Winter evenings in Seattle can be a bit dark, the sun sets early and yes, it sometimes rains.,Use it as an excuse to go get some culture, museums create engaging conversations with warm lighting, bright colors and inspiration. It might be just the thing to brighten your winter nights and help you to make some new friends or bring old ones closer.
Seattle has a brilliant variety of interactive museums that will keep you and your company chatting away and enjoying yourselves no matter what the topic.
Living in Seattle is wonderful, but with all of the recent growth and thousands of people moving here it’s gotten a bit pricey, between crossing the bridge, parking and entrance fees, date and family nights out can be a hindrance. There is a reprieve for families and singles looking to spend an evening at the museum.
The Seattle Public Library system allows people with a library card to reserve free museum passes to 15 locations, including the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium. Each pass is good for 2 or more people depending on which location you visit and you can revisit each museum once a month for free with your library card.
Library passes used for the Center for Wooden Boats also come with one free hour of a row boat rental (in season) to paddle around on Lake Union.
The King County Library System cards provide museum passes to eight locations for free, including the Seattle Aquarium and the Kids Quest children’s museum in Bellevue.
If the Seattle library passes are booked out, you’re still in luck. Several museums offer free days on the first Thursday of every month, most museums stay open late on these days to give you the most of your free entry!
- Center for Wooden Boats at Lake Union is always free to enter, come enjoy the exhibits and water views year-round. The Center for Wooden Boat members can come on the third Friday of almost every month to hear professional speakers tell their tales of adventure and experience. It’s a great way to network and meet others with similar taste in boating.
- Frye Art Museum is always free and with a rotating gallery it’s worth stopping by every so often to see what’s new.
- Klondike Gold Rush Museum is free and run by the National Park Service, come find out how Seattle historically aided the gold rush in Alaska and while you’re here pick up maps and advice on National Parks to explore.
- SAM or Seattle Art Museum is open for first Thursdays, with half priced access to special exhibits. If you don’t want to brave the crowds, other days are by donation. You can still come visit for a minimal fee if you’d rather see other locations on first Thursday.
- Asian Art Museum is currently closed for renovations, but check back, they’ll open up with a fresh look in 2019. They participate in first Thursdays and are open for families free of charge on first Saturdays.
- Museum of Flight, free on first Thursdays, is rated number four of 420 things to do in Seattle on tripadvisor, this one’s a crowd favorite. You’ll want plenty of time to enjoy the museum, with several buildings, floors and hands-on exhibits. Many of the planes are open for visitors to crawl around the interior.
- Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) free on first Thursdays, another rave-worthy museum that’s great for kids and adults. Four floors of history and stellar views from the top, lend views of Lake Union, come learn more about your home town. This is a huge museum and will keep you occupied for hours.
- Living Computers Museum + Labs free on first Thursdays, don’t let the website fool you this museum is for adults and kids alike and is very popular. Robots, 80’s arcade games, vintage video games, this place is an interactive technology heaven it will bring you back through memory lane and teach your kids a bit about the recent past while keeping the lesson fun and interesting.
- Northwest African American Museum free on first Thursdays, find out more about the history of African Americans in the Northwest in this intimate museum and you’re welcome to do a little digging in the genealogy center while you’re at it.
- Henry Art Gallery free first Thursdays and every Sunday located in the University District. Henry is an interesting contemporary art gallery, with interactive exhibits for children.
- Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) free on First Fridays, come out on a different night to enjoy the arts and rotating exhibits through Bellevue. With special Saturday activities for families and children and occasional free family days.
First Thursdays are a lot of fun, but they can be very busy, if you have time during the day it’s a good time to come or between seven and nine once the crowds thin out.
Public transit is always a good idea, but especially for first Thursdays, it can help with your enjoyment of the museums when you don’t have to troll around looking for a parking space.
It’s easy to get hung up on day to day living and forget about the treasures we have right here in our own town, don’t forget to be a tourist and enjoy the city where you live with all of it’s treasures.