The holiday season is here! This month we've found several ways to enjoy some local shopping, see a couple parades, entertain the kiddos, ring in the New Year with live music, get in on some juicy Washington history, and yet again indulge in a brew while supporting this city we love. So, bundle up in your best or ugliest sweater, it's time to celebrate the end of a decade!
Bootleggers' Ball - History After Hours
Happy Repeal Day! Come celebrate the end of Prohibition by jumping back in time to The Blind Marmot (aka Washington State History Museum's most secret speakeasy) for some Three Magnets brew, Chateau St. Michelle wine, and a signature cocktail from Heritage Distilling made with Reverend Al's Bona Fied Potents. Stick around for stories of northwest rum-runners, print making with Write253, and live tunes from The Happy Sinners. Watch out though! The Fuzz will be on the look out as your traverse the Bootlegger Obstacle course to libation freedom. Get your tickets here and don't worry, no passwords required.
Bus Route: #1
Winter Glass Sale at Jason Less Middle School
Twenty five years ago, Tacoma was known as one of the most troubled areas on the West Coast. In response to this, Tacoma born artist Dale Chihuly, along with co-founder Kathy Kaperick, set-up a unique program for the youth of Tacoma. Without any exceptions based on grades, disabilities, behavior, or artistic ability, students were invited to focus their energy in a safe and fun environment while flexing their creative muscles to build beautiful sculptures. Since the original 20 person class, Hilltop Artists now serves over 650 students per year and primarily focuses on glass blowing and sculpting. Additionally, they have established glass blowing hot shops at Jason Lee Middle School and Wilson High School, as well as a flame working shop at Ford Middle School. Last year alone these hard working students were able to raise over $100,000 by selling their work. All proceeds went back into the glass programs and have helped to increase graduation rates across the board in Tacoma. We hope you consider supporting Tacoma student artists this year and purchase one of a kind glass creations full of passion and heart!
(The morning slots are all full, but come by after 11:30 a.m. and the shop will be open to all!)
Bus Route: #1
Sing-Along with Santa at Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Warm-up those vocal cords, it’s time for a sing-along! Bring the kids down for a morning of Christmas carols and a chance to deliver that precious wish-list to Santa. Tacoma Musical Playhouse will be hosting Santa and his helpers and have even arranged for St. Nick himself to share a special story. Snag your tickets in advance, with such a celebrity appearance they may very well sell-out!
Bus Route: #1, #16, #100
6th Avenue will be shutting down from State Street to Alder to make way for a parade of holiday cheer! Bundle up and head down to the 6th Ave for live music, art, local vendors and another chance for a meet and greet with Santa. Traffic will shut down at 2pm, making way for the Santa Parade to begin at 4:30pm, which will transform the half-mile stretch of Tacoma into a winter wonderland. Get some of your shopping done, try out your jingle bell harmonies, or sit and watch local Tacoma artist’s floats cruise down the Ave. There will be something for everyone and if you stick around, you may even get a photo with the Big Guy.
Bus Route: #1
Breakfast with The Grinch and Santa!
Who-ville is coming to T-Town and a certain grumpy citizen will be venturing out of his cave to make an appearance. Come enjoy green eggs, Who-hash, and roast beast in the company of The Grinch and jolly St. Nick. There will be seating times every 45 minutes and when you’re not stuffing your face with green Grinch-cakes, kiddo cans enjoy face painting, a Christmas craft, live music, and a snow ball fight. Admission includes photos with Santa and The Grinch, so come in your Who-finest! Find tickets here!
Bus Route: #1, #41, #54
How fortunate are we to live in a place where not only the mountains are a short drive away but the water front is abundant and in use year round. Bundle up and head down to the water front anywhere from Anthony’s in Point Defiance to the Dock Street Marina and witness a twinkling display of boats decked out for the holidays. Sea Scout Boat Charles N. Curtis will be launching from Anthony’s between 5:30pm and 6pm and leading the rest of the fleet down Ruston and through the Foss Waterway. If you’re lucky, you may be able to snag a window seat at any of the various restaurants along the water. It’s quite the sea faring spectacle and a memorable experience for any little sailors in training.
Bus Route: #10, #11 (Point) #1 (Downtown)
December 14th – 24th
Charlie Brown Christmas at Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts gang are ready to celebrate Christmas and want YOU to join them! Members of TMP's Honors Youth Camps will be bringing this beloved Emmy award winning story to life on the Tacoma Musical Playhouse stage. Come sing along with young Schroeder at the piano and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. Additionally, the cast will be making an appearance at the 6th Ave Santa Parade where you may have a chance to meet good ol' Charlie Brown.
Bus Route: #1, #16, #100
Here’s something for the adults! We at Douville Home Group have organized another way to drink tasty brews and give back to Tacoma. Five local Tacoma breweries are collecting non-perishable food items and hygiene products, now through December 16th. Then, all five breweries will come together at Peaks and Pints to we weigh their final collection and celebrate the grand total! Go pay a visit to, Engine House 9, Odd Otter, Narrows Brewing, 7 Seas, or Wingman and drop off a donation, it’s that easy! Then meet up with us for holiday brews from each of the featured breweries and get a chance to win some swag!
Bus Route: #11, #13, #16
Ugly Christmas Sweaters Bonanza
December is here and it's sweater weather! Camp Bar wants you to stay nice and toasty this winter and invites you to enjoy some holiday libations while wearing your gaudiest Christmas garb. There will be a contest at the end of the night to see who has adorned themselves with the most hideous holiday sweater, where the winner will receive $100! So snag the glitter and Nana's festive cardigan because it's time to get tacky, Tacoma!
Bus Route: #28, #45, #48
Oh Holy First Night! Come ring in the New Year on Broadway and celebrate new beginnings and a connection to community with this years theme, The Tree of Life. After a one year hiatus, First Night is back and ready to be bigger and better than before, with live music and artistic performances across several stages, the worlds shortest parade, a night market with holiday fares, and of course food trucks! For those with little ones, there will be interactive family activities and a special kids countdown at 9pm. While there will be fire pits scattered through out, we highly suggest bundling up and wearing comfy shoes because there is just so much to see (and hear!). Get your tickets today!
Bus Route: #1, #2, #16, #45, #57
Winter Farmers Markets
Although the cold has settled in, our local farmers, bakers, makers, and more are still hard at work! Check out where you can find these end of season markets and enjoy some fresh produce and maybe a bouquet or two.
December 14th - 15th
Bus Route: #10, #11
(These will take you to the Zoo Entrance and the ferry dock.
So it will be a bit of a walk!)
Bus Route: #11, #16
Bus Route: #102, #3, #500, #501, #2, #41, #42, #48, #400, #11, #63, #16, #57, #45, #1, #13, #28
(Any route that stops at the Commerce Transit Center!)
Winter Night Markets
We love supporting local Tacoma businesses! With the gift giving season here, we'd love for you to also check out these hard working Tacoma vendors. Find some of your favorite fares at these local Night Markets and you may even want to treat yourself. Seriously, get a macaron (Dairy and Gluten free available!) from Girl Loves Cake Desserts, you won't regret it!
Bus Route: #100
Tacoma Night Market: Holiday Haul Crawl
Bus Route: #1
Tacoma Night Market: December Edition at Alma Mater
Bus Route: #2, #28
The Museum of Glass Market: December Edition at The Museum of Glass
Bus Route: #1 (Walk across the glass bridge)