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Discover Historic And Educational Colorado Museums
Visiting Colorado museums is never boring, and you’ll find there are exhibits to intrigue all ages and interests. See Egyptian mummies and dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Tour the 1880s-style train depot at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, or delight the kids with fun interactive programs at the Denver Children’s Museum. The History Colorado Center in downtown Denver features exhibits on Ancestral Puebloans, the Wild West, gold mining and the Spanish American War. ANA Money Museum in Colorado Springs displays a collection of over 250,000 pieces of money. Visit the Kids Zone and learn the history of numismatics.
Explore the Argo Gold Mine, Mill and Museum in Idaho Springs and enjoy the gold mine tour, a tour of the Argo mill and a demonstration of rock drilling. Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum in Golden pays tribute to William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and maintains his gravesite. Permanent exhibits detail his life as a showman. Children love the Kids Cowboy Corral. Located off I-70 in Fruita, the Museum of Western Colorado Dinosaur Journey houses fascinating paleontology exhibits. See 12 full-sized dinosaur replicas, dig for dinosaur bones and engage in hands-on activities at the paleontology lab.
ANA Money Museum
Established in 1891, the American Numismatic Association Money Museum, or ANA Money Museum, is located at the ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs. The museum houses over 250,000 piecesshowcasing the history of numismatics.
The museum is fun for all ages – bring the young ones to the Kids Zone at the Money Museum, where children can learn about money with interactive exhibits. Explore the other exhibits and features, including Tales From the Vault, the Summer Seminar, and the Mini-Mint.
Argo Gold Mine, Mill & Museum
First constructed in 1893, the Argo Gold Mine, Mill, and Museum is now a National Historic Site and must-see for Idaho Springs visitors. The historic Argo Tunnel helped put the site on the map, as it was used to transport ore from the mines, stretching 4.5 miles to Central City.
Today, the Double Eagle Gold mine tour, Argo mill tour, and the live demonstration of the rock drilling are fun ways to learn of this rich history. While in Idaho Springs, the "birthplace" of the Rocky Mountain Gold Rush, or the greater Denver area, take time to enjoy the hot mineral springs and nearby trout fishing.
Aurora History Museum
Providing insight into the history of Aurora, the Aurora History Museum contains a collection of artifacts, documents, and other significant media native to the region. Denver-area history is uncovered in the museum's reference library and history archives.
Workshops, classes, and lectures are also offered in the museum classroom for local history programs. Special events, family programs, and hosted birthday parties are great ways to spend time at the museum. Even better, the museum comes free of admission as well.
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
Founded in 1972, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) showcases a wonderful variety of exhibits, and offers a comprehensive schedule of workshops, classes, lectures, and special events – all just outside the Denver metro area.
Whether visiting on you lunch break, joining the "Feel the Art Tour," or accompanying a class on a school tour – you'll enjoy strolling through the museum. The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art's floor space also provides a unique space for your next meeting, party, or special event.
Brush Area Museum & Cultural Center
Built in 1912, the Brush Area Museum and Cultural Center tells the story of the city of Brush with a slew of exhibits and interactive displays. The museum also serves as a community resource showcasing natural history, science, and technology native to northern Colorado.
Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum
An ode and monument to the western icon Buffalo Bill, the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum is a top attraction near Lakewood. As you explore the outer reaches of the Denver area, be sure to stop by the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum to explore the life and times of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
Opened in 1921, the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum is also the site of Buffalo Bill's gravesite – the museum also oversees the maintenance of the grave. Visit soon and check out some permanent exhibits like Buffalo Bill: The Showman, Buffalo Bill's Death, and the Kids' Cowboy Corral.
Children's Museum of Denver
Opened in 1979, the Children's Museum of Denver offers a wide range of hands-on activities and interactive exhibits for children to discover and explore while visiting the Denver area. Popular exhibits include: 3, 2, 1... Blast Off!, the Assembly Plant, Click Clack Train Track, and ARTS a la Carte.
The museum also hosts year-round family events – two of which are the Bunny Trail EggVenture and Snack with Santa. This Denver museum has 10,000 square feet of adaptable space available for birthday parties, meetings, fund raisers, receptions, and family reunions.
Colorado Prison Museum
On a tour of the Colorado Prison Museum, you'll see 32 cells containing exhibits and artifacts in this 1935 Women's Correctional Facility. Among the artifacts is the hangman's noose used during the last Colorado hanging, rare photographs of prison life, and the gas chamber.
The museum exhibits prison life from the early territorial days to present times, in order to preserve a part of Colorado's history in Cañon City and southern Colorado. Additional museums in nearby Pueblo include Pueblo's Rosemount Museum, the Pueblo Railway Museum, and El Pueblo History Museum.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Located in Denver's City Park, the Denver Museum of Natural History and Science houses variety of programs, exhibits, and events striving to "excite minds through scientific discovery".
