Explore: History & Culture
A resource for educators, homeschoolers, scouts and parents
Miner's Cabin at the Klondike Gold Rush Museum
Explore is the expanded Seattle's Child guide to enrichment opportunities available to schools, homeschoolers, scout leaders and others offering programs for kids in our Puget Sound community.
Whether you're planning outings for preschoolers, educating a third grader at home, running a day camp or teaching high school science, you'll find a truly remarkable variety of ways to enlarge and expand on your curriculum – field trips, classroom visits, homeschooler programs, and teacher education, to name a few.
Listings are unpaid and compiled by Seattle's Child staff.
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HISTORY & CULTURE
America’s Car Museum
702 East D St.
Tacoma, WA 98421
ACM’s diverse collection of vehicles and thematic exhibits are full of STEM concepts to ignite critical thinking skills. Programs include inquiry-based tours, hands-on workshops and self-guided exploration. Enjoy a fun pit stop to the Family Zone, where groups of all ages can play with engaging activities. Capture the experience with a complimentary group photo of your students in a 1923 Buick Touring car.
Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
215 Ericksen Ave. NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Located in a 1908 one-room schoolhouse, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum’s goal is to foster the knowledge of local history through educational programs and to support historical preservation on Bainbridge Island. Exhibits include information about Native Americans, Explorers, Mill Towns, Early Shipbuilding, Steamer Transportation, Farming, WWII, the Internment of Japanese Americans and Local Schools.
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
University of Washington campus, 17th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98195
The Burke Museum provides high-quality science and cultural learning experiences to students of all ages. Whether on a museum Discovery Tour, using a Burke Box traveling teaching collection or attending an educator workshop, everyone is sure to learn something new. Burke Museum education is active year round with exciting programs for students, teachers and families. Note: Pricing for all programs changed to a flat-rate model effective July, 2016.
Camlann Medieval Village
10320 Kelly Road NE
Carnation, WA 98014
This two-hour class describes daily life in the Middle Ages and presents ideas on how history is understood and why it is relevant. A discussion of archaeology, architecture, technology, food, customs, fashions and music concludes, weather permitting, with a tour of the village area. Subject matter can be tailored to specific topics. The tour is recommended for students ages 10 years and older. An optional Ploughman's Lunch (bread, roast polish sausage, cheese, vegetable, fruit and a spiced juice drink) is available from the Bors Hede kitchen. The class is extended another 20 minutes while food is served on platters and eaten off a bread trencher while a minstrel plays courtly music.
Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center
4705 W Marginal Way SW
Seattle, WA 98106
The Duwamish Longhouse proudly sits near the mouth of the Duwamish River overlooking the Duwamish River Valley, not far from the landing site of early immigrants. It is also near the ancient Duwamish village hah-AH-poos, on the National Register of Historic Places. This traditional cedar post and beam structure houses artwork, historic photographs and ancient artifacts from the Duwamish Tribe and other Salish Peoples. Call to schedule a longhouse tour.
Eastside Heritage Center
Through guided tours, classroom Treasure Box kits and visual programs, Eastside Heritage Center immerses students in the Eastside’s past and present. Tours are available through EHC for Historic Larsen Lake Cabin, Historic Winters House, Eastside Coal Mining, Eastside Schools and Local Salish Life.
Edmonds-South Snohomish County Historical Society and Museum
118 5th Ave. N
Edmonds, WA 98020
The museum, located in a beautifully restored 1910 Carnegie Library, features temporary and long-term exhibits showcasing the history of the town and waterfront of Edmonds, from the age of exploration and discovery, through the founding and growth of the city, and up to the 1950s when the last mill closed. The museum also offers a Trunk Tales Program for public elementary schools.
Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum
Paine Field, 3407 109th St. SW
Everett, WA 98204
The Flying Heritage Collection showcases the spectacular warbirds and technologies from 1935 through 1945. Set in a restored working hangar, visitors of all ages can get up close and personal to British, German, Japanese, Russian and U.S. war planes and tanks, and learn how innovators and innovations of the past led the way to modern aviation and aerospace technologies. The newest exhibit Why War: The Causes of Conflict offers an amazing opportunity to teach students about the causes of war, the impact of propaganda, how to critically examine primary sources, and ask large-scale critical questions.
