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!
Thursday, May 2nd
10 am - 3 pm
Downtown at 901 Broadway, Tacoma
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
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!
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
Saturday, May 4th
10:30 am - 5 pm
Fern Hill Branch, 765 S 84th St, Tacoma
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!
Saturday, May 4th, 11 am - 4 pm
Sunday, May 5th, 11 am - 4 pm
King’s Books, 218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma
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!
Sunday, May 4th
11 am - 4 pm
Court House Square, 1102 A St, Tacoma
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
$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
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
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!