Museums around Colorado
It has come to my attention that not all HeidiTown citizens love winter. Apparently sparkling snow doesn’t have a magical effect on some people and in fact, makes them long for hot summer days at the lake.
I don’t have a touchstone with this, as I love the snow and all things snow-related, but as a good Mayor, I shouldn’t ignore this segment of my town. And while I enjoy tromping through freshly fallen snow, I do, occasionally, go indoors during the winter.
Here are a few Colorado outings where it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a snowball to the face or slip on unseen ice or get your tongue stuck to a frozen pole.
Denver is no cowtown. The Denver Art Museum gets the top shows in the country and I’m thrilled to have such a high caliber museum out my backdoor.
We’re planning to head down soon to see the new Star Wars exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. If you haven’t heard about this exhibit yet, I could accuse you of living under rock, but I won’t. Sometimes these things get past even me.
The Denver Art Museum is fun to visit year round, but we often find ourselves targeting this museum on snowy days.
And speaking of museums, they are a good option for snow days. I have been known to spend an entire day at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This is possible because they have an onsite cafe and deli, so one does not have to leave to find food.
I come from a family of museum lovers and have been to a number of famous ones across the United States and I think the DMNS rates among the very best.
Their Mummies exhibit is gone on Feb. 6, so if you love mummies, you’d better get there fast. My husband is super excited for their next show – Vikings: Beyond the Legend, which runs March 10 through August 13, 2017.
I realize this post is starting to sound a little overly cultured, but I think most of you are fairly enlightened folks, so let’s talk symphony. While the Denver Performing Arts Center has wonderful shows year round, the symphony’s season runs fall through winter, making this the perfect time to attend a concert.
For several years we bought Colorado Symphony packages and loved spending a night on the town in Denver on concert evenings. It’s a great excuse to try a new restaurant or a new place for dessert after the show.
If you’ve read HeidiTown for any length of time you already know that I love dinner theater. My two favorite go-to places are Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown and BDT Stage in Boulder, formerly Boulder Dinner Theatre.
Getting dinner and catching a play at either of these venues is surprisingly affordable and makes for a memorable evening.
“Thoroughly Modern Millie” is on stage in Boulder and “Forever Plaid” is bringing down the house at Candlelight.
Be sure to find out what is playing at your local playhouse as well this winter. I’m a big supporter and fan of community theatre. You may be very surprised at the quality talent that’s in your town.
Okay, you don’t really get wet at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver, and in fact, visiting the aquarium actually makes for a nice escape from a snowy Colorado day.
I haven’t been to the aquarium in years, but a few HeidiTown citizens recently visited and said it was a great place to take the kids. And since this post is lacking in many kid-friendly outings, here it is.
The Downtown Aquarium has dining and a 4-D Theater, which I didn’t know about until I visited their website. What’s a 4-D theater you ask? I had to look it up myself, but apparently it’s a theater that shows 3D movies, but also features things like sensor-equipped motions seats, wind, strobe, fog, rain and scents. So I suppose you might get wet at the Denver Aquarium after all.
Since the beginning of summer break, I’ve seen dozens of my friends complaining on Facebook about their kids’ boredom and asking about interesting ways to keep them busy this summer.
I’m not a mom, so I’m not going to use this blog post to list arts and crafts projects or fun backyard activities to do with your kids this summer. However, I am going to shed light on a few free and low costs outings that are guaranteed to keep your kids entertained for at least a few hours.
Nearly every town in Colorado seems to have a free concerts series happening this summer. Some cities, such as Loveland, have two (Thursdays and Fridays). See my recent post for Visit Loveland for details. Continue reading
What is a 128-year-old fictional private detective doing in Denver, Colorado? Well, my dear readers, the game’s afoot at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and you’re invited solve the case.
Think this exhibit is just for kids? Think again. The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes encourages parents to review this page before bringing their children. Remember, the series of Holmes books, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, were written for adults and the exhibit, while suitable for some children, may not be suitable for all ages.
We had a great time at this exhibit – better than I expected. Visitors start in a room dedicated to the literary history of Sherlock Holmes and then move on to the real fun stuff. In the second room we picked up a notebook, “a detective’s most important tool,” and we began to work our way towards solving the case.
As we completed each section in the first room, ballistics, optics, etc. we stamped our notebook and moved on. This area was a sort of learning ground that would hopefully turn us into good detectives. Next we entered 221B Baker Street and were instructed by our handy notebook to find 13 items. I found several bells, but never could locate the Bell Pull, so if someone can enlighten me as to where it is, I’d be most grateful. Continue reading
As my regular readers know, we try to check out as many museums as possible while traveling around the state. While on magazine assignment in Northwest Colorado, we decided to stop at the Wyman Museum in Craig, just 16 miles west of where we were staying in Hayden.