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
Point Defiance Park, 5400 N Pearl St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
Fort Nisqually is a living history museum where guides in period clothing demonstrate the crafts of the 1850s and engage visitors in historic dialogue. Students can take guided tours of the fort, have a classroom visit by a time traveler dressed in period clothing, or explore the contents of a classroom case on loan from the museum.
Foss Waterway Seaport
705 Dock St.
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-272-2750 ext. 103, firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore Puget Sound’s rich maritime heritage and learn about the science of the sea with Foss Waterway Seaport’s educational programs. Choose from a variety of unique activities that bring history alive and help students, educators and families discover a connection with all marine life in our waterways. Students as young as 1st grade can take part in a land-based field trip at the Balfour Dock location. Students in 5th grade and higher can take to the seas on a boat-based expedition.
FIUTS (Foundation for International Understanding Through Students)
University of Washington Campus
Husky Union Building, Room 206
Seattle, WA 98195
Based on the UW campus, FIUTS programs create a community of international and American students, members of the local community and alumni around the world. For K-12 teachers in the Seattle area, FIUTS offers many ways to enrich your global curriculum and connect your students with people from around the world. Arrange a visit from a Global Ambassador, sign up for the Pen Pal Program or bring the class to the one-day CulturalFest held each winter.
Gates Foundation Visitor Center
440 5th Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
206-709-3100 ext. 7100, email@example.com
Explore a life-saving mosquito net, an ingenious personal water filter, and a storage device that can keep vaccines cool for 30 days or more. Learn about efforts to eradicate polio in our lifetime. Immerse yourself in debates about education, health and poverty – and decide your own priorities. We offer an optimistic experience that encourages both reflection and civic engagement. Free guided tours are discussion-driven and incorporate the interactive exhibits. Bus subsidies are available.
Georgetown Steam Plant
6605 13th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98108
Built in 1906-07 by the Seattle Electric Company on 18 acres of land along the Duwamish River, this National Historic Landmark stands today as a reminder of the era of electrification of America's cities and a time when industry was first attracted to Seattle by its inexpensive hydroelectric power and electric trolley car system.
The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas
8414 Greenwood Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
BFI (formerly 826 Seattle) believes that the power of words, well-written and well-spoken, can open doors to important opportunities. The tutoring, writing and publishing programs prepare young people, ages 6 to 18, for a successful future by developing strong writing skills, championing diverse communication styles, and motivating young people to share their stories. BFI offers drop-in and in-school tutoring, field trips, writer workshops and more.
19921 Poplar Way
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Heritage Park celebrates the agricultural, transportation and social heritage of Lynnwood from its roots in the rural community of Alderwood Manor formed in 1919. Exhibits throughout the park tell stories of life in early Lynnwood. The park’s historic structures have been renovated and repurposed as community resource facilities. These include the South Snohomish County Visitor Information Center and the Wickers Museum in the Wickers Building, the Heritage Resource Center in the Superintendent’s Cottage, the Sno-Isle Genealogy Library in the Humble House, and Interurban Car No. 55.
Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve
6410 23rd Ave. NE
Tulalip, WA 98271
The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve has more than 23,000 square feet of exhibits and classrooms, plus 50 acres of natural history preserve to provide a wonderful learning experience for students. School groups can take guided or self-guided tours of the interactive cultural center featuring a main exhibit, a temporary exhibit, the Canoe Hall, a longhouse with introductory video, two classrooms, research library and gift shop. Optional craft activities are also available.
Historic Flight Foundation
Paine Field, 10719 Bernie Webber Drive
Mukilteo, WA 98275
Located at the southwest corner of Paine Field, Historic Flight at Kilo-7 offers a journey into the energy, hard work and passion that fueled aviation from 1927 through 1957. Like the aircraft in the collection, the hangars at Kilo-7 are designed to reflect beauty, durability and honestly expressed materials. Group tours are available by appointment.
Holocaust Center for Humanity
2045 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
The Holocaust Center for Humanity teaches tolerance and citizenship through lessons of the Holocaust. The Center supports teachers in introducing Holocaust studies into their curricula with resources, field trips, Teaching Trunks, student contests, classroom book sets, handouts and more. Through artifacts and stories from local Holocaust survivors, students begin to understand the history of the Holocaust and that their choices make a difference. Field trips include a docent-led tour of the Holocaust Center's exhibit, a short film, and an interactive activity.
Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum
5917 S 196th St.
Kent, WA 98032
The Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum is the nation's only public museum dedicated solely to powerboat racing. The Victory Education Program is a rigorously researched, classroom tested curriculum using the magic of racing to inspire students to pursue and excel in STEM education. The program is designed to encourage all children to envision themselves as potential engineers and problem solvers. They offer both classroom visits and field trips.
Issaquah History Museums
Gilman Town Hall, 165 SE Andrews St.
Issaquah, WA 98027
The Issaquah History Museums have collaborated with local and regional schools for decades. In addition to providing history materials supporting state curriculum standards, the Issaquah History Museums provide in-class presentations, museum tours, and treasure kits designed to meet the needs of each visiting group.
Job Carr Cabin Museum
2350 N 30th St.
Tacoma, WA 98403
The Job Carr Cabin replication is a museum commemorating the first non-native settler of what is now Tacoma. The log cabin museum was authentically reconstructed true to the original design and setting. Activities include making butter, enjoying living history re-enactors and going on a scavenger hunt. Groups can also arrange for a walking tour of Old Town Tacoma or the historic Old St. Peter’s Church. The museum now offers Traveling Trunks for loan.
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
407 S G St.
Tacoma, WA 98405
Six large Greco-Roman columns and portico form a stately entrance to the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, just across the street from the Victorian-styled Seymour Botanical Conservatory. As one of 12 such museums around the country, it offers an ideal environment for the exhibit of original papers of historic importance such as the papers of the Wright Brothers, the original draft of the Bill of Rights, and many more. Exhibits, which are always admission free, are normally on display for three months at a time.
Kitsap Historical Society & Museum
280 4th St.
Bremerton, WA 98337
The Kitsap County Historical Society and Museum collects, preserves and exhibits the diverse culture, heritage and history of Kitsap County for the education and enjoyment of the public. Permanent exhibits at KHSM include “Sound People, Sound Visions,” “Main Street” and the Hands-On Gallery. Guided tours can be arranged for no extra charge.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
319 2nd Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98104
The Klondike Gold Rush Museum offers visitors a chance to step back in time and journey to the Yukon gold fields of Canada as thousands did in 1897 and 1898. Interactive exhibits highlight Seattle's role in this international event. Experience the gold rush through the eyes of actual stampeders by referring to their journals and personal accounts. Class groups can arrange for a short video, a gold panning and mining demonstration and one of several scavenger hunts in the museum. Traveling Trunks and digital resources are also available for loan.
Lewis Army Museum
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, 4320 Main St.
JBLM, WA 98433
The Lewis Army Museum tells the history of the base since its beginnings as Camp Lewis, through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and to its present-day operations and recent combination with McChord Air Force Base to become Joint Base Lewis McChord in 2010. The museum also features nearly an acre of outdoor exhibits including a UH-1 “Huey” Helicopter and various armored vehicles.
Log House Museum and Southwest Seattle Historical Society
3003 61st Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Discover and celebrate the history of the Duwamish Peninsula and the Birthplace of Seattle in an authentically restored 1904 log building surrounded by a Pacific Northwest native plant garden. After a 30-minute history and storytelling session highlighting West Seattle’s early history and a newly restored totem pole, tours then walk one block to Alki Beach to put it in the context of the real world. Heritage Education Trunk Kits are also available for loan.
312 Spring St.
Puyallup, WA 98372
Learn about pioneer history and the Oregon Trail. We offer tours tailored to homeschool groups, K-7th, 4th grade Washington State history curriculum, plus Scout badges. Teaching Kit is available for pick-up when your tour is reserved. One hour or more tour through this 1890s Victorian mansion built by Ezra and Eliza Jane Meeker, Oregon Trail pioneers. Interactive fliers available for students.
211 1st Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98104
This award-winning information center highlights the people and projects that shaped Pioneer Square, and provides an inside look at the SR 99 Tunnel Project. In addition to construction photos and brochures, you’ll find history, artifacts and interactive exhibits designed to broaden your understanding of the land beneath you. Explore the neighborhood’s changing landscape, from earth-moving efforts of the past to the massive tunnel project that will soon move State Route 99 underground and reconnect Pioneer Square to the waterfront.
Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)
860 Terry Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
At MOHAI, thousands of rare objects, historic images and hands-on interactive experiences make history come alive with the unforgettable stories of the men and women who built Seattle from wilderness to world city. Field trip topics include Creating Our Community, Cracking the History Code and The Significance of Salmon. Group tours include an educator-led lesson, a self-guided gallery hunt and a craft activity. In-class programs, teacher resources and artifact trunk rentals are also available. Ask about scholarships and bus reimbursement.
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) (formerly EMP and the Science Fiction Museum)
325 5th Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
Education is a key focus for MoPOP, a cultural institution designed to explore the creative process and promote critical thinking. A school visit to MoPOP gives students the chance to experience interactive exhibitions that highlight the nation's musical culture and history, discover the role that imagination plays in fictional literature and films, explore the development and effects of technology, and teach the craft of making music.
Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th St.
Seattle, WA 98117
206-789-5707 ext. 19, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nordic Heritage Museum honors the legacy of Nordic immigrants in the Northwest. The museum invites school groups in grades 1 through 12 to visit the exhibits, either on guided or self-guided tours. Teacher Packets and Outreach Trunks are also available to teach about Nordic culture, music and dance, arts, history, Norse mythology and Vikings.
Northwest African American Museum
2300 S Massachusetts St.
Seattle, WA 98144
206-518-6000 ext. 104, email@example.com
The Northwest African American Museum documents and exhibits the unique historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Guided tours of the museum, hands-on workshops, curriculum packets and Story Trunks for the classroom all connect students and teachers with the local history of African Americans.
Northwest Railway Museum
38625 SE King St.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425-888-3030 ext. 7204, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Northwest Railway Museum is located in a Victorian depot. Each spring, students learn how the railway changed Washington and influenced settlement while they experience the excitement of a working railroad. The School Train program is intended for 4th graders and their Washington State History Curriculum, but can be tailored to groups of all ages. The museum also offers a Preschool Train, Outreach Education and opportunities for Scout and senior groups.
Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center
Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
Northwest Seaport's historic vessels are located in Seattle's Lake Union Park, just north of downtown. The tugboat Arthur Foss, Lightship No. 83, and troller Twilight are moored on the Historic Ships Wharf with other vessels. Northwest Seaport has several recurring opportunities to experience its historic vessels. Group tours of the tugboat Arthur Foss are available by appointment. Middle and high school students can participate in their Engineer for a Day Program and learn about engine innovation, marine propulsion, transportation history and more.
Pioneer Farm Museum & Ohop Indian Village
7716 Ohop Valley Road E
Eatonville, WA 98328
Pioneer Farm and Ohop Indian Village takes visitors through the daily lives of pioneer and Native American children of the 1880s with costumed docents and plenty of hands-on activities. Classes can arrange for a 90-minute tour of the homestead cabin and farm (mid-March through November), or schedule an in-class presentation for individual classrooms or for the entire school (December through mid-March).
Puget Sound Navy Museum
251 1st St.
Bremerton, WA 98337
Visitors can explore the naval history of the region and experience life as a sailor through exhibits about the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, the USS John C. Stennis, Special Operations Submarines, and much more. Grade-appropriate scavenger hunts as well as lesson plans and activities are available online to enhance field trips. PSNM now offers Scout Workshops as well.
Renton History Museum
235 Mill Ave. S
Renton, WA 98057
With more than 15,000 photographs and 90,000 objects, the Renton History Museum’s mission is to preserve, document, interpret and educate about the history of greater Renton. Guided tours of the museum and a self-guided walking tour of Renton are just two of the resources available to learn about the city’s past. The Museum has developed two local history curricula at the 4th and 8th grade levels to be used in the classroom including their Coast Salish Curriculum.
Seattle Architecture Foundation
1010 Western Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
SAF works with school groups to arrange weekday architecture workshops and walking tours that are matched to a range of grade levels and educational goals. Workshop topics include: Building “Green,” Designing Places to Play, Accessible Transportation, Affordable Housing, Building Communities, and more. SAF also offers its free architectural curriculum, Places & Spaces, for educators seeking a flexible resource to introduce their students to architecture’s connection to classroom topics and their everyday lives.
Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools (WITS)
340 15th Ave. E, #301
Seattle, WA 98112
From songs to sonnets, from cover letters to love letters, Writers in the Schools inspires young people to discover and develop their authentic writing and performance voices. Professional local writers are placed in public elementary, middle and high school classrooms to inspire student and teacher excellence in reading and writing. By encouraging students to write about what they know best — themselves — WITS helps students find their own, authentic voices.
Seattle Fire Department
For more than 50 years, the Seattle Fire Department has provided fire safety education to students in both public and private Seattle schools. Providing fire safety education, injury prevention messages and positive community role models are the goals of the School Age Program. Tours of a local fire station can be scheduled for school groups. Teachers can also arrange for a firefighter or a fire vehicle to visit the school.
Seattle Mariners and Safeco Field
1250 1st Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98134
School groups can tour the Seattle Mariners ballpark and learn about the history of Safeco Field at the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest. Educational group tours receive discounted rates. The Mariner Moose is also available for special whole-school assemblies focused on healthy behaviors and motivation. Visit seattle.mariners.mlb.com/sea/fan_forum/mariner_moose.jsp for details.
Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum
317 3rd Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98104
Discover the history of Northwest law enforcement, policing the frontier and the taming of Seattle. Located in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, this facility is the largest police museum in the western U.S., combining historical displays with an interactive learning area for children and adults. Although the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum is designed specifically for self-guided viewing, the museum is currently open by appointment only.
Seattle Times Printing Plant Tours
19200 120th Ave. NE
Bothell, WA 98011
The Seattle Times Company Print and Online Network reaches more Northwest adults than any other local news media. Tours of the North Creek Production Facility include following the newspapers "hot off the press" through the packaging center and out the door to the trucks. One of the most popular parts of the tour is watching the robots pick up enormous rolls of newsprint and move them to the press.
Shoreline Historical Museum
18501 Linden Ave. N
Shoreline, WA 98133
The Shoreline Historical Museum celebrates the history of Shoreline and its community with exhibits, walking tours and events. Group tours of the exhibits are available by appointment. Outreach lectures, educational trunks and traveling exhibits are also available.
Pier 55, 1101 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101
Tillicum is the perfect combination for students to experience both the history and culture of the region. School trips to Tillicum Village include a narrated Argosy Cruise to Blake Island, a cedar-staked salmon baking demonstration, lunch in the longhouse and a dance performance in the spirit of Northwest coastal tribes. The program is designed for elementary and middle school students.
Underground Tour, Bill Speidel’s
614 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
206-682-4646 ext. 118, email@example.com
Bill Speidel's Underground Tour is Seattle's most unusual attraction, a humorous stroll through subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt atop itself after the Great Fire of 1889. The tour begins in historic Pioneer Square, then plunges underground for a time-capsule view of the buried city. It’s history with punch lines! School groups receive activity books with each ticket.
USS Turner Joy Naval Destroyer Museum
300 Washington Beach Ave.
Bremerton, WA 98337
The USS Turner Joy is located on the Bremerton Boardwalk within an easy walk of the Seattle Ferry Terminal. Tour a piece of history or participate in an overnighter onboard. The Bremerton Historic Ships Association takes exceptional pride in providing this Vietnam Era destroyer for your appreciation.
Washington State History Museum
1911 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Through interactive exhibits, theatrical storytelling, high-tech displays and dramatic artifacts, students learn about Washington State's unique people and places, as well as their impact on the country and the world. Tours may be self-guided or guided by appointment. Six History Boxes are available for in-class use. Columbia is an interactive periodical available to teachers and their classes integrating reading, writing and Pacific Northwest history.
Western Heritage Center Interactive Museum
Evergreen State Fairgrounds, Building 611
Monroe, WA 98272
WHC is one of the most comprehensive interactive museums of mining, logging, agriculture and early life in the Pacific Northwest. Come see a Maytag Wringer Washer powered by a tractor, a telephone switchboard, a working water wheel and more at this hands-on exhibit.
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
719 S King St.
Seattle, WA 98104
206-623-5124 ext. 133, firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore what it means to cope and thrive in a new culture. Discover early, contemporary and emerging Asian-American art. Think differently about what it means to be and become American. The Wing is the nation’s only museum devoted to the Asian Pacific American experience. Whether you are exploring the neighborhood on a Chinatown Discovery Tour or immersing yourself in the galleries with hands-on activities, tours are customized to meet curriculum needs. Curriculum boxes and educator resources are also available.