Tacoma, WA – If you grew up thinking “history is boring,” this spring at the Washington State History Museum is sure to change your mind. The slate of exhibitions, programs and activities ranges from Bigfoot lore and live music to the nostalgia of childhood play and big (BIG) toys. Here’s a rundown on what you can see and do at the History Museum in Tacoma from now through June:
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
History Happy Hour Trivia, Wednesday, March 21, 6:00 PM, at The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma. Bring friends or compete on your own to test your Washington State trivia knowledge. The Washington State History Museum is partnering with the City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office and Tacoma Historical Society to find zany trivia facts from our city and across our state! Facts, fun, and prizes aplenty!
Scholarly Selections: “Positive Change in Global Business”, Thursday, April 19, 6:30-8:00 PM, Washington State History Museum.FREE (Third Thursday: free admission 3:00-8:00 PM). The world IS a good place! University of Washington Tacoma Milgard School of Business instructor Stan Emert will discuss the “who, what, and why” of positive changes being made around the world. Emert, who has conducted business on six of the seven continents, will tell stories of everything from the eleven-year-old girl who fought against a heinous practice of her tribal culture to the former prime minister of Norway who helped start The Elders, and much more. Leave feeling hopeful (and maybe even smarter!).
Full STEAM Ahead: A K-12 Educator Workshop, Saturday, May 5, 9:00 AM-3:30 PM at LeMay – America’s Car Museum, 2702 East D. St., Tacoma. This is a special opportunity for educators. Tacoma’s Museum District is back with its annual STEAM workshop! Learn easy and creative methods for incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math into your classroom. Hear from education staff at the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Foss Waterway Seaport, and Lemay-America’s Car Museum through hands-on workshops and take-home materials. The event is free, but registration is required. Go to WashingtonHistory.org/events for details.
History After Hours: Bigfoot Night, Thursday, May 10, 7:00–10:00 PM, Washington State History Museum. This is an ages 21+ event. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Immerse yourself in the lore of Washington’s most famous cryptid. Jump into field research stations, hands-on crafts, specialty Bigfoot beer by Three Magnets Brewing Co., a musical performance by Butterfly Launches from Spar Pole, and other activities. Curious to know more about the legendary creature? Dr. Robert Michael Pyle and David George Gordon will answer your burning Bigfoot questions and showcase some intriguing clues. This is your one-stop shop for all things Bigfoot. And fun. This event is sponsored in part by Propel. Get your tickets here or go to WashingtonHistory.org/events for details.
Tacoma Day of Remembrance, Thursday, May 17, 4:00–7:00 PM, Washington State History Museum. FREE (Third Thursday: free admission 3:00-8:00 PM). On May 17 and 18 in 1942, over 800 people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly relocated out of Tacoma and into internment camps. Join us for a day of programming and activities to commemorate this event, the lives it impacted, and its legacy in Tacoma.
Scholarly Selections: “Asian Immigrant Labor Activism in the Northwest,” Thursday, May 17, 5:30-7:00 PM, Washington State History Museum.FREE (Third Thursday: free admission 3:00-8:00 PM).In the early twentieth century, Asian immigrants who settled in Seattle and other parts of Washington State became labor leaders in the Pacific Northwest. They sought to secure labor and civil rights for employees from the canneries in Alaska to the farms in eastern Washington. Dr. Stephanie Hinnershitz will discuss how their actions brought about lasting change in labor relations and shaped civil rights activism in the region.
Press PLAY: Family Edition! Sunday, May 20, Noon–5:00 PM, Washington State History Museum. The History Museum is presenting a kid-scaled version ofFebruary’s History After Hours: Press PLAY event. Younger visitors and those who missed Press PLAY the first time will love this special experience! Explore TOYTOPIA and play all the best games from decades past, including Oregon Trail (yes, the original one)! Bummed you missed out on the pet rock craze? Fear not, you can make your own! We’ll be joined by the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and all the fun toy activities you can handle. FREE for Washington State Historical Society members. Buy one/get one admission for Children’s Museum of Tacoma members. Non-members, included with museum admission: $14 adult, $11 student (ages 6-17), free for ages 5 and under.
