What to do on a rainy Seattle day: Visit Chihuly Garden and Glass

In the middle of this gray and unrelenting winter, we need all the color we can get. On our visit to Seattle's Chihuly Garden and Glass, we got a much needed boost of light and color that made us forget all about the dreary weather outside.

This exhibition showcases the breathtaking glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly, whose work you may have already encountered if you've been inside the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where the stunning 70 feet long Fiori di Como glass sculpture hangs above the lobby.

Visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass is like entering a glassblown wonderland full of fanciful forms and saturated hues. One of the most stunning pieces inside is the Sea Life Tower, all 20 feet of undulating blown glass in various shades of blue cradling intricately detailed starfish, sea urchins, coral and other underwater creatures.

Entering the Mille Fiori room feels like entering a beautiful alien landscape. Inspired by the garden tended by Chihuly's mother during his childhood, this installation manages to convey a feeling of familiarity and fantasy at the same time.

The Ikebana and Float Boats' visuals and backstory are equally delightful. When Chihuly was in Nuutajarvi, Finland in the 1990s, he had an idea to throw his sculptures from a bridge into the river below to treat the glass. Finnish teenagers would then take the glass sculptures, load them into their fishing boats, and bring them back to the shore. Chihuly took a liking to how the sculptures looked all piled up in the boat and immortalized the memory in this piece.

We also really enjoyed the Chandelier Room, filled with monumental pieces suspended from the ceiling. These luminous and organic chandeliers have such an otherworldly feel.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the Glass House, which holds Chihuly's most tremendous piece yet: a 100-foot glass wreath of fiery-hued blossoms that manage to convey a feeling of light and playful movement, in spite of its enormity. This gorgeous piece can make even the gloomiest Seattle day bright, I tell you!

Outside, the garden is dotted with more of Chihuly's work. Despite being constructed out of glass, Chihuly's pieces have an organic feel to them that make them seem right at home in nature.

The exhibition closes with a row of chandeliers leading to a small theater where films of Chihuly's exhbitions and installations around the world are shown. We daydreamed of someday having one of these chandeliers in our future home—dreams that were promptly shattered under the harsh light of reality when we stepped into the gift shop, where small Chihuly vases were sold for $8,000 apiece!

I suppose Chihuly's work is meant to remain in my dreams ... but I'm quite content with such vibrant and glorious dreams. If you find yourself in Seattle looking for a jolt of color and light to brighten up a gloomy day, I highly recommend paying a visit to Chihuly Glass and Garden.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is located at 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, Washington 98109.