Whether you’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day or looking for something to take your mind off Cupid, there are plenty of noteworthy events in Tacoma this weekend. From the Blake Shelton concert at the Tacoma Dome to the Tacoma Brewing Company’s Chocolate Lovers Beer & Cider Fest to the Tacoma Night Market at Alma Mater, you won't have much trouble staying entertained. We've rounded up all those and more of the biggest and best events for the weekend below (including a bonus Presidents' Day rally with Bernie Sanders and Pramila Jayapal). Plus, find even more events this weekend on our complete Tacoma events calendar.
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FOOD & DRINK
After Hours Private Sweetheart Event
Valentine's Day, bread, and other baked goods make for a sweetheart of a party—one that you can bring a date to without causing a ruckus. The recently re-opened Tacoma Baking Company's Chef Marie has crafted a menu of decadent desserts that go great with either a nice glass of wine or some drinking chocolate. There'll even be some live music on tap to keep things lively.
Tacoma Baking Company
Cupid's Cuvee 2020
This Valentine's Day event is a magical pairing of beer and chocolate. On tap will be a special Pastry Stout from Frien Family Brewers and raspberry, strawberry, and red currant sour ale called Heart Strings from Urban Family Brewing. Meanwhile, Dilettante Chocolates of Seattle will be serving up some dark chocolate raspberry truffles for you to indulge in your sweet tooth.
Valentine's Sweet Treats & Flights
This Valentine's Day party knows that everyone's really into the holiday for the sweets and the adult beverages. Enjoy specially prepared versions of both with flights of pink cider or beer and tasty treats from Johnson Candy Company.
Locust Cider & Brewing
Mad science and Valentine's Day get mixed together in the Red Hot's proprietary "Blend-O-Nator 5000," mixing up some one-of-a-kind beers like Lineman’s Strawberry Lambic and Knee Deep’s Stoutello Chocolate Hazelnut Milk Stout, which is topped with chocolate shavings.
The Red Hot
Dad-joke-shiller and ex-mulleted country crooner Blake Shelton will bend Tacoma to his Top 40 appeal with additional guests on his Friends & Heroes 2020 nationwide tour.
Blake Shelton Pre-Party & After Party
Before you get your Shelton on, you can enjoy a pre-party that'll keep things hopping until well after the country singer has left the Tacoma Dome stage. 100.7 the Wolf will be on hand with backstage passes for a select few to enhance their concert-going experience.
Steel Creek American Whiskey Co.
Candy Shoppe at Dawson's Bar & Grill
Nothing says Valentine's Day quite like dinner and dancing. This no-frills event will offer a dinner special—8oz. New York steak with four coconut prawns, scalloped potatoes, salad, and a dinner roll for $15.99—and plenty of Motown and R&B hits from the '70s and '80s performed by Candy Shoppe. There'll also be drink specials featuring adult beverages called a Love Potion and Lover's Delight, which sound lovely.
Dawson's Bar & Grill
Jazz Orchestra feat. Delfeayo Marsalis
Premier jazz trombonist, composer, and producer Delfeayo Marsalis will perform with the University of Puget Sound jazz orchestra this Valentine's Day. The talented musician has been the recipient of a Jazz Masters Award and he has also toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Max Roach, and Elvin Jones.
Schneebeck Concert Hall, University of Puget Sound
The Lonely Hearts Club - All Ya Need Is Love - A Valentine's Gala
It doesn't matter who you are, there's probably at least one Beatles song you love. And while the Fab Four have been remanded to various music collections, the Lonely Hearts Club is a Beatles tribute band that understands playing pitch-perfect renditions of their songs is the only thing that matters. This show runs the gamut of the Beatles' legendary catalog, with renditions of everything from "Twist and Shout," "A Hard Day's Night," and "Help" to "Nowhere Man," "Taxman," and "Penny Lane."
Nothing says "I love you" quite like tributes to metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. For those looking to shake things up on Valentine's Day, this quartet of heavy metal bands—Maiden Seattle, Judas Rising, RivetSkull, and LorPan—promises an unconventional and memorable approach to a holiday created to sell cards, candy, and flowers.
