The October Edition: 25 Tacoma Events

When we recommend getting in on the Tacoma Studio Tours, we mean it. Go to two or ten or dozens.

When we recommend getting in on the Tacoma Studio Tours, we mean it. Go to two or ten or dozens.

Are you ready? There’s a chill in the air, pumpkins glow, the ground settles into a familiar soggy state, our best sandals gather their first layer of dust as they inch toward the back of the closet, and the leaves - the changing, falling, piling, blowing, crisping, golden brown red leaves tell us the truth. October has come. And life goes on. Even if I leave bright lawn chairs in the back yard, even if I neglect (or refuse?) to fold them up and bring them in, to tend to them as I should, summer is still over. Perhaps, to you, it seems long gone. What’s the fuss? Okay, I won't make one. No fuss. Just a list, a list of gatherings, happenings, fests, events, tours, a list of community opportunities, a list of ways to while away the hours, a list of life moving on, a list inviting you to join it. And if you’re into the arts, you’re in for a treat because October is Tacoma Arts Month!

Image from   Creative Colloquy

1. 5th Annual Creative Colloquy Crawl

Tuesday, October 1st
6 - 9 pm
Various Locations from Stadium to Downtown

  • Free entry - mix of all ages and 21+ depending on the session/location

  • Wander from one location to the next from the Stadium District toward Downtown as you experience author readings, literary game shows, 3 minute stand-up flash fiction, a documentary series highlighting local PNW literary leaders, poetry, and all kinds of acrobatics of the written and spoken word

  • Sessions starting at 6 pm, 7 pm, and 8 pm with 4 or 5 locations active each hour - there’s no way you can catch it all, so just jump in somewhere (or carefully read the description of each session at each location on the event page to plan the perfect evening - up to you)

  • Locations include King’s Books, Stink - Cheese & Meat, The Grand Cinema, Anthem Coffee, The Mix, and Doyle’s Public House

  • 9 pm After party at King’s Books

Image from   Tacoma Arts

Image from Tacoma Arts

2. Kaleidoscope 2019 - Tacoma Arts Month Kick-Off Party

Wednesday, October 2nd
6:30 - 9 pm
Eastside Community Center, 1721 E 56th St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Celebrate the opening of Tacoma Arts Month!

  • Live music, dance, drums, and other performances from the local arts community

  • Hands-on activities for all ages

  • Appetizers and a no-host bar

  • Presentation of the 2019 AMOCAT Arts Awards by Mayor Victoria Woodards, and City Council Members Lillian Hunter and Keith Blocker.

Image from   Tacoma Film Festival  - poster design by  Art Chantry

Image from Tacoma Film Festival - poster design by Art Chantry

3. 14th Annual Tacoma Film Festival

Thursday, October 3rd - Thursday, October 10th
The Grand Cinema, 606 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • General Admission $11, Matinee $8, Seniors (62 and over)/students/military/ children (ages 0-12) $9.00 - (Members save!)

  • VIP Pass $175 - entry to all the films for the whole festival, plus parties & events, and moe

  • A week of new independent films. See one, see some everyday, come back again and again all week!

  • Visit

4. 58th Tacoma Greek Festival

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
October 4th - 6th
11 am - 6 pm

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1523 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma

  • Free and open to all

  • This festival is going strong! Year after year it brings Greek food, dance, culture, gifts, and books

  • Coffee, taverna, and food carts offer food and drink for purchase

  • Live dance performances (and a chance to give it a try yourself), take a tour of the Greek Orthodox Church,

  • The community at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church works long and hard to prepare for this beloved festival and share the best of Greek heritage and culture with Tacoma, and they donate a portion of the proceeds from sales each year goes to a local charity - just one more reason to go and get involved!

