Urban Spelunker: Proctor District

Walking the Tacoma northend neighborhood

By Jackie Fender on May 10, 2013

Tacoma's Proctor District personifies what makes a charming business district hip with its community events, walkability and variety of services available. Surrounding the intersection of North 26th and Proctor streets, the Proctor District is within a short trip from the Ruston Way waterfront, downtown Tacoma and Point Defiance Park.

Within a two block radius you can spend a day trip wining, dining, shopping and getting pampered not to mention purchase art, go bowling and catch a flick all within a short jaunt from each other. Better yet, there's loads of free parking.

Special events include the likes of a farmers market every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. where you can enjoy the fresh air and scoop up farm fresh products and locally handmade crafts and come August the streets fill with fine art vendors and live music for the annual Proctor Arts Fest.

Here are just a few of my favorite discoveries during a typical visit to Proctor District.


If you're looking to indulge a sweet tooth while maybe even keeping the calorie count down, Proctor Frozen Yogurt is the bee's knees. Their self serve yogurt includes traditional flavors such as strawberry and chocolate, while those more adventurous swirl some salted caramel corn or pomegranate-raspberry sorbet into their cups. The topping bar includes fresh fruit options like kiwis and strawberries as well as cookie and candy bits galore.


Teaching Toys and Books may not look like much from the outside but when you step inside you are amazed by just how many activities and gifts for the young ‘uns they can fit into a space. It's a much larger store than it appears and can almost seem like a journey through the magic wardrobe. You're met with cuddly animals for the infants, puppets, classic storybooks, puzzles, space and chemistry kits, cars and dolls. All of those extra special hard to find whimsical trinkets can be found in this nook.


Pacific Northwest Shop is a treasure trove of Washington state goods from art to the edible. When you enter you are greeted by some of the more well known local goods like Almond Roca or any one of the many wines sourced from any one of the many Washington wineries to some of the lesser known and just as tasty treats. As you travel toward the rear you find local art, Pacific Northwest inspired decor, locally made soaps and goodies plus a library of books available with regards to the Pacific Northwest's rich history.


Wag Pet Market is for the true lovers of their furry family. Sassy threads, cute collars and cozy beds can all be found among toys for both your cat and dog children and a wide variety of nibbles available for your pets special dietary needs.


If you missed a film to avoid the initial mass hysteria with its release, you can still get the theatre experience in Tacoma's only discount movie theater, the Blue Mouse Theatre. The theater also happens to be one of the longest standing and operating theaters in the region. For a measly $4 you can view a recent release on the big screen. Showtime runs from Fridays to Thursday at 7 p.m. with additional showings on Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. Lovers of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show may catch the midnight show accompanied by a live performance by the Blue Mouseketeers every Saturday as well. It's a hoot but not for the faint of heart.

Also Worth Exploring:

View Larger Map