A small waterfront community that’s just a ferry ride away from Seattle, Port Orchard is the kind of place you go when you want to get away from it all. While you gaze at the gorgeous Olympic Mountains, if little hands are tugging at your legs, chances are you did not get away from your kids. Thankfully, Port Orchard offers some activities for the kiddos so that you can enjoy the peaceful town together.
The Central Park in Port Orchard is the hot spot for young families. The kiddos can get worn out with the large playground in a sunny area of the city. Since Port Orchard initially started as a successful lumber town, many of the parks are wooded trails perfect for little explorers. The South Kitsap Regional Park (kitsapgov.com/parks/Parks/Pages/communityparks/sk_community_park.htm) is the perfect place to start. In the event your child gets worn out, she can climb aboard padded miniature railroad cars for an outdoor railroad. The Kitsap Live Steamers (kitsaplivesteamers.org) operate the railroad for donations. It’s no Polar Express, but your child getting to ride a choo-choo in the middle of a forest can be pretty magical.
While you may have always thought your child was made out of rubber, now is the time to prove it with one of the many gymnastic facilities in town. Mile High Gym (milehighgym.com) provides many open gym times for kids to jump on trampolines, fly into foam balls and basically act like a wild monkey. If you want more structured learning, the gym offers classes for your toddler or preschooler to perfect her tumbling and cartwheel skills. Gallery Gymnastics (thedancegalleryinc.com/id82.html) starts teaching tumbling tots once they turn 3 years old.
Burn off energy with your child through a Mommy & Me class at Just for Kicks (j4k.us/), where dance classes are available starting at the age of 3. If your child thinks she can't dance, maybe the pre-dance class for 3- and 4-year-olds at the Dance Gallery (thedancegalleryinc.com/id72.html) will ease her nerves. If you've been tempted to tell your child to take a flying leap, then check out the Academy of Dance (myacademyofdance.com), which teaches 3- to 5-year-olds ballet and tap. While your child is learning coordination and rhythm, you can pick up a pair of earplugs for when she’s practicing with those tap shoes at home.
Give your child’s imagination a boost by visiting the Port Orchard branch of the Kitsap Regional Library (krl.org/port-orchard). Give your conversational skills a recharge with the parent and child playgroup during the day. At night, Pajama Storytime lets someone else do the reading while you find your own book to help you get sleepy. On Fridays, Toddler Storytime and playgroup is on the agenda, followed by Preschool Storytime.