Events & Programs

Purchase Tickets

See all upcoming events in the Explore It! quarterly newsletter. 
Unless noted otherwise, programs are included with museum admission, or FREE to WSHS Members. For more information, contact Dave Beals at 253-798-5879 or  



Glasnost & Goodwill SymposiumUW-Ellison-Logo-Center (002)
January 20, 12:30-3:00 PM
FREE with Museum admission

Hear from faculty of University of Washington’s Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies, part of the Jackson School of International Studies. This a symposium is centered on Cold War citizen diplomacy between Washington State and the former Soviet Union.


History Happy Hour Trivia in Olympiatrivia night
February 1, 7:00 PM
Three Magnets Brewing Co.
600 Franklin St. SE, #105, Olympia

Join us at the Three Magnets taproom and eatery for a spirited night of trivia. We’re partnering with fellow history fans, the Washington State Archives. Come on down and show off your Washington trivia knowledge!

Scholarly Selectionsstaff_kathy_peter
Understanding Changing Approaches to the Quality and Treatment of Storm Water in Puget Sound
February 15, 6:30 PM
FREE and open to the public, Third Thursday

How much do you know about the link between storm water and aquatic health? How can the community begin assessing and addressing storm water quality and treatment? Learn more with research scientist Dr. Katherine Peter of the Center for Urban Waters at University of Washington Tacoma. 


Press PLAY
Thursday, February 22, 2018
7:00 PM

Press PLAYEnjoy our brand new exhibition Toytopia while games take over the entire museum! Live out your dreams as Tom Hanks in the movie BIG by asking Zoltar your fortune and playing Chopsticks on a giant floor piano, not to mention board and video games galore! Think you can make it all the way to Oregon without dying of dysentery? Try your skills on the original Oregon Trail video game on one of our giant theater screens!
Grab a pint or two from Three Magnets Brewing Co. with your ticket. It's the perfect 21+ game night!
Admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and includes two drink tickets.
Get your tickets here!
Got kids? We’ve got you covered! Children’s Museum of Tacoma (CMT) will host Parents’ Night Out while we host Press PlLAY. CMT provides a safe and exciting atmosphere for your littles and is just a short walk away from the History Museum. Childcare cost: $40 first child, $20 each additional sibling. CMT Members receive a 10% discount. Parent’s Night Out at CMT is appropriate for children 3-10 years old. All children must be able to use the toilet independently. Registration is required so sign up early, spots fill quickly! 
Love these 21+ events? Buy an event package and receive a special discounted rateto all four of our 2018 History After Hours programs! At $60 for all four, you save $20!*
  • February 22 - Press PLAY - Game night galore
  • May 10 - Bigfoot Night - A sasquatch lover's perfect party
  • October 25 - Ghost Museum - History and Halloween themed fun
  • December 6 - CRAFT + BREWS - DIY crafts paired with craft beer
*No refunds if you can't make it, but feel free to share a ticket to an event you can't attend with a friend!
Get your 2018 History After Hours package tickets here!

History Happy Hour Trivia in Tacoma
March 21, 6:00 PMHistory Happy Hour: Tacoma
The Swiss Restaurant & Pub
1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma

Test your Tacoma and Washington State trivia knowledge with the Washington State Historical Society, City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office, and Tacoma Historical Society. Facts, fun, and prizes aplenty!


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