South Sound Museums With Free Days
Tacoma Art Museum: In 2014, Tacoma Art Museum went through an impressive expansion, including adding a wing dedicated to western art and a large art studio on the first floor with free entry that’s open during museum hours.
Deals: Free on third Thursdays from 58 p.m. Also, TAM has an intriguing new partnership with Children’s Museum of Tacoma , where visitors to CMT can get free family passes to visit TAM.
Tips: TAM also has an impressive set of outdoor sculptures that kids will enjoy exploring.
Childrens Museum of Tacoma: Tacoma’s kids’ museum has a warm and modern home, creative playspaces, and an attractive pricing policy pay as you can on any day.
Deals: Children’s Museum of Tacoma is by donation and open WednesdaySunday special play days for children with special needs are on Tuesdays, 1011:30 a.m.
Tip: As the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, along with many other Tacoma museums, is just off I-5, this makes a great, quick play break during a road trip.
Museum of Glass,Tacoma. Tacoma’s Chihuly jewel offers many programs don’t forget to stop by the Hot Shop to see the fiery art of glassmaking in action. Marvel at the stunning Chihuly pedestrian bridge as you walk over.
Deals: Free on third Thursdays from 58 p.m.
Tips: Check out the Kids Design Glass program, where children 12 years and under can submit glass art designs each month, a design is selected to be made in MOGs Hot Shop.
Deals: Free on third Thursdays from 28 p.m.
Work Begins On New Fuller Garden Court Doorways
One of the elements of the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation and expansion is the creation of new doorways in the museums Fuller Garden Court. These doorwaysopening onto a new space with floor-to-ceiling glass windowswill allow for gorgeous views and strengthen the visual connection between the museum and Volunteer Park.
The Seattle Asian Art Museums historic building, and the original home of SAM, was constructed in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The walls of the Fuller Garden Court were created using scagliola , a plaster technique that mimics the look and feel of natural and more costly stone.
Work is underway to carefully cut openings in the walls for these doorways. The parts of the wall being removed will be saved, should the need arise in the future to return the walls to their original form.
Visiting The Seattle Art Museum
One of our favorite activities when we travel is enjoying local museums and art. We think the Seattle Art Museum is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon when visiting the city. SAM houses a diverse collection of art old and new and easily provides several hours of entertainment in a comfortable and spacious setting. Its also just one block from Pike Place Market, making for a convenient stop on a day of Seattle sightseeing.
Thinking about including Seattle Art Museum in your travel plans? Heres everything you need to know for your visit. Check out the KAYAK Seattle travel guide for more Seattle vacation ideas, too.
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History Of The Seattle Art Museum
The history of SAM begins in early Seattle history. Here are some of the highlights of SAMs history that established each of its locations and its reputation as a world-class art institution.
The parent institution for SAM, the Seattle Fine Art Society dates back to 1906. The society staged exhibitions at various venues around the city. In 1929, it was renamed the Art Institute of Seattle as it continued to search for a permanent facility. From 1931-1933, a $250,000 donation provided for the construction of a new building located in Capitol Hills Volunteer Parktoday, the site of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Seattle Art Museum opened its doors to the public in June 1933 at the Art Deco building in Volunteer Park. Over the next few decades, the museum continued to expand its collections in European and Asian arts, establishing itself as an important institution for international art.
When the 1962 Worlds Fair was hosted by Seattle, the event established the city as a modern arts hub and allowed for further expansion and more diverse displays of art at SAM that continued through the 1970s. In particular, the 1978 exhibit the Treasures of Tutankhamun at the Seattle Center Flag Pavilion expanded the museums profile. The Tut exhibitions popularity and financial success fueled plans for a permanent downtown facility.
In 2020, SAAM at Volunteer Park reopened following an extensive renovation.
Read on for more information about visiting each of the SAM locations.
Seattle Art Museum Admission
How much are Seattle Art Museum tickets? Does the museum offer online discounts? Do children pay for general admission at SAM? The table below offers answers to any question related to Seattle Art Museums general admission. Ticket prices for special exhibitions vary.
Note that the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
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Find Parking In Seattle Without Any Hassle
Parking Access covers an impressive array of topics and cities across the country and helps drivers find relevant and up-to-date car parking information. In addition to the Seattle Art Museum parking guide, city residents and visitors can use our tips to find low-cost event parking at the following venues.
