Exit133 is about Tacoma

Monkeyshines 2013 - Year of the Snake

UPDATE: In case you missed it, Monkeyshines are out all over Tacoma. If you would like to show off your find, we’d love to post a picture here. You can email your images to tips@exit133.com, and we’ll post it in the comments. If you’ve already commented, let us know who you are, and we can match the image with your comment. Happy hunting, everyone.



Once again, the time is approaching to be surprised. Monkeyshines is about serendipity and discovery. It’s about wonder and a child-like search for treasure.


Chinese New Year in Tacoma is a very special time. Ever since the Year of the Monkey, a secretive team gathers around this time of year to create hundreds of hand blown glass balls and then carefully hide them all over the city.


Future Monkey


With the transition from the Year of the Dragon to the Year of the Snake set to occur in less than a week, we wondered if once again the Monkeys would come out and bring their gifts to our city. We know of at least a few people who are getting twitchy and can’t stop looking into hedges and behind rocks as they walk through town. Then, a few days ago, we received a request to meet from someone we only know as “The Naughty Monkey.” The message arrived via an infrequently checked ICQ account and asked that we rendezvous in a dark alley of Tacoma’s North Slope.


We didn’t know what to expect. Would the Naught Monkey pass a Zip drive of images to tease Tacoma? Would the official (although not official) word be that there would be no Monkeyshines this year? Would she even make it to our meeting, as it wasn’t necessarily sanctioned by Ms. Monkey herself?


Every year the lovely people of Tacoma try to glean any hint of when Monkeyshines will arrive. Will it be on Chinese New Year or some other day? We knew that there would be no answer to the question of when. Yet, the particular vagueness in the non-answer seems to suggest that the correct answer is actually a range. Several days of Monkeyshines? No answer.


The Monkeys have been busy this year. When pressed for numbers, there weren’t any answers – only that the Monkeys have been busy and the city should expect good things. However, should you find yourself lucky enough to stumble upon more than one, just remember that the first rule of Monkeyshines is:



Take only one.



The second rule of Monkeyshines is:



Take only one.



As we spoke in hushed voices, our naughty friend began to reminisce about previous years. In particular, of the mysterious Marble Man who left marbles behind in the parks where Monkeyshines were hidden. A question was raised: what if more Monkeyshine hunters gave something back? Take a penny, leave a penny. Could we propagate the sense of surprise and wonder beyond the mere number of “official” glass prizes? So we ask you: what can you leave behind to further the sense of wonder?


Future Monkey


And always, no matter how pretty they are, take only one. If you want to understand hate and vitriol on the internet, post a basket of Monkeyshines to Facebook or Exit133 after your “successful hunt.” If, on the other hand, you want to make joy and wonder possible for your fellow Tacomans, take only one trophy from your hunt.


Chinese New Year is February 10 this year. Good luck to all our Monkeyshine hunting friends!


Post your stories and, once someone finds that first Monkeyshines, we want to hear about it. Post your images online or send them to us at tips (at) exit133.com and we’ll put it in your comment.


If you want to know what you’re looking for, check out:


Monkeyshines 2012 – The Year of the Dragon – and be sure to view the comments.

Do you want to help the folks at Exit133 pay our bills and keep up with of all things Tacoma? Do you want to see even more coverage? Exit133 has always been free to read and comment, and it will stay that way. However, over the years, readers have contributed to the bank account to help us keep up our coverage of goings-on around town. Contribute and this message disappears!

Support Exit133



My little ones are quite excited, last year was our first year, and getting up before the crack of dawn in the cold I think they had more fun than we did at Disneyland.  We were lucky last year and came away with one, we’re hoping to be lucky again this year!  Though I have been told by my monkeys that I must get better flash lights.  Good luck to everyone, we can’t wait!

February 6, 2013 at 11:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply

James Probert

If I’m fortunate enough to find a monkeyshine I pledge to leave one of my precious agates from my beach place beach combing ventures.

February 6, 2013 at 11:43 am / Reply / Quote and reply


So maybe it’s my year to find one of these?

February 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I wondered if your naughty monkey tweet had something to do with Monkeyshines.  Can’t wait for the Monkeyshines to begin!

February 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Last year, hubby and I left glass seashells and real moon snail shells around as we hunted. I don’t have anything suitable for this year yet, but I will try to come up with something…

I was fortunate enough to find a medallion last year- I hope this will be my year to find a ball. (fingers crossed)

February 7, 2013 at 12:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We love Tacoma so much and special events like this make Tacoma even more cool. I plan on leaving a few heart shaped rocks while on the search for the beautiful orbs. Can’t wait let the hunt begin!

February 7, 2013 at 7:51 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Amy & Kevin

We are so excited at the prospect of this taking place on a Sunday this year. The children have not yet been able to join us in the hunt, because of school. We’re hoping to be lucky enough to find a snake in the grass or wherever else one may be.

February 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I’m so excited about Monkeyshines this year. Last year I didn’t find a thing, so maybe this year will be nice. I wonder if Marbleman will be leaving marbles again.

February 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


this sounds so fun, and I want to try this for the first time this year.  What time do people start hunting?

February 8, 2013 at 1:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lisa, last year we were up at 5:00 and out looking as were many people as we said hello to a lot of people in odd places. If I remember right the first one that we heard if was found at 6:30, however we didn’t find ours until 8.  So it’s really up to you…I suspect we’ll be out early again as my cubs can’t stop talking about it.  :)

February 8, 2013 at 6:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I found one just before 6:00 a.m. and others found them just before that and continue to find them for a few days.  It starts “on or around” the new year so the day isn’t certain.

