Seattle's Nordic Museum Reopens in a Stunning New Facility

The traditionally Scandinavian neighborhood of Ballard has plenty to celebrate.

After several months' closure, the Nordic Museum—the only museum in the United States that showcases the impact and influence of Nordic cultures in contemporary society—reopens on May 5, 2018, in its new, 57,000 square-foot home in the heart of Ballard, Seattle’s historically Nordic neighborhood. The design features a soaring central fjord atrium with angular walls that narrow as visitors go deeper into the museum to explore more than 12,000 years of Nordic and Nordic-American history, told through a collection of more than 77,000 artifacts. The Nordic Museum also hosts a wide range of special events, concerts, lectures, films and contemporary art exhibitions. “Northern Exposure: Contemporary Nordic Arts Revealed,” the first special exhibition in the new location features works by Olafur Eliasson, Jesper Just, Kim Simonsson, Tori Wrånes and others. 

It's a big month for Seattle’s Nordic community. In addition to celebrations for the new Nordic Museum, it's time for Ballard’s annual 17th of May Festival, "Syttende Mai." Commemorating Norway’s Constitution Day, the fest features a parade with more than 100 community groups, including marching bands and drill teams, plus more family-friendly activities at the neighborhood’s Bergen Place park.