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Programs & Events

The Museum offers a number of recurring programs throughout the year

Monthly Programs

 2nd Saturday Family Programs

Join us on the second Saturday of each month for a specially themed program featuring a hands-on activity for young historians. While the Museum is closed, we will be taking 2nd Saturday on the road, with programming in various locations held in conjunction with our community partners. Follow us on social media for the latest location, subjects, and more.

Upcoming Programs:


February 11, 2023, 11:00 a.m.–Noon at Northeast Branch Library, 5513 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee

Head, Hand, & Heart

Celebrate the life and work of Great Floridian Mary McLeod Bethune. She served as an educator, college president, activist, and founder of national organizations! Her life and legacy is honored with a new statue at the U.S. Capitol. Kids will assemble their own paper model of Bethune’s statue.

March 11, 2023, 11:00 a.m.–Noon at Lake Jackson Branch Library, 3840-300 N. Monroe Street, Tallahassee

The Copper Pieces of Lake Jackson

Archaeologists have uncovered copper items at several prehistoric sites in Florida including the Lake Jackson site. Copper is not found naturally in Florida, and had to come from hundreds of miles away! Come learn of this material’s significance and how it made it all the way to Florida. Kids will create their own decorative pieces to take home.


History at High Noon

The Museum features casual monthly lunchtime talks by local experts on a variety of topics. Please note the location of each lecture as the presentation site may change from month to month.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023, Noon–12:45 p.m. in the Gallery for Innovation & the Arts on the first floor of the R.A. Gray Building, 500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee

Of Our Spiritual Strivings: Florida’s Emancipation Day Legacy

Speaker: Dr. Natalie King-Pedroso, Associate Professor, Department of English and Modern Languages, Florida A&M University

This presentation will feature Dr. Natalie King-Pedroso’s work with the 20th of May Group and “The 20th of May: The History and Heritage of Florida’s Emancipation Day” Digital Project. A highlight of her discussion will be showcasing members of the community whose families have been celebrating Emancipation Day in Florida for generations, some for over 150 years.


Tuesday, March 28, 2023, Noon–12:45 p.m. at Mission San Luis, 2100 W. Tennessee Street, Tallahassee

Managing Coastal Archaeological Sites in a Storm-Prone State

Speaker: Melissa Price, Archaeologist, Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida Department of State

In this presentation, Ms. Price examines the challenges inherent in managing coastal archaeological sites in a storm-prone state, discusses the state’s ongoing research at Dog Island concerning past coastline changes, and highlights the importance of protecting archaeological sites and what the public can do to contribute to these efforts.

Annual Programs


20th of May— Emancipation in Florida

The Knott House Museum and the John G. Riley Museum host an annual celebration of  the 20th of May.  Learn more about this event and other community activities here.  

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing enslaved people in the rebelling Southern states. More than two years later, on May 10, 1865, Union General Edward McCook arrived in Tallahassee to take possession of the city from Southern forces. General McCook established his headquarters at the Hagner House, now known as the Knott House. On May 20, he declared the Emancipation Proclamation in effect. Former slaves celebrated this announcement with a picnic at Bull Pond, today's Lake Ella. Annually since 1865, communities in Tallahassee have celebrated May 20th as Emancipation Day.


 Summer Reading Program

Each July the Museum offers a Summer Reading Program based on a theme and featuring a weekly program with a book reading, a craft, a guest speaker, and other hands-on activities to engage young readers. The programs are geared to ages 10 & under and are free and open to the public.  A reading list of theme-related books focused on Florida is provided and readers who reads six or more books from our list will receive a special certificate from the Secretary of State and the Museum of Florida History.  This is a great opportunity to get everyone of all ages excited about reading!


Florida History Day

Sponsored by the Museum of Florida History, Florida History Day is an annual, statewide activity that enhances the teaching and learning of history in middle and high schools.  Florida joins 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and international schools in East and South Asia as an affiliate of National History Day® (NHD). NHD promotes history in the classroom by offering students the resources and support to do original research about people, ideas, and events of the past. Learn more about Florida History Day here.


Children's Day  

Our annual kids fun day at the Museum features interactive booths, games, crafts, musical performances, storytelling, and more. Admission, parking, and activities are free!