February 8, 2013 at 7:41 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I love monkeyshines! I want to thank everyone who makes it so much fun, it’s like a early morning party out there :) We even have a medallion from the Moon festival and First night! I think we are very lucky.

February 8, 2013 at 9:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply


So excited to take my daughter out this year! She is Autistic, so normally, community activities can be a little too overwhelming for her. We will be bringing a trash bag to clean up litter as we go searching this year. Teach them when they are young to take care of this city we love. Thank you artists! We love you!!

February 8, 2013 at 11:13 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I just found my first Monkeyshine!  It’s a beautiful marble, maybe it’s from Marble Man?  Has Monkeyshines started?

February 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


It ‘s the marble man…

February 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thanks Marble Man!  I <3 it.

February 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Anita & Boys

We have done this for yrs! My kids are the 3rd generation of seekers in our family. Everyone has their own collection. I have been waiting all year for this! My son is part of the glass blowing class who got to help and watch make them this year! How awesome is that. Last year my son had to strip down to his underwear and climb to the top of a water fountain to get his maddalion. We are prepared for anything this year! Let’s do this!!

February 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Peter Peter

Anything? Anyone?

February 9, 2013 at 7:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Now we have a hint on who makes them. Please dont tell even if you know, spoiles the fun and mystery.

February 9, 2013 at 7:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Monkey nuts


February 9, 2013 at 7:37 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Monkey nuts

Anyone else out?

February 9, 2013 at 8:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Out with my kindergartner and we are hoping this year is our year!

February 9, 2013 at 9:43 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We’re waiting for tomorrow, hope I didn’t make a mistake!

February 9, 2013 at 10:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply

St. Helens Couple

We just got back from a long walk around stadium high school area and no had no luck of finding any monkeyshines. Maybe tomorrow! We’ve lived here for six years and have been looking for monkeyshines for five years but with no luck. Still have hope though and we love the fun of the mystery. Good luck to all!

February 9, 2013 at 10:21 am / Reply / Quote and reply


No luck for us either.  My husband searched today, but we’ll go out as a family tomorrow with the little one as I’m thinking (hoping) they’ll be out on the actual day of Chinese New Year.  With a little luck we might find one before church in the morning!  Safe travels and good luck to all in your searching!

February 9, 2013 at 11:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply

sean slusar

this will be the first year my wife and i will be going hunting were really hoping to find something as we may not be in washington next year :( if anyone have any kind of advice we would greatly appreciate it :) thanks!

February 9, 2013 at 11:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply


No finds for us! We looked along 6th Ave . Maybe mañana?

February 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Damn it, I haven’t found anything! Not a marble or Monkeyshine! I’m SO mad!

February 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Sean, my advice is get out early and be patient.  It took us three hours to find ours last year and a couple of times we heard of people finding them in areas we had just left.  I had given up hope when my son found one under a slide.  Have fun and good luck!

February 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We r on the hunt!

February 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Dan Hockaday

We spent an hour searching the <span class=“caps”>UWT</span> campus and came up empty, we will be out bright and early tomorrow though, good luck everyone!

February 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I’ve never found a Monkeyshine before… I’ve been hunting for three years now, but I haven’t found a thing. I’m hoping to find one at Jefferson Park. By the way, Ms. Monkey, this is an awesome thing you do. Thanks so much for making life in Tacoma special. Oh, and SuperTaco? Chill out. I’ve never found one but you don’t hear me swearing and yelling about how mad I am.

February 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Sorry, SuperTaco. I can understand. It’s frustrating not finding one.

February 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We are going out tomorrow morning!  I’ve never found one but am super excited!!

February 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Five or six years ago, I discovered two beautiful glass balls on the Hoyt playground before school began. I had no idea that I had come upon a much sought-after treasure until I learned more about Monkeyshines the following year in the newspaper. Since that time, I always bring the Monkeyshines to school for the students to see, and I share with them the story of the Monkeyshines and the mysterious Marble Man. Each year, at Hoyt (the Washington-Hoyt Elementary primary building), we celebrate the Chinese New Year with a party and a parade.  Last Friday, we celebrated our last Chinese New Year at Hoyt because the school will close its doors in June for the last time.  In 2014, the primary students will be housed in the newly remodeled Washington Building.  On Friday morning, when the children arrived at school, they discovered that beautiful marbles had been hidden on the playground sometime during the night.  They spent their recesses joyfully hunting for marbles on the playground.  Thank you, Marble Man, for providing them with an experience that they will long remember.  They went home with marbles in their pockets and stories of the Marble Man and Monkeyshines.

February 9, 2013 at 11:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Lookie loo

Every year I look and look and most years I find one. I have already started praying to the monkeyshines gods and Chinese New Year gods to bless me with one this year. 2 year ago I found a poster and never again have I. Does anyone know if they ever do posters again. Well I guess I will look in the morning before church with the kids. Thanks art community.

Can I donate to the cause?

February 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Dick&Jane what a fantastic story, thank you Marble Man!  We hope to find a marble this year, I’ve only seen photos and they are so pretty.  My kids have been so excited about this (they are elementary school age) they’ve been talking about it every day and last night it was hard to get them to bed. I think they would have gone out last night if I had let them!  So wonderful the students could join in this too! 

I think I’m more excited than I think because I can’t sleep.  Good luck everyone & Thank You again Marble Man!!

