Gold Rush Stampede Family Camp at the Washington State History Museum

Wednesday, August 22 at 11 am, the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma will be having an hour long Klondike Gold Rush discussion and hands-on activities and games for elementary age children and their parents. Joan Martin, education coordination for the Washington State History Museum, discussed details of the event: “We will be talking about the Gold Rush and thousands of people looking for gold in Alaska as Seattle was their first stop. We will help them learn the real story behind the Klondike Gold Rush. Parents and children will be able to enjoy some hands-on activities and games including: trying a hand at panning for fake gold. We usually have a cart with artifacts to look at and touch. There will be a hands-on activity or craft as well.”

© Washington State Historical Society

The camp is free with museum admission and free to members of the Washington State Historical Society. Joan recommends children to bring a sack lunch and then stay and enjoy the museum exhibit upon completion of the family camp. Joan commented: “I think it’s a marvelous opportunity for kids to come and explore the Klondike Gold Rush the hands on way. They’ll get to enjoy hands on activities and games while learning more about the past.” She feels the best part about the camp, “The idea that families can come and have the chance to explore historic artifacts and learn more about them within the context.”

Joan mentioned attendees will be able to observe gold scales (what is used to weigh the gold) on display, a pick axe, and gold pan. Joan stated: “Kids will have a chance to see the actual tools and gold that prospectors used when they went up to Alaska.”

When asked who she recommended attend the camp, Joan replied, “Grandparents or parents with children would be a great opportunity. I think it helps make the museum more accessible for kids and gets them interested in history so they can see what history is.”

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By: Carly Calabrese, staff for

5 thoughts on “Gold Rush Stampede Family Camp at the Washington State History Museum”

  1. Despite the long hard trips and harsh conditions. It still must have been pretty exciting to pan for gold. Still today on TV and those that have claims must get visions of riches and the main gold vain. I’d love to pan for gold.

    1. I panned for gold when I was younger (like 9 years old). It was fun (somewhere in a small town in Washington). Gold interests me and I’m sure the history of gold interests the public.

  2. Sounds like a fun way for families to learn about this golden part of our history together…

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