The History Museum is open! Visit Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. On the third Thursday of each month, we offer extended hours, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM, and free admission from 3:00-8:00 PM.

Purchase Tickets Online Download calendar of events

You can also continue to connect with Washington’s rich history virtually. Find out how to participate in online public programs. And see our History at Home page for links to learning resources, virtual programs, our new museum app, and other ways to explore history at home.

Blue Star Museums Free Admission – Through September 4. The Washington State History Museum offers free admission for active duty military and up to five family members with military ID from May 21 through September 4 as part of the Blue Star Museums program. Just come on in and show your military ID for free admission!

building photos
Washington State History Museum

Museum Hours

  • Closed on Monday.
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. 
  • Third Thursday of each month: Open 10:00 AM-8:00 PM with FREE admission from 3:00-8:00 PM, generously supported by Columbia Bank.

Located on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, the museum’s brick façade and vaulted arches create a distinctive landmark in keeping with neighboring Union Station (now a federal courthouse) and the repurposed brick warehouses that comprise the University of Washington Tacoma campus. You’ll enjoy visiting the thriving Museum District and Pacific Avenue with plenty of places to snack, dine and shop.

Directions and parking
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Events and exhibitions

What's happening at the History Museum?

Fascination and fun come together at the Washington State History Museum! Explore Washington’s people, places, and impacts on the world through interactive exhibitions and dynamic events.

Events and Exhibitions
Kids in WA My Home
Field trips: We're taking (tentative) reservations

A note about field trip season

The Washington State History Museum happily serves about 15,000 students each year. Field trips help students make meaningful, lasting connections between the past and present.

March through mid-June are the peak months for field trips. Students are often in the building during the hours of 10:00 AM-1:00 PM, Tuesday through Friday. If you prefer to visit at a quieter time, please plan your trip accordingly.

Teachers – We’re taking reservations for the 2021-22 school year, with the understanding that field trips are contingent on COVID-19 conditions at the time of the field trip.

Admission Rates

Ticket Type Price
Washington State Historical Society Members FREE
Adult (age 18+) $14.00
Senior (age 65+) $11.00
Student (age 6-18 or older with current high school ID) $11.00
Child (age 5 and under) FREE
Military (active duty or retired with ID) $11.00

Admission Discounts

Discount Type Discount Value
Blue Star Museums Program: From Memorial Day - Labor Day, active duty military with ID FREE with up to five family members
Washington Foster Parent (with foster parent license and ID) $1.00 per person, $2.00 per family
Washington Quest cardholder discount (card required; card cannot be used for admission purchase) $1.00 per person, $2.00 per family
Group Discount: Groups of 10 or more, ages 6+ $10.00 per person
AAA members discount: Up to two discounted regular price adult admissions per membership. Not valid during Model Train Festival. Must present AAA card at Admissions. 15% on up to two adult admissions
Third Thursdays, 3:00 PM-8:00 PM FREE for all
Library Passes: Pierce County, City of Tacoma, King County and Puyallup libraries offer free passes that can be checked out. Not valid during Model Train Festival. FREE with some restrictions, see pass for details.

Holiday Schedule

The History Museum is open on these holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Easter
  • Veterans Day

The History Museum is closed on these holidays:

  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
Worth a visit!
  • "I took my sons to see the Men of Change Exhibit. My God what an exhibit. My two sons came out of there just excited to know that there are black men."
    - Drayton Jackson
  • "This is a beautiful museum that is located in an area with stunning views of the bay and Mt Rainer. Lots of great local restaurants in walking distance makes for an easy day out."
    - Jim's Opinion (Google Reviews)
  • "This is an awesome Museum. It takes you through the history of Washington State. The geological, historical, cultural, art, science and technological journey across different time frames. The museum is located in the downtown Tacoma easily accessible via public transit. If you are driving, the parking is spacious...The museum is really worth visiting."
    - Prashant KC
Inclement Weather Policy

Snow, hail, freezing rain?

The Washington State Historical Society follows the closure status of the Tacoma Public Schools.

  • If TPS schools are closed, the History Museum will be closed.
  • If the TPS schools choose a delayed start, the History Museum will operate under normal hours from 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday.

When weather is questionable, you can check the TPS website and look for a banner across the top of their home page, where you’ll find details about closures.

We will also post a banner in yellow across the top of our website in these situations.

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WSHS Conduct Policy

What to do (and not do) when you're in the History Museum

Conduct Policy

Image credit: Good Conduct Medal, created 1944-1945. Bronze medal reads, “EFFICIENCY – HONOR – FIDELITY,” and on the reverse it reads, “FOR GOOD CONDUCT.” Awarded to Theodore Christensen, Jr., a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne who participated during World War II at the Battle of the Bulge. Washington State Historical Society, 2014.158.4