Tacomas 51st Greek Festival


Tacoma’s 51st Greek Festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
October 5th– 7th

FRIDAY’S Business Lunch : 11:00am—2:00pm
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Festivities under The Tent: 11:00am-10pm Dining Room: 11:00am—8pm
SUNDAY: Festivities under The Tent: 11:00am-7pm Dining Room: 11:00am—6pm

I can promise you wont go home hungry, just tired from all the great things to do at the festival, besides eat. You can listen to music, dance and buy authentic greek imported goods.  They also support the Boys and Girls Club with part of their proceeds!  How awesome! You can fill your belly, support you local greek church and your local Boys and Girls Club.

files.stnicholas.wa.goarch.org/2012 Greek Festival Flier.pdf.

2nd Annual Fall Free for All

This is a fun event if you love the arts in Tacoma. And, Tacoma certainly does have a hopping arts scene. With several family friendly shows and even hands-on events for the cost of one entry bracelet of

Saturday, September 22, 2012, Noon to 11:00pm*
Sunday, September 23, 2012, 1:00pm to 9:00pm*

Various Broadway Center venues

Tickets: FREE, requires email registration to gain wristband pass access.

Register for your wristband here. Wristbands will not be mailed, rather please pick them up at the Box Office the weekend of the event.

The Fall Free for All is a community arts festival that offers 50+ music, dance, drama, film, and children’s events and activities Saturday and Sunday, and all for FREE! Come enjoy the theaters, support regional artists, dine out, and shop in Tacoma’s vibrant Theater District.

Some of the great events are:

  • Variety Kids Show
  • Dance Festival
  • Ukeulele Ohana (Ukelele concert)
  • Face Painting
  • The Fab 5 (break dancing and street performances)
  • Design your own Iron Tile
  • Shopping/vendor section in Opera Alley
  • Professor Humbugs Flea
  • The Reptile Man
  • AND MORE….

The Puyallup Fair – Cheap and Safe!

Hey everyone, our largest fair The Western Washington or Puyallup Fair starts TOMORROW!  Eeep.  This snuck up on me this year, must have been the chaos around getting my little guys ready for Kindergarten. As you complete your getting back to school routine, take a break, eat a Krusty Pup (or Onion burger, or scone, or ???) and enjoy the fair! Here are some great ways to do the fair for cheap and how to do it safely.

Puyallup Fair Deals

  • Sponsored backpacks: Kids need a backpack to go to school? It might not be the coolest, with all the sponsor logos, but it comes with some great deals inside, e.g. coupons for deals and bottles of water. They are priced at $18 $15 or $10 depending on the sponsor and the contents.
  • FREE entry on Friday September 7th from 9am-12pm with food donation
  • FREE entry for kiddos (Thanks BECU – where you can also pick up discount entry tickets at a branch) Sept 8th & 9th
  • FREE Military Monday’s Military with ID get into the Fair for FREE
  • Until September 7th: The Fred Meyer Value pack has Tickets for entry, 10 food bucks & 6 rides + Entrance 2 for 1 to the Rodeo
  • Safeway Discount Admission tickets
  • Dizzy bracelet: Old veterans of the fair know this deal. Unlimited rides for an entire day for $27.50
  • Mon September 10th: 50% off GAMES, FOOD, RIDES (Midway or Sillyville)

Puyallup Fair Safety

The fair brings out all kinds of people, and A LOT of EVERY kind of person. Be sure to go over the rules with the kiddos before taking them, and repeat, repeat, repeat yourself on the way. If you are separated:

  • Take a picture of the child, close face shot and with shirt/pants, on your phone. That way, you don’t have to remember what your child is wearing.
  • If you child is old enough to know the layout of the fairgrounds, pick a spot – like the milk barn or the police area by the Blue gate to meet.
  • If your child is younger, make sure they know to ask for a badge or a uniform. Don’t tell them its okay to walk off with ANY ride attendant or person who might be selling a burger. If a stranger offers to help, teach them to say “Please bring me a police man or an EMT”. Those officials know how to reunite children with their parents.
  • Sometimes the fair has bracelets you can’t take off without scissors.  Check the stand by the Blue Gate where you get your re-entry stamps. On the bracelet or an arm, write your cell phone number with a sharpie. So people can call if you if needed.
  • Tell a child to stay put, unless they are with an uniformed person. Its hard enough to find someone in a crush if they keep moving!

