Upcoming Events


As we schedule out events on our calendar, we'll add them here. Online registration is available for most children's programs.

Download the April Program Schedule


Shakespeare Marathon: 38 Plays in 5 Days

Saturday, April 23–Thursday, April 28 

Honor the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death as we attempt an around-the-clock reading of all 38 Shakespearean plays. Through a partnership with Raleigh’s Burning Coal Theatre Company, theatrical groups—professional and amateur—and celebrities will perform stage readings of the Bard’s plays, from his first to his last, with minimal costumes and props. Drop in at noon on Saturday for the kickoff, then join us during the marathon—we’ll be here for most of five days! 

Head to our First Folio! page for more information.


Download the May Program Schedule

Time for Tots: Batter Up!
Tuesday, May 3, 10–10:45 a.m.
Ages 3–5 (with adult)
$3 per child; $1 for Associates/museum members (plus state and local taxes)
To register, visit NCMOH-programs.com. For information, call 919-807-7979.

Learn how baseball began, and hear about some of North Carolina’s legendary players. Then, play a short session of rounders—a colonial version of the game.

First Fridays at the Museum: Shakespeare and His First Folio!

Friday, May 6, 5–9 p.m.

Stop in for beer samples—while they last—from Haw River Farmhouse Ales in Saxapahaw, then join us as we celebrate the traveling exhibit First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare—its only stop in North Carolina! During your visit, stop in the Museum Shop.

Special Events:

5–6 p.m.: Hear Joseph Mills, UNC School of the Arts, read from his recently published collection, Exit, Pursued by a Bear. Inspired by Shakespeare’s stage directions, the poems are witty, comical, and thought-provoking. Mills will also share some backstory on the Bard’s most famous stage directions and sign books.

6:30 p.m.: In a short talk, Making the Cut: What the First Folio Leaves Out—and In, Shakespeare and English Renaissance literature expert Mary Floyd-Wilson, College of Arts and Sciences, UNC–Chapel Hill, will talk about the contents of this first collection of the Bard’s works.

Presented in conjunction with the Museum of History Associates and the Raleigh area chapter of the English-Speaking Union of the United States.

7 p.m.: Exhibit opens! Honor the Bard by being one of the first to see this original copy of his collected works—before the exhibit officially opens tomorrow.

Check our social media outlets for more information.

Exhibit Opening: First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare
Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m.

This traveling exhibit features a copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio. Printed in 1623, seven years after his death, First Folio was the initial collection of his plays—without this 900-page collection of 36 plays by Shakespeare, we might not have Shakespeare as we know him!

Organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library and produced in association with the American Library Association and the Cincinnati Museum Center; the exhibit was funded, in part, by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and by the support of Google.org, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, and other generous donors.

Shakespeare’s Garden
Saturday, May 7, 2–3 p.m.
For more information, call 919-807-7979.

Shakespeare mentioned plants and gardens in many of his plays and sonnets, often using them as metaphors for life. Join this special tour of our History of the Harvest exhibit and see which of its plants were referenced by the Bard!

Music of the Carolinas: The Zinc Kings
Sunday, May 8, 3 p.m.
Free tickets for this concert are distributed while they last beginning at 2 p.m.

“Shakespeare and old-time [music] work shockingly well together,” says one member of this group. Celebrate Mother’s Day with Shakespeare-inspired tunes and the First Folio! exhibit, which includes an original folio that will be open to some of the most famous and most quoted words ever written: “To be, or not to be,” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Presented with PineCone and support from the Museum of History Associates and Williams Mullen.

History Corner: “Shake” It Up!

Wednesday, May 11, 10–11 a.m.
Ages 6–9 (with adult)
$3 per child; $1 for Associates/museum members (plus state and local taxes)
To register, visit NCMOH-programs.com. For information, call 919-807-7988.

Quote a speech, fold a book, print some words! Learn about Shakespeare, and get a rare glimpse of the First Folio—the initial printed collection of his plays.

History Hunters: First Folio—Put It Together

Wednesday, May 11, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Ages 10–13
$3* per child; $1* for Associates/museum members (plus state and local taxes)
To register, visit NCMOH-programs.com. For information, call 919-807-7988.

To be, or not to be . . . are you wondering what the deal is with this Shakespeare guy? Discover his role in history, see how his plays got from quill to print, and speak a line or two for yourself.