5. WTF (Women/Trans/Femme) & Non Binary Night at 2nd Cycle

Fridays October 4th & 18th
6 - 8 pm
2nd Cycle, 1205 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Bring a bike that needs some work or just learn how to take great care of yours

  • Bike stands, tools, and expert help provided

  • Safe place, safe event

  • Look for WTF & Non Binary Night every 1st and 3rd Friday

  • General admission $15, Youth $10, 3 and under free - Advance tickets required - purchase tickets here

  • Candlelight, firelight, blacksmiths, story and dance,

  • It’s 1859 (the Pig War just started in the San Juan Islands), so step inside, step back, let over 100 historical interpreters weave the magic around you

7. 2nd Annual Sustainability Summit for South Sound Women+ in Business

Saturday, October 5th
9 am - 4 pm
RAIN Incubator, 2304 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma

  • Tickets on a sliding scale - choose the highest your business can afford:
    $25 new/microbusiness/recent graduate
    $50 small business
    $75 established business - full price ticket
    $150 full price + sponsorship of anonymous attendee

  • Presented by Allison Bishins Consulting

  • Come on in local businesswomen! Get together, and further develop your sustainability goals. Talk about things like environmental equity, financial sustainability, a green supply chain, communicating your values, building community, and small group networking.

  • Includes vegan, gluten free breakfast, lunch, coffee and more!

  • Open to anyone who identifies as a woman

8. Native Plant Sale

Saturday, October 5th
9 am - 2 pm
Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S Tyler St, Tacoma

  • Free entry

  • Purchase native plants for your landscaping and gardens - native plants require less additional water, encourage native creatures, such as birds and insects, to thrive, and need less special care than non-native plants

  • Come early for the best selection and check the Tacoma Nature Center site the day before the event for a list of plants you’ll see at the sale

9. Communities in Schools Soaring Into the Future Fundraiser

Wednesday, October 9th
6 - 8 pm
Chambers Creek Park Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St W, University Place

  • $30 purchase tickets here

  • Be part of the supportive work of Communities in Schools as they advocate for and empower students and families, and keep students on track to graduate

  • Hear student stories, learn more about the work of Communities in Schools, enjoy food and drinks, get in on the raffle!

  • Doors open at 5:30 pm

10. Green Tacoma Day

Saturday, October 12th
10 am - 1 pm
Locations all over Tacoma

  • Free volunteer opportunity with Green Tacoma Partnership

  • Parks and green spaces keep us healthy, and we can thank them by pitching in to keep them healthy in return. For 3 hours you can step in to pull invasive weeds, pick up litter, plant trees and shrubs, and take care of existing plant life.

  • 14 locations in parks and green spaces all over Tacoma - view the list of locations and links to register here

  • Volunteers receive a free Green Tacoma beanie and a 20% off coupon for Woodbrook Native Plant Nursery

Images from   Tacoma Arts

Images from Tacoma Arts

Saturday & Sunday, October 12th & 13th
11 am - 5 pm
All over Tacoma!

  • Free

  • 96 local artists, over 50 studios/locations, 2 days

  • Create your own self-guided tour, meet our local artists, experience demonstrations, buy local art directly from the makers, and create art with your own 2 hands.

  • View the studio tour map plot your custom course through the city

  • Get your Tacoma Studio Passport (also available at the studios) and make sure to stamp it at each stop for the chance to win a prize!

  • Make sure to explore the Tacoma Arts Month site for other opportunities throughout October

12. CPR Saturday & Sunday with the Tacoma Fire Department

Saturday, October 12th
9 and 11 am
Eastside Community Center,
1721 E 56th St, Tacoma
Sunday, October 13th
8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm
Henry Foss High, 2112 Tyler St, Tacoma

  • Free - register here to choose your day, time, and location

  • Learn the basic life-saving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with new C-A-B-D guidelines

  • Upon successful completion, students receive a Tacoma Fire Department CPR certification card

  • Attendees will also learn automated external defibrillator use, to recognize Opioid overdose signs and symptoms, and the use of the reversal agent Narcan/Naloxone, foreign body airway obstruction management, and essentials of a home first aid kit

  • 1.5 hours of classroom lecture and 1 hour of hands-on training

  • Spanish and ASL sessions offered - be sure to check the registration details to choose the best session for you

  • Annual event - look for this opportunity each year on the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of October

