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


"Finding Your Voice Through Art"Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the History Museum
Monday, January 16, 2017

Join us as the Washington State Historical Society celebrates the legacy of Dr. King with an afternoon of family-friendly programs.

  • 1pm: Back by popular demand, artists from ONYX Fine Arts Collective will demonstrate how art is a powerful vessel for self-expression as they showcase their own artistic techniques. After the demonstrations, you will have a chance to put the techniques to use by creating artwork of your own to take home.
  • 3pm: Join us for a performance by Northwest Tap Connection—an acclaimed rhythm tap group from Seattle that promotes artistic development and social responsibility through dance and spoken word. After the performance, stick around for a talk-back with artistic director Melba Ayco and performers about their method of blending art and self-expression into a powerfull call for social justice.

Scholarly Selections: "Construction Conscious Capitalism in Cascadia"
Thursday, January 19, 2017Scholarly Selections

In "Constructing an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Conscious Capitalism in Cascadia," UWT Associate Professor Tracy A. Thompson explores how new organizational forms and activities are emerging in the Cascadia region. These developments could create a new entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports for-profit social impact businesses.


Cinderella in Spain with the Seattle Opera
Saturday, January 28, 2017Cinderella in Spain
1:00 p.m. 

The History Museum is teaming up with the Seattle Opera to bring a performance of Cinderella en España to Tacoma!

This bilingual revisiting of the classic Cinderella tale is made for all ages and set in Barcelona, Spain. Bring your family and experience a story about the beauty of kindness, the power of compassion, and the strength of unwavering character.


Scholarly Selections: "The Story of the Catch-22 Bombers"
Thursday, February 16, 2017Scholarly Selections

Join author, curator, and UWT lecturer Stephanie Lile for a biographical journey back to World War II with the men of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing. Hear how Lile used images, diary entries, crowd sourcing, and scribbled notes to piece together their postwar lives and develop their stories into Bomber Boys: Portraits from the Front, a traveling exhibit currently touring the country.

Full STEAM Ahead: A K-12 Educator Workshop

at LeMay-America's Car MuseumFull STEAM Ahead
Saturday, February 25, 2017
9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Tacoma’s Museum District brings you creative new ways to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics into your classroom. Educators from America’s Car Museum, Children’s Museum of TacomaFoss Waterway SeaportMuseum of GlassTacoma Art Museum and the Washington State History Museum provide engaging, hands-on workshops for both primary and secondary teachers.

Registration includes 5 clock hours, lunch, cross-curriculum lesson plans, parking, and admission to each museum. Click here to register.

How are you incorporating STEAM into your classroom? Do you have questions for the STEAM panelists? If so, share them on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #FullSTEAM17.


History Happy Hour: Tacoma
at the Swiss Restaurant & Pub History Happy Hour: Tacoma
1904 Jefferson Ave.
Wednesday, February 15, 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!

History Happy Hour: Olympia
at Three Magnets History Happy Hour: Olympia
600 Franklin St. SE, #105
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
7:00 p.m. 

Join us at the Three Magnets taproom and eatery for a spirited sports-themed trivia contest. We are joined as always by our partners from the Washington State Archives. Come on down and bring your Washington sports trivia knowledge.


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