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  

Full STEAM Ahead: A K-12 Educator Workshop
Saturday, May 5, 2018Full Steam Ahead: Educator Workshop
At LeMay – America’s Car Museum, 2702 East D. St., Tacoma, WA
FREE, advance registration is required

For all you teachers and educators out there, Tacoma’s Museum District is back with its annual STEAM workshop! Learn easy and creative methods for incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math into your classroom. Hear from education staff at the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Foss Waterway Seaport, and Lemay-America’s Car Museum through hands-on workshops and take-home materials. Registration is required.  Click here to register.

History After Hours: Bigfoot Night
Thursday, May 10, 2018, 7:00–10:00 PM 
Age 21+ eventHistory After Hours: Bigfoot Night
Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door
Washington State History Museum

Immerse yourself in the lore of Washington’s most famous cryptid. Jump into field research stations, hands-on crafts, specialty Bigfoot beer by Three Magnets Brewing Co., a musical performance by Butterfly Launches from Spar Pole, and more. Curious to know more about the legendary creature? Dr. Robert Michael Pyle and David George Gordon will be here to answer your burning Bigfoot questions and showcase some intriguing clues. This is your one-stop shop for all things Bigfoot. And fun. This event is sponsored in part by Propel.

Get your tickets here!


Tacoma Day of Remembrance
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 4:00–7:00 PM Tacoma Day of Remembrance
Washington State History Museum
FREE (Museum admission is free on Third Thursdays from 3:00-8:00 PM)

On May 17 and 18 in 1942, over 800 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly relocated out of Tacoma and into internment camps. Join us for a day of programming and activities to commemorate this event, the lives it impacted, and its legacy in Tacoma.

Scholarly Selections: “Asian Immigrant Labor Activism in the Northwest”
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 5:30 PM Scholarly Selections
Washington State History Museum
FREE (Museum admission is free on Third Thursdays from 3:00-8:00 PM)

In the early twentieth century, Asian immigrants who settled in Seattle and other parts of Washington State became labor leaders in the Pacific Northwest. They sought to secure labor and civil rights for employees who worked in the canneries in Alaska as well as on the farms in eastern Washington. Dr. Stephanie Hinnershitz will discuss how their actions brought about lasting change in labor relations and shaped civil rights activism in the region.


Press PLAY: Family Edition!
Sunday, May 20, 2018, Noon–5:00 PMPress PLAY: Family Edition!
Washington State History Museum
FREE for Washington State Historical Society members; buy one/get one admission for Children’s Museum of Tacoma members; included with regular admission, $14 adult, $11 student (ages 6-17), free for ages 5 and under.

We’re bringing back February’s History After Hours: Press PLAY event for our younger visitors and those who missed it the first time! Explore TOYTOPIA and play all the best games from decades past, including Oregon Trail (Yes, the original one)! Bummed you missed out on the pet rock craze? Fear not, you can make your own! We’ll be joined by the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and all the fun toy activities you can handle. Children’s Museum members get buy one, get one free admission!


History Happy Hour: Tacoma
Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 6:00 PM History Happy Hour: Tacoma
The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, WA
FREE to participate in trivia game

Ever wondered which of your friends knows the most about Washington and Tacoma trivia? Bring ‘em all or play solo to test your mettle in the epic trivia night battle royale that is History Happy Hour. Once again, we’re teaming up with the Tacoma Historical Society and the City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office to dig up the most fun, interesting, and weird facts about our home state.

IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Awards CeremonyIn the Spirit column image
Sunday, July 1, 2018, 3:00 PM
Washington State History Museum
FREE for Washington State Historical Society members; or included with admission, $14 adult, $11 student (ages 6-17), free for ages 5 and under.

Now in its 13th year, the IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition has become a beloved staple in the summer season at the Washington State History Museum. Join us in celebrating this year’s artists and award winners at this afternoon ceremony. The exhibition will be on view from June 30 through August 12, with voting for People’s Choice awards, which will be announced at the annual IN THE SPIRIT Northwest Native Festival (stay tuned for festival date and details).

Brain Boosting Summer Camps!

Three sessions:/file_viewer.aspx?id=4717SUMMER CAMP thumbnail
July 9-13: Museum Mania - Go Behind the Scenes
July 16-20: Washington Explorers
July 23-27: Washington's History Mysteries

Do you have kiddos who need enriching summer activities? Take a look at the History Museum’s exciting week-long summer camps, scheduled during July. Avoid the summer brain-drain and have fun both inside and outside of the museum. 

There are just 30 spots in each camp, so don’t wait to sign up! All the details are on the Historical Society’s website, including member discounts. Visit to register.




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