February 10, 2013 at 3:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply


My brother and I have been out from 1200 to 0300 and came up empty handed.  Maybe they are not out yet or the places we looked were picked clean. We were a bit puzzled though to find Golf Balls in the normal Monkey Shine places. Very Interesting We Say.

February 10, 2013 at 4:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Team Franzy

They’re out!!! Found one in Proctor. Go!

February 10, 2013 at 5:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply


On our way out, goooood luck!

February 10, 2013 at 5:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

DeDe Lackey

let the hunt begin. :):) Good luck fellow hunters.

February 10, 2013 at 6:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lets go! Looked down 6th ave nothing yet

February 10, 2013 at 6:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply


got ours at Firemans Park! thanks Monkeyshines!

February 10, 2013 at 6:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Monkey nuts

Found one at Jason Lee!  Over the moon!

February 10, 2013 at 6:20 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Speckeled globe found in South Tacoma (thanks for remembering South Tacoma)!

February 10, 2013 at 6:53 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found one at the Swiss @ 445

February 10, 2013 at 6:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply

T-Town NinjaDog

My brother, his girlfriend, and I have been out since 4 am, each of us finding a treasure!  A couple near the <span class=“caps”>UWT</span> steps, one on the Murray Morgan bridge (welcome back, btw)…  Thank you so much MonkeyShines!

February 10, 2013 at 7:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply


My babies each found a marble by the Rosewood, thanks Marble Man!  You made my kids morning!

February 10, 2013 at 7:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Tip: bring extra shoes & socks. The parks are wet & soggy! Might also want to bring some bags & clean up litter while you’re at it too!  Scouring the north end right now!

February 10, 2013 at 7:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I found mine at 430am at Frisko Freeze! Beautiful purple and pink float!! :)

February 10, 2013 at 7:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Eliz n Son

Found ours in the Stadium District… We started at 5am and found it around 7am. It was a great experience with my son. Thank you MonkeyShiners!!

February 10, 2013 at 8:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Dan Hockaday

Found a marble on my way into work. 8 hours of restriction from looking followed by a marathon around the city! Leave one for me!

February 10, 2013 at 8:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Ginny Chapman

Found one at 6:15 at st. Joes!!! Clear glass with a purple snake on top! So fun!!! Thank you monkeyshine!!!! Next year I am going to take the kids! Just heard about it last night and decided to give it a try!!!

February 10, 2013 at 8:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We found a ball and a medallion for the two of us. A great morning. Thanks monkeyshines!

February 10, 2013 at 8:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Susan and Paul

My husband found a medallion On the new turn about entering Ruston, and I found a beautiful Red Orange speckled Monkeyshine. Thank you so much Ms Monkey! This is my 4th year, and Im lucky enough to have found 1 each year. I will never go out of town on Chinese New Year!

February 10, 2013 at 8:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found my first one ever on Division! Beautiful speckled purple ball :) Thanks guys!!

February 10, 2013 at 8:47 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I found a beautiful green medallion and my husband found a speckled ball, so thrilled! Thank you, picture to follow.

February 10, 2013 at 9:02 am / Reply / Quote and reply

DeDe Lackey

My daughter and I found ours this morning. A pretty greenish and yellow at the Red Cross and a blue/green in the planter of a glassblowing shop down town. Thank you so much Monkeyshines. I haven’t found one since the year of the ox.

February 10, 2013 at 9:04 am / Reply / Quote and reply

stiles family

we found ours at the corner of 21st and Proctor in the median. we were at a red light, my daughter looked over, I looked over and ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! holy shomoly….we found one….a beautiful clear and blue speckled ball. (we had just spent an hour at the park looking around).Thankyou. Monkeyshines

February 10, 2013 at 9:23 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Everyone in our group of six found medallions!!  We found them on Commerce between 10th and 11th.

February 10, 2013 at 9:36 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Friend said the one he found (speckled globe – pink color sheme), was on a sidewalk table outside Dawson’s on South Tacoma Way. 

(He says, “Thankssssssss.”  Year of the snake… hissssssss…)

Thank you, Monkeyshiners.

February 10, 2013 at 9:38 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We found ours floating in the water right next to the Ram down on the water front. The purple ball was almost out of reach and could have easily floated out further into the water. Had a great time and can’t wait for next year.

February 10, 2013 at 9:44 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Jesse Michener

Found at Old Town Music Society this morning at 5:24.

Pics and story here: lifephotographed.com…

February 10, 2013 at 9:48 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The group of us found one at TG and one at McCarver before 6am. But no luck after that.

February 10, 2013 at 9:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We didn’t find one but my kids and I had a great time looking and seeing the sun come up over the city.  Thanks for doing this -we will try for “treasure“next year.

February 10, 2013 at 10:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply


One semi-drowned, frozen fiancé later, we rescued our beautiful yellow and green speckled ball floating in the middle of Wright Park pond.  This one was so earned! I am so glad she is a good swimmer!

February 10, 2013 at 10:09 am / Reply / Quote and reply


We found some beautiful marbles at snake lake but no luck with anything else, still happy that we found something, we left some nice heart rocks in their place. 4 hours of hunting my kids didn’t complain at all we saw the sun come up and heard the monkeys at the zoo it was fun, maybe we will go out later after a nap. Thank you Monkeyshines

February 10, 2013 at 10:14 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found my first ever Monkeyshines this year (after 4 years of looking)!! So excited. It’s a medallion – and I love it. Thanks to the stealthy Monkeys for such a cool tradition. (Oh, and there was a glass ball very nearby, which I left for the next lucky person. Happy hunting.)