History à la Carte: Rescripting Shakespeare 

Wednesday, May 11, noon–1 p.m.
Bring your lunch; beverages provided.

Alan C. Dessen, Peter G. Phialas Distinguished Professor Emeritus, English and Comparative Literature, UNC–Chapel Hill

How do you present Shakespeare’s works to a modern audience? You’d likely eliminate, change, and streamline—rescript—the text; but doesn’t that alter what original playgoers saw in the first performances of Macbeth, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and The Tempest? Dessen will talk about rescripting while weighing what may be lost in the process.

Associates Annual Membership Meeting

Thursday, May 12, 11:30 a.m.
$45 per person; $35 for Associates/museum members (plus state and local taxes)
To join and reserve your space, visit ncmuseumassoc.com.

Join us at the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh for our annual membership meeting, and enjoy a fashion show featuring vintage dresses made by Willie Otey Kay and her family.

Longleaf Film Festival 2016

Friday, May 13–Saturday, May 14
For schedules and information, visit LongleafFilmFestival.com.

This year’s free festival will screen juried narrative and documentary film submissions from around the world—and our own backyard. Festival winners will be announced in a public ceremony Saturday evening.

Sponsored, in part, by the TriFilm Society.

North Carolina Museum of History Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series, 2016: Lessons on Leadership from the White House 

Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m.
This is a ticketed event at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. Call 919-807-7873 for more information.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Author and Presidential Historian

Pulitzer Prize–winning Goodwin brings history to life with her uncanny sense of detail and master storyteller’s grasp of drama and depth. Join us as she uses her lifelong examination of the US presidency to explore the leadership triumphs, trials, and tribulations of the men and women who have shaped this nation.

Presented by the Museum of History Foundation and the News & Observer with additional support from First Tennessee Bank; Goodnight Educational Foundation; the Sherrill Fund; the Sloan Family Foundation; the Smith Family Foundation; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina; Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth B. Howard; and Mr. and Mrs. Paul F. Hoch Jr.

Conservation Assistance Day 

Friday, May 20, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Appointment required. Call 919-807-7823.

Make an appointment and bring up to three objects for assessment and advice on care from a museum conservator. The museum does not provide estimates on value.

Have Fun with Hamlet

Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m.–noon
Ages 6–10 (with adult), FREE

Space is limited. Register for Have Fun with Hamlet. For information, call 919-807-7996.

Use your bodies, voices, and imaginations to bring Shakespeare’s words to life and begin to connect to the rhythm of his works.

Presented in conjunction with Raleigh Little Theatre.

Words, Words, Word

Saturday, May 21, 1–2 p.m.
Ages 11–14, FREE
Space is limited. Register for Words, Words, Words. For information, call 919-807-7996.

Shakespeare loved playing with words, and he created more than 1,700 words—including champion, excitement, and zany—that we still use today! In this hour-long workshop, participants will explore Shakespeare’s words and use their imaginations to create their own words.

Presented in conjunction with Raleigh Little Theatre.

Artist at Work: Jessica Dingle

Saturday, May 21, 1–3 p.m. (drop-in program)

A member of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe, Dingle focuses her artistic attention on painting and beading creations that reflect her heritage. Watch her, and talk with her, as she crafts intricate beaded designs.

Film Screening: Sitting at God’s Table 

Sunday, May 22, 3 p.m.
Not rated; run time: 75 min.

Leaders from five Raleigh-area religious communities gather for dinner. Their conversations acknowledge our differences, as well as what we have in common. A panel discussion with filmmakers Ellen L. Shepard (producer and director) and Eric Barstow (associate producer) and three of the film’s participants—David J. Hailey (pastor, Hayes Barton Baptist Church), Shakil Ahmed (president, Islamic Association of Cary), and Lucy Dinner (senior rabbi, Temple Beth Or)—follows the film.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Saturday, May 28, 11 a.m. or 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 29, 3 p.m.
Monday, May 30, 11 a.m. or 3 p.m.

Enjoy an outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s fast-paced romp through love, friendship, and betrayal in the museum’s Fletcher Garden. Performances last roughly 90 minutes.

Presented in conjunction with Raleigh’s Bare Theatre.

