You can’t visit a museum right now, but Tacoma’s Museum District’s cultural organizations are undaunted by closed doors. They’ve pivoted to offer a bevy of opportunities for cultural enjoyment, education, and even community connection during the stay home-stay healthy protocol. If you’re eager to supplement social studies for kids learning at home, learn about art and artists as a family, explore the depths of the Puget Sound, find playtime ideas and even wish upon a car, it’s as easy as linking into the websites of these world-class museums.
Tacoma Art Museum
Having closed our doors in mid-March, TAM increased our mission-focused work in the digital space. TAM at Home provides hands-on art-making activities for families related to pieces in TAM’s collection. Additionally, people can view 70% of TAM’s permanent collection through eMuseum. Everyone is invited to spend time looking at collections created by museum curators and create your own digital exhibition with the objects. Deep dives into individual artworks, as well as, posts of community artwork based on TAM’s collection #insipiredbytam can be found on TAM’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels.
Resources can be found at http://www.tacomaartmuseum.org/tam-at-home
Washington State History Museum
Washington State History Museum encourages connection and learning through creative remote engagement opportunities for all ages. Washingtonians are invited to share your COVID-19 experiences and contribute digital content for the museum’s collections, documenting this significant historic event in real-time. You’re also invited to download the museum’s new free app to remotely explore exhibitions, dive into History Lessons To Go for all grade levels and try out coordinated activity sheets that can be used hand-in-hand with the app. Interviews with historians and writers are at your fingertips with the Columbia Conversations history podcast, and readers can peruse the COLUMBIAmagazine archives on the museum’s website for more fascinating articles about Northwest history. The History At Home page on the museum’s website provides downloadable history coloring pages and curriculum for multiple age groups. As always, you can explore and research your state Historical Society’s collections via the website, too.
The Historical Society is on the cusp of launching the Washington Stay Home Society, a series of uplifting public programs that bring us together while apart. A few examples of these programs include an age 21+ mix-along while listening to a cocktail historian, a History Lab at-home activity for youth and families, and a collage-as-storytelling session. Stay tuned for the launch!
Find the Historical Society’s list of activities at www.WashingtonHistory.org/HistoryAtHome.
Foss Waterway Seaport
Foss Waterway Seaport is offering daily virtual programming for all ages. From preschool Super Seastar classes to up-close and personal in a whale skeleton to live Seaport Stories with local influencers.
Resources can be found at https://fosswaterwayseaport.org/explore-virtual-education-programs/
Greentrike, home of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, is facilitating a day camp for preschool-aged children of first responders, health care professionals, and frontline essential workers. Digitally, Greentrike has created online playful resources for families with young children. This includes video storytimes, sing-alongs, and circle times that are designed to encourage play and joy for children birth – 8 years old.
Resources can be found at https://www.playtacoma.org/play-at-home
Museum of Glass
While our normal operation is paused, there are still plenty of ways to engage with MOG. Get hands-on with these fun, family-friendly art projects at home.
Resources can be found at https://www.museumofglass.org/mog-craft-projects?mc_cid=c59e393a56&mc_eid=c1190ff9ac
LeMay – America’s Car Museum
You might not be able to visit your favorite hotrods, but there are still activities to put a smile on the face of your young auto enthusiast:
- Drawing Templates for Young Designers, so they can create their own dream ride.
- Lesson Plans You Can Do in Your Kitchen, including Crash-Test Cars, Biofuel Basics, and Stylish Speed
- And, Coloring Sheets for Young Car Lovers, including 1908 Ford Model T, 1960 Chevrolet Corvette, 1966 Ford Mustang, 1966 Volkswagen Beetle
Additionally, you can join us on Facebook or Instagram for periodic contests, games, and curator presentations.
Resources can be found at https://www.americascarmuseum.org/learn/athome/
The Tacoma Museum District
The Tacoma Museum District is one of the jewels of the South Sound! It is comprised of six premier museums, all within walking distance of each other (or a convenient free ride on the Link light rail). Each museum shares a different aspect of Pacific Northwest arts and culture and they all work together to share the wonders of Tacoma as a destination, whether it’s for a staycation or a vacation!
The Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum and Children’s Museum of Tacoma are located along the historic Pacific Avenue corridor with the Bridge of Glass connecting visitors over the freeway to the Museum of Glass. Walk along Thea Foss Waterway to reach the Foss Waterway Seaport and Maritime Museum. Catch the Link on Pac Ave for a quick ride over to America’s Car Museum.
Note: The museums are currently closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check each museum’s website for details on reopening dates and additional opportunities to connect remotely.