Image from   Molly’s Tamales

13. Tamale Making Class with Molly’s Tamales

Wednesday, October 16th
6 - 8:30 pm
STINK, 628 St Helens Ave, Tacoma

  • $60 - purchase tickets here

  • Order drinks from the bar at Stink, then start with a delicious taste of tamales made by Molly to give you a preview of what you’re about to create

  • Make tamales start to finish from scratch with your chosen fillings (including chicken or pork) while hearing stories of how Molly learned this recipe and her cooking philosophy on a family trip to a ranch in Mexico over 25 years ago

  • Go home with a batch of tamales to enjoy now or later (they refrigerate and freeze really well)

  • Bring a friend, bring a date, bring an apron and your favorite knife

  • Get ready for a hands-on experience

Image from

14. Well-Read Black Girl Book Club

Wednesday, October 16th
7 - 8:30 pm
King’s Books, 218 St. Helen’s Ave, Tacoma

  • Free

  • A time and space for Black and Brown stories, stories at the center - not on the sidelines

  • A book club to empower Black women writers and community members who identify as genderqueer or nonbinary

  • Geared toward readers 14 and up - selected mostly books will be accessible to young readers but the book club is for all ages

  • This month’s selection is The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

  • Connect with the nationwide online Well-Read Black Girl

  • This is a King’s Books recurring event, so mark your calendars for the 3rd Wednesday of each month

Image from   Tacoma Arts Live

Image from Tacoma Arts Live

15. Shakespeare in Love with Tacoma Arts Live

Thursday - Saturday, October 17, 18 & 19
Friday & Saturday, October 25 & 26
7:30 - 9 pm
Sunday, October 27
3 - 5 pm
Theater on the Square, 915 Broadway, Tacoma

  • $19, $29, $39 (or go on Preview Night: Thursday, 10/17 for just $12) - get tickets here

  • A new stage version of the film comedy by Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall, and Marc Norman in which William Shakespeare emerges from writer’s block when he falls in love with a young actress (acting as an actor since women weren’t allowed on stage) and is inspired to write Romeo & Juliet

  • If you miss all the October shows, don’t worry there are 3 more shows in November!

Friday, October 18th
5:30 - 9 pm
Washington State History Musuem, 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

  • $20, $50 VIP - order tickets here, (or buy tickets at the door for $25) - free for museum members

  • Vintage and modern “little black dresses” modeled by community leaders and other notable local community members - runway fashion show starts at 6:45 pm

  • DJ, JBLM Roller Derby skaters, appetizers, LBD bingo with prizes!

  • Drinks available at no host bar

  • Pose for a fashion photo in your very own LBD (or whatever you chose to wear for the occasion)

17. Underground Tacoma Presentation

Saturday, October 19th
2 - 3:15 pm
Olympia Room - Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Photo presentation on Tacoma’s underground given by Pretty Gritty Tours

  • Steam-tunnels, speakeasies, fallout shelters, haunted corridors - see the photos, hear the stories, learn the history

18. Tacoma Trunk-or-Treat

Saturday, October 19th
5 - 6 pm
Cheney Stadium, 2502 S Tyler St, Tacoma

  • Free - participants must register ahead here - $2 suggested donation, or donate a book

  • This is the 1st annual trunk-or-treat and attendance will be limited to around 1500 kids for this first year

  • Wear your costume, bring a bucket or bag for collecting candy and have fun!

  • Bring a children’s book to donate - celebrate Literacy Night at the stadium!

  • Expect dozens of trunks for trick-or-treating (up to 60) all sponsored by local businesses, music, and kids’ activities

  • 1 or 2 food trucks will be present as well

  • Kids in costumes receive free entry to the Tacoma Defiance match following the event

19. Blossoms & Haunts

Thursday, October 24th
7 - 9 pm
Wright Park -
WW Seymour Botanical Conservatory, 316 S G St, Tacoma

  • $3 suggested donation

  • Presented by King’s Books and the WW Seymour Botanical Conservatory - the conservatory brings the blossoms, your and King’s Books bring the haunts, and the Conservatory Foundation brings the ghostly beverage

  • Come to listen and be chilled to the bone, come to weave your own web of spine-tingling terror

  • Bring a ghostly story, poem, or tale of the weird to entertain and terrify your companions - visit King’s Books where the staff can point you toward inspiration in preparation for the event

20. Ghost Hunt in Steilacoom (Round 2)

Friday, October 25th
8, 9, & 10 pm
Topside Bar & Grill, 215 Wilkes St, Steilacoom

  • $25 - order tickets here - rent an EMF device for $6 (EMFs are electric and magnetic fields - am I the only one who would need to look that up?)

  • Arrive at the Topside Bar & Grill early to get some grub before embarking on your 1 hour tour

  • Walking tour in Washington’s oldest incorporated town includes exclusive access to the Nathaniel Orr home and wagon shop, with stops at the Albert Balch home, the Bair store, and a building in the woods

  • The Ghost Hunt isn’t just a tour, it’s a search for the supernatural - get ready

  • Bring your flashlight, walking (maybe running would be better?!) shoes, and a camera

  • Visit Pretty Gritty Tours for a full array of Tacoma area historical tours and ghost hunts

21. Celebrate East Tacoma Trash Pick Up Day

Saturday, October 26th
9 am - 12 pm
Eastside Community Center, 1721 E 56th St, Tacoma

  • Free volunteer opportunity

  • Meet at Eastside Community Center to sign in and get trash bags and supplies

  • Head out to your street, a friend’s street, or anywhere in the neighbor where you’d like to help out

  • Volunteers can also join in on some group clean-up sites

  • Other neighborhoods across Tacoma are doing clean-ups today too, so take a look around and see where you can help out

Image from   Gather Juice Co.

Image from Gather Juice Co.

22. Fall Bake Sale for the Animals

Saturday, October 26th
11 am - 6 pm
Gather Juice Co., 2612 6th Ave, Tacoma

Image from   Heartwood Haven

Image from Heartwood Haven

  • Free entry - baked goods and beautiful fresh juices and smoothies available for purchase (if you haven’t visited Gather yet, it’s time!)

  • Buy vegan baked goods made by warm hearted community members who absolutely give a care about animals!

  • Your purchase supports the animals of Heartwood Haven Animal Sanctuary located in Gig Harbor, WA

  • Want to contribute by baking some goods? Get in touch with Heartwood Haven: or via messenger

  • Hosted by Gather Juice Co. and Heartwood Haven Animal Sanctuary

Image from   Y La Bamba

Image from Y La Bamba

23. Y La Bamba at Alma Mater

Saturday, October 26th
9 pm - 12 am
Fawcett Hall at
Alma Mater, 1322 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • $12 - get tickets here

  • All ages show in Alma Mater’s amazing Fawcett Hall

  • Performance celebrates the 9/20/19 release of "Entre Los Dos", the follow up EP to "Mujeres" with singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza at the helm

  • Read about Mendoza’s life and influences on the event page

24. Halloween at McMenamins Elks Temple - ‘80s Video Dance Attack

Saturday, October 26th
9 pm - 12 am
Spanish Ballroom, 565 Broadway, Tacoma

  • $10 - get tickets here (print and bring them to avoid long will call lines)

  • 21+ event

  • Wear your costume - costume contest!!!

  • ‘80s music videos dance night - so make sure that costume is as flexible as you are


25. Don’t Forget - Thursday, October 31st is Halloween!

Yes, this totally counts as a Tacoma community event. The beauty of it is, it’s such a tradition, no one has to organize it

Stick around home for a while, turn on a friendly porch lamp, light a jack-o-lantern, and listen for knocks at your door. Help the kids have a good time trick-or-treating! Each year we have all kinds of visitors disguised at ghosts, fairies, super heroes, witches, butterflies, Little Red Riding Hood, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and - let’s face it - some completely mysterious and indistinguishable characters that just make you scratch your head. The little ones tend to show up between 6 and 8 pm. Be a neighbor. Open the door and give out the treats; make their day!

Keep in touch about community events and life in Tacoma.