Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seattle: Seattle Center

Every time I ride the monorail from Westlake Center to Seattle Center, I think back to Little Buddha.  Such a great movie, by the way.

Seattle Center was originally built during the for the 1962 World's Fair.  It is the center of a lot of Seattle culture, arts, festivals, concerts and entertainment.  It's also where the Space Needle is located.

Here you can find such things as the Sonic Bloom, which is a solar powered art installation next to the Pacific Science Center.  When the sun is out, the petals radiate a neon glow.  And, when walking along the pathway between the flowers, music will stream out of them.  It's quite quirky and makes me smile every time I see kids shocked by the humming of the flowers!

The Mural Amphitheater, which sits right in the shadow of the Space Needle, is where you can find a lot of people chilling out in the sun when it's warmer.  There are also concerts that are hosted here in the summer.  It's such a great place to catch some rays, but these has been a bit overcast...still, it's a great place for kids to run around.

The Pacific Science Center is one of the museums that can be found in the Seattle Center.  Right now, there is a Pompeii Exhibit showing.

Pacific Science Center Info:
Open daily
Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm
Weekends 10 am - 6 pm

Admission Rates and more information can be found on the Pacific Science Center site.

The Seattle Children's Theater is also down at Seattle Center.  This theater brings drama and all things STAGE to younger audiences.  It's productions date back to 1975 with Little Red Riding Hoold.  Today, you can see such productions as Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, Finegan Kruckermeyer' s The Boy at the Edge of Everything, and Cheryl L. West's Mwindo.

There is also a skate park off the side of the Children's Theater...which I am not sure if it was there when I was younger.  But, it was a nice place to see skaters pull some tricks.

The Key Arena, home of the Seattle Storm,  is also down at the Seattle Center.  Walking around down there, I also saw signage for The Rat City Rollergirls.  They are a group of retired skaters who are bringing back the roller derby.  That sounds rather dated, but you never should judge something unless you've seen it, right?

One huge landmark of the Seattle Center, besides the Space Needle, is the International Fountain.  This, too, was built during the World's Fair back in 1961 - 2.  The fountain, at certain times throughout the day, entertains crowds with it's water works.  The fountain starts spouting out water and music starts blaring out of the speakers around the area.  It's really a great show to see, a great place to rest, and also a great area to chill on a sunny day.

The EMP (also known as the Experience Music Project) is down by the monorail docking station.  I haven't been here for over a decade, but, the last time I was there, I remember loving checking out the history of music:  Nirvana and Hendrix for two.

Across from the Mural Amphitheater and lawn, sits the Seattle Center House or the Armory.  The main purposes for going inside is to find food.  This place is basically a food court, just with really amazing food.  The floor below the food court is the Children's Museum, which is basically a really awesome interactive space for kids to learn about physics, health, and the outdoors.

Starting at 5 pm, the Seattle Center House also hosts Seattle's Best Damn Happy Hour, which is held on the 3rd Thursday of each month.  We were so lucky to have discovered this on our trip back to Seattle!  Happy Hour lasts until 8 pm.  Not only will you have Happy Hour drinks, but you can also play games like Giant Scrabble, Giant Jenga, and participate in raffles.  Who knew this kind of wonderful thing could exist!

It's definitely possible to spend an entire day wandering around Seattle Center.  There are a lot more things to see, like the Pacific Northwest Ballet at MaCaw Hall, a show at the Children's Theater, checking out the Pacific Science Center or EMP, wandering around the gardens, doing some gift shopping at the Space Needle, eating at the Space Needle or the Center House, visiting the Space Needle Observation Deck...and checking out the Chihuly Garden and Glass space (soon to be blogged about!).