Exit133 is about Tacoma

Monkeyshines 2014 - The Year of the Horse

With Chinese New Year fast approaching, the twitchiness and paranoia that is Monkeyshines begin to fill the air. We search trees and parks. We open every newspaper box and look in every potted plant. We discover every single tossed tallboy in every bush. We walk through the city at night hoping to catch a glimpse of our first glass ball of the year. Are you ready for for the Year of the Horse? 

Ms. Monkey and her team, cloaked in anonymity, have created and carefully hidden hundreds of handblown glass balls every Chinese New Year since the Year of the Monkey eleven years ago. The balls and medallions are each stamped with a symbol for the new year's animal. They appear in neighborhoods throughout the city. Beautiful Angle posters usually go up that night as well. The even more mysterious Marbleman has been thrilling hunters with his handmade glass marbles the last couple of years. The art is intended to be discovered. It is intended to surprise and be a gift.

The thrill of the hunt has created an extraordinarily devoted and loyal group of followers. The moment a ball or medallion is found, the social interwebs light up with the news. Streets throughout the Tacoma then fill with people looking for their own prized piece of art. 

Chinese New Year is Friday, January 31. Will it happen that night? Maybe some other night? We're beginning to get emails from readers asking if it always happens on Chinese New Year. I sit back when asked this question and reflect on the debacle that was Monkeyshines 2010 when the glass balls went out several days early and shocked absolutely everyone. We didn't find one that year. Monkeyshines doesn’t have a webpage. There isn't an official Twitter account to give you a countdown. So, we wait and listen. As we've been reminded year after year, there's really only one rule to Monkeyshines: TAKE ONLY ONE

For us, it’s about wonder and a child-like search for treasure. It's about magic. We don't ask questions. We enjoy the moment. Good luck to all our Monkeyshine hunting friends!

As always, post your stories in the comments. Send your photos to us at tips (at) Exit133.com after you've commented and we'll add them to the story. Thank you.

Previously on Exit133:

Monkeyshines 2013 - Year of the Snake

Monkeyshines 2012 - The Year of the Dragon

Monkeyshines 2011 - The Year of the Rabbit

Monkeyshines 2010 is Now!

Monkeyshines Returns for 2009 - Year of the Ox


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

Comments

Mama & Cubs

Woohoo!!  We’ve already got it on our calendar (and luckily the cubs have the day off from school), can’t wait.  We’ve been very lucky the last two years, hoping for some luck this year too.  Good luck to all!

January 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


to/fro

I am beyond stoked, but I am a bit bummed out that I have to wake up extra early before work. Then again, the prospect of getting some glass makes it worth it!

January 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


JJ

Monkeyshines and a Seahawks Super Bowl all in one weekend!  Hoping to find a glass float this year to go with my Dragon float and Snake medallion.

January 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Monique

Can’t wait!! I requested the 31st off so I can get up extra early and head out with some friends! Last year was my first time and I had so much fun running around the streets of Tacoma. Such an awesome thing these people do.
Good luck out there!!

January 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Bonnie

My husband and I are super stoked!! We wanted to do this every year,  We ended up moving to the east coast… SO we will be making a commute for that weekend from New Jersey =) can’t wait!! Thanks again for what you guys do Mr. And Mrs. Monkey!!

January 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Shannon

My friend told me about this today and I am too excited to be joining her and her sister on the search. But really how fun would it be to hide them and watch people search!!

January 23, 2014 at 12:01 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Anita & the boys

Already requested Friday off. Every year this is a family event. No work. No school. Only treasure hunting and going out for lunch.This is my birth year. I must have one! Let the hunt begin!!

January 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Julie

To Terry❤️!

January 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


cubstim

After the Tacoma Runners 5k this morning, I stopped by the Chinese Reconciliation Park. Sitting in a shell by the water was a beautiful marble - maybe an early Marble Man sighting? Happy Year of the Horse to all.

January 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Marbleman

could be….

January 26, 2014 at 7:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply


GlassLover

Patiently waiting saw a few awesome marbles!!! Thanks MarbleMan

January 26, 2014 at 11:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mama&Cubs;

Looks like we might have a reason to get out if the house for a bit.  Thanks Marble Man!!!

January 26, 2014 at 11:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Marie & boysRegistered

Boys have drawn up their game plan. All they want to do is feast their eyes on a treasure! They have the Monkeyshines fever! Thanks Tacoma, thanks in advance to all those that give us some fabulous memories as we explore this great city!

January 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


chyba

We are looking forward to The Year of the Horse!!! Thank you Monkeyshines.

