It’s the most beautiful time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Holiday festivities in Tacomainclude a visit from Santa at the mall, a dazzling display of lights at the zoo, mulled cider, and sleigh rides.
Tacoma, known as the city of destiny, is home to world-renowned museums, vibrant artists and beautiful natural landscapes. There are also a ton of fun and free things to do in Tacoma.
Read on for a list of 8 free things to do in Tacoma.
If you are visiting Tacoma, Washington, you should make a point of visiting Tacoma Public Library.
The city’s library is an example of cultural stewardship. With hundreds of historical and artistic exhibits throughout its branches, you’ll be able to get acquainted with Tacoma quickly.
Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about why it’s such a good idea to visit the library!
1. Living History
The central branch of the Tacoma library system is a beautiful Carnegie library. These buildings were constructed in the early 1900s by the philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie.
There were 43 of these beautiful historical landmarks in the state of Washington. Of those 43, 32 still stand. Only 14 are still used for their original purpose though. Many were built between 1901 and 1916. The Tacoma branch was built in 1903.
This glimpse of history is a great introduction to Tacoma. Be sure to visit the Northwest Room so you can witness some of Tacoma’s history for yourself.
2. Activities for Kids
The Tacoma library has hundreds of things to do for families with children of all ages.
Throughout the week many of the branches will have read-alongs for toddlers and preschool aged children. There are pet rock craft and storytime hours, where kids can put their creative skills to use. Pet rocks are adorable little creatures that a child can then build a story around.
For older children, consider joining a Pokemon league. There are also several tabletop and Dungeons and Dragons teams to play with where kids can practice their role-playing skills.
Be sure to check out the summer reading clubs that happen throughout the season. The summer reading club will have programs for all ages-including adults.
All books count-including eBooks. Which makes it especially handy for families who may be ardent readers. Ask a Tacoma librarian for help when you want to sign up! It’ll be a great family event.
3. Cultural Activities
Libraries are a huge cultural resource. Tacoma’s library system is much the same. With activities like Korean calligraphy, a history walk through and community discussions on what Tacoma’s role may be in the greater world, there are many things to learn and do at the library.
4. So Many eBooks to Read
Electronic resources are fast becoming the norm for many libraries. eBooks are one of the ways you can check out books at any of the Tacoma branches. eBooks are convenient and can be read on most electronic readers.
If you are interested in trying out an eBook exchange, be sure to contact your librarian. They will make sure you are signed up with the right Tacoma branch account and that your eBook reader is capable of supporting the exchange program.
eBooks can be held for a number of days, depending on their publication date-much like physical copies.
Tacoma’s librarians will be able to suggest many types of books that will fascinate any number of reader. If you’re curious to try an eBook, be sure to ask for some suggestions! Tacoma is sure to find the right book for you.
5. Community Involvement
Libraries all over the world pride themselves on being stewards of their communities. Tacoma Library system is much the same. With hundreds of events that happen throughout the month, there are so many ways for the community to learn about their history and how to become more involved.
Tacoma Library offers free museum passes for five local museums in Tacoma. As long as you have a library card you’ll be able to visit the museums scattered throughout the city!
This is a great resource for families who have just arrived to the city. Or even for longtime residents who want to see a bit more of their home.
The main branch of the library even has an art gallery that features local artists. The Handforth Gallery can be visited by anyone. Check it out sometime and keep an eye out for new exhibitions or presentations done by local residents.
6. Convert Your Old Home Videos to DVD
With the rise of the digital age, some of our old analogue memories have become lost. But the library offers several services that can help you make sure your old childhood memories aren’t lost forever.
Converting VHS tapes to DVD is one of these services. The library offers appointments throughout the week at various times where members can bring their old tapes and can be taught how to convert them over to a more lasting media.
Be sure to contact the librarians at the Moore branch for more information. Soon you’ll be able to blackmail your younger siblings once more with the old videos they thought were hopefully lost forever!