February 10, 2013 at 10:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Brian Goode

Found at Wright Park around 7am near the playground


February 10, 2013 at 10:34 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I found a beautiful orange medallion in a planter box at Rankos Pharmacy in Stadium at 5:30 am— My first after 3 years of searching! We are so excited about Monkeyshines at Cafe Play (part of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma), that if you come in today and tell us about your adventures in person, we will give you 50% any drink. Happy Year of the Snake!

February 10, 2013 at 10:47 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Marie and boys

4 years later we finally got our treasure! It was worth the wait. Thank you to all the people that make theses treasures and those that take the time to hide them. The memories I’ve made with the boys we’ll cherish forever! What a great tradition. Thank you to all!;)

February 10, 2013 at 10:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Thanks to all of the monkeyshiners and all of the hunters for making Monkeybusiness 2013 successful.  Also, a huge shout-out to the Tacoma Arts Commission for their support! Please send a quick note to Naomi Strom-Avlia,  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to thank the Art Commission for all they do to make Monkeyshines possible.

February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply

wings of change

My Son Liam and I found a beautiful medallion this morning in neighbors park, and my boyfriend and his son found a orange and yellow globe at Wright park. We had a wonderful time, Yay!

February 10, 2013 at 10:58 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Thank you!  had a kooky time Ms Monkey and Crew.

Shine on!

will thank Naomi too!


February 10, 2013 at 11:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Went out for my 4th year and brought my mom and brother for their first year! No luck on an orb this year, but last year my husband and i each found one. We found 3 marbles though while out searching though so thanks marble man!

February 10, 2013 at 11:13 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Our little group of four ended our day with two medallions and two balls (one at Jane Clark park and one from the Zoo) and a marble for each of the kids.  Thank you so much to Ms Monkey and all the monkeyshines group.  My kids just love it, and so much fun was had by all.  Can’t wait till next year!!

February 10, 2013 at 11:21 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Girlfriend and I both found medallions in titlow park, found a third and rehid it, don’t burn it’s hiding spot!

February 10, 2013 at 11:30 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Kimberly &Terry

We’ve been searching for years and never found anything. This year we found a medallion downtown and a beautiful golf ball sized marble under 21st street bridge! Thank you, Monkey Shines and Marbleman. Good luck, everyone!

February 10, 2013 at 11:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found by a reader over the Chambers Bay Bridge.

February 10, 2013 at 11:57 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Spent two or so hours searching in the middle of the night with my canine sidekick…marbles galore, but no shine yet. Spent another hour and a half early morning searching. No luck. Then, about 8:45, went to join the kids and their puppy for some play time at Wright park. Lo and behold, there was treasure in the entryway of the apartment building right next to ur parking spot! Woo Hoo! A great story for the students tomorrow. Was extra special to spot it with my sweetie. Thanks for the fun!

February 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thanks Ms. Monkey and crew. Found a medallion this morning. Then took my two year old daughter “treasure hunting” and she found two beautiful marbles. She was absolutely thrilled! Thanks marbleman!

February 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Sadly, I struck out again after 6 hours of hunting. Maybe my sixth year in 2014 will be the charm, thanks any ways, Ms. Monkey.

February 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found our first medallion by a picnic table in Wright Park. Made my son’s day.

February 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


After about two hours of searching (and one This is Sparta sticker), we found a beautiful blue-speckled globe on the edge of the Met Market parking lot.

February 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Our group of four found two medallions off of Tacoma Ave and two balls. We were given our first ball off of Tacoma Ave from a couple who found two and just found a third. Then as we gave up we found our last ball waiting outside of the Silver Spoon stashed in a pallet. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen! I do want to recommend though next year that everyone brings a trash bag and help clean up the city… Man was there trash everywhere!

February 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Alex and Kim

Found one in a tree!  Thank you Monkeyshine, for a fun morning and new tradition!  Good luck everyone!

February 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I found this in a doorway alcove at First Presbyterian Church at a few minutes to 11.  I love Tacoma!!!

February 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found at Anne Wright playground at 7:30 by Sierra

February 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply



Talked to you at the War memorial park and you gave me and my daughter a hint at the Titlow medalion.  We didn’t find it but Thank You anyhow! 

Maybe next year we’ll find one.

February 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found a beautiful orange medallion on my door step this morning. Thank you

February 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thank you Monkeyshines and Tacoma Arts Commision! My family enjoyed the successful hunt.  Special thanks to the person who left behind the sweet glass pear in Ruston.

February 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Great you found the pear! I had alot of fun thinking of who would find it. I found a beautiful red/orange Monkeyshine there at 4:55am

February 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found a little marble outside of LeLe’s in the Hilltop. Not sure if it’s a Marbleman marble or just a marble. In any case we had tons o’ fun! Thanks Marbleman!

February 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Success we went back out and found a beautiful green medallion at a bench at Owens beach walkway around 1pm today. My son found it when he went to sit down. It was great! They are still out there and there are so many people looking what a fun event. I love Tacoma, thank you Monkeyshines. Oh and we found another marble so overall we found 5 marbles and 1 medallion awesome

February 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


From a reader: “The kids and I found a couple this morning! What a fun time. Thanks so much for the monkeyshines!”

February 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Hooray! We found a perfect Ava sized orb at around 5:30 a.m. on 38th Street, in the International District. Thank you so much for bringing so much joy to my amazing little girl!