January 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Marie & boysRegistered

WE FOUND MARBLES!! Happy, happy, joy, joy! Thank you Marbleman!!:D

January 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


T-TownFreckles

Walkin the dog and found some marbles! Thanks Marble Man, gettin’ pumped up!

January 26, 2014 at 5:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Lola

Adopted my daughter from China 7 yrs ago and she and I have a tradition of looking for Monkeyshines magic glass together each new year. Last yr we finally found something…a beautiful clear snake medallion.  This year could be our year to find one of the gorgeous balls…fingers crossed!

January 26, 2014 at 7:01 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Kat

It’s my first year living in Tacoma proper and I’m excited for the chance to go hunting! Last year I found a wonderful marble (now a necklace!) and I hope to find a medallion or orb this year!

January 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Laura

My boyfriend and I each found a beautiflul marble today. Thanks Marbleman!

January 26, 2014 at 11:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Dwendlandt

I’m getting so excited for the hunt. We have been lucky last we found a medalion and the year before a orb. It’s such a cool thing, my kids are even going to get up early early with me before they go to school just to look!

January 27, 2014 at 6:46 am / Reply / Quote and reply


auntspiker

Can’t wait. My sone and I didn’t find one last year, and I fell in a pond looking.

January 27, 2014 at 7:28 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Peter PeterRegistered

Where have people been finding the marbles?

January 27, 2014 at 8:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The_253

Found 3 beautiful marbles today! Super pumped!!

January 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


david

Anyone see any yet?

January 28, 2014 at 7:36 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Anxious

I really need one of these. I’ve been hearing about them, and I have to have one.

January 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


JJ

I saw a lot of marbles in the Proctor District yesterday afternoon (over 20).  Good luck hunting.

January 29, 2014 at 5:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lyn

We are so antsy we are going marble hunting just to satisfy our need to search.

January 29, 2014 at 7:48 am / Reply / Quote and reply


steve

So this is the first time we are doing this.. sounds great.. but .. it starts friday morning at 12;01 am correct?

please someone send me an email saying something firm…  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

thanks

January 29, 2014 at 11:03 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Noah

There is no official start date or time. It’s completely random. The organizers want “discovery” to be unexpected and serendipitous.

January 29, 2014 at 11:32 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Shay

I hope you find one.

January 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Preschool teacher

I’ve been talking with my preschoolers about this superfun super cool event, and the families are wanting to go looking too. So we are going to meet and look Friday in hopes that we might find something. I will also bring a nature scavenger hunt just in case, and that way we can find something! I love monkeyshines it’s the best time of year in Tacoma!

January 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Ttown Deb

I have been searching daily for any news or rumors of Monkeyshines. I haven’t found one yet, but this is my year, born Year of the Horse. Maybe we will go looking for marbles now.

January 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


wadefishRegistered

Found a marble on University of Puget Sound campus today.

Is this the work of the Marbleman?

January 29, 2014 at 6:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


JJ

It looks like one.

January 30, 2014 at 6:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply


david

are they out there

January 30, 2014 at 6:55 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Marie & boysRegistered

I think not. I went out looking without boys, nothing.

January 30, 2014 at 7:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mama & Cubs

Thanks Marie!  We’re in Lakewood now and I’ve been fretting since I saw that post.  I figured since there had been no one else it might not be yet.

January 30, 2014 at 7:13 am / Reply / Quote and reply


wadefishRegistered

Another marble from the Puget Sound campus…

January 30, 2014 at 8:26 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mama&Cubs;

Oooh!  That one’s pretty!!!  I’m off to the Proctor area for work, hoping maybe there are one or two out there still.

January 30, 2014 at 8:41 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Teachermom

After many years of successful searching, this teacher’s activities are liimited this year due to an injury. So sad! Have fun everyone! Looking forward to postings and pictures. And join the movement to pick up litter as you’re out and about.

January 30, 2014 at 8:53 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Shining Trio

Out walking this morning found small green and blue glass stones with the number 12!  Seen quite a few of them.

January 30, 2014 at 10:48 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Miss Cathy

This will be my fourth year looking, I have found nothing in years’ past. I hope to find one this year! But even if I don’t I just love the sense of community I feel with others out in the cold morning, searching for treasures. I kind of wish it was still a secret, too much competition now!

January 30, 2014 at 11:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply


DrK

found a wonder shell, with the year of the horse 2014 written on it and a blue and green #12 glass token too, and yes a marble! This is wonderfu,l thanks to all! I maynot find a monkeyshine, but i have found treasures!

January 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


todd

What area are people finding the 12th man tokens at?

