Events & Programs

Washington State History Museum is temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 virus. In the meantime, have transitioned to free online public programs! See below for details and follow our events on Facebook at

You can also connect with Washington's rich history at this page with links to learning resources, fun activities, our new museum app, and other and digital engagement offerings to explore history at home.

5th Annual South Sound Day of Remembrance and gallery previewcalendar Day of Remembrance cranes
Sunday, May 17, 2020, 2:00 PM
Online program - check back for streaming details

On May 17, 1942, Japanese American families gathered at Union Station in downtown Tacoma. With short notice, families rushed to get their affairs in order knowing only that they would be leaving but not knowing their final destinations or for how long they would be gone.

We will commemorate this date with a behind-the-scenes look at our upcoming exhibition in the Great Hall of Washington History with lead curator Gwen Whiting and hear from members of the community about the South Puget Sound Japanese American incarceration experience.

WashingtonStay Home Society live online programben thompson calendar
Ben Thompson’s Guts and Glory, Washington Edition
Thursday, May 28, 6:00 PM

If you don't know Ben, you're in for a real treat! A history lover and writer, Ben created "Badass of the Week" in 2004 and has written twelve books on various historical subjects, including the Guts & Glory series among others. Ben has appeared on The History Channel, Discovery, the Urban Movie Channel and The American Heroes Channel, and we're lucky that he's a Washingtonian! 
We are streaming this event via Facebook Live, and you don't need a Facebook account to participate! Just to

Washington Stay Home Society live online programsuffrage collage calendar
Suffrage History, Piece by Piece – Storytelling with Collage
Thursday, June 4, 6:00 PM

Take a look at recent collages created by the Northwest Collage Society to celebrate the suffrage centennial. Use that inspiration to make your own suffrage history collage with images from the Historical Society's collection! Elisa Law, the Historical Society's suffrage centennial coordinator, will guide you through the project and share suffrage history along the way.
We are streaming this event via Facebook Live, and you don't need a Facebook account to participate! Just to

Pacific Northwest History CoferencePNWHC calendar image
"Contested Spaces: Power and Resistance in the Pacific Northwest"
October 23-25, Tacoma, WA (Note: This may transition to an online event depending on appropriate response related to COVID-19.)

The Pacific Northwest History Conference is a forum for exchange among historians, scholars from other disciplines, museum professionals, educators, archivists, historic preservationists, graduate students, history enthusiasts, and community activists.

This year's conference will be in Tacoma, WA, October 23-25.  The theme is Contested Spaces: Power and Resistance in the Pacific Northwest. Check back in June for registration details.

For more information and to submit a presentation proposal visit:


A Gallery Game for the Whole Family

Designed for four to eight players, MUSEO is a Bingo-style game of discovery in the Great Hall of Washington History. Ask for a packet at the information desk and let the sleuthing begin.

More for Kids

Treasure Hunting

In the Great Hall

Ever seen a gold nugget, a plutonium core, or an ox yoke? Keen-eyed young visitors are encouraged to pick up a treasure hunter’s challenge at the information desk and explore the Great Hall’s not-so-hidden treasures of Washington pictured there. A fun, self-directed activity for everyone.

More about the Great Hall

Model Railroad Operators' Hours

FIRST SATURDAY of every month
11 AM - 4PM

The Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers (PSMRE), the all-volunteer organization that operates the History Museum's permanent model railroad exhibit, holds a special Operators' Hours event on the first Saturday of every month. Operators' Hours is an opportunity to watch the masters at work and ask questions of the model railroad experts!

Model Train Festival