February 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Searched a few different areas for 5 hours this morn, hoards of people roaming the streets, seems word has gotten out about this fun treasure hunt.  Didn’t find any monkeyshines, but did dispose of some sparkly beer bottles… and found a beautiful pinecone as a treasure to go next to the monkeyshines collected from the past few years.  Enjoy the hunt, good luck!

February 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thanks for the medallion I found at <span class=“caps”>UPS</span> this morning , when was the first year for medallions?  No luck on a float yet, but I did see an older couple walking down N 21st around noon with a blue float.

February 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Thank you monkeyshines for another amazing glass ball search! Our son found this one in frost park and was ecstatic that it was a red one because it is his favorite color! We started our search at 4am. We started at the elks lodge on broadway, but nothing there so we made our way down to Firemans park again nothing there so we strolled further down about half way Pacific ave and then little man started to get tired so we crossed the street and walked back. We were a little sad that we didn’t find anything until out of the corner of my eye we noticed a glass ball floating in the water in amazement we got what we set out to hunt for. A true spence of treasure hunt we all felt!

Thank you again monkeyshines.

February 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Our family of four searched for hours today in several locations. We didnt find any medallions or balls but did find what looks like a blown glass shot glass at Optimist Park???  It was similiar to the bottom of one in a picture posted earlier. Is this a monkeyshine?

February 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Walked three hours today around the Eastside and didn’t find anything. Did you forget about us, monkeyshines? Replenishing tomorrow maybe?!

February 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Found the clear ball along N 30th, and the red one along N Yakima.  There were two of us on the hunt, so we only found one each, as per the rules…

February 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I’d just like to thank the organizers/monkeyshiners. What an amazing gift to give adults and children alike, my lady friend and I felt like we were kids again, didnt find anything last year but had luck this year, I wish there was some way to support such an amazing experience and gift.

Ps. JMatt, I hope you guys enjoyed your search, sorry you didn’t find the medallion but you have something very special to look forward to next year! Cheers.

February 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Yay! Four of us out at about seven. Found these beauties! Thank you for a perfect morning Monkeyshiners!

February 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


My son & I saw that yellow monkeyshine floating in wrights pond this morning, but neither one of us was brave enough to go into the pond. We’re glad someone did. Well earned ladies.

February 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


So disapointed! Looked from 4-12 n nothing.  Boys r exhausted and gas tank is empty. Sucks to gear people found them in every place we looked just 2 hrs later. I guess we started to early. Hoping there will b another car liad hiding more this evening.

February 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Saracristina (Frozen Fiancé)

Our day started with a marble and ended hours later with a floating orb!

Thank you MarbleMan & MsMonkey for infusing Hope, Magic & Joy into all of our lives!  :o)

February 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I went out at 9:00 a.m. with my daughter and found my first ever medallion by the front door at Mary Bridge.  Then security asked me if I needed any assistance!  I showed him what I had just found & he was totally cool!  Thank you to all who are involved in this fun family event!!

February 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I keep refreshing this page just to check out everybody’s beautiful treasures and posts from happy Tacos. Completely. Awesome.

February 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


What an event! Like many we were out and about in a jiffy at 5:30am—don’t know that I can say our family can move that quickly in the morning for any other day. We searched the shoreline—in particular, Chinese Reconciliation Park. I know, so obvious. While we didn’t find any glasswork, we did discover what a phenominal job Tacoma and the Reconciliation Project has done to make Chinese Reconciliation such a treasure. We spent quite some time talking about the expulsion of the Chinese in Tacoma during 1885 and the symbolism of the park—to express Tacoma’s commitment to end racism and hatred, and to promote a peaceful, multicultural community. We moved on to explore the hidden salmon-bearing Puget Creek—another wonderful community project. The sunrise couldn’t have been better. It was heartwarming to greet searchers and non-searchers and enjoy the beautiful morning. For me, Monkeyshines has created an event that is simple, yet in so many ways exemplifies the complexity and the beauty of Tacoma! Thank you Monkeyshines for such an incredible day! 


February 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Ms Monkey

@98 the first time we made medallions was the Year of the Rooster.  Our stamp was too big for orbs.  We have continued to add medallions every year since.  All monkeyshiners are thrilled to hear of other’s leaving treasure behind, so thank-you Marble Man, moonsnail, the person who left the pear, the heart rocks and the agates.  Again <span class=“caps”>HUGE</span> thank-you to the Tacoma Arts Commission who made it possible for us to distribute over 800 pieces of art this year.  Shout out to all glass artists and studios in Tacoma.  You <span class=“caps”>ROCK</span>.

February 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Well my brother and I have searched for countless hours looking for a orb and to our surprise after a total of 7 hours we finally found one. Never thought Steilacoom would be a hiding place for one but it was.  A nice find seeings how for me I am the Year of The Snake.

Thank You Ms. Monkey

February 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


my husband found his at candle park.  we literally felt like we were willy wonka with our golden ticket today!  we spent hours at snake lake…HOURS because we just <span class=“caps”>KNEW</span> there would be the biggest and best there due to it being the year of the snake…we found medallions and marbles but NO <span class=“caps”>ORB</span>!!  Did anyone find an orb at Snake Lake?

February 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I won’t believe it’s time to give up until the ball from last year gets picked up.  It was still in place as of 5:20 pm

February 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Frustrated.. I love this special time of year, It’s my favorite holiday. To find an orb or medillion is awesome, but frustrated this yr. Its my birth year and Id love to find one.. My friends and I looked last nite for four hours then home at 11pm and back out at 4am just got home today at 7pm and tired. We looked everywhere , read the blog and my friends found medillions, but not me. I have monkeyshine hope as I rest and then go back out. With new found ms. Monkey knowledge of how many.

