The title of “nerd” has changed over the years. At first, it was often derogatory, labeling those with intelligence or certain special interests with a bad name. In recent years, though, countless groups of people have taken back the term to include all kinds of people – and we are darn proud of being nerds. We gather in droves to celebrate our lore with unique methods, places and styles. So, whether you are just finding yourself in the nerd universe or are looking for more places to celebrate what you already love, read on for a list of places to get your nerd on in Pierce County.

Crescent Moon Gifts

Crescent Moon Gifts, located on 6th Avenue in Tacoma, is a great stop for all things magical, whimsical and imaginative. The elaborate display of Harry Potter merch as you walk in the door is jaw-dropping and the fairies, unicorns, mermaids and even a giant dragon make this shop a wonderland. Local artists, like Tracee Nye, have painted the walls with beloved characters from literature and film, creating the shop into a fantasy land where there’s something for just about everyone. Visit Crescent Moon Gifts by going to 2502 6th Avenue in Tacoma.

Think Geek Tacoma
Think Geek has Star Wars merch galore. Photo credit: Shelby Beckwith

Tinkertopia

This fun shop is located on Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, and is for the classically nerdy at heart. Science and creative experimentation are the main themes at Tinkertopia. At the shop, visitors can create, craft and discover new innovations with raw materials. From opportunities to form Rube Goldberg machines to creating spy gear and action figures, this place is a builder’s heaven, but also a unique resource for crafters and artists of all sorts. Check out Tinkertopia at 1914 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma.

Comic Book Stores

No matter if your reading interests are within the realms of anime, DC or Marvel, Tacoma comic book stores have you covered. Named after Tacoma’s own moniker, Destiny City Comics is a great spot to collect comics of all kinds in the Stadium District at 218 Saint Helens Avenue. Another popular comic book store in the area is Stargazer Comics. This shop provides reading materials in the comic, fantasy and sci-fi realms. The walls are lined with action figures, comics, novels and nerdiness galore. You’ll find Stargazer Comics at 2610 6th Avenue. Last but not least is Atomic Comics at 4020 S. Steele Street, #102, a go-to stop for comic book nerds in the area. From old to new and undiscovered, Atomic Comics will always have something for comic lovers.

Think Geek Tacoma
Baby Groot watches over the store at Think Geek in the Tacoma Mall. Photo credit: Shelby Beckwith

Arcade Games

Gamers are a special form of nerd that make up a great deal of the culture. Tacoma is home to two arcades that provide great spots for classic gamers to gather. Dorky’s Arcade, located in downtown Tacoma at 754 Pacific Avenue, has countless classic games from Pac-Man to pinball – not to mention they have some of the best pizza in town. The Triple Knock is a pinball arcade in Tacoma, featuring fun for classic gamers and some great brews to knock back while you’re beating all the high scores. Visit The Triple Knock by going to 2713 6th Avenue.

Think Geek

Think Geek is a treasure trove of merchandise and fun for nerds, geeks and lovers of all sorts of fandom. Pick up a digital ocarina, discover your favorite new action figure or Funko Pop character, get comfy on an enormous Snorlax bean bag, and drown in a sea of Star Wars at this eclectic shop. The amount of nerd-friendly merchandise at Think Geek is impressive and this is a go-to shop for all. Think Geek is located in the food court at the Tacoma Mall at 4502 S Steele Street.

Pokémon Go

In 2016, Pokémon Go revolutionized mobile gaming by bringing Pokémon trainers together in real life. Much time has passed since the epic game launched and nerds of all ages are still going strong with finding each and every Pokémon out there. Popular spots to “catch them all” include many spots around town, but parks like Wright Park, Wapato Park, Bradley Lake Park and Allan Yorke Park are always popular.

Uncorked Canvas
Art isn’t just for kids. Adults of all experience levels can enjoy a wide range of art classes in the Tacoma area. Photo courtesy: Uncorked Canvas

Uncorked Canvas

Uncorked Canvas is a paint and sip in downtown Tacoma. In addition to providing a great venue for artistic outlet, they host Nerd Nights. At these Nerd Nights, customers can paint concepts from Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and more. To get your nerd on (and maybe a little tipsy), visit Uncorked Canvas at 711 Saint Helens Avenue, #202.

Bookstores

Ah, bookstores, the nerd’s natural habitat. Whether your inner nerd longs for The Shire, a galaxy far, far away, or lies within the heart of a wizard, you can find a part of your nerdy soul within the shelves of a bookstore. Tacoma is home to many bookstores, which include King’s Books, Tacoma Book Center, Park Avenue Books and Culpepper Books. Find the locations of these stores on the map below.

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