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  



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!

WSHS Heritage Outreach WorkshopSMALL heritage workshop
Tuesday, February 6, 9:00 AM-3:30 PM, Lord Mansion Coach House, 211 21st Avenue SW, Olympia, WA
$10 workshop; optional boxed lunch available for additional $11.
followed by Arts and Heritage Day Reception, 5:00-7:00 PM. Off-street parking available.

Members and friends of the Washington Museum Association are invited to register for a full day of workshops focused on advancing your organization’s mission and development goals on Tuesday, February 6. That evening, don't miss the 12th Annual Arts and Heritage Day Reception. On Wednesday, February 7, take an active part in the annual Arts and Heritage Day at the State Capitol.

9:00-11:00 AM 
Effective Advocacy

Learn skills to improve your message, build a community of supporters and strengthen the effectiveness of your arts or heritage nonprofit for better outcomes. Did you know that nonprofits add more than 230 thousand jobs to our state and provide $5 billion worth of volunteer services, helping to build better communities? Leverage that value by learning how to be an effective advocate. Presented by David Streeter, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy for Washington Nonprofits.

11:15 AM-12:30 PM 
Panel Presentation with Q and A

Featuring a leading arts and heritage lobbyist based at the Capital Campus; an insightful, recently retired and long-serving state senator; and a thoughtful, experienced museum director who spearheads advocacy for an arts institution.

12:30-1:30 PM 
Lunch Break

Please order your boxed lunch ($11) in advance (online) and bring either a check for $11 made out to Meconi's, or cash, to the workshop.

1:30-3:30 PM 
Money for Heritage: Getting Ready

Announcing the Washington State Historical Society’s Heritage Capital Projects grant cycle! Looking for money for heritage in the areas of new construction, improvements to existing structures or landscapes, acquisition of property, or historic preservation of buildings? Get the details on the application process and the 2018 deadline for grant funding of Heritage Capital Projects in the 2019-2021 biennium.

If you have a project that is shovel ready, you need to attend this session. If you are considering a capital project in the future, you should attend to start thinking now about how a Heritage Capital Projects grant can help you achieve your organization’s goals. Nonprofits, local governments, tribal governments, and public development authorities are eligible to apply.

Register here for this effective day-long workshop.

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. 

Founder's Day Silent Auction and Reception and support Capitol Furnishings Preservation
February 20, 2018, 5:30-7:00 PM
at the historic 1909 Governor’s Mansion, on the west end of the Washington State Capitol Campus
Make your reservations by February 13, 2018,  here. $40 suggested tax deductible donation. 

Do you love a great before-and-after? So do we.PIANO

Formed in 1999, the Capitol Furnishings Preservation Committee is dedicated to preserving and restoring the original historic furnishings of the Washington State Capitol for the enjoyment of future generations. A  permanent Capitol Furnishings exhibit is located in the Lt. Governor’s office.

The Committee hosts an annual Founder’s Day Silent Auction and Reception in February to support restoration efforts. This is an event history lovers won't want to miss! Make your reservation for this evening of fun and fundraising today.

Recent Projects
Recent projects include the restoration of the 6-foot 3-inch Moldenhauer Blüthner Grand Piano.The Blüthner piano was a prized possession of musicologist and Spokane musical legend, Dr. Hans Moldenhauer. In 1938, it made the trip with his young family from Germany to Moldenhauer's home in Spokane, where it resided for nearly 50 years. It was presented to the State of Washington by the Modenhauer estate in 1990 and placed in the State Reception Room of the State Capital Building. This room is open to the public to see the handsomely restored piano in person. See before and after restoration photos and learn more about this spectacular piece here.


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