No Quarter [Zeppelin] • Barracuda [Heart]
McMenamins Elk Temple will rock this Valentine's Day as the venue opens its doors to Led Zeppelin and Heart tribute bands. The former has been honing their craft for more than 15 years, while the latter has been formally endorsed by Heart founding member Roger Fisher.
Valentine's Day with Kit & Caboodle
The Kit & Caboodle DJ crew will be slinging records for couples and singles alike as guests enjoy specials on food and drinks.
Valentine's Stop Light Party
DJ Reign presides over this color-coded dance party where green means you're single, red means you're in a relationship, and yellow means "come and ask me." If you've ever been unsure about your ability to read social cues and to gauge the interest of strangers, this may be the party for you.
READINGS & TALKS
Steve's Drunk History: The Candy Chronicles, The V-D Edition
Local historian Steve Dunkelberger's February talk will focus on Tacoma's connection to sweet confections that have become wrapped up in the commercialism of Valentine's Day. Steve will talk about Almond Roca and Mars candy and even Baskin-Robbins. But this V-D edition of Drunk History isn't entirely cold-hearted: there'll be chocolates and wine pairings during the free talk.
SPORTS & RECREATION
BOGO Sweetheart Skate
Grab your sweetie (or your friend, we won't judge) and lace up your skates, because admission is two-for-one this Valentine's Day. Sure, you'll still have to pay to rent skates, but think of all the tasty snacks you can enjoy with those sweet, sweet savings at the door.
Skate Tiffany's - Roller Skating & Family Fun Center
Love at the Zoo
It's not nearly as icky as it sounds. The animals are given special Valentine's treats and "enrichments," which apparently bring more of the "animal" out of the zoo's (permanent) guests for the enjoyment of spectators.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
FOOD & DRINK
Chocolate Lovers Beer & Cider Fest
Chocolate makes just about everything better, so now's your chance to find out if the humble cocoa bean can improve ciders and beers. The event will also feature locally made Tease Chocolates so you won't have to drink on an empty stomach. Plus there'll be live music from the Married Men on Friday.
Tacoma Brewing Company
Beehive The '60s Musical
Celebrate female empowerment '60s style and listen to classic tunes like "My Boyfriend's Back," "Be My Baby," and "Son of a Preacher Man." The show is a nostalgic story of six young women coming of age in a remarkable decade.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Let There Be Love
In Mrianlini Kamath's Let There Be Love, a matchmaker and her son must confront their attitudes toward love when Eric takes control of his own personal life.
Knutzen Family Theater
Perhaps more topical now than when he first wrote it, David Mamet's Oleanna has been hailed by Time Magazine as one of the "ten best plays" ever. The story of gender, privilege, and power dynamics in a professor-student relationship has only become more fascinating as it ages. The February 23 performance comes with a unique special feature, as director Joshua Knudson and actors Sean Neely and Angelica Barksdale will be on hand for a special talk-back session with the audience.
Theater on the Square
FRIDAY & SUNDAY
Tosca, once described by ex-Stranger writer David Schmader as "Puccini's gorgeous funhouse of an opera, based on an 1887 melodrama tracking the travails of a celebrated opera singer, whose Category 4 emotional hurricanes are matched only by her power to enchant," will be taken on by the Tacoma Opera.
Podcast host, beauty blogger, and comedian may not be likely professions for someone raised by an international yo-yo champion and a professional foosball player, but they’re the ones Kelsey Cook ended up with. A Seattle native, she's been touring most recently with Jim Norton, and regularly performs at The Comedy Cellar, The Stand, Gotham Comedy Club, and New York Comedy Club.
Tacoma Comedy Club
Family STEAM Day—Bright Ideas
Learn about the world of automobiles and all the science, technology, engineering, art, and math that goes into making them at Family STEAM Day. This monthly event gets families together to appreciate the tech and engineering knowhow that makes cars an integral part of our everyday lives.
LeMay: America's Car Museum
Fun-Raiser and 82nd Anniversary Season Reveal Preview Party
Help support the arts and theater scene in the Tacoma area with this "fun-raiser" party that'll show off what the Lakewood Playhouse has planned for its upcoming 82nd season of shows. The event will feature two musical performances and a silent auction with prizes. There'll also be light appetizers, popcorn, and wine (and other drinks).