January 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Shining Trio

I seen them in the Proctor District this morning!

January 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Jeff

I am really looking forward to the hunt this year!  We just moved to Olympia and are willing to make the trip.  Being totally unfamiliar with Tacoma, where on earth should I being to look?!  I’ve seen several places mentioned in previous years.  Are these good places to start?  What are some helps you can give a newbie?

January 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


The Slusar's

This is such a great experience my wife and I found out about this my last year at fort Lewis unfortunately so we were able to hunt last year but moved to the east coast this year however that is stopping us as we are in the air and on our way to Seattle right this minute and cannot wait to begin the hunt!

January 30, 2014 at 4:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


fred davie

When I look at this thread on my desktop computer all the images and drawings show up fine. But when I look at it on an IPAD the pictures are all stretched out. They are stretched out so far you can’t really even scroll past them. Why do these images distort on an IPAD? Anybody?

January 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


DerekRegistered

Curious. We’ll look into this one. Images in comments may not be as responsive to difference devices as article images.

January 30, 2014 at 5:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


KrisKD

Same issue on the iPhone… But works on mt iPad Mini.

January 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Laura

Looking ok on both my iPad (2?) on Chrome and Safari, and also on iPhone 5 Chrome.

January 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Serenity H

Found a beautiful marble at Chinese Reconcilliation park this evening with the kids.  It made our day.  Thanks Marbleman!

January 30, 2014 at 7:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


J

I hope everyone remembers to “only take one”. Sad to see people taking multiple marbles.  Let others enjoy the experience too.

January 30, 2014 at 8:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Marie & boysRegistered

Sorry. It was an exciting experience for boys. Hadn’t really thought about “just one” marble, just monkeyshines. Best to you in the hunt.

January 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


JJ

After the first marble, I took pictures of the next 20+ I found with my phone.  My photo safari turned out some pretty cool pictures.  A great way to enjoy the hunt, keep the memories and leave others to enjoy their own discoveries.

January 30, 2014 at 9:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


todd

Just found a marble and. 12th man medallion at reconciliation part.  What a great night,  got a Beautiful Angle poster too!

January 30, 2014 at 9:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Xeno

Pretty much ran into everyone who got a Beautiful Angle poster at Chinese Reconciliation Park.  Got a nice marble for my efforts.

January 30, 2014 at 9:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Team Franzy

Let’s have fun hunting and keep Tacoma beautiful at the same time! This year we’ve remembered to bring trash bags to clean up litter as we go.

January 30, 2014 at 10:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Kanela

Super excited to hunt! :) This will be our 3rd year trying and hopefully our first time finding something. Fingers crossed! Luckily for me, I have recruited my little brother and mom…the more eyes, the better! I hope 5 am isnt too early to start. :))

January 30, 2014 at 10:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Superdawg

Does anyone remember what the rat one looked like? Because I think I found one tonight and its hard to make out.

January 30, 2014 at 11:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Noah

You could have found an old one from previous years. Are sure it is not a horse? Or, someone could have put back a rat while looking for a horse this year.

January 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Seeking

January 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Superdawg

Mine looks like a medallion…not so much a ball

January 30, 2014 at 11:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Seeking

The stamp will look the same for both.

January 30, 2014 at 11:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Shynz

The horse looks nothing like the rat. You will not be confused. You may have found a snake from last year. Many of them were hard to make out.

January 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Seeking

Thanks for clarifying.  I was meaning that the medallion and the ball will have the same markings.  I don’t know if that was confusing, I’m a little sleep-deprived ;)

January 30, 2014 at 11:57 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


Superdawg

Thanks for the info! Figured out its a rat :) Does anyone know about the Hoppin Bunnies? Just found one :)

January 31, 2014 at 12:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Seeker

Just read about them. Are they all within that one location or are they spread around the city?

January 31, 2014 at 1:21 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Rachel

What’s that?

January 31, 2014 at 12:20 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Andrew

Love my ceramic bunny! Playboy trampstamp and all! Thank you Christopher Hoppin!

January 31, 2014 at 1:44 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The slusars

Thanks for the 12th man glass stone!!! =D

January 31, 2014 at 2:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply


chrees

Anyone out yet?  Curious if the treasures are scattered yet!?!  Good luck guys :)

January 31, 2014 at 3:44 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The slusars

We’ve been out for hour and ran into a few nice folks but all we’ve found are a few 12th man glasses

January 31, 2014 at 3:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply


DC

We’ve been out for about a half hour….ran into lots of folks but seemingly everyone is empty handed thus far!

