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Chihuly Garden and Glass
Chihuly Garden and Glass Review
Just steps from the base of the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass is a magnificent addition to Seattle Center. Fans of Dale Chihuly's glass works will be delighted to trace his early influences—neon art, Native American Northwest Coast trade baskets, and Pendleton blankets, to name a few—to the vibrant chandelier towers and architectural glass installations he is most known for today. There are eight galleries total, plus a 40-foot-tall Glasshouse and an outdoor Garden, which serves as a backdrop for colorful installations that integrate with a dynamic Northwest landscape, including native plants and a 500-year-old Western Cedar that washed up on the shores of Neah Bay. Chihuly, who was born and raised in Tacoma, was actively involved in the design of the exhibition as well as the whimsical Collections Cafe, where you'll find Chihuly's quirky personal collections on display—everything from tin toys to vintage cameras to antique shaving brushes. Indeed, so many of his personal touches are part of the exhibition space, you can almost feel his presence in every room (look for the guy with the unruly hair and the black eyepatch).
For an extra few dollars, you can also get a combined Chihuly/Space Needle ticket, a great value. Other things to keep in mind are the two-entry admission ticket, which allows you two visit twice in one 24-hour period, so you can see the Glasshouse and Garden both during the day and night. Chihuly Garden and Glass is great for older kids, and their thoughtful Kid's Guide provides activities for further exploration.
If you're staying Downtown, skip the exorbitant parking prices around Seattle Center and ride the Monorail from Westlake Center ($2.25 each way, with departures every 10 minutes). There's plenty to do around Seattle Center and lower Queen Anne, so make a day of it here.
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