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On Walkabout at: The Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Basic Information

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

Narrative

My family really loves stopping by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science which has become one of our most visited places in Colorado despite us living an hour and half away in Colorado Springs.  The museum is easily accessed off of I-25 at Colorado Boulevard and by following the road to the large City Park where the museum is located next to the Denver Zoo:

Here is a view from the museum looking towards the City Park and downtown Denver:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

We own an annual membership to the museum which allows us to visit as many times as we want free of charge.  My kids absolutely love this place and usually the first place my daughter wants to go and see is the dinosaurs on the third floor.  The exhibit is organized chronologically to depict how life on Earth began first in the oceans:

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

Much later smaller dinosaurs evolved to live on land:

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

Bigger and bigger dinosaurs began to evolve due to the warmer temperatures that made for a lush Earth to support such large life:

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

The bones give visitors a good appreciation of how big some of these dinosaurs were:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Many of the dinosaurs were plant eaters that took advantage of the lush vegetation, but others like the T-Rex became predatory hunters:

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

The museum includes some nice life like models of dinosaurs as well:

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

After the extinction of the dinosaurs then mammals began to become the dominate species on the Earth with many of them over time going extinct as well:

Picture from Denver Science & Nature Museum

One of the most well known extinct mammals that once wandered the Earth were the mastodons and mammoths:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

The exhibit includes a few life like models of now extinct mammals that once wandered the Earth:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Last year the museum had an Ice Age exhibit that had a number of life size models of the mammals that once lived on the Earth during the Ice Age:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

How would you like to have that Ice Age bear charging after you?:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Another exhibit my kids really like is the displays with stuffed animals:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

The exhibits include animals from around the world to include those that live in Colorado like antelope:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Here is an elk:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Here is a couple of bears:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

There is also an exhibit for wildlife that live in the Arctic such as polar bears:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

I was surprised to see how big these walruses can get:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

There is also a small exhibit for Australian wildlife which of course I was quite interested in considering how much I enjoyed seeing Australian wildlife during my time living in Australia.  Here is a family of koalas:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Here is an echidna and a platypus which are known as monotremes and may be the rarest type of wildlife on the planet since they are mammals that lay eggs and even have poisonous stingers:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Here are a couple of beautiful and flightless cassowary birds which have large claws that could be deadly if provoked:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Of course there was a bunch of kangaroos on display as well:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

There is also another exhibit that depicts the lives of Native-Americans which is very interesting:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

There is even an Egyptian exhibit:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

The exhibit even has a mummy to check out:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Since this is Colorado which has a rich mining history, there is a large mineral exhibit as well.  One of the most prominent minerals on display are these rare aquamarine crystals:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

There crystals are only found near the summits of Mt. Antero and Mt. White in the Sawatch Range of Colorado.  Due to how rare these crystals are the Weather Channel actually has a reality TV series called “Prospectors” that follows a group of small time miners searching for these crystals.  I actually saw an episode of “Prospectors” being filmed when I hiked to the summit of Mt. Antero last year.  Here is what these crystals look like when polished into jewelery:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Of course the discovery of gold in Colorado had a huge display to include this piece of gold bearing ore that is worth approximately $250,000:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

This display also had plenty of information about the history of the various gold rushes in Colorado to include the one at Cripple Creek outside of Colorado Springs:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Another really rare mineral they had on display is rhodochrosite:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

The below picture shows a rhodochrosite crystal known as the “Alma King” which was mined outside of Alma, Colorado which just happens to be near the famed DeCaLiBron hike that I completed last year:

Picture from the Denver Science & Nature Museum

Due to the beauty and rarity of the crystal, it is the official state mineral of Colorado and also has the honor of being the national mineral of Argentina.  The impressive mineral exhibit had plenty more to see about minerals and mining in Colorado that are well worth checking out.

Another major exhibit at the museum is the one that explores space:

Picture from Denver Museum of Nature & Science

This exhibit is really awesome and my kids love visiting here.  We especially like watching movies at the planetarium which is quite impressive.  The museums tends to change some of the exhibits and planetarium movies which makes the exhibit worth visiting each time we go to the museum:

Picture from Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The space exhibit also has a number of displays which are fun for kids such as an interactive space station.  However, the funnest part of the museums for kids is the Discovery Zone which was recently expanded and upgraded which has a variety of things for kids to do such as dig in the sand for dinosaur fossils:

Picture from Denver Museum of Nature & Science

They even have an area for kids under the age of two to safely play in:

Picture from Denver Museum of Nature & Science

This play area is quite impressive and my kids spent two hours there the last time we visited the museum.

Conclusion

I am a big advocate for people to visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science due to the various exhibits that are both interesting and fun for both kids and adults to check out.  Neither I or my kids get bored of visiting the museum.  My family visits the museum about 6-8 times a year which makes the annual membership fee worth the cost.  I highly recommend that anyone living in Colorado at least visit the museum once to see this great museum for themselves.

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