Denver Museums and Cultural Attractions
Your Guide to Museums in Denver
Photo by Matt Inden/Weaver Multimedia Group
Astor House Museum822 12th St. Golden, 80401 303-278-3557 www.astorhousemuseum.org
Located in historic downtown Golden, the Astor House Museum and Clear Creek History Park offer a look at Colorado life in the late 1800s. The house was a boarding house for more than 100 years. The three-acre history park is devoted to hands-on history and includes original 1870s homestead cabins, an 1876 schoolhouse and a replica of a blacksmith shop.
Aurora History Museum15151 E. Alameda Pkwy. Aurora, 80012 303-739-6660 www.aurora-museum.org
Experience the city of Aurora’s history from ancient times until the present through artifacts and documents. Exhibits include clothing and household items from the 1930s and a toy collection from the 1920s. Traveling exhibits cover such topics as local archaeology, art, life on the Great Plains, women’s history and Native American life. The museum also hosts lectures, workshops and events.
Black American West Museum and Heritage Center3091 California St. Denver, 80205 303-292-2566 www.blackamericanwest.org
Listen to tour guides tell the story of African American pioneers in the West! Located in the former home of Dr. Justina Ford, Colorado’s first African American female doctor, this museum has a collection of more than 35,000 personal artifacts, memorabilia, documents, clothing, letters, photographs and oral histories.
Boulder History Museum1206 Euclid Ave. Boulder, 80302 303-449-3464 www.boulderhistorymuseum.org
Located in the 1899 Harbeck Bergheim House on University Hill, the museum showcases nearly 30,000 objects that chronicle the history of life in Boulder County from the 1800s until now.
Bowles House Museum3924 W. 72nd Ave. Westminster, 80030 303-426-1858 www.ci.westminster.co.us/city/history/whs.htm
This 1872 homestead features artifacts from the Westminster area, as well as rotating exhibits. The Westminster Historical Society operates the museum and lectures at local schools.
Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum987-1/2 Lookout Mountain Road Golden, 80401 303-526-0744 www.buffalobill.org
A memorial for William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, this museum features exhibits about his life and Wild West shows. It includes Western art, firearms and Western and Indian artifacts - including Sitting Bull’s bow and arrows and Buffalo Bill’s show outfits. The legend’s gravesite is onsite.
Byers-Evans House Museum1310 Bannock St. Denver, 80203 303-620-4933 www.coloradohistory.org
Built in 1883 by Rocky Mountain News publisher William Byers, this historic home was sold to William Gray Evans, a Denver Tramway Company officer, in 1889. Enjoy a guided tour through the brick Italianate residence, filled with original Evans family furnishings. A film features these two prominent Denver families.
The Children’s Museum of Denver2121 Children’s Museum Drive Denver, 80211 303-433-7444 www.mychildsmuseum.org
Play and learn together as a family at the Children’s Museum of Denver! This popular attraction has served the metro Denver community for over 40 years - where children newborn through age 8 and their grownups learn through play. With innovative and interactive exhibits, engaging daily programming and exciting year-round special events, there’s always something to do. With more than 300,000 children and visitors each year, the Museum offers a dynamic learning environment to explore, play, discover and learn.
Clyfford Still Museum1250 Bannock Street Denver, 80202 www.clyffordstillmuseum.org
The Clyfford Still Museum is the newest addition to Denver's Civic Center Cultural Complex and is located at the corner of 13th Avenue and Bannock Street in downtown Denver. It houses 94 percent of Clyfford Still's art from a 60-year career.
Colorado History Museum1300 Broadway Denver, 80203 303-866-3682 www.coloradohistory.org
See Colorado’s history, from its earliest inhabitants to its pioneer families at this museum through detailed dioramas, historic photographs, artifacts and documents - plus special programs, galleries and exhibits on life in the American West. The museum also serves as the headquarters for the Colorado Historical Society and is home to an archaeological and historic preservation library with a unique collection of Native American and Colorado arts and crafts.
Colorado Railroad Museum17155 W. 44th Ave. Golden, 80403 800-365-6263 www.crrm.org
Established in 1959, the Colorado Railroad Museum is recognized as one of the best privately supported rail museums in the country. More than 70 historic narrow and standard gauge locomotives and cars are exhibited on 15 acres at the foot of North Table Mountain. The collection includes railroad equipment, artifacts, documents, artwork and photographs, with a special emphasis on Rocky Mountain area railroads.
Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum1701 Bryant St., Suite 500 Denver, 80204 720-258-3535 www.coloradosports.org
The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum takes visitors on a journey through Colorado sports history. Located next to one of the primary entrances to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the museum also offers year-round access to the field.
Denver Firefighters Museum1326 Tremont Place Denver, 80204 303-892-1436 www.denverfirefightersmuseum.org
Located in an historic firehouse that was built in 1909, this unique museum has early firefighting equipment and artifacts that date from 1866 - including a hand-drawn apparatus, a rare steam pumper, and three motorized fire trucks. Learn about some of Denver’s big fires, how firefighters hone their skills, and how they use trained horses and dogs. Educational programs focus on fire safety and hands-on activities.
Denver Art Museum100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. Denver, 80204 720-865-5000 www.denverartmuseum.org
Founded in 1893, the Denver Art Museum is the largest art museum between Kansas City and the West Coast, featuring more than 55,000 works of art - including an internationally renowned American Indian art collection. Other collections include pre- Columbian and Spanish Colonial, Painting and Sculpture, Asian, Architecture, Design and Graphics, Modern and Contemporary, Textile Art, European, American and Western. The museum also offers educational activities and events for children and adults throughout the year. The museum recently completed its first major expansion in more than 30 years, which nearly doubled its size. It now features one of the nation’s most unique structures, designed by Daniel Libeskind.
Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys1880 Gaylord St. Denver, 80206 303-322-1053 www.dmmdt.com
Housed in the 1899 Pearce McAllister Cottage, the museum features a collection of miniatures, dolls and toys from around the world that range from the 16th century to modern times.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science2001 Colorado Blvd. Denver, 80205 303-322-7009 www.dmns.org
Hosting more than 1.7 million visitors annually, this museum displays 775,000 objects in its permanent exhibits, which include dinosaur fossils and prehistoric objects, Egyptian mummies and artifacts, a visitor center to the universe, hundreds of gems and minerals from around the world, health science exhibits, North American Indian artifacts and reconstructed dwellings, and more than 90 wildlife habitat scenes from across the globe. The museum also features world-class traveling exhibits, a planetarium, IMAX® theater, library, scientific lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.
Foothills Art Center809 15th St. Golden, 80401 303-279-3922 www.foothillsartcenter.org
This 35-year-old art center is housed in two historic buildings. Foothills I, the main building, is known for its classic Victorian architecture, stained glass windows and bell tower. The 1872 First Presbyterian Church was remodeled and joined to the parsonage, so the present Foothills comprises six gallery rooms under one roof. An adjacent mansion, Foothills II, is where small invitational shows are held, and it contains the Gallery Shops. The art center presents art programs and classes and a variety of year-round exhibitions.
Forney Museum of Transportation4303 Brighton Blvd. Denver, 80216 303-297-1113 www.forneymuseum.com
The Forney features more than 500 exhibits dedicated to historical transportation. Its unique collection includes Amelia Earhart’s “Gold Bug” Kissel, Prince Aly Khan’s Rolls Royce, and “Big Boy,” the world’s largest steam locomotive. There are also displays of antique cars, locomotives, buggies, carriages, wagons, trolleys and motorcycles.
The Geology Museum at the Colorado School of MinesCorner of 13th and Maple Street Golden, 80401 303-273-3815 www.mines.edu/academic/ geology/museum
Got rocks? This museum houses an extraordinary collection of mineral specimens and historical mining artifacts, and visitors can tour a reconstructed underground gold mine.
Golden Pioneer Museum923 10th St. Golden, 80401 303-278-7151 www.goldenpioneermuseum.com
Founded in 1938, this museum houses artifacts from nearby archeological sites and pioneer days with emphasis on the years 1859- 1930. The museum’s research library contains historical and genealogical volumes, documents and photographs.
Hiwan Homestead Museum4208 S. Timbervale Drive Evergreen, 80439 303-674-6262 www.co.jefferson.co.us
Hiwan’s restored 1890 to 1930-era, 17-room log lodge paints an ideal picture of early mountain summer home living. A local history museum, the Hiwan also offers craft and interpretive school programs, as well as changing exhibits sponsored by the Jefferson County Historical Society.
Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art6055 Longbow Drive Boulder, 80301 800-777-8716 www.leanintreemuseum.com
See more than 300 original paintings and bronze sculptures from the private collection of Edward P. Trumble, chairman and founder of Leanin’ Tree Inc. It is the only major collection of privately-held works of American Western art that is free and open to the public.
