Your Guide to Things to Do in Tacoma This October 2020

Karamo Brown, Festival Latinx, and More Major Happenings This Month
October 2, 2020
Catch Queer Eye's Karamo Brown in a livestreamed conversation and audience Q&A with Tacoma Arts Live on October 17. (Karamo Brown via Facebook)

Social distancing is still in effect, but COVID-safe entertainment in the South Sound is as abundant as front-stoop Jack-O-Lanterns this month. We've rounded up the biggest October happenings below for your pre-planning pleasure, from Latinx Unidos del South Sound's Festival Latinx to a virtual choose-your-own-adventure haunt at Frighthouse Station to a Charlie Chaplin outdoor film series at Alma Mater.  

All events are online unless otherwise noted.

OCTOBER 1-31

VISUAL ART

Tacoma Arts Month
Take a break from complaining about Seattle and head south to enjoy socially distant arts and culture events, including exhibitions, workshops, performances, and family-friendly fun. Many happenings are free to attend, and many are online.
Various locations and online

OCTOBER 2

HALLOWEEN

Old Town Tacoma Ghost Tour
The specter experts of Pretty Gritty Tours will freak you out with new ghost stories in a haunted location: Tacoma's Old Town, where "gruesome murders, hexes, defiled burial grounds, and slavery" have left behind lingering spirits.
Job Carr Cabin

OCTOBER 2-JANUARY 17

VISUAL ART

NW Collage Society: Suffrage Celebration Show
This exhibition of 24 digital collages, created by the Northwest Collage Society for the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment, is available to view online as well as in-person. 
Washington State History Museum and online

OCTOBER 3

COMMUNITY

Fort from Home: October
Got a hankering for cobbling, 19th-century watercolor-painting, Victorian-era cooking, leather-tanning, or moccasin-making? The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's October online workshops have your ticket. 

PERFORMANCE

The Final Assignment-A TLT Page to Screen Event!
James A. Gilletti's The Final Assignment, about a young college student who takes on a daunting task on the last day of his internship at a local radio station, will be presented online as part of Tacoma Little Theatre's Page to Screen series. 

SHOPPING

Vinyl Mania Record Show
Treat yourself to some new (to you) records, cassettes, and CDs at the Tacoma shop's socially distant sale.
Vinyl Mania Records 

OCTOBER 5-10

FESTIVALS

Festival Latinx: MÁS LUSS
Afro-Latinx identities are at the heart of Latinx Unidos del South Sound's virtual Festival Latinx, which promises live music and dance performances, readings, discussions, and a virtual art exhibition and resource fair. 

OCTOBER 7

HALLOWEEN

Virtual Ghost Tour
The folks at Prett Gritty Tours will go deep into the spooky details of Tacoma ghost stories in this virtual tour on YouTube.

OCTOBER 10

MUSIC

Hawthorne Heights Stay Home Tour
Ohio-bred rock quintet Hawthorne Heights will treat Tacomaites and anyone with internet access to a livestreamed show. 

OCTOBER 10-11

MUSIC

Three Elements
Northwest Sinfonietta will open its season with an evening of lively wind and string sections, including Ibert’s Trois Pièces Brève for wind quintet and Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings. Plus, composer and Northwest Sinfonietta Principal Violist Heather Bentley's Hot Shop will premiere in a music video courtest of the Museum of Glass.

OCTOBER 11-17

FILM

Charlie Chaplin: Free Family Films at the Patio
An evergreen comedy hero gets the spotlight at this series of outdoor Charlie Chaplin film screenings. Alma Mater has set up a cozy and socially distant heated area outside, and you're encouraged to bring your own pillows and blankets from home.
Alma Mater

OCTOBER 15

COMMUNITY

Free Thursday Virtual Tour: Boys of '36
Explore Tacoma's historic Waterfront on this free virtual tour with Pretty Gritty Tours, who will tell the story of a group of American crew team members from the University of Washington who went up against Hitler's prized rowers in the Olympics in 1936.

OCTOBER 17

COMMUNITY

The Muse Hour with Karamo Brown
The New Yorker called three-time Emmy winner and Queer Eye "culture expert" Karamo Brown "a sympathetic talk therapist warped inside a life coach and zipped into a fast-fashion bomber jacket." He'll join Tacoma Arts Live for a virtual conversation and audience Q&A.