Any helping ideas peeps?

February 10, 2013 at 8:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


We found an orb in the Mckinley neighborhood and a medallion in the Hilltop neighborhood, along with some marbles along the way!  While looking for the treasures we discovered a bar and a couple new shops that we want to go back and check out when they are open! Thank you monkeyshines and marble man for a great day!

February 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


For those of you still looking for your monkeyshine, here’s a hopeful story from last year, shared by a reader:

“Here are some photos … from our very first seeking (my son discovered a medallion in puget park last March and that is how we discovered the tradition).”

February 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


My son found a blue and white float and i found a clear one. My daughter found a nice blue medalion… Thank you ms monkeyshine and tacoma arts. 4th year ive done this and i look forward every year…

February 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Ah, I should have checked in the non-Tacoma place I was thinking about.  Perhaps later.  The kids and I have looked casually over the last few years, and while some well-hidden ones were found by others along the same routes we took this year and last, none has found us yet.  But that’s O.K.  In the year of the boar I sneaked out while they were still asleep and found an orb in a particular tall planter-vase nearby where I suspected there might be one.  Photos such as @88, 94, 95, 96, 99 are priceless.  If each orb or medallion I don’t find ends us with such a smiling face, then it has found a more rightful home!

February 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Joel Larson

Leaving near Delong Park, I figured I might stand a chance of finding a treasure later in the morning, since I got a late start. after brunch with friends, we went for a walk, all keeping our eyes peeled for the glass treasures. Working our way deeper into the park, we were beginning to think there were no treasures, or they had a;ready been claimed.

That’s when I saw it. Out in the open on one of the low curved concrete walls towards the nature trail: a clear golf ball sized marble with orange and blue swirls, perched on a lovely stand. Thank you, marble man! Searching around a bit more, we looked for an actual monkey shine, continuing all the way to the Fred Meyer end of the trail. Nothing more to be found.. or we just missed them.

Later in the day, while driving downtown, we were pointing out all the places someone might hide a monkey shines ball, when all of a sudden my passenger shouter, “Stop!”

We pulled over and walked back half a block to find a medallion propped up in the corner of an entry way of an apartment complex. A little treasure left behind and smiles on the way home.

But no monkeyshine hunt is complete without a Beautiful Angle poster. But the rest of the day would keep me at home. Luckily my friends didn’t give up the chase, and completed the collection with a poster snagged from the BA guys themselves before it was wheat glued to the side of a building.

Collection complete.

February 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Lookie loo

Any ideas on a poster pic or where else to look? 12hrs And still haven’t found anything. But having lots of fun looking in t town with kids. I think alot are still out there I hope…

February 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I really enjoyed hunting for monkeyshines this morning! As a first-timer, I didn’t really know what to expect. Of course, I was really hoping I would find an orb/globe/ball, but I came away extremely satisfied with the medallion that I found. It was wonderful seeing all of the happy faces out there early in the morning, when most of us would typically be either still sleeping or grumpy and wishing we were still in bed. Such a great event, and I am totally hooked. I already can’t wait to search again next year!

February 11, 2013 at 1:07 am / Reply / Quote and reply


No luck Sunday and it was raining and dark when I departed the TDome Station Monday morning for work. When I got back yesterday around 5:15pm I figured I was wasting my time, but took a stroll around the garage and Freight House anyway.  Sure glad I did because I found a medallion – our first Monkeyshine victory!!  Ran into a fellow hunter who was discouraged until I flashed my find at him. He found new life and carried on. Thanks to all the artists for this wonderful tradition and to all Tacomans for being amazing!!

February 12, 2013 at 7:44 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Ok I finally found my ball.. Yeah 30hours of looking and found it. With a great story to be exact…..

Ok we’re driving by a school and I think I see something, I check and no it’s a pop can. Ugh… But turn the corner and my friend see one up on a hill in a yard. Yes her monkey ball. I’m discouraged by now, but tad hopeful. We are passing by a home when I think I see mine. It’s in a planter, in a yard.. At first we think its not one it’s a solar light. We pass it 10 times, a lady who owns the home stares at us (every time ). And my friend and I just hv to find out for sure.. So I get courage up (cant be in yards I’m thinking). And as soon as I step one foot on her property, she opens her door. I ask if i can see what it is and she says yes. I look with hope and low and behold it is. Yeah.. The lady didn’t know what it was, said I could have it. My friend and I explained what we were doing. I was so amazed she didn’t want it so I gave her my business card (as I own a salon) and gave her a free haircut for her letting me take it. She was so nice she said, she saw a person put it there but thought it was a game in Tacoma so left it, even after a dog peed on it. So the nice lady was an angle of my snake year.

February 12, 2013 at 8:37 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Found by a reader in a front doorstep doorway.

February 12, 2013 at 8:40 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Kanela and Steven

Going out for our third try…..fingers crossed for better luck!!! :)

February 12, 2013 at 8:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Here’s another particular favorite of ours – looks like a Tacoma firefighter had a little Monkeyshines luck.

