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Are you planning a family trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico? Looking for unique things to do that your family will love? Then look no further than Meow Wolf. It is, by far, the best thing to do for families in Santa Fe. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting Meow Wolf with your family.
I have wanted to visit this crazy place ever since I first heard about it almost two years ago. So, on a recent road trip through the Southwest United States, I included a day in Santa Fe just to experience Meow Wolf. And I’m so glad I did! My family was blown away by it. It was so different from everything else we did on our trip.
What is Meow Wolf?
Meow Wolf is a huge immersive art installation that will take you on a journey like you have never seen before. As you enter the House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf, you are encouraged to touch and explore everything you see. As you interact with your surroundings, you will discover portals that will transport you to secret worlds.
This psychedelic, Alice-in-Wonderland type experience will make your childhood dreams of climbing through the fridge to a colorful world beyond come true. The more you delve into this unique house, the more you will discover. And the more fun you will have.
Go ahead! Dive head first into that dryer. Crawl through the fireplace. Open closets and drawers. Check the mailbox. Peek under the bed.
Meow Wolf was created by a team of artists that were given full reign to unleash their creative powers. And they took full advantage of it. Each room is completely different from the next. You will see everything from walls covered in plastic bottle caps to trees in neon colors.
This is art like you have never seen it before. Instead of just standing back and staring at it, you can use all of your senses to truly appreciate it to the fullest. So unleash your inner child and have a blast!
How long will it take to visit Meow Wolf?
There is a lot to take in at Meow Wolf. When you first enter, it’s hard to know where to look or go first. So, take a few minutes to gather your bearings. And take your time exploring. You can spend as much time as you want here.
Most people will spend anywhere from one and a half to three hours going through Meow Wolf. It took us about two hours to go through it.
How long it takes you will really depend on how much time you spend taking in each room and investigating everything you find.
Two ways to explore
There are two basic ways to explore Meow Wolf. First, you can just explore the exhibit without paying any attention to the backstory of the house. The second way is to follow the backstory and decipher all the clues.
According to the story, the house belongs to a family. You job is to follow the clues to figure out what happened to this family.
Clearly, just having fun experiencing the house and secret portals will take less time than trying to find all the clues. But it is just as fun.
In fact, I recommend to not even mess with the clues on your first visit, especially if you have small children with you or it is a busy day. The clues, however, add something extra for repeat visitors or older teens who want to really dive into all it has to offer.
We didn’t worry about the clues and had a blast. During our visit, we overhead some people who were visiting for the 10th time. They kept coming back to try and solve the mystery behind the family’s disappearance.
What are the hours and prices?
Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for kids ages 5-13, $25 for senior 65 and older, and $25 for members of the military. Children 4 and under get in for free. If you are a resident of New Mexico, you can get a discount on admission.
The operating hours vary depending on time of year. Currently, Meow Wolf Santa Fe is open from 10 am until 8 pm on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and from 10 am to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. They are closed on Tuesdays.
You will need to buy your tickets in advance and make a reservation for a date and time to visit. You can check the hours of operation, buy your tickets, and make your reservations on their website.
Occasionally, Meow Wolf hosts concerts. There is a stage in the middle of the exhibit. If you are into live music, this may be the perfect time to visit. You can alternate between listening to the concert and exploring the worlds around you. Check their website for more information on the concerts coming up.
Tips for visiting Meow Wolf
To make your trip to Meow Wolf even better, here are a few tips I learned during our visit:
- Arrive approximately 15-20 minutes before your reservation time.
- If the parking lot is full, you can park on the street nearby.
- Don’t bother buying the special glasses they sell. They don’t add much to your experience and are a pain to keep up with.
- Take time to go to the bathroom before you start exploring. The bathrooms are conveniently located by the entrance.
- There is no map and no right or wrong way to go through it. The exhibit is meant for you to explore it however you want. So, just pick a direction and go with it.
- Don’t overlook anything! You never know what will lead you to the next portal.
- Let your kids take the lead. They will love the hands on exploration.
- Take your time and really soak it all in. The more you look around, the more you’ll see.
- When you think you’ve seen it all, take one more look around. You probably missed something.
- You can’t take large bags in with you (and you won’t want to be lugging them around once you’re inside). So, leave them in the car or rent a locker at the front.
- While this is meant for people of all ages, your baby or small toddler may not enjoy it as much as your older kids. I would consider leaving out children younger than 3 or 4 if you can.
- There are narrow stairs, small passageways, and tight spaces in some areas, which might be difficult for people with limited mobility to navigate.
- Food and drink are not allowed inside the exhibit, but there is a snack bar at the front if you want to take a break during your visit.
Meow Wolf recently opened two other locations. One is in Las Vegas and the other is in Denver. Each is a little different with a different setting and backstory. The settings are:
- Santa Fe: Meow Wolf-House of Eternal Return
- Las Vegas: Meow Wolf-Omega Mart
- Denver: Meow Wolf-Convergence Station
Meow Wolf is an interactive art installation that is unlike anything else you have ever experienced. It is a unique activity the whole family will enjoy! Definitely add this to your list of things to do in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, or Denver. It is by far one of the best things to do with kids in Santa Fe!
For more things to do in New Mexico, see my posts on fun things to do with kids in New Mexico, White Sands National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Things to do in Silver City, City of Rocks, and the Catwalk.
P.S. Need help finding the best places to go on your family vacations? My Ultimate USA Bucket List for Families will instantly give you 60 of the best vacation destinations for families in the United States! Get it for FREE in the box below and start planning your next trip today! Plus, as a bonus, you will receive my weekly email newsletter full of family trip tips and inspiration!