January in Tacoma
Updated: Jan 14
Happy New Year, Tacoma!
We hope you had an excellent 2019 and are happy to kick-off your 2020 with more activities around Tacoma! This month you can hop back in time to the killer 80's and solve a totally rad mystery or jump even further back to the pioneer days and learn how westward expansion influenced American Whiskey and the PNW drinking culture. If you prefer to stay in this new decade, we suggest trying your hand at traditional dumpling making, exploring some of Tacoma's most historical buildings, or enjoying a well deserved pint after a casual run with the Tacoma Runners. In celebration of the new year, we've included a few activities that happen all year round. New years it a great time to start new hobbies and traditions, especially in good ol' Tacoma!
When the United States expanded westward, the early pioneers filled their wagons with important supplies, rations, and tools. They also brought along a lesser mentioned ration of the boozy nature. Come hear from a certified cocktail historian about the advancement of American whiskey, early distilling and drinking traditions, and the struggles of early pioneers. With over 20 years of experience, Renee Cebula will be bringing the Pacific Northwest’s long history of libations to life with tales of western expansion and how the entire drinking culture changed. Did we mention that this official McMenamins History event is free!?
Doors open 5:30!
January 9th & 23rd
Do you love mystery, intrigue, AND breadsticks!? Then this Totally 80’s Murder Mystery at downtown Tacoma’s Spaghetti Factory may be just for you, Gumshoe! Enjoy a “totally killer” three-course meal with fellow suspects as you examine clues, search for evidence, and try to not get mixed up with the culprit. This 80’s themed mystery is sure to keep you in stitches and add some stretch your waste-line. Find tickets here and don’t forget your trusty magnifying glass!
Tacoma certainly has its fair share of unique, historical, and beautiful homes, and the Vaeth Mansion is truly something to behold. Come check out one of Tacoma’s most treasured homes while trying out your swing moves. Non-profit ensemble, The Kareen Kandi World Orchestra, will be filling the halls of The Vaeth Mansion with some jazzy tunes while you fill your stomach with some tasty chicken and rice entrees. All proceeds from the event go towards Tacoma's Sister City Jazz Exchange with Biot France and their cultural exchange program. An opportunity to jam with the band will be available to those who stay late!
Grab a flashlight and lace up your walking shoes, Gritty City Tours is ready to take you from the balcony to the basement of Tacoma’s iconic armory building. Dedicated in 1909, the armory was home to the National Guard for over 100 years and has seen several events from presidential visits to boxing matches. Go back in time as you wander through winding corridors, across forgotten riffles ranges, and into some of the hidden corners (and criminal cells), while hearing tales of past soldiers and Tacoma figureheads. If you spook easily, you may want to bring a buddy to hang onto as there are stories of paranormal activity.
Route: 28, 45, 57
Ahoy! Come explore the Balfour Dock building and try your hand at some basic sailing skills, all with a pint in hand. The Foss Waterway Seaport is hosting a four-event series specifically for the 21+ crowd where you can enjoy some Diamond Knot Brewing beers and explore the life of sailing. This after dark event allows you to explore the history of Tacoma’s seaport, with education and hands on activities like crafting a sailor’s knot trivet as well as a scavenger hunt which will enter you to win some sweet raffle prizes. Tickets include two drinks, snacks, and access to the museum.
Route: 1 (Walk across the Bridge of Glass down to Dock Street)
Try your hand at this delicious Chinese New Year’s tradition! Chef owner of East Kitchen, Julia Bang, will be teaching the art of dumpling making. More specifically, you will get a chance to make the traditional Jiao Zi dumping, said to represent good luck for a fortuitous new year. Come fill your bellies and your new year with these fortunate and tasty treats.
All year long!
Every Thursday, Tacoma Art Museum is open late and entrance is FREE to the community from 5pm to 8pm. This is an excellent opportunity to explore new exhibits, check out local artists, try your hand at sketching, and enjoy some happy hour specials in the café.
BONUS: Third Thursday also includes the Museum of Glass and the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum! Take the same bus route and just walk across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass.
Want to knock out two resolutions in one activity? Get in shape while getting out and meeting fellow runners! Every Thursday, runners of all speeds and abilities start at a local pub, brewery, tap house, or restaurant for a three(ish) mile run through Tacoma. Get to know the city and your neighbor as you cruise through T-town and then sit down for a tasty pint! All are welcome!
Route: Check out Pierce Transits Trip Planner each week for a route to the bar of choice!
Do you remember the first time you set foot in a dimly lit theater with buttery popcorn in hand and unfolded that squeaky theater chair just itching to see your first real movie? Well, The Grand Cinema wants to help Tacoma families build those cinematic memories! Every third Saturday The Grand Cinema offers a free family friendly (and often classic!) movie. This is a first-come, first-served event with doors opening at 9:30am. Show time is at 10am and this month The Grand will be showing the 2005 hit, The March of the Penguins. Check out the calendar for future shows!
BONUS: If you're looking for something a little more intense, check out the Grand Cinema's weekly Weird Elephant flicks. They describe this event as their "weekly late-night cinephile infusion" night, where bizarre, spine-chilling, retro, or mind blowing movies are shown every Saturday at 11pm.