in a cone-shaped structure much like Stourbridge, the oldest glass cone in the world in England (which I now totally want to visit!). 

My guys watched in awe as the skilled glass-blowers made beautiful goblets out of blobs of molten glass.

Then we headed out to the rest of the museum where we ended up finding an exhibit called Look! See? full of amazing neon letters the kids and I could pick up, move around, spell neat words and have fun together.

tacoma glass museumlook see exhibit at Tacoma Glass Museum

tacoma Museum of Glass

We could have spent hours here.

But we got hungry.

And we thought we might check out somewhere to eat or maybe even head to the Children’s Museum.

But we got too cold.  And I tried to power through just to see the pretty glass sculptures they have outside the glass museum but the kids were really not happy with being cold and hungry and I figured I’d put them through enough already.

outdoor glass art near tacoma glass museumtacoma glass museum

We ran back to the museum and happily ate at the Glass Museum restaurant and the kids really liked their turkey sandwich and m and m chocolate chunk cookie.

We stopped at a great Tacoma coffee roaster to watch some beans being roasted before we left the city.  (I spied an ice-cream store nearby I want to come back and revisit)

coffee at Valhalla in Tacoma

watching the beans roast at Valhalla

And they both slept all the way back.

So I guess even though it wasn’t how we planned, our last adventure of winter break was a success.  I’d like to revisit the glass museum on a weekend when we can make glass art together and maybe actually end up at the Children’s Museum one day too.

Have you been here? I’d love to hear what you think.

(PS. I’d bring my good camera if I did this again.  I got some good pictures on my phone and my little camera, but it might have been nice to get some name shots with my kids to frame for my house.)


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