Advice from a Fridge and Dryer – Exploring Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf 

Vanessa in a fridge“Step Into Possibilities”, “Open the Door to Amazement”, “Avoid Overload”, and “Find Cool Things in Life” state the laminated bookmarks featuring a sparkly dryer that looks like a portal to a different world and an old-school fridge, with an illuminated, open door.

We just finished our first Meow Wolf outing. Saturated with emotions ranging from childlike giddiness to feeling like an accomplished explorer, we stand in the comparatively non-descript souvenir shop. We purchase our bookmarks and make our way back to our Santa Fe signature adobe vacation rental.

Weeks later, Meow Wolf is still reverberating in our system with its unique playspace quality that invites everyone to join the fun. But what is it about the Meow Wolf experience that is so hauntingly awesome?

Step into Possibilities 
My 9-year-old daughter, and her friend, declare that I HAVE TO COME RIGHT NOW to check out SOMETHING SUPER COOL. Her sweaty palm squeezes my hand tightly as we crawl through a fireplace and pass a family studying a newspaper article for story clues at a dining room table. Eventually, we end up in your standard-1980s-all-American kitchen in front of a white fridge. With beaming eyes, the kiddos open the door and declare: You can walk through the refrigerator! I follow the empowered youngsters through a narrow passage that is well-lit by bright lights to a completely different, futuristic section of Meow Wolf. It feels like arriving in a new chapter, full of possibilities.
meow wolf

Open the Door to Amazement
Meow Wolf throws the traditional exhibit design rule book out the window. It’s incredibly invigorating when you step into a world and its story that is devoid of instructions and traditional wayfinding: Looking for an attraction map? Forget it, jump right in. Missing your signature ‘don’t cross’ or ‘don’t touch’ signs? Not needed here, instead you’re invited to ‘touch everything’. On the lookout for staff who can point you to closest bathroom? Ask the quirky scientist who’s part of the ever-evolving story plot and watches the crowds with an eager eye from his hideout. At Meow Wolf, you need to let go and let awe be your guide.

Calvin in a washerAvoid Overload
Meow Wolf’s narrative-based, fully immersive experience offers as many options as it does directions. Visitors can go as deep as they want, take breaks in quiet magic forest tree houses, indulge in musical mammoth skeletons, or go full force and embark on a puzzle-room-style journey. You can get lost at your own pace and there’s an experience awaiting for everyone: From thrill-seeking theme park fans, to art installation geeks, to the spontaneous tourist – Meow Wolf welcomes us all with a story and memories that are yours only.

Find Cool Things in Life 
Maybe Meow Wolf’s biggest gift is an experience that leaves us hungry for more full-sensory explorations in our daily lives: It encourages us to bond with strangers and our loved ones while rejoicing on must-see areas. It offers the blissful feeling of no sense of time, while fully immersed in dreamscapes and play. And Meow Wolf reminds us that humans are capable of amazing things and life is full of entry points to adventures that lurk behind almost every corner.

 

Authors: Vanessa Schatz & Jill Katzenberger