VISUAL ART

Ocean Art Day
Check out water photography by Dean Burke and Fergus Hyke and the rippling organza mural "Sure/Shore" by Lourdes Jackson at the Foss Waterway Seaport. The artists will be around to chat with you at a distance and there will be a live painter and electric cello tunes by Gretchen Yanover.
Foss Waterway Seaport 

In the Spirit Closing Celebration
Here's Jasmyne Keimig with some background on tonight's musical guest, Khu.éex’: "Headed up by Tlingit bassist/vocalist (and lauded glass artist) Preston Singletary, Khu.éex' (pronounced Koo-eex) are a supergroup composed largely of indigenous poets and musicians. Beginning as a chance meeting between Singletary and legendary funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads), Khu.éex' combine far-out funk and jazz with spoken word and Great Native Northwest storytelling to present a contemporary interpretation of their culture to the world. Most recent EP Héen ("water" in Tlingit) deals with the importance of water to indigenous communities across the country." Join them online at this closing celebration for the In the Spirit Contemporary Native Arts Virtual Exhibition.

THROUGH OCTOBER 18

VISUAL ART

Out of the Vault: Hidden Gems from the Museum of Glass's Permanent Collection
The museum brings out some favorite pieces from the vaults, including some fashioned during Hot Shop Visiting Artist residencies. In addition to glass sculptures, see ephemera, videos, photos, and more.
Museum of Glass

OCTOBER 20-23

COMMUNITY

Pacific Northwest History Conference
Whether you have a PhD in history or you're just a fan of reading about it, this virtual Washington State Historical Society conference, whose theme this year is "Power and Resistance in the Pacific Northwest," has a spot for you. The Pacific Northwest has long been a place of contested spaces. At a glance, some of the panels this year include "Native, Immigrant and Industrialist Claims to the Duwamish" and "Women's Suffrage in the Pacific Northwest: Seneca Falls to the 19th Amendment."

THROUGH OCTOBER 23

COMMUNITY

Virtual Washington State Fair
The Washington State Fair in its usual incarnation is a no-go this year, but you can still shop from local vendors at a virtual marketplace (through Oct 15) and bid on stuff in the Round Up Auction (Oct 19-23).

OCTOBER 24

HALLOWEEN

LeMay Trunk or Treat
Instead of going door to door, costumed children can experience trick-or-treating in a new way by snatching treats from the trunks of vintage vehicles decked out for Halloween.
LeMay Collections at Marymount

OCTOBER 24-JANUARY 27

COMMUNITY

Votes for Women: 100 Years and Counting
This exhibition on the women's suffrage movement focusing both on the national and regional story of the fight for the 19th amendment.

OCTOBER 26-31

HALLOWEEN

Frighthouse Station: Abomination Interactive Film
Note: official start date TBA
Frighthouse Station may be going virtual this year, but don't expect its haunts to be any less terrifying. The week leading up to All Hallows' Eve brings a choose-your-own-adventure film experience that allows you to determine the fate of others. We guess that makes the flesh-and-blood participants the scariest part. Here's the gist, courtesy of the organizers: "One hundred years have passed since Handstitch Addy's horrific experiments in reanimation, her memory buried underground and forgotten. Until now. Lights have returned to the Black Lake Sanitarium. Voices echo in Addy's ancestral home. Then there are the dire messages from the Children of Addy, a cult devoted to relearning her unholy science. A shadowy organization has summoned you to investigate. You must help a strike team uncover the truth. Will they survive? Or will your indecision cost them their lives?" 

OCTOBER 29

COMMUNITY

Cheers for Women! Virtual History After Hours
Raise a glass of your favorite liquid to the accomplishments of women throughout history at this virtual event with the Washington State Historical Society. Tickets include a mixology lesson, a craft project, and a presentation from Humanities Washington speaker Mayumi Tsutakwa, who will highlight diverse women figures like jazz musician Ruby Bishop, photographer Imogen Cunningham, journalist/activist Anna Louise Strong, Upper Skagit linguist Vi Hilbert, and artist Priscilla Chong Jue.

PERFORMANCE

Tacoma City Ballet Presents: Dracula The Romantic Ballet Watch Party
Tacoma City Ballet will revive its 2019 production of Dracula the Romantic Ballet on Facebook Live. A perfect date-night-in for ghouls in love. 

OCTOBER 30-31

PERFORMANCE

Legend of Sleepy Hollow
An adaptation of Washington Irving's short story of Ichabod Crane gallops its headless horseman onto the Tacoma Musical Playhouse's virtual stage just in time for Halloween.  

OCTOBER 31

HALLOWEEN

Lincoln Business District Trick or Treat
Lincoln District businesses are stocking up on candy and "getting [their] 6ft poles ready" for a socially distant trick-or-treat on Halloween. 
Lincoln District

OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 15

FESTIVALS

Día de los Muertos Festival
The Tacoma Art Museum's annual Día de los Muertos celebration will take place virtually over the course of two weeks. Families are invited to share their commemorative altars and enjoy those submitted by others.

THROUGH DECEMBER 19

MUSIC

Symphony Tacoma Fall 2020 Season
Join Symphony Tacoma for free live chamber music performances and related discussions on their YouTube channel and Facebook Live page throughout the season, including Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Sat Oct 24). There will also be a virtual gala on Oct 18.