Street Parking In Downtown Seattle
Metered parking is an excellent alternative to garages, but finding an on-street parking spot can be frustrating. Youll probably need to circle the area for a while before you find one. The hourly fee ranges from $0.50 to $2.00 based on the location and time of the day. If youre still deciding when to visit Seattle Art Museum, free parking is available on Sundays, so you might want to take that into consideration. Whatever the day, be sure to read the signs and meters carefully to avoid pricey Seattle parking tickets.
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Free Days Are Back Find Out Where And How To Plan A Cheap Family Excursion
First Thursday museums update, 2021: First Thursday is back at several Seattle-area museums!
Once a month, on Thursday, the public gets the run of some wonderful Seattle museums. This is a great way to explore the city on the cheap, if you dont mind things being more crowded than usual.
Some of the museums have exhibits that are either designed with kids in mind or have obvious appeal to certain children. Some of them, particularly the art museums and some historical exhibits, are not a draw that way, but that doesnt mean that kids cant enjoy them. Kids can be delighted by weird sculptural forms, colorful paintings or intriguing artifacts. Take it slowly, dont try to do too much at a time and let the kids take the lead. If you are looking at an art museum, ask your kids about what they see, and what it makes them think about. If you are looking at historical exhibits, pick an object and talk about the story behind it.
A few things are different right now: Masks are required in all indoor public spaces. And most museums, like many other attractions, require admission via timed ticket secured in advance online, and this is often still the case even on First Thursdays, when that ticket is free.
Free Seattle Museums Free All The Time:
Center for Wooden Boats. 10 a.m. 8 p.m during summer, 1010 Valley Street, Seattle, 206-382-2628. Best for kids age 5 and up.
Frye Art Museum. Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. 5 p.m., Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m., 704 Terry Avenue Seattle, 206-622-9250. Best for kids age 5 and up.
Olympic Sculpture Park. 30 minutes prior to sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset 2901 Western Avenue, Seattle, 206-654-3100. Best for kids age 2 and up.
Seattle Childrens Museum. Pay as you wishlast hour of the day . 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, 206-441-1768. Best for ages 6 and under. NOTE: This museum has opposed employee attempts to discuss anti-racist educational resources and Black Lives Matter.
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Performing Arts On A Budget
In terms of other arts, if theres a performance you really want to see, check the website of the organization and sign up for emails. In pre-COVID-19 times, we relied on $10 day-of tickets and pay-what-you-wish dress rehearsals to see shows for cheap.
Performing arts groups are planning a very cautious fall season and many theaters wont start their seasons until this winter. But there will be discounted tickets available. Intiman Theatre, for instance, has a limited number of free for everyone same-day walk-up tickets, including for its Homecoming Performing Arts Festival Sept. 18-19. Seattle Rep will have a pay-what-you-choose option, and other ways to save, for live shows starting in January. Pacific Northwest Ballet sends email notifications for $15 tickets, half-price tickets and ticket giveaways when you sign up for its Pointe program.
If music is your jam, student performances have traditionally been a great way to catch concerts for free. The University of Washingtons ArtsUW calendar is a good place to check. As of press time, however, the pickings are looking slim even outdoor concerts are being canceled because of the surging delta variant.
A Different Free Day:
The museum offers free admission from 3 to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The museum showcases Washington through a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits. Its centerpiece is the Great Hall of Washington History. There also are exhibits dedicated to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II a look at the role of migration and immigration in shaping our state and an exhibit on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who visited Washington in 1961. Great suggestion: While youre in Tacoma, grab a snack or meal downtown along Pacific Avenue.
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Museum Of History And Industry
Located at the South Lake Union, Museum of History and Industry records every milestone of Seattle since its birth. From the first time that Native Americans came into contact with the Europeans, to how the city was rebuilt after it was burnt down by a devastating fire, as well as how the city got through both World Wars, explore their various award-winning and mind-bogging exhibits, and get ready to be absorbed into these historical moments!
Museum of History and Industry
Address: 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, United States
First Thursday Free Seattle Museums:
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Free. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., University of Washington, NE 45th Street and 17th Avenue NE 206-543-5590. Best for kids age 3 and up.
Henry Art Gallery. Pay as you wish 11 a.m.-9 p.m. First Thursday, University of Washington, NE 45th Street and 17th Avenue NE. Best for kids age 6 and up.
KiDiMu. Free 10-4,301 Ravine Lane NE, Bainbridge Island. 206-855-4650. Best for the 6 and under set.
Museum of Flight. Free 5-9 p.m., 9404 E. Marginal Way S. 206-764-5720. Best for kids age 3 and up.
Museum of History and Industry . Free 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 860 Terry Avenue N 206-324-1126. Best for kids age 3 and up.
Nordic Heritage Museum. Free 10 a.m. -4 p.m., 3014 NW 67th Street,Seattle 206-789-5707. Best for kids age 6 and up, but the museum often offers preschool-targeted storytimes on first Tuesdays.
Northwest African American Museum. Free 11 a.m. 7 p.m., 2300 S. Massachusetts St. 206-518-6000. Best for kids age 6 and up. Also free on the second Thursday of the month.
Seattle Art Museum . Free 10 a.m.-9 p.m. First Thursday, 100 University St. 206-654-3100. Best for kids age 5 and up.
Seattle Asian Art Museum . Free 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Volunteer Park, 1400 E. Prospect St., Seattle 206-654-3100. Best for kids age 6 and up. Also free on the second Thursday from 5-9 p.m.
Wing Luke Asian Museum. Free 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 719 S. King Street 206-623-5124. Best for kids age 8 and up, except duringFamily Day on third Saturday.
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Free Admission For Being A Bank Of America Customer
Bank of America has a distinctive program of Museums on Us® to offer its customers free admission on the first full weekend of every month to more than 200 museums. Seattle Art Museum is one of the participating museums. If you have a Bank of America credit card or debit card, you are eligible to receive one free pass for Seattle Art Museum on the first weekend each month. It is a great perk that can save you hundreds of dollars per year in value if you have one of the following eligible credit cards:
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Current Exhibits At Seattle Art Museum
is the first major retrospective in the United States of Cunninghams work in 35 years, the exhibition examines on the artists Seattle upbringing and includes works by female artists such as Ruth Asawa and Martha Graham who Cunningham championed, as well as works by Group f/64 which she helped found with Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and others. The exhibit showcases the endless innovation and profound influence of the remarkable photographer who pushed the boundaries for women in the arts as well as photography as an art form. Cunninghams spark of creative possibility asserted photography as a distinct and valuable art form in the 20th century. Nearly 200 of Cunninghams insightful portraits, elegant flower and plant studies, poignant street pictures, and groundbreaking nudes present a singular vision developed over her seven decades of work. This Cunnigham exhibition is organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
- Purchase tickets online at least a day in advance to save $3.
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Olympic Sculpture Park Parking
Seattle Art Museums Sculpture Park is on the central waterfront just a mile away from SAM. The PACCAR Pavilion garage is the most convenient option its entrance is on the southeast corner of the park. The garage is open from 6 AM to 11 PM daily and charges the following rates, which vary based on the day.
The Olympic Sculpture Park garage offers three disabled parking spots since the number is limited, we suggest early arrival. Overnight parking is prohibited.
Asian Art Museum Now Open
We are thrilled to announce that the Seattle Asian Art Museum is reopening to the public on Memorial Day weekend! New hours will be 10 am to 5 pm, FridaysSundays, but to celebrate the reopening, we will be open for the holiday on Monday, May 31. Admission will be free on the last Friday of every month, starting with opening day on May 28. Mark your calendars and keep an eye on your inbox for tickets available starting April 29. To adhere to COVID safety guidelines, capacity is extremely limited, and advance timed tickets will be required.
Last year, we celebrated the reopening of the reimagined and reinstalled Asian Art Museum following a three-year closure for renovation and expansion. Watch the video at the link below to revisit the festivities from the February 2020 Housewarming Weekend. Unfortunately, the museum had to close its doors after just one month. Now, over a year later, we are reopening at last and we cannot wait to make new memories with you in SAM’s original home.
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Seattle Asian Art Museum
My last activity in Seattle I went to the Seattle Asian Art Museum on their free day. I dont know what the museum looked like before the renovation, but the layout is fantastic and conceptually nothing short of revolutionary. I highly recommend a visit this should be on your things to do in Seattle list. The galleries are not labeled by geography but organized by theme and with a focus on identity. Stories are told, not by boundaries or countries, rather through a nonlinear narrative. Ive never seen an Asian museum express their art through these concepts.
A few of my favorite pieces came from the Be/Longing exhibit modern and contemporary Asian Art raising questions of who we are, where we belong insider and outsider within an Asian heritage.