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Meow Wolf Two Ways: With And Without Kids

on November 16, 2019 - 9:51am
Outside Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. Photo by Becky Rutherford
Becky Rutherford takes a virtual adventure aboard The Raven. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos
I work full time, I have kids, I’m in school, and I am perpetually behind on laundry, but sometimes you have to say, “Time for a break” and drop everything to go to Meow Wolf and dance your behind off.
Or at least that’s what I told myself when I bought tickets to Claude Vonstroke’s Oct. 18 show at Meow Wolf.
I had seen Vonstroke perform at Meow Wolf’s Taos Vortex music festival in July, and he was fantastic, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to see him live again.
Vonstroke is an American house and techno producer based in Los Angeles. He also is the owner of San Francisco based label “Dirtybird”. In 2017 he was nominated for DJ of the Year and Radio Show of the Year at the Electronic Music Awards.
I decided to spend the night at a cheapo hotel near Meow Wolf since the show wouldn’t be out until 2 a.m., it seemed a better option than driving home that late.
The show didn’t start until 9 p.m., so I grabbed dinner at Tortilla Flats at 3139 Cerrillos Road., right by Meow Wolf. I got their green chile stew, which was amazing, and is half off during happy hour. It also came with two fantastic, super fluffy sopapillas, plus free chips and salsa. Everything was delicious, and they even had live music. I highly recommend Tortilla Flats, and they have a variety of New Mexican items on the menu, everything from enchiladas to grilled steaks with chile. Check it out, especially during their happy hour, which runs 3-6:30 p.m. every day and offers a terrific value on bar food (1/2 off) and drinks. They also serve a tasty breakfast (their bacon is amazinnnnnggg) and lunch.
After dinner, I decided to check out Meow Wolf a little early since I had a couple hours to kill. I took a ride in “The Raven”, their virtual hot air balloon experience. It was fun! I felt slightly idiotic standing there wearing a giant helmet and wiggling my head and arms around while trying to “steer” the virtual balloon, but it was awesome.
Meow Wolf has a fantastic little bar; the Float Café and Bar. You can go to Float without purchasing entrance to the exhibit. They have some out of this world drinks; I tried the “Meow-garita”. This concoction is composed of “El Jimador reposado tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime and agave float of butterfly pea flower tea topped with a cloud of cotton candy”. OK so they had my attention at “Meow” but topped with cotton candy? Oh heck yeah. In addition to a wide selection of unique cocktails (honey badger, anyone?) they also offer beer, wine, specialty coffee beverages, sodas, juices, etc. Float offers some pre-made food items like baked goods and chips.
There are food trucks parked outside Meow Wolf as well if you need something more substantial.
I had previously only been to Meow Wolf with my kids, an experience which mainly involved me diving after my youngest child through the clothes dryer/refrigerator, etc. while shrieking at him to not get lost in alternate dimensions. Needless to say, I had not previously allowed myself time to enjoy the exhibit.
Do yourself a favor and visit Meow Wolf without your kids at least once. It is difficult to focus on the coolness of the exhibit when you are chasing after kids and trying to keep them from climbing the furry walls or getting too interactive with the exhibits. So I wandered, relaxed, and generally chilled out till a little after 9 p.m.
The show kicked off with Spoolius and Xkota, a couple of local DJs. Spoolius is a duo based in the Santa Fe area, and Xkota is a female DJ from Albuquerque. They did a great job of warming the crowd up with some wild house and techno house beats.
Vonstroke came on stage about 11 p.m., and he played nonstop until 2 a.m. The dance floor was totally packed, but the cool thing about the Meow Wolf venue is that there is a surprising amount of room for sprawl. There’s a small side room off the main dance floor, plus some side hallways, a room in the back, and also a mezzanine balcony on the second floor. For shows they open up the back patio so the crowd can spill out there, and there are alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages available for purchase. The crowd was pumped, people were dancing on stage, and everyone was having a great time.
But that’s not all Vonstroke is doing with Meow Wolf this year … if you are up to driving to Denver, you can catch him and many, many other talented artists at the first-ever Dark Palace “A Dance Obscura” Nov.r 22-24 at the National Western Complex. Other musical artists include MK, Guy Gerber, Lauren Lane, CharlestheFirst, Shlomo, Oona Dahl, JLin, Of the Trees, Eli Escobar, Meso, Shades, Dirt Monkey, and VCTRE. Local Denver musicians include Late Night Radio, Mass Relay, Mikey Thunder, LYFTD, Nadasound, and Option4. In addition to lots of great music, Dark Palace also will feature collaborative, interactive art by 15 local Denver artists. A full weekend pass is just $85, or you can get single-day tickets from about $50. If music festivals are your thing, might be worth driving to Denver to check out!
I took my whole family to Meow Wolf the following weekend. Equally magical, though, I did skin my knee diving into the fireplace, trying to catch my kiddo. He’s six, and he had a blast roaming through the exhibit. We hadn’t been there since he was 3 or 4 (I was slightly traumatized when he vanished through the dryer, and I had to figure out where he would pop out). Also Meow Wolf has been getting a Disneyland-esque vibe, and I was a little intimidated by the idea of crowds. To make things easier, you can now purchase tickets and reserve your spot to visit online. Definitely helpful.
We got to Meow Wolf about 11 am on a Saturday; there was no line to get in. The exhibit wasn’t crowded, and we had plenty of room to explore. Things started to get pretty packed about 1:30/2 p.m., so I would recommend that you get there earlier rather than later if you dislike crowds. Overall it was very manageable and not as bad as I thought it would be. I took my oldest son to Float, and we tried the specialty coffee beverages - I got the Dreamsicle, and it was amazing and gave me the energy I needed to keep up with my youngest on his epic journey through Meow Wolf.
Meow Wolf - it is crazy, beautiful, crowded, peaceful, and altogether a lovely, wonderful thing. Go there. Do not hesitate. Go alone and dance, then hide in the bus in the back and drive your way into another dimension. Go with your kids and watch their faces light up under a rainbow forest of coral trees, watch them explore, and let them dream. Just go, it’s amazing and so New Mexico True. Meow. Wolf. Do it!
The Meow-garita. Photo by Becky Rutherford
Scene inside Meow Wolf. Photo by Becky Rutherford
Claude Vonstroke on stage at Meow Wolf. Photo by Becky Rutherford
Scene inside Meow Wolf. Photo by Becky Rutherford
Scene inside Meow Wolf. Photo by Becky Rutherford
A performer wanders through the Meow Wolf Exhibit. Photo by Becky Rutherford
Dreamsicle coffee at Float Café and Bar inside Meow Wolf.  Photo by Becky Rutherford
Scene inside Meow Wolf. Photo by Becky Rutherford