Oct 4, 2023 - Things to Do

What it's like at Meow Wolf Grapevine

A photo of a fireplace at Meow Wolf

How often do you get to crawl through a fireplace? Photos: Tasha Tsiaperas/Axios

Inside the massive, warehouse-looking Grapevine Mills Mall is one of the coolest immersive art experiences in Dallas-Fort Worth — if you can look beyond the walk past Rainforest Cafe, an Old Navy outlet and through a cheesy gift shop.

Driving the news: Meow Wolf opened its fourth permanent exhibition — its first in Texas — in July inside a former Bed, Bath and Beyond in the mall.

  • The "Real Unreal" exhibit's storyline was written by sci-fi and fantasy author LaShawn Wanak.

Why it matters: Meow Wolf stands out in a sea of Instagram-friendly pop-up experiences and can bring out the inner child of even the grumpiest attendee.

A photo of Meow Wolf
Just beyond the bathroom...

Details: The Santa Fe-based arts company hired 38 Texas artists to work with Meow Wolf artists to create the Grapevine location.

  • A second Texas location will open in Houston next year.

How it works: You walk through a front yard, past a garden with twinkle lights and go inside a fully furnished house. It looks like a normal house, but open a closet door and climb into the washing machine, and you enter another realm.

  • Read science books for children in a nook under a tree trunk. Visit an arcade. Walk along a city street reminiscent of Tokyo. Open a refrigerator door into an RV parked in the desert.
  • Walk through another door and you're back in the kitchen.

Pro tip: There's a story to follow and a mystery to be solved, but it's hard to focus on anything but the colors and sounds.

What happened: The traffic on I-635 and the bland mall were quickly forgotten at the first glimpse of the other world inside Meow Wolf. All adult responsibilities were completely washed away while sliding from the inside of the laundry room to a colorful forest.

  • "Stranger Things" fans may find it to be a less sinister upside-down.

If you go: The exhibit is open daily, but check for available times online. Tickets start at $35.

  • Expect weekends to be packed. A weeknight visit gives you a bit more breathing room.

Here are a few more of our favorite spots.

A gif of the flashing lights inside Meow Wolf
Every corner has some new world to discover.
A photo of mural on the wall at Meow Wolf
Murals cover every wall.
A photo of neon squiggly lights inside Meow Wolf
Making new friends through the garden shed.
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