January 31, 2014 at 4:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Sir Issac Newton

Comin to ya live, lots of people out, nothing found yet….. Is something up? Are they not out yet? The search goes on…..

January 31, 2014 at 4:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply


nw

Maybe they are going to wait till Sunday to put them out

January 31, 2014 at 4:34 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Namer he slusars

I hope they don’t wait till Sunday, we flew out here from New Jersey JUST for this…

January 31, 2014 at 4:38 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Chrees

Slusars, you guys are dedicated! I wish you much luck.

I have a sneaking suspicion something is up, the last few years it’s been predictably around 4 or 5, this time last year the page was loaded with finds by now!  Maybe Ms Monkey is taking a cue from 2010 and throwing us a curve ball!

January 31, 2014 at 4:44 am / Reply / Quote and reply


SVT

Same here.  Scouring downtown, running into flashlights everywhere - no word of any monkeyshine

January 31, 2014 at 4:46 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mama4

Nothing in the North End either:-(

January 31, 2014 at 4:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The slusars

We’ll I am pretty good at softball so if this is a curve ball let’s hope it’s before we leave because we could only get a few days off from work and school and it’s pretty expensive to fly across country… This was a tradition we wanted to continue doing even after moving.

January 31, 2014 at 4:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I have a sneaking suspicion they’re not out yet. Have been to Proctor, Old Town, Chinese Park, UWT, and Tollefson. Nothing. I have seen plenty of people but no one has found anything. #somethingisup #2014 #monkeyshines #wherearethey #maybesomeoneforgottomakethem

January 31, 2014 at 4:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply


The HunterRegistered

Hopeing for a great day!! Good luck everybody!

January 31, 2014 at 4:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mama & CubsRegistered

If I remember correctly the first one was announced found around 5:30-6 last year.  We’re on our way to join you now.  Good luck everyone!!

January 31, 2014 at 5:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Amanda

Lots of shines on the streets! This yr it’s bring your own and the masses showed up with flashlights! That’s one way to get people downtown. Ha! The hunt continues.

January 31, 2014 at 5:03 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lola

Up early cause the kiddos want to go out and look before school…but from the previous comments it sounds like maybe it is too early.  I love the fact that it you just never know when and I think it is great that they keep us all in suspense!  More mystery and way more fun that way - yahoo, happy new year all!

January 31, 2014 at 5:05 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mama4

Hopefully we all just started too early and they are coming soon….

January 31, 2014 at 5:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Doug

found one at Mary Bridge!  they are out!

January 31, 2014 at 5:09 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Mama & CubsRegistered

Way to go!!!  Congrats!

January 31, 2014 at 5:13 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Chrees

Well here we go I guess!
Congrats!

January 31, 2014 at 5:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Monique

We were out there about a half hour ago. We’ve been all over the city.. They must have just put them out.
Is it a horse one? Not an old one?! Haha.
Congrats!

January 31, 2014 at 5:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply


J

Is an orb?  Is a horse?

January 31, 2014 at 5:20 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Nail lady

This is my first time so I hope I find one! This my first year getting to know Tacoma. Pretty fun seeing all the people out searching.

January 31, 2014 at 5:11 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Just Sayin'...

It’s the year of the horse, and the Hawks are playing the *Broncos* on Sunday. Could be that the horses will not be turned loose until *after* the game.

January 31, 2014 at 5:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lyn

Success in the International District.  My son is so happy.  My daughter just woke up and wants to go search!

As beautiful as the colourful balls are, my 7 year old couldn’t have been happier with his clear and white orb.  In his words, “It reminds me of snow, which is great because we didn’t get much this year.”

January 31, 2014 at 5:21 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Boo!

We were out for two hours and didn’t find anything! Hopefully we just started looking a day too early. Fingers crossed and we’ll be trying again

January 31, 2014 at 5:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Lyn

The timing is much better right now :)

January 31, 2014 at 5:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Chyba

UPS Security takes their job very seriously and has not heard of Monkeyshines. Be careful.

January 31, 2014 at 5:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Becca

So does the new guy at the Tacoma Dome

January 31, 2014 at 5:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Rob

Two found on the Yakima Ave. bridge!

January 31, 2014 at 5:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Miss Maddie

We just found one at the Lowell statue!!!!! It was purpley red

January 31, 2014 at 5:46 am / Reply / Quote and reply


DerekRegistered

Hey everyone, we’re shifting comments over to the new story that just went online. Post your stories. Email us your photos and we’ll include them.

http://www.exit133.com/articles/view/monkeyshines-2014-year-of-the-horse-the-hunt-is-on

January 31, 2014 at 5:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Post A New Comment


Potentially Related Articles