Thursday, March 22, 2012

Washington State History Museum

Some of the kids in our homeschool group are learning about the Pacific Northwest Geology/Geography/History.  For one of our field trips, we went to the Washington State History Museum, located in Tacoma.  This is the first time I had ever been there and I thought it was a really beautiful museum.  The displays and arrangements looked great.  They even have a huge display of a train set complete with villages, landscaping, and even a little car accident on the train tracks.

They have different scavenger hunts for different levels.  When the kids find everything on their page, they receive a prize. This enabled them to really look at the displays and pay a bit of attention to them, even though they didn't take the time to read all the facts. The museum's website has information for teachers, students, and lesson plans.  This museum is very interactive and informative with many docents and security around to help you with any questions you may have.  You can check with your local library and see if they offer free museum tickets.  You must request up to two weeks in advance and it's first come first serve.  Each ticket covers 2 adults and 4 children.  There is a fee for parking though.  This museum is very easy to get to and  park at.

Unfortunately, they don't allow flash photography.  If there is a way to take pictures indoors without a flash, I don't know how to do it.  I tried, didn't work.  So I don't have any indoor photos to share.  I didn't go into the museum store, but I was able to look down into it from the floor above.  They had some beautiful native american style merchandise from what I could see.  The museum had a lot of information/displays about the depression and WWII  as it relates to Washington state. Also for people who grew up around here, they will remember things like the Rainier Beer ads or Galloping Gerdie from when they were kids. I also noticed at a couple of places they had areas where kids could dress up in historical clothes that people with younger kids might be interested in. You will also see native american crafts and artifacts, train history, mining, etc.   I highly recommend and encourage you to visit this museum to learn about Washington's history.

To end our museum visit, we went to the Old Spaghetti Factory, which is about 2 blocks away.  The restaurant has free parking, which makes it very convenient.  Have you ever been to the Old Spaghetti Factory?  It has been years since I've been to one and I think I didn't much care for it back then, but I really enjoyed my lunch this time around.  With the entrees, you get a free drink (coffee, tea, or milk), soup or salad, fresh sourdough loaf, and a spumoni ice-cream dessert.  Their prices were quite decent for all that food.  I love alfredo and their Breast of Chicken Fettucine ($11.50) dish did not disappoint. It was very flavorul and the alfredo sauce did not taste like cheap jar sauce to me.  I only wish they would have put a little more sauce on it, because it was a bit drier than I would have liked.  It also comes with broccoli and mushrooms to get some veggies in your diet.  On top of all the food you get, make sure to ask for a Lunch stamp card.  Not sure if you get stamps for dinner.  When you get 5 stamps (one for every entree you order on your check), you will receive a free lunch entree on your next visit, up to $10.  It is a chain restaurant, so you may be able to find one near you.  I'm not sure about their other dishes, except that my son wasn't thrilled with the Caesar Salad ($8.50), he's had better. But my friend really liked her ravioli dish. I don't remember the name of her dish.  My daughter ordered their Angel Hair with Marinara Sauce ($7.99), she said it was really good.   I should have had a taste myself, but hopefully as I review more restaurants, I'll get better at it. :)  You can see with their prices what a great deal their entree bundles are.  I would go back again, there are some other dishes on their menu I would like to try, if I can stop myself from ordering the chicken alfredo again. :)  The service and ambiance were really nice here, as well.  Great family restaurant.

Breast of Chicken Fettucine 
Overall, we had a fun educational and belly filling day.

**Nearby attractions: Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, Point Defiance Park including Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. I haven't been to these places yet, but I'll let you know when I do.

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