101 Things to do in Tacoma 2017

101 Things to Do in Tacoma 2017  

If you are new to Tacoma or a long-time resident merely in search of something new to do, below is a list of 101 things to do in Tacoma. Okay, a couple items on our list are outside Tacoma proper. But most are a short walk or ride away, regardless of where you live in Tacoma. Your input is welcome. We will likely update this from time to time. If you want to receive our post about events in Tacoma, restaurants, things to do, please subscribe. We do not spam and you can opt out anytime.

 

  1. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Set on a hillside with spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is a gem that continues to entertain and educate young and old, year after year. Visit in summer, when Sumatran tigers are lazing in the grass, or during the Christmas Season, when the cheerful glow from Zoolights brightens even the darkest night.  http://www.pdza.org/

 

  1. Point Defiance Parkpt-defiance

Point Defiance hosts more than a world-class zoo. The 760-acre park features shady and scenic Five Mile Drive, a stately rose garden, old-growth evergreens and miles of undulating trails, among other charms.

 

  1.  Museum of Glass

glass-2016_960_720Where else can you take a seat in a cozy-yet-roomy theater called the Hot Shop and watch artists blow glass in real-time? While you’re there, be sure to browse the exhibitions and collections. And if you’ve got some cash burning a hole in your pocket, an amply stocked museum store beckons.  Thea Foss Waterway near Downtown Tacoma. https://museumofglass.org/

 

 

 

 

  1. Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Visit during the golden hour, when the sun amplifies every nuance, or after the sun sets, when this 500-foot-long pedestrian underpass dazzles with a kaleidoscope of swirling shapes and colors. Yes, it’s a portal between downtown Tacoma and the Museum of Glass. It’s also a destination in its own right. And it’s free. Thea Foss Waterway near Downtown Tacoma.  https://museumofglass.org/outdoor-art/chihuly-bridge-of-glass

 

  1. America’s Car Museum

Le May Car Museum TacomaIf you’re not a lover of cars, you will be after you visit this museum, which opened in 2012. Thanks to the estate of the late Harold LeMay, local businessman and car collector, this 165,00-square-foot museum showcases 350 cars, each one making an important contribution to America’s love affair with the automobile. Downtown Tacoma.  https://www.americascarmuseum.org/

 

 

  1. Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Things to do in Tacoma Narrows BridgesWe’ve all seen footage of “Galloping Gertie.” The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed into Puget Sound in 1940. But two sturdy twin-suspension bridges have been built since, and the newest, completed in 2007, accommodates pedestrians. Walk or bicycle its span to enjoy one of the best views of South Puget Sound.

 

 

 

 

  1. Tacoma Dome

Completed in 1983, the “Woodshed” hosts everything from expos to sporting events to big-draw music concerts. Whether you prefer AC/DC or Taylor Swift, your favorite entertainer can be seen and heard in the T-Dome’s roomy, climate-controlled environs.   http://tacomadome.org/

 

  1. Tacoma Art MuseumThings to do in Tacoma Art Museum

Poetry slams. Galas. Llocal and regional exhibits. TAM provides a space for a variety of artistic and educational experiences. Sometimes cheeky, sometimes controversial, the museum is never dull. About two-thirds of its collections consists of work by Northwest artists. Downtown Tacoma.  http://www.tacomaartmuseum.org/

 

  1. Broadway Center for the Performing ArtsThings to do in Tacoma Broadway Center Pantages Theater

Tacoma’s Theater District boasts an embarrassment of riches, from the intimate and luxurious Pantages Theater to the more spacious-but-just-as-classy Rialto Theater, frequent home of Tacoma Opera. Come to the Theater District for your fix of Mozart, holiday favorites like Handel’s Messiah or a night of British humor with the likes of John Cleese.  http://www.broadwaycenter.org/

 

 

  1. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

The 1850s come alive at Fort Nisqually, a former fur trading and farming post. The fort was restored and relocated to its current location, at Point Defiance Park, in the 1930s. Today, volunteers and staff members wear authentic clothing and demonstrate 19th-century crafts while interacting with the public. Even the apple orchard can trace its ancestry to the original fort.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/fort-nisqually-living-history-museum

