Programs & Events

Lake Wales History Museum | Lake Wales, Florida

Join us at the

Lake Wales
History Museum

Join us for fun, educational community programs and events.

Pioneer Days Festival

Save the date for 2022!

Museum Book Club

Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 12PM

When Manatees were sea cows

Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 6PM

Upcoming Events

Lake Wales History Museum | Lake Wales, Florida | Since 1967

Museum Book Club

The Outlaw ocean: journeys across the last untamed frontier

by Ian Urbina

Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 12PM

Dedicated to non-fiction, you’ll discover the truth can be much stranger than fiction. Join us every month to discuss new book! Read the book and come ready to discuss the best non-fiction books. Free to the public. Books are available to check out free of charge at the Museum while supplies last.

exhibit opening reception

celebrate the opening of our new exhibit!

Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 6PM

Wear your festive Day of the Dead attire for the museum’s opening reception of Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico.  Enjoy live music, signature drinks, Mexican food, photo station, and prizes for the best attire.

$10 per person

guided tour

history bus tour

Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 10AM

Join us for a tour through old Florida history, driving through the heart of downtown Lake Wales and beyond, stopping at historic buildings such as the Rhodesbilt Arcade, the old Lake Wales State Bank, Dixie Walesbilt Hotel, Bullard Building, Lake Wales Arts Center and more! Along the way, participants will learn about the historic district, buildings and lakes of Lake Wales. Enjoy an air-conditioned ride on the History Bus! We’ll gather at the Lake Wales History Museum before boarding at 9:45 AM. Seating is limited. Advance registration and payment is required.

$15 per person

guided tour

downtown lake wales walking tour

Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 10AM

Join the museum staff for a 90-minute walking tour of downtown Lake Wales, which highlights historic architecture. Bring water and sunscreen, and wear outdoor-appropriate attire. Tour begins at the Lake Wales History Museum located at 325 South Scenic Highway in Lake Wales.

$10 per person

black history month Florida Talks Spring Speaker Series

The Jim Crow Era

by Dr. Martha Bireda

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 6PM

This talk will be in person. Free to the public. Please RSVP.

Join us for this talk about how The Jim Crow era did more to create anti-black beliefs and feelings than slavery. Stereotypes created during the Jim Crow era are deeply embedded in the collective American consciousness and unfortunately have been internalized by many. This racial cultural conditioning of the American mind is the most destructive legacy of the Jim Crow era. Dr. Martha Bireda will examine Jim Crow laws and customs, especially those established in Florida; the ways in which stereotypes were reinforced and perpetuated; and most critically how they continue to influence race relations in the nation today.

Martha R. Bireda, Ph.D., is Director of the Blanchard House Museum of African History and Culture, located in Punta Gorda, Florida. For over 30 years, Dr. Bireda has consulted, lectured, and written about social issues related to race, gender, class, power, and culture.

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

black history month Museum Book Club

black miami in the 20th century

by Marvin Dunn

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 12PM

Dedicated to non-fiction, you’ll discover the truth can be much stranger than fiction. Join us every month to discuss new book! Read the book and come ready to discuss the best non-fiction books. Free to the public. Books are available to check out free of charge at the Museum while supplies last.

guided tour

history bus tour

Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 10AM

Join us for a tour through old Florida history, driving through the heart of downtown Lake Wales and beyond, stopping at historic buildings such as the Rhodesbilt Arcade, the old Lake Wales State Bank, Dixie Walesbilt Hotel, Bullard Building, Lake Wales Arts Center and more! Along the way, participants will learn about the historic district, buildings and lakes of Lake Wales. Enjoy an air-conditioned ride on the History Bus! We’ll gather at the Lake Wales History Museum before boarding at 9:45 AM. Seating is limited. Advance registration and payment is required.

$15 per person

women’s history month Florida Talks Spring Speaker Series

Female Superheroes

by Magdalena Lamarre

Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 6PM

This talk will be in person. Free to the public. Please RSVP.
Join us for this talk about an examination of the perceptions of women in popular culture through comic books and how this culture has changed over time.
Professor emeritus and avid comic collector, Magdalena Lamarre, will give an examination of the perceptions of women in popular culture through comic books and how this culture has changed over time.
Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

guided tour

downtown lake wales walking tour

Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 10AM

Join the museum staff for a 90-minute walking tour of downtown Lake Wales, which highlights historic architecture. Bring water and sunscreen, and wear outdoor-appropriate attire. Tour begins at the Lake Wales History Museum located at 325 South Scenic Highway in Lake Wales.

