My sister and her family live in Ft. Collins, and since we live in Colorado Springs, Denver is the perfect meeting place for fun activities with our combined five boys ages 5 and under!
Our past Denver Sister-Dates have included Hammond’s Candy Factory, Denver Zoo, the play area at the Cherry Creek Mall, and Sloan’s Lake Park (such a great park with wonderful trails for riding bikes).
This month we opted for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It had been at least 10 years since I have been there and I love all of the changes that were made to the museum!
The exhibits cover a wide variety of categories- Space Odyssey, Discovery Zone, Gems and Minerals, Konovalenko Gem Carvings of Russian Life, North American Indian Cultures, PreHistoric Journey, Space Odyssey, Wildlife Exhibits, and Egyptian Mummies.
Our first stop was the Space Odyssey exhibit (since it was closest to the entrance). The older boys loved driving around their own little rocket ship. They then dressed up like astronauts and picked up moon rocks with grabbers. My toddler just loved climbing in and out of the ‘moon.’
We next enjoyed the Discovery Zone. This is a newer exhibit and was a small scale version of the Children’s Museum of Denver. We spent most of our morning in this section of the museum. There is an area where kids can be archeologists and dig for dinosaur bones- this was my 2 year old nephew’s favorite area. In the middle is a very large interactive water exhibit with cups, hoses, small fountains, and multiple sensory devices. This was my toddler’s favorite area. Even though they provide smocks he was still soaking wet and needed a new shirt after playing. My two older boys loved the ball section where there is a giant kinetic type contraption that takes up the entire wall. There is also a small little kid area (kids 2 and under only). We did not go into the area because my older boys were too big, but it looked really cute and well thought out with play areas and a fish tank.
We brought our lunch and ate it inside the museum at one of their many tables that they provide. There were also several kid-friendly bathrooms with built in step stools and changing tables.
We took a quick tour through the Expedition Health exhibit. There is an option to get a personalized health assessment on a card, but we skipped that since it was after lunch and I was on borrowed time before naps and exhaustion set in. There is a small under 5 Tykes Peak area where there is a slide and a giant pin art sculpture exhibit.
We then explored the Wildlife Exhibits– Australia and the South Pacific. This section was the least crowded and allowed all of the boys some more space to run around. They loved looking at the different animals and finding the place on the map provided.
We did a quick tour to the North American Indian Culture Exhibit. This was a great way to get my boys exposed to North American Indians cultures. There is a Navajo hogan that the kids can go in and explore, as well as look at clothing, musical instruments, and other ancient artifacts.
We ended with a peek at the best view in Denver: go up to the 4th floor and there is an open air atrium. The view of City Park, downtown Denver, and the mountains is spectacular.
The boys were out of steam before we were able to finish all of the exhibits, but I am glad that this museum is so large and there is plenty to explore! I have been to some museums in the past where you can go through all of the exhibits in an hour, but this is definitely not the case at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
We went on a Friday during the school year and the museum was very crowded with kids there on their field trips. The crowds did subside after lunch time.
Boys’ ages at the time of museum visit: 5, 4, 2, 22 months, and 6 months.