February 12, 2013 at 9:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Anyone know if the good people hiding the items keep a list of where they’re put?  Just curious if they ever keep a count of those found, those still out there and possible where…

February 12, 2013 at 9:24 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Runner Mom

This is our 2nd year of Monkeyshines.  Last year, friend/teacher RS helped us discover the wonder of the search.  My daughter was sooo excited to find a glass ball at <span class=“caps”>UPS</span> in the late afternoon.  This year, the entire family was searching by 7:00 am.  We were lucky to discover our Year of the Snake ball fairly quickly (Proctor area), but kept walking and searching for another hour.  A wonderful way to see Tacoma, make new friends, and spend time with family.  Thank you to all involved!  Tacoma is the best!

February 12, 2013 at 10:05 am / Reply / Quote and reply


who wants to trade missing the monkey the rooster the

ox and the boar and the dog have two from every other year mine and my husbands just email me .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). and happy new year to all i  

found mine cleverly tucked away in a tree oh what fun!

February 12, 2013 at 10:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I know that I read that there were 800 pieces of art put out this year.  Does that include marbles or is that just medallions and orbs?  Also, to marble man…are all your marbles made by you?

February 12, 2013 at 10:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply


@131 There are over 800 monkey balls (that’s what we call them, no matter the year) and medallions out there.  Marble Man is a masked stranger who shows his love to Tacomans by scattering marbles on Chinese New Year!  Even we don’t know who he is.  Regarding that: Over 50 ‘shiners participated this year, and each was given a box of mixed medallions and balls and an area of town, so really everyone only know where they put theirs!

February 12, 2013 at 11:31 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Naughty Monkey

some monkeys just can’t stop being naughty


February 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply



Thank you so much for everything you have done to support this tradition.  It really has given me a lift during these dark days of winter here in Tacoma.  The feeling I had when I found my gorgeous green ball was nothing short of a childlike exuberance.  My husband was not too keen on the concept when I got him up at o’dark thirty but was quick to be on board and it was just a really great way to share time together on a common mission/goal.  My son is so excited he wants to bring my monkeyball to show and tell….not too sure on that but perhaps :)  Kindest regards…L

February 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Mr. Monkey

I am always so happy to see the pictures and read all the stories of the people who find the monkeyballs. Thank you every one who has been involved in this project throughout these years. when we first started this Tacoma was going through a tough time. We all needed a bit of joy i think not only has it been a great thing for the people who go out and search every year but the artists as well. I know that I was able to blow glass with my kids who have been there since the very first year as little kids bundled up in a car as we passed them out. Thank you too Miss Monkey for all that you have done too keep it going eeven when Ive not been able to be as big a part of it as in the past. I can not wait for next year when I will be able to bond with my sons over something so wonderful.

February 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


After having a successful first hunt during the Year of the Dragon, we all got up early Sunday to begin our search…three attempts later no Monkeyshine. Yesterday I had business to do downtown and thought I’d take the opportunity to peek around…two blocks from my house there it was in a crack…I pulled it out and saw the Dragon! We added our 2013 Dragon to our 2012’s with great joy. They’re out there, some take longer than others! Good luck everyone, and thank you to those who make it happen!

February 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Kanela and Steven

Well, no luck finding a monkey ball or medallion today…Started our search at Titlow and then Five Mile/Point Defiance area. We decided to hit up Snake Lake Park since it is right next to where we live.
  We were thrilled to find a necklace someone had left behind in a hollow tree; “In honor of Monkeyshine.” Tried to post the picture we took, but I am so not computer savy. Anyhow, thank you very much!! Absolutely made our day!! :))

February 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I have a confession, I’m still out looking.  Not for myself but for my 6 year old daughter, when my son found his ball he said she could have it, she said no thank you because she wanted to “put her hands on it first”.  I know the ones that may be out there will be much harder to find now, but I keep hoping that I’ll see that little glimmer and can point her in the right direction…if not, I’ll hope for next year but it’s really hard <span class=“caps”>NOT</span> to look…

February 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I should add that if by some chance I am successful, my ball will be rehidden so that we each get only one. (I tired to give her my ball but she wouldn’t have that either!)

February 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


After many hours of walking Sunday and Monday, blood, sweat and tears including some acts of desperation (singing the Snake Charmer song, and Hey Hey we’re the Monkeyshines) I was beginning to think Indy jinxed it for the Joneses with his famous “I hate snakes” line.  Then at the bottom of a ravine in Puget Park Monday morning (after first walking in the opposite direction) I found a medallion under a bridge.  Reading the posts I think I may have passed a float next to a house on a hill on 30th because I was afraid the family would think I was a creep sneaking under their front window Sunday a.m.  Any rules to how far onto someone’s property the Monkeyshines are hidden?  THanks Ms. Monkey and Tacoma Arts Commission!

February 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


All monkeyshines should be on public property. Thank you for not going on private property! Congrats on your diligence and your find!

February 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I’m sadly out of town, so can’t hunt in person But my husband just called to say he found a medallion tucked away in a hollow on our front porch when he went out to get the mail. Our first ever! So to the secret angel who found it somewhere in T-town, and then passed it to us as a gift: <span class=“caps”>THANK</span> <span class=“caps”>YOU</span>!! And thank you, Monkeyshines, for making Tacoma shine.

February 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I want to thank the monkey that left his shiners in Lakewood this year! I read something about Monkeyshines last year and wished I could spend more time in Tacoma so I might find one. The Tacoma Runners won’t even venture all the way out here to Lakewood for a beer so I never expected anyone on Ms. Monkey’s crew to make the trek to give away these fragile treasures.

I wasn’t even searching for one yesterday, but when it caught my eye I knew immediately what it was and yelled “stop the car!” so I could jump out and grab it from the craziest place on Steilacoom Blvd. My wife quickly stepped on the brakes (as I was already exiting the vehicle) and waited patiently while I ran back to net my prize.

