The Tacoma Museum District includes the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Children's Museum of Tacoma, Lemay — America's Car Museum and Foss Waterway Seaport.
Take a winter outing to Tacoma Museum District’s Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass and Children’s Museum of Tacoma — all within walking distance in downtown Tacoma. Outside the main area, the district also includes LeMay — America’s Car Museum and the Foss Waterway Seaport maritime museum.
On the third Thursday of each month, the museum district hosts Free First Thursday and Downtown Art Walk, with new art displays and artist visits in downtown art galleries and free admission to the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass from 5 to 8 p.m., upcoming on Jan. 17.
Washington State History Museum‘s permanent exhibit, “The Great Hall of Washington History,” provides a walk through some of our region’s earliest history with artifacts from Native American culture through modern industrialization, war and postwar eras, women’s suffrage and more. Temporary exhibits feature “Sleight of Hand: Magic and Spiritualism in the Early Twentieth Century,” through Jan. 20; “Two Centuries of Glass,” through Feb. 10; and “Collections Selections: Jacob Lawrence,” through March 3. The museum offers on-site parking and a nearby Link Light Rail Station for easy access.
The colorful Chihuly Bridge of Glass pedestrian walkway connects the Washington State History Museum to the Museum of Glass, showcasing exhibits and permanent collections of 20th- and 21st-century glass art.
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Tacoma Art Museum displays Northwest and Western American art from the late 18th century to the present. On Jan. 19, the museum’s new Benaroya Wing opens, providing a 25 percent increase in gallery space illustrating how the Northwest became a world-renowned center for glass art, built on key gifts from Dale Chihuly and Pilchuck Glass School. The Community Festival opening event, with performances and art-making, is free. Museum admission is free from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday.
Children’s Museum of Tacoma, with hands-on exhibits and an art studio for children of all ages, always offers pay-as-you-will free admission.
LeMay — America’s Car Museum, the largest automotive museum in North America, displays hundreds of cars, trucks and motorcycles in 12 exhibit areas. It is currently featuring “Heroes of Bavaria” BMW race cars, “Route 66: Sixties on 66” and “British Invasion” cars in America in the 1950s and ’60s.
The Foss Waterway Seaport maritime heritage, education and event center on Tacoma’s working waterfront currently features “The Puyallup People: First on the Waterways.” It includes artifacts, displays and multimedia installations exploring the history of the Puyallup people and their connection to the Salish Sea and Puyallup River.
The Museum District offers admission discounts through the Museum District Pass covering one admission each, good for a year, to Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum, LeMay — America’s Car Museum and Foss Water Seaport.
Washington State History Museum
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, until 8 p.m. third Thursdays
Cost: $14; $11/ages 6-17 and 65+, active and retired military with ID; free 5 to 8 p.m. third Thursdays
Location: 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
More info: 253-272-3500 or washingtonhistory.org
Tacoma Art Museum
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, closed Saturday Jan. 12; until 8 p.m. Thursdays
Cost: $15; $13/students, ages 65+; free admission 5-8 p.m. Thursdays; free for military and their family; free on Saturdays for ages 18 and younger
Location: 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
More info: 253-872-4258 or tacomaartmuseum.org
Museum of Glass
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, until 8 p.m. on third Thursdays
Cost: $17; $15/students, ages 65+, military with ID; $5/ages 6-12
Location: 1801 E. Dock St., Tacoma
More info: 253-284-4719 or museumofglass.org
Children’s Museum of Tacoma
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays
Cost: pay-as-you-will free admission
Location: 1501 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
More info: 253-627-6031 or playtacoma.org
LeMay — America’s Car Museum
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Cost: $18; $16/ages 65+, students, military; $10/ages 6-12
Location: 2702 East D St., Tacoma
More info: 253-779-8490 or americascarmuseum.org
Foss Waterway Seaport Museum
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays
Cost: $10; $8/ages 62+, children ages 5+, military
Location: 705 Dock St., Tacoma
More info: 253-272-2750 or fosswaterwayseaport.org
Tacoma Museum Pass
Cost: $55; $43.30/ages 6-18 and 65+, military; for use within one year