Metro Parks Tacoma

Fort Nisqually Events 2018

Saturday, April 14

Sewing to Sowingundefined
11:00am - 4:00pm     $0 - $10

Experience the joys and labors of springtime in the 1850s. Sow seeds to take home, learn hand-sewing techniques from the Fort’s seamstresses, and see demonstrations of one of the world’s earliest sewing machines, the Wheeler and Wilson. Play 19th century games and visit with several dozen historical interpreters as they live life in the 19th century.


Saturday, May 19

Queen Victoria's Birthdayundefined
11:00am - 5:00pm     $0 - $10

Relive the festive 19th century celebrations surrounding a royal holiday. A merry mood permeates the Fort on this occasion. At noon, bagpipes announce the start of the traditional tributes to the queen. The pipes are followed by a musket volley, toasts to the queen, and a cannon salute. Many of the Fort’s ladies and gentlemen will be dressed in their finest, 1850s fashion. Throughout the day, guests can visit with our historical interpreters, join in a game of croquet, and enjoy performances.

Saturday, June16

undefinedPlough to Plate
11:00am - 5:00pm     $0 - $10

Discover farm to table, 19th century style, at Plough to Plate!  Throughout the day guests can tour the heritage kitchen garden and poultry house, orchard, and grain patch and learn how these relate to the agricultural history of the Fort. To get in on the act visitors can try churning butter and hauling water with a yoke.

Kids can participate in an egg and spoon race, a common entertainment in the 19th century. For the adults we will hold a pancake race, a traditional British amusement involving a relay while flipping pancakes in a frying pan. The highlight of the day is the cooking competition with our period chefs trying their hardest to impress the judges with flavor and presentation to win the coveted “Golden Skillet” nad "Golden Mold" awards. Judging takes place at 3:30 p.m.

Friday, July 6

Family Fun Nightundefined
6:00pm - 9:00pm     $0 - $10

Grab your picnic blankets and lawn chairs and head to 1855 for an evening of old fashioned family fun! 

Earn prizes for competing in classic competitions like a plate and cup race, sack race, and three legged race. Think you know the fort? We’ve devised the ultimate challenge with participants accomplishing tasks around the site to win a special reward. Music was a big part of life at Fort Nisqually in 1855. Kids will have a chance to hear instruments common to the period, learn a song on the penny whistle, and pluck a mandolin and dulcimer. The highlight of the evening comes with the firing of saltwater taffy from the candy cannon. Scramble across our meadow and collect as much candy as you can hold!


Saturday, August 11 & Sunday, August 12

Brigade Encampment
11:00am - 5:00pm     $0 - $15undefined

Travel back to 1855 during one of the largest museum events of the year as living historians set up dozens of tents at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. The event recreates the bustle and excitement of the historic visit of fur traders to the Fort in 1855. Guests will witness the arrival of the brigade (the convoy that delivered a year’s worth of furs) and spirited contests between trappers and traders – from obstacle course races to cooking contests. Young and old may participate in "Engagé for the Day," visiting with living historians at their tents and receiving hands-on lessons on period skills such as fire starting and spinning wool. Other entertainment includes Punch and Judy puppet shows, meeting historical characters, and presentations on historical clothing and other topics.


Saturday, September 8

Harvest Homeundefined
11:00am - 5:00pm     $0 - $10

Join us to celebrate the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn at our Harvest Home festival. The day will include popular Victorian games, traditional music and dance performances, and the arrival of the hock cart carrying the last sheaf of wheat through the fort to the granary. Everyone is welcome to come down and press cider, make a corn dolly, and help us send off summer 19th century style.


Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6

Candlelight Tour
7:00pm - 9:00pm     $0 - $15undefined

Campfires and candlelight provide illumination for this magical evening walking tour of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. Guests eavesdrop as more than a hundred historical interpreters bring to life the men, women, and children of the Hudson’s Bay Company. 

This year, guests will arrive during October of 1857. Many of the Fort’s residents will be celebrating the marriage of Letitia Work and fort clerk Edward Huggins. Visitor’s will encounter gentlemen and their wives, American settler families, experienced trappers, Scottish and French-Canadian laborers, young people at a dance, blacksmiths working at the forge, clerks in the sale shop, and cooks in the kitchen.

Advance ticket purchase required. Tickets will go on sale September 1st. For more information call (253) 404-3970.


Saturday, December 1

Christmas Regale
11:00am - 4:00pm     $0 - $10undefined

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern holidays and experience a real old-fashioned Christmas at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. A highlight of the event is the arrival of the yule log, towed in by young visitors at 1 pm. Everyone can join in greeting the yule log with toasts and Christmas Carols. Guests will have a chance to take home a piece of the log for their own holiday fire. Throughout the day, guests of all ages can join in parlor games, make ornaments, and create pomanders. Father Christmas will be available for visits and photos.