During Grand Opening Weekend, the new Burke Yard outdoor space will be transformed into a festival with multicultural music and dance performances, family-friendly activities, and food trucks.

Celebrate the Grand Opening of the Burke Museum with these special events.

Visitors can step back in time and see the animals and plants that lived in Washington state during the last ice age. 

 Credit: By Dennis Wise, courtesy Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture.

Saturday, October 5, 9 PM – Midnight

Light up the night at the New Burke!

  • Museum preview
  • Red carpet photos
  • Dancing, drinks & late-night bites

Your ticket supports the Burke.

Must be 21 or older with valid ID. Dress to impress!

Buy tickets.


New Burke Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Friday, October 11, 8:30–10 AM
Celebrate the ceremonial opening of the New Burke. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is free and open to the public, and will take place outside the museum in the new Burke Yard.
Learn more.


A Baird’s beaked whale skeleton swims above visitors as they enter the new Burke Museum. 

Credit: By Mark Stone, courtesy Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture.


Member & Donor Preview

Friday, October 11, 11 AM – 8 PM
The Burke is staying open late so members have plenty of time to see the whole museum. Join us as we celebrate YOU—the members and supporters who built this new museum.

Collect your special edition New Burke member button when you arrive, then take a break from the crowds to watch the performances from the Member Lounge.

Get tickets.

A Burke membership pays for itself in 3 visits to the museum. Not a member? Join today!

Visitors and a volunteer in the Northwest Native Art gallery, featuring “The Troll II” mural by Alison Bremner (Tlingit). 

Credit: By Mark Stone, courtesy Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture.  


Grand Opening Day

Saturday, October 12, 10 AM – 5 PM

Celebrate the New Burke Grand Opening with singers, dancers, poets and DJs, and be among the first to see the six new galleries, 12 visible labs and workrooms, and artists’ workshop in the New Burke!

Get tickets.


Grand Opening: Kids' Day

Sunday, October 13, 10 AM – 5 PM

Kids are VIPs at the New Burke on Kids' Day! Special programs for little ones include touch tables, take-home crafts, story time, Baby Shark dance parties, and more. 

Get tickets


Get a closer look at canoes and other watercraft in the new Culture is Living gallery. 

Credit: By Dennis Wise, courtesy Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture.  


Grand Opening: Indigenous Peoples' Day
Monday, October 14, 10 AM – 5 PM
Monday, October 14, is Indigenous Peoples' Day in the City of Seattle and at the Burke Museum! There will be Indigenous performances, including UW groups, and opportunities to engage in conversation about the Burke's collections throughout the day.

Get tickets


Plan a visit to the New Burke and experience the life before you.

Visitors can experience real-time research with world-class scientists at the New Burke.

Credit: By Dennis Wise, courtesy Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture. 




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