June 29, 2023

Here’s a collection of low-cost and free Museums to take in what cool in Seattle. Check the link for current price, hours and events at each. 

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture – *UW Student (Limit 1 per Husky card holder) and Free admission 1st Thursday of every month

The Burke Museum, the oldest museum in Washington state, explores the history of the Northwest with exhibits ranging from dinosaurs to Native American history and more. The museum is home to over 16 million artifacts, as well as the largest collection of spread bird wings in the world.

Henry Art Gallery – *Free admission Sundays, 1st Thursday of every month, and with a valid student ID

Known locally as “The Henry”, Henry Art Gallery showcases contemporary art and the history of photography. Located on the University of Washington campus, The Henry contains over 25,000 objects including Light Reign by James Turrell, a skyspace with a retractable roof illuminated by color-shifting LED lights.

Washington Park Arboretum – *Free admission every day

Not exactly a museum…but the Washington Park Arboretum is a 230-acre plot full of a wide variety of plants native to the Northwest, some extremely rare! The Arboretum is also home to the Japanese Gardens (free admission 1st Thursday of every month).

Center for Wooden Boats – *Free admission every day

Honoring Seattle’s unique maritime culture, the Center for Wooden Boats serves to preserve and document the historic wooden boats of the Pacific Northwest. Also considered a “living museum”, you have the opportunity to rent these historic boats and take them out on Lake Union.

Center for Contemporary Art – *Free admission every day

Located in the Tashiro Kaplan Building in Pioneer Square, the Center for Contemporary Art showcases both established and emerging artists. The center strives to educate the Pacific Northwest on contemporary art through exhibitions, publications, artist residencies, and discussions.

Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center – *Free admission every day

Before Seattle was Seattle, the Duwamish Tribe called this land home. The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, located near the mouth of the Duwamish River, serves as a center for the community to learn about the history of the Duwamish Tribe and Salish People. Monthly special events, ongoing workshops, discussions, lectures, as well as historic photographs and artifacts, are available to the public. The Longhouse is also great for events!

Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month

The Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum contains military aircraft, tanks, and machinery from Germany, Japan, Russian, the United Kingdom and the United States. The collection showcases a time of extreme turmoil, while also highlighting the technological innovation of 20th-century warfare.

Frye Art Museum – *Free admission every day

Seattle’s first free art museum, the Frye Art Museum showcases paintings and sculptures from European and American artists in the 19th and 20th-centuries.

Living Computer Museum – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month, EBT cardholders $1 admission

Take a techy trip through time at the Living Computer Museum in the SoDo area. The museum features fully functioning vintage computers, as well as exciting hands-on exhibits like a 3D printer!

Museum of Flight – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month 5-9 PM

Explore the wonderful world of flight. The Museum of Flight includes over 160 aircraft on display, as well as interactive exhibits, flight simulators, the original Boeing Aircraft factory, and much more. From old to new, you’ll have the chance to see the machines and learn about the people who flew them.

Museum of History and Industry – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month

The Museum of History and Industry, also known as MOHAI, contains over 4 million artifacts, photographs, and other historic materials, focusing on the history of the Seattle and the greater Puget Sound.

Northwest African American Museum – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month

The Northwest African American Museum highlights the Black experience in America and the connection between the Pacific Northwest and the African American people. Free parking!!!

Northwest Railway Museum – *Free admission every day

Take a trip back in time to the age of the railways – experience old steam engines, locomotives, history of the railways, and more. Fun for the kids: life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine!

Olympic Sculpture Park – *Free admission every day

The Olympic Sculpture Park is an outdoor waterfront sculpture museum near downtown, free and open to the public year-round. While this one won’t necessarily get you out of the rain, it’s a must-see in Seattle!

Seattle Art Museum Downtown – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month

The SAM showcases collections from traditional to modern, including a fairly expansive African collection which draws many visitors in. Family drop-in activities allow families to give kids the opportunity and encouragement to create their own pieces of art!

Seattle Asian Art Museum – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month

This 1933 Art Deco building in lush Volunteer Park is SAM’s original home and the location of our extensive Asian art collection, making it one of the most beloved treasures in our creative, cultured, and curious city.

Seattle Children’s Museum– *Donation (pay what you wish) weekdays 4-5 PM

“Where imagination comes alive!” The Seattle Children’s Museum offers hands-on activities for children and their families to enjoy, create, and learn. The children’s grocery store is a favorite amongst many – children get to push a little cart through the “grocery store” and put items in their cart to “buy” – fun!

Wing Luke Museum – *Free admission 1st Thursday of every month

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience explores and showcases Asian culture and its impact on the development of the Northwest. Dive into Asian culture and traditions, sports, music, art, history, and more.