Things to Do in Tacoma

Things to Do in Tacoma WA

From outdoor adventure and sports to museums and performing arts, the greater Federal Way area has it all. Residents and visitors alike will revel in all the ways to play in the South Sound.


State Parks
Federal Way
Federal Way Skate Park, located at Steel Lake Park, boasts several ramps where skateboarders can hone their skills. For more places to ollie, check out Stewart Heights Park in Tacoma, Cirque Bridgeport Park in University Place, and Milton Skate Park.

Parks/Dog Parks
Federal Way and Des Moines
Enjoy spending time in the great outdoors at local parks, including Celebration Park and Steel Lake Park, offering playgrounds, sports facilities, and more.

The area is also home to two state parks: Dash Point State Park in Federal Way and Saltwater State Park in Des Moines. Both are perfect for a variety of activities, including swimming, camping, boating, hiking, bird watching, fishing, and more.
Man’s best friend can run, swim, and play catch off-leash at the 10-acre French Lake Dog Park, where a pond, picnic area, and more are waiting for four-legged fun.

Mount Rainier and Hiking Trails
Mount Rainier
The highest mountain in the state, Mount Rainier stands 14,410 feet above sea level. More than 260 miles of hiking trails can be found throughout Mount Rainier National Park. For even more breathtaking views of this epic mountain, explore the recreational pathways throughout Pierce andKing counties.

Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center
Federal Way
The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center is open to the public for family swims, swimming lessons, lap swims, and private events. Several Olympic trials have taken place here, as well as the 1990 Seattle Goodwill Games and 2015’s Winter National Championships, in which Michael Phelps competed.

Marine Science and Technology Center
Des Moines
View more than 250 species of marine life native to the Puget Sound in the center’s 3,000-gallon aquarium. Events, live dives, summer camps, and more are hosted throughoutthe year.

Pattison’s West Family Skate Center
Federal Way
Skaters of all ages can hit the rink at Pattison’s Family Skate Center, a family owned business for nearly 40 years. The spacious skating rink also boasts an arcade, snack bar, and more, which makes this the ideal venue for parties.
Wild Waves Theme & Water Park
Federal Way
The only water and amusement park in western Washington has been located right here in Federal Way for almost 40 years. Go for a thrilling ride on roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and more, or stay cool on water slides or the lazy river, just to name a few.

Arts and Culture

Federal Way Performing Arts & Event Center
Federal Way
Scheduled to open in 2017, this 41,000-square-foot venue will be the ideal location for dances, musicals, theatrical performances, and more. The center features a 700-seat auditorium, 8,000 square feet of event space, and breathtaking views of Mount Rainier from the lobby.

Federal Way Symphony
Federal Way
This professional symphony offers a series of concerts throughout the season, featuring symphonic pieces, a popular Christmas/holiday concert, jazz, and choral, as well as free private music lessons to low-income teens. Performances will take place in the Federal Way Performing Arts & Events Center.

Centerstage Theatre
Federal Way
From musicals to murder mysteries, Centerstage Theatre performs several shows for kids and adults throughout the season, with past productions including “Alice in Wonderland” and “Cardinal Sins.” The theater also hosts workshops for kids ages five to 18.


Federal Way and Tacoma
The greater Federal Way area is home to several museums that feature paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, and more for art lovers of all ages and interests. The Historical Society of Federal Way, the Denny and Barker cabins, and Auburn’s White River Valley Museum and Mary Olson Farm all focus on local Puget Sound history. In Tacoma, visit the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, and Children’s Museum of Tacoma, as well as the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

9/11 Memorial
Federal Way
Pay honor to those who lost their lives on that fateful day at the 9/11 Memorial, which features a 10-foot beam from the World Trade Center wreckage, a 150-pound piece of limestone from the Pentagon, and a rock from the Pennsylvania plane crash site.


Celebration Park Fields
Federal Way
With eight soccer and baseball fields, all of which are lighted, as well as batting spaces, Celebration Park Fields are the ideal place to play ball, day or night. The facility has a concession building, bleachers, a children’s play area, and plenty of parking.

Tacoma Rainiers
During baseball season, fans flock to Cheney Stadium to cheer on the Tacoma Rainiers, the AAA affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners. Enjoy major thrills as this minor league team goes head to head against their opponents in the Pacific Coast League.

Tacoma and Seattle
See soccer pros in action as the Tacoma Stars hit the field. A member of the Major Arena Soccer League, the Stars compete against teams across North America for the Ron Newman Cup. The area’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team, the Seattle Sounders, won the MLS Cup for the first time in 2016. See home games at CenturyLink Field for an experience unmatched anywhere else.

Golf Courses
Federal Way, Tacoma, and University Place
Spend a day on the green at any of the premier courses throughout the area, such as Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club or Belmor Park Golf and Country Club in Federal Way, North Shore Golf Course in Tacoma, or Chambers Bay in University Place, where the 2015 U.S. Open took place.

Federal Way Community Center
Federal Way
Residents and visitors to the Puget Sound can get fit while having fun at the Federal Way Community Center. The state’s largest public recreational pool complex, the facility offers a fitness center, a 27-foot climbing wall and an indoor track.

Center at Norpoint
Find a variety of fitness classes for adults and children, a zero-entry pool, a fitness center, and more at the Center at Norpoint. Memberships and day passes are available.

The Environment

Hylebos Watershed Discovery Trail
Federal Way
Visit one of the last remaining peat bogs in Puget Sound while traversing this pathway. See rare Sitka spruce trees, salmon swimming up stream via Commencement Bay, and more, all located in the 120-acre West Hylebos Wetlands Park.

Rhododendron Species Foundation and Botanical Garden
Federal Way
See one of the world’s largest collections of rhododendron species at the Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden, which is also home to the largest public stumpery. This garden features more than 700 species of rhododendrons, as well as a year-round nursery and visitor center.

Pacific Bonsai Museum
Federal Way
Over 150 bonsai trees from six countries may be seen every year at the Pacific Bonsai Museum, which features both permanent and traveling exhibitions, all with free admission. The museum is home to the Domoto Trident Maple, which was displayed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California, more than 100 years ago.

Federal Way
PowellsWood Garden is the ideal place to relax in shade while enjoying the sights of flowers, trees, and shrubs. The picturesque, 3-acre garden has walking paths, a conservatory, stream, and many other ways to spend one’s time.
For those looking to get their hands dirty and learn about gardening, the Federal Way Community Gardens Foundation offers plenty of opportunities for all ages to volunteer.

Tacoma and Seattle
See polar bears, elephants, sharks, and more at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma. Visitors eight and up can swim up close with the sharks through dives at the aquarium. In Seattle, Woodland Park Zoo is visited by over a million people each year. The zoo has more than 1,000 animals from 300 species.