 

 

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      1. Owen Beach  

Take the family for a picnic on the beach or a stroll along the waterfront promenade at Owen Beach, a favorite of locals and tourists alike. You can rent a kayak and paddle Dalco Passage, Puget Sound’s narrow strait between Point Defiance and the southern tip of Vashon Island. But be sure to make way for harbor seals and sea lions – and the occasional ferry.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/point-d-owen-beach/

 

      1. Cheney StadiumCheney Sign

Home of the Tacoma Rainiers, the Seattle Mariners’ AAA farm team, Cheney Stadium was renovated in 2011 and seats 6,500. Plenty of baseball legends have played here over the years, from Reggie Jackson to Gaylord Perry. But locals come for the ambience, too. Website

 

      1. Washington State History Museum

        Things to do in Tacoma Washington State History Museum

From women’s suffrage to Native American tribes, this downtown museum explores the history of the Pacific Northwest in depth. Plenty of hands-on experiences are available to children and the young-at-heart in the history lab. Don’t miss the 1,800-square-foot model train layout on the top floor. http://www.washingtonhistory.org/

 

 

 

      1. Union StationThings to do in Tacoma Union Station

Once a railway hub, today’s Union Station serves as a federal courthouse. Its prominent copper dome and Beaux-Arts architecture have earned it a permanent place on the Tacoma skyline. It also serves as the first stop of Tacoma’s historical district walking tour (see link). Downtown Tacoma.  http://www.tacomaculture.org/historic/resource/Union%20Station%20Dist%20Walk.pdf

 

 

      1. Indochine Asian Dining Lounge

With vegetarian options and even a gluten-free menu, Indochine caters to every taste bud in search of the exotic. Classic dishes like Mongolian beef and orange chicken are offered alongside a host of curried dishes and homemade desserts.   http://www.indochinedowntown.com/

 

      1. The Swiss Restaurant & Pub

        Things to do in Tacoma The Swiss

Just a stone’s throw from Tacoma’s University of Washington campus, the Swiss is everything you imagine in a 100-year-old corner restaurant and pub. Brick walls, old wood beams and paneling and an airy feel provide the perfect atmosphere to enjoy your favorite ale, down a hardy meal or listen to live music.  Downtown Tacoma.   http://theswisspub.com/

 

 

 

      1. King’s Books Things to do in Tacoma King's Books

Cavernous King’s Books is everything an independent bookstore should be: friendly, well-stocked and just a tad quirky. Sure, you can find plenty of used books here, but this is also the place to go for those in search of book clubs and poetry readings, among other literary activities. Downtown Tacoma.  http://www.kingsbookstore.com/about

 

      1. Tacoma Comedy Club

Enjoy a good laugh? Then drop on by this downtown comedy club, which hosts a number of nationally touring comedians. If you’re an aspiring comedian, you can partake in Wednesday’s open mic night. The club even offers comedy classes for the comically inclined.  http://www.tacomacomedyclub.com/

 

      1. Tacoma Nature Center

Known simply as Snake Lake by regular users, the Tacoma Nature Center is a 71-acre nature preserve squeezed between two busy arterials and Highway 16. Somehow all that ambient traffic noise recedes when you explore the trails around the lake or step inside the nature center. A slew of classes and activities are available to kids and their parents. Keep an eye out for turtles, water fowl, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, deer, red-tailed hawks, the occasional coyote and yes, garter snakes.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/tacomanaturecenter

 

      1. Tacoma’s Antique Row

Situated between S. 7th and S. 9th in downtown Tacoma, this stretch of antique shops, coffee houses, nightclubs and other retail stores offers the perfect blend of history and style. Whether you’re shopping or just browsing, there’s something here for you. https://www.facebook.com/TacomaAntiqueRow/

 

