House of Eternal Return – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Immersive environment funded by George R.R. Martin is part haunted house, part choose-your-own-adventure, and part jungle gym.
When George R. R. Martin buys a vacant bowling alley in an industrial neighborhood in Santa Fe and leases it out to a 135-member group of artists known for creating elaborate interactive art installations, you can assume that the result will be pretty spectacular. Such is the case with the House of Eternal Return.
The first permanent installation created by the Meow Wolf art collective, House of Eternal Return consists of 20,000 square foot of fully explorable space centered around a full-size reproduction of a two-story Victorian house that harbors a secret. According to the backstory provided to visitors, the house was once inhabited by the Selig family, but then “something happened” that led to the family’s disappearance and apparently warped the nature of time and space.
Visitors are turned loose to piece together the non-linear narrative on their own, rifling through the clothes, furnishings, books, and personal papers of the family members and stumbling through cosmic portals hidden throughout the house (like in the refrigerator, fireplace, or toilet) into strange and engrossing other worlds. House of Eternal Return has a total of 70 distinct interconnected spaces including (but not limited to) enchanted forest tree houses, a tiny Old West ranch powered by hamsters, luminescent caves, space-age corridors, mastodon skeleton xylophones, laser harps, and the study where Grandpa Selig labored to unravel a mind-boggling conspiracy of interdimensional proportions.
The space also includes a music venue called Fancy Town as well as Chimera, a non-profit center that offers classes to children on skills as diverse as sewing, sculpture, and computer programming. Summer camps, after school programs, and internships are all offered on-site.