I was always excited for back-to-school shopping. My mom would drive my friends and I to the mall, give me a bit of cash, and set us loose for a few hours of shopping without parental guidance. Sodas in hand – coffee and boba weren’t the big thing they are now! – we would spend all day picking out just the right outfit for the first day of school, homecoming formals and finding a backpack everyone would think was cool – or slap as your kids would say today. Capital Mall is making back to school shopping in Olympia even more fun with a free fair August 19 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. 

a group of people and kids inside the Capital Mall, some doing face painting, some with balloon twists. A giant pizza made of fabric is on the ground as part of a game
Head to the Capital Mall on August 19 for free kid’s activities and to get your back-to-school shopping done in one trip. Photo courtesy: Capital Mall

“We want to bring the community together to have a good time,” shares Hope Montag, marketing and business development manager for Capital Mall. The mall is partnering with Northwest Military Salute, an organization that helps new military families get settled and connected with the community. “These events are one of the ways we do that,” she adds. The US Army is a sponsor for the Back To School event and will have a table in Macy’s Court.

The entire family is encouraged to head to Capital Mall and enjoy activities at the Macy’s court, food court and the Shoe Department court. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting by Miss Kelly with Tangerine Tales, glitter tattoos, balloon twists by JLO Magic, caricatures and more – all for free! Enjoy this mini carnival out of the sun and beat the hot summer day.

Thurston County Back to School Shopping Made Easy

Capital Mall makes back-to-school shopping easy with everything you need nearby – and you hardly have to get out of the air conditioning! Getting the right clothes to show of your kid’s unique style is important – especially that all-important first day outfit. The mall has plenty of clothing stores that cater to all styles. Kids looking for the latest fandoms can find them at Hot Topic and Box Lunch. Practical uniform staples are at JC Penney’s. And for that kid that likes to be one-of-a-kind, head to Design Customs to create their very own hoodie or t-shirt that no one else has – or maybe no one else besides their three closest friends!

a women holding a balloon twist that looks like a bug on a wand. In the background, families are doing various activities inside the Capital Mall
Free balloon twists and other activities make back-to-school shopping at Capital Mall fun. Photo courtesy: Capital Mall

Have an athlete? Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI can make sure they have the right gear for fall sports. And almost every child needs a new pair – or two – of shoes for school. Again, Capital Mall has several stores so you can find just want you need without ever moving parking spots, definitely a win!

Take a Snack Break at Capital Mall

Of course, Capital Mall always has great spots for an afternoon pick-me-up during back-to-school shopping. Northwest Grind will give you that caffeine kick you need while 777ish Cookies or Sub Zero Freeze Dried Candy will satisfy your sweet tooth. For something more filling, head to the food court where a new restaurant will be opening soon, hopefully by the Back-To-School event. Speaking of, on August 19, there will be special food vendors as well, to give you extra staying power to get all your shopping done.

Finally checked off the last item on that back-to-school list? Celebrate with a movie at Cinemark Theaters! Summers go by too quick and kids grow up so fast – soon they won’t need you to drive them for back-to-school shopping. Make the most of it while you can with a trip to the Capital Mall – where the community shops.

Supply Drive For Maui

The Capital Mall is hosting a personal care and toiletry supply drive from now until August 28 at the mall for the Maui fire victims. “Our sister center in Maui will be handing out the supplies as more and more people come to their center for support,” shares Montag. “We’ll also be having a booth for supplies during the back to school event from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.”

Capital Mall Back To School Event
August 19, 2023 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
625 Black Lake Boulevard SW, Olympia


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