Okay – raise your hand if you still kind of wish you could jump in a pile of fall leaves. All those colors, textures, a painter’s palette of joy, with something a little wild and rebellious thrown in. 

Guess what? We have the grown-up version right here in Tacoma: a glorious array of arts and culture, just waiting for us to dive in. 

How about kicking off Tacoma Arts Month and celebrating new art at the Eastside Community Center at Kaleidoscope? A candlelight tour of Fort Nisqually?
How about rich Beethoven with the Northwest Sinfonietta, lush French Impressionism at Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Film Festival, a night at the theater?
Now that summer has gone, play visitor in your own backyard. Jump in. Go play.
Tacoma Arts Month
Tacoma’s 18th annual arts month of October is here, with artist studio tours, visual, performing, and literary events and so much more. Kick it all off with an arts party at the new Eastside Community Center, with local musicians, visual artists and dancers, and the AMOCAT Arts Awards. Best of all – it’s free.
Kaleidoscope: 6:30-9pm Oct. 2, Eastside Community Center.
Tacoma Studio Tour: 11am – 5pm Oct. 12-13, 56 locations around Tacoma. tacomaartsmonth.com
Tacoma Arts Month opening party at Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center
Art, from France to Mexico, but always right at home
Tacoma Art Museum brings a blockbuster to town “Monet, Renoir, Degas and their Circle: French Impressionism and the Northwest.” Open 10am – 5pm Tue-Sun, 10am – 8pm Thursdays; join a curator talk 2pm Nov. 10. $18/$15/free for military, age 5 and under, TPS students and for all on Thursdays 5-8pm.

And don’t miss the annual Dia de los Muertos community free day, with ofrendas, sand painting, Aztec dance and more. 10am – 5pm Nov. 3. www.tacomaartmuseum.org
Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), River at Lavacourt
With a full range of subjects, methods and styles, Transparency: An LGBTQ+ Glass Art Exhibition at Museum of Glass is the first museum exhibition of studio glass art produced exclusively by artists in the LGBTQ+ community. Opens Oct. 12. museumofglass.org
Transparency at Museum of Glass
Rock that history
At the Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts, explore “1968: The Year that Rocked Washington” (opens 6-8pm Oct. 10) or join in the Kids Club every third Thursday (4-7pm). Dig into hands-on history at the Trappers & Pioneers free festival (12-5pm Oct. 12) or dinosaurs and fossils at an interactive Burke Museum science festival (12-5pm Nov. 2). 309 4th St. NE, Puyallup. Free. karctr.puyallup.k12.wa.us
1968 The Year That Rocked Washington at Karshner Center
History takes to the fashion runway alongside Washington State History Museum's Little Black Dress: A Fashion Evolution exhibition. Enjoy DJ Action Slacks and a no-host bar for a fashion show based on the styles in the exhibition, and featuring runway (role)models - local icons, leaders, celebrities, and accomplished women (6-9pm Oct. 18). Washington State History Museum. $20-25 ($50 VIP). washingtonhistory.org
Little Black Dress at Washington State History Museum
Then steep yourself in the 19th century at Fort Nisqually’s magical Candlelight Tours, where you’ll encounter trappers, settlers, blacksmiths and more. Oct. 4-5. Fort Nisqually, Point Defiance Park. $10.50-$15.50. fortnisqually.org
Fort Nisqually Candlelight tour
Or take a tour of Tacoma’s old school rooms with the Tacoma Historical Society: 150 years of hidden history and memory. 11am – 4pm Wed-Sat through Feb. 29, 2020. 919 Pacific Ave, Tacoma. Free. tacomahistory.org
Romeo, Juliet, love and Beethoven
The Northwest Sinfonietta dives into Beethoven, with Simone Porter playing the rich tapestry of his Violin Concerto for his 250th anniversary. 7:30pm Oct. 12 at Rialto Theater, Tacoma; 2pm Oct. 13 at Pioneer Park Pavilion, Puyallup. From $25. northwestsinfonietta.org
Simone Porter at Northwest Sinfonietta
Meanwhile, the Tacoma Concert Band explores the music of love with “Tie the Knot,” including Bach, Bernstein, Wagner and Copland. 7:30pm Oct. 12 at Pantages Theater, Tacoma. $18-$36, free for under-18. tacomaconcertband.org
Then Symphony Tacoma creates a brand-new version of the “Romeo and Juliet” story with Prokofiev’s heart-breaking music and performances from Tacoma School of the Arts students. 7:30pm Oct. 19. Pantages Theater, Tacoma. $24-$85. symphonytacoma.org
On stage, from Balkans to Oceans
Kick up your heels with the Puget Sound Revels and Balkanarama, a five-piece dance band playing music from Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and more. They’ll teach you the dances! Ages 15 and up. 7-9pm Oct. 5 at Slavonian Hall, 2306 N. 30th St, Tacoma. $5 includes dancing, dessert and drink. pugetsoundrevels.org/
Puget Sound Revels Balkanarama
In “Evil Dead: The Musical,” five college students go to an abandoned cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash an evil demonic force. Expect plenty of fake blood and cheesy jokes. Oct. 25-Nov. 11. Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N I St, Tacoma. tacomalittletheatre.com
Evil Dead Musical at Tacoma Little Theatre
Tacoma Arts Live brings “Shakespeare in Love,” the stage version of the smash hit film, to Theater on the Square from Oct. 17-Nov. 3. And at 3pm on Oct. 26 dive deep into unknown ocean depths in the immersive “Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure”, with technology, puppetry, science and imagination. Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma. tacomaartslive.org
Shakespeare in Love at the Pantages Theater
Keeping to the stage but moving forward in time a few hundred years, Tacoma Venues & Events is bringing the musical stylings of Jonas Brothers, with special guests Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw. Tacoma Dome. Oct. 12, 7:30pm. $50-100. tacomadome.org
Jonas Brothers at the Tacoma Dome
Film in Real Life
From Oct. 3-10 the Tacoma Film Festival brings you everything from family shorts to thought-provoking drama, kicking off with opening night documentary “The Infiltrators.” Opening night 6-10pm at Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway; rest of festival Oct. 3-10 with events at The Grand Cinema, 608 S. Fawcett St., Tacoma, The Blue Mouse Theatre (2611 N Proctor St), King's Books (218 St. Helens Ave), Matriarch Lounge (1322 Fawcett Ave), and the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory (316 G St.). tacomafilmfestival.com
Grand Cinema Tacoma Film Festival opening night