I was a Renthead growing up so when I went to visit my friends in Albuquerque last month, they were more than game for a trip to Santa Fe. Of course, they’d been there several time before with other out-of-town friends and they made sure to temper my expectations. “Santa Fe kind of sucks,” they said. “If it weren’t the capital, no one would go there.”
The morning we were preparing to drive there, my best friend sat down and told me there was a big experiential art exhibit there and they would feel bad not telling me about it and risking my being upset finding out about it after, but they had been three times and could not bear going a fourth. I asked what it was and they said it was called Meow Wolf. It’s a massive alternative art venue in Santa Fe that they said was largely funded by George RR Martin in 2015 with a donation of $2.7 million.
This couldn’t have meant less to me because I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but I thought the name was interesting (#catlady) and when in Rome, right? So I bought a ticket online and they said they’d drop me off and hang out at one of the nearby breweries while I explored.
The only way I could possibly explain Meow Wolf is that it’s the most unique fun house you’ll ever go to. This permanent space opened in 2016 and the permanent installation is called “House of the Eternal Return.” It’s fucking weird, that’s for sure. Cool, but weird. I understood exactly why they didn’t need to go back as soon as I walked in because it’s a sensory overload and not to mention pricy at $22 a ticket for in-state residents.
It was cool to explore – you could walk through refrigerators and dive down laundry machines (!) – but being from New York City, it wasn’t that unique. It was overwhelming to try to see it all though. I tried my best to walk through every room and space and odd entrance, and I think I did a pretty good job of catching it all.
If you love odd installations, this might be the thing you do in Santa Fe (because there’s really not much else to do there, more on that later!). And if you don’t, go anyway so you can say you’ve experienced the weirdest house of oddities you’ll likely ever have the chance to experience. You can learn more here and also buy tickets ahead of time and save time waiting on a huge line.
This wall was way too trippy not to take a photo in front of. I made myself dizzy looking straight at it.