exploring touch-a-truck at the port of tacoma

There’s a saying out here in Washington; “live like the mountain is out.” Stationed at JBLM, we’re all in the shadow of beautiful Mt. Rainier, and when it’s a clear day, the mountain is out in all its glory, seemingly towering from every angle. The fall season here is tedious because, as the weather changes, the pretty summer days turn to a drearier, far wetter fall and winter. Luckily for us, however, the sun was shining on Saturday, and we made the best of it, heading to the annual Touch-a-Truck at the Port of Tacoma.

The Port of Tacoma is an independent major seaport, as well as one of the top 10 U.S. container ports. Traveling to and from Seattle to JBLM (and vice-versa), you drive right by the heart of Tacoma, and you can see some of the industry from the freeway. We’ve never ventured in that direction though, but since Touch-a-Truck is obviously geared towards kids – and free – we headed that direction.

touch-a-truck at the port of tacoma

While I may have my reservations about Washington, in general, there is definitely no shortage of kids’ activities around JBLM, and I’m so glad we made our way to this event. There were about 20 trucks in attendance, almost all of which the children could touch, climb, explore and, yes, honk the horns. Spencer and Porter explored everything from a giant red truck to a Customs & Border Protection x-ray truck, which I learned actually scans the containers (who knew?!) We explored the rig that actually lifts and unloads the containers from trains, and the boys were in awe of the giant contraption towering over them.

From the train cars to the centennial container in which we learned fun facts about the Port of Tacoma, to the Sheriff’s pontoon boat, the kids were all over it. Literally. Perhaps even better, they had an endless supply of treats and goodies – all for free – for the kids to enjoy while they explored. Events like this are so fun for me. Not only are they outside giving us an actual breath of fresh air, but the kids are learning without actually knowing that they’re learning.

Before we left, we made sure to climb the observation tower, from which we could view the large seaport, container vessels, harbor boats and, yes, a few funny seals lurking below. I’ve never really been interested in events like this before, but Touch-a-Truck at the Port of Tacoma was a hit for all of us – myself included. This is an annual event, so if you’re around for their next one in fall 2020 – definitely go! We’ll be back!