      1. High Voltage Records

Things to do in Tacoma High VoltageWho says people don’t buy music anymore? The vinyl renaissance is in full swing at this record store, which is bursting at the seams with new and used LPs, CDs, tapes and stereo equipment. 6th Ave District.  http://hivoltagerecords.com/ 

 

 

 

 

      1. Children’s Museum of Tacoma

No stuffy museum, this place is all about play. Your children will enjoy a variety of “playscapes” that challenge them in all the right ways. Creativity and fun are the name of the game here.  Downtown Tacoma.  https://www.playtacoma.org/

 

      1. Freighthouse Square

        The Freighthouse Station Marketplace hosts a veritable potpourri of unique shops and restaurants. From boutique to kitsch, it’s all here in this century-old rail terminus in the Tacoma Dome’s shadow.  http://www.freighthousesquare.com/

 

      1. Weekend Adventures

Metro Parks offers an extensive array of weekend adventures for those 15 years and older, courtesy of this special program. From horseback riding to whale watching, these supervised trips and tours are designed to foster independence.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/specialized-weekend%20adventures/

 

      1. Peaks & Pints

Fans of craft beer have no shortages of quality watering holes in Tacoma, and new ones are appearing all the time. Case in point: Peaks and Pints, the spiffy new joint that just opened in the Proctor District. Everything you want is here: mouth-watering pub grub, a friendly atmosphere and of course, a great selection of beer on tap. They also have great kombucha!  http://peaksandpints.com/

 

      1. Wheel Fun Rentals

Headquartered at the newly developed Point Ruston and only feet away from Puget Sound and the two-mile Ruston Way Path, Wheel Fun Rentals is your one-stop shop for wheeling it in style. Cruise the waterfront with family and friends in a covered surrey, tandem bike or other wheeled contraption.  http://www.wheelfunrentals.com/Locations/Tacoma-1

 

      1. Geocache Tacoma

        Unfamiliar with the term? Geocaching involves using GPS coordinates to go treasure hunting. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with your kids and learn more about your neighborhood while you’re at it.  https://www.geocaching.com/local/default.aspx?state_id=48

 

      1. Harmon Brewing Co.

From its relatively humble beginnings as a public-house-style brewpub and restaurant in downtown Tacoma, the Harmon empire has expanded. Its other locations include the HUB and its downstairs neighbor, the Harmon Tap Room. All three have three things in common: quality beer, tasty food and friendly staff.  http://www.harmonbrewingco.com

 

      1. Open Arts Studio

Painting. Sculpting. Ceramics. Drawing. Kids and adults alike are welcome to take art classes at Open Arts Studio, which also offers music lessons. Adults in need of extra inspiration should take note of one of the more popular courses: wine and painting. Stadium District Tacoma.  http://www.openartsstudio.com

 

      1. Tacoma Musical Playhouse

If you’re a fan of musical theater, we’ve got just the venue for you. As the largest community theater in the Northwest, TMP hosts all of your favorites, not to mention camps, classes and workshops.  https://tmp.org

 

      1. Edgeworks Climbing

Edgeworks Climbing Things to do in TacomaRain or shine, do some indoor bouldering or rope climbing. Or take a yoga class. All under one very tall roof. Rental shoes and harness available.  https://www.edgeworksclimbing.com

 

 

 

      1. Ruston Way

Walkers, joggers, sightseers, and rollerbladers swarm this 2-mile-long path on scenic Commencement Bay every weekend. Especially when the weather’s nice. This is the place to see and be seen.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/ruston-way

 

      1. Blue Mouse

The Proctor District’s beloved old theater offers matinees and regular screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Movie buffs and theater lovers cherish this Tacoma institution.  http://bluemousetheatre.com

 

      1. Spun Tacoma

        Casual and fun, Spun Tacoma offers a comfy space for newcomers and experienced potters alike. Take a class. Sell your creations in the gallery.  http://www.spuntacoma.com/classes

 

      1. Chalet Bowl

The longest continually operating bowling alley in the state, Chalet Bowl has been in business since 1941. Located in the heart of the Proctor District.  http://www.chaletbowl.com/_index.php

