At Operation Paintball, Mother Nature provides the cover: massive tree roots bulge from the ground at the edge of a field, sheltering players from the gobs of paint whizzing past their ears. Beyond the natural bunkers, the five outdoor fields boast manmade obstacles—including barrels, old cars, and inflatables—behind which teammates strafe, dodge, and teleport their way to the safety of two-story towers. Play rotates among the fields throughout the day, presenting players with various scenarios such as Capture the Flag and Elimination.
Away from the rink, the players who make up Dockyard Derby Dames could be seen as teachers, accountants, nurses, journalists, and moms. But once they strap on a pair of skates, these women become warriors of the track—impassioned athletes with a thirst for victory who wear bruises like badges of honor. The league was founded in 2005 by a small group of skaters, and has since grown to include four teams. Today, it even boasts a travel team that treks across the country to face other squads and make sure the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans both have enough water in them. Dedicated as they are to the sport, though, the ladies of Dockyard Derby Dames are equally committed to giving back to the community by sponsoring charities and participating in community outreach events.
Incorporated in 1907 to oversee the city's fledgling parks, today the Metro Parks Tacoma organization enriches the lives of residents and visitors with its array of recreational facilities that includes community centers, dog parks, pools, and athletic fields. At Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, visitors step back in time to interact with Washington's denizens of yore, hearkening back to the day when trappers fetched a pretty penny for the 1979 Seattle SuperSonics' jerseys. For nearly a century, golfers have flocked to Meadow Park Golf Course's 27 holes to shoot for par or practice their drives, and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium touts a rich Asian forest sanctuary home to real Sumatran tigers.
For decades, the city of Tacoma was the minor league home of MLB teams from across the country. It hosted affiliates of the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, and even the New York Yankees for one season. In 1995, the Seattle Mariners took over Tacoma's team and instantly inherited the long-time organizational name, the Rainiers. The alliance has seen much success over the years, including a Pacific Coast League championship in 2010, a title the club had to win on the road while Cheney Stadium was groggy from anesthesia as it endured drastic renovations.
Those renovations earned the facility a "2011 Renovation of the Year" award from Ballpark Digest. Once dubbed the "100-Day Wonder" thanks to its hasty construction before the 1960 season, Cheney Stadium features an iconic 75-foot wooden exterior façade. Inside, the stadium now boasts such modern amenities as luxury suites, a restaurant, and a grass berm along right field. Despite all the updates, though, the stadium has preserved its epic 29-foot tall batter's eye in centerfield, which sits a distant 425 feet—or, the equivalent of 5,437 sunflower seeds—from home plate.
After opening their doors in 1986, the backyard beautifiers at Rosedale Gardens have continued to stock their full-service nursery with backyard essentials to keep homes lively year-round. The sprawling, 5-acre-plus campus boasts inspirational lawn arrangements and a vast inventory of accessories to help to foster budding green thumbs. Along with a panoply of blooming buds, the expansive inventory includes garden structures, ground coverings, and aquatic additions to help to realize the dreams of fish that always wanted to become garden gnomes. Skillfully shaped shrubbery inspires patrons to awaken their inner Scissorhands, and a range of bare-root trees stands as sanctuary for backyard birds. Upon leaving the nursery, each plant promises to be without disease or insects and totes along a one-year guarantee, which issues replacements for any flora that fails despite proper care.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.