Standing at 605 feet tall, the Space Needle has always been a spectacular sight for both visitors and Seattleites alike, but with its latest $100 million renovation, it looks better than ever! Sure, the Needle has been around since 1962 and you’re probably thinking ,”been there, done that,” but wait until you see what they’ve done with the place and the view. A whole new experience awaits you, and we have all the deets you need to know plus more on the epic climb to the top of the Needle with Base 2 Space. Read on!
photo: Suraj Joshee via Space Needle Facebook page
Arriving at Atmos
The top of the Needle is now referred to as Atmos and includes three levels: the 500-foot observation level (with the world’s first revolving glass floor), the 510-foot Ring Level (with less spectacular but still important new restrooms) and the 520-foot observation level (with both indoor and outdoor open-air viewing). Connecting all three is a new grand staircase. The Oculus Stairs are two half-moon shaped staircases built from steel, wood and glass. At the base of the stairs sits the Oculus, a 19 foot by 11 foot glass floor that gives a unique view of the elevators and counterweights.
photo: Marcy Grantor
On the 520-foot level you’ll immediately notice one of the biggest changes to the Needle. Gone is the metal security “cage” that used to surround the Observation Deck. It has been replaced with open-air glass walls providing uninhibited 360-degree views. All around the deck you’ll find 24 glass “Skyriser” benches that lean back away from the needle. If you dare, take a seat, lean back and imagine what it would be like to be floating high above the ground (selfies are encouraged from this unique angle!). Inside the indoor observation level, you’ll find the Atmos Café offering beverages and light bites.
photo: Marcy Grantor
Around the Loupe
Located on the 500 foot level is “The Loupe” which is the world’s first and only revolving glass floor giving you amazing downward views of Seattle while also revealing the mechanics of what makes the rotating floor turn. The Loupe makes a full rotation every 45 minutes, and while two-thirds of the floor actually turns, the center third of the floor stays still. While little ones might not want to look down, you can relax knowing that the 37-ton glass floor is made from 10 layers (yep, you read that right!) of structural glass. And if that isn’t enough to settle your nerves, you will be happy to know that the Atmos Wine Bar can be found on this too. Well played, Space Needle!
photo: Space Needle
Other Features to Make Note Of
The new Space Needle comes with a few extra special touches to make your experience all the more memorable without any extra fees. These include:
1 Multiple professional digital photos including the Skyhigh Selfie and the Zoomie.
2. An interactive area that includes a digital globe and a wall of memories featuring photos through the years.
3. The Stratos Virtual Reality experience where you can feel what it would be like to bungee jump off the Needle!
photo: Melinda Wong
Be Sure to Exit Through the Gift Shop
Though you don’t have to, your visit to the Space Needle wouldn’t be complete without stopping at the Spacebase Gift Shop. Not only will you find Needle-themed souvenirs, but you’ll also find apparel, drinkware, food items, jewelry, toys, books and more. If you need a Seattle-themed gift or unique kid’s birthday present, the Spacebase Gift Shop has you covered.
photo: Mark Grantor
Climb to the Top of the Needle with Base 2 Space
During the month of September, guests can climb the 832 stairs up one of two intertwining, open-air stairwells. Why? To support the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Space Needle Foundation. The best part? One hundred percent of the donations benefit the two organizations with close to one million dollars in funds raised annually. Keep an eye on their website for 2019 climb dates!
photo: Mark Grantor
Good to know: To be eligible for a trophy, you’ll need to be signed up as an Elite Climber (one that can run a 5-6 minute mile), a Runner (able to complete a 7-10 minute mile) or a Trotter (able to complete a mile within 11-15 minutes). All participants must be 8 years old or older and all kids ages 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The registration fee for adults is $75 plus a $175 fundraising minimum and $50 plus a $100 fundraising minimum for youth ages 8-17. Register or find more information online.
400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109
Hours: Sun.-Mon., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: $27.50-$37.50/Adults; $25.50-$32.50/Seniors (65+); $22.50-$28.50/Youth (5-12); 4 & under Free. Save $5 per ticket if you arrive between 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Insider Tip: Buy your tickets online before you go and you won’t have to wait in line (in the rain) at the base of the Needle. Wheelchairs are allowed on the observation decks but all strollers need to checked.