Exhibit Closing: First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare
Monday, May 30, 5 p.m.


Download the June Program Schedule

History Corner: Clayful Creations

Wednesday, June 1, 10–11 a.m.
Ages 6–9 (with adult)
$3 per child; $1 for Associates/museum members
To register, visit NCMOH-programs.com. For information, call 919-807-7988.

Why is North Carolina mud often red? Find out, and learn about our state’s clay-ey history. Then make a piece of pottery to take home.

History Hunters: From Dirt to Dish

Wednesday, June 1, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Ages 10–13
$3 per child; $1 for Associates/museum members
To register, visit NCMOH-programs.com. For information, call 919-807-7988.

Learn the role that pottery has played in Tar Heel history, and try your hand at making a clay creation.

Storytime in the Gallery

Thursdays, June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 10–10:30 a.m.
Ages 3 and up (with adult)

Meet a staff member at the information desk and follow your guide to one of the museum galleries. There, you can look around and listen to a history-related story. Topics change every week!

First Fridays at the Museum

Friday, June 3, 5–9 p.m.
To register, visit NCMOH-programs.com. For information, call 919-807-7969.

How are museum collections stored? And how do ideas and sketches transform into an exhibit? Find out, shop, and enjoy samples from Durham’s Honeygirl Meadery.

Lecture/Discussion: James Murchison

Saturday, June 4, 3–4 p.m.

James Murchison, Founder and Designer, Backstabbers Clothing, and Owner, Honor Raleigh

Hear insights about opening a clothing design business in Raleigh and using the new word of mouth—social media—to keep it going. A Q&A session and raffle follow the presentation.

An Afternoon with Anne

Saturday, June 5, 3 p.m.

Anne Graham Lotz, Commentator and Author

Hear the daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham—and author of 16 books—share stories about her life. A Q&A session and book signing follow the presentation.

Time for Tots: Fit to Be Tied

Tuesday, June 7, 10–10:45 a.m.
Ages 3–5 (with adult)
$3 per child; $1 for Associates/museum members
To register, visit NCMOH-programs.com .For information, call 919-807-7979.

Discover the origin of one popular Father’s Day gift: the necktie! Then make a craft from ties to take home.

Second Saturdays: Latino Artists at Work 

Saturday, June 11, 2016, 1–4 p.m.  FREE

See the work of North Carolina artists and craftspeople with Latino roots, and find out how they progress from idea to art. Try your hand at using paint, clay, or other raw materials! Presented in partnership with Diamante Inc.


Bead a Dragonfly with Eric Ennis 

Saturday, July 9, 10:00 am–noon
Class is FULL. Register for the waiting list.
$15 (cash or check, payable on day of program)
Program limited to 12 participants
Recommended for ages 14-adult
Learn the basics of beading on fabric by creating a beautiful dragonfly! All supplies will be provided for this workshop—fabric, beads, needles, and thread. Eric Ennis is a Raleigh-based designer whose work has included couture fashion, gowns for the Miss America pageant, and lavishly beaded fabric art. See more beaded beauty in our exhibit Made Especially For You by Willie Kay.

Artist at Work: Eric Ennis 

Saturday, July 9, 1–3 p.m. (drop-in program)
Eric Ennis, fashion designer and now beading artist, will be our Artist at Work in the museum lobby. Watch Ennis carry out his work, and then make a simple bead pin of your own.


Artist at Work: Elizabeth Constant Lewis 

Saturday, August 13, 1–3 p.m. (drop-in program)

Elizabeth Constant Lewis is Willie Otey Kay’s grandniece. She was taught to bead by her grandmother, Elizabeth Otey Constant, Willie Kay’s sister. Mrs. Lewis will demonstrate her work in the museum lobby, and visitors will be able to make a simple bead pin of their own.

Girl Scout Brownies: My Family Story 

Saturday, April 16, 2016, 1-4:30 p.m.
$11 per girl
To register, visit www.nccoastalpines.org (registration not yet available)

Work on your My Family Story badge at the North Carolina Museum of History! Hear and act out some family stories, create a family tree, and learn ways to record your own history. (Scouts do NOT complete badge at this program)

Girl Scout Patch Program TBA 

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 1-4:30 p.m.
$11 per girl
To register, visit www.nccoastalpines.org (registration not yet available)