Visiting the Museum

About the Museum

General Information

Visiting the Museum

Seattle hotels, accommodation

Street Address
Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th Street
Seattle, WA 98117

The Nordic Heritage Museum is located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Its entrance is on 68th Street between 30th and 32nd Avenues NW. The museum is accessible by Metro bus #17X, which stops on 32nd Avenue. With recent transit line changes, we suggest you plan your trip using the Metro Transit online planning tool. There is plenty of free and handicapped parking for cars and tour buses in our parking lot in front of the museum on the west side.

Museum Hours
10am - 4pm Tuesday-Saturday
12pm - 4pm Sunday

Our Gift shop is open for holiday shopping during normal Museum hours.
We are closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and New Year's Day.

Admission Prices
Adults $6
Seniors and college students $5
Children over 5 years $4
Children under 5 years free
Members of the Nordic Heritage Museum free

First Thursday of each month: free admission all day

Tour prices can be found under School Tours or Adult Tours.

Blue Star Museums
The Nordic Heritage Museum is a proud participant in the Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. As a Blue Star Museum, we offer free admission to U.S. active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and up to five family members from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013. Learn more about the program here.

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About the Museum

The Nordic Heritage Museum shares Nordic culture with people of all ages and backgrounds by exhibiting art and objects, preserving collections, providing educational and cultural experiences, and serving as a community gathering place.

The Nordic Heritage Museum is an internationally recognized museum and cultural center where people of all backgrounds are welcomed to be inspired by the values, traditions, art, and spirit of the Nordic peoples.

Permanent Exhibits
The First Floor
The Dream of America is the story of immigration told in an exhibit of life-like dioramas. Travel with your family back to the nineteenth-century Scandinavian countryside to begin the journey to America, starting with the move to the city. The voyage continues as you board a ship to make the Atlantic crossing, and land at Ellis Island. The adventure goes on to experiences in New York, and the expansion to the Midwest, Great Plains, and Pacific Northwest, ending in Ballard. Here the growth and development of a typical small Northwest community is displayed, complete with a post office, church, drug store, blacksmith shop, and a family home.

The Second Floor
The Promise of the Northwest includes two galleries that focus on the logging and fishing industries, which employed many immigrants who brought skills learned in the old country. These galleries show the contributions of the Nordic pioneers to the settlement of the Pacific Northwest. The Folk Art Galleries display treasured and useful items the immigrants brought with them, including folk costumes, textiles, tools, and furniture. Temporary art, history, and heritage exhibits are housed in the three galleries at the west end of the hall. Visit the Current Exhibitions page for current exhibitions.

The Third Floor
The third floor exhibitions illustrate the differences and the common bonds among the Scandinavian people. There is one gallery for each of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Each gallery highlights that group’s special achievements in the Pacific Northwest.

Donations to the Collection

The Nordic Heritage Museum accepts donations of items into its collection from community members. If you wish to donate an item, please make an appointment by calling our registrar, Sarah Bishop, at 206.789.5707 ext. 27 or emailing her at sarahb@nordicmuseum.org. Donations must be assessed before being accepted — we want to make sure that your potential gift is properly identified and cared for — therefore items cannot be dropped off on the weekends, but should be donated by appointment Tuesday through Friday. Please note that books are no longer being accepted. Thank you for your consideration!

Nordic Heritage Museum Gift Shop

The Museum gift shop offers a wide selection of Nordic and Nordic-inspired merchandise. Books, jewelry, flags, mugs, calendars, treats, and housewares are just a few of the types of items available. There are always special items for sale that relate directly to the current exhibions on view.

Visit the Museum gift shop on your next trip to view the exhibitions; or if you would just like to to shop, let the volunteer at the admissions desk know, and you can go directly to the gift shop for free during regular Museum hours.

Gordon Ekvall Tracie Music Library

Gordon Ekvall Tracie Gordon Ekvall Tracie devoted more than four decades to the study and promotion of Nordic traditional music and dance. At his death in 1988, Gordon bequeathed his extensive music, dance, and text collections to Skandia Music Foundation, with the request that the collections be kept together and made available to the public. Through the cooperative efforts of the foundation and the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Gordon Ekvall Tracie Music Library (the Tracie Music Library) was opened in March 1995 as a research archive of traditional Nordic music and dance.

