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Denver’s best museums for kids (and how to visit for free)

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Most people are exhausted by the pandemic and are looking forward to returning to a life of normalcy. But many are still waiting for the vaccine and lighter COVID restrictions. Furthermore, winter weather is still with us, and most people feel stir crazy. Perhaps there is more to do while we wait than you might have realized. Lisa Shultz, Denver native and author of Essential Denver: Discovery and Exploration Guide, has been exploring museums since January. After the holidays, she felt compelled to take more steps towards normal living. Planning the visit gives her something to look forward to. She asks a friend to join her, and she relishes in conversation while looking at the exhibits. See her highlights of her recent museum outings below. 

Also, don’t miss our guide to Denver’s free days and score a freebie during your visit. 

What Are Denver’s Best Museums for Children?

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

2021 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver

This children’s museum of all about interactive play that encourages kids to Investigate (with water, kinetics, and bubbles exhibits), Imagine (Fire Station No. 1., Ready Vet Go), Explore (Joy Park, Adventure Park) and Create (Art Stuiod and Teaching Kitchen). Check their website for temporary exhibit closures.  mychildsmuseum.org

Colorado Railroad Museum

17155 W. 44th Avenue, Golden

Day Out With Thomas, Polar Express. Saturday Train Rides. These are just a few of the many funt things you’ll find at this museum. The main museum building, completed in 1959, resembles an 1880-era small town railroad depot. The Depot Museum houses the museum’s two changing gallery spaces featuring the colorful stories of the railroads serving Colorado for over 125 years. coloradorailroadmuseum.org

Denver Art Museum

100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver

General admission to DAM is free to all youth age 18 and under every day. The museum offers games and activities for kids and families to have fun together at the museum, sparking curiosity and conversation during your visit.  They also offer fun game and coloring sheet downloads and at-home artmaking. denverartmuseum.org

Denver Firefighters Museum

1326 Tremont Place, Denver

What child isn’t fascinated with firetrucks? The Denver Firefighters Museum is a great place to for kids to learn the rich history of firefighting and the Denver Fire Department with hands-on exhibits and Firehouse Tales for Tots.  denverfirefightersmuseum.org

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls & Toys

830 Kipling Street, Lakewood

Visiting this museum will take you on a journey back to your childhood. Enjoy a scavenger hunt and marvel at this venue where collectors share their passion for toys and where the unique is celebrated and preserved for generations to come. dmmdt.org

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

2001 Colorado Blvd.

This museum has so many floors and exhibits that it is best to visit more than once to fully appreciate it. Viewing mummies or dinosaurs takes one back in time to a world that is hard to imagine. The taxidermy exhibits are similar to going to the zoo minus any movement by the specimens. Add on a film at the IMAX theater to extend your outing. dmns.org

Forney Museum of Transportation

4303 Brighton Blvd.

For Valentine’s Day, the museum had a collection of red and pink cars to start the walking route through the collections. There is a change of exhibits every ninety days, and the current one is Oakland and Pontiac models. A real blast from the past to see these eloquent cars! This feature stays until May 1 when it switches to Ford Model T. forneymuseum.org

History Colorado Center

1200 N. Broadway, Denver

This museum gives you a chance to learn about Colorado, but it also has some great photo opportunities and chances to goof off. Enjoy posing in front of the “Welcome to Colorado” sign or dancing with a smaller version of the Blue Bear. historycolorado.org/history-colorado-center

The Galleries at the Freyer-Newman Center at Botanic Gardens

1007 York Street, Denver

This new building is worth seeing. It currently holds three art exhibits. Pick a nice day and combine with a walk in the gardens after you view the art inside. Even in the winter, a stroll outside is refreshing and beautiful. Grab a snack or coffee at the outdoor café in the gardens to make a longer outing. botanicgardens.org/york-street/freyer-newman-center

Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum

7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver

Get your steps in because this museum is large. How often do you get to wander around jet fighters and other aircraft? See planes up close that are normally only viewed in the movies and TV. wingsmuseum.org

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Shultz’s book, Essential Denver: Discovery and Exploration Guide, highlights the fabulous things the city offers. With a light touch of history, she hopes Denverites will take good care of the city for years to come. The book is filled with fun facts and great lists. Readers will learn about:

  • Art, Culture and Entertainment
  • Parks, Recreation and Sports
  • Government and Education
  • Eating and Drinking Establishments
  • Famous People
  • Landmark Buildings and Neighborhoods
  • History You Can Remember
  • And much more

Essential Denver is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon and to support shopping local, it is also available at I Heart Denver Store located in the Pavilions on 16th Street Mall. Find about more about the author on her website, LisaJShultz.com.

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Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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