Learn about the Washington’s history and cultural contributions by visiting any one of the many local museums.
America’s Car Museum
2702 E. D St.
Tacoma, WA 98421 253-779-8490
America’s Car Museum has 165,000 square feet of exhibit space and contains a 350-car gallery showcasing cars notable for their speed, technology and design, as well as their importance to car culture. The building also contains gift shops, restoration shops, lecture halls, galleries, a racing simulator, a family zone with hands-on learning activities, a photo car, a banquet room and a cafe. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The museum closes at 3 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Children’s Museum of Tacoma
1501 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402 253-627-6031
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma was established in 1985 by parents, teachers and community leaders dedicated to creating unique resources for families in Tacoma and the South Puget Sound region. The museum opened in 1986 as a nonprofit organization and remained in its original downtown Tacoma location for 10 years, rotating single theme exhibits every
18 months. Its most recent move, in 2012, allowed the museum to increase its capacity, audience and access while promoting play and learning for children ages 8 and under and their parents. Hours vary by season; check the museum’s website for more information.
Museum of Glass
1801 Dock St.
Tacoma, WA 98402 253-284-4719
The concept of a large glass studio, where visitors could watch artists create art from molten glass, was an integral part of the original plan for the Museum of Glass, and the Hot Shop Amphitheater, inside the museum’s iconic 90-foot-tall steel cone, fulfills that description today. The museum’s galleries are dedicated to both temporary exhibitions and its permanent collections that feature 20th- and 21st-century glass. Explore on your own or join a docent-led tour for an interactive and unique adventure into the world of contemporary glass. Hours vary by season; check the museum’s website for more information.
Museum of Pop Culture
325 Fifth Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109 206-770-2700
MoPOP (formerly known as the EMP Museum) has plenty to offer visitors, including interactive activity stations where visitors can create their own music, sound sculpture and various educational resources. The 140,000-square-foot Frank O. Gehry-designed facility is home to exhibits that cover pop culture, from the art of fantasy, horror cinema and video games to science fiction, literature and costumes from screen and stage. Hours vary by season; check the website for more information.
Pacific Bonsai Museum
2515 S. 336th St.
Federal Way, WA 98003 253-353-7345
Nestled amid towering conifers, the Pacific Bonsai Museum connects people to nature through the living art of bonsai. This free museum boasts over 150 bonsai and the most diverse public collection in North America with trees from Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. Featuring 60 trees at a time and open to the public six days a week, this cultural gem offers contemporary and traditional exhibitions, group tours and education. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday year-round. The museum has extended hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month from March to September.
400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109 206-905-2100
Located at the base of Queen Anne Hill, the Seattle Center complex was developed from the 1962 World Fair Site into a 74-acre, year-round convention and family entertainment hub for Seattle, with the Space Needle being its most famous landmark. The observation tower stands 605 feet high and offers visitors 360-degree views at its observation deck at 520 feet. There is a rotating restaurant where diners can enjoy glimpses of the Seattle skyline, as well as the Olympic and Cascade mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands. Visit the website for hours and tickets.