An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Museum Events

Events at the Idaho State Historical Museum

The Museum is currently closed for renovation.

Other events will be taking place offsite. Check out events at the Old Idaho Penitentiary, and our Brown Bag Lecture Series at Washington Group Plaza.


Museum Comes to Life

September 24, 2016 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Julia Davis Park, Boise

The Idaho State Historical Museum (ISHM) will be celebrating our 41st year of Museum Comes to Life, our annual living history event.  The Museum will host featured performances at the Bandshell, with musicians and dancers from many cultures and genres.  We will feature vintage vehicles in the parking lot adjacent to the Rose Garden, including police cars, and a stage coach.  We will have the Idaho Woodcarver’s Guild, Idaho Civil War Volunteers encampment, WWII reenactors, Society for Creative Anachronism, and many other reenactors and dynamic groups demonstrating historic trades, cultures, games and crafts.  Fun for all ages!  Participants will also include Celebration Park, and Idaho Botanical Garden.  The event is free!  There will be vendors selling food on site.


Brown Bag Presentation:
The Homestead Act and the Settling of the West

October 11, 2016 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Steve Barrett, Reference Archivist, Idaho State Archives

Location: Central Auditorium, Washington Group Plaza, 720 Park Blvd, Boise.  Free admission.


Dr. Steve Barrett of the Idaho State Historical Society will talk about the history and impact of the Homestead Act, the Desert Lands Act, and other massive transfers of federal land to private citizens and how to find records of your Homesteader ancestors. He’ll also talk about the impact of these acts on the Native population and on the environment. Barrett is the coordinator of reference and research services at the Dr. Merle W. Wells Research Center at the Idaho State Archives, Boise, and teaches local and family history classes and writing courses there.


Annual Events 
Brown Bag Lecture Series
January through December 

This series is sponsored by the Friends of the Historical Museum, and includes twelve lectures by celebrated experts on unique aspects of Idaho history, covering a wide range of topics of interest to a variety of age groups. The Brown Bag lectures take place the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1 pm.  During the Museum renovation and expansion, the lectures will be held at the Washington Group Plaza, Central Auditorium.  Admission is free. Donations are welcome. 

2016 Schedule