7. Eight Branches to Visit
There are eight branches to visit. They are scattered throughout Tacoma. This is a convenient feature of the Tacoma Library. It guarantees any resident will be able to easily access the services the library has to offer.
Be sure to check the library’s addresses before planning a visit. You may find a branch closer to you.
8. Request a Visit
Before planning a visit, maybe consider an official tour. You will be walked through the process of becoming a member of the library system. You’ll also learn all about the services the library offers.
Our professional and knowledgeable staff will get you signed up for a library card and help you choose the first activities you want to take part in. Be sure to ask them about the museums you can visit for free when you get your card.
Tacoma Public Library Brings Light to Tacoma
Tacoma Public Library offers hundreds of services and activities you and your family are sure to enjoy.
When visiting make sure you discuss with the librarians just what you are looking for. They’ll help you find what you need and get you signed up for all of the activities you may want to take part in!
There’s so many things you can do with a library card. And Tacoma Public Library will make sure you use that card to the fullest of its abilities.
Tacoma Frames it Just Right
Tacoma Frame Makers is a hidden gem. Stacia Harvey, Owner and Head Designer has a passion for creating truly unique pieces. She gives memorabilia new life with her amazing touch. This Frame shop is open Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 7pm, walk-ins are of course welcome. Tacoma Frame Makers is absolutely the place to have any custom framing done. What are you going to do with your wedding dress? Kid’s art collection getting out of hand? Seahawks Memorabilia taking over, and not in a good way? Go see Tacoma Frame Makers. They make custom easy.
All Frame Shops Are Not Created Equal
Stacia has been a professional framer for over 25 years. She took over Tacoma Frame Makers a couple years ago and never looked back. The Local Frame Shop has been in business over 40 years and had been through five owners before Stacia took over. Since then the shop has been busy with new customers and many projects. Tacoma Frame Markers is truly a remarkable framing specialist and can cut frames for any piece, any size, any style.
Previous to her own shop, Stacia was the Manager of a big name Frame Store. She has experience in all parts of the framing industry which is why she has perfected her craft and stepped out on her own. Without a doubt Tacoma Frame Makers always crafts beautiful pieces. Not to mention, they don’t kill your bank account unlike the big name box stores. Stacia keeps the shop family owned, she works alongside her husband and has a couple other local framers she employes. Stacia told me that keeping Tacoma Frame Makers a close knit group ensures quality and allows her to understand and make connections with her customers.
I Need More Wall Space!
I was stunned with Stacias amazing work. First piece piece Stacia and I collaborated on was the MC Hammer Memorabilia Piece. Tacoma Frame Makers left their mark in the Center with a Gold MC crafted by Stacia. MC Hammer Tweeted in the Spring of 2016, that pieces in his own home weren’t even that amazing. Stacia has also crafted Melissa Etheridge Rock Memorabilia Pieces, Tacoma’s own HOPE 253 Memorabilia, fan memorabilia for the U.S. Open, and many more. She is able to take a hodgepodge collection of photos, our near and dear fan memorabilia, and design elegant, fun, unique art.
A Simple Way to Start Spring Cleaning
As Spring cleaning starts to creep up on us, collect your memorabilia, or the Jersey you always wanted to hang, or your wedding dress that you literally do nothing with and go see Stacia. Tacoma Frame Makers is just down the street. They can take those items that you haven’t been exactly sure what to do with, and make them into something dynamic and special. Go to her website, and definitely stop by the store. Tell her Becca from Clever Neighbor sent you.
Tacoma Frame Makers
3011 6TH AVE
TACOMA, WA 98406
ph: (253) 564-2320
Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 7pm
Plato’s Closet Tacoma offers fashionable items at 50-70% off retail prices. Their new location is at 2602 S. 38th street near the Tacoma Mall. Check out their Instagram Page or Facebook Page for up to the minute specials and new arrivals.
Experience tradition anew at the 1st Annual Tacoma Striezelmarkt!
The twinkling lights, the scent of mulled gluwhein (spiced German style wine) and Christmas music spreading through the air.
