Colorado History Museum
1300 Broadway, Denver
HOURS: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.
COST: $7 adult, $5 child, $6 senior and student
The history of Colorado actually begins from the ground up—the distinctive topography played a crucial role in how and where cities and towns settled and either flourished or vanished. The three-dimensional Timescape at the Colorado History Museum is a fascinating overview of the state’s terrain. Here, you get a sense of where Denver is situated between the mountains and the plains and in just a few minutes learn 10,000 or so years of history.
Once you’ve got the lay of the land, step into the large exhibit area featuring stories and artifacts of many individuals and groups who made history here—from Native Americans to cowgirls and miners.
A mock cliff dwelling sets the mood for learning about the people—historically called Anasazi—who lived in Southwestern Colorado hundreds of years ago. It’s not all history, though: A display about the lives of American Indians includes videotaped stories of modern-day Indians, detailing how their cultures have survived.
In addition to the big attractions in the lower level—including a full Conestoga covered wagon, a seven-ton steam engine, and original tepee—the main level features changing exhibits with such themes as Italian immigrants in Denver and WWII soldiers who trained on skis in the Colorado Rockies.
The Colorado History Museum offers several special programs in conjunction with current and ongoing exhibits. First Friday lunches include lectures or entertainment like cowboy songs; Second Saturday for kids has activities such as grinding corn or making a pottery puzzle. The museum is typically not crowded and requires at least half a day to see all the exhibits.
© Mindy Sink from Moon Denver, 1st Edition