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Looking for fun, enriching activities this summer in Olympia? Look no further than the Hands On Children’s Museum! Family-friendly events in Thurston County that everyone will enjoy happen year-round at the Hands On Children’s Museum, but they really shine during their Summer Splash! Festival of Fun. Join the Pet Parade on June 22, 2024, held in conjunction with LoveOly in downtown Olympia. Then Summer Splash! activities heat up with the ultimate first-responder event for kids with Fire Rescue Spectacular July 13 at the Hands On Children’s Museum.

woman with a wagon made to look like a dino cage with a kid and a dog dressed as dinosaurs inside
Get ready for the Olympia Pet Parade on July 13, 2024! Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

Kids’ Activities in Olympia: Pet Parade June 22

Have a pet you want to show off? Co-hosted by Olympia Downtown Alliance and presented by Olympia Veterinary Hospital, this Pet Parade in Olympia is for any domesticated animal in your home – from snakes and guinea pigs to parrots and dogs! Get all dressed up and strut your stuff on the animal walk in downtown Olympia.

You can register online at the Hands On Children’s Museum website or at 10 a.m. on the day of the event. The parade line-up starts at 10:20 a.m. on the corner of Legion Way SE and Washington Street in Olympia.

Costumes for you and your pets are encouraged as you strut around Sylvester Park and up Capitol Way to the U.S. Bank parking lot on Fourth Avenue. The Museum will offer costume construction in the weeks leading up to the event.

People with their pets all dressed up sitting on the curb for the Olympia Pet Parade
The Hands On Children’s Museum and LoveOly can’t wait to see all your pets strut during the Olympia Pet Parade. Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

The event is just one of the fun kids’ activities in Olympia that’s part of the LoveOly SummerFest, so be sure to check out the rest of the activities after the parade!

Anyone who participates in the Pet Parade gets a 2-for-1 pass to the Hands On Children’s Museum, and with all the fun of Summer Splash just around the corner, you are sure to use it!

Free Kids’ Activities in Olympia: Fire Rescue Spectacular July 13

The highly-anticipated Summer Splash! Festival of Fun at the Hands On Children’s Museum runs June through September. Presented by WSECU the special Summer Splash! programming features visiting artists, animal encounters, stage performers, aerialists, and nature play. With a special opportunity every week, you’ll keep your entire family engaged until school starts again.

One of the most popular events of the summer is the Fire Rescue Spectacular, returning July 13, 2024, at the Hands On Children’s Museum.

little kid in a firefighter's coat sitting on the front bumper of a fire truck.,
Is your kid a future firefighter? Spark their curiosity at the Fire Rescue Spectacular at the Hands On Children’s Museum on June 22, 2024. Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

Presented by MultiCare Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Network, in partnership with the Olympia Fire Department, the Fire Rescue Spectacular takes place on Jefferson Street, between the Hands On Children’s Museum and the LOTT Clean Water Alliance. Thanks to a partnership with Macy’s all event activities on the street are free!

Educational and fun events are offered for free from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The street-fair atmosphere lends itself perfectly to kids, allowing them to roam from activity to activity however they wish. Explore Olympia Fire Department emergency vehicles and vintage firetrucks and take the Junior Firefighter Challenge to learn what it takes to be a real-life superhero. Kids can even use a real fire hose with the help of real firefighters!

Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will be on hand to snap selfies and kids can meet emergency responders and firefighters.

Of course, it can’t be truly spectacular without fair food! When those tiny tummies start rumbling, check out the food, including free ice cream, available twice a day at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., while supplies last.

Don’t forget to use your 2-for-1 pass from the Pet Parade to explore inside Hands On Children’s Museum, where the Fire Rescue Spectacular continues with more kids’ activities! Dr. Science will be giving wacky science demonstrations the entire family will enjoy. Kids can learn basic first aid techniques and how to start a safe campfire with the Olympia Mountaineers, along with important fire safety lessons!

a little girl reaches to take a treat from a bag a fireman is holding
Your entire family will have fun meeting first responders and enjoying activities at the Fire Rescue Spectacular in Olympia. Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

Check Out the Full Summer Splash! Festival schedule at Hands On Children’s Museum

The summer line-up includes visiting performers and guests, animals, the hugely popular 25-foot rock-climbing wall, a sailboat regatta, sock skating, storytelling, nature activities, treasure sluicing and so much more! For more information about Summer Splash! Festival, visit the Hands on Children’s Museum website.

Adults – those 21 and over – should put the Summer Splash! Gala on their calendars for August 23, 2024. It’s an evening full of fun, food and raising money for a good cause – the Museum’s free and reduced-fee access programs. The Summer Splash! Gala is sponsored by Olympia Federal Savings.

The Hands On Children’s Museum is committed to being accessible to all. EBT card users pay just $3 each for admission  as part of the Museum’s Inspired Learning for All partnership funded in part by WSECU.

On the first Friday of each month, families can visit the museum for only $1 a person from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To purchase general admission tickets, visit the Hands On Children’s Museum website.

Hands On Children’s Museum
414 Jefferson NE, Olympia
360.956.0818

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