 

      1. Tacoma Little Theatre

Active since 1918 and hosting plays in the same building on North I Street since the 1940s, Tacoma Little Theatre is a fixture in the local theater community. Buy tickets. Volunteer. Or audition. Located in Tacoma’s Historic North Slope District.   https://www.tacomalittletheatre.com

 

      1. Titlow Beach

Do some beachcombing, walk the trails or throw a Frisbee in the park. While you’re at it, take advantage of the new playground and splash park. West End Tacoma.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/titlow-park

 

      1. Legendary Doughnuts

If bigger is better, then Legendary Doughnuts is the best donut shop in the universe. Big selection. Big donuts. Bring a big appetite. 6th Ave District Tacoma.  http://legendarydoughnuts.com

 

      1. Jazz Bones

Don’t let its name fool you. Jazz Bones features more mainstream pop and rock acts than jazz bands. Weekends are usually packed at this nightclub in the 6th Ave District.  http://www.jazzbones.com

 

      1. Corina Bakery

Those unable to pass up baked goods won’t be able to resist Corina Bakery, just blocks from the Stadium District. Everything’s made from scratch. And even those with dietary restrictions like wheat, dairy or soy will find something to savor. Downtown Tacoma.   http://www.corinabakery.com

 

      1. Third Thursday Art Mingle

On the third Thursday of each month, a collection of museums, galleries and show spaces celebrate Tacoma’s vibrant art scene. Click on the link above to find participating venues near you.  http://www.tacomaartgroup.org/art-mingle

 

      1. Crown Bar

Things to do in Tacoma Crown BarLocated in Tacoma’s bustling 6th Ave District, Crown Bar transports its customers to a traditional pub in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Along with an assortment of cocktails, wine and craft beer, the friendly bar is known for its grass-fed burgers and hearty brunch.  Blog post about Crown Bar

 

 

 

      1. Tacoma Youth Symphony

Tacoma’s talented youth perform traditional and whimsical pieces, with most concerts held at Urban Grace Church in downtown Tacoma.  https://www.tysamusic.org/concerts.html

 

      1. Puget Park

Located just north of the Proctor District, Puget Parks is two parks in one. Up top, a small playground entertains children and their parents. In the 66-acre gulch below, nature lovers can explore wooded trails alongside one of only three salmon-bearing streams in Tacoma.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/puget-park

 

      1. Tacoma Sportsmen’s Club

Test your aim and archery skills at this shooting range in nearby Puyallup.  http://www.tacomassportsmensclub.com

 

      1. Tacoma Link Light Rail

Fun and easy, Tacoma Link stops at several downtown Tacoma highlights, including the Theater District, Union Station and the Tacoma Dome. And guess what? It’s free.  http://www.soundtransit.org/tacomalink

 

      1. Chambers Bay

Chambers BayFew golf courses are set against such a dramatic backdrop. This one features a British links-style 18-hole course. But you don’t have to golf to enjoy the views of Fox Island and Southern Puget Sound. There’s also a restaurant, a county park and paved fitness trails that intersect the golf course. University Place, WA.  http://www.chambersbaygolf.com

 

 

 

      1. Kandle Park

Many come to this North End park for the wave pool and spray park. But other features include a community garden and movie nights in the summer.  Westgate area in Tacoma. http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/kandlepark

 

      1. Ultimate Frisbee

Register for Ultimate indoor play at Truman Middle School. Jerry Keister, an experienced instructor and Ultimate player, offers tips to beginners and veterans alike.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/adult-ultimate-frisbee

 

      1. The Grand Cinema

Connoisseurs of independent, local and foreign films flock to the Grand, located in the historic Merlino Arts Center near Wright Park. The Classic Film Series is a local favorite.  Downtown Tacoma. http://www.grandcinema.com

 

      1. Tacoma Public Library

With eight locations total, the Tacoma Library system offers an extensive catalogue of books, DVDs, CDs and more. Users appreciate its easy checkout, revamped website and helpful staff members.  http://www.tacomalibrary.org

