Working from the founder's family recipe, Seattle Fudge's confectioners begin each batch by boiling ingredients—including chocolate, dairy cream, and nuts—in a copper kettle. After cooling the fudge on a marble table—a process that often sends the confection flying through the air—they form 25-pound loaves by hand. The whole process is on display at Seattle Fudge's red-and-white open kitchen, where onlookers can track every ingredient's journey from the kettle to trays of free samples. The store's 11 flavors include almond toffee crunch, chocolate amaretto, and minty, Oreo-specked vanilla fudge called Grasshopper, named in honor of the insect with an Oreo-only diet.
Along with the signature treat, Seattle Fudge's candy makers whip up saltwater taffy, showcasing old-fashioned taffy pullers and cutters. Available in blue raspberry and pink vanilla, cotton candy is also spun fresh onsite. Tubs of regular and caramel popcorn offer salty alternatives to sweet snacks. In addition to Seattle Center, where the fudge shop has been a fixture since 1981, Seattle Fudge's sweets are sold at local fairs and festivals throughout the year.
Sprawling across 100 acres in the verdant, picturesque Spokane Falls, Riverfront Park beckons with awe-inspiring visual and auditory wonders. The newly constructed SkyRide invites visitors to survey the land from above, swooping across the Spokane River and past city hall, where they can wave to their favorite comptroller. Back on the ground, the historic Looff Carousel, built in 1909, whirls riders around on 54 horses, two Chinese-dragon chairs, one giraffe, and one tiger, and a tour train chugs through the park on a 30-minute narrated jaunt. Among other attractions, such as the Sculpture Walk and pony rides, Riverfront Park houses an enormous IMAX theater with one of the largest indoor screens in the Pacific Northwest. Standing 53 feet high and stretching 69 feet wide, the screen is slightly taller than the average human and displays crystal-clear two-dimensional images, which are complemented by the sounds of a booming, wraparound surround-sound system.
The woods are full of hazards, from prickly bushes to wild animals. But all’s safe in the Woods at the Children's Museum of Tacoma, where a log pile leads to a play area where kids can build forts and send supplies to and fro with pulleys. The Woods is one of the museum’s five playscapes, which encourage children and their adult guardians to learn through self-directed play.
Youngsters can unleash their inner architects with blocks and tubes at the Invention station, and paint, clay, and other artistic tools at Becka’s Studio allow kids to tap into their creative sides. Aboard the Voyager, children can pretend to fly to the moon or parallel-park between two asteroids. Back on earth, the interactive Water playspace presents a world of tranquil waterfalls and streams.
Afterward, there’s more to explore through the museum’s programs. They range from summer camps to Play to Learn, where kids 6 and younger take part in group activities, sing-alongs, and group circle time.
Inside both of JJ Jump's two locations lies 7,000 to 12,000 square feet of inflatable challenges and bounce-based entertainment for children. The jousting arena settles sibling rivalries in a civilized and laugh-filled fashion, and giant slides send little ones safely toward the ground. But there's more to JJ Jump than jumping: each facility also boasts a creative play zone that is ripe with construction toys and a stage where children can let their imaginations run wild.
From time to time, the Clackamas facility morphs into JJ Extreme, where a kid wearing a harness can be suspended from the ceiling by a rope to swing back and forth under neon lights. Harnesses also come in handy for a slightly more competitive activity, during which youngsters zip past one another, running toward a basketball hoop and hoping to make a shot before a bungee cord pulls them each backward across a soft, inflatable mat.
Blanketed in wall-to-wall trampolines, Sky High Sports delights barefoot fun-seekers with springy terrain and an exclusive court for jumpers 8 and younger. Guests can hone front flips, back flips, and belly flops during intense free-bounce sessions. Each trampoline comes equipped with a specially designed spring-loaded frame and thick, 2-inch safety pads that grant patrons a landing cushier than a corner office at a marshmallow factory. Stuffed with blocks of spongy, body-molding material, a foam pit dares treasure-seekers to fling themselves in or scour its depths for the lost contents of bygone pockets. Pintsize aerialist posses can safely practice their synchronized Salchows on 360 degrees of trampoline walls while court supervisors watch from the sidelines and award hard-earned praise with oversize scorecards.
Sky High also offers AIRobics fitness classes and monthly dodge-ball tournaments to help jumpers explore the outermost stratospheres of trampoline possibilities.
The buzz of motors rises and falls as bright-red blurs zip around the track at PGP Motorsports Park. Here, in the shadow of Mount Rainier, racers ages 15 and older loop around an 8/10-mile track at speeds of up to 48 miles per hour, leaning back in the ergonomic seats of Italian-built Birel N35 karts. The 30-foot-wide asphalt track can be altered to take on 12 different configurations and is centered in a velodrome, which puts spectators at an elevated angle so they get a good line of sight no matter where they sit.
For safety reasons, drivers should wear long sleeves and pants and closed-toe shoes. Drivers are equipped with helmets and driving suits, and since races take place rain or shine, they will also be provided with rain gear that includes waterproof gloves and booties.