Hello Tacoma Summer! This city has done so well to adapt. Whether moving to virtual platforms, modifying their businesses, taking care to keep the city beautiful, or pushing on despite difficulties, Tacoma certainly has no intention of slowing down. We've found some re-openings, new openings, reasons to celebrate, and ways to virtually enjoy the beauty, talent, and history of Tacoma from your living room.
See you (from afar) around, Tacoma!
July 10th + 24th
Whether you are an avid cyclist or a newbie just getting the hang of Tacoma roads, Slo + Social Group Rides are for you. A great opportunity to commune (at a safe social distance), every second and fourth Saturday you can joing fellow cyclists in the Tacoma area for a 3 – 5 mile ride. 2nd Cycle provides the music and the route, you provide the energy. For those who don’t know about 2nd Cycle, they are a non-profit organization, that seeks to demystify and normalize bike riding as a part of daily life. Their shop is located on MLK and they offer professionally rebuilt bicycles, fast and affordable mechanics, use of their shop and tools for fair rates, extensive inventory for repairs and rebuilds, youth programs, and one-on-one training. Check them out here!
Stride with Pride (Virtual Fun Run/Walk)
Run or walk your way through Tacoma for Stride with Pride! With all proceeds benefiting the Rainbow Center, this virtual event encourages you to show up in your finest running shoes and sashay you way to the finish line. Registration includes a virtual race kit containing a t-shirt, printable bibs, cheer signs, and mile markers. If you need help finding a route, they even have options laid out for you! Be sure to snap some photos of your Pride walk and post them before 6pm to be entered to win some sweet swag.
While were at it… July is Tacoma Pride Month! This year’s pride celebration will certainly look a bit different, but there are still plenty of opportunities to celebrate, advocate, and love on our LGBTQ community and allies. Check out Tacoma Pride's website for a list of events including the Pride flag raising, several virtual parties, parades, services, and even a virtual ball, as well as a drive through HIV testing provided by Pierce Count Aids Foundation. Additionally, on July 11th several Points of Pride vendors, restaurants, and breweries will have Pride themed promotions and activities to celebrate in place of the normal street festival. Find the list here!
Hilltop’s Curbside Community Clean-up
(With more neighborhoods on different dates!)
A few of us went into this pandemic with some time on our hands and went into “Spring Cleaning” mode. Unfortunately, with the dumps closed for a while, there was nowhere to put the “stuff”. The City of Tacoma would love to help and have moved their community clean-up from a central location to a curbside pick-up. If you live in the boundaries displayed in the above map, on July 11th you can leave of to 25 bags of household items to be disposed of. Items must be at least 4ft from the curb and can be no more than 6ft in length..
Don’t live in Hilltop? Find you clean-up date here. Be sure to check back to see if curbside pick-up is still available!
Every Monday Night
Stephanie Anne Johnson Weekly Virtual Hang
One thing we’ve been missing during the time of Covid, is live music tickling our hearts and ears. Thank goodness for technology! Tacoma’s very own Stephanie Anne Johnson has partnered with Emergency Bandcast System to provide a weekly show, straight to your living room! Simply stream her Monday evening “Virtual Hang” from the Emergency Bandcast page, and she’ll take it from there. With originals, covers, themes, and requests from YOU, the shows are never the same. You may recognize the soulful voice of Stephanie from season 5 of The Voice or around town when she performs with her group the Hidogs. So, if you’ve got those Corona “blues” and are looking to “jazz” up your Monday evening, just “rock n roll” on to your couch for a nice Monday evening jam session. Don't forget to check out Stephanie's personal page for ways to tip!
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is OPEN!
It’s hard to imagine a childhood summer in Tacoma without a trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Thankfully, the PDZA has been able to open it’s doors! You can again explore the arctic tundra, visit the otters in rocky shores, catch some fishy stares from the sharks at the Pacific Aquarium, and snoop on the tigers in the Asian Forest Sanctuary. While most of the zoo is open, some Keeper Chats and Animal Encounters will continue but will not longer be scheduled, in order to avoid congestion. Also, tickets will be time-blocked and a one-way path has been marked for a stream line experience. As with the entire state, face coverings are required (for all over the age of 5), and staff is asking that visitors sanitize often during their visit. While it all still feels like a major adjustment, I’m sure we can all still fine the joy in watching a fuzzy fox skip across the tundra and crack a smile under our protective gear.
