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Disney deals and obstacle courses

MWR lures families out of the house with February events

The Shades of Green Armed Forces Recreation Center is a rest and recuperation destination at Walt Disney World Resort. A popular travel destination for military families utilizing the Disney Salutes the Armed Forces discount. Photo credit: U.S. Army

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Winters in the Pacific Northwest might not be as harsh as those of neighboring states (you can keep all that snow to yourself, Idaho and Montana), but they're still long and brisk enough to keep many of us indoors, staring wistfully out the window. Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Family & Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) won't let us stay indoors for too long, though; it's drawing even the most cold-adverse families out from hiding this winter with a couple of events.

First up is MWR's 2018 Disney Military Salute Kick-Off Event. The kickoff will take place Saturday, Feb. 3, at Leisure Travel Services on JBLM. The event marks the beginning of the 2018 Disney Salutes the U.S. Armed Forces discount campaign, which provides highly discounted tickets to Disney theme parks and resorts for servicemembers, their family and friends.

Through the campaign, tickets to Disney World and Disneyland are offered at more than a 50 percent discount, while rooms at participating Disney resorts are discounted anywhere from 30 to 40 percent. Disney has renewed the discount offer every year since 2009. Although this winter's kickoff event takes place in February, the special military discount will continue until Dec. 19.

"This is our very first time holding the event," said Alyssa Matthews, the Leisure Travel Services manager at JBLM. "More than 200 people have already received raffle tickets ... and we're anticipating about 200 more."

The kickoff will include light refreshments, an array of door prizes, a photo booth, activities for kids, and two free games of bowling at Bowl Arena Lanes to those who come in for the event. Door prizes include movie tickets, stuffed animals and Disney-themed luggage.

"We want to give back to customers who come in and purchase tickets, said Matthews. "We want them to catch memories from the very start - from purchasing tickets for their family vacation." Saturday, Feb. 3, noon-4 p.m., Leisure Travel Services, 2272 Liggett Ave., 253.967.3085

Parents in need of a break from the kids are also in luck, as MWR is partnering with SKIES Unlimited to hold Extreme Night Out Pizza Party Saturday, Feb. 10. The event gives lovestruck parents a chance to drop the kids off and enjoy Valentine's Day a few days early. It will include a "Race Against the Clock" extreme obstacle course for youth ages 6 to 19, complete with ninja-like obstacles such as balancing logs, bouncing boulders, climbing walls and mazes.

"This is an opportunity for parents to get out and spend quality time together, knowing their children are safe, learning new skills, making new friends and having fun, said SKIES director Cindy Arnold. "We're also trying to make sure our children grow stronger and healthier."

Participating youth can collect prizes at various checkpoints throughout the obstacle course, as well as enjoy pizza afterwards.  

"This is a brand-new event for us," said Arnold. "We're looking at doing this on a quarterly basis in the future."

Parents should note that youth must be enrolled in Child & Youth Services (CYS) at JBLM to attend Extreme Night Out. Saturday, Feb. 10, 4-6:30 p.m. and 6:30-9 p.m., SKIES Building, 6398 Garcia Blvd., JBLM, 253.966.3539, registration required at

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