The 1st Annual Tacoma Striezelmarkt has opened its doors for the first of many years to come.
Experience the bustling marketplace and traditional treats of the holiday season in the heart of Tacoma’s Stadium District.
The Tacoma Striezelmarkt will open November 25th with both indoor & outdoor booths from 12 to 5 pm.
Where: 417 North E Street, Tacoma 98403
When: November 25th from 12pm – 5pm
Why: Support small business Saturday and get all of your Christmas shopping done!
Who: Get your invitation to the event by joining the Facebook Group page Tacoma Flea Market
Artist & Craftsman St Helens Debut
A great addition to the down town area, Artist & Craftsman Supply in Downtown Tacoma is now open! Art lovers won’t have to make that commute to Seattle any longer to get the pro-artist supplies they need. Located on St Helens Ave, Artist & Craftsman Supply is open from 9am to 7pm Monday through Saturday and 10am to 6pm Sunday. These experts have everything painters, sculptors and crafters need.
A Space to Create Art
Opening their doors November 2016, Artist & Craftsman arrived with a reputation in the art community for quality professional art supplies. Their Seattle Location is known for it’s astounding inventory and size. However the Tacoma location has a more Historic feel. A flood of abstract rainbow colors fill the room along with decorative light features. The Artist & Craftsman team has done an amazing job of restoring the Wagner Motors Building without losing the integrity of its classic 1920’s design.
Although every artist has a speciality and Michael Rives, the Manager of Artist & Craftsman is there to help artist cultivate theirs. I spoke with Kat one of the friendly staff members as she was adjusting upcoming events on the store cork board. She explained that Artist & Craftsman is a place for artist to dive into their passions. Moreover Kat was adamant that if there was a specific tool or item an artist wanted and Artist & Craftsman didn’t carry it in store, they would be able to order it for their customers or help them find it. The friendly staff isn’t the only draw to this stellar art store. Artist & Craftsman also host events, and are beginning to organize classes for the 2017 year.
2 Must See Demos
You don’t need an excuse to visit Artist & Craftsman but this month there are two Free Demos hosted in store that are a must see. Mark your calendar for Saturday February 4th 1pm to 4pm for the Yupo Paper Demo. Yupo Paper is a type of polyurethane synthetic paper. This paper is actually 100% recyclable. Another feature is that Artist can manipulate their work with water. This awesome paper is amazing for creating watercolor type images, soft textures, and depth.
The second event this month is on Sunday February 12th at 1pm. Artist & Craftsman will be hosting Marabu and demonstrating new products. Celia Buchanan will be leading the demonstration.
There are many more events to come which are listed on the Artist & Craftsman Facebook page and website. Tacoma residents are fortunate to live in a city full of art. Let February be a month to begin creating, painting, crafting and framing. Let’s express ourselves and get inspired at Artist & Craftsman!
Climb on at Edgeworks
When you think Rock Climbing our minds wander to gigantic boulders and cliffs with climbers hundreds of feet in the air. This image can be a bit intimidating. Indoor climbing has dramatically changed this traditional view of rock climbing to one with brightly colored hand and foot holds, auto-belays and one-on-one instruction. Located off 6th Avenue on North 9th Street, Edgeworks is hiding out and it’s absolutely the best climbing gym in Tacoma! Don’t be intimidated,the team at Edgeworks will have you suited up and bouldering in no time. They have all the rental equipment climbers need. Everything from climbing shoes, harnesses, ATC and chalk bags. Not to mention they have great hours, open seven days a week Monday – Friday 9 am to 10 pm, Saturday 10 am to 10 pm Sunday 10 am to 7 pm.
