Seattle-Tacoma museums are beginning to re-open and we couldn’t be more excited! Check this page for a list of museums around the Puget Sound region that have already re-opened, or expect to re-open soon. We’ll update the page regularly, so feel free to come back from time-to-time to see what new outings may be available to you and your family. Last update: august 27, 2020.
In accordance with the Washington State’s Safe Start Phased approach, museums are allowed to re-open in Phase 2 at 25% capacity, in Phase 3 at 50%, and in Phase 4 at 100%. However, to re-open, they must comply with guidance measures for each phase. So not all museums will open at the same time or in the same phase. Find county phase status.
Museums will limit capacity by requiring advance timed-ticket purchase. In addition, museums will enhance cleaning procedures and air quality, provide hand sanitizers. Of course, face coverings and social distancing are required for all staff and visitors. Here are a few other reminders:
Tips for visiting museums in 2020
- Refrain from entering Museums if you are feeling unwell.
- If you have forgotten your face mask, request one or leave.
- Practice frequent hand washing and sanitization.
- Maintain physical distancing throughout the Museum.
- Avoid touching objects, sitting down, or lingering.
- Follow directional signage for one-ways routes.
Seattle Museums re-opened 2020
(Listed alphabetically by museum name.)
Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle exhibits glass and other items that influenced the work of Tacoma native artist Dale Chihuly. The Exhibition includes eight Galleries featuring his significant works, including the sculpture Glasshouse and an outdoor Garden punctuated with stunning glass sculptures. Adult admission: $32. Discount admission when purchased with Space Needle ticket or with CityPass Seattle ticket package. Enjoy a show in the outdoor Art Plaza along with a stone-fired Neapolitan pizza. Watch a live glassblowing demonstration at the Community Hot Shop while you dine.
Museum of Flight in Seattle is the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world. The aerospace museum features dozens of aircraft and spacecraft, tens of thousands of artifacts, and millions of rare photographs, plus exhibits, experiences, and a world-class library. Adult admission: $25. Membership begins at $89 and includes FREE admission for 2 adults plus other benefits and discounts. As a token of their deep gratitude for your support at this difficult time, when you renew or buy a new membership now, you will get two additional months of membership! 14 for the price of 12! Note: Re-opening September 5.
National Nordic Museum in Seattle is the largest museum in the U.S. to honor the legacy of immigrants from the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. People of all backgrounds are welcome at this internationally recognized museum to be inspired by the art and traditions of the Nordic peoples. Adult admission: $18. Membership begins at $55 and includes FREE admission plus other benefits and discounts. Note: Re-opening September 4.
Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in Seattle is a world-class visual arts center featuring global art collections, temporary installations, and special exhibitions from around the world that bridge cultures and centuries. Adult admission: $20. Membership begins at $79 and includes FREE admission to SAM/SAAM plus other benefits and discounts. Note: Re-opening September 11 to the public; September 4 to members. Advance ticket sales begin August 28.
- Also note that the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) and the PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park continue to be closed. The outdoor spaces at the Olympic Sculpture Park remain open to the public and are free to visit.
Tacoma Museums re-opened 2020
(Listed alphabetically by museum name.)
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum in Tacoma at Point Defiance Park features volunteers and staff in period clothing who demonstrate crafts of the 19th century and engage visitors in historic dialogue. Regular adult admission: $9.00 (does not include events). Membership begins at $45 and includes FREE admission for 2 adults plus other benefits and discounts.
Museum of Glass in Tacoma is the West Coast’s largest and most active studio and contemporary art museum dedicated to glass and glassmaking. Experience glass art from emerging artists as well as masters. Adult admission: $17. Membership begins at $60 and includes FREE admission plus other benefits and discounts. Discount admission with a Travel Tacoma Mt. Rainier Tourism & Sports Attraction Pass. Note: Re-opening soon.
Other Puget Sound area museums
Langley Whale Center on Whidbey Island works to protect whale habitats. Go there to learn about orcas and other whales, cetaceans, and marine mammals in the Salish Sea. Usually open Thursday and Friday and some weekend days–check the link to their Facebook page for updates. Free Admission; donations greatly appreciated (as well as purchases in their store). You can also take this VIRTUAL TOUR of the Whale Center.
Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way offers the most diverse public collection of bonsai in North America. The outdoor setting features a collection of bonsai trees from Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. Admission is by donation.
Tulalip Tribes Hibulb Cultural Center in Tulalip is a 50-acre natural history preserve with longhouse, research library, gift shop, and exhibits. The historic canoes, archaeological artifacts, and storytelling will enlighten you to the history, traditions, culture, values, seasonal lifeways, and spiritual beliefs of Native American Tribes who are the successors to the Treaty of Point Elliott. Admission is $10.
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But wait, there’s more!
- Seattle Aquarium re-opens with timed ticketing and limited attendance
- Woodland Park Zoo re-opens with a new, safe, outdoor experience
- Video tours of Seattle’s best attractions
- 16 Puget Sound lighthouses you can visit for free
- More free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Still more ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
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