Arts & Entertainment

Dive into Tacoma’s affordable and free community events

The glory of PNW summers will soon be bestowed upon us once more as spring quarter come to a close. Hot but not too hot of weather, daylight that sticks around till 9 p.m. and endless activities are just around the corner — making it the perfect time to explore Tacoma. Check out these three must-do experiences this summer!

Attend a free workshop at the Alma Mater

On several nights throughout the summer, Alma Mater will be hosting a variety of workshops, book clubs and art receptions — all for free. Experience an evening at “Collage and Chill”, an event that supplies music, vintage Nat Geo magazines and all the supplies necessary for a collage party. If collages aren’t your thing, consider hitting up one of their monthly “Something to Tell” open mic nights — with the next one being on June 13 at 7 p.m. — for a chance to connect with local storytellers or to take a stab at spoken word yourself. If astrology is more your style, check out “Tarot Tuesdays” the last Tuesday of every month, for an evening of free tarot readings with Astrologist Leah Mueller. With the beautifully decorated Alma Mater as the backdrop, the Alma Mater’s free summer activities are perfect for a unique night out with friends and family.

W.W Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Wright Park

With over 250 unique plant species and a dome roof made up of 3,000 glass panels, the W.W Seymour Botanical Conservatory is truly marvelous under Tacoma’s bright blue summer skies. Admission to the conservatory is by-donation and the conservatory is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Stroll through the conservatory’s exotic plant collection while listening to local musicians perform at “Second Sunday Music” every second sunday of the month from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Looking for something to do this summer with the kiddos? Participate in “Children’s Story Hour,” a series of children’s free storytime events along with hands-on art and science projects. Children and guardians of all ages are welcome to grab a seat surrounded by orchids, azaleas and chrysanthemums and listen along to various stories — the next story being “Grandpa Green” on June 19 at 11 a.m.

Enjoy Tacoma neighborhoods’ many summer festivals

Tacoma’s many neighborhoods are celebrated in a series of summer festivals, events and street fairs. The sixth annual Hilltop Street Fair is on August 24 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Way between South 9th and 13th street. This free event has something for everyone as it celebrates the Hilltop neighborhood with local vendors, great food, music and more. Celebrate Tacoma’s diverse cultures by also exploring Tacoma’s Ethnic Fest on July 27–28 from noon–7 p.m. in Wright Park. The Ethnic Fest, an event packed with cultural experiences, performances, arts and crafts, food and vendors makes this festival an absolute must this summer. If you are a lover of food truck also looking to support the local food truck scene, then head on over to the Stadium District July 21 from 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. for Food Truck Fest, also located in Wright Park. Grab a bite to eat, listen to live music and enjoy the natural setting while celebrating Tacoma’s seemingly endless cuisine choices.

Alex Alderman

Alex is studying sustainable urban development. She loves going to events around Tacoma and telling people about them. Her goal is to use her degree to make cities more sustainable.