Even though the first day of fall is technically September 21st, school has already started in most local districts, marking the unofficial end of summer. Children are preparing to go back to the classroom, and their parents...well, some of them will be happy for a slightly quieter day. The temperature lowers and the leaves start changing color. Whether you're looking at the end of summer with dread or anticipation, there are still some fun and exciting things to do in Seattle Southside to get your summer fix before school's back in session.

Getting in some last minute games and fun before the end of summer, and we've got lots of different ways to get your gaming fix in. Dimension XR is a newly opened virtual reality gaming space with a unique flagship virtual reality experience - Limitless VR. This virtual reality laser tag game makes us a great destination to get in one last outing with your friends and family before the summer ends.  What better way to stir up some friendly competition than battling it out with lasers in virtual reality? There are three visual environments to choose from to make sure that your gaming never gets dull or predictable. Choose your favorite avatar for battle and finish your time with a chance to see where you fall on the leaderboard. 

Dimension XR Virtual Reality in Tukwila
A group prepares for real fun in virtual reality at Dimension XR.

Looking for more classic gaming? Waterland Arcade features over 50 games in an air conditioned space, perfect for beating out those late-summer heatwaves.  Play air hockey, skee-ball, classic video games like Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, and modern games like Pac Man Battle Royale.  All arcade games (except pinball) are included in the unlimited play price of $9 or $6 for children under 13.  Their pinball lineup is one of the largest and nicest in the state with over 20 pinball machines from the early 80's to the latest releases. Waterland Arcade is also a guaranteed hit to rent for your private event like birthday parties or corporate events because you get the entire venue exclusively for your guests with unlimited play for everyone!

If you like your arcade games but want to get in a whole lot of different kinds of fun, head to the Family Fun Center in Tukwila. Enjoy outdoor attractions like batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats, and mini golf. Or, if it's too toasty or drizzly outside, you can enjoy indoor gaming, rides, laser tag, bowling and more! Whether you're a kid or just a kid at heart, there's fun for all ages at the Family Fun Center. Speaking of indoor fun, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, the Seattle Chocolate factory tour – Experience Chocolate – makes for a tasty adventure. For only $10, you’ll be able to step into the Seattle Chocolate factory, learn about their sustainable sourcing, see the truffle bar making process, and sample plenty of their top selling flavors. Yum! For safety reasons, children under the age of six cannot attend the tour, but all ages can enjoy their factory shop, which has tons of deliciousness to take home or give as a gift.

fresh northwest farm produce at Des Moines Farmers Market
Pepper in some time to hit up the Farmer's Market!

Of course, summer also means fresh produce and getting outside. Get both at the Des Waterfront Farmers Market , which takes place each Saturday from June through September. The entire downtown Des Moines area makes for a great late summer day, and the farmers market is just the icing on the cake. Grab a bite to eat at your favorite local food truck, buy a fresh bouquet of flowers for your sweetheart, and stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, and artisan crafts. After you’ve shopped around, walk down to the Des Moines Beach Park and enjoy a day in the sun! It's also a great time to get in some sun while you can, so check out our other blogs on parks in Seattle Southside and our guide to beaches in the area to find some great spots to catch some rays.