Later she said: “So cool. Although the lady who almost hit us when you suddenly leaped from the moving car to grab it probably doesn’t think so.”

February 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Lookie loo

Found a ball on south Tacoma way in bushes by a car dealership. And kids found medallion on 56th street by a phone booth at a 7-11.

February 13, 2013 at 12:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Many happy thanks to the Monkeys.  I found my orb last night.  They really are still out there waiting to find you!  And many happy thanks to the Marbleman.  Found a marble on a walk with my mom on Saturday.

This is one of the things that makes Tacoma special.

February 14, 2013 at 9:23 am / Reply / Quote and reply


As someone who routinely spots and collects all kinds of weird “found” objects (anything discarded on the street is worth a look), what do you say (to all those hunting for Monkeyshines, each year) about coupling your search as an opportunity to also pick up litter?  Carry one bag for trash and/or recyclables and one bag for found treasures.  If everyone did that in their part of town, even just once a year, that’d be a nice thing to do, since we’re out there scouring the town, anyway… :)

By the way, I think the glass ball I found years ago in my first year living in Tacoma (before I’d ever even heard of Monkeyshines) must have been from Marble Man, but I didn’t know it then.  I felt guilty taking it from the bushes since I figured it could only have been placed there for a reason… I now believe the reason it was put there was for me to find it!

February 14, 2013 at 11:07 am / Reply / Quote and reply


I have yet to find a marble, medallion or Monkeyball, but I so love the search.  I got up at 7:30 Sunday morning – walked through <span class=“caps”>UPS</span> over to Proctor and home again.  I missed some because I didn’t go far enough down streets and later saw posts of hunters more diligent than I finding ones I could have found.  I also read of people finding things in places I had already looked.  What did I get out of my morning walk?  A lot of exercise, the chance to see many different birds and even more people out walking their dogs.  I went home a bit disappointed for myself but enviously happy for everyone who found something.  Maybe next year – I am a Horse after all!  Thank you so much for this bit of magic in Tacoma.

February 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


I’m inspired to take a trash bag with me next time. I did see quite a few empty booze bottles and whatnot. It’s even inspired me to just take a trash bag out and pick up my own neighborhood! I like how you think Tacoma!

February 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


My husband and I got up around 4am and started our search Sunday morning, went to half a dozen parks, then around 9am I was getting grumpy cause I was getting hungry, we decided to stop at subway off of division st. As I was walking on the sidewalk about 3 trees from the subway entrance I saw a magical blue sparkle in the ground near the trunk… I rushed over and picked up a beautiful blue medallion =D needless to say I forgot how much I was hungry… We went out the other evening to look in the steilacoom fort park and looked around till dark. Then after almost giving up I decided after getting off work to continue my hunt… I drove down south tacoma way and started pulling off the road every chance I got to look. I saw something blue in some bushes near Austin and south tacoma way… I pulled over and jumped out of the car all excited! Turns out what I saw was a blue bud light bottle… Getting discouraged at this point I walked around the back of my car to drive some more and I saw some bushes in the front part of my car and I figured why not take a peak? … There was a clear plastic bottle down to the left side of the embankment, then I thought there was a green bottle next to, something told me to move a little closer… Then I saw a darker roun circle and I knew I found my shine!! I slipped as I was going down the little hill, the guy who was chipping wood chips just looked at me funny as I picked up my shine and pointed to it =D all he could do was raise his hands as if he was confused… I then txt my hubby in amazement tht I actually found one!! This is <span class=“caps”>WAY</span> better than any chocolate!! Happy valentines day to me!! Found around 1:20pm thank you Mr. And Ms. Monkey!! This is our first year with hopefully many to come!!

February 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Was downtown Tacoma for Light the Bridge Run tonite and found a bridge poster by Beautifulangle.com then decided to go monkeyshining for elusive float then found a dragon medallion from last year at the Maritime museum, hopefully will find a float, keep searching!!!!

February 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


My family and I hunted the morning of with only the satisfaction of finding a few marbles. This year I really wanted to find a medallion as my husband and I each found an orb last year. This morning while I was working at Oldtown Tacoma Starbucks I stumbled upon a medallion hiding in our store. Whoever hid it there you have put a permanent smile on my face! Thank you!

February 16, 2013 at 8:07 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Our first year for the hunt…my 8 yo daughter and I walked for 4 hours all over T-Town looking on Sunday morning. Empty handed, we had given up and figured there may be another chance next year!  This morning my daughter and I were outside and found a beautiful crystal clear medallion near a fire hydrant across the street from our home !!  What a shock, and my daughter is thrilled. Happy Year of the Snake to all !

February 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Sad news/update – over last weekend, my medallion spontaneously burst. A friend tells me this may be an annealing (sp?) problem, and I’m going to try to glue the pieces back together. I don’t know much about glass so I was shocked! (original picture of it at comment 68 above)

Still love it but I’m glad I don’t have any kids around – the edges are razor sharp.

February 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Hi there. I just wanted to confirm that monkeyshining will be happening this year on Jan 31,2014.  Thanks,  Ann

January 7, 2014 at 9:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply

Anita & the boys

Taking the day off of work and the kids out of school on the 31st. Can’t wait to go hunting! I’m a horse!! (1978)

January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


My wife and I would love to come join in on the fun, and maybe even find one of these great glass balls. Could you give me any more information or a web site for this years event?

January 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

Post A New Comment

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Potentially Related Articles