The Coolest Museums in Denver – Thrillist | Candle Made Easy

Depending on your passion for fine art, Colorado history, or something quirky and obscure, there is most likely a museum in Denver that you could spend a day or more visiting. Even outside of the obvious museum center of the Golden Triangle, there are a variety of day-trip destinations that you can immerse yourself in for as long as you like — and for usually just a few bucks. Explore the awe-inspiring expanse of the Denver Art Museum, the innovation of our local Air and Space Museum, or the epic history (and maybe the haunting) of the Molly Brown House Museum, as well as a whole host of other amazing, interesting, and utterly unique sight-to-Denver museums .

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Today, the Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the western United States, housing over 70,000 works of