Alternatively, if you are still looking for a zoo experience for the kiddos but not ready to head out, the PDZA staff have set up virtual activities and education for your future little zoologists! Check out their Nature at Home page for indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts, nature science and arts projects, and a chance to check out the wildlife eye-spy game using camera trap photos.
Free Business Owner and Tax Preparer Workshop
Tacoma business owners, this workshop is for you! Tacoma has boomed in the last few years and we imagine it will only continue to do so. So if you are interested in starting your own Tacoma business, have one already, or are just curious what the process looks like, consider registering for this free event focusing on Tacoma's' Tax and License requirements.
• Tax classifications and how they apply to your business
• Minimum thresholds that apply before filing is required
• Completing your tax return
• Online filing for tax returns and license renewals with FileLocal
• Tacoma's paid sick leave and minimum wage laws
Tacoma's favorite tour guides have taken their business virtual! While you may not be able to trek through the neighborhoods of our beloved T-town, you can get cozy with a brew and follow along as you hear the mysterious, adventurous, and sometimes tragic history of Tacoma. Simply log into Facebook, select that days event, and follow along as your guide cruises through a Google map! You can even ask questions in real time. Find July's event pages below:
July 11th: Mysteries in Old Town
July 15th: Tacoma’s China Town
July 18th: Stampede Pass
Bonus: All past events have been uploaded on on their Virtual Tour page!
It seems that even a pandemic can't slow down Tacoma and it's desire for tasty brews and great food. Here's a few places coming down the pipeline that we can't wait to frequent!
A long time dream is finally coming true for the Wingman gang as they are setting up shop in the old Tacoma Cabana. Don't worry, their Puayllup Ave Brewery will still be running, in fact it will be providing beer for their new family friendly expansion. Set to open in late summer early fall, Little Radio (an homage to The Little Radio Shop which inhabited the space in 1937) will provide high quality pub food, tasty local brews, and hand crafted cocktails. Everything from the sandwiches to the tiki themed cocktails have been carefully thought out by some local food and drink gurus to make for an elevated experience. The space boasts copper counters, old growth wood (everywhere), that signature Wingman orange, and will hopefully be set for live music, art shows, and other community events down the road (pandemic pending). Keep an eye on their Instagram and check out this article for more information!
In the heart of Stadium district the creative duo who brought you Devils Reef is taking a dive into Catie's favorite libation, gin. Robyn and Jason Alexander have taken over the old Copper Door's space (RIP) and flipped it into a very hotel chic lounge restaurant, boasting live edge wood bar tops and tables, a grand group booth, antiques galore, and various dining spaces. Gilman House will be a family friendly spot, but you will likely see us bellied up to the 21+ bar with a gin and juice concoction or a local brew in hand. As for the food, you'll find it's on the greener side. The Alexanders have placed a great focus on plant based platters and meals, like Mediterranean platters, vegan biscuits and gravy (yes please!), and stuffed avocados. Still omnivore friendly, there will be some heavy protein add-ons and a few meaty dishes. For a full story, check out Dine Pierce County's article here and be sure to follow them on Instagram!
Bonus: Check out Dine Pierce County's "We're in Phase 2!" article about restaurants opening up in Tacoma and Pierce County!
BONUS Bonus: We seem to have a thing for the Red Hot... but couldn't NOT mention that they are open for dine-in service! Seating is limited and masks are required for entry (to be removed when seated) but you can finally sit down and enjoy a tasty dog with a crisp pint of local beer. Additionally, they have partnered with the Black is Beautiful project and will be donating all proceeds from purchases of the Black is Beautiful Stout to Tacoma Urban League. Check out this post for more details!