Children's museum and undies in Federal Way | Andy Hobbs

The new Hands On Children
The new Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia, as seen in this photo from the museum's Facebook page.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Children’s museum in Federal Way

The region boasts a number of children’s museums that are perfect for a family day trip.

The non-profit museums are havens of enrichment. They appeal to curiosity and encourage interaction through play.

In one corner, kids can strap on a smock and splash in a river full of rubber dolphins, ducks and octopuses floating downstream. Across the room, the kids can fingerpaint and dig in the clay, then wheel a grocery cart through a grocery store with recycled milk cartons, plastic veggies and rubber bread loaves. Some museums host stages with costumes and puppets. Most museums have a cafe.

The museums meet demand for indoor entertainment in the rainy Northwest. Children’s museums help cities like Everett, Tacoma and Olympia attract outside visitors.

One example is the Hands On Children’s Museum, which opened a brand new facility this month in Olympia. This is the best of the bunch, a two-story wonderland with room to grow. Even in its former home by the Capitol dome, the museum generated $6 million a year for the Olympia area, according to a report on Thurstontalk.com.

As an anchor project in a mixed-use development, the museum is expected to attract 215,000 visitors a year and guide them to local restaurants and hotels. The museum reports that 35 percent of visitors arrive from outside Thurston County.

What would a children’s museum look like in Federal Way? If money were no obstacle, the museum would be a catalyst for downtown development that encourages families to stay and play in Federal Way.

Federal Way’s unofficial undies

Shopping for custom Federal Way clothing? You’re in luck. For $12.50 at cafepress.com, for example, residents can show their hometown pride with custom thong panties that say “I’m kind of a big deal in Federal Way.”

Another thong on the site features a red heart with the name Sanjaya, which refers to Sanjaya Malakar, a former contestant of “American Idol” whose 15 minutes of fame erupted in 2007.

Some thongs honor political figures, such as “Federal Way for Obama” and “Federal Way supports Sarah Palin.”

Male shoppers may prefer boxer shorts with messages like “I love Federal Way,” “Federal Way pride,” and “I’d rather be in Federal Way.” For the man who likes minimalist underwear, there’s even a thong that says “Federal Way Dad.”

Other messages displayed on these classic cotton butt-flossers include “The hottest girls are from Federal Way,” “Everything is better in Federal Way,” and my favorite, “Somebody in Federal Way loves me.” Customers can also wear these messages on shirts, hats, aprons, bibs and coffee mugs.

Unlike Seattle or Tacoma, you won’t find Federal Way folks paying homage to their hometown on clothing, aside from the students who wear sweatshirts with a school namesake. Unless you’re on the BPA Trail, you won’t see residents flashing undies that say “Kiss me, I’m from Federal Way.”

There’s something to be said about the willingness to wear Federal Way with pride. Let’s spread that willingness among citizens. Let’s foster admiration for the city and convert casual fans into diehard Federal Way fans, one fan at a time. The more pride that ripples through the city, the more ownership residents will take in their hometown — creating more incentives to build up the city and place it on a pedestal.

Perhaps that sounds too idealistic and naive, but everyone benefits from the few who dare to dream.

According to the top-selling book in human history, a city on a hill cannot be hidden. Don’t hide Federal Way’s light under a bushel, or in this case, underneath your clothing. Community pride is contagious, so wear that pride for Federal Way on your sleeve.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates