The May Edition: 20 Tacoma Events!

April was a big month in Tacoma. There was Tacoma Wayzgoose weekend, the Lincoln High School Plant sale, and of course McMenamins Elks Temple opened! May comes in hot on its heels!

April was a big month in Tacoma. There was Tacoma Wayzgoose weekend, the Lincoln High School Plant sale, and of course McMenamins Elks Temple opened! May comes in hot on its heels!

May your May be filled with just the right mixture of adventure, community, Tacoma shenanigans, celebration, sunshine, rest, and I guess we’ll throw work in there too. Work is also good. In the spirit of composing a May of variety, we’ve compiled another list of 20 Tacoma community events that we absolutely hope will inspire you to reach out into the city we share.

You’ll find an abundance of markets (farmers, vintage, local makers, and more), historical walking tours, lots of ways to taste wine and beer, cooking classes, kids crafts, outdoor excursions, Japanese American Remembrance events, a fix-it fair, and chances to volunteer.

Wishing you all the best for another month of spring. Now on to the list!

1. Broadway Farmers Market Opening Day

Thursday, May 2nd
10 am - 3 pm
Downtown at 901 Broadway, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Celebrate! It’s the season of Tacoma Farmers Markets again and we couldn’t be happier!

  • 5 hours of fresh produce vendors, hot food vendors, local supplies, beautiful blooms, live music, and mingling in the streets

  • KNKX Public Radio will be the Music at the Market Sponsor

2. BAM Broadway Artisan Market - Every Weekend!

Fridays, 6 - 10 pm
Saturdays, 12 - 10 pm
Sundays, 12 - 4 pm
On Antique Row at 728 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

  • Free

  • A new weekend market showcasing local goods

  • Find things like jewelry, leather bags, sound healings, blown glass, personal readings, art pieces, children’s book, soaps and more

  • Set on Antique Row between the new McMenamins Elks Temple and the Pantages Theatre

  • Get this recurring event on your calendar for Fridays - Sundays this season!

3. Historic Homes of Tacoma: Silver Anniversary Tour

Saturday, May 4th: 10 am - 4 pm
Sunday, May 5th: 1 - 5 pm
Central Lutheran Church, 409 N Tacoma Ave, Tacoma

  • $25 - find your tickets here

  • Self-guided tour featuring Union Club, Saint Patrick Catholic Church, and six historic homes in Tacoma's Stadium District and North Slope area

  • Locations are in walking or easy driving distance

  • Central Lutheran Church serves as the reception center where you’ll find complimentary snack and drinks - but no food or beverages are allowed inside the homes on this tour

  • Docents will be available to answer questions, provide information, and tell stories at each location

  • This annual event showcases different homes and landmarks each year and is a fundraiser of the Tacoma Historical Society 

4. Celebrate Star Wars on May the Fourth with Tacoma Public Library

Saturday, May 4th
10:30 am - 5 pm
Fern Hill Branch, 765 S 84th St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Activities for all ages including an all-day scavenger hunt! Movies, photo booth, story time, trivia, bingo, snacks, costumes (don’t forget your COSTUMES!)

  • Get the schedule for the day here and don’t miss it!

5. Tacoma is for Lovers Artist Craft Fair

Saturday, May 4th, 11 am - 4 pm
Sunday, May 5th, 11 am - 4 pm
King’s Books, 218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Come to Tacoma’s favorite book store along with Jankuland and Destiny City Comics to shop from over 20 vendors!

  • Different vendors each day, so you can come Saturday and Sunday to catch it all

  • Handmade, vintage, arts, crafts, Tacoma-style!

6. 2nd Annual Mad Hat Tea Beer Fest at Tacoma Brewing Co.

Saturday, May 4th
2 - 9 pm
Tacoma Brewing Co., 1116 Court E, Tacoma

  • Free entry - all ages welcome

  • Taste local Tacoma Brewing Co. brews infused with Tacoma’s Mad Hat Tea - you’ll encounter flavors you might remember like Jasmine Moli Chun Hao IPA, Cremesicle Honeybush IPA, Mad Chai Stout, Tobin Palmer Lemonade. But don’t miss the new combinations: Mad Coconut Pale Ale, Campfire Lapsang Souchong Stout, Mad Blackberry Red Ale, Mad Black Currant Red Ale, Very Berry Rooibos IPA

  • BBQ2U will be on site to keep you well fed!

