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Our Mission: History inspires imagination, stimulates thought and transforms society.

The Los Altos History Museum preserves and shares our local history to enrich our community and to shape a more informed future.

Upcoming Events

exhibit events

Lean In Circle
Second Wednesdays, 6-8pm

Speakers and networking for emerging professional women. Free, registration required.





Train Days!
September 19-20, 10am-4pm. Admission $5 for 5 and over (children 0-4 free)
Community favorite, Train Days, returns to the Los Altos History Museum for two days of train-filled fun celebrating the joy and wonder of model railroading. Elaborate layouts, intricate scenery, and scaled renditions of prototypes and whimsical engines and theme cars complete with steam, lights and sound, will speed the rails to delight visitors of all ages. Explore the gauges and scales associated with model railroading as private collectors and clubs showcase and field questions about their American, European and Asian layouts. Participants include:

*      Live Steamers from the Bay Area Garden Railway Society (G scale)
*      Diablo Pacific Short Line (G scale)
*      Golden Gate Lionel Railroad Club (O scale)
*      Private Collector: BBF&FRR (O scale)
*      Private Collector: Swiss Narrow Gauge (HO scale)
*      National Model Railroad Association (N scale)
*      LEGO Layout (L scale)
*      Private Collector: Maintenance Railway Car (Full scale)

Joining the above is: California Operation Lifesaver who will provide education on proper rail safety, our glitter tattoo station will be in full gear and an array of gourmet food trucks and carts will be serving up delectables for Train Days patrons and the public.

"We're thrilled to bring our visitors something new every year and we have some special surprises in store," says event chair Kristen Fuller. "Four new exhibits will join us, including the private 'Speeder' rail car of a beloved Los Altan and train enthusiast."

Trains are integral to America's and our local history. For over 150 years rail service has been transporting passengers along the Peninsula. In 1907 Southern Pacific put Los Altos on the map with its steam railway connecting Palo Alto to Los Gatos. Mirroring railroad development through the years, you'll see the transition from early steam locomotives to diesel engines up through electric and high-speed passenger trains-all scaled in miniature. Whether you're new to model railroading or have been an enthusiast for years, come join the fun and see why it is one of the most beloved hobbies around the world.

Exhibit Program:
Historic Techniques -  Panel with California Artists
Thursday, September 24, 7pm

Join us for a fascinating panel discussion with California artists working at the intersection of art, science, and history. As part of the discussion, the artists will show off their work, and we'll finish the evening with a documentary/performance by Ben Wood about British photographer Eadweard Muybridge - via a magic lantern - which will bring the audience back to the experimental period of the 1870s when Muybridge captured the horse in motion.

This program is a partnership between the Los Altos History Museum (LAHM) and the California Historical Society (CHS).

$5 for LAHM and CHS members, $10 for non-members. Register by calling 650-948-9427 x14.

The photo shows video work by Ben Wood from 2011. It was a video installation projected onto Saint Ignatius Church in San Francisco on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.


Historic Bike Tour of Los Altos
Saturday, September 26, 9:30 am-12:30 pm

Tour the past, in collaboration with GreenTown Los Altos; registration required.




MoonFest Workshop!
Sunday, September 27
Multi-country celebration of this festive fall holiday. (children's craft workshop) multiple groups



Ohlone Day
Sunday, October 4, 10am-noon
Kids (grades 2-4) & parents learn through games, crafts, acorn- and food-tasting with experienced teachers. Free.





Catch the Spirit returns!
Wednesday, November 18, Noon - 4 pm
Local Authors Appearing at Catch the Spirit

Diana Chan - Animal Kingdom - Vertebrates, Animals with Backbones
Yvonne Jacobson - Memoirs of a Farmer's Daughter in Silicon Valley
Shannon Klein - Dogs of Los Altos
Teri Medcalf - Rambler Rose
Donald Neff - Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley
John Ralston - Fremont Older and the 1916 San Francisco Bombing: A Tireless Crusade for Justice