 

      1. Tacoma Farmers’ Market

Open seasonally, Tacoma Farmers’ Market sets up shop in three neighborhoods: downtown, the 6th Avenue District, and East Tacoma. Your chance to buy fresh, locally grown produce and other products.  https://www.facebook.com/TacomaFarmersMarket

 

      1. Proctor Farmers Market

Open late March through mid-December, the Proctor Farmers’ Market occupies the corner of North 27th Street and Proctor Street every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Proctor District Tacoma.  http://www.proctorfarmersmarket.com

 

      1. Wright Park

At 27 acres, this is downtown Tacoma’s biggest, most picturesque park. Stroll beneath the shade of 600 different species of trees, or let your children frolic on the playground and spray-ground. You can extend your walk to include the historical Stadium District nearby. Located near Stadium District Tacoma.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/wright-park

 

 

      1. W.W. Seymour Botanical ConservatoryThings to do in Tacoma Wright Park Seymour Conservatory

A huge variety of plant species, some of them exotic, await your exploration in the conservatory’s warm and cozy environs. Children, in particular, are fascinated by one plant (mimosa pudica) that recoils when its leaves are touched. Located near Stadium District Tacoma.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/conservatory

 

      1. Fort Steilacoom Park

Sprawling, bucolic Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood has something for everyone. Ballfields, trails, playgrounds and a small lake await visitors. The park is home to a permanent 18-hole Frisbee golf course, http://www.pdga.com/course-directory/course/fort-steilacoom-nw-disc-golf-coursehttps://www.cityoflakewood.us/parks-and-recreation/parks/fort-steilacoom-park

 

      1. Studio 6 Ballroom

Do you tap your toes whenever you hear music? Located in the 6th Ave District, Studio 6 offers private and group dance lessons.  http://studio6ballroom.com

 

      1. The Highlands

Play a 9-hole par-3 course just a few blocks west of Pearl St. in Tacoma’s North End.  http://www.highlandsgolf.net

 

      1. Skateparks

Take the kids to one or more of several skateparks located at city parks throughout Tacoma.  http://archive.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php?id=149

 

      1. Stewart Heights Pool

Open mid-June through early September, this outdoor pool in Tacoma’s Eastside neighborhood boasts a 160-foot water slide.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/stewart-heights-pool

 

      1. Sprinker Recreation Center

Located in South Tacoma near the Lake Spanaway Golf Course, the Sprinker Center is open seven days a week for ice skating. Clink on the link above to view public skate times.  http://www.piercecountywa.org/index.aspx?NID=2367

 

      1. Frisko Freeze

Frisko Freeze TacomaThe fine folks at Frisko Freeze have been serving up burgers and fries since 1950. Go here for old-school fast food and a heaping serving of nostalgia. Tacoma’s Historic North Slope District.  https://www.facebook.com/Frisco-Freeze-184839174884771

 

 

 

      1. Primo

Located on 6th Avenue, Primo Restaurant features “farm to table Mediterranean food.” The menu is as varied as it is appetizing. Pan-roasted calamari in garlic saffron sauce. Porcini-crusted Alaskan halibut. Grilled apple-wood-smoked lamb chops. Your mouth is watering already, isn’t it? 6th Ave District Tacoma http://www.primogrilltacoma.com

 

      1. Art on the Ave

Tacoma’s 6th Ave District comes alive with music and art on the second Sunday in July.  https://on6thave.org

 

      1. Star Center

Metro Parks’ community center bustles with events, classes and activities in South Tacoma.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/star

 

      1. Dukesbay Theater

Home of Dukesbay Productions in the Theater District, this small theater showcases local playwrights and bills itself as “a voice for all ethnicities.”  http://dukesbay.org/dukesbay-theater

 

      1. Tacoma’s Mountaineers Club

        Your source of outdoor adventure classes and outings. Learn the basics of climbing and backpacking in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.  https://www.mountaineers.org/about/branches-committees/tacoma-branch

 