7. Downtown Tacoma Market - Spring Edition

Sunday, May 4th
11 am - 4 pm
Court House Square, 1102 A St, Tacoma

  • $1 entry

  • 40 + makers and small businesses with handmade and vintage goods - jewelry, clothes, sneakers, plants, and prints

  • Sit down for brunch at en Rama, pick-up to-go food at Outpost Kitchen, and get coffee at Lift Bridge, then explore the market!

8. Craft Saturday - Spring Flowers at Job Carr Cabin Museum

Saturday, May 11th
1 - 4 pm
Job Carr Cabin Museum, 2350 N 30th St, Tacoma

  • "Pay as you can” admission - all are welcome

  • Crafts aimed at kids ages 3 - 9 and their families

  • Decorate a flower pot, plant spring seeds, then take it home and see what grows

  • Craft Saturdays are a monthly event, so keep an eye on what’s coming up

Image from    6th Ave Tacoma

Image from 6th Ave Tacoma

9. 2nd Annual 6th Ave Wine Walk

Saturday, May 11th
2 pm - 6 pm
6th Ave Business District, from State to Alder

  • $25 - register here (or $30 day of)

  • Ticket includes 9 drink tokens, a map of participating businesses, raffle tickets, and a coupon book for 6th Ave bars and businesses

  • Wineries set up tasting rooms in some of 6th Ave’s favorite spots, so you can take it at your own pace, taste, shop, and explore the 6th Ave District

10. Beginners Family Paddle: Mothers Day Outing

Sunday, May 12th
10 am - 12 pm
Foss Waterway, 1930 E D St, Tacoma

  • $35 per person - register here

  • Outdoor Adventures is part of the Tacoma Nature Center and you’ll find more paddling adventures and other outdoor activities from them throughout the year

  • Kayaks and equipment provided, you just show up and paddle the Foss Waterway and get views of the glass museum and other downtown sights and sites while you kayak under the 11th St Bridge

  • If you’ve worked up some hunger in the kayaks, visit downtown Tacoma restaurants for Mothers Day Brunch, or head to the TAM for the brunch provided by Pacific Grill Events & Catering

Image from  Pacific Grill

Image from Pacific Grill

11. The Walls Winemaker’s Dinner at Pacific Grill

Wednesday, May 15th
6 - 9 pm
Pacific Grill, 1502 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

  • $125 per person (includes tax and service charge) - reserve your spot here, limited to ages 21+

  • 6 course menu by Pacific Grill Chefs paired with wines from award winning Walla Walla winery The Walls

  • Special guests from The Walls: Mike Martin, Owner + Ali Mayfield, Head Winemaker

  • Sure to be a delicious and decadent night-out to remember

12. 4th Annual Japanese American Day of Remembrance

Thursday, May 16th
3 - 8 pm
Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Special programming and exhibits free and open to the public to commemorate Executive Order 9066 which ordered over 700 people of Japanese ancestry in the south Puget Sound to report to Union Station, right here in Tacoma, for forced removal from their homes to federally-constructed concentration camps

  • Learn to fold paper cranes, participate in a Town Hall discussion, experience Within the Silence - the story of a teenage girl sent to the concentration camps, and join a commemorative procession to Union Hall

  • View the full schedule of events here

Image from the    Tacoma Night Market

Image from the Tacoma Night Market

13. Tacoma Night Market: (One Year Anniversary) Edition at Alma Mater

Friday, May 17th
Saturday, May 18th
5 - 10 pm
Alma Mater, 1322 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • Free and open to all ages

  • Art, vendors, community, live music, and DJ

  • Food and drink available from special vendors as well as from Honey and Matriarch on site

  • This is a monthly event, so keep your eyes open for the June markets (or come back to our list, we’ll let you know!)

