With its rich history and diverse citizenship, Olympia has plenty to offer your child, whether he is a lover of the arts or prefers hands-on science experiments. Though its winters are mild, Olympia provides many options for indoor fun that will educate and entertain your little one when the weather is less than ideal.
1. Museum Fun
At Olympia's Hands On Children's Museum, there's plenty of indoor fun for your child to engage in during the winter months. The "Good for You" exhibit promotes healthy eating by providing role-playing toys in the Farmer's Market and 14 Carrot Café. The "Move It!" gallery is a huge water tower where children can view downtown Olympia, sending scarves and Nerf balls through a 25-foot air maze. At the LOTT's Water Education and Technology Science Center, your child can participate in hands-on water learning activities. The center offers weekend family activities and environmental presentations that emphasize water conservation.
2. Indoor Play Areas
With a 2,500-square-foot play area, Piper's Playground is the perfect place for your little one to burn energy on a cold winter's day. In addition to a play kitchen, workbench, construction zone, building blocks and ride-on toys, the playground provides two play structures to accommodate different age groups. Just 5 miles east of Olympia is Charlie's Safari, a safari-themed 22,000-square-foot facility with indoor play structures, laser tag arena, arcade and inflatables.
3. The Arts
The Olympia Little Theater is a community theater typically offering six shows each season. While certain productions are for an older audience, a few shows each season are for audience members of all ages. Expose your child to classical music through the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, which holds several classical concerts as part of its regular season during the winter months -- and occasionally a family-friendly concert at a local Olympia event.
4. Historical Tours
Located within the historic Lord Mansion, the State Capital Museum and Outreach Center offers exhibits on regional Native American history and Olympia's history as Washington's capital. Though this historical museum is open only on Saturdays, the admission for families of two adults and up to four children is just 5 dollars. Arrange a tour for your family of the elegant Governor's Mansion, located in Olympia's Capitol Point. The historical grounds offer sweeping views of the city, and your child will be able to learn the history of the mansion, its furnishings and artwork. Free tours of the Washington State Legislative Buildings are offered seven days a week. State Capitol Adventure Tours are available to groups of 15 or more, and include stories and interactive exercises to introduce younger children to Washington state history.
- Hands on Children's Museum: Exhibit Galleries & Arts Studio
- LOTT Clean Water Alliance: Wet Science Center
- Piper's Playground: Play
- Charlie's Safari: About Us
- Olympia Little Theatre: List of Shows
- Olympia Symphony Orchestra: Concerts
- Washington State Historical Society: Capital Museum
- Washington State Department of Enterprise Services
- Washington Governor's Mansion Foundation: History
- City of Olympia: About Olympia
- Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images