      1. Point Defiance Dog Park

dog-1210559_960_720Treat your dog to some off-leash fun at Point Defiance Dog Park.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Point-Defiance-Off-Leash-Dog-Park/270785266267528

 

 

      1. I Heart Tacoma Sidewalk Tours

Enjoy an entertaining and educational sidewalk tour or pub-and-grub tour of downtown Tacoma.  http://ihearttacoma.weebly.com

 

      1. Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park

Visit this monument to civic harmony on the Commencement Bay waterfront near Old Town.  http://www.tacomachinesepark.org

 

      1. Odyssey 1

Laser tag, games and a jungle gym await you and your kids at this West Tacoma fun center.  http://www.odyssey-1.com

 

      1. Dorky’s Arcade

Pac-Man, Asteroids, Donkey Kong and dozens of other 80s-era arcade games all under one roof in downtown Tacoma. Twenty-seven pinball machines, too.  http://dorkysarcade.com

 

      1. China Lake

An 11-acre park invites you to explores its woods, ridgeline and lakeshore. Bring Fido along (don’t forget a leash and doggie doo-doo bags).  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/china-lake-park

 

      1. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Located near Wright Park, this hidden gem of a museum is one of more than a dozen in the country that share an astonishing collection of historical manuscripts and documents, including the original draft of the Bill of Rights and Einstein’s E=Mc2 formula. To find out what’s currently on display at the Tacoma branch, visit the link above. Free admission.  http://www.rain.org/~karpeles/index.html

 

      1. Century Point Ruston and XD Theater

Point Ruston TacomaLuxury meets high-tech at this waterfront theater. Nine screens. The newest releases.  http://www.pointruston.com/retail/century-theatres

 

 

 

      1. Valhalla Coffee


Tacoma is home to a handful of first-rate coffee houses. This one, located in the 6th Ave District, is the best of the best.  http://www.valhallacoffee.com

 

      1. Swan Creek Park

Situated on the boundary between East Tacoma and unincorporated Pierce County, this 373-acre park has benefited from recent upgrades. Along with a 290-acre greenbelt and a salmon-bearing stream, it boasts new mountain bike trails and a new community garden.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/swan-creek-park

 

      1. Destiny Harbor Tours

Much of Tacoma proper is surrounded by water. Explore the city and its busy and scenic port via scheduled or chartered boat tours.  http://destinyharbortours.com

 

      1. Tacoma Freedom Fair

Celebrate our nation’s independence every Fourth of July on the Ruston Way waterfront with music, an airshow and a grand firework display.  http://www.freedomfair.com

 

      1. WildFin American Grill

Ruston Way is peppered with wonderful restaurants. One of the newest, WildFin, is located at Point Ruston and specializes in seafood and locally harvested food.  http://www.pointruston.com/retail/wildfin-american-grill

 

      1. Tacoma Games

Join other gaming enthusiasts for role-playing, board games and gaming events in this 6th Ave District shop.  https://tacoma-games.com/events

 

      1. Tower Lanes

Open 24/7, Tower Lanes in West Tacoma offers bowling, billiards, mini-golf and a gaming room. Those who develop a thirst or an appetite can stop in at the restaurant and bar.  http://www.towerlanes.net

 

      1. Dockyard Derby Dames

        Are you a fan of roller derby? Want to participate? The Dockyard Derby Dames can throw elbows with the best of ‘em.  http://www.dockyardderbydames.com

 

      1. Jozee Rooz Indoor Petting Zoo

Take the kids to this petting zoo in South Tacoma, where they can enjoy a hands-on experience with a whole menagerie of cuddly critters, big and small.  http://www.indoorpettingzoo.com

 

      1. 2nd Cycle

2nd-cycleNo ordinary bicycle shop, 2nd Cycle in Hilltop has the parts, tools and workspace to help you build or repair your bike and hit the open road. At 2nd Cycle, this is a community effort. Hilltop – Downtown Tacoma. http://www.2ndcycle.org

 

 

 

