Search
Menu
Print

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 Molly Wilmoth at 253-798-5926 or molly.wilmoth@wshs.wa.gov.

Applications due June 15! Summer Youth Docent Program
Program dates July 9-August 1, 2019
Have a blast in the past this summer! Join the Youth Docent Program at the Washington State History Museum. The program runs July 9 - August 1 for youth entering grades 8-12..

APPLICATION DEADLINE: June 15, 2019. Applications must be postmarked by 6/15/2019. Space is limited. Apply early!

Immerse yourself in the world of museums! You'll discover how exhibits are created. You'll delve into Washington state history. You'll visit other museums. You'll welcome visitors and share information about artifacts. And, you'll take away valuable life skills:

  • Gain volunteer experience to prepare you for your first, or next job.
  • Develop the art of working with others: supervisors, team members, and the general public.
  • Strengthen your research abilities.
  • Receive direct mentoring from experienced museum professionals.


Upon successful graduation from the program, you will be eligible to apply for regular volunteering opportunities for the Washington State History Museum. 

Download a Summer Youth Docent Program application and FAQ at this link: www.washingtonhistory.org/support/volunteer/SummerYouthDocentProgram/

See Tacoma Report's 2017 television interview with Youth Docents at the History Museum at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypHknGMKK4o


History Happy Hour Trivia: Tacomacalendar Trivia Night
Wednesday June 19, 6:00-8:00 PM
The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 Jefferson Avenue, Tacoma
FREE to play, all ages welcome!

Test your history trivia knowledge with the Washington State Historical Society, City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, and Tacoma Historical Society. Facts, fun, and prizes aplenty! Team up or battle on your own for the title of History Trivia Champ. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.


Third Thursday Evening 
Thursday June 20
FREE admission 3:00-8:00 PM

Enjoy all of our exhibitions! Kick off your summer with IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts.


IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts In The Spirit logo for calendar
Exhibition Opening and Artist Awards Ceremony

Thursday June 20, 6:30 PM
FREE and open to the public

Now in its 14th year, IN  THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition is a summer favorite. This juried exhibition features 28 works created by Native artists from throughout the Northwest and beyond. 

Celebrate the artists and and honor the award winners at a special Artist Awards ceremony on opening night, Thursday June 20. Hear from some of the artists and learn about the their inspirations, motivations and techniques. Be among the first to enjoy the 2019 juried exhibition in the gallery. Don't forget to vote for the People's Choice awards!

Watch for details on a Gallery Talk with an artist to be held July 18, 6:00 PM.

Join us for the FREE In The Spirit Northwest Native Festival in partnership with Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass on August 10. Details to come!


History Happy Hour Trivia: Olympiacalendar Trivia Night
Three Magnets Brewing, Barrel Room, 600 Franklin St. SE, #105, Olympia
Thursday June 20, 7:00-9:00 PM

FREE to play, All ages welcome!

Join us at the Three Magnets Taproom and Eatery for a spirited night of trivia with our partners from the Washington State Archives. Bring a team or compete solo for the title of History Trivia Champion. Did we mention there will be prizes?!! 


Elks Temple History Pub: The Maury Island IncidentMaury Island
Tuesday July 2, 7:00-8:30 PM
Note: Doors open at 5:30 for general seating 
McMenamins Elks Temple in the Spanish Ballroom
566 Broadway, Tacoma
FREE and open to the public, all ages welcome.  

McMenamins Elks Temple and the Washington State Historical Society invite you to see the film The Maury Island Incident. Presented by filmmakers Steve Edmiston and Scott Schaefer, and participate in a Q & A after. Based on declassified FBI documents, The Maury Island Incident tells the incredible, tragic and forgotten story of Harold Dahl, who on June 21, 1947, alleged a UFO sighting over Puget Sound, WA. This event sparked “the summer of the saucers,” the modern era of UFO obsession, the first appearance of “Men in Black” and a governmental battle over UFO sighting jurisdiction reaching directly to FBI Executive Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Why not stay the night too? Mention you're attending the History Pub and receive 15% off your hotel room that night.
More information:https://www.mcmenamins.com/events/206460-the-maury-island-incident

Tacoma Museum District STEAM CampSummer camp calendar image
Mon. July 8 – Fri. July 12, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Pre-camp care starts at 8:00 AM and after-camp care is available until 5:30 PM at the History Museum.
For students entering grades 4-6.

Explore science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) in the Tacoma Museum District! Each day starts and ends at the Washington State History Museum, and campers will also build, experiment and create at the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, Foss Waterway Seaport, and LeMay-America’s Car Museum. Find out how architects design museums. Learn how exhibits are created and displayed. Make your own museum model to take home, inspired by a day at each museum. 

Register at Tacoma Art Museum’s website. WSHS members receive a member discount; select the “member” rate when you register. Limited scholarships are also available.

Click here for further details.


Family Saturdays: Family PrideFamily Pride
July 13, 12:00-6:00 PM
Pacific Ave. between 7th & 9th Streets, Downtown Tacoma
FREE family event

Meet us at Tacoma Pride 2019 for family-friendly activities inspired by our state’s rich LGBTQ+ history. Family Saturday events feature hands-on activities inspired by local history. These events occur on the second Saturday of each month. Activities are designed for children ages 4-12 but all ages are welcome!


