Denver may be known as a sports town, however there is also a huge and thriving cultural scene as well. Proven by the many different museums you can find scattered all over the Denver Metro area, you’ll see just how cultural this city truly is. With several different places to explore art, culture, science, history and more, there is sure to be a museum to please everyone in your family. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, be sure to check out the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to take advantage of the additional IMAX Theater and the attached Planetarium. Or, if you have younger kids, you may want to focus your efforts on the Children’s Museum of Denver. No matter which museum you choose, you’ll have a great time exploring these fantastic museums in Denver.
Denver Art Museum
100 W. 14th Ave Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
Price: $10 for adults/$8 for seniors and students/$3 for children
When it comes to art in Denver, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Denver Art Museum. In fact, the iconic building itself is worth a visit, designed by famed architect Daniel Libeskind. Libeskind’s design references the peaks and geometric patterns found in the Rocky Mountains, but the 9,000 titanium panels reflect many different images, in addition to the beautiful Colorado sun. A visit to the Denver Art Museum can be a packed day, with exhibitions both permanent and temporary, that show off the huge diversity of the museum’s collection. From contemporary works to classic masters, there is a little something for everyone, including lots of interactive areas that are perfect for the kids. Finish your visit with a trip to the cafe or gift shop, and you have a wonderful day of art and culture in Denver.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
Price: $14.95 for adults/$9.95 for students/$11.95 for seniors
The massive Denver Museum of Nature and Science was founded in 1900, and began with pioneer and naturalist, Edwin Carter, and his own collection of Colorado’s native birds and plants. From those modest beginnings grew one of the largest museums of its kind in the country, including the Gates Planetarium, IMAX Theater and more additions. There is always something fun and fascinating to check out at this museum. Start with the dinosaurs and work your way through all the different exhibits, including the fun interactive areas where your kids can get some hands-on education about everything from human biology to space exploration. There are also always a few temporary exhibits, as the team at The Denver Museum of Nature and Science works hard to keep new, fresh ideas rotating through for everyone in Denver to enjoy. You can get tickets for just the museum, or add in a visit to the Planetarium or the IMAX theater, and you’ll have enough to keep you occupied all weekend long.
Related: Top Smaller Scale Museums In Denver
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
1485 Delgany St.
Denver, CO 80202
Price: $8 for adults/$5 for students and seniors/children and teens are free
If you love funky, modern art, then you’ll really love visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. This haven for modern work was originally founded in 1996, but moved into its beautiful new home in 2007. In addition to a stunning architectural work by architect David Adjaye, you’ll find several floors filled with fascinating, modern art work. Recently, the entire museum was closed to renovate for its massive collection by Devo’s lead singer, Mark Mothersbaugh. This is the first time Mothersbaugh has had a solo show of this size, and the musem continues to offer this world premiere exhibition through April 12. Teens should definitely check out the Museum of Contemporary Art as well, as there are always lots of teen drop-in nights and other exciting events that are specifically designed to appeal to the younger art lover. Whether you are new to contemporary art, or you have always been a fan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver is definitely a must-see.
History Colorado Center
Denver, CO 80203
Price: $12 for adults/$10 for students and seniors/$8 for children
There is one museum in the state that is truly dedicated to the exploration of Colorado and all the different people and events that have helped to make this state as amazing as it is today. The History Colorado Center is one of the newer museums to hit the local landscape, opening in 2012, but the History Colorado Center is a truly vibrant and fascinating place that will truly teach you and your whole family about the many stories from Colorado. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the History Colorado Center is also home to many exciting traveling exhibits and other public programs. There are several interactive exhibits for kids that are perfect for teaching them all about life in the early days when Colorado was being settled. There are lots of other fascinating exhibitions that everyone in the family will love exploring. If you are looking for some new museums to explore, then you definitely want to add the History Colorado Center to that list.
Related: Weirdest Museums In Colorado
Children’s Museum of Denver
2121 Children’s Museum Drive
Denver, CO 80211
Price: $9 ages two through 59/$7 for seniors and children age one
There are lots of wonderful museums all over Colorado, each with their own children’s section and interactive areas but the Children’s Museum of Denver is completely dedicated to the kids. It’s the best place in town to learn and play with activities and exhibits designed for children of all ages. From interactive areas where kids can learn about science through hands-on experiments to a real child-sized market where the kids can learn all about shopping and how local foods wind up on their plates at home. Truly there is so much for the kids to enjoy here that they’ll be asking to return again and again. Of course, the museum is even bigger and better when the warmer months roll around with a new outdoor adventure park opening in summer of 2015, so make sure to come back to see all the new additions to the best museum in Colorado.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.