General Safety to enjoy even more shows, shopping, animals and rides

  • Don’t bring your purse. Its not fashionable, but the fanny pack or a backpack worn in the front can prevent arm-back aches and pickpockets.
  • Bring water. It is supposed to be nice and sunny over the next few weeks. There are water fountains in several locations. If you don’t want to buy bottled water, you can stay hydrated.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.  There is never enough seating and the ground is usually pretty gross, plus you might be stepped on.
  • Sunscreen. We don’t get enough sun. Yes, its the end of our summer, and hopefully we have been outside enough to have a nice golden hue. But for most of us native Pacific Northwesters, we rust – we don’t tan. With that in mind, put on the sunscreen before you leave and re-apply at least twice if you go all day.

Most of all, enjoy.  Remember when the little ones need a nap and either bring them something to sleep in (stroller, backpack etc.) and continue the journey. Or, get a stamp and come back to enjoy the lights at night. No one likes to hear tired parents yelling at their cranky kids. We all do it, we have all succumbed to the “one more ride/Krusty Pup/vendor” cycle of crazy. Put limits on yourself, advertise those limits early and stick to it. Make it a day of fun to remember, not a crazed nightmare you wish you could forget.

Maritime Fest


Every year the Thea Foss waterway in Tacoma opens it arms and says ‘Come Visit’ us and see how amazing Tacoma really is! The Maritime Festival is an annual event, the 20th for 2012, and offers all kinds of free fun for families on Aug 25th and 26th. You can tour the Port of Tacoma by train or by boat, for free or participate in a boat building contest. My building skills are not great, but if yours are and you have a bunch of friends that want to have fun, the pictures look pretty neat from years past.

The festival has Pirates, Music, Food, and I have also seen a fishing tank there put on by the local union. This really is a great event!

Thea Foss:
Park at the Tacoma Dome and take the Link Light Rail to the very last stop, Theater District

The Festival runs a shuttle bus (every 20 min) from that stop to the festival – ALL FREE

If you want to pay for parking downtown or on the waterway, you can, but its not advisable unless you are trying to catch the 1st boat or train. The Link Light rail starts at 10am, so does the festival events.

SATURDAY – Festival & Boat Building & Train rides

    Boat Building

Set up: 7-9am
Build: 9-3pm
Race: 4:30

Cost is $60/team with no more than 3 people per team ($20 ea person)
Teams Supply their own tools, but the boat building materials are provided…

There are more rules/information, but you need to look HERE for more information.

    Train Rides

Mark your calendar to ride the rail around the Tacoma Tideflats at Tacoma Rail’s open house. Learn how Tacoma’s own freight-switching service supports the economic health of the Port of Tacoma and the Tideflats industries.

In addition to free train rides, you will be able to walk through a locomotive, view railroad maintenance equipment, visit the locomotive shops, see two large model railroad layouts, have your face painted, visit with clowns, play a game, eat food… and more! Children will receive a token of their visit.

SUNDAY – Festival & Boat rides
The free Port of Tacoma Boat Tours provide a close-up look at one of the largest container ports in the United States.

Boat tour boarding is first-come, first-serve. Best to arrive 30 minutes prior to sailing times. For those who need special assistance boarding, the last tour at 4:00pm will have the highest tide and will make boarding easier.

Taste of Tacoma – Yum

Every year the Emerald Queen Casino hosts the Taste of Tacoma at Point Defiance Park. This is a great food festival. Admission to the festival itself is free, but there is a cost for the food and the midway games and rides. Food is everything from ethnic, featured vendors of olive oil, to great/local restaurants.  No plate is above $8 and if it is like the last few years, several vendors will offer “Bites” or single “try-it” size servings for less.  This year they are also all offering a healthy heart taste too!

Also, when you show up at the event, right near the entrance to the food court, check to see if they still offer discount food coupons.  In prior years they offered 1 ticket for $1 and 20 for $15 or something like that.  It beats paying cash directly or standing in line at the ATM!

In prior years I lived right off the #11 bus line, so I rode the bus back and forth to the Taste, super easy and relatively inexpensive. (The number 10 bus line runs by there too.)  For people who like the shuttle idea, you can ride the shuttle from the TCC park and ride.  Im not sure if it is free or if it is $4. The website says FREE the facebook page says $4.  If you do ride the shuttle, the times are: Friday and Saturday 11am to 9:30 and Sunday 11 to 8:30.  Or, you can try to find street parking in the neighborhoods around the park.

Go, get your eat on! Get something fried, something healthy and get some strawberry shortcake (one of my favs) and enjoy yourself.