The venue dazzles on the south end of Lake Union — Photo courtesy of Ed LaCasse/MOHAI
On the south end of Lake Union, a dazzling venue has been wowing visitors since it opened its new waterfront location in 2013. The grand Museum of History and Industry (or MOHAI, as locals call it) is devoted to teaching and preserving the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region and the country, too.
Visitors enjoy vibrant, creatively-designed galleries that use cutting-edge technology and hands-on features to celebrate Seattle's intriguing innovators, pioneers and talents who've shaped the city – past and present.
Visitors explore CD cover images displayed at "The Legacy of Hip Hop" — Photo courtesy of Lauren Valone/MOHAI
Through May 1, the exhibition The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop shines the spotlight on one of Seattle’s most vibrant cultural communities. Curated by Seattle natives Jazmyn Scott (The Town Entertainment) and Aaron Walker-Loud (Big World Breaks), the interactive exhibit immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of the energizing genre, thanks to audio recordings, photos, pieces of art, artifacts and other enticing gems.
Visitors learn about the people, places and events that contribute to the rich tapestry of hip-hop's history, as they explore fascinating topics like graffiti, deejaying, breakdancing, production and emceeing. Museum goers also get a human look at the dynamic art form through first-person narratives from some of Seattle's hottest performers and artists.
Every second Saturday during the run of The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop, MOHAI visitors experience grooving hip-hop sounds firsthand, thanks to local DJs spinning vinyl in the Walker Gallery. Also check out special events throughout January like "Black Lives Matter in Hip-Hop."
Then, on January 14, from 6 to 7 pm (galleries open until 8 pm), "Seattle AntiFreeze: Timber Ginger Beer" draws those interested in exploring what – besides "the Seattle freeze" – defines the character of this city (allowing them to sample some truly spicy ginger beer at the same time they learn).
The museum showcases a graffiti panel created for the exhibit by Specs Wizzard — Photo courtesy of MOHAI
On the first Thursday of each month, general admission to MOHAI's permanent exhibits is free all day. The no-charge admission includes True Northwest: the Seattle Journey, the Bezos Center for Innovation and the temporary hip-hop exhibit. Also, be sure to check out complimentary – and complementary – events happening throughout Lake Union Park.
After touring the museum, take time to pause at the well-stocked gift shop en route to Compass Cafe. Here, consider grabbing a tasty treat (sweet or savory) to enjoy indoors in the sleek, Scandinavian-feeling space. When the sun's shining, enjoy the pleasant waterside terrace, too.
MOHAI is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm and until 8 pm on Thursdays. Admission to MOHAI’s collection galleries is $17 for adults; $15 for seniors (62 and over); $14 for students and military; and free for members as well as youth 14 and under.