Tag Archives: Pacific Science Center

King Tut Exhibit Opens in Seattle

Tomorrow, May 24, 2012, the Pacific Science Center welcomes visitors to view Tutankhamun: The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs’. Today, I had the privilege of seeing this phenomenon as a member of the press. I love my job. Go if you can. It won’t be shown again anywhere else after January 6, 2013 and the Science Center expects to sell out.

Seattle hosted a similar exhibit in 1978, but the current one contains twice as many artifacts. People who attended in 1978 recall waiting in long lines. This year that problem has been solved – you buy tickets for a certain day and timed entry. So far 90,000 of those tickets have been sold.

Possibly the first flip flops. Photo credit to Sandro Vannini, National Geographic.

King Tut became a king at 9 years of age and forensic analysis says he died at age 19, probably from an infection in a fractured leg. Even at this young age, he had everything he could possibly need in his tomb.

More than 100 remarkable objects discovered in King Tut’s tomb are on display. I found the complexity and intricacy of the jewelry fascinating. Small beads and miniature cornflowers make up a necklace called the Gold Collar. A Necklace and Pectoral of Mereret looked unlike anything I’ve ever seen, but could almost be described as a pendant that was also a very intricately-crafted picture. Twenty-five amulets were found around the neck of the mummy.

Much of what was found in King Tut’s tomb was created specifically for the afterlife. A gold Pair of Sandals adorned his feet while finger protectors were worn over his rings and toe protectors covered his toes – all to protect him in the afterlife. You’ll find a model of a boat in the exhibit because the Nile River was the main source of transportation in Ancient Egypt. Thirty-five ship models accompanied the boy King in the tomb so he could boat wherever he needed to go after death.

You can tour the exhibit with an audio accompaniment, which I highly recommend. Different music, composed for each of the galleries, transports you back in time and helps you experience 2,000 years of Egyptian history. These ancient treasures remain one of the world’s greatest legacies. The beauty, preservation and stories behind each item evokes all kinds of emotions. Reserve your ticket as soon as you can.

King Tut's finger and toe coverings

Pacific Science Center members receive a substantial discount. Non-member adults pay $27.50 for Mon.-Thur. or $32.50 for Fri.-Sun. Youth (6-15) are $16.50 for Mon.-Thurs. and $21.50 for Fri.-Sun and children (3-5) pay $15.50 during the week and $20.50 for Fri.-Sun. Admission gets you into the Pacific Science Center for the day and if you can take advantage of that as they know how to entertain there.

Spending Time at the Pacific Science Center, Eating at the Crab Pot

Butterflies indulging at the Tropical Butterfly House in the Pacific Science Center

Dinner at the Crab Pot on Seattle's waterfront

I worked at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the one Elvis Presley visited and President John F. Kennedy opened. If I told you more about how young I was then, those that are good at math might figure out my age. Just know, I was there and that event marked a lot of history for Seattle.

Century 21, as the Fair was called, created several new venues that still stand today. The most iconic is the Space Needle, but what was then called the Science Pavilion also stands and is now the Pacific Science Center. The Bubbleator, a see through elevator, sits in a residential yard in Des Moines, or at least it did a few years ago. We are totally into recycling here.

But this post is about the Science Center http://www.pacsci.org, which until last week-end, I hadn’t visited for several years. In that time it has blossomed into a very hip and cool place for the entire family. Was I impressed? Yes, as were all the other members in our party from my two-year-old granddaughter and 11-year-old grandson to my daughter and husband. Everyone found a particular activity or two or three that he or she just couldn’t get enough of.

For Kita, the two year old, Tot Town held her interest for more than an hour, which is unheard of in her little world of moving from one toy to another to the TV to running around all day. She was mesmerized by the water play opportunities and when we did talk her into moving, she drove a car, tried different sized slides and then wanted to repeat the water play.

One of the first words Kita learned was “butterfly” so our main intention for this trip was to visit the Tropical Butterfly House. This exhibit maintains a temperature in the low 80’s, which feels wonderful on a brisk, fall day. My daughter thought she’d move in with her hammock and a Mai Tai.


Butterflies of all sizes and colors fill the room, so much so, that you must be very careful where you step. If you’re one of the chosen ones, a butterfly or two will land on you and you can strut around showing your “adornment” to others. You can view new butterflies emerging in the chrysalis viewing window – these new butterflies are released into the exhibit each morning. What a wonderful hands-on learning opportunity for the entire family.

Also noteworthy, the Mindbender Mansion, a temporary exhibit on site until January 2011, attracts teens and pre-teens, asking them to solve puzzles. Dads might enjoy playing chess with the bigger-than-life-size chess pieces. Then there’s a Harry Potter Exhibit, insects, dinosaurs, sounds and so much more.

A perfect end to a day at the Science Center means a meal on Seattle’s stunning waterfront. At the Crab Pot http://www.thecrabpotseattle.com, your meal is tossed onto white butcher paper and then you select your seafood of choice and attack it with a mallet or gently remove it from the shell. No silverware required. You’re given a bib so as not to tarnish your clothes with fish juice.

Although several Crab Pot restaurants exist, I can’t imagine one with a better view or fresher seafood than the one on Seattle’s Pier 57.