Materials available in the Tracie Music Library
The core of the Tracie Music Library collection is the material collected by Gordon Tracie from the 1940s through the late 1980s - audio and video recordings as well as written documentation of Scandinavian folk and traditional music, dance, costumes, customs, folklore, and folk art. (Note: In this context, Scandinavia includes Denmark, the Faeroes, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.)

The collection includes more than 500 original reel-to-reel field recordings made by Tracie during his numerous research trips to the Scandinavian countries, as well as more than 300 reels documenting conversations, dance programs, presentations, and radio programs. While many of Tracie's important field recordings have been cataloged in detail, the cataloging of the extensive materials in the Tracie Music Library is ongoing.

In addition to these important field recordings, the Tracie Music Library houses several thousand commercial and non-commercial recordings on a wide array of media, as well as photos, negatives, slides, posters, music, and dance notations, and hundreds of texts and written works. Like much of the commercially recorded music in the Tracie Music Library, many of the books, monographs, periodicals, sheet music, and dance notes are now out of print and have become valuable to researchers.

Among the treasures are writings by Gordon Tracie himself, including outlines, notes, comments, and manuscripts related to his extensive production of dance descriptions and articles on dance and music. Among other notable material is his 1961 booklet, The Folk Music of Sweden, commissioned by the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation.

As part of Gordon Tracie’s legacy, the Tracie Music Library includes special collections of documents and artifacts from and about pivotal Northwest groups and personalities: Skandia Folkdance Society founded by Tracie in 1949; Nordiska Folkdancers, which evolved from the original 1949 performing "Scandia Folkdancers”; the Skandia Music Foundation founded by Tracie in 1970 as a repository and guardian for his material legacy; and key Scandinavian folk music and dance personalities of the Pacific Northwest. Today Skandia Music Foundation continues to participate in funding the maintenance and operation of the Tracie Music Library through an endowment to the Nordic Heritage Museum.

With Gordon Tracie's legacy as a valuable and extensive base, the Tracie Music Library has continued to acquire materials by donation, purchase, and commission. One of the Tracie Music Library's particular missions is the continuing documentation of Nordic folk music and dance in the Pacific Northwest.

Because the Tracie Music Library is a research archive, materials may not be checked out but may be used in the library with archivist assistance. Some audiocassettes of these materials are available for listening. With very few exceptions, copies of library materials may be made by library staff for users' personal study or non-commercial use.

Please contact Kathi Ploeger, Archivist, Gordon Ekvall Tracie Music Library to make an appointment for a visit or for other library-service requests. You may email her at kathip@nordicmuseum.org, call (206) 789-5707 extension 13, or write to:

Gordon Ekvall Tracie Music Library
Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th St
Seattle, WA 98117 USA

Image above by J. David Lamb

Facilities Rentals

Nordic Heritage Museum Weddings • Receptions • Banquets • Dinners • Meetings •
Concerts • Performances • Lectures • Classes • Special Events

Make your events unforgettable in an historic 1907 red brick building. Located in the heart of Seattle's Ballard neighborhood on a quiet, tree-lined residential street, the building is rich with vintage architectural details. A beautiful auditorium with large windows, wood floors, and a fully equipped kitchen, and three classrooms are available for rent at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

Reception: 200
Seated Dinner: 150
Lecture/Concert: 200

62 feet by 39 feet
20 foot ceiling

Large, Fully Equipped Kitchen

Length: 24 feet
Depth: 18.5 feet
Depth from curtain to back wall: 13.5 feet
Lighting available

On-Site Parking

Hardwood Floors

Handicapped Accessible

Sound System

Reception: 50
Seated Dinner: 30
Lecture or Concert: 50

Classrooms 1 and 2
31 feet by 22 feet

Classroom 3
34 feet by 23 feet

All Classrooms have access to a small kitchen and have use of refrigerators, a stove-top, and a microwave. Classrooms 1 and 2 are adjoining and can be rented as one large space or as separate rooms.

Please contact Facilities Coordinator Dylan High at dylanh@nordicmuseum.org or (206) 789 - 5707, extension 26 to make an appointment for a visit or to discuss the facilities rentals in more detail.

You can download our Rental Agreement Here.

2012 Annual Report

Read the Nordic Heritage Museum 2012 Annual Report using the online reader here:

Or click here to download a PDF of the report.


There are currently no open positions at the Museum.