Museums are an amazing opportunity to have family time, to learn and to have a blast all at the same time. You know about the big well-knowns like the Denver Museum of Nature and History and the Denver Art Museum, but have you tried some of the other amazing museums around Colorado?
Museum of Boulder at Tebo Center offers a lot of hands on exhibits that are just perfect for the curious child. It has a lot of everything for the inventor, scientist, naturalist and artist! They have an extensive display of old equipment, machinery, Olympic sports gear, x-ray machines, etc… where kids can see and experience the evolution of innovation. Not to mention, there is an artsy side for budding painters and sculptors. And, if your child wants to participate in some fun summer camps like Comic Book Camp, this museum has those in spades, too. They are open every day except Tuesday, and a day full of fun and adventure is just $10 for adults and $8 for children.
The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts is another local treasure. Children can get their creative and imaginative juices flowing when they see and discuss the interesting and unique exhibits available. A great discussion of what is art and how it is interpreted in many different ways can blossom when you visit this museum. Best part? It’s only $2 for adults and seniors and free for your youngsters that aren’t yet teens! And, if your youngsters are feeling compelled to make some art, the museum has a “Young Artists at Work Summer Camp” as well.
Wings over the Rockies is a fantastically cool air and space museum located in Denver, Colorado. This science, history, and technology filled museum is fun for all ages and was named one of the 20 best aviation museums around the world. It has a Harrison Ford Theater where kids and adults alike can experience fighter pilots in training; how cool! It is open seven days a week for you to check out some of the coolest aviation technology ever created. So, all you Amelia Earhart’s and Wright Brother wannabes, head on out! *STEAM FEST VENDOR*
After you’ve had your fill of aviation, take your next museum adventure at the Center for Colorado Women’s History, also known as the Byers-Evans House. This museum is more geared towards an older crowd, so plan to take your teens to learn the history of women in Colorado and how those women’s stories connect to the history of women worldwide. The museum is open five days a week.
If you have already made your rounds to these museums, there is the oldie but goodie Denver Children’s Museum with activities galore for your younger children or try something new with the Wow! World of Wonder Children’s Museum in Lafayette, Colorado. The Forest of Light exhibit will have you and your children in sensory euphoria, and when you are done, your children can discover the properties of wind and air, create art projects from recycled materials, surround yourselves in a giant bubble, examine the physics of pulleys, and even dance and do yoga. *STEAM FEST VENDOR*
I have a soft spot for the mining industry (the best company I ever worked for was in the mining and metals industry) and I love the Western Museum of Mining & Industry in Colorado Springs. During your visit, see and learn about fully operational steam engines that powered the mining industry during the late 1800s, including a working hoist, “widow maker” pneumatic drill, and a 37 ton Corliss engine. Try your hand at panning for REAL gold with “Keep What you Find Gold Panning”, enjoy interactive hands-on displays, view exquisite and rare mineral samples and venture through a mock mine drift built exclusively for WMMI by Colorado School of Mines. They also have a STEAM Summer Camp in June (I think it’s next week).
If you get the chance, also try out the Colorado Railroad Museum and for sure, make time this summer for the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery with its 40,000 square foot space filled with interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the history of science. Oh, and the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley is completely amazing too – SciFi Day with Star Wars character meet and greets is in July.