Seattle Center

Seattle Center is a festival, arts, and entertainment center just north of Belltown in Seattle. It was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair but now hosts a collection of excellent museums and the Space Needle as its centerpiece.

 

Museums

Museums located at Seattle Center include the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), the Pacific Science Center and IMAX Theatre, and the Seattle Children’s Museum (located in the Armory). Chihuly Garden and Glass is a fantastic art museum with works by local artist Dale Chihuly. It’s possible to combine a visit to some of these museums with admission to the Space Needle.

MoPOP at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington

MoPOP

Seattle Children's Museum at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington

Seattle Children’s Museum

 

Key Arena

Another building on the campus is Key Arena, which used to be the home of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics. It now holds concerts and other events as well as the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. Key Arena opened in 1962.

Key Arena in Seattle, Washington

Key Arena

 

International Fountain

In the center of the campus is the International Fountain. It’s 220 feet in diameter with a 10 foot stainless steel dome in the middle. There are several different water jets that are often synchronized to music. The fountain runs year-round.

International Fountain at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington

International Fountain

International Fountain at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington

International Fountain

Between the fountain and Key Arena, you can find sculptures of two orcas with their backs outside the “water”.

Orca sculptures at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington

Orca sculptures

 

Armory

The Seattle Center Armory was built before the 1962 World’s Fair and actually served as the city’s armory. It holds a food court with several restaurants and is the home of the Seattle Children’s Museum.

Armory at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington

Armory

Armory at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington

Armory

 

Gates Foundation Discovery Center

A block north of MoPOP is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. It’s an excellent and inspiring space that explains how the foundation improves living conditions around the world. It also explains the tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done. Admission is free.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle, Washington

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle, Washington

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center

There are video touch screens to learn about stories of individuals who were impacted by the foundation. Interactive exhibits let visitors contribute their ideas on how to make the world a better place.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle, Washington

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center

Interactive exhibit at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle, Washington

Interactive exhibit

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle, Washington

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center

 

Getting There

To get to Seattle Center, you can ride the monorail from Westlake Center downtown. It costs US$2.50 for a one-way ticket.

Seattle Center Monorail in Washington

Seattle Center Monorail

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