Since the museum is downtown there’s a lot of metered street parking (if you can find an open spot) and several paid lots. We arrived around 10 am and had no problem finding a spot in a paid parking lot.
Good news- kids 18 and under are free! AND the first Saturday of each month is free as well, making this a fairly economical choice for families. Extra special exhibits have an added fee (we were there when the Star Wars Costume exhibit was going on which required an additional ticket purchase).
EXTRA GOOD TO KNOW INFO:
Since we went on a snowy day there was no way we wanted to lug around our big heavy winter jackets with us. There’s a small area near the main level elevators that had a free coat rack and free lockers (well the lockers were $.25 but you got the quarter back once you put the key back).
There are two separate buildings connected by a bridge (The Hamilton Building and The North Building). The exhibits range from Modern & Contemporary Art, Western American, Asian, European and American, Pre-Columbian, and Spanish Colonial. Additional exhibits come and go throughout the year so be sure to check out their website.
Also near the lockers was a small stand where you can get a kid backpack for the day. Ours contained a book, a craft, and some other objects that went along with the Indian exhibit (there were different backpacks for different exhibits). I had to trade in my driver’s license for the backpack but got it back once I turned in the backpack.
On the second floor of the Hamilton Building there was a place to get Bingo cards that corresponded to different objects found in the art on that level. There was also a place to make postcards and stamp paper.
There are designated snack areas. Look for the picnic basket signs.
Just before the bridge connecting the two buildings is a great kids area- a place to make their own garden (with pillows), places to color, a paint area, a giant mirror, a game, and a place to stack small pieces of rock (I think it was rock, it might have been wood).
My kids LOVE museums where they can touch, climb, explore with their bodies, etc. They absolutely love the Children’s Museum of Denver and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science because of all of the things that they can touch! So it was a test for my 5 and 4 year old to just LOOK at the art and not touch it. They were able to do it but I had to keep a super close eye on them. Erick was home with our 2 year old who had a stomach bug but that probably worked out well since the 2 year old is the most active of the bunch.
But this is an Art Museum so it was a great way to expose them to art and to learn how to appreciate art without touching it! I am glad that there are options for them to explore and learn with their hands interspersed throughout the exhibits. Plus the museum also holds special kid activities throughout the year (which they went to with grandparents when they were 4 and 2).
This is a large museum which can take several hours to thoroughly explore. We were there almost 2 hours and never even made it to the North Building. I am glad that kids are free and the first Saturday of each month is free so that we can go back and explore the other half of the Denver Art Museum.
We walked over to Pints Pub, a British pub, for lunch. My kids loved it and it was perfect for lunch! (Not sure how it would be in the evening when the bar part fills up more).
Boys’ ages at time of visit to Denver Art Museum: 5 and 4. Stroller friendly.