History Happy Hour Trivia, Wednesday, June 20, 6:00 PM, The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, WA. Ever wondered which of your friends knows the most about Washington and Tacoma trivia? Bring ‘em all or play solo to test your mettle in the epic trivia night battle royale that is History Happy Hour. The Washington State History Museum is teaming up with the Tacoma Historical Society and the City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office to dig up the most fun, interesting, and weird facts about our home state.
IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Awards Ceremony, Sunday, July 1, 3:00 PM, Washington State History Museum. Now in its 13th year, the IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition has become a beloved tradition in the summer season at the Washington State History Museum. Join us in celebrating this year’s artists and award winners at this afternoon ceremony (arrive early to peruse the exhibition!). Awards Ceremony is FREE for Washington State Historical Society members; non-members, included with museum admission: $14 adult, $11 student (ages 6-17), free for ages 5 and under.
Brain Boosting Summer Camps!
July 9-13: Museum Mania – Go Behind the Scenes;
July 16-20: Washington Explorers;
July 23-27: Washington’s History Mysteries.
All at the Washington State History Museum. Do you have kiddos who need enriching summer activities? Take a look at the History Museum’s exciting week-long summer camps, scheduled during July. Avoid the summer brain-drain and have fun both inside and outside of the museum. There are just 30 spots in each camp, so don’t wait to sign up! All the details are on the Historical Society’s website, including member discounts. Visit www.WashingtonHistory.org/summercamps to register.
TOYTOPIA – Through June 10, Washington State History Museum. Play your way down Memory Lane in this big world of BIG toys! Learn about the origins of toys, who made them, and why they are fun and dear to us. Discover why some toys succeeded and some failed, and which toys have become collector’s items and why. TOYTOPIA satisfies the curiosity of visitors of all ages with beautiful, compelling, and informative displays and plenty of hands-on activity. But it’s not just about toys—it’s about how we play. Challenge friends to beat your top score in the video arcade, filled with games from the 1970s and 1980s. Walk through the life-size dollhouse, see the world’s largest Etch A Sketch, slide across an oversized keyboard, let Zoltar tell your fortune. Find your childhood favorites!
PlayDates: Toys from the Historical Society’s Collection – through JULY 15, Washington State History Museum. While the ways in which children play have changed over time, toys have always been an important part of our lives. PlayDates celebrates some of the most popular toys in America with a look into the collections of the Washington State Historical Society. Did you know that the Slinky Dog and Cranium were both invented by Washingtonians? Learn fun facts to impress your friends and see decades of fun represented through play sets, games, and things that “go.”
Collections Selections – through JULY 15, Washington State History Museum. Peer into a turn-of-the-century recreation of a child’s day nursery (playroom). See toys within the context of the decorative arts of the time. Toys crisscross the floor and scatter atop furnishings from the early 1900s, surrounded by reproduction vintage wallpaper, historic photographs, artwork and other items that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. A true window to the past!
Upcoming Summer Blockbuster:
Make/Do: A History of Creative Reuse ?July 14 – December 6, 2018.
Before upcycling was a thing, it was the thing. Make/Do: A History of Creative Reuse focuses on this cyclical nature of our relationship with objects. Washington’s response to this cycle has been driven by several factors and influences, cultural, geographic, and industrial among them. These influences have given Washington makers and their objects a distinct character.
Among the themes presented in Make/Do will be the idea of building community through reuse and building reuse through community. In the past, community was built through crafting as people gathered for quilting circles or knit-ins. During hard times and war, Washingtonians united to remake old items into new, whether it be to support troops overseas or to use in everyday life. This trend is continuing today in creative reuse centers, maker spaces, and living rooms across the state.
Make/Do will include a material/historical survey of “second life” objects, architectural reuse and salvage, cultural examples of creative reuse, and contemporary examples of functional and non-functional objects. These artifacts from multiple artists, individuals, and institutions show that some trends are timeless.