The Lakewood Playhouse
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory—Free Family Flick
Whether you think it's a classic children's film or a terrifying nightmare about capitalism run amok, this adaptation of Roald Dahl's book has taken on a life of its own. Whether you're only familiar with it through GIFs of Gene Wilder or you've been entertained by songs like "Pure Imagination" since you were a kid, nothing beats seeing a film for free. Sure, there's going to be a bunch of kids there, but that's sort of the point of the event. Nevertheless, whether you want to share this film with your own little ones or just want to see the Oompa Loompas on the big screen, now's your chance.
The Grand Cinema
FOOD & DRINK
Boos and Booze (ghosts and beer)
Enjoy a bit of wordplay and some adult beverages on this haunted (maybe) tour of Tacoma. The short walk will mean you won't venture too far away from your beer, but the trip will be worth it, promising a hair-raising night filled with stories of "gruesome murders, hexes, and defiled burial grounds," all of which have (presumably) happened in the Gritty City.
Odd Otter Brewing Co.
Rhein Haus Tacoma & Georgetown Brewing Lager Release Party
Celebrate beer the German way, as Georgetown Brewing will be on hand (and tap!) for the release of a new Dortmunder pilsner called Rhein Town Lager. The pilsner's profile is described as having "aromas and flavors of orange blossom and light strawberry," as well as a "subtle grainy-sweet malt character and soft bitterness," which doesn't sound half bad.
Rhein Haus Tacoma
A Dr. Dog show on Valentine’s Day seems like a rare treat. Their songs are so charming and heartwarming and sweet—and exuberant! The Philly band’s often howling, always spot-on vocal harmonies are set against vigorous instrumentals that marry 1960s vintage-hued psych-rock with folk Americana and indie pop, and the result is an overall well-paced mix of upbeat odes, poignant balladry, and anthemic rock-outs. Maybe you can find an extra ticket floating around somewhere…LEILANI POLK
It's reggae night as One Drop supports the release of their latest EP, Far From You. Joining them will be Dirty Tribe, whose latest single, "Jive Bar," tells you pretty much everything you need to know about what this performance will have to offer.
The Plaid Pig Live Music Lounge
Queens Of The Night Hosted by Indika Haze
It's Saturday and the drag queens of Glitterati Inc. are ready to entertain with the Queens of the Night, featuring Cannoli and Kung Pow Meow. The evening's show will be hosted by Indika Haze, with DJ Galactic Molasses handling the karaoke aftershow.
Tacoma Night Market @Alma Mater: February Edition
Celebrate the creative individuals of Tacoma's community at this monthly gathering. There'll be over 80 artists and craftspersons onsite with one-of-a-kind items for sale. As always, there'll be live music and food and drink specials.
This new monthly event celebrates the movies and music of skating culture by actual skateboarders. This month brings Powel Peralta's Bones Brigade 3 — The Search for Animal Chin to the screen. Meanwhile, tunes selected by Justin Tamminga and William Goldsmith will kick the evening off.
Zodiac Supper Club
FOOD & DRINK
Galentine’s Cookie Party
No matter your relationship status, your friendships are deserving of a little celebration, too. Show your gal pals how much you appreciate them by decorating some cute and naughty cookies together and sipping on some special drinks.
Doyle's Public House
Auburn Symphony Orchestra: Happy Birthday, Beethoven!
The name Ludwig van Beethoven is likely familiar to just about everyone, regardless of their experience with or knowledge of classical music. His work has inspired countless composers and musicians for centuries, and now Sam Almaguer, the principal clarinetist of the North Carolina Symphony, joins Maestro Schulz and the orchestra for Copland’s Clarinet Concerto for a program honoring Beethoven and celebrating his 250th birthday.
Auburn Performing Arts Center
Rally in Washington with Bernie Sanders & Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be in Washington with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, as his campaign continues to surge forward following a big win in the New Hampshire primary. Is there a more appropriate way to celebrate Presidents' Day?