The museum’s collection was started in 1949 in Elks Springs, Colorado by Lou Wyman. He started the collection with a 1932 Lincoln that he paid $15 to obtain. Three years ago, a M47 American Tank joined the collection; it cost a bit more than the 32′ Lincoln, but Wyman had to have it. This tank was the highlight of Ryan’s entire day. Continue reading
When I visit a town, I really like to get to know it. That’s why I enjoy a three-night stay when visiting a new location; it gives me time to soak in the ambiance and savor the flavor of a place.
How does one really get to know a town? I find that knowing a town’s history is one very effective way to get to know a place, so when I travel, I almost always visit the local history museum.
In January, while attending the Telluride Fire Festival, I spent an afternoon browsing the Telluride Historical Museum. I enjoyed the flow of this museum as I walked through each room the town’s story unfolded, right up to modern day. Continue reading
We arrived at the Denver Art Museum on a busy, snowy Saturday morning. Unbeknownst to us, the museum is free on the first Saturday of every month so the place was filled with families. Please note that special exhibits such as Brilliant are still subject to a fee even on First Saturdays.
I’m not a super girly girl and I’m not one to swoon over sparkly things, but even I had to admit that the jewels on display at Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century were pretty spectacular. However, it wasn’t only the gems that appealed to me, but the story that they told. Continue reading
I visited downtown Denver during the holidays for the first time 14 years ago. I had just moved to Littleton from Washington State with my then boyfriend, now husband, who had grown up in Colorado. We visited Larimer Street, and with its canopy of lights and dressed up storefronts I fell in love with Denver during the Christmas season. We have made it a tradition to do at least one or two trips to the Mile High City every December since then.
If you head to the big city over the next couple of weekends, here’s a few things that I recommend you check out.
Stroll down Larimer Street
Downtown Denver is beautiful during the holiday season. Twinkling lights cling to the trees and lamp posts on the 16th Street Mall. Skyline Park comes alive with the sound of laughter as folks enjoy the free ice rink. It’s free if you bring your own skates and just $2 to rent a pair. But my favorite area is Larimer Street. There’s just something sweet and romantic about this Denver street during the holidays. Continue reading
We stumbled into the Hotel de Paris while on a trip to Georgetown for my birthday five years ago. As readers know, I’m a fan of museums and we try to patronize as many as possible in our travels around Colorado.
An hour and a half later, Hotel de Paris was my favorite museum in Colorado. Our docent had brought the place alive for me (evidence that a good museum docent is priceless). The stories of the hotel’s colorful French owner, Louis Dupuy, combined with the historical integrity of the building and its contents convinced me that this place was very special.
I’ve been back twice; most recently this past week while on a magazine assignment. I toured the hotel again with current director Kevin Kuharic. Kuharic’s love for the museum and its story is palpable.
He’s done some really great things since his arrive in 2010, including starting a museum Facebook page – go like it here.
One of the reasons I believe this museum is so unique is that 90 percent of the museums furnishings are original to the building when it was a hotel operated by Louis Depuy from 1875 until his death in on October 7, 1900, exactly 114 years ago today. But that’s not the end of the story. Several other families operated the hotel until it was bought by the National Society of Colonial Dames of American in Colorado in 1954. It has been a museum since then. Continue reading
The Agricultural Heritage Center at the Lohr/McIntosh Farm
I am nostalgic for farm life. I don’t know why. I did grow up in a small town where black and white cows outnumbered people, but I did not grow up on a farm. Perhaps I was a farmer’s daughter in a former life. I have no idea, but when I walk into a place like The Agricultural Heritage Center in Longmont, Colorado, I become wistful.
The Agricultural Heritage Center is on the property of the former Lorh/McIntosh Farm, on Hwy 66, just minute outside of Lyons, Colorado. I’ve driven by many times, but this time, on a whim, I pulled into their parking lot. Continue reading
I’ve always lived in the west with the exception of a short year spent in the Midwest during college. I love the west. I love our “can do” attitude and laid back manners, and I thought I knew a lot about this region of our country.
I am well-versed in cowboy legends and Native American lore. Our mining history is something I’ve learned a lot about since moving to Colorado in 2000, and I have a good grasp on western pioneering history.
However, it wasn’t until last year when Ken Burn’s documentary, “The Dust Bowl“ came to PBS that I realized this major part of US history wasn’t just a Midwest story, and in fact, Baca County, Colorado was considered the epicenter of the Dust Bowl.
I am not the only one who was unaware of the Dust Bowl’s impact on Colorado, and that’s why Living West at History Colorado takes an in depth look at this man made natural disaster that bankrupted and destroyed so many lives.
History Colorado opened in April 2012, and the state-of-the-art building and the museum’s unique storytelling approach to history has been attracting a new type of history buff to Denver. The 40,000 square feet of exhibit space is located in a 200,000 square foot, eco-friendly building in the Denver Culture Arc, an area that includes the Denver Art Museum, Denver Public Library and more.
Last week I got a sneak peek at Living West, the newest phase to open at History Colorado. It officially opened to the public on Saturday. In addition to the Dust Bowl exhibit, there’s a section about Mesa Verde and the Anasazi people who lived in southwest Colorado in the 10th Century. It includes a very cool replica of Balcony House, a place I’ve visited in person. Continue reading