Seattle’s newest attraction is one of the most terrifying I have every seen. Glass is on the floor, on the ceiling and on pedestals; ready to be knocked over at any moment.
What better place to bring a toddler.
I hesitated for about 3.5 seconds before walking through the doors of the new Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center. I’d been to tricky spots before with Dek. He had done pretty well. More importantly, I really wanted to check out this new museum dedicated to one of Seattle’s more eccentric artists in residence.
Dale Chihuly and I have crossed paths before. Oh I’ve never properly met him, but I’ve seen him walking down the streets of Seattle and we have attended a few of the same events. With a patch on one eye and quite the head of hair he is hard to miss. He is a genius glass maker, trained in Venice and educated at RISD. His work can be found throughout Seattle and around the world. I’m kind of surprised it took the city this long to build a space to honor his work.
Parent’s favorite gallery
The entire exhibit was a lesson in just how far the imagination can stretch molten sand. Colors exploded at every turn, reflecting light that mimicked rippling water, rainbows and a fine glass of Merlot.
I was most intrigued by the sketches next to each piece in one gallery. Chihuly showed where he started out with an idea and how it translated in 3-dimensional form. More often than not the piece had changed quite a bit since it was first drawn. The glass, and artist, had taken off in a slightly different direction then originally planned.
Toddler’s favorite gallery
The Mille Fiori gallery captivated Dek. This large exhibit took over an entire room. At every angle you could see new elements popping into existence as your eye traveled around. Dek counted glass balls, both big and small, as we walked down the side of this over saturated forest. Somehow Dek understood to look, not touch, these exciting new “toys” he had found.
My threats that he would never go to college if he broke one must have sunk in.
Dek and I both agree that the Ikebana and Float Boat gallery was by far our favorite though. Dek obviously loved it because there was a boat. The reflections of glass on the polished black surface created a midnight river of artwork floating by. My camera wouldn’t let me stop taking pictures.
All of this and we hadn’t even been outside yet. How could Chihuly and his band of worker elves possibly top what we were already falling in love with and scheming to sneak home?
Know Before You Go
- Chihuly Garden and Glass located in Seattle Center next to the Space Needle
- Hours: Open daily 10:30am- 10:30pm
- General admission: $19 adult | $12 ages 4-12 | 3 and under are free (as of July 2012)
- $15 adult for King County residents with ID
- Order tickets online or buy at ticket counter in museum
- There is a combined Space Needle + Chihuly Garden and Glass ticket available
- Photographers are on sight to take a photo of you in the exhibit. These images are free. You simply type in the code on the card they give you and you can email the image to yourself.
- Strollers are easy to maneuver in the space.
- Food: The Collections Café is available on sight but may be a bit pricey for those on a budget. There are several alternative options in and around Seattle Center.
More images from the gallery