The new year often stirs thoughts of self-reflection and inspiration to try new things. With Pierce County being a hub for all things creative, exciting and unique, it is the perfect place to start something new. From the serenity of Pierce County’s forests to adventures in reading and volunteering, there’s nothing you can’t do to reinvent yourself or just pick up a new activity or hobby for the new year.

Read on for a list of activities and hobbies to kick off the new year in entertaining and thrilling ways.


Hiking Pierce County
You never know what you will discover hiking Pierce County – here you can see a Banded Alder Borer found just outside Green Water, WA. Photo credit: Shelby Beckwith

All around Pierce County are lush forests, crystal-clear rivers, and pristine views of our beautiful and beloved Mount Rainier. A great new activity for the new year is taking advantage of these amazing natural places by hiking. From Five Mile Drive at Point Defiance to the secret hideaways in the shadow of the mountain, Pierce County is full of adventure.

“I love everything about hiking in Washington state,” says Sumner hiker, Monica Whipple. “You can go near or far and find a trail – urban trails in Tacoma to back country trails near Mount Rainier. They’re green, quiet, full of moss and usually some sort of wildlife. Some of my best experiences on the trail have been meeting new people. I have cultivated some great friendships while hiking to Fremont Lookout, Skookum Falls, Snoquera Falls and all around Mount Rainier. One of my most memorable experiences was my second solo hike to Summit Lake last summer. It was a gorgeous day in July, not a cloud in the sky, the trail mostly to myself, wild flowers everywhere. The view of Mount Rainier from the lake was one I’ll never forget.”

This year, start on a good foot by taking that first step on a Pierce County hiking trail.

Grow Your Own Garden

Growing your own garden can be one of the most satisfying and money-saving activities to take up this year. It’s easy to grow your own salad ingredients, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries and many other varieties of fruits and vegetables by setting up a garden bed soon after the start of the new year. Check out the blog posts from Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery in Puyallup for great tips and tricks on growing a beautiful and bountiful garden.

Tacoma Book Center
“I guarantee you’ll find something,” says Marie at Tacoma Book Center. Photo credit: Shelby Beckwith


Reading is quite possibly the most adventurous, exciting and life-changing hobby to pick up. There are no limits to where you can go, who you can meet and what you might discover about yourself along the way. Local bookstore, Tacoma Book Center is a great place to start your journey into the literary world. The locally owned store is home to the largest collection of used books in Washington State, totaling over half a million books on the shelves. Whether your interests are in the realm of dragons, wizards and goblins, historic fiction or classical mythology, there is a book for you within their rows of shelves.

Marie, saleswoman at Tacoma Book Center, explains how, “You never know what you’re going to find. You will be delighted and surprised by many things – and you don’t have to finish it if you don’t like it!”

Another popular Tacoma bookstore, King’s Books, also has a fabulous collection as well as a host of book clubs, if you prefer to chat about what you’ve read with others.


Bead Boppers Puyallup
Owner of Bead Boppers, Wendy Reed, is excited and optimistic about classes and activities in the new year. Photo credit: Shelby Beckwith

Making crafts with beads is an ancient art that is incredibly popular and fun to do. From bracelets to necklaces, holiday ornaments and embroidery, beading can be an enjoyable and challenging activity for all ages. At Puyallup’s own Bead Boppers, owner Wendy Reed provides a wide array of beads and beading supplies as well as classes, workshops and instruction from renowned industry leaders throughout the year. Wendy invites anyone to come down to the shop and check out the fun classes Bead Boppers offers.

“They’re small classes so that they get that one on one,” says Wendy, “I want them to feel like they can accomplish anything”. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned beading artist, Bead Boppers is sure to have classes and supplies to inspire a lifelong hobby.

Volunteer Your Time

One of the most meaningful activities to get involved in this year is volunteering. You can join in to clean up parks and roads, spend time with orphaned animals, become a mentor and much more. No matter how you decide to volunteer your time, each moment is of immeasurable worth and food for the heart. Check out the Pierce County Volunteer Opportunities page for a list of places you can contribute your time to.

Get Active

Of course, one of the most popular New Year resolutions out there is to get more exercise. Perhaps you have plans to hit the gym, but your options are far more varied. Take to mountain biking trails in Pierce County, try swimming as there are indoor pools like People’s Pool to enjoy even in colder months, give ballroom dancing a chance, or look into the many ways you can stay fit in completely offbeat ways!