We know it can be difficult to plan a family outing when your budget is tight, so we’ve compiled this list of free and frugal happening in Tacoma to fit your budget. Most events on this list are free and the activities range from family friendly to adults-only. Enjoy!
Free and Frugal March, 2014
- Free admission to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for Tacoma Residents (must bring proof of residency). All day. For more details visit: http://www.pdza.org/calendar
- Tacoma Public Library hosts a free Classic Film festival featuring: “Rebecca” by Alfred Hitchcock. 3pm. For more details visit: http://www.tacomapubliclibrary.org/.
- Free South Sound Camp Fair. Find out about this summer’s events at Steve and Kate’s Camp. Parents can attend information sessions while kids have free access to the center’s brand-new Urban Adventure Zones featuring an indoor playground and adventure course. 10am-1:30pm. For more details visit: http://calendar.thenewstribune.com/tacoma.
- Women’s League Flea Market. More than 60 booths filled with art, crafts, jewelry, home and garden supplies, and much more. $5 admission. 9-4pm. For more details visit: http://www.pugetsound.edu.
- Robert Hren Memorial Walk: 5/10K. Join other “volksmarchers” in this walk. The American Volkssport Association is a personal fitness sports and recreation program offering noncompetitive sporting events throughout the country. Meet at the Ruston VFW Hall. Free. Or $3 if you stamp your volkssport book. 9am-1pm; event done by 4pm. For more details visit: http://www2.ava.org/
- NW Family Expo Pre-Party featuring Radio Disney Junior. The NW Family Expo is in April, but this pre-party is an opportunity to get your little ones moving to some great music. There will be games and prizes and they will be handing out free tickets to the expo in April. This event is free. 10am-1pm at the STAR Center in Tacoma. For more details visit: http://www.pacificsportscenter.com/.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Blue Mouse Theater. Don’t miss this last showing of the classic movie here in Tacoma. $5. Doors open at 11pm. Showing 11:45-2am. For more details visit: http://bluemousetheatre.com/.
- Classical Concert Sundays at the Antique Sandwich Company. The NW Flute Colleguim is featured this week. Listen to a different classical artist each Sunday at this wholesome eatery. Free. 3pm. For more details visit: http://antiquesandwichcompany.com/.
- All ages Equinox Party at Jazzbones on 6th featuring Jaden Row. $5 adults; $2.50 kids. 6pm. For more details visit: http://jazzbones.com/.
- Wee Ones Weekly with “April Showers” theme. This Wee Ones series runs every Monday at the museum. Visit the Children’s Museum of Tacoma any day to let your child learn and explore. The museum is the first of its kind to feature a “Pay As You Will” entry fee, which allows you to choose an amount that you’re comfortable with. This Wee Ones event has donation amount of $15 for the family (of 4); $5 per additional sibling. Free with membership. 9:30-11am. For more details visit: https://www.playtacoma.org/.
- Argentine Tango Lessons for beginners at the Cultura Event Center. $5. 7-9:30pm. For more details visit: http://t-towntango.com/.
- Knowledge Night at Doyle’s Pub. Join other quiz night enthusiasts for a chance to win prizes. Free. Every Wednesday night 8-10pm. For more information visit: http://www.doylespublichouse.com/.
- Grand Opening of the Tacoma Historical Society in their new location at 919 Pacific Avenue. “Out of the Attic: Curiosities from our Attic” is the first featured exhibit. Free. 5-7pm. For more details visit: http://tacomahistory.org/.
- Tacoma Public Library hosts a free Classic Film festival featuring: “Manchurian Candidate” with Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury. 3pm. For more details visit: http://www.tacomapubliclibrary.org.
- Swan Creek’s Mountain Bike Trail Grand Opening. Be the first to ride on the newly build bike trails. This project has been in the making since 2005 and is finally opening this month! Bring the family and bring your bike (or borrow one at the event). Win prizes and play games. Free admission. 10am-3pm. For more information visit: http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/calendar.
- Music at The B Sharp Coffee House. At noon Michelle Beaudry will be playing jazz guitar and at 8pm, the 5-piece bluegrass band Stillwater Hill will be playing. Both shows are free. For more details visit: http://bsharpcoffeehouse.com/.
- Classical Concert Sundays at the Antique Sandwich Company. Mark Wilson and his Guitar Orchestra is featured this week. Listen to a different classical artist each Sunday at this wholesome eatery. Free. 3pm. For more details visit: http://antiquesandwichcompany.com/.
- • Ballroom dancing with live music from 1-3pm at the STAR center. $5. Bring a partner. For more details visit http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/star/.
Free and Frugal April, 2014
- Midweek Swing. Get moving at Studio 6 in Tacoma on 6th Ave. $5- no registration required. Every Wednesday evening at 8:30. For more details visit: http://studio6ballroom.com/.
- Free ukulele circle. Weekly on Wednesdays from 6:30-8pm. For more details visit: http://www.tedbrownmusic.com/.
- See the Tacoma Rainiers on their home opener against the Albuquerque Isotopes. There will be a special opening night fireworks display. Tickets for as low as $11. 7pm at Cheney Stadium. For more details visit: http://www.milb.com.
- TED Talks speaker Tony Porter speaks about masculinity and how it affects our community. See him at Lincoln High School. Registration is required, but the event is free. For more details visit: https://www.facebook.com/events.
- You’ve been waiting all year to see the floats, the marching bands, and of course, the daffodils. Come out to see the Daffodil Parade alongside the streets of Tacoma. The event is free and family-friendly. It starts at 10:15am in Tacoma. For more details visit http://thedaffodilfestival.org/events.
- Open Board Game Night at Tacoma Games. Meet up weekly to play your favorite game or someone else’s you’re sure to learn a thing or two about strategy on some nights or just have silly fun on others. This little shop has games you love and games you never heard of, but would love. Come play with like-minded gamers every Thursday from 5-8pm. For more details visit: http://www.liketacomagames.com/.
- NW Family Expo. $5 per person or $20 for a family pass (up to 5). Military FREE and children under 12 FREE. All proceeds go to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Be one of the first 100 at the event and get a free ticket to Wild Waves theme park. 9am-5pm. For more details visit: http://www.nwfamilyexpo.com/.
- Rock the Dock hosts Monday night Rock & Roll BINGO starting at 7pm. Happy Hour is from 3-7pm, so come early and get ready to rock out while you play BINGO! Don’t worry; if you can’t make it this night, you can join them every Monday night at 7pm. Free. For more details visit: http://rockthedockpub.com/.
- Ruston Way 5K. This is a bit more spendy at this point, but worth the money to participate in the annual tradition of the Ruston Way 5K. What better way to spend your Saturday morning and to start your weekend off right. $35 registration, which increases day-of. For more details visit: http://rustonway5k.com/.
- Earth Day Extravaganza at the Tacoma Nature Center. Bring your family for this green-filled day. Special guest Don Ehlen is bringing his Insect Safari collection. Free. 12-4pm. For more details visit: http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/events.
- Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2014. Starts at the Washington State History Museum. This is a serious event with a fun twist. Free with $35 worth of donations. For more details visit: http://www.sexualassaultcenter.com/.
- Rebuilding Hope 5K on the waterfront. For those of you who missed the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. Free with $200 worth of donations. For more details visit: http://www.sexualassaultcenter.com/.
- Featured monthly on the fourth Thursday is Tacoma’s 2013-2015 Poetry Laureate, Lucas Smiraldo presenting music and spoken word. For more details visit: http://bsharpcoffeehouse.com/