      1. Rollin’ 253 Skate & Community Center 

        When was the last time you strapped on a pair of roller skates? This friendly venue in west Tacoma invites you and the kids to drop by for some music and fun on wheels. West End Tacoma.  http://rollin253.com

         

         

      2. Pacific Parasail

        For the last decade and a half, this family owned and operated business has safely guided more than 20,000 flights. Located at the Ram Restaurant and Brewery on Ruston Way.  http://www.pacificparasail.net

      3. University of Puget Sound Events

UPS Tacoma hosts an eclectic variety of events, including lectures, concerts and sporting contests, at its venerable North End campus.  http://www.pugetsound.edu/news-and-events/events-calendar/]

 

      1. Kayak launches

From Thea Foss Waterway to Ruston Way and Titlow Beach, kayakers can choose from a variety of launches in Tacoma. Why walk the streets when you can paddle the waterways?  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/kayak-launches

 

      1. Tinkertopia

This downtown shop serves as a Mecca for “teachers, students, artists, crafters, inventors, makers, hackers, and tinkerers of any age in search of unusual materials.” Hosting a party with kids? Stop here first.  http://tinkertopia.com

 

      1. People’s Pool

Open swims, lap swims, swim lessons and even private parties are available at Tacoma’s newest public indoor pool. Located in the resurgent Hilltop Neighborhood.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/peoples-pool

 

      1. Thornewood Castle

Looking for a fancy getaway nearby? Somewhere to throw a party or a wedding? This sprawling 100-year-old English Tudor/Gothic mansion sits on four acres overlooking American Lake in Lakewood.  http://www.thornewoodcastle.com

 

      1. Job Carr Cabin Museum

Built in 2000, the small log cabin at Old Town Park on North 30th Street serves as an accurate replica of Tacoma’s first permanent non-native residence. Old Town Tacoma.   http://www.jobcarrmuseum.org

 

      1. Cooking classes at Europa Bistro

On the third Saturday of every month, enjoy a three-course demonstration and wine tasting at this Italian Ristorante in the Proctor District.  http://www.europabistro.net/special.html

 

      1. Emerald Queen Hotel & Casinos

With locations in Tacoma and Fife, the EQC offers gaming, dining, and entertainment. A popular venue for many touring musicians and comedians.  http://www.emeraldqueen.com

 

      1. Point Defiance Ferry Terminal

Just east of Point Defiance Park is Tacoma’s only remaining ferry terminal. Catch a ferry to Vashon Island and go exploring. Or simply get back on the ferry and enjoy the return trip across scenic Dalco Passage.  North Tacoma  http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/vesselwatch/terminaldetail.aspx?terminalid=16

 

      1. Griot’s Garage

Car enthusiasts speed to Griot’s Garage, where tech talks and car shows supplement a bevy of car-related products.  https://www.griotsgarage.com

 

      1. Bob’s Java Jive

A Tacoma institution shaped like a giant coffee pot, Bob’s Java Jive has been serving up roadside kitsch since 1927. Today it’s an eclectic bar. Drop by for a cup of Joe, burgers, drinks, karaoke and/or live music.  https://www.facebook.com/Bobs-Java-Jive-255645631215/?rf=449613875243543

 

      1. Wapato Park

The winding path around Wapato Lake is just under a mile long. But visitors at this South Tacoma park don’t just come here to exercise. Also find an off-leash dog park and several trails to explore.  http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/wapato-park

 

      1. Tacoma Ghost Tours

Take a guided walking tour of Tacoma’s haunted past. Along with downtown and Stadium District tours, there’s a 21-and-over option, as well.  http://www.tacomaghosttours.com

 

      1. Northwest Costume Shop

What’s more fun than playing dress up? This quirky costume shop in the 6th Ave District hides the treasure that is the Avalon Ballroom upstairs.  http://northwestcostume.com

 

Did we miss one? Though long, this list is by no means exhaustive. We could have easily added another 101. If we missed your favorite, be sure to add it in the comment section!

 

Related:  Five Amazing Hikes Near Tacoma 

by MATT KITE for THE HUME GROUP
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