Living in the South Sound region can probably feel like living on an endless playground with ample opportunities for fun and adventure. However, as any parent can probably tell you, fun doesn’t often come cheap. Well, the good news is here in Tacoma, sometimes it can! Tacoma is home to a wonderful range of fun-filled free adventures, so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy some playtime.


Enjoy Free Neighborhood Nights at the Tacoma Art Museum

1801 Dock Street, Tacoma

Every Thursday from 5 until 8 p.m., Tacoma Art Museum is happily open late and, best of all, free to the community. They invite guests to celebrate art during Neighborhood Nights, welcoming everyone to experience the museum and enjoy the beautiful works of art on display free of admission costs.

free fun tacoma
On Neighborhood Nights at the Tacoma Art Museum, guests are invited to experience the museum and enjoy its wonderful works of art on display free of admission costs. Photo courtesy: Tacoma Art Museum

On the second Thursday of the month, Tacoma Art Museum offers additional free fun as they partner with T.U.P.A.C. for Dance in the Museum. This free class, led by the performing arts center’s talented instructors, is open to all ages, experiences, and abilities for a fun excuse to get your body moving. Dance sessions start at 6:30 p.m. and last about an hour.

Additionally, on third Thursdays, their artmaking space is available for Teen Open Studio, where youths can enjoy hands-on artmaking while DJs spin music in the museum lobby. The first five teens to attend receive a free sketchbook and art maker set. That’s a lot of free fun all in one place!

free fun tacoma
Education ships set sail for free at the Foss Waterway Seaport, where they invite guests to learn all about the rich history of the city’s waterfront for free on the third Thursday of each month. They even have a collection of vintage ships such as this pictured here to view and enjoy! Photo courtesy: Foss Waterway Seaport

Experience the Rich History of Tacoma’s Waterfront for Free at Foss Waterway Seaport

705 Dock Street, Tacoma

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the third Thursday of each month to experience all the fun and adventure that the Foss Waterway Seaport has to offer from 4 until 8 p.m. for free! This maritime museum showcases the rich history of the city’s waterfront through its collection of vintage boats, art, and interactive exhibits that are sure to delight boys and girls of all ages. Bring the entire family for a day to remember as you explore our region’s extraordinary maritime heritage without breaking the bank!

free fun tacoma
Also happy to host guests for free on the third Thursday of each month is the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, where visitors can explore the museum’s extensive collection of contemporary and historical glass art. Photo courtesy: Museum of Glass

Have Your Mind Blown Watching Free Glass-Blowing Demonstrations at the Museum of Glass

1801 Dock Street, Tacoma

The Foss Waterway Seaport isn’t the only place to experience free fun on the third Thursday of each month! At the Museum of Glass, there’s no charge for admission from 5 to 8 p.m. on these special days. Guests are invited to explore the museum as it showcases contemporary glass art along with historical glass pieces and even holds live glass-blowing demonstrations. Visiting the museum truly is a unique experience as you immerse yourself in this intricate art form at no cost on the third Thursday.

Expand Your Knowledge for Free at the Washington State History Museum

1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma

Those interested in expanding their knowledge without spending a single cent can do so on the third Thursday of each month at the Washington State History Museum. The museum holds free admission hours from 3 to 8 p.m. on these lovely nights, inviting community members to explore our state’s rich history through its interactive exhibits and artifacts. Visitors can expect to learn about everything from the Native American tribes who lived in the region for thousands of years to the European explorers who arrived in the 1700s and beyond.  

free fun tacoma
It doesn’t cost a penny to enjoy the beauty of the exotic plants and trees that call the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory home. Photo courtesy: W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

Immerse Yourself in Nature for Free at the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

316 G Street, Tacoma

Surrounded by the lovely grounds of our region’s beloved Wright Park in Tacoma’s historic Stadium district, the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory is one of only three public Victorian-style conservatories on the West Coast. The park opened to the public after it was gifted generously by William W. Seymour in 1908 and has remained open and free for community members to enjoy ever since. Those who visit the grounds can expect to enjoy a variety of exotic plants and flowers, so don’t forget to bring your camera for those brilliant photo ops. Those looking to learn more about the trees and plants that call the conservatory home can register for their Wonderful World of Plants & Tree Walks. Registration is required, and while there is no set fee for attending, the walks are donation-based — guests are simply asked to donate what they can to join in.

free fun tacoma
The Tacoma Nature Center has lots of free, fun activities for the kiddos that create learning opportunities and teach children about the natural world around them. Photo courtesy: Tacoma Nature Center

Explore the Beauty of Tacoma Nature Center

1919 South Taylor Street, Tacoma

There’s no cost for enjoying the great outdoors at the Tacoma Nature Center! The 71-acre wildlife preserve offers a variety of fun activities that won’t break the bank, such as wildlife viewing, birdwatching, hiking and walking trails, and a variety of picnic areas so you can pack a basket and make a day of the free fun. The center also features several hands-on exhibits to educate visitors about the natural world and educational programs designed to teach guests about the local ecosystem and wildlife. Many of these activities and programs are also free to the public, with more information on their events page.

Keep an Eye Out for Free Events in Pierce County

Living in the beautiful South Sound sure can make you feel like celebrating every day, especially since it offers a range of activities and opportunities, making each day feel like a new adventure. Best of all, many of these community-held events in the region are generally free to the public so that everyone can enjoy them!

Here to help you keep track of all the free events is Metro Parks Tacoma and their featured events webpage. Information on everything from free Teen Late Nights at local community centers to annually held events like Klahowya can all be found here.

Likewise, even more information on free events in the area can be found on Travel Tacoma’s featured webpage for Tacoma and Pierce County Events. The site even features even more free fun on its “25 Free Things to Do” list.