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Whether you are visiting for two days or two weeks, you’ll find a wealth of music, art and museums in Colorado. Spend a day touring art galleries, see a concert, or view historic exhibits at museums scattered all over the state. Denver Arts Week in November is a week-long festival that celebrates the city’s visual and performing arts. Spread over six neighborhoods, the event showcases 20 museums and over 100 art galleries. Take advantage of discounted admissions and attend special events like art gallery walks, theater productions and museum tours.
Denver’s thriving art world includes award-winning museums, neighborhood galleries and a growing number of festivals and events. The Denver Art Museum boasts one of the largest collections of American Western art in the world. The collection of over 55,000 pieces includes works from Picasso, Monet and Matisse along with Warhol and O’Keeffe. See pre-Columbian artifacts, African art, photography exhibits and sculptures.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Denver features regional, national and international artists. Be sure to visit the gift shop for handcrafted jewelry, gifts, candles and books. The Clyfford Still Museum (13th Avenue and Bannock Street) showcases a collection of Clyfford Still paintings, drawings and prints. Exhibits also feature the artist’s letters, photos, journals and sketchbooks.
The Golden Triangle Creative District includes eight museums, more than 50 galleries, artist studios and specialty art stores. Art District on Santa Fe has more than 40 galleries and shops. River North Art, also known as the RiNo District, is home to art galleries, creative businesses and studios. The American Museum of Western Art at 1727 Tremont Place downtown offers an impressive collection of western art housed in the historic Navarre building. Belmar and the Tennyson Street Cultural District are also worth exploring for art galleries, festivals and art-related events throughout the year.
The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art presents a variety of exhibits, lectures and special events year-round. The Galleries of Contemporary Art in downtown Colorado Springs is a satellite gallery for the University of Colorado. It features rotating exhibits plus fun events like Art and Wine. The Aspen Art Museum is well known for its international contemporary art. Wray Museum in Northeast Colorado is famous for its Paleo-Indian Exhibit, one of the few permanent Smithsonian exhibits outside Washington, D.C.
In addition to museums and art galleries in major cities, Colorado is full of artist communities and creative districts. Located at Colorado College, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center combines a museum, theater, art school and arts district under one roof. Browse the art galleries, attend concerts and lectures, or see special performances combining art, theater and music.
Colorado offers a variety of performing arts experiences. See symphony, ballet and opera productions, or mingle with locals at music venues and film festivals. The Denver Performing Arts Complex is home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, Denver Theater Company and the Colorado Ballet. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, the Aspen Music Festival and the Vail International Dance Festival are just a few of the performing arts events that entertain locals and visitors annually.
Lincoln Center is the primary performing arts facility in Fort Collins. Enjoy a variety of concerts and productions at Performance Hall and the Mini Theater. Rialto Theatre Center in Loveland is located in the historic downtown district. Constructed in 1920, the historic movie theater is a popular performing arts and concert venue surrounded by boutiques, eateries and art galleries. Located off US-160, The State Drive-In Theater in Monte Vista shows new movie releases from May through September. Guests at the adjacent Best Western Movie Manor can view the film from their hotel rooms.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison combines spectacular scenery with epic concerts. The outdoor venue has hosted legendary acts like The Beatles, U2, Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead among many others. The Fred Shellman Memorial Stage at Telluride Town Park and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail are other popular outdoor venues for concerts and festivals. Throughout Colorado you’ll find a variety of large size and mid-size concert halls, plus more intimate bars and clubs featuring rock, jazz, blues, hip hop and country musicians.
There’s no shortage of museums in Colorado. History buffs can learn everything there is to know about The Centennial State and view artifacts dating back to the Gold Rush and dinosaurs. Brush Area Museum and Cultural Center in the city of Brush features exhibits on northern Colorado natural history, science and technology. The Colorado Prison Museum in Cañon City displays artifacts from a 1935 women’s correctional facility. At Fort Collins Museum of Discovery visitors enjoy hands-on exhibits on science, technology and the history of Colorado.
Fort Francisco Museum in La Veta includes the Francisco Fort founded in 1862, plus a schoolhouse, saloon, log cabin and doctor’s office from the late 1800s. View interpretive exhibits, antiques, musical instruments, military memorabilia and apparel from pioneer times. Fort Uncompahgre Living History Museum in Delta allows visitors to experience what fur trading was like in the early 18th century. Staff dressed in period costumes lead the tour.
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center features permanent and special exhibits detailing the history of northern Colorado. Situated in Grand Junction near Clifton, the Museum of Western Colorado explores western frontier history and features one of the country’s best Southwest pottery collections. See an adobe dwelling, tour the weather station tower and explore genealogy at the research library. The Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig showcases exhibits on Southern Colorado history. Browse the Cowboy & Gunfighter Museum, see the Moffat Road Railroad Display and view hundreds of western artifacts.
Fort Morgan is home to the U.S. Military Historical Museum. View exhibits from every American war and tour the nearby Fort Morgan Museum with presentations on the town’s history. Wings Over The Rockies is located at Lowry Air Force Base near Aurora. The aerospace museum boasts over 35 aircraft including B-52 Stratofortress bombers. Browse the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame and see educational exhibits on historic planes.
Set on the campus of University of Colorado-Boulder, the Fiske Planetarium and Science Center offers a wonderful variety of programs, laser shows, live talks, star shows and events.
Whether learning about the "Birth of Stars" or "Adventures Beyond the Solar System", allow enough time for it all during a public show, taking place Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The planetarium's classroom, lobby exhibits, and theater are available for hosting birthday parties, weddings, and special events in Boulder. After school classes are also available.
As the main facility for performing arts in Fort Collins, the Lincoln Center is a popular and choice destination for locals and visitors of northern Colorado alike. Find the Lincoln Center on the northwest corner of Mulberry Street and Meldrum Street.
With two different performances spaces at the Lincoln Center – a 1,180-seat hall and a, smaller, 220-seat theatre – you'll find a wide range of shows and art performances throughout the year.
The 1,1800-seat venue is called the Performance Hall, while the smaller 220-seat area is known as the Mini Theater. Don't miss out on the Terrace Gardens, the outdoor sculpture garden found on the grounds of the Lincoln Center.
Also known as the Movie Manor Motel, Star Drive In Theatre is located in Monte Vista is southern Colorado. Originally constructed in 1955 by George Kelloff, the theater shows new releases from May through September.
Movie Manor is equipped with digital sound, a classic concession stand, and the nearby Movie Manor Restaurant & Lounge.
This Colorado drive-in theater is found at the BEST WESTERN Movie Manor – where guests can even catch the flick from the comfort of their own hotel room.
Movie Manor also features a dressing-room style nameplate on the door, including stars like Mel Gibson and Audrey Hepburn.