This blog post was updated on October 4, 2018.

Family Travel: Explore the Museum of Glass with Your Kids, Flickr: christophergosselin
Chihuly Glass!


I am not sure I have ever put the words glass, museum, and kids together in a positive sentence until now.  Just a short drive from Seattle, Tacoma boasts a museum you might not assume is kid-friendly – the  Museum of Glass.  In case you still have your doubts, read on for tips, tricks, and some very fun reasons to take your littlest ones to this fun and surprisingly interactive scene.

At most art museums, children can only observe the finished version, the final piece de resistance that we proudly call art and… well, simply stare at.  Although there is plenty of beautiful glass art for observation at the Museum of Glass, kids are sure to get a thrill as you visit the Hot Shop, the largest of its kind in the world, where you can watch as artists transform molten hot glass into incredible masterpieces.  The Hot Shop is a 90-foot stainless steel cone where glassblowers are on hand demonstrating their skills daily.  Visit any time, with the exception of lunch breaks, and kids are sure to get a thrilling show.

After watching the art-in-progress, children and families are sure to have a greater appreciation for the glass art that fills the galleries.  In particular, the colorful, 500-foot long Chihuly Bridge of Glass is sure to draw some appreciation and respect.

If your little ones are inspired by the art, stop by the Education Studio for some hands-on action.  Kids of any age can imagine and color a picture that just might end up as a glass sculpture by one of the artists.  Every month the artists select a drawing that will be transformed into a three-dimensional glass sculpture; the winning kid and family are invited to watch the artwork in progress and the child gets to take home their imaginative piece of art!  Talk about a souvenir!!  Glass-fusing and bead-making workshops are offered on weekends and are suitable for kids six and up.  The second Saturdays of each month are also the museum’s family days where little ones can explore during a scavenger hunt through the galleries, dance to live music, and make take-home art projects.

Surprisingly, strollers are allowed in the museum.  Large diaper bags, suitcases, backpacks and baby backpacks & carriers are not allowed in the museum for obvious reasons. Visitors can check their belonging during their tour.  Although you can’t carry around your own food and drinks, the Museum Café, Choripan by Asado, features unique Argentinean fare.  More standard options are also on the menu including sandwiches, macaroni & cheese, soups, and salads.

Your next Seattle family vacation will be raining fun if you make a stop at this museum!

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photo: christophergosselin

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