Presidents Day is February 18. So what can you do to ensure that you are observing this important day? This is a great opportunity to take some time to explore some of the great historical sites and other landmarks Colorado has to offer. Visit museums and learn about the history of Colorado and the surrounding areas, or take in some of the sites United States presidents have visited. It’s a great opportunity for some hands-on history lessons about the nation and the presidents who shaped it.
Visit the History Colorado Center
Denver, CO 80203
Start in your own backyard at the History Colorado Center. You and your children can wander the museum exploring Colorado’s unique past. Check out the “Destination Colorado” exhibit and learn all about the people who settled Colorado. From shopping at a general store to taking a virtual ride in a Model T Ford, or even milking a model cow, you’ll learn all about the settlers who built the town that you call home. Also, be sure to visit the “Denver A to Z” exhibit. From politics to art to culture and sports, the “Denver A to Z” exhibit is another great way to learn about Colorado and American history.
Tour the Colorado State Capitol
200 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Get the best possible view of politics in action by taking a legislative tour of the Colorado State Capitol. The free 45-minute tour will take you through a visit of the House and the Senate Galleries, and you may even be able to meet with a lawmaker. While you are there, be sure to visit Mr. Brown’s Attic, the exhibit located between the third floor and the dome. This exhibit is home to lots of great features all about Colorado history, the legislative process and even the construction of the iconic Capitol building itself. The dome is closed during renovation, but Mr. Brown’s Attic remains open.
Tour the United States Mint
320 W. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80204
Nothing says American history like a tour of the United States Mint, and Denver is home to one of just six mints in the country. You can take a tour and learn all about the process of coin manufacturing and the history of coins in the United States. All tours are free of charge, and no, there are no samples. However, you’ll get a great first-hand account of one of the biggest pieces of American history.
Stay at the Brown Palace
321 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
There is just one hotel in the city of Denver that can claim to have hosted almost every United States president since Teddy Roosevelt (Calvin Coolidge never made and so far Barack Obama has stayed elsewhere when visiting Denver). The historic Brown Palace is a great place to spend the weekend and take a trip back through history. Make it a real splurge and request one of the presidential suites, named for Eisenhower, Reagan and Roosevelt. If you happen to be lucky enough to get into the Eisenhower Suite, look for the dent in the fireplace mantel. Legend has it President Eisenhower made it when he hit a golf ball into the mantel while practicing his swing.
Learn at the Denver Public Library
10 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
Perhaps the best way to learn more about the presidents and American history is to visit the one place in town that will guarantee plenty of access to free information. The Denver Public Library is the best place in town to start your historical lessons. Grab the kids and find some great books on Washington or Lincoln, or ask your kids to find a book on their favorite president. Then, gather together and read all about the people that have helped to shape this great country.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.