History Colorado Center–8 Reasons to Visit!
posted by: Amber Johnson
It has been almost two years since the History Colorado Center made its debut in Denver. Designed to ignite imaginations of all ages about Colorado history, exhibits take a thematic approach in sharing the stories and spirit of Colorado’s people over the last 10,000 years. The History Colorado Center’s high-tech and hands-on galleries are based on three broad themes: Dreams and Aspirations, Enduring Communities, and People and the Environment.
I recently attended an event at the HCC thrown by my friend Mary-Frances of Denver Parent and was thrilled to learn the programming just keeps getting better and better! Here are just a few reasons to visit this $110 million, high-tech building that is a treasure trove for Colorado’s history.
Free Low-sensory Mornings
The HCC recently opened its doors just for families that prefer a lower sensory environment from 8-10 a.m. on select Saturdays. The museum will be closed to the general public, attendance limited and the sounds in the exhibits are turned down. Dates are March 21, July 18 and October 17. Admission is free but space is limited and RSVPs are required to firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-866-4691.
Now through May 10, 2015, the 1968 Exhibit brings to life this pivotal American year through photographs, artifacts, vintage pop culture items and interactives. Explore the exhibit and see the events that changed Colorado and America forever. In 1968, the death toll in the Vietnam War reached a new high. Riots and demonstrations raged across the country, Apollo 8 orbited the moon, and the nation was transformed by the tragic assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. The 1960s also charted a dramatic road in America’s pop culture. It was in 1968 that Hair opened on Broadway, “Laugh-In” debuted on television and Johnny Cash gave his famous performance at Folsom Prison.
Because the HCC is state-funded, it does not qualify for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) free days of area museums. However, in honor of Colorado Day on July 31 and August 1, the HCC opens its doors for two free days of performers, demos and crafts.
On the first Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m., kids ages 2-5 can attend storytime to learn about Colorado animals, farms, shapes and colors. A new theme is picked each month and storytime is free with admission. Throughout the year, the HCC offers high-quality performances ranging from American Indian dancers to personal encounters with a Mountain Man to leaning how to bead and flintknap.
Camps aren’t just about sports. The HCC’s Junior Museum Camp is fun and educational! Kids in grades 2-5 go behind the scenes in a large history museum and become “employees” as they travel back in time to learn Colorado’s most fascinating stories. They will do everything from designing a new exhibit diorama to earning a junior museum ID badge to handling artifacts not available to the public. Dates are June 22-26, 2015 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Members $250/week/ non-members $280.
From kindergarteners to high school seniors, students can immerse themselves in HCC’s experiential exhibits and programs while aligning with curriculum standards across multiple disciplines. Can’t go to them? Their educators facilitate hands-on programs at your school of even rent out artifact kids with phtos, information cards and activities on a rnage of topics including Cliff Dwellers, Grandmother Trunks, Boom and Bust: Denver’s History.
Let’s face it: you can’t always travel to a museum so they are coming to you! The HCC recently introduced fascinating online exhibits of 1) Amache: Japanese Internment during World War II. 2) Bent’s Fort: International Trade during the Fur Trade Era. 3) Lincoln Hills: Segregation and African American History in Colorado. Coming soon: Homesteading in Colorado and Colorado’s American Indians.
The History Colorado Center is located at 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO. Standard admission prices: Adults-$12; Students (13-22)/Seniors (65+)-$10; Children (6-12)-$8; Children 5 and under-FREE;