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


Family Camp: Gold Rush!
Wednesday, July 26, 2017Family Camp: Gold Rush!
10:30 AM 

"There's gold in them thar hills!" Once upon a time, thousands of gold seekers passed through Washington, chasing the promise of Alaskan gold. Hear the real story behind the Klondike Gold Rush and join in fun activities, including panning for gold!

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


Friday Football Flick: Invincible
Friday, July 28, 2017Invincible
9:00 PM 

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.


Family Camp: Ring of Fire!
Wednesday, August 2, 2017Family Camp: Ring of Fire!
10:30 AM 

Join us to learn more about Washington's volcanoes with a gallery tour, hands-on demonstrations, activities, and volcano-themed treats! 

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

Gridiron Gauntlet
Saturday, August 5, 2017Gridiron Gauntlet
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

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. 
Participation in the activities is FREE, but be sure to register to reserve your spot online by visiting this site:

IN THE SPIRIT: Northwest Native Festival
Saturday, August 19, 2017In the Spirit: Northwest Native Festival
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

This FREE family festival and arts market is a community favorite! This year, Washington State Historical Society and Tacoma Art Museum have teamed up to bring you an even bigger, better event. Shop for handcrafted Native American arts and crafts and meet the artists. Enjoy song, dance, music, food, and a runway fashion show featuring Native American designers. Celebrate the creativity of diverse indigenous cultures. The festival takes place indoors and outdoors. Admission to both museums is FREE. See for more details.

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 PM

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