Louisville Historical Museum1001 Main St. Louisville, 80027 303-665-9048 www.ci.louisville.co.us
This museum occupies two historic buildings constructed between 1904 and 1908. The Jacoe Store is the main building and features artifacts and historic photographs that reflect Louisville’s early settlement and industry, with an emphasis on the coal-mining period from 1877 to 1955. The Tomeo House is a replica of a coal miner’s house.
The Mizel Museum400 S. Kearney St. Denver, 80224 303-394-9993 www.mizelmuseum.org
The Mizel Museum features interactive exhibits and multicultural, Judaical immigration and holocaust exhibits. The museum’s educational programs offer visitors a glimpse at the ceremonies, festivals and rites of passage of African American, Asian Pacific, Hispanic/Latino, Jewish, Muslim and Native American cultures.
The Molly Brown House Museum
1340 Pennsylvania St.Denver, 80203 303-832-4092 www.mollybrown.org
This Victorian home, restored and open for tours, was once the residence of Denver’s own “unsinkable” Molly Brown, survivor of the sinking of the Titanic. The house’s artifacts date from when the Brown’s lived there, 1894 to 1912, with a focus on items the Brown’s would have had in the house. A fashion collection dating from 1867 to 1932 also is exhibited.
Morrison Heritage and Natural History Museums501 Colorado Highway 8 Morrison, 80465 303-697-1873 http://town.morrison.co.us/mnhm
The Morrison Natural History Museum opened in 1990 and tells the story of Morrison’s 1877 dinosaur discoveries on Dinosaur Ridge. The museum has exhibits of real dinosaur bones and also houses some of the area’s live native reptiles and amphibians. The Morrison Heritage Museum explores Morrison’s historic people, places and events.
Museo de las Américas861 Santa Fe Drive Denver, 80204 303-571-4401 www.museo.org
The museum collects, preserves and interprets Latin American art, history and cultures from ancient times to the present. It has a permanent exhibition of 17th and 18th century paintings and sculptures created in the Spanish colonies of the New World during the Baroque Period, as well as ancient art of the Americas.
Museum of Contemporary Art - Denver1275 19th St. Denver, 80202 303-298-7554 www.mcartdenver.org
Denver’s first major contemporary arts museum opened in 1996, and it is a non-collecting museum that features a continual exhibition of innovative artwork, along with tours and workshops. Internationally known architect David Adjaye designed the museum’s new home in April 2004.
Museum of Outdoor Arts1000 Englewood Pkwy., Suite 2-230 Englewood, 80110 303-806-0444 www.moaonline.org
This “museum without walls” features more than 60 works of art on display in outdoor locations, and Greenwood Plaza in Greenwood Village is a prime showcase for the collection. In 2000, the museum’s indoor gallery opened in the Englewood Civic Center, offering rotating exhibits, educational programs, integrated arts performances and special events.
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum1111 Washington Ave. Golden, 80401 303-277-0377 www.rmqm.org
The museum presents 10 quilt exhibits each year that feature both traditional and contemporary designs, with a permanent collection that is exhibited once a year. The museum hosts special events, offers a wide range of educational programs, and has a shop with fine quilts and quilt-related items.
University of Denver Museum of AnthropologySturm Hall 102 2000 E. Asbury Ave. Denver, 80208 303-871-2688 www.du.edu/anthro/museum.htm
This anthropology museum on the University of Denver campus has been acquiring both archaeological and ethnographic objects and records since the 1920s, and its collection now has more than 165,000 objects. Site collections from more than 1,800 Colorado archaeological sites and hundreds of other sites in 12 western states form the majority of the museum’s holdings, including evidence of the prehistoric occupation of eastern Colorado.
The Wildlife Experience Museum10035 S. Peoria Parker, 80134 720-488-3300 www.thewildlifeexperience.com
This 101,000 square-foot wildlife conservation museum, houses an extensive collection of natural history, paintings, sculpture, photography and film exhibits. Rotating exhibits are devoted to specific conservation efforts and offer a wide range of wildlife subjects, themes and learning experiences. The museum is dedicated to promoting the understanding of the natural world and its conservation through art, education and community.
Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum7711 E. Academy Blvd. Denver, 80230 303-360-5360 www.wingsmuseum.org
Home to more than 35 historic airplanes and space vehicles, the popular Wings Over the Rockies museum features aircraft and space-related exhibits, educational programs and a research library. Exhibits include the science of flight, the history of avionics, and a World War II uniform and artifact collection.