Ten fun and free activities will entertain the whole family in Tacoma, Washington. From parks to museums there is something to please just about everyone, even the night owls. Put on some comfy shoes, pack a snack and explore historic Tacoma today!
1. Take a drive to Northeast Tacoma and visit the Browns Point Lighthouse Park at 201 Tulalip Street NE. Saturday afternoons from mid-February to mid November you can tour the site’s history center, boathouse, light keeper’s cottage, and see the original fog bell and a replica surf boat.
2. Tour the Port of Tacoma. Several times a year the Port offers guided bus tours to the public and during the annual Maritime Fest you can tour the port by boat. For more information go to http://www.portoftacoma.com and click the tab Environment and Community.
3. Ride the Tacoma Link from the Tacoma Dome Park and Ride to the Theater District. Trains run every 10-20 minutes depending on the day and time. Kids love to ride back and forth through downtown and the price is right because it’s all free!
4. Hop off the Link in the Museum District and check out the famous Bridge of Glass featuring works by Tacoma native Dale Chihuly. After you cross the bridge walk the promenade along the Thea Foss Waterway and catch the sights and sounds of the marina.
5. Time your visit to the third Thursday of the month and you can tour the Tacoma Art Museum all day, and the Glass Museum, and the Washington State History Museum from 5pm to 8pm for free. Plus take advantage of special events at local galleries during the free evening third Thursday Art Walks.
6. Explore historic Wright Park in the Stadium District while you are there, look for the lady in the lake, count windows in the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, and check out the some of the oldest trees in town.
7. Tacoma is home to one of famous Karples Manuscript Library Museums which house the largest private collections of important original manuscripts and documents. Located at 407 S. G Street, the Museum is just across from Wright Park. Exhibits change every three months or so and the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm excluding holidays.
8. Ride bikes along the Ruston Way waterfront. The paved walkway is perfect for young riders, strollers, skaters and families. Just remember this area gets swamped on sunny, warm weekends. Play in the grassy parks along the way or check out marine life in the water.
9. Explore the wonders of Point Defiance Park. While you are there drive, bike or walk the Five Mile Drive, visit the historic Pagoda, picnic at Owen Beach, hike the marked trails, and marvel at old steam equipment and exhibits at the Camp 6 Logging Museum.
10. Check out some of the doings at Metro Parks including the free wading or water play areas, free movies and concerts, and free drop-in summer activities for kids. Go to www.metroparkstacoma.org and see what’s happening today!
This is just a sampling of some of the best free activities in Tacoma, Washington. You don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy the beauty, history, and fun that abounds in our fabulous city.