Arts & Events

Free Things to do in Tacoma

By Brynn Svenningsen

Isn’t it time to get off campus and do something fun? Even better, something free? It often seems that with classes, friends and our commitments on campus that we don’t get involved in the Tacoma community enough, especially as college students who are often trying to save as much money as possible. Instead of spending your money, here are some fun free things to do Tacoma.

  1. Free Third Thursday at Tacoma Museums
    On the third Thursday of every month the Tacoma Art Museum stays open late and offers free admission from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Feb. 15, head to the museum and view the new exhibition titled “Immigrant Artists and the American West.” This exhibition opens in early February and focuses on the relation of art to the political and personal issues around immigration. The exhibit draws from the museum’s Haub Family Collection of Western American Art, its Northwest Art Collection, and contemporary art pieces that are on loan for the exhibition. According to the Museum’s website, the exhibit features work from artists in China, Denmark, Japan, Russia and other countries.
  2. Walk to Wright Park
    Wright Park is located about a mile and a half off campus. The long walk can offer some time for thought or for a chance to jog, bike or exercise.“I really love having a nice park kinda close to campus! I’m a big runner and I love having it on my running route. I have also heard that the conservatory is amazing to sit in when it’s raining,” first-year Eden Anderson, who has visited the park often since orientation, said.

    Once at the park you can enjoy the expansive grass field, fountains and hilly views of the sound and stadium district. Try sitting on one of the benches after a long thoughtful walk in the rain. On a sunny day, pass time with friends in the fields, read by the pond, or walk up to the conservatory. Grab your hacky sacks and slack lines and take a load off with your friends in the park. If picnicking isn’t for you, grab a yoga mat and stretch away the stress.

  3. Jam out in the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory
    The botanical conservatory is located within Wright Park. The glass dome is made of many glass panels and houses more than 250 individual plant species. The Conservatory aims to promote a connection between people and the natural world. It happens to do it in an intriguing way as there are programs set up that invite the community into the conservatory.

    On the second Sunday of every month the conservatory hosts their “Second Sunday Music” concert. The artists performing each month cover a wide spectrum of music genres and are meant to appeal to all who might be interested. On Feb. 11 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. you can listen to Ruthann Ritchie on the harp while enjoying the lush tropical floral displays. If you can’t see yourself jamming to Ritchie’s Harp then check out the following month’s folk music. Singer-songwriters Steve and Kristi Nebel will perform from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 11. While the concert is free, a donation of $3 is suggested.

  4. Try out urban hiking
    If you have limited access to transportation or don’t have the money for gas forget about hiking in nature. Instead try out the art of taking an urban hike. Put on your hiking boots or sneakers and head out with a light load to see the city around you. Try making a map of the places you’ve always wanted to go or get lost among your steps and find yourself somewhere new. For views of the Sound, walk along Ruston Way and enjoy the long path. Walk through local neighborhoods and even find your way down to Point Defiance park.
  5. Check out the Proctor Farmers’ Market
    The Proctor Farmers’ market offers people an opportunity to shop fresh and enjoy entertainment. The market occurs on the second Saturday of each month during the from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m during the winter. In the spring, summer, and fall, Proctor Farmers’ market is open every Saturday from 9am to 2pm.
  6. Walk over the Chihuly Bridge of Glass
    Spend time after visiting local museums on the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. The 500-foot pedestrian bridge stretches over highway 705 and includes three Chihuly glass installations. Open 24 hours, the bridge acts as a destination to enjoy the views of Tacoma or as a way to cross over to the Museum of Glass and the Thea Foss Waterway from downtown Tacoma.

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