Events & Programs

See all upcoming events in Explore It! 

Download a list of WSHS events commemorating Washington's 125th Birthday and check the WA125 website for more information.

Purchase Tickets


Exhibit Openings

Seeds of Victory: Posters of the Great War

Opens August 16 at 10am

Included in Museum Admission Seeds of Victory text graphic
Free admission to the History Museum for active duty, reserve, and guard military service members and up to five members of their families until Labor Day. Military ID required. We're a Blue Star Museum!

Owner of the collection displayed in Seeds of Victory, Jim Givans, will give a special presentation on the posters and their historical importance. Also included during the day are:

Activities for children and families

  • A Gallery Tour
  • Live Military Band Music
  • WWI Re-enactors
  • Color Guard Presentation of the Flag

The "Celebrate Military Service" parade begins at 5pm. Visit the museum and stay for the parade!


Exhibit Programs

Into the Silence cover

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest," by Wade Davis, is the topic of this reading and discussion by WSHM staff. describes this book as, "The definitive story of the British adventurers who survived the trenches of WWI and went on to risk their lives climbing Mount Everest."
September 18
Free Admission for Third Thursday 


 Gallery Talks (First Friday of Every Month at 3pm)

Little Ernest 1

Join curator and exhibit developer Stephanie Lile for an exploration of "objectologist" Ernest Oglby Punkweiler's enchanging world. This behind-the-scenes view reveals the secrets behind various objects found int eh Teapot Curiosity Shop.

  • August 1: Objectology 101
  • September 5: Objectology 102

"Little Ernest" illustration by Mike Cressy




These programs are included with admission to the History Museum.


Summer Story Times (11am)

 Racing with the Herd small
  • August 7: "Racing with the Herd" - Illustrator Jo Gershman reveals the secrets behind painting animals that leap off the page. (Image is "Racing with the Herd" by Jo Gershman.) See more of Jo's artwork at 
These programs are included with admission to the History Museum.

History Speaks (Second Wednesday of Every Month at 12pm)



  • August 13: "Washington Curiosities" with Harriet Baskas
  • September 10: "Camp Lewis in the Great War" with Alan Archambault
  • December 1: "Battle Ready: The National Coast Defense System and the Fortification of Puget Sound, 1894-1925" with David M. Hansen

These programs are included with admission to the History Museum. 

Community Events 


IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Festival

August 9In the Spirit boy performer
10am - 6pm
History Museum
Held each year in August, IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Market and Festival encompasses a day of dancing, drumming, singing, and shopping with a diverse group of Native American artists. The festival is the final celebration of the IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Exhibit held annually at the History Museum, during which we will present the People's Choice Award. The Museum plaza will be filled with vendors selling exquisite artwork in all price ranges. Round out your festival experience by catching performances of native singers, musicians, and dance groups throughout the day. The History Museum and all festival activities are FREE and open to the public.
IN THE SPIRIT is made possible in part by generous support from the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Tacoma Arts Commission, the Tulalip Tribes, and media sponsor KUOW-FM.


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