Whether viewing a showing in the Planetarium, watching a film in the IMAX Theater, or strolling through the Wildlife Exhibits, there is plenty of discovery to be had. Spend a few days in this beautiful city park area of downtown Denver and visit the nearby Denver Zoo and Duck Lake.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
On your next trek through Colorado, head north to Fort Collins and explore the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Originally opened in 1941 as the Pioneer Museum, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, today, owns one of the largest collections of artifacts in the state with more than 30,000.
The mission of the Museum of Discovery is to "provide enjoyable, hands-on exploration in science and technology for the region." Try to explore as much as you can at the museum – check out the Wind Wall, the Big Drum, or the First Peoples exhibits.
Fort Francisco Museum
Commemorating frontier life in 19th century southern Colorado, the Fort Franciso Museum features a host of historic displays and artifacts. Specifically, it houses the adobe Francisco Fort from 1862, the Ritter Schoolhouse built in 1876, a saloon from the late 1870s, an early frontier log cabin, and a doctor's office.
The interpretive exhibits include a country store, tack room, military items, photographs, antiques, musical instruments, housewares, and fashions from the pioneer days. The outside farm equipment includes wagons, buggies and a hand-made sleigh. Be sure to check out the signed letter written by Abraham Lincoln in 1850 on display.
Fort Uncompahgre Living History Museum
Established in 1826 as fur trading post, Fort Uncompahgre Living History Museum in Delta recreates the experience of the fur trading in the west during the early 19th century. Museum staff – dressed in period attire – lead a hands-on tour where visitors can participate in the recreation or just listen to the tour.
While in southern Colorado, be sure to visit the Dry Mesa Quarry. It's one of the "most famous dinosaur localities in the world" and where archeologists first discovered Ultrasaurus and Brachiosaurus bones.
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center
Originally founded in 1936, Longmont Museum & Cultural Center has moved and evolved into its current state as municipally funded organization in the town of Longmont. The museum features permanent exhibits that commemorate the 14,000 years of history in the northern region of Colorado.
Art exhibits feature works by internationally known artists and others of great cultural significance. In addition to permanent exhibits, the museum also features many special exhibits that change often so there is always something new to see at the Longmont Museum.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Located near Commons Park in historic downtown Denver, the Museum of Contemporary Art is the first of its kind for the city. The five galleries, lecture hall, and education centers aim to inspire visitors as they stroll through the halls.
The exquisite exhibits, variety of lectures, and programs are always in an active state, so each visit presents something new. Whether you join a tour, attend a lecture, or have the museum host your next special event, the museum is a must-see attraction in Denver.
Museum of Western Colorado
Located in scenic Grand Junction in northern Colorado, the Museum of Western Colorado features thousands of years of western frontier history. The museum, just minutes from Clifton, features hands-on exhibits allowing visitors to step back into history, like the 1958 Cessna from Walker Field.
Check out one of America's finest Southwest Pottery collections in the adobe dwelling, climb up the Sterling T. Smith Education Tower to look at the working weather station, and don't miss the wealth of genealogy research also available at the Loyd Files Research Library.
Museum of Western Colorado: Dinosaur Journey
Set in the town of Fruita, the Museums of Western Colorado: Dinosaur Journey is a museum complex housing a collection of paleontology exhibits. Set just north of Clifton, the museum allows visitors to dig for dinosaur bones and learn about the extinct creatures who once roamed northern Colorado.
Kids love the 12 animated, full-sized dinosaur replicas, the paleontology lab, and variety of hands-on activities. Whether you join in one of the professionally conducted dinosaur excavations or hike along Dinosaur Hill, you'll enjoy your time exploring Colorado's Jurassic past.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado
Established in 1964, the Museum of Northwest Colorado houses wonderful exhibits of southern Colorado history, including old photos, the Moffat Road Railroad Display, and the Cowboy and Gunfighter Museum. This cowboy museum has over 900 cowboy artifacts collected over the last 50 years.
Stop by the museum Gift Shop to purchase an old photo or have the staff help with genealogy research. While in Craig, visit the Craig city park to tour the "Marcia Car" – a completely restored train car from the Denver & Rio Grande Western line.
U.S. Military Historical Museum
Found in Fort Morgan, the U.S. Military Historical Museum features artifacts and exhibits from every American war. Visitors of nearby Sterling can schedule time to view the collection of historical items and enjoy strolling through the galleries.
Another area museum worth noting is the Fort Morgan Museum, showcasing the town's history from Plains Indians to the ranchers who used the area for raising wheat. Be sure to bring your camera for pictures of the Rainbow Arch Bridge spanning northern Colorado's Platte River.
Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum
Located on the grounds of Lowry Air Force Base in Denver near Aurora, the museum houses over three dozen aircraft in a 40,000 square foot hangar.
Notable examples include the B-52 Stratofortress bombers, a Goodyear FG-1D, a McDonnell F-101 B, and numerous civilian and general aircraft.
The museum is also the home of the Colorado Aviation Historical Society and the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, perfect for airplane enthusiasts, alongside numerous aeronautical educational and operational services.