Fun activities to do for free near campus at UWT

Fall is here, and that means new students who are completely unfamiliar with campus. If you’ve already studied and your stomach is full, you may want to walk around and take a look at all the free stuff that’s available

for students.

When you have a day for it, check out all the things near campus you can do for free. When you’re a student, some of these things have been purchased for with your fees. UWT is a commuter campus, and you can find students who are used to the routine of: get in your car, pay for two hours of parking in one of the spots on campus, and then return home. Meanwhile, there’s free parking at the Tacoma Dome, connected by a free light rail that runs every few minutes and can take you to most anywhere in downtown easily at no cost.

Dale Chihuly has left a big footprint on his hometown. On campus it’s easy to stumble across a Chihuly piece without even trying. If you ever want to catch them all one day, the Tacoma Art Museum has provided a guide called “Ear for Art: Chihuly Glass Cell Phone Walking Tour,” although any digital music player could be used for this. Pamphlets detailing the tour can be found throughout campus or on their website, but what’s great about it is the enlightenment it offers for no cost, and with no need to make a reservation. It offers a little more insight than you can get from just a sign, like the voice of Dale Chihuly himself explaining his pieces.

If you haven’t taken a look around the UW Tacoma library, you definitely need to feast your eyes on the Chinook Red Chandelier on the second floor. This past May the library added an authentic Picasso sketch to their collection, although you may have to crane your neck around a corner to see it while the construction continues.

It’s a very short walk to three museums filled with wonders. Students are free to check out the Tacoma Art Museum whenever they’d like; it’s always free for students. Right now the big exhibit is “Best of the Northwest”. On November 4, they’re putting on a free Dia de los Muertos community festival. On Sundays, the Museum of Glass is free for students and the State History Museum is only free when all museums are free on the third Thursday of the month.

A lot of times, you just need to talk a walk. Pugnetti Park is a great place to go to when you need a little green, a gorgeous view of the 509 bridge, and you can reflect on the Occupy movement protestors who camped out there for so long.

You’re in the heart of downtown and the Link is very affordable at the low cost of free. Fireman’s Park is not too far from Theater District Station, which also offers easy access to the Stadium District, Dorky’s, the Broadway Center, and a lot more!

At the other end, you have Freighthouse Square at Tacoma Dome Station. They offer great window shopping and several amazing food stands for when you get tired of the on-campus options. They just announced new owners so you may see an interesting change or two come from that.

For more information on the Chihuly self-guided tour, visit www.TacomaArtMuseum.org

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