Take a break from the winter weather and wander through one of the region’s great museums, including MOHAI, Seattle Art Museum and Bellevue Arts Museum. Some have special extended hours.

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Take a break from holiday activities and/or winter weather with an invigorating visit to one of the many museums Seattle and the region have to offer. More than just a nice break from routine for you, museums are great for entertaining out-of-town visitors or students during school breaks, and nearly all have gift shops if shopping is on your to-do list.

MOHAI, the Museum of History & Industry — a short distance from downtown Seattle via the South Lake Union streetcar — showcases artifacts and stories of local history. Current exhibits include “Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith,” 65 years of photos of the local African-American community; “The Seattle 10” collection of history-making local startup companies; and “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs,” a look at Puget Sound history through stories of cats and dogs, for animal lovers of all ages. The Hammons House miniature mansion, given to the Seattle Historical Society in 1955, is on display at MOHAI at Lake Union Park for the first time, complete with holiday decorations, through Jan. 15.

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in downtown Seattle features “Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect,” the American master’s 75-year career through 110 of his paintings and drawings, through Jan. 15. SAM will have extended hours from Dec. 27 through Jan. 15, including being open on the first three Mondays in January, to provide extra time to see the Wyeth exhibit.


Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closing 2 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31, closed Dec. 25

Cost: $13.95-$19.95, ages 14 and younger free

Location: Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle

More info: 206-324-1126 or mohai.org

Seattle Art Museum

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays-Sundays; closing 3 p.m. Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25; extended hours Dec. 27-Jan. 15

Cost: $12.95-$19.95/general admission; $14.95-$24.95/including Andrew Wyeth exhibition; ages 12 and younger always free

Location: 1300 First Ave., Seattle

More info: 206-654-3100 or seattleartmuseum.org

Bellevue Arts Museum

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. first Fridays, closed Dec. 24-25

Cost: $5-$12, ages 5 and younger free

Location: 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue

More info: 425-519-0770 or bellevuearts.org

On the Eastside, Bellevue Arts Museum, near Bellevue Collection shopping and the Winterfest Ice Arena at Bellevue Downtown Park, explores art, craft and design with works of regional and international makers. Exhibit areas include the Court of Light Sculpture Garden, with large-scale works amid native tall grasses in an outdoor setting, and Imagination Stations activities for all ages throughout the museum.

The Burke Museum of History and Culture on the UW campus is open while its new, larger site, scheduled to open in 2019, is under construction. Permanent exhibits illustrating the natural history of the Northwest and its cultures include “Life and Times of Washington State,” “Pacific Voices” and “Treasures of the Burke.” The “Testing, Testing 1-2-3” exhibit, at the museum through Jan. 7, 2018, asks visitors for feedback on the New Burke and shows the museum’s work on the ongoing project to unveil the skull of a mighty T. rex, recovered from a Montana fossil riverbed by Burke paleontologists. Also on the UW campus, Henry Art Gallery displays contemporary art and culture and new works by established and emerging artists.

Other choices among our wealth of local museums include Pacific Science Center and MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture) at Seattle Center, the Museum of Flight, Frye Art Museum and more in Seattle, the six museums in the Tacoma Museum District, and the many small, interesting history museums in cities and towns around the region. Happy browsing!