What a way to spend a fall afternoon traveling into Seattle to visit MoPOP, the music, sci-fi + pop culture museum formally known as the EMP. Hopping on the Link Light Rail from the SeaTac Airport station is the way to go for a relaxing ride downtown without the worries of traffic or parking. Transferring at the Westlake station, we hopped on the iconic Seattle Monorail built along with the Space Needle for the 1962 World’s Fair. To my surprise the monorail does not only drop you off directly at Seattle Center where MoPOP, Chihuly Garden & Glass and the Space Needle are located, it actually cruises THROUGH MoPOP’s structure, creating an inspiring effect as you come to a stop. While taking in the configurations and colors of the vivid exterior against the October blue sky, we made our way in to start exploring the various exhibits.
I was excited for October to come being a horror movie fan to see “Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film." Other exhibits included "Minecraft: The Exhibition," “Indie Game Revolution,” “Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970,” “Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction,” “Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic” and more!
We spent two hours at the museum going through each room learning fun facts, looking at memorabilia old and new, and being reminded of some of our music icons and what interesting lives they led. I especially liked seeing Jimi Hendrix’s artwork in a caricature filled with the bizarre thoughts in his brain. I did not predict we could have spent much more time with all the interactive options, video games, and screenings to view! I do regret we didn’t take the time for the Jim Henson exhibit at a small surcharge after seeing what the amazing area dedicated to his work. Who doesn’t love the Muppets?
For me, the highlights of the day were the Horror Film exhibit and the option to goof around with the interactive features in various exhibits throughout. I can see though how every person who explores this museum could have a different aspect which appeals to them most. In “Scared to Death” 100 years of horror film were celebrated with villains, memorabilia, films, interviews featuring film directors, spooky statistics, and a sound proof scream booth to test your potential horror flick skills! And of course, plenty of photo ops. I found the stats of the murderiest killers amusing in the way it was displayed with # of kills, weapons of choice, and likes and dislikes. Of course, I had to try the Scream Room where your scanned hands decide if you would be an angry screamer full of rage or more of the victim-y type before choosing your scream scenario. Although the booth is sound proof I still couldn’t let it ALL out with so many people around.
While enjoying myself strolling through each of the exhibits, I was starting to get anxious. I’d always heard how the Sound Lab is a great place for kids to experiment playing different musical instruments. I am definitely not a kid but have to admit I was most looking forward to seeing what the Sound Lab was all about. I’m not sure if it was me being blind to the signs of its location, but we didn’t find it until near closing time and now I wish I asked and went there first! I could have spent hours there and I would recommend you go with someone who shares your passion of goofing around, experimenting, and learning what goes on to create and record a piece of music. The various sound proof rooms protect others from your musical mishaps as you fumble your way around a mixing board, beat a-rhythmically on the drum pad, and discover why your son would LOVE if you could play a little electric guitar, you have not learned yet. It was a blast and next time I look forward to going back and spending more time in the Sound Lab.
As we left the museum near closing time, we wandered around Seattle Center at dusk looking up at the gorgeously lit Space Needle and ate at the Chihuly Garden and Glass café admiring some of Chihuly’s work. Hopping back on the monorail, then the light rail, I once again enjoyed this convenient, trouble-free way to travel to and from Seattle Southside.
Don't forget to wear your mask and check MoPOP's website for the latest information and newest exhibits!