  • Have you all been enjoying the Gig Harbor Night Market too? There’s word of a 3rd Night Market in the works - stay tuned

14. The Ikkatsu Project - Tacoma Shoreline Survey (and cleanup)

Saturday, May 18th
8 am - 5 pm
Les Davis Pier, 3427 Ruston Way, Tacoma

  • Free - volunteer opportunity, please register here

  • A one day survey and clean-up of Tacoma’s 13 mile shoreline

  • Volunteers needed to complete this work of community stewardship and care for our city’s habitat

15. May Fix-it Fair at EB Wilson Apartments

Saturday, May 18th
1 - 4 pm
EB Wilson Apartments, 1202 South M St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Volunteers are going to be ready to do their best to fix your item - Fix-it Fairs loves to know what you’re bringing ahead of time so volunteers can be prepared with the proper tools and supplies

  • Fix-it Fairs Tacoma are monthly events that change location each month to keep the fair accessible, and, shall we say “fair”?

  • What kind of items can be fixed? Jewelry, crockery, small appliances, clothing, toys, furniture - bring them in!

  • Items that we can not offer to fix: gas powered, cellphones, glass or anything leaking fluid - sorry!

Images from    Molly’s Tamales

Images from Molly’s Tamales

16. Dessert & Wine Cooking Class by Molly’s Tamales

Sunday, May 19th
11 am - 1 pm
1 pm - 3 pm
Stink - Cheese & Meat, 628 St Helens Ave, Tacoma

  • $65 - get your tickets here

  • Sip wine, sample Mexican sweet tamales and wine, get hands-on instruction, and learn about wine pairings for desserts

  • Go home with sweet tamales to steam and Molly’s secret recipe too!

  • Offered in 2 sessions on Sunday, but find more opportunities by following Molly’s Tamales

  • Also, if you’re more into savories, consider the Vegan Tamales Class with dates in May and June

17. Modern Womxn: A Workshop on Womxn in Business

Sunday, May 19th
6 - 8 pm
Honey at Alma Mater, 1322 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • $40 - register here

  • Join the Allison Bishins Consulting and the wider community to explore the experience of modern womxn (cisgender and trans women) in the modern workplace and in art

  • Hear from the panel of speakers and spend time in a “nurture” group to further engage in how to support each other

  • Speakers include: T'wina Nobles, Tacoma Urban League and Ladies First: Boundaries Lead to Better Outcomes - Krista Perez, Tacoma Women of Color Collective: Imposter Syndrome and Self Care in the Workplace  - Renee Simms, Associate Professor, African American Studies, UPS: "Me, Too" at Work - Bre Johnson + Tara Newton of the Rainbow Center: Rainbows & Unicorns: LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace  - Kristy Fassio, Redhead Bopo Inspiration: Body Liberation  

  • Non-alcoholic drinks and snacks included

  • This even is part of the month long Modern Womxn: An Exploration exhibit

18. Alesong at Pint Defiance!

Wednesday, May 22nd
5 - 8 pm
Pint Defiance Specialty Beers & Taproom, 2049 Mildred St W, Tacoma

  • Free entry - beer for purchase, 21+

  • Alesong Brewing and Blending of Eugene Oregon makes a special appearance at Pint Defiance to share new brews from their May release

  • Taste and talk beer in the taproom

19. Inaugural Food Forest Festival at Swan Creek Park

Saturday, May 25th
12 - 5 pm
Gathering Circle, Swan Creek Park, 2299 E 42nd St, Tacoma

20. Homespun Happy Hour at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Friday, May 31st
6 - 9 pm
Fort Nisqually, 5400 North Pearl Street # 11 Point Defiance Park, Tacoma

  • $20 - get tickets here, ages 21+

  • This is a “make and take” event featuring 19th century crafts like scrimshaw, candle making, leatherwork, tinsmithing, and felting!

  • Food sampling, cash bar, live music

  • Explore Fort Nisqually and get into the spirit of 19th century times with the fort’s period enactors

  • Homespun Happy Hour is once in May, June, and July - we’re really hoping to get to one of them!


Here we are at the end of May. Tacoma events took us all the way to the final day of the month and there’s so much else that’s good, exciting, interesting, worthy, and wonderful that isn’t on the list. Get out and support something when and where you can. You won’t be sorry.

We hope to bump into you out there this May!