Nestled in an unassuming strip mall in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is Meow Wolf, possibly the coolest, weirdest and most unforgettable new travel experience in the United States. The art installation/funhouse/imaginative adventure space will seriously blow your mind with its sheer creativity. It’s one part psychedelic wonderland, one part out-of-this-world music venue—and 100 percent astonishing for both kids and adults.
Essentially, it’s a 20,000-square-foot “immersive art installation,” loosely organized around a fictional story of a family that disappeared into a third dimension some years back. When you enter the “House of Eternal Return” exhibit, you wander through the family’s home, complete with dryer portal, “melted” floors, and doorways into neon-lit areas with mushrooms you can climb on, rainbow trees, and a luminous electronic harp, among hundreds of other art pieces.
Still don’t totally get what Meow Wolf is all about? Let the creators tell you themselves in the video below:
I visited Meow Wolf back in 2016 and yes, it is just as cool as it looks. Meow Wolf is sensory overload on steroids, with amazing things to see, touch and hear at every turn (there are headphone stations where you can listen to the “mystery” of the disappeared family, for example).
Art surrounds you—glowing, teeming, colorful and completely trippy. There’s no map and no guide, as the artists’ intention is that you wander through and find your own story through the art.
That’s just what my husband and I did—after two hours, I’d totally lost him in the maze, but I’d discovered all sorts of crazy corners of the installation on my own personal journey into the art.
We both absolutely loved the experience and have plans to go back. Meow Wolf, after all, is the kind of place you can visit again and again, finding something totally new to appreciate each time.
The cavernous space, which was converted from a defunct bowling alley with funding from Santa Fe resident and “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin, also features a gift shop, maker space, ceramic studio and kids learning center. For more insight into what exactly to expect at Meow Wolf, check out this video, where YouTuber Offcast describes it as the “coolest place I’ve ever been.”
If you want to visit, tickets to the House of Eternal Return are $20 for adults, $14 for kids and $18 for members of the military and seniors. There are group rates available, too. It can get pretty crowded, so schedule your visit for a weekday, if at all possible. Allow at least two hours to see the whole space. Optional 3-D-like chromadepth glasses, which you can buy for $1, will enhance the experience.
You can also gain entry via a concert ticket, as Meow Wolf regularly hosts musicians. Upcoming shows include Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Perfume Genius.
However you make your way to Meow Wolf, you won’t regret it. It’s a truly one-of-a-kind travel experience for people of all ages.