Seattle is known for many things – the coffee, the seafood, the music, the tech scene, the proximity to outdoor activities, and (of course) its famous moniker The Rainy City. With over 40 unique museums in the city, we’re surprised it hasn’t developed a name for itself in that area, too. (Could it be one more of Seattle’s best-kept secrets?) If you’re looking for fun with the family, and education experience on your own, a great place to take guests, or just an interesting rainy day experience, check out some of these museums around Seattle.
MoPop – the Museum of Pop Culture – is as eclectic inside as it is outside. The building was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Ghery and embodies his signature style of flowing lines and unique materials. Inside, you’ll find a variety of themes and exhibits, ranging from Jimmy Hendrix to Star Trek to video games and sci-fi. They have a big collection of memorabilia and interactive exhibits to keep you entertained.
Pacific Science Center
Great for kids and families, the Pacific Science Center is located next to Seattle Center so it’s also a great option if you have visiting guests and you’ve taken them to get a look at the city from the top of the Space Needle. There is an IMAX theatre which you can visit without museum entry, and the films change often. The exhibits are on rotation and the museum is known for lots of hands-on learning opportunities. They also host events for kids, teens, and adults.
Seattle Art Museum
SAM is a great museum downtown on 1st avenue. It includes SAM, the Asian Art Museum, and Olympic Sculpture Park – an outdoor park with a great view across the sound and modern sculptures on display. SAM has its own permanent collections and installations as well as rotating exhibitions. They have an extensive event schedule so keep an eye on their calendar. Also, the first Thursday of the month, entry is free for all with half off on the entry to special exhibitions.
Seattle Pinball Museum
Okay, so this one is obviously not your classic idea of a museum. In the Chinatown district of the city sits a space filled with more than 50 pinball machines that are on rotation. The games date back as far as 1934! Pay an entrance fee and play as much as you like. It’s a great spot to bring the kids if they’re 7 or older.
Okay, so this one isn’t in Seattle, but it’s still worth a mention. Lemay is “America’s Car Museum” and located down in Tacoma, a short drive south. This is the largest car museum in the US and has four floors of cars from a range of eras, and they rotate their exhibitions to keep it fresh. It’s also a gathering place for collectors as they host events throughout the year. Public tours of the museum are free every day at 11am, in case you want to know even more about the cars on display.
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