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10+ Free Things to Do in Tacoma in Washington State

10+ Free Things to Do in Tacoma in Washington State

Looking for things to do in Tacoma, WA?! We’ve found a ton of free events, museums, and activities that you can enjoy in this area. As Tacoma locals, this is one of our very favorite posts to write. Maybe we’ll even see you on one of our adventures!

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Looking for something fun elsewhere in WA? Click here!

Sunny weather? Enjoy free zoo days or another outdoor adventure!

There are so many awesome outdoor things to do in Tacoma! From beaches to parks to spraygrounds to the zoo, Tacoma is full of endless adventure.

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Get wet at the sprayground or the beach!

Tacoma in Washington state has some of the state’s coolest spraygrounds! Tacoma features 10 free spraygrounds throughout the city. They can be found at Franklin Park, Jefferson Park, George B. Kandle Park, Norpoint Park, SERA Campus (near STAR Center), South Park, Titlow Park, Verlo Playfield, Wapato Hills Park, and Wright Park.

There are also numerous places to dip your toes in saltwater. Tacoma has many free beaches, including Owen Beach, Titlow Park, and Dash Point Park!

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You may be eligible for a free Discover pass!

If you are disabled, a foster family or meet other criteria, you may be eligible for a free Discover Pass! With this pass, you can visit Dash Point State Park and many other parks and sites throughout the state. If you don’t qualify for a discount, you can purchase the pass for about $30 per year or $10 for a one-day pass. Extra charges for transaction and dealer fees may apply if you buy your card from a licensed vendor, over the phone, or online.

love Dash Point State Park! Picnicking here is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Tacoma. I especially love to sit in this spot where the waves overlap.

Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Natural Resources offer free days throughout the year, usually on holidays like Earth Day, Veteran’s Day, and Juneteenth. During these free days, you don’t need to have a Discover Pass to visit and explore. 

To learn more about the Discover Pass free days, click here.

Raining again? Check out one of these awesome indoor adventures!

Looking for free indoor things to do in Tacoma? Here are some of our favorites.

Children’s Museum of Tacoma

This exciting children’s museum offers a generous Pay As You Will admission program. This program allows families to pay whatever they can afford to enter the museum – even if you can’t afford much (or anything) at all. For hours and more information about this wonderful policy, please click here.

Museum of Glass

Browse the museum’s extensive collections, traveling exhibitions, and educational programs. Their live glass-making demonstrations are some of the coolest things you can do in Tacoma! For more information about the museum, please visit this link.

The Museum of Glass is a Blue Star Museum that offers free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families. This also extends to the National Guard and the Army Reserves. To learn more about the Museum of Glass’ Reduced Admission Programs, click here.

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The museum is free on the third Thursday of each month between 5pm and 8pm. It’s also free on Sundays for college students with valid college ID. If you’d rather visit free during other times, you can check out a free Museum of Glass pass from your local Pierce County library!

Slater Museum of Natural History

See over 80,000 specimens from around the world. You can see a polar bear up close, touch a common owl or hold an “original” cascade frog – absolutely free!

The museum is free on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11am and 2pm, during the winter season only. That means this discount is only valid between September and May.

Tacoma Art Museum

Visit the recently-expanded museum, which includes a large art studio and a Western Art wing.

The museum is free every Thursday between 5pm and 8pm. If you’d rather not go on Thursdays, you can check out a free Tacoma Art Museum pass from your local Pierce County library!

Tacoma Art Museum also supports Bank of America’s Museums on Us program by offering free admission to Bank of America card holders on the first weekend of every month. 

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EBT card holders can gain admission with the museum for just $1 for a single person and $2 for a family. Make sure to have your Washington Quest card with you. 

Usually in September, Tacoma Art Museum hosts their Museum Day Live, which is a national museum visiting day for participating museums. Admission is free on this day, so go and explore! Check out their even calendar to find more events just like this. 

Click here to learn about other admission discounts Tacoma Art Museum offers.

Washington State History Museum

My kids love this place! Staring at the enormous model railroad is one of my son’s very favorite things to do in Tacoma. He would live there if they’d let him.

There are also many interactive and fascinating exhibits. If you’re bringing children, make sure you stop by the guest services desk for a scavenger hunt. Kids who complete it get a free prize!

The museum is free on the third Thursday of each month between 3pm and 8pm. If you’d rather visit free during other times, you can check out a free Washington State History Museum pass from your local Pierce County library!

The Washington State History Museum is a Blue Star Museum that offers free admission to active duty military personnel and up to five family members between Memorial Day and Labor Day. 

The museum also offers $1 per person or $2 per family admission to foster families and Washington Quest cardholders. 

Check out The Washington State History Museum’s Hours & Admission page to learn more about their other discounts.

Got an EBT card? You can visit Foss Waterway Seaport! 

Enjoy hands-on-activities, art, and incredible maritime exhibits for all ages at Foss Waterway Seaport. $2 admission covers two adults and four children for EBT Washington Quest cardholders. 

Foss Waterway Seaport also support Blue Star Families with free admission for active duty personnel and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

They offer free admission every third Thursday of the month from 4pm to 8pm. 

Click here to learn more of what Foss Waterway Seaport can offer.

If you receive food stamps or Medicaid in Washington State, you can save even more money on admission to some of Washington’s greatest destinations. Check out our full list of Washington EBT discounts here!

Looking for events and other free things to do in Tacoma today?

If you’re looking for an upcoming event, there’s no better resource online than Sounds Fun Mom! From their best playground lists to their weekend roundups, Sounds Fun Mom always knows the best family-friendly events, activities and other things to do in Tacoma.

Willing to wander a little?

Sure, you started looking for things to do in Tacoma… but if you’re willing to wander a little farther, here’s a list of awesome free museums throughout Washington State!

Save money and get free stuff!

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Have too much month at the end of your money? Me too - and that's how Low Income Relief got started. I have over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Over the years, I've worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. My work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow.com, Livestrong.com, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), The Chronicle (Centralia, WA) and others. At Low Income Relief, I use my professional research and reporting experience to help low income families save money and make ends meet. It's been my full-time job since 2016, and it's truly an honor to serve you.

Tiffany

Thursday 21st of April 2016

Also Seattle Children's Museum is $1 per person with ebt card (2 adults and your own kids) or if you show providerone cards enter for free.

Nicole

Friday 22nd of April 2016

Yes! I knew about that one. :) Have you seen this post? I think you'd enjoy it - and I'd love to hear about any other programs like this that I've missed! https://lowincomerelief.com/did-you-know-your-ebt-card-could-do-this/

Tiffany

Thursday 21st of April 2016

Pacific Science Center has a $19 family access membership. It includes 6 kids and 2 adults.

Nicole

Thursday 21st of April 2016

Wow!!!! That's amazing!!!! Thank you for letting me know! :)