$10 per person

women’s history month Museum Book Club

the women with the silver wings

by Katherine Sharp Landdeck

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 12PM

Dedicated to non-fiction, you’ll discover the truth can be much stranger than fiction. Join us every month to discuss new book! Read the book and come ready to discuss the best non-fiction books. Free to the public. Books are available to check out free of charge at the Museum while supplies last.

guided tour

history bus tour

Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 10AM

Join us for a tour through old Florida history, driving through the heart of downtown Lake Wales and beyond, stopping at historic buildings such as the Rhodesbilt Arcade, the old Lake Wales State Bank, Dixie Walesbilt Hotel, Bullard Building, Lake Wales Arts Center and more! Along the way, participants will learn about the historic district, buildings and lakes of Lake Wales. Enjoy an air-conditioned ride on the History Bus! We’ll gather at the Lake Wales History Museum before boarding at 9:45 AM. Seating is limited. Advance registration and payment is required.

$15 per person

Florida Talks Spring Speaker Series

the legacy of franklin roosevelt’s wpa in florida

by David Schmidt

Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 6PM

This talk will be in person. Free to the public. Please RSVP.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was on one of FDR’s most wide-ranging, yet controversial programs. Many saw it as a ‘make work’ program which did not accomplish its goals – the acronym was derided as ‘We Piddle Around.’ The evidence indicates that the program was far more successful and, even today, Floridians enjoy the buildings and constructions created by the WPA. This program views the WPA and focuses on the still existing projects.

David Schmidt, curator of the Florida Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, Florida, taught for 37 years focusing on United States History, geography, and special education. Mr. Schmidt holds two masters’ degrees from Ball State University and did additional study at Michigan State University, Indiana University, and Bowling Green State University.

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

guided tour

downtown lake wales walking tour

Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 10AM

Join the museum staff for a 90-minute walking tour of downtown Lake Wales, which highlights historic architecture. Bring water and sunscreen, and wear outdoor-appropriate attire. Tour begins at the Lake Wales History Museum located at 325 South Scenic Highway in Lake Wales.

$10 per person

Museum Book Club

the swamp: the everglades, florida, and the political paradise

by Michael Grunwald

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 12PM

Dedicated to non-fiction, you’ll discover the truth can be much stranger than fiction. Join us every month to discuss new book! Read the book and come ready to discuss the best non-fiction books. Free to the public. Books are available to check out free of charge at the Museum while supplies last.

guided tour

history bus tour

Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 10AM

Join us for a tour through old Florida history, driving through the heart of downtown Lake Wales and beyond, stopping at historic buildings such as the Rhodesbilt Arcade, the old Lake Wales State Bank, Dixie Walesbilt Hotel, Bullard Building, Lake Wales Arts Center and more! Along the way, participants will learn about the historic district, buildings and lakes of Lake Wales. Enjoy an air-conditioned ride on the History Bus! We’ll gather at the Lake Wales History Museum before boarding at 9:45 AM. Seating is limited. Advance registration and payment is required.

$15 per person

Museum Book Club

sapiens: a brief history of humankind

by Yuval Hari

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 12PM

Dedicated to non-fiction, you’ll discover the truth can be much stranger than fiction. Join us every month to discuss new book! Read the book and come ready to discuss the best non-fiction books. Free to the public. Books are available to check out free of charge at the Museum while supplies last.

coming soon!!

summer fun days

presented by the Lake Wales History Museum

Saturdays – June 4 – August 6, 2022

The Lake Wales History Museum will present themed activity days throughout the summer that highlight local history with hands-on activities, art projects, food activities, demonstrations, special guest presentations, artifact discovery, with special objects on display from the museum’s collection of over 20,000 historic items, a selfie station with dress up props and hats, and, an old postcard mailing station where you can write postcards, and the museum will send them. 

Sponsored in part by Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation and Advent Health, families and people of all ages are welcome to participate in mostly indoor activities away from the heat and rain from 10 AM – 5 PM on Saturdays.

Save the date for 2022!

Pioneer Days Festival

presented by the Lake Wales History Museum

October 29 & 30, 2022

The Lake Wales History Museum will present the 45th Annual Pioneer Days Festival, which is a celebration of Lake Wales’ history and heritage. Located along the shores of Lake Wailes Park, the free community festival features a heritage village that includes dozens of historical demonstrations of pioneer camps and early American trades.