Exploring Tacoma & Beyond

From local shopping excursions to overnight weekend trips, dorm students have plentiful opportunities to explore all Tacoma and the Pacific Northwest have to offer. 

Weekend Activities

In addition to school sports, clubs, and activity groups, on the weekends AWS offers a variety of intellectual, cultural, recreational and outdoor activities. Weekend activities are fun and often educational, and they help build meaningful relationships among the boarders. They also expand horizons and inspire students with new experiences and challenges. 

These activities are organized and sponsored by the dorm parent staff with input from the students. Boarders are welcome and encouraged to help create, organize and run activities for the dorm. Most expenses associated with the activities program are covered by boarding student tuition.

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  • Some examples include:

    Go-kart Racing 
    Halloween Corn Maze Tour 
    Laser Tag 
    Movie Nights 
    Museum Tours 
    Pool Party 
    Roller Skating 
    Attending Concerts or Plays 
    Shopping Excursions 
    Ski and Snowboard Trips 
    State Fair Visit 
    Water Park Visit 
    Zoo Tour 

Dorm Group Overnights

Once per year, pairs of dorm groups embark on overnight excursions in the local region. These trips allow students to explore unique places and try interesting activities, but most importantly they help build relationships between dorm group members. The trips have included activities such as whale watching out of Port Townsend, a cozy winter stay in a lodge in Leavenworth, and snow tubing at Snoqualmie.

Getting Around

The dorm parent staff provides transport to the local bus and train stations and the Seattle-Tacoma Airport on designated travel days as students arrive or depart campus for school breaks. 

On Sunday and Wednesday afternoons the dorm parent staff provides transportation to local shopping centers, grocery stores, coffee shops, municipal parks, the public library, etc. Additionally, on Friday nights staff provides transportation to one of several local destinations including the Tacoma Mall, Korea Town, and the Point Ruston movie theater/restaurant complex. Student suggestions for the Friday run are always encouraged. If a group of students would like transportation to a specific local destination, they can request transport from the dorm parent staff.

Great Outdoor Adventure team


This past fall, the AWS boarding department inaugurated GOAT – or the Great Outdoor Adventure Team. The intention of this new outing program is to allow AWS boarders to take advantage of the unique natural environments in such close proximity to Annie Wright Schools. Mount Rainier and Olympic National parks as both within an hour of campus and dozens of state recreation areas and forests are even closer. Puget Sound - the ocean - is just down the street. There are campgrounds and ski areas and hiking and mountain biking trails everywhere across the state, and the intent of GOAT is to help students enjoy (and learn from) them all. Learn more about GOAT here.