As I walked through the doors of this giant white building that has been causing a dangerous blind spot on the Colfax bridge I didn't know what to expect. People tried to explain Meow Wolf to me in the past and I will be frank, it never appealed to me. It seemed very much a type of event a particular group of people would be interested in. I was not one of them. Ironically I was extremely excited when they announced a Denver location. And even more excited that it was coming to West Colfax. Even though it was a little sad to see that old brick building get torn down I was excited for what they would bring to Denver's art scene. Watching this city grow into this huge art hub has been mind-blowing. Multiple people even sent me the call for entries to get my work in Meow wolf but again it never called to me.
Everything was pretty organized waiting to get into the building. Once you walked in though for someone so inexperienced it was definitely confusing. There is basically one way in which isn't very clear since everything is under the names of the experience. The person announcing things was not clear at all for such a large space. I think this is all information they could have explained as we were sitting in line. So basically just follow the crowd to a big elevator. They want you to watch some videos and read some signs while you wait but I didn't catch any of that information due to the noise level. Once you step off the elevator that is where the fun actually begins. It's a bit overwhelming for a newbie but thankfully we just went for it. I recommend you do the same. Don't overthink it. The elevator drops you off in what seems like a middle level so you can go multiple directions. There also seems to be a story but we had no information on how that worked so we just checked out things as they called to us. The first area we went to was like an alien jungle. Filled with unique flowers, plants, and animals. The amount of detail that was put into every single piece was absolutely stunning. As someone who was raised to not touch anything the whole experience definitely took some getting used to. I remembered what people told me that it was meant to be explored and experienced. For the first chunk of the day, the only thing I could think of was how long it must have taken to create some of these tiny intricate pieces. Some of the spaces were extremely overwhelming with the sound effects and lighting features. For me personally, it was a bit distracting to the experience because it stopped me from seeing those particular installations. Once we entered the “city” area I felt more in touch with the art itself. There are so many small odes to Denver that I felt more comfortable exploring. I felt less on an alien planet lol. The thing I appreciated most as a theme throughout was the use of recycled and repurposed materials. Everything was reimagined into something new.
I found multiple plaques with brail but overall I felt there were a lot of accessibility issues throughout. There are so many stairs. My knees were not prepared for this type of adventure. There is elevator access to each level but it seemed a bit confusing to navigate. Most everything required climbing in and out of. If you are sensitive to lights/sound I highly recommend bringing some earplugs just in case.
Overall I would consider Meow Wolf a giant choose your own adventure. The actors are in character but seem to know a lot about where to find things so don’t hesitate to ask. They can also walk you through little extras such as a Q-Pass that was given to me. Which I believe is to actually follow the story but is not required. I do recommend you block out most of the day to explore. This is definitely not something to be rushed if you are enjoying it. We probably missed some rooms despite circling around and through to the main rooms multiple times. Don’t be afraid to try the phones. I saw a lot of people hesitant to dial a number. Do it. My favorite parts were probably a Transformer with the candy paint and a room that seemed like it was full of brain matter. There are plenty of spaces to sit and rest if you need it. It can be a lot.
Is this something everyone should experience? Absolutely. I think that anyone who is willing to be open to exploring or who loves discovery will appreciate it.
There is definitely something for the whole family and you can choose to experience as little or as much as you want. Cell phone service might be tricky in some spots so plan a meeting spot if you plan to separate from the group.
I am grateful to Dan Shah from the West Colfax Bid who included me in these advanced tickets.