Don’t worry about getting FOMO if you don’t get tickets right away to the new WNDR Museum. The new art-filled museum on Seattle’s waterfront (located near the ferry terminal) is here for the long haul. It’s not a pop-up, it’s a permanent museum that will have 20+ immersive art experiences designed to make visitors feel like they are a part of the art. I stopped by the other day while the museum was still setting up and got to experience a few of the exhibits.
What is the WNDR Museum?
WNDR Museum in Seattle is the third museum experience created by the WNDR group (the other two are in San Diego and Chicago with one in Boston, opening soon). All the WNDR museums have different art experiences. Seattle features INSIDEOUT– a 360-degree immersive light and sound experience by Leigh Sachwitz + flora&faunavisions that emulates a storm. Seattle locals will likely also recognize art by Stevie Shao, Andy Arkley, and Henry represented in the museum.
Kid and not-so-kid-friendly exhibits
The colorful installation by Andy Arkley is sure to be a favorite with kids. Press buttons on a keypad to bring it all to life. Fans of Yayoi Kusama might also like to know that Starry Pumpkin is part of WNDR Museum Seattle, too. Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who uses pumpkins in her exhibitions as a source of comfort and stability.
There are so many interactive and fun features to play with and explore. This is the type of place that can entertain all ages. Kids who do not like dark places might find parts of this a little tough-many of the exhibits need darkness to create contrast with light.
The storm part of the INSIDEOUT installation might be something that kids who don’t like loud weather sounds may want to experience from the outside of the exhibit first, before going inside.
The WNDR Museum is a spendy outing, starting at $35 for grownups and $25 for kids ages 3-12, but the prices are comparable to other immersive-type experiences (like the Friends’ Experience currently running downtown).
With kids, it could take as little as 30 minutes to get through the museum if they are eager to get to each new installation. Pausing to take pictures and discussing the art might help to slow the visit down. The average entry is expected to take anywhere between an hour to an hour and a half. Tickets for the museum can be booked online for a timed entry- there is a VIP option as well.
WNDR Museum in Seattle is open daily from 12-9 p.m. Like most things in the city, weekends will likely be the busiest days. The biggest stress will be getting to your timed entry. Between getting around the construction on the waterfront and finding parking, it can get frustrating. If it’s your lucky day you may score street parking on Western Avenue just steps away from the museum’s entrance. With two hours on the clock, you’ll have enough time to visit the museum and grab a coffee and treat, too.
If you have more time, there’s a small cafe inside the museum and an Ivar’s right across the street. A 10-minute walk east of the museum, Pioneer Square will get you to places like the new and popular OHSUN Banchan Deli and Cafe, Lady Yum Macarons, and Burbs Burgers Pioneer Square. A 10-minute walk west of the museum will take you to Pike Place Market where you can find a plethora of food choices, flower stalls, gift shops, and cafes.
Know before you go
- Tickets can be purchased online
- Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for kids ages 2 and under and are free
- Parking is difficult, so leave extra time to find a spot, use ride-shares or public transportation
- The museum is best for kids 8+ and remember that this is a high-sensory experience so plan accordingly if your child is sensitive to sound and light
- New exhibits will be added to the museum, so be sure to look at the website for more details
- WNDR is located near the ferry terminal in Downtown Seattle (904 Alaskan Way)