Looking to plan a fun family outing with an educational twist? You’ll have so many places to explore in the area surrounding Centennial. From trips through history to kid-friendly museums to centers to explore outer space, the area around Centennial really has it all.

Of course, planning a day that will keep the whole family engaged can feel like a challenge when you don’t know where to look. That’s where Crème de la Crème of Centennial comes in. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite educational destinations around Centennial to take the guesswork out of your next area adventure. These cool places take learning out of the classroom and offer tons of fun for kids and the family members with them.

Centennial Village Museum

Educational destinations in Centennial, CO

red apple fruit on four pyle books” used with permission via Unsplash by element5digital

Make the drive to Greeley to bring history to life for your kids. That’s where you’ll find the Centennial Village Museum, a living history village that recreates local history for visitors. Kiddos will delight in getting an inside look into what living in the High Plains region was like over the past 150 years.

When the western high plains were settled, extensive prairies,  agriculture, and grand houses all played a part in daily life. The Centennial Village Museum, which first opened during the United States bicentennial in 1976, preserves and interprets this American western heritage. Some of the oldest structures in Weld County are part of this museum, but that’s just the start.

With more than 35 historical buildings to explore, not to mention tour guides in costumes, the Centennial Village Museum transforms history into a hands-on experience. Take in demonstrations of tasks like blacksmithing or cooking on an antique cast-iron stove, or pay a visit to the heritage farm animals. Then, enjoy the beauty of the 8 acres of landscaped grounds. There’s truly something for everyone here, whether your family already includes a budding history buff or you’re just looking for a fun, interactive, and educational way to spend a day together.

Challenger Learning Center

Looking for a way to get your kids excited about STEM? Look no further than the Challenger Learning Center, located in Colorado Springs. This educational center offers hands-on activities for kids to engage in space-themed learning. From amazing field trips to hands-on family activities, the Challenge Learning Center features an array of opportunities geared toward Colorado kids interested in space.

Challenger Center and its network of over 40 Challenger Learning Centers lead the way in science, technology, engineering, and math, better known as STEM. The Challenger Learning Center of Colorado is part of this global network of centers, engaging thousands of young learners every year. These learning experiences, designed to strengthen knowledge of STEM subjects, give kids an interactive environment ad inspire students to pursue education and careers in STEM fields.

You’ll find various ways to get involved in the fun action. Plan a family day out to enjoy Second Saturday Family Science, where family members can learn and work together completing STEM challenges, learning about current events, and taking in amazing presentations in the Mikkelson Planetarium.

You can also sign your kids up for space-themed summer camps across Colorado Springs. These camp sessions are for students in grades 1 through 7. In the mood for some stargazing? Check out the star parties, hosted in partnership with the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. The general public gets to view the night sky along with trained astronomers, making use of advanced equipment.

National Museum of World War II Aviation

The National Museum of World War II Aviation, also located in Colorado Springs, offers yet another educational experience for families to explore. This museum showcases the historical importance of American aviation in World War II using an aircraft collection alongside interactive displays, exhibits, and more.

The museum first opened to the public in 2012. It highlights the role of military aviation and technological advancements during World War II, speaking to the sacrifices so many made during the war. The aircraft collection includes 28 fully restored flying aircraft, and the museum has several fully restored operational vehicles used by U.S. forces and allies as well.

Beyond the aircraft and vehicles, you can also check out the extensive collection of over 4,000 artifacts and historical documents. Kids will leave with enhanced knowledge of this important period in United States and world history.

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus offers yet another educational place to visit with the kids, without traveling far from home. The museum seeks to champion the wonder and joy of childhood through extraordinary interactive experiences. Since the museum first opened in 1973 in a converted school bus, it has done exactly that.

The museum’s unique history underscores the important role it has played for the community in Denver and beyond. The humble beginning in that converted school bus quickly led to a more permanent location when the museum leased a renovated Bannock Street building. Record numbers within months made it clear they needed an even bigger space. The current building on the Platte River’s west bank opened its doors in 1984, undergoing a huge expansion in 2015. That expansion doubled the exhibit space and created a 9-acre campus.

In other words, kids will find opportunities for learning and fun at every turn here. The museum’s exhibits target children from newborn through 8 years old, but museum-goers of all ages can have a blast at this popular spot. Hands-on, interactive exhibits like a giant physics playground, an adventure forest, an art studio, and so much more keep kids excited about education.There you have it! Crème de la Crème of Centennial just gave you some cool educational destinations to check out close to home. We hope you’re feeling inspired to pencil in a day out with your kids exploring one of these amazing places. But maybe we skipped your family’s go-to educational destination close to Centennial? If you have a favorite museum, historical site, or another educational place you love visiting with your kids that we didn’t include here, drop us a line. We’d love to add more cool places to our list.