Walking up to the front door of Edgeworks, it’s hard to imagine that inside the grey warehouse business complex there is 10,000 sq ft of climbing, top-out bouldering wall, six auto-belays (single person belay stations), weight room, an instructional climbing wall on the second floor and a yoga studio to boot. Edgeworks literally has it all. There are basic 101 level classes that teach beginners how to tie a figure eight, lock in their ATC’s and climb on. It doesn’t stop there. Once you fine tune those climbing skills indoors the team at Edgeworks takes top-roping and lead climbing outside! Don’t worry when the little ones come calling“Mom I want to climb too!”, Edgeworks has kids classes and camps available as well. Climbing is a family activity and helps get everyone active and exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Commercial Climbing Gyms
The climbing industry has grown tenfold in the past decade. The march continues with the help of heated warehouses and fancy climbing equipment such as Gri Gri’s and comfortable sport harnesses. Commercial indoor climbing is another way for people in the Northwest to stay dry in the winter months while maintaining their 5.11 B status. I began climbing at Edgeworks almost one year ago, January of 2016 and have never looked back. The instructors at the gym are patient, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. They take climbing seriously so we can monkey around and really push the limits. If you are looking to become an Outdoor Guide or just want to boulder with friends check out Edgeworks. Tell them Clever Neighbor sent you!
Ananda is Sanskrit for bliss, which is exactly what students find at Source Yoga. Located on North 21st Street in Tacoma or Regents Blvd in University Place, this local yoga studio has amazing instructors that help students at every level develop and harness their abilities. I began my Yoga expedition this past September. Coming in with zero experience, I was nervous about trying yoga. I decided to start with the I & II level class. One hour and fifteen minutes later my Yoga Bhakti (path of devotion) was under way.
Let’s talk benefits! Everyone knows that yoga helps to increase flexibility, energy and vitality. Moreover, when paired with healthy eating leads to weight reduction and increased self esteem. Yet, improved athletic performance isn’t the only benefit. With a monthly membership at Source Yoga students are able to utilize mats, bolsters, blocks, and straps to assist in their practice. You never need to worry about forgetting your mat again.
All the instructors at Source Yoga are extremely knowledgeable. They are continually developing their skills by attending seminars and workshops. Students also have access to with their membership or can purchase these exploits individually.
What to expect! Class starts with seated dhyana or meditation and Instructors help students mentally focus through breathing exercises. I have tried a couple other Yoga studios in Tacoma. One of the many reasons I keep coming back to Source Yoga is the instructors. They walk students through the poses by performing them during class. They also assist students by helping to adjust their poses to develop proper movement.
So do yourself a favor this Holiday Season and take a break from the chaos by venturing into Source Yoga and find a moment of zen. Use Holiday Promo Code – Holiday15 – to get 15% off gift card purchases until December 15th!
Address: 2712 N 21st St a, Tacoma, WA 98406
South Sound Pets Have it Made
Lucky Dog Outfitters is the perfect all in one pet shop. Located on 6th Avenue in Tacoma, these dog loving South Sounders have what every pet wants and all pet owners need. After performing tricks Gizmo the Great was given the high quality treats and lots of praise. We went in for a doggie pick-up bags and left feeling informed about my product, with a few new products in mind.
Earth Rated doggie bags are greener than green. The packaging is made from recycled material, the bags are 100% biodegradable made from corn (a great renewable resource). Furthermore, the excess
processing material is then recycled for further use! It gets better, if the Quality Control Specialist at Earth Rated doesn’t find a our pups bags to meet their high standards, the bag is donated to animal shelters. Finally a company that’s green and focuses on the pets that haven’t made it home yet.
Drum roll for product details please! The refillable bag container attaches to your leash two ways. The first is by a clip that keeps the container from swinging around on the leash. The second is by a velcro strap that can be adjusted to the handle of the leash. Any awesome pet owner can simply snag a bag when the time is right. The bags come in various sizes to accommodate the smallest and largest furry friends. The container is a twist off for easy refilling.
Most important, the prices are competitive! I paid the same in store as listed online, making this local pet store a one-stop shop for our fur baby needs. The set I purchased came with 25 bags and the container for just under six dollars.
Lucky Dog Outfitters is truly one of the best local pet shops in Tacoma. They carry seasonal products as well as traditional pet gear. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable ensuring that our most loyal companions are happy, healthy, and prepared for the the winter weather.