IN THE SPIRIT Artist Gallery TalkIn The Spirit logo for calendar
July 18, 6:00-7:00 PM
Washington State History Museum
FREE and open to the public

Hear from an indigenous artist featured in this special juried exhibition of contemporary Native art. See the artist's works up close while they describe their process and inspiration.


Third Thursday Evening calendar Third Thurs people in lobby
Thursday July 18
FREE admission 3:00-8:00 PM

Enjoy all of our exhibitions. Stop at Anthem Cafe to enjoy a beverage outdoors and take in the view of the museum district!


Elks Temple History PubCalendar History Pub logo McMenamins
August 6, 7:00-9:00 PM, doors at 6:00 PM
McMenamins Elks Temple at 565 Broadway, Tacoma
FREE and open to the public, all ages welcome.

Close the summer with the latest installment of History Pub in the gorgeous Spanish Ballroom at McMenamins Elks Temple in Tacoma.  Grab a drink and even some dinner while you hear awe-inspiring stories of yore!


IN THE SPIRIT Northwest Native FestivalITS logo
August 10, 12:00 – 7:00PM
History Museum, Museum of Glass and Tacoma Art Museum
FREE and open to the public

This annual FREE family festival and arts market is a community favorite! Hosted by the Washington State History Museum. Museum of Glass and Tacoma Art Museum, this indoor/outdoor festival celebrates the diverse Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. All three museums offer FREE admission for the day, and feature exhibitions of work by Indigenous artists. 

Shop for handmade Native arts and meet the artists from 12:00-5:00 PM, while you also enjoy song, dance, music, food, and a runway fashion show featuring Native designers. Don't miss the special after-party with Preston Singletary’s band, Khu.eex’ at the History Museum’s outdoor amphitheater from 5:30-7:00PM. 

See InTheSpirit.org for more details.


Family Saturdays at IN THE SPIRIT Northwest Native Arts FestivalFamily Saturday
August 10, 1:00-3:00 PM
FREE

The History Museum will offer family-friendly guided drop-in activities from 1:00-3:00 during the In the Spirit Northwest Native Festival. Hands-on projects are inspired by Native artists. 

Family Saturday events feature activities inspired by local history and are scheduled from 1:00-3:00 PM on the second Saturday of each month. Activities are designed for children ages 4-12 but all ages are welcome!


Japanese American Community Resource Scanning DayEO9066
August 15, 3:00-7:00 PM
FREE and open to the public

The Washington State History Museum is developing a new exhibition about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII as a result of Executive Order 9066. We are looking for resources in our community to help tell this story. Is this legacy part of your story?  Please bring any relevant photographs, letters, documents, drawings or pamphlets to scan, share, and add to the archive. We will provide you with the digitized version of your articles and return your original materials. 

This will be the first of several Japanese American resource scanning event in collaboration with Densho Digital Repositories. 

Sign up for a scheduled scanning time in advance by contacting Gwen Whiting at 253-798-5927. Find out more on our website at WashingtonHistory.org/9066.


Elks Temple History PubCalendar History Pub logo McMenamins
September 3, 7:00-9:00 PM, doors at 6:00 PM
McMenamins Elks Temple at 565 Broadway, Tacoma
FREE and open to the public, all ages welcome.

Join us the first Tuesday of every month for History Pub at McMenamins Elks Temple. We’re back for the next program and a deeper dive into a pint of history! Enjoy the Spanish Ballroom and novel historical tales while you sip and savor. McMenamins offers 15% off rooms for the evening when you come for History Pub, too.


Family Saturdays at the History Museum: Navigating the MuseumFamily Saturday
September 14, 1:00-3:00 PM
Included with museum admission, FREE for members

Use exploration techniques to navigate a treasure hunt around the museum. Chart your journey and jot down observations in your own explorer’s journal. 

Family Saturday events feature hands-on activities inspired by local history. These events are scheduled from 1:00-3:00 on the second Saturday of each month. Activities are designed for children ages 4-12 but all ages are welcome!


History Happy Hour Trivia/files/library/calendar-trivia-night.jpgcalendar Trivia Night
September 18, 6:00-8:00 PM
The Swiss Restaurant & Pub
1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma
FREE, all ages welcome!

Test your Tacoma and Washington State trivia knowledge with the Washington State Historical Society, City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, Tacoma Historical Society, and Tacoma Public Library. Facts, fun, and prizes aplenty! Food and beverages available for purchase.


Japanese American Community Resource Scanning DayEO9066
September 19, 3:00-7:00 PM
History Museum
FREE and open to the public

The Washington State History Museum is developing a new exhibition about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII as a result of Executive Order 9066. We are looking for resources in our community to help tell this story. Is this legacy part of your story?  Please bring any relevant photographs, letters, documents, drawings or pamphlets to scan, share, and add to the archive. We will provide you with the digitized version of your articles and return your original materials. 

This will be the first of several Japanese American resource scanning event in collaboration with Densho Digital Repositories. 

Sign up for a scheduled scanning time in advance by contacting Gwen Whiting at 253-798-5927. Find out more on our website at WashingtonHistory.org/9066.


Third Thursday Evening calendar Third Thurs people in lobby
September 19, 3:00-8:00 PM
History Museum
FREE and open to the public

Enjoy free admission and see all of our exhibitions, including Little Black Dress and A New Moon Rises. 

Museo

A Gallery Game for the Whole Family
TUESDAY – SUNDAY

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
AVAILABLE TUESDAY – SUNDAY

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