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Museums

Museums around Colorado

Viking Helmets Never Had Horns & Other Things You’ll Learn at the New Vikings Exhibit in Denver

So you think you know about the Vikings, but did you know that the word “viking” isn’t a noun? That’s right, it’s actually a verb. You’ll learn tidbits like this and a lot more at the new Vikings: Beyond the Legend exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Viking Helmets Never Had Horns & Other Things You'll Learn at the New Vikings Exhibit in Denver, HeidiTown.com 1

This guy appears to have lost his entire crew. Photo: HeidiTown.com

My husband was ecstatic about this exhibit because he’s a history nerd and loves anything to do with Vikings, Barbarians, Romans, etc. If they carried swords, he’s into it. So we set up a tour of the new exhibit with curator Steve Nash. When you’d visit, I’d encourage you to pick up the audio guide before going through this exhibit. This is akin to a tour with a curator.

I’m not going to tell you all the things we learned while going through this exhibit, because I need to leave a few mysteries for you to discover for yourself. However, one fascinating tidbit is the meaning of the word “viking.” While it’s frequently used to define a group of people as in, “the Vikings.” In actuality, the people we call Vikings would “go on a viking.” It’s a verb used to describe the act of going on a journey (most likely a raid). Continue reading

Hate the Snow? These Colorado Winter Outings Are for You, No Coats Required

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.

Hate the Snow on HeidiTown.com, Mystic Mermaids; Photo credit by Luis Torres

Mystic Mermaids, photo by Luis Torres (photo provided by Downtown Aquarium)

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.

Get Artsy

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.

Hate the Snow on HeidiTown.com DAM Star Wars

Denver Art Museum, courtesy photo

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. Continue reading

Kids bored this summer? Let HeidiTown help

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.

Kids bored this summer Let HeidiTown help. The living Farm, Paonia, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

The Living Farm, Paonia, Colorado

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.

Outdoor concerts

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

Sherlock Holmes in Denver, Colorado

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.

Sherlock Holmes in Denver, Colorado. HeidiTown (2)

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

A stop at the Wyman Museum in Craig, Colorado

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.

A stop at the Wyman Museum in Craig, Colorado. HeidiTown (4)

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

Visit the museum in Telluride, #TravelTuesday

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

Cartier in Denver, more than just shiny baubles

Brilliant at Denver Art Museum. HeidiTown.com, ColoradoWhen I heard that the Denver Art Museum was curating a Cartier exhibition, the tune from Pink Panther began playing in my head and it continued to play when we visited.

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

Denver for the holidays

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.

Ice skaters at Skyline Park in downtown Denver, Colorado.

Ice skaters at Skyline Park in downtown Denver, Colorado.

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

Hotel de Paris Museum, a gem hidden in plain sight

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.

Hotel de Paris, Georgetown, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

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.

Hotel de Paris Museum in Georgetown, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Hotel de Paris Museum in 2009, when photography was still permissible.

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

Museum Monday: The Agricultural Heritage Center

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 in Longmont, Colorado. HeidiTown (4)

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

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