The Nordic Heritage Museum

A photo of a Norse woman standing in front of a Viking ship.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Located in Seattle, the Nordic Heritage Museum honors the cultural traditions brought over from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. It is the only museum of its kind in the U.S.

Of special note is The Dream of America exhibition. Visitors are given the opportunity to experience what it was like for the first Nordic people to migrate to America. Dioramas simulate the full voyage, beginning with boarding the ship and crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors then “land” at Ellis Island and begin their trek to the Northwest from there.

It’s fun, it’s intriguing, and it’s highly educational. And for those who live far away, don’t worry; the exhibition is on permanent display. That leaves plenty of time to plan a trip.

Other highlights include the National Identity Galleries: The Nordic Countries. This exhibition has a separate gallery for each of the five countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). Visitors are able to see the similarities and differences between the counties. This exhibition is also on permanent display.

Then there’s The Promise of the Northwest exhibition. This exhibition honors the impact that the Nordic people have had on the Pacific Northwest. Many Nordic immigrants were highly skilled in logging and fishing, which remain some of the biggest industries in the region to this day.

In addition to their permanent and traveling exhibitions, the museum also sponsors events, concerts, classes, and festivals throughout the year. Of special note is the annual Yulefest, which is the Nordic version of Christmas. It is a family-friendly event fully equipped with food, music, games, and more! At the Nordic Heritage Museum, history is never boring!

It’s an impressive museum to say the least, with more than 77,000 cultural items on display, including clothing, furniture, artwork, and archival materials. To learn more about the Nordic Heritage Museum, click here.

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