Travel To Go | Been There, Do This: Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle

Been There, Do This: Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle

By: Emma Weissmann


Museum mavens know it to be true: A captivating exhibit can transport a spectator to an alternative moment in time, a far-off place or, in some cases, an alternate reality.

I experienced as much while drifting through the Bowie by Mick Rock exhibit in Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture (aka MoPOP, and formerly called the Experience Music Project Museum). As I drifted past colorful portraits of the eccentric rock ’n’ roll icon, soft notes from his 1969 hit “Space Oddity” drifted in and out of a nearby loudspeaker. I was no longer in the middle of downtown Seattle; I was with Bowie himself, on a spaceship and “floating in a most peculiar way.”

This sensory experience permeates the museum, which is segmented into various exhibitions that celebrate all aspects of contemporary popular culture. Some exhibits are dedicated to specific people or series — such as The Jim Henson Exhibition; Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds; and Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad — in addition to spaces that celebrate entire genres. Guests can yell their hearts out in a sound-proof “scream booth” in the Horror exhibit (which comes with a PG-13 rating); or control their own spaceship and crawl through hollow tree trunks in magical lands in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. If visitors are looking for an even more interactive experience, they can become music-makers in the Sound Lab’s soundproof studios or test their gaming skills in the Indie Game Revolution room.

But if clients want to simply to sit back and relax, suggest they set up camp in the center of the museum, where music videos from both well-known and lesser-known artists are projected on a big screen.

At-the-door museum tickets are $33 per adult; $30 per senior (65 years or older); $27 per active military member; and $24 per child ages 5 to 17. Kids 4 years old or younger are free.

Admission to the museum is included in Seattle’s CityPass booklet, which can be purchased for $79 per adult or $59 per child. Seattle CityPass grants free admission to a number of Seattle’s best attractions, including MoPOP, the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour and more.

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