Once known as Experience Music Project, EMP is now known as the Museum of Pop Culture — or MoPOP (they changed the name in November 2016). MoPOP is a much more fitting name, because instead of just focusing on music — the Museum of Pop Culture focus on just that pop culture: movies, video games, sports and just about anything else.

mopop seattle space needle

Living in Seattle, I’ve seen the Museum of Pop Culture from the outside a million times. It’s hard to miss. MoPOP is a crazy building, designed to look like a smashed guitar. To achieve that feat, the architect used 3,000 panels, made up of 21,000 individually cut, shaped and painted steel and aluminum shingles. MoPOP describes the structure as a “fusion of textures and myriad colors, MoPOP’s exterior conveys all the energy and fluidity of music.”

The inside the Museum of Pop Culture is just as exciting as the outside. When we visited a few months ago, there were music exhibits showcasing Jimi Hendrix (Hear My Train a Comin’: Hendrix Hits London), Nirvana (Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses) and the guitar (Guitar Gallery: The Quest for Volume). Just like any other museum, you can’t touch anything in those exhibits, but MoPOP does allow you to be hands-on in other areas. You can play different instruments inside the Sound Lab (click here to watch Tove jam on the keyboard) and you can also rock out with your family and friends On Stage. MoPOP is truly a music lovers’ paradise.

Museum of Pop Culture
Guitar sculpture inside the Museum of Pop Culture

Like I mentioned, the Museum of Pop Culture goes beyond music as well. When Tove and I visited, there were exhibits dedicated to the history of the leather jacket, science fiction and horror films. We saw Elvis’ motorcycle, Jason’s mask from Friday the 13th, Darth Vader’s lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back and many other cool pieces. You can even share your best horror film face inside the Scream Booth, which is a photo booth that takes your picture while you’re screaming and then displays it for everyone in the exhibit to see.

Tickets for the Museum of Pop Culture aren’t exactly cheap. Adults get in for $30, while seniors and students pay $27, and military and youth (5-17 years old) cost $24 and $21, respectively. Children 4-and-under are free. You can actually save anywhere from $2 to $5 on admission by purchasing your MoPOP tickets online. If you plan on seeing other top Seattle attractions, we highly recommend the Seattle CityPASS. You can save 43% on six major Seattle attractions, including the Museum of Pop Culture and the Space Needle.

EMP Museum Superman
A Superman outfit worn by Christopher Reeve in ‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace’

Tove and I really enjoyed MoPOP. It’s fun to jam out in the Sound Lab and it’s really cool to see music and cinematic history. We’ll definitely go back when new exhibit rolls through town. We’re fortunate because we can visit the museum whenever we want, but if you’re only in the Emerald City for a limited time, we think you should make the Museum of Pop Culture one of your priorities.

You can connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram if you have any questions. We’re happy to help however we can. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more places to see, eat and play when you’re in the Emerald City.

EMP Museum Elvis
A motorcycle and leather jacket owned by Elvis Presley