Guide to Halloween in Tacoma, Washington: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

Mount Rainier over the city of Tacoma at sunset
Meleah Reardon Photography / Getty Images

Tacoma is located on the banks of the Puget Sound, about 33 miles south of Seattle, which makes it a great jumping-off point for a number of awesome Halloween attractions and activities, including several in the heart of Tacoma.

While Tacoma may not be famous for its clubs and nightlife scene, it is known for unique cultural attractions like the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum, and the Tacoma Art Museum. Additionally, Tacoma provides ample opportunities to celebrate the Halloween season, including events for trick-or-treating, haunted houses to scare your pants off, and even some places to shop for costumes and supplies.

If Tacoma just doesn't have what you seek for your Halloween fun, you're also not too far from plenty of alternative destinations, including Seattle. If you're looking for a way to truly celebrate all this spooky holiday has to offer, you can venture north about 30 miles, where you'll find plenty of larger-scale Halloween parties, scarier haunted attractions, and more neighborhoods for trick or treating.

01 of 07

Choose Your Adventure at Maris Farms

Washington State farm with Mt. Ranier in background
KingWu / Getty Images

Maris Farms is the perfect frightful option for those who live in South King or Pierce counties. Located in Buckley, Washington, this attraction is perfect for families, but also for anyone who wants a genuinely good scare.

By day, Maris Farms is filled with happy hayrides, pumpkin patches, monster trucks, a corn maze, and lots of fall activities, but at night, the corn maze turns into The Haunted Woods, which is filled with terrors around every corner. There are usually a few different haunted attractions going on, including the haunted corn maze and a zombie shootout bus tour in the forest.

The fall activities at Maris Farms, including the corn maze and Haunted Woods, launch on September 19, 2020, and run until Halloween night. In 2020, tickets are not sold at the gate and you must pre-purchase them online with a reserved timeslot. Some group attractions are not offered in 2020 and a face mask is required for all attendees over the age of 5.

02 of 07

Survive the Night in a Haunted House

Although the haunted attractions that scare Tacoma's residents sometimes change from year to year, one of the staple events is Frighthouse Station, held at the Freighthouse Station Marketplace near the Tacoma Dome. The physical location will remain closed in 2020, but the Frighthouse Station team has put together an interactive haunted film so locals and visitors can still experience the thrills of Halloween. Viewers will be able to create their own narrative and make their own choices, with potentially terrifying consequences. The interactive film launches during the last week of October in 2020.

03 of 07

Get Lost in Local Corn Mazes

Aerial view of corn maze
Alex Potemkin / Getty Images

Corn mazes can be a fun way to celebrate Halloween if you're not much for all the costumes and frights but still want a bit of a thrill this holiday season. You can wander your way through custom-designed labyrinths between stalks of corn, oftentimes with the help of clues along the way. Many local corn mazes double as pumpkin patches and often have other fun activities depending on whether you come in the daytime or after night falls.

  • Rutledge Corn Maze: Located south of Tacoma in Olympia, Washington, Rutledge Corn Maze is different from other mazes in that it's shaped to resemble a person or thing from a theme the farm picks each year. You can explore the haunted maze, pick a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, or even purchase fresh produce from their farmer's market stall on-site. Visit during the day or—for a more frightening experience—after dark. In 2020, tickets must be purchased in advance with a reserved timeslot.
  • Spooner Farms: You'll find many corn mazes and pumpkin patches to choose from in Puyallup, mostly located off of or near River Road. However, Spooner Farms has a five-acre corn maze, as well as a pumpkin patch, pumpkin slingshot, and farm animals, making it a great stop for a full day of Halloween fun.
  • Picha Farms: One of the best places to find local berries in the summer, and one of the best places to enjoy some harvest-season fun in September and October, Picha Farms is also located in Puyallup. Here, you'll have your work cut out for you to solve the seven-acre maze, but fortunately, there will be clues to help you find the way out.
04 of 07

Shop for a Halloween Costume or Decor

Tacoma has many places to find Halloween costumes, whether you need cheap costumes for your kids or want to go all out for an adult Halloween party. For more affordable Halloween costumes and decor, look to Value Village with locations in University Place and Puyallup, which stocks both new and used Halloween costumes each year. Spirit stores (and other similar holiday pop-up stores) also take up residence in empty storefronts beginning in September and feature a full range of all things creepy.

Tacoma also has a few higher-end options for costume rental, if the average costume store is just not enough. Lakewood Costumes caters to people who need a costume for just about any occasion, not just Halloween. However, they are masters of Halloween and if they don’t carry what you are looking for, they can help you find it.

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05 of 07

Go Trick-or-Treating With the Locals

Kids trick or treating in Proctor

Proctor District Association

Area malls tend to offer a night of trick-or-treating indoors, safe from the rain and cold of Washington State in late October. Both the Tacoma Mall and South Hill Mall in Puyallup usually open their doors for a special trick-or-treating night before or on Halloween, which is ideal for folks traveling with younger children since older kids may not be as impressed.

Some areas of town also have community trick-or-treating events, although many of them are canceled or scaled back in 2020 due to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. The Proctor District closes down the streets to traffic and children can ask for candy from neighborhood businesses. The Proctor Trick-or-Treat event is perfect for all ages since the commercial area is compact and easy to walk. The Whitman neighborhood (surrounding Whitman Elementary) is also a good place to trick-or-treat in the South End of the city.

06 of 07

Catch a Spectral Sighting on a Tacoma Ghost Tour

Tacoma Ghost Tours has suspended tours in 2020 until further notice.

Private paranormal specialists, researchers, and companies in and around Seattle offer a few ghost tours throughout the year, but taking a haunted tour during the Halloween season is a special treat. Fortunately, you don't have to make the drive to Seattle for a chance to see a ghostly apparition; the Tacoma Ghost Tours company offers three unique tours of the city's paranormal past.

In operation since 2012, Tacoma Ghost Tours is the oldest-running service of its kind in Tacoma. Travelers can listen to creepy tales about areas of downtown, Antique Row, or the Stadium District during one of the tours offered by the company, but you should check the company's calendar for upcoming special events throughout the year, especially around Halloween.

07 of 07

Spend the Day at Fright Fest at Wild Waves

Halloween performance

Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Wild Waves Theme & Water Park is closed for the 2020 season.

On weekends throughout most of October, Fright Fest returns to the Wild Waves Theme & Water Park in Tacoma. During Fright Fest, park guests can explore three haunted attractions, take over 25 rides in the dark, and discover every creepy detail of the park's spooky makeover.

Fright Fest includes milder frights for little ones as well as terrifying adventures for older kids and adults alike. During the festivities, music lovers can head over to the wave pool, which will be transformed into a dance floor for older park guests. Meanwhile, small children can enjoy a scare-free adventure through Booville, which features Halloween-themed activities geared toward guests under 10 years old.

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