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Free First Thursdays @ Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture | Washington State’s Oldest Museum

Free First Thursdays @ Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture
Free Admission 10AM- 8PM

Burke Museum
17th Ave NE & NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 543-5590 | More info:

Founded in 1885, the Burke Museum is Washington State’s oldest museum. Open daily, the Burke Museum welcomes all visitors who are curious about the natural wonders of Washington state, the Pacific Northwest, and the Pacific Rim. Discovery awaits you.

Free Admission—First Thursdays
Admission is free to the public on the first Thursday of each month.
Group tours may not be scheduled on these days.


Location, Map, and Directions

The Burke Museum is on the University of Washington campus at the corner of 17th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street.

Printable map and directions (PDF file).

From I-5, exit east onto NE 45th Street. Travel east on NE 45th Street to 17th Avenue NE. Turn right onto 17th. The museum will be immediately on your right.

From Highway 520, exit north onto Montlake Boulevard NE. Turn left onto NE Pacific Street. Turn right and head north on 15th Avenue NE. Turn right and head east on NE 45th St. Take your next right on 17th Avenue NE. The museum will be immediately on your right.

UW Access Guide for people with disabilities


On View Now

There’s always something going on at the Burke Museum:


Visit by Bus

For information, call Metro Transit at 206-553-3000, or consult Metro Online’slist of buses to the Burke Museum area, complete with timetables and route maps.

Visit by Bike or on Foot

The Burke Museum is located .5 miles north of the Burke-Gilman Trail. Bike racks are located in front of the Burke Museum and on the southwest corner of the building. Use the City of Seattle’s Bicycling Guide Map to plan the safest route to the museum on your bike or on foot.


Museum parking is operated by the University of Washington. Enter the UW campus at 17th Ave NE (Memorial Way) and NE 45th Street. Go to the gatehouse to purchase a parking ticket and tell the attendant that you are parking at the Burke Museum. Cash and Visa/Mastercard are accepted.

  • Parking is free after noon on Saturday and all day Sunday.
  • Weekday parking is $15 between 6 am and 5 pm, with prorated refunds for visits less than 4 hours.
  • After 5 pm on weekdays and before noon on Saturday parking is $5 with prorated refunds for visits less than 1 hour.
  • Please note, during large events on campus, a special events fee may be charged in some or all areas of campus.

Need to get your prorated refund? As you exit campus, go back to the gatehouse and hand the attendant your parking pass. For details, visit UW Seattle Campus Parking and Gatehouse Fee Schedule.


Museum Visitor Policies

To make your visit more pleasant, we have listed Burke Museum visitor policies for your convenience in advance of your visit.

  • Large bags are not allowed in the exhibit galleries. This includes large purses, backpacks, shopping bags, briefcases, large totes and baby bags. A bag check is available to visitors at the Admission Desk.
  • Food & drinks are not permitted in the exhibit galleries.


The Burke Museum welcomes visitors to take photographs or digital images for personal, non-commercial use, unless otherwise noted. Excessive flash, tripods, and monopods are not allowed.

Photography may be restricted within Special Exhibit Galleries or other locations; these instances will be clearly marked with “No Photography” notices. Objects on loan to the museum may be subject to contractual restrictions that prohibit photography. The Burke Museum must honor the wishes of our lenders. Visitors will be asked to observe all restrictions.

Prior written permission from the Burke Museum is required for:

  • All filming or photography for commercial or media use
  • Reproduction or sale of photographs
  • Publication of images

The Burke Museum reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to photograph on its premises or to reproduce images of objects in its collection.

Note: This is not intended to be a complete list, but a highlight of key policies to assist in your planning.


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