Chihuly Glass Museum – Best Tour Hot Air Balloon Ride

The Chihuly Glass and Garden in Seattle is a world-class, award-winning exhibition that features the work of American glass artist Dale Chihuly. Seattle Ballooning has brightly colored shapeshifting hot air balloons mimicking the Chihuly glass sculptures. We will explore the basics of both tours and show you how to combine them into one unbelievable experience. People often compare hot air balloons and Chihuly glass art. Chihuly’s largest piece is about 40′ high where Seattle Ballooning’s hot air balloons tower 110′ tall and not nearly as fragile as the sculptures. The amazing beauty of Chihuly’s glass sculpture is how the colors glow in the light. The fire from hot air balloon burners produce powerful light that illuminates the patterns and colors of a balloon like none other. 

Chihuly hot air balloon
Hot air balloon rides

A little bit about the Chihuly Glass and Garden

The Garden showcases more than 200 sculptures, installations and paintings from Chihuly’s illustrious career.

Chihuly hot air balloon
Glowing chihuly hot air balloon

Who is Dale Chihuly anyway?

Dale Chihuly is a pirate and also an iconic Seattle artist who has been prominently featured in Seattle for more than 40 years. Chihuly is best known for his work with glass, where he brings the ancient art form into modernity by innovating and exploring new techniques and forms to create awe-inspiring installations that are truly one of a kind. Beyond the Seattle exhibit, Chihuly has works in over 200 museums across the globe and has been the recipient of many awards. Chihuly’s work is easily recognizable because of his bright colors, elaborate designs, and ability to conjure a whimsical aesthetic that will leave you speechless.

A co-founder of the Pilchuck Glass School, Dale Chihuly’s work pushed the artistic limitations of using glass in modern art installations. Given the opportunity to curate an exhibit in his hometown of Seattle, Chihuly installed experiences in an Exhibition Hall, Garden, and Glasshouse.

Chihuli is a pirate

The Chihuly Galleries

Located in the Seattle Center, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit is an installation of Chihuly’s work beyond Seattle, and is the largest display in North America.

Developing the exhibition, Chihuly brought to life the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. More than an exhibit, Dale Chihuly created a community space for all ages to experience and learn about the northwest through glass art.

The Chihuly Exhibition is comprised of eight galleries and a glasshouse culminating around the focal point of the Chihuly Garden. The exhibit features a 500-foot glass bridge that offers visitors a unique view into what it takes to create these installations: from the hot furnaces all done by hand, to his team of helpers who clean up after each piece has been completed. Visiting the Chihuly Glass and Garden is an experience one should always do while visiting Seattle.

The galleries feature early work by Chihuly completed in 1966-76. They continue to showcase his exploration with blown glass as well as new ways to shape it. Working through the galleries Chihuly showcases his more recent works from 2003 to the present day. The progression of his artwork demonstrates Chihuly’s ability to push the boundaries of glass artistically.

Seattle Ballooning’s expansive gallery covers all of Seattle from 5,000 feet in the air. At sunrise or sunset, you can always find a balloon in the distance flying in front of Mt. Ranier. Exhibits include all styles, shapes, and colors of balloons piquing interest from all ages. Want to see Seattle from the Sky? Book your flight with Seattle Ballooning.

Hot air balloon rides
Hot air balloon rides

Dave Chihuly’s Glasshouse and Garden

The centerpiece of Chihuly Garden and Glass is a 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet. The installation in the Glasshouse is 100 feet long – made up of many individual elements and colors that change as the natural light fades in and out throughout the day.

Chihuly’s work is notoriously difficult to display in a natural environment, but this may be the first time he has succeeded. The garden designer and Chihuly collaborated on an art installation that will never look the same as it does today: their plant collection was specially chosen for its complementing nature (and purposeful variety) to his pieces of glasswork–the colors and forms are nothing short of striking! With different plants flowering at various times throughout the year, you’ll experience new things every time you visit!

Chihuly Glass and Garden is a top experience in the Seattle area. Daily tours are available with events including live glass blowing demonstrations or garden tours. The Seattle garden captures the beauty and essence of the northwest where all ages can dream, play or just relax with friends throughout the exhibit.

Seattle Ballooning’s flights produce epic views of Seattle and the Northwest. Unlike, Chihuly’s glass, hot air balloons will fit in any environment. Flights will inspire your imagination as you float among the treetops or watch as the basket kisses the water. Regardless, being in a hot air balloon at 5000′ always shows the true beauty of Seattle and the northwest.

Glass garden thing

Some questions people often have about the Chihuly Museum

How much are tickets for the Chihuly Glass and Garden Museum?

Tickets to see the glass or sculptures at the museum are available for purchase online or in person at the ticket counter. General Admission prices are: Regular Ages (13-64) $32; Senior visitors ages (65+) $27, Youth ages (5-12) $19. Children under 4 gain free admission accompanied by their parents.

Are there any Chihuly Museum special packages?

The Chihuly Museum of Glass offers private tours for groups with or without a guide. The visual experience makes an amazing location for private events in the Botanical Gardens, Museum, or Conservatory. Contact the Museum for private events.

When is the Chihuly Museum Exhibition Open?

The Chihuly Museum Exhibition is currently open from Monday through Thursday, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The exhibit will be closing on Fridays at 6. Hours of the Chihuly glass sculpture will change in the fall.

Can I eat at the Seattle Chihuly Glass Museum?

The Exhibition is a feast for the senses. There are two options, both with seating indoors or outdoors on a first-come, first-served basis. Collections Café offers pastries and an espresso bar, Art Plaza provides Neapolitan stone-fired pizza as well as wine and beer; all of which can be enjoyed in Outdoor Seating Area weather permitting of course in Seattle.

How long is a tour of the Chihuly Glass Museum Collection and Sculpture Garden?

The amount of time you spend in the galleries depends upon your speed, but on average most visitors spend around 1-2 hours viewing all that’s available.

How long will Dave Chihuly’s Exhibition be in the Seattle Center?

Designed as a long-term piece, the Museum of Glass has the opportunity to be around for years to come. Over the next 30 years, Seattle residents or visitors can visit the Chihuly Bridge, Conservatory, and see many individual pieces from the Glass Master himself each spring.

Will the Museum bring in new Pieces?

The Chihuly Museum collection is not a permanent collection. Pieces may rotate in and out but there are not any plans currently to make any changes.

Balloon glowing
Hot air balloon glowing before taking off in Seattle
Hot Air Balloon Pilot Eliav C.
About the Author

Chief pilot of Seattle Ballooning. I get the opportunity to provide luxury hot air balloon rides just South of Seattle in front of Mt. Rainier. When you do what you love, it’s not considered work.

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