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Facility Rental FAQs


Am I allowed to have alcohol at my event?
Certainly! We recommend clients work with their caterer to obtain the appropriate permit and provide a certified server.  If you are not working through a caterer, you may also obtain your own banquet permit and certified server.  Check on Washington Liquor Control Board’s website for more information.
 
What kinds of decorations am I allowed to use?
Feel free to be as creative as you like.  We do ask that you do not use a few items as they may harm the artifacts in the museum or create damage that is difficult to remedy.  Please avoid using helium-filled balloons, open flames (excluding votive-type candles), glitter, confetti, rice birdseed, asparagus fern, plant berries, and freshly cut garden flowers or branches (flowers must come from a licensed florist and be guaranteed pest free). Please check your decorating plans with our Head of Support Services by email or at 253-798-5891 prior to your event to ensure it is all you hope for while also being safe for our museum.
 
Do I have to use a certain caterer?
Our clients have ultimate flexibility in selecting the perfect caterer for an event. You may choose from our list of authorized caterers which can be found here, or you may choose a caterer who is not currently on our list. If your caterer is not listed, we ask that they submit a pre-qualifying application prior to your special occasion.  The application can be found here on our website.
 
Can my guests view the galleries in the museum during my rental?
Two hours of museum gallery viewing are included in your rental package.  You have the choice of the stunning Great Hall of Washington History located on the main floor or the featured temporary exhibits located on the fifth floor. Additional exhibition viewing time is available for an additional fee.
 
How can I check to see if the space I want is available on a certain date?
Fill out the online inquiry survey to give us more information about your event, including what dates and times in which you are most interested.  We will check on our availability and respond to you via email or telephone call.
 
How do I reserve an available date and time?
To reserve a particular date and time for a rental, we ask clients to put down a 25% non-refundable deposit based on the final projected total of the event.  Unfortunately, we are not able to make tentative reservations due to the volume of booked events and school and group tours.
 
Is the museum handicapped accessible?
The museum provides handicapped parking stalls with easy access to elevators.  All of our event spaces are easily accessed with the use of walkers, strollers, and wheelchairs.
 
Is parking available at the museum?
Yes.  We have two parking lots with a 150 vehicle capacity immediately adjacent to the building, one to the south and one to the east.  These are pre-pay lots and parking rates can be found online here.  If you wish to provide hosted parking for your event, you can include that in your rental package for an additional fee.
 
Can the Museum Store help me purchase gifts for my guests and attendants?
You can contact our Museum Store Manager who can assist you with all of your needs.  Whether you're interested in a specially ordered item or hope to send your guests home with a memorable History Museum sourvenir, we are always happy to help.  You can reach our Museum Store Manager, Sarah Kennedy, by email or at 253-798-5880.
 
For more information about hosting an event at the History Museum, visit our Facility Rentals Page.  If you have questions, contact Mark Sylvester, Head of Support Services at mark.sylvester@wshs.wa.gov or 253-798-5891.