A visitor to the House of Eternal Return is more than a passive viewer of spectacular art–they are thrust into an immersive story that unfolds through exploration, discovery, and 21st century interactivity. Created by a 150-member artist collective called Meow Wolf, the unique cultural experience resides in the transformed shell of an abandoned bowling alley in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It features 70 different spaces, an arcade with 14 games, four tree houses, and an interactive cave system.
The premise of House of Eternal Return is that something has happened inside a Victorian-era dwelling, and whatever it was has “dissolved the nature of time and space.” The Selig family–an artist, her inventor husband, and their young son–are the fictitious inhabitants of the home, and visitors to this installation venture through their space to discover secret passageways and fantastical places. Every seemingly small part plays into the larger, non-linear narrative. The mission is to figure out what has happened to the Seligs.
Nothing is off limits when trekking through the Selig house. Each person can chose their own path through the 20,000-square-foot space and is invited to walk, climb, crawl, and play with the installation however they like. The more that a visitor interacts with things like neon trees and giant illuminated creatures, the more they piece together the Selig’s story.
General admission for the permanent House of Eternal Return is $15 for New Mexico residents and $18 for out-of-state visitors.
Fun fact about House of Eternal Return: author George RR Martin–of Game of Thrones fame–bought the building for Meow Wolf and will act as their landlord over the span of a 10-year lease.