Taking the family to museums opens up their world to art, history, culture, and often, interactive play. Whether you want to see what life was like in Colorado in the late 1800s, see a modern art exhibit, or check out cool vintage cars, you’ll find what you’re looking for at any of these five museums in the Centennial, CO, area.
The living history farms portion of the Littleton Museum is a highlight that kids delight in. The family will learn what life was like on Colorado’s Front Range in the 19th century, including the type of livestock and farming equipment the settlers had. As you wander past the historical buildings, look for Littleton Museum volunteers dressed in period clothing as they do everyday chores like tending the gardens and feeding the animals. Back inside the main part of the Littleton Museum, you’ll find exhibits ranging from contemporary art to an interactive discovery play area.
After your busy day at the Littleton Museum, head back to Centennial and stop at any restaurants your family will love to refuel your bodies.
Location: 6028 S. Gallup St. in Littleton
Days and hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed for certain holidays or events.
The Denver Art Museum
When you visit the Denver Art Museum, you’ll see stunning works of art from various artists, eras, and genres. Rotating and permanent collections and exhibits include paintings by Flemish artists, Japanese art from the Fong-Johnstone collection, and antique carpets from Western Asia. Special collections include the Western American, Latin American, Native American, and Asian art galleries.
The museum offers kid and family programs called Day at the DAM where everyone can explore the museum and create art from inspirations within the Denver Art Museum. Kids can also visit the Creative Hub, the Sensory Garden, Thread Studio, and more when they spend the day at the Denver Art Museum.
Location: 100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway in Denver
Days and hours: Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Admission: Ticket prices vary according to residency, age, and military or student status. Children 18 and under are free.
Car enthusiasts will appreciate the gorgeous collection of vintage and exotic cars at the Vehicle Vault in Parker. Not only will you see collectible cars, but you’ll also gain a greater appreciation for the art and culture of the automobile through time. As you wander through the rotating and permanent displays, you’ll see rare and exotic cars from every decade.
To get the most out of your visit to the Vehicle Vault, take a complimentary guided tour that comes with your ticket admission. These tours, held on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 2 p.m., give you in-depth insight into each unique automobile.
Location: 18301 Lincoln Meadows Parkway in Parker
Days and hours: Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed for some holidays.
Admission: Adults 13 and up – $12; Seniors 65 and up – $10, children 3 to 12 – $8, and children under 3 – free.
Colorado School of Mines
The Colorado School of Mines is another exciting museum in the Centennial area. When you come to this museum, you’ll see two moon rocks astronauts collected during the Apollo 17 space mission. In addition, you can explore the 15,000 square feet of rock, gems, and minerals collected by geologists.
The staff at the Colorado School of Mines built an indoor cave you can pass through to witness sparkling cave minerals sure to delight everyone in the family. If you participate in one of the museum’s family-friendly scavenger hunts, you can earn a free rock or mineral to bring home.
Location: 1310 Maple St. in Golden
Days and hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Closed for major holidays.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Everyone in the family will find something fascinating when they visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This museum’s mission is to ignite curiosity and passion for nature and science and to help preserve the natural world through education, exhibits, and hands-on activities. Permanent displays include Space Odyssey, Egyptian Mummies, Expedition Health, Gems and Minerals, and Native American Cultures.
Kids especially enjoy the wildlife halls showing habitats and the animals that live in them from across the globe. When you access the Infinity Theater, you’ll see films such as Ocean Odyssey 3D and Serengeti 3D. Future astronomers can learn about the cosmos in the Gates Planetarium with shows like the Dark Universe, Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity, and Destination Solar System.
Special programs for families include spring break and summer camps, presentations by guest lecturers, and unique space presentations. After exploring the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, stop by the T-Rex Cafe for food items such as pizza, barbecue, soup, salads, and the noodle bar. Kids have their own menu with offerings like quesadillas, chicken tenders, or mac ‘n cheese. You’ll want to visit the Museum Shop to pick up various products sure to thrill everyone in the family.
Location: 2001 Colorado Blvd. in Denver
Days and hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with some Fridays open until 9 p.m. Closed on select holidays.
Admission: Adults – $22.95; youth – $17.95; seniors – $19.95. Admission to the planetarium, infinity theater, and the special Apollo moon exhibit requires additional, minimal fees. Closed on Christmas day.
There you have our list of five museums to visit in the Centennial, Colorado, area. Which one is your favorite? Do the kids have one they enjoy going back to? Is there a museum you can recommend not on our team of Crème de la Crème of Lone Tree’s list? If you have a suggestion, let us know.