Home Museums The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had At A Museum

The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had At A Museum

by joeheg

I only had one day to spend sightseeing in Seattle. I made the obligatory trip to the Pike Place Market and saw them throwing fish and then I had the rest of the afternoon available. I was going to go on a ferry but it was cold, raining and windy (even for Seattle standards). Looking for other things to do, I asked our wonderful group of readers for suggestions before the trip. Here’s one of the replies.

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Now the name sounded interesting but I didn’t know if I’d have the time to visit. When I saw that the weather would be bad, I read more about the museum before my trip. I almost fainted as it looked like I found Geek Nirvana.

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
325 5th Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109

WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY POST COMING!!!!!

The museum is a little bit outside of downtown Seattle, right near the Space Needle. I took a $5 UBER ride to get there and when I arrived I thought the building looked familiar. As it turns out, the building was founded in 2000 as the Experience Music Project (I remember watching when that museum opened on MTV, back when they still showed music videos and music news).

The Museum of Pop Culture name was adopted in 2016 as the museum’s theme shifted from just music to cover all mediums of pop culture for mega fans everywhere.

I loved every second of it.

My visit was a few years ago, pre-COVID. The museum was closed for most of 2020 but I’m happy to say that it’s open again with new protocols in place and limited capacity. Advance ticket purchase is required and guests are given an entry time to maintain capacity.

When I visited, one of the rotating exhibits was “The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited.”

This exhibit, which was an additional $8 over the normal admission price, was worth every penny. They didn’t waste any time giving people what they came there to see. Here’s the first thing you saw when entering.

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There was a ton of nostalgia to be had. From Sesame Street to the Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Essentially, my entire childhood was there.

I was emotionally exhausted and that was only the first exhibit. I headed onto another area, Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds.

They covered the whole Trek Universe from TOS to TNG, DS9, Voyager and even things from Enterprise and all generations of the Star Trek movies like the Khan costume (minus Benedict Cumberbatch.) I don’t know if they’ve since included items from Discovery or Picard.

They even had a booth where you could record your best James T. Kirk “KKHHHHAAAANNNNN” scream.

If you were wondering how all of Trek fits together, they had a timeline for you.

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This is where I need to mention that these exhibits weren’t just rooms filled with memories of my past, as if that wouldn’t be enough. These were museum-quality displays explaining the context and importance of the items they were presenting. There was a storyline to follow and it was fascinating to walk around and read the history behind the things I loved.

Those were both temporary exhibits at the museum. To find out the current exhibits, check the museum website. Coming in June 2021 is “Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume.”

If this wasn’t Pop Culture overload, Michael Jackson’s Thriller played on the mega big screen about 100 people stood there and watched the whole thing.

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I was only done with less than half of the museum. My brain almost exploded.

For brevity’s sake, from now on, it will just be pictures.

There’s an area called Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction.

There is also an area devoted to Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic.

And one devoted to horror movies called Scared to Death. Not my forte but I braved it and survived to tell the tale.

This was not all of the exhibits. There are tons of things I didn’t take pictures of. I already felt like “that tourist” who takes pictures of EVERYTHING. There were also video exhibits. You could spend hours (or a whole day if that’s your thing, and it could easily be my thing) and not see everything. I mean come on, this was their loading bay door.

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I’m so thankful that one of our readers turned me on to this. I probably would have missed it otherwise and kicked myself in the rear for the rest of my life.

I did manage to get one selfie when I was there. How could I help not getting a picture with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker?

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By now, you’ll know if you will give your right arm to visit here or if you’re just, meh. I’m telling you, this was one of the best times I’ve EVER had at a museum.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

8 comments

Kelly MacKay March 22, 2018 - 9:39 am

What an awesome museum ,thanks for sharing

Reply
Christian June 16, 2019 - 5:54 pm

+1

Reply
This Museum & Theme Park Is Mainly For Grown Ups, Because It’s All About Wine! – Your Mileage May Vary June 28, 2018 - 8:00 am

[…] when we go to Chicago this fall. Joe’s been to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NY and Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle. We’re both big fans of museums of science and industry in any big (or not so big) […]

Reply
Tracy S June 16, 2019 - 3:19 pm

Shucks, for that extra bit of geekitude ya shoulda took the Monorail from Westlake Mall (four blocks up Pike Street from Pike Place Market). It has a stop right at MoPOP. Maybe not as efficient as an Uber, but c’mon…it was built for the same World’s Fair as the Space Needle.

Reply
colleen June 16, 2019 - 4:26 pm

Thanks for this. Many people recoil at the mere term “museum” with visions of old paintings and nearly-as-old crowds. You successfully shattered the myth. Also, the Exploratorium in San Francisco is quite current and engaging. Geeky, without being geeky.

You may also enjoy the R&R museum in Cleveland.

Reply
Todd June 16, 2019 - 5:47 pm

Meep Meep!!!

Reply
micberry September 14, 2020 - 12:58 am

Under the Science fiction one, what is the alien from 2nd to the right? next to the picture of the dalek?

Reply
joeheg September 14, 2020 - 8:05 pm

Sarris, the villain from Galaxy Quest. Never Give Up, Never Surrender!

Reply

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