The Emerald City has long been praised as an artsy and laid-back destination with abundant natural beauty. Some I-5 travelers may be kept at bay during winter – a side effect of the typical Pacific Northwest weather – but the off-season may actually be the hottest time of year to explore Seattle. In 2015, Visit Seattle and Seattle’s hotels and museums decided it was high time to embrace Seattle’s winter weather, so to speak, so Museum Month was born.
With February quickly approaching, it’s time to check seattlemuseummonth.com for a list of participating hotels and book a visit. With downtown Seattle accommodations lined up, pick some museums and attractions that everyone in your party can enjoy. If you don’t know where to start, here are just a few ways to stay and play.
For the epicurean:
Seattle is a foodie town. Get a taste of Seattle’s favorite foods and culinary history at Edible City: A Delicious Journey at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). This immersive exhibit explores Seattle’s place in the culinary industry, featuring the harvest of local natural ingredients, preparation techniques made popular by the region’s celebrity chefs, and the art of pulling ingredients together for the final plated presentation.
For the artist:
Chihuly Garden and Glass celebrates its fifth year at Seattle Center and this year will feature more glass art education programming. Watch live glass-blowing demonstrations at the Community Hot Shop in the Glass Garden to see how these unique, colorful pieces come to life.
For a longer day trip, drive east to the Bellevue Art Museum, south to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, or take a ferry over to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
For the outdoorsy:
If you dream in landscape scenes, drop by the Seattle Art Museum for Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, on display beginning Feb. 16. The collection features 39 historically significant American and European landscape paintings from the past 400 years. The Seattle Art Museum also presents John Grade’s Middle Fork, a new installment of a reclaimed cedar sculpture to span the museum’s main entrance.
For some fresh air between museums, bundle up and take a walk through Volunteer Park and Olympic Sculpture Park. Bring along your camera and capture striking photos of Seattle’s scenery, featuring unobstructed views of The Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay.
For the culture seeker:
Formerly known as the EMP, the renamed and rebranded Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) at the Seattle Center is a goldmine for music paraphernalia – from classic rock to contemporary – as well as a hub for science fiction and pop culture enthusiasts. Through Museum Month, Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds will be on display at MoPOP commemorating the famous sci-fi series’ 50th anniversary.
Dive into the Emerald City’s cultural diversity with a visit to the Tabaimo: Utsutsushi Utsushi exhibit at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: Do You Know Bruce: Part 3 at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, or Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts at the Northwest African American Museum. Cultural and historical exhibits can also be viewed at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Suquamish Tribal Museum, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and the Burke Museum.
Appreciate the circle of life by visiting the animals at Woodland Park Zoo. One adorable highlight this season is Yola, the baby gorilla. See Yola and a family of western lowland gorillas: mom Nadiri, silverback Leo and playmate Akenji. If the weather is damp, don’t miss the Zoomazium Indoor Nature Play Space, where kids can stretch out and play like their favorite zoo animals.
While many museums have a “do not touch” reputation, the Seattle Aquarium encourages hands-on interaction with sea life at the tide pools exhibit. Gently touch sea cucumbers, sea urchin, seastars and more. During Octopus Week – starring the giant Pacific octopus Feb. 18-26 – each day will feature hands-on activities, octopus feedings and talks.
For more hands-on action, drop by the Kids Discovery Museum for Messy Mondays. Docents help visitors explore visual arts through guided discovery every week.
For science and technology enthusiasts:
As one of the nation’s innovation hubs, many of Seattle’s exhibits reflect the history and progress of science and technology. Over 175 aircraft and spacecraft structures, as well as thousands of photographs and artifacts are displayed at the Museum of Flight, the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world.
Explore the elements of aviation at the Flying Heritage Collection – one of Museum Month’s new participants – or geek out over cars at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum and other curiosities at Living Computers: Museums + Labs.
Patrons must stay in one of the participating hotels to access Seattle Museum Month offers. For qualifying visitors, the discount will apply to all days participating museums are open in February, subject only to capacity. Some separate, specially ticketed exhibitions, programs and events at various participating museums are not included in Seattle Museum Month.
Guests must present an official Seattle Museum Month guest pass at participating museums to redeem the discounts; these discounts will be valid for all guests staying in the hotel room (not to exceed four people) during hotel stay dates.
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