Are you ready for football?
If anyone at your house is a fan, you should definitely make a point of going to the Gridiron Glory exhibit while it’s at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.
It’s a 6,000 sq. ft. exhibit of items from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. If this is a, “Some day,” destination for you, guess what? You can see the best of it right now, right in Tacoma!
The history museum is essentially two floors. The Gridiron Glory exhibit is upstairs. I would go ahead and start here, but don’t miss the excellent permanent collections when you’re finished getting your game on!
Before you head upstairs you can stop and take your picture in front of the green screen just to the right of the entry desk in the lobby. It will be emailed to you with your choice of fun backdrops. You can do this at any point in your visit- just don’t forget because it’s really fun! I think the Ghostbusters t-shirt really makes this, don’t you?
The exhibit itself has information and displays on the history of pro football, including how the game has changed, the evolution of the equipment, the integration of teams, and more. Highlights include the Lombardi Trophy won by the Seahawks and jerseys of many famous players. There is quite a lot to read and look at. It’s definitely a larger and more comprehensive exhibit than previous temporary shows (at least it seemed that way to me).
My kiddo’s favorite parts were the hands-on and interactive ones. We all had fun testing out our skills at officiating in the replay booth, and he had fun trying on the equipment.
You should know that this exhibit covers many teams, so if your family only likes football if it’s Seahawks football, you will probably breeze through it fairly quickly. There are also a fair number of sections that will be of more interest to fans old enough to remember particular dynasties and players.
Bottom line: Definitely go if you have big football fans in your house. It’s a very comprehensive, well done exhibit that will thrill anyone who loves football.
If you and your kids are more casual fans, I would still go, but I would make sure to go on a day when you have time to enjoy the rest of the museum, which is excellent and has lots for kids to explore. Don’t forget that there are several discounts available, too. More on those below.
PS The Museum has air conditioning and is a great, uncrowded destination on hot days!
PSS I promise my chid got a haircut shortly after these photos were taken. I know……
Know Before You Go
- The museum is right in downtown Tacoma off Pacific at 1911 Pacific Avenue. Detailed directions are here. There is a pay parking lot right by the museum. Just use it. It’s not worth the hassle looking for street parking.
- The museum is open every Tuesday-Sunday from 10AM-5PM.
- Museum Admission is 12.00 for adults and seniors; 8.00 for students 6-17; 8.00 for active duty and retired military (ID required-note from SFM: Use the Blue Star program through Labor Day). Children 6-17 are 8.00 and kiddos 5 and under are FREE. OR
- Go for free with a library pass. The museum also has free evening admission from 3-8PM on 3rd Thursdays thanks to Colombia Bank. Blue Star families receive free admission through Labor Day. Families with EBT/Washington Quest Card Discount (card required) pay just 1.00 per person or 2.00 for the family. More on current available discounts here.
- Gridiron Glory is on display until September 10, so don’t wait too long!
- There are several kid friendly restaurants nearby. The Harmon has shaky service (my opinion only) but tasty pub grub with kid appeal. We have heard good things about Elemental Pizza. Savor Creperie is great if your kids are more adventurous eaters.