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How to take advantage of on-post amenities

Learn more about what's going on at JBLM

JBLM has two bowling establishments: Arena Lanes on Lewis Main and Sounders Lanes on McChord Field. Photo credit: JBLM PAO

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On-post events and amenities are a great way to have fun in the military community. Base helps provide safe, affordable and on-location fun for all ages -- with an added bonus of a military-only community, meaning there are smaller crowds and no waiting for things like tickets or paying for add-ons.

Whether you're new to the area or are looking to brush up on available features, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of your surroundings. From restaurants and shopping, to activities, to historic sightseeing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord has plenty to offer its residents and visitors.

Start searching for what's available by looking online. There you'll find a base website featuring everything under the sun. In fact, the amount of options can seem overwhelming. Once you get a feel for some of your favorites, however, you can start to narrow down what you'd like to take on and how to best do so.

Next, it's time to check in with individual departments or locations about what they have to offer. Private Facebook groups are also an ideal way to interact with others on base who are helping volunteer with an event or who know where to get tickets, etc.

Stop in at JBLM's MWR (that's morale, wellness, and recreation) to learn more about recreation on post, discounts for off-post activities and more. JBLM's MWR services and locations can be found at: Check in or call for options in your neighborhood or branch of service.

Download their app or like their Facebook page for real-time updates.

MWR will likely be your biggest resource for upcoming events or celebrations, as well as family friendly recreation, day-to-day offerings, such as on-post gyms and swimming pools, to neighborhood playgrounds. However, if you live on post, you can check with your local community for information on block parties and more.

Remember that concert tickets, vacations and more can all be booked with a hefty discount. Don't be shy about saving a few dollars while having fun through these post-based amenities ... and even the ones off base.

JBLM is also one of the biggest bases in the country, meaning it's full of historic hotspots. Plan to explore museums or nature trails for an insider look at the post's history. This is a perfect amenity for history buffs, or anyone wanting to learn more about their surroundings.

Next, look toward on-base family activities, such as bowling, bingo, movie theaters and more. Because they're on post, activities are offered at a fraction of the price as civilian options, while also cutting down your travel time.

To get a better understanding of the post as a whole, consider attending a newcomer tour or event. Even if you aren't new, these free days allow you to learn the base with insider info. You can even plan on a scheduled expo that gives away freebies and coupons for all that JBLM has to offer.

JBLM Special Events is another great resource; they schedule flea markets, vendor booths for celebrations like Armed Forces Day and more. Check out their website ( or stop by in person for an up-to-date calendar of all that's to come.

If you're new to the military community, JBLM has plenty to offer, it's simply a matter of knowing when and where to look. As for more experienced military members and dependents, there is plenty that's local to JBLM. Check in with MWR, local pages and more to take in all the rich history and specialized services that are readily available. 

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