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Tuesday 21 September 2021

Meow Wolf Convergence Station

It's finally here!

Meow Wolf's long awaited Denver location has finally opened!

Last week I got the chance to visit Meow Wolf Convergence Station before it opened to the public and it was everything I imagined it would be and so much more.

If you've been here a while you'll know that I'm a big fan of immersive art, so I've been super excited about visiting Meow Wolf ever since I first heard that it was under construction. Every time I've zoomed past the site on the nearby freeway I've felt that tingle of anticipation and excitement as I've spotted the signage. This past year has been a doozy with so much pain and heartbreak in the world, but seeing that colorful Meow Wolf sign has always lifted my spirits knowing that something so good is coming our way. It's here and I'm so excited to share it with you!

Get ready for a long post, because you know I took a gazillion photos, right? There's so much to see; how could I not?

Where do I even start when it comes to describing Meow Wolf ? Ok, that really is a tough one, because Meow Wolf is so many different things. It's a world, or rather, many worlds, of sights, sounds and experiences only imaginable in a dream. It's bright and colorful, yet there's a dark side. It's creative and fun, but also thought provoking. It's loud and overwhelming at times, but there are havens of peace to sit with your thoughts. It's a world of contradictions, yet linked in so many different ways through the ties that bind us all to the human experience. There's no right or wrong way to experience Meow Wolf. Everyone will take home something different from their time in Convergence Station, but one thing I know for sure is that every single person who visits will leave in a state of awe.

As soon as you arrive at Convergence Station you know you're in for something magical and otherworldly. You'll find the adorable Plethodon sculpture by the parking lot (resist climbing - he bites!) and colorful murals on the outside of the building. You know I love a good mural. The magic begins as soon as you enter the lobby which feels like a station to another dimension - which it kind of is! From the lobby, guests head to a large elevator that acts as a portal to the four floors of Convergence Station. Over the four floors you'll find seventy nine unique environments, all very different from each other but linked in various ways that are often only obvious when you look a little deeper below the surface.

One of my favorite things about Convergence Station is that there's no right or wrong order to explore. Visitors are welcome to visit the worlds in any order they wish. Unlike other interactive exhibitions that we've visited in the past, there's no set route to take, there's no time limit for each area, and there's no need to walk in one direction like you're in an Ikea store. Want to go back and spend a little extra time in a room you enjoyed? That's totally allowed! Visitors can come and go between any floor or room they please.

There are four main anchor spaces of Convergence Station, with many more smaller spaces connected throughout. The main anchor spaces are Convergence Street (or C Street), Numina, Eemia and Ossuary. These spaces are all very different, but their stories tie them together just below the surface.

I started my visit to Convergence Station at C Street, a world of familiar, yet also alien stores, vehicles and city streetscapes. It feels futuristic, nostalgic and out of this world all at the same time. Like all of Convergence Station, the level of detail is amazing. Each of those little stores you see is full of custom made products and items, whether it be a store that you can actually enter and interact with or just a fa├žade with a window to view through. A walk through a vintage Denver bus took me from the main part of C Street to a room filled with a cacophony of music and walls covered in reclaimed Denver street signs. The music comes from instruments high on the walls that play on their own. It's loud and it can be a little overwhelming, but I soon found myself in a much more tranquil place.

The next world I entered was Numina, a far more peaceful world where the line between plant life and animal life is blurred. I honestly felt like I'd stepped into the set of a Jim Henson movie when I entered Numina and this made my heart so happy. It felt a little Fraggle Rock combined with the Dark Crystal, but also very much its own thing. Numina feels like a large, expansive cave with waterfalls, plants, mystical creatures, glowing lights, and tranquil music and sounds. 

From Numina I visited Eemia, a world plunged into a thousand year ice age. The highlight of this icy world is a colorful glass palace, that can be view from multiple levels. It's stunning from above, yet even more so from inside. Visitors can enter the palace where they'll find interactive components that make sounds, make the roof spin, and if you know how, make the stars above align to open a portal. I was lucky enough to watch one of the creators of this world open the portal and it was an awe inspiring sight. With all the bright colors and intricate parts this was definitely one of my favorite places in Convergence Station. 

Ossuary is home to a labyrinth of corridors that connect many smaller rooms filled with memories. Memories and a shared history are one of the things that tie all of the worlds of Convergence Station together, and Ossuary is where this all comes together with a library full of wisdom. While the main hall of Ossuary is quite elaborate and rather classical in style, the rooms that come off of it are a mixed bag, with rather varied and quite quirky displays.

Between the four main areas of Convergence Station you'll find a wealth of artistry and creativity with rooms that you need to see to believe. Me trying to explain them really doesn't do them justice at all. You'll find a laundromat with a secret room, and washers with their own little worlds inside. You'll find a room filled with light displays projected on the walls in patterns that never repeat exactly the same. You'll find a room where the youth of Convergence Station worship a half rat being. You'll find a pizza joint with mascots that look like someone merged Spongebob characters and 80s McDonalds mascots together. You'll find yourself crawling through tunnels to hidden rooms, walking through hallways of light, marveling at murals from a dream, and so much more.

You may have noticed that I mentioned memories a couple of times earlier. Memories are a big thing in Convergence Station and visitors can take a deeper dive into the stories of the four worlds and their citizens with a QPASS. Throughout Convergence Station you'll find Convergence Exchange screens (like the one pictured below) where QPASS cards can be swiped. Each of these will add memories to your card and as you go through Convergence Station the memories will accrue, telling a story that you may have missed seeing. This is an add on activity that adds an extra element to your visit to Convergence Station. The memories on the QPASS card can be accessed through the Convergence Exchange screens or on your phone, which makes it a fun souvenir to take home.

Now for all the nitty gritty...

Meow Wolf Convergence Station is located at 1338 1st Street Denver.

Convergence Station is open daily; Sunday through Thursday 10am - 10pm, and Friday and Saturday 10am - 12am.

Timed entry tickets must be purchased in advance online at https://tickets.meowwolf.com/denver/.

Tickets are $45 for adults (14+) and $40 for children (5 - 13), seniors and military (with valid military ID). Children 4 and under are admitted free of charge. Discounted entry is available for Colorado residents with a valid Colorado ID. 

Limited parking is available on site and is available every day apart from NFL game days at nearby Empower Field at Mile High. 

All visitors to Convergence Station must wear a mask. Hand sanitzer stations are located in the lobby and throughout.   

All areas of Convergence Station are ADA accessible with the exception of the vintage bus in C Street. Some areas may be a little trickier to access than others, but staff members are always on hand to help.

Strollers are not permitted in Convergence Station.

Accessible bathrooms are located throughout Convergence Station including family rooms with change tables. An adult change table is available in the Guest Service Lounge on the first floor. 

Outside food and drinks are not permitted, however visitors will find a range of food on offer at HELLOFOOD in the lobby.

Convergence Station offers a gift shop filled with all sorts of fun merchandise to remember your visit by. Both the gift shop and HELLOFOOD are only accessible to ticketholders. 

For more information visit https://meowwolf.com/visit/denver.

I had such a wonderful time visiting Meow Wolf Convergence Station and I can't wait to go back and see it again with the kids!

Have you been to a Meow Wolf exhibition? I'm excited to check out the exhibitions in Santa Fe and Las Vegas at some point too.

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