Visitors beware: a dinosaur lurks on the rooftop of Imagine Children’s Museum. Luckily, it's only a skeleton presiding over a dig site where kids can forage for fossils.
The simulacra don't end at the rooftop. Throughout the three-floor museum, kids might stumble upon life-size fire engines, pretend airplanes in need of a pilot, or a ferry where youngsters can splash about in a water area. Hands-on activities get their own areas as well. An art studio supplies the raw material for crafting origami and painting masterpieces, while a music station offers the opportunity to make up one's own tunes. Kids that prefer to act like adults, however, can nurse toy animals to health at a wildlife clinic, milk a toy cow at a farm, or explain their prissy coffee order to the doll at the coffee shop.
Throughout the year, the museum arranges a variety of activities and events. Day camps are built around themes such as rocks, insects, and music. Budding builders, meanwhile, master the basic concepts of construction during i-engineers.
A non-profit foundation dedicated to inspiring an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, the Future of Flight Foundation spreads cheer while raising funds with its Wine & Wings events. During these, a selection of 20 wineries pour their red and white creations, which guests pair with the offerings that local chefs cook up. Thanks to events like these, the foundation is able to reach under-served and under-represented middle school and elementary students with their "Flight of Innovation" education program, an informal six-week STEM program in schools throughout Snohomish, King, and Island Counties. Proceeds benefit the Future of Flight Foundation.
Yuen Lui Studios, a family-owned photography business specializing in individual and family portraits and wedding photography, creates photographic heirlooms in a tradition of quality it has upheld since 1947. With several area Yuen Lui studios available, each boasts a multitude of backdrop options for portraiture sessions, or photographers may take sessions outdoors to add natural scenery to the frame. Wedding and engagement shots come to life under the careful eyes of each photographer as they seize rare moments and trap them in frames to be displayed like trophies from a hunt. High-school, child, baby, and family portraits keep precious memories locked in time for clients, who can peruse an online gallery of their images after their session.
EMP Museum is a tribute to cultural icons as well as a breeding ground for the next generation of musicians and societal shapers. Here, attendees don’t just stand before exhibits that explore Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, but throw down their own musical chops in interactive exhibits such as Sound Lab, where they riff on an electric guitar, bang on drums, and tweak acoustics behind a mixing console. On Stage also gets guests to grip instruments, but under the hot lights of the stage, where they can pretend to entertain legions of fans or accompany their nephew’s birthday party.
The museum also curates rotating exhibits that celebrate modern cultural achievements. These have showcased the impact of Nirvana’s career alongside historic artifacts as diverse as Hendrix’s Stratocaster from Woodstock and Neo’s black futuristic coat from Matrix Reloaded. As home to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, the museum also spotlights luminaries such as Ray Bradbury and Steven Spielberg, who have shaped a generation’s imagination while warning people about the perils of suppressing ingenuity, ideas, and viewpoints.
All of the educational programming and special events unfold inside the architectural jewel that is the EMP Museum. Designed by Frank O. Gehry, the building’s 3,000 stainless-steel panels shimmer and seemingly swing through the air. This fluidity, which can alter its appearance depending on the time of day and light conditions, is about “reminding audiences that music and culture is constantly evolving,” as the museum’s website states.
Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry, known around town by its MOHAI acronym, recently relocated to a waterfront location in South Lake Union, and is now housed in the former Naval Reserve Armory building. It’s a smart change for the popular historical and educational spot, considering its new proximity to some of Seattle’s biggest businesses: outdoor retailer REI and Amazon.com. The museum’s permanent collection traces the city’s history, with nods to the city’s 1962 World’s Fair, the surprising 1999 WTO riots, and the birth and growth of aerospace giant Boeing. Temporary exhibits address topics as diverse as Seattle-specific artists, the history of gay culture citywide or the many engineering feats that have helped a region filled with bodies of water and steep slopes stay connected. The newly-opened Bezos Center for Innovation explores Seattle’s history of entrepreneurship and engages guests in interactive activities to elicit their inner CEO.
The Children's Museum, Seattle inspires curiosity and creativity in children between 10 months and 10 years with 22,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits that explore science, arts, and cultural education. The museum's collection of permanent exhibits boosts brainpower with feats of engineering, miniature global villages, an aquarium, and a theater, where kids can don costumes and reenact famous monologues from Sponge Bob. The museum heightens the joy of discovery with such activities as summer camps, birthday parties, partnership outreach, and after-hours events.