An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Signature & Family Events

Attend an Event

The Idaho State Historical Society features a number of signature events throughout the year that appeal to a wide range of audiences.  Events are engaging, fun, educational and focus on a variety of topics and locations across Idaho.

Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month

Idaho Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month is a statewide educational outreach program offered annually in May.  Through partnerships with libraries, historical societies, museums, schools, government agencies, and private companies, thousands of Idahoans learn about Idaho’s cultural heritage through programs about archaeological and historical sites, historic architecture, preservation, and landscapes which have been discovered and recorded throughout Idaho.

Events are planned throughout the state during May. 

Brown Bag Lecture Series

The Friends of the Historical Museum and Old Idaho Penitentiary sponsor a monthly Brown Bag Series of programs.  From June 2014 until the Museum renovation and expansion is completed, the programs will be held at the Washington Group Plaza, Central Auditorium.  The series includes twelve sessions by celebrated experts on dynamic aspects of Idaho history, covering a wide range of topics of interest to a variety of age groups. The Brown Bag programs take place the second Tuesday of every month, from noon to 1:00pm.  Admission is free, donations are welcome.

National History Day in Idaho

ISHS administers this national, highly regarded academic program in Idaho and invites students to research and develop topics of local, state, national, or world significance that relates to the annual theme and is historically significant.  National History Day in Idaho (NHDI) helps students develop critical thinking and problem-solving, research and reading, and oral and written communication skills, as well as build a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.  Regional contests are held throughout the state in February and March, the State contest is April, and the national finals at the University of Maryland are held each June.


Wine, Eats, and Artifacts

Held the third Thursday in August, these house party fundraisers are hosted by the Foundation for Idaho History and provide guests with the opportunity to get up close and personal with objects, archives and stories from ISHS collections in a relaxed cocktail party atmosphere.

Esto Perpetua Awards and Luncheon

A signature program of the State Historical Society since 1999, the Esto Perpetua award honors significant contributions to the preservation and promotion of Idaho history.  It takes its name from Idaho's state motto meaning "Let It Be Perpetual."  Each year organizations and individuals are recognized for professional accomplishment, public service, volunteerism, and philanthropy.  Award winners exemplify excellence in preservation through innovation and demonstrated commitment to the education, protection, and interpretation of Idaho's cultural or natural assets and the integration of these assets into community life.  The annual awards will be held in the summer.

Family Events

The Idaho State Historical Society features a number of signature events that appeal to families, including the annual Frightened Felons Halloween event at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. 

Korean dancers

Museum Comes to Life

The Museum is currently closed for renovation.  Museum Comes to Life will take place September 24, 2016, and will be held in Julia Davis Park due to the project.

Museum Comes to Life, ISHS's annual living history festival, is held the last Saturday of September in Julia Davis Park. Visitors and families enjoy a day of hands on activities and demonstrations celebrating the artisans and trades of years ago with expert exhibitors and living history re-enactors from around the state. Don't miss this festival of entertainment, history, good food, and family fun.

Frightened Felons

Scare up the courage to be a part of our Frightened Felons Halloween event in October, presented at the Old Idaho Penitentiary.  Join us for over 140 years of history about escapes, executions, death and, of course, ghost stories!  Activities include storytelling and scavenger hunts with prizes.

Fnight tours at Old Penriday the 13th Old Penitentiary Evening Tours

Each month that holds a Friday the 13th, look to the Old Idaho Penitentiary to provide special evening tours that really take you behind the scenes and get in touch with history.

Featured Exhibition

Museum Dome removal
Museum Project Update
Brown Bag Presentation

Dec 12th