Events & Programs

Purchase Tickets

See all upcoming events in the Explore It! quarterly newsletter.
Unless otherwise noted, these programs are included with admission to the History Museum or $5 for program-only admission. Free to WSHS Members. For more information, contact Dave Beals at 253-798-5879 or

Scholarly Selections: Sexism in Olympic Coverage
History MuseumScholarly Selections: Sexism in Olympic Coverage
Thursday, May 18, 2017
6:30 p.m. FREE

The politics of gender, race, class, and nationality often get played out on athletes’ bodies. Join UWT Lecturer Dr. Deborah A. Macey as she examines how the Olympic Games provide a venue for study of these issues. This presentation will take a brief historical look at the politics of gender, race, and class in representations of Olympic athletes, focusing particularly on female athletes from the Rio Games.


Kickoff to Glory Preview Gala
TAC logoHistory Museum
Thursday, May 25, 2017
6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Ticket prices at this link.

Celebrate excellence at the " Kickoff to Glory" Gala Preview for the multimedia exhibition, Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Get an exclusive first look at the 6,000 square-foot exhibit. See hundreds of iconic artifacts and immerse yourself in the Hall of Fame (HOF) experience. View rare footage from NFL Films, try on a helmet and hear coach-toplayer communication, and step inside an authentic instant replay booth to make a tough call. Don't miss the special Seattle Seahawks tribute section and your chance to snap a selfie with the Super Bowl trophy! 

We are honored to present "Kickoff to Glory" with our partner, the Tacoma Athletic Commission (TAC), celebrating this civic organization's 75th anniversary and their dedication to youth and sports. During its history, TAC has raised over six million dollars to support youth athletics and the athletic achievements of Pierce County citizens. 

100% of your tax deductible ticket proceeds will benefit TAC scholarships and the Historical Society. Limited capacity,purchase tickets today


Gridiron Glorious Weekend in Tacoma
History Museum, Harmon Brewery and Restaurant, Hotel Murano, Point Defiance Marina,
and The Grand Cinema in Tacoma
Friday, May 26 - Monday, May 29, 2017
Exhibition open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Package including two museum admissions, disocunts, and commemorative football: $24.00 

Spend an adventurous holiday weekend in Tacoma and be here for the opening of the spectacular multimedia experience, Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the advance purchase of a pair of tickets to the exhibition, you'll also get special offers for Tacoma's best hospitality to fill your weekend itinerary with adventure! Get all the details here.

Connect with the spirit of the game like never before. Be among the first to see this 6,000 square-foot exhibit filled with hundreds of iconic artifacts. Immerse yourself in the Hall of Fame experience. View rare footage from NFL Films, try on a helmet and hear coach-toplayer communication, and step inside an authentic instant replay booth to make a tough call. Don't miss the special Seattle Seahawks tribute section and your chance to snap a selfie with the Super Bowl trophy!  

Then enjoy the rest of Tacoma thanks to our partners:

Harmon logo

   Hotel Murano logo  Point Defiance Marina logoThe Grand Cinema

IN THE SPIRIT: Contemporary Native Arts public opening
History MuseumIn the Spirit public opening
Thursday, June 15, 2017
6:30 p.m. FREE

Be among the first to experience this year's IN THE SPIRIT: Contemporary Native Arts exhibit. Come see the pieces and meet some of the artists featured in the exhibit.

An African American Odyssey
History MuseumAn African American Odyssey
Saturday, June 17, 2017
2:00 p.m. 

Northwest Tap Connection returns to the History Museum with another stunning performance. "An African American Odyssey" interprets the economic, social, political, artistic, and racial imprints that have cultivated the black experience in American culture. 

Using music, dance, and spoken word, this performance tells the rich story of African American history for audiences of all ages.

History Happy Hour: Tacoma
at the Swiss Restaurant & PubHistory Happy Hour: Tacoma
1904 Jefferson Ave.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
6:00 p.m. 

We're back again with the City of Tacoma's Historic Preservation Office and Tacoma Historical Society to bring you the most intriguing, exciting, and outright weird trivia about your city and state!

Test your knowledge and compete for prizes and the Washington trivia throne in this all-ages trivia night!


Friday Football Flick: Brian's Song
Friday, June 23, 2017Brian's Song
7:00 p.m. 

Flash back to the 1970s with this classic true-to-life tale of friendship and bonding between NFL players in the face of heartbreaking circumstances. Starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. Rated G, but bring your tissues!

Pay what you can; concessions will be available for purchase.

Football 360: An All-Angles Look at the NFL Experience
Thursday, June 29, 2017Football 360: An All-Angles Look at the NFL Experience
7:00 p.m. 

Join us for a panel discussion exploring what it’s like to be part of the NFL. Learn about getting drafted, the team experience, trading, and refereeing.

Included with museum admission, or $5 for program-only admission.

2-Pint Conversion
Thursday, July 13, 20172-Pint Conversion: Beer Tastings and Tailgate Party
7:00 p.m. 

Adults-only tailgate-style party at the History Museum. Tickets include two beverages from a local craft brewery, a collectible beverage cover, indoor lawn games and other fun activities, plus an opportunity to explore the exhibit! 

$15 advance registration, $20 at the door. Check back here for registration information.
Admission fee includes entrance to the exhibits and activities, two football-themed beers, and a commemorative beer cover.


Friday Football Flick: Invincible
Friday, July 28, 2017Invincible
9:00 p.m. 

Gather in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater for Gridiron Glory exhibition trivia. Then, get inspired by the true story of Vince Papale (played by Mark Wahlberg), a lifelong football fan and bartender whose wildest dream comes true when he becomes a Philadelphia Eagle! Rated PG. 

Pay as you can, concessions available for purchase.


Gridiron Gauntlet
Saturday, August 5, 2017Gridiron Gauntlet
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

This youth activity day will test kids' skills through the same athletic activities used to test future NFL pros. The event kicks off at the History Museum at 10:00 AM, and the activities are held on-site at the History Museum and at the University of Washington Tacoma’s Y Student Center. Each kid athlete will receive a "Player Profile" card to record their scores. Drop in anytime during the event to participate in the free activities.

Partners include YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

To the Limit: Health and Safety in a High-Impact Game
Thursday, September 7, 2017To the Limit: Health and Safety in a High-Impact Game
7:00 p.m.

Join us for "To the Limit: Health and Safety in a High-Impact Game" — a panel discussion focused on the evolution of safety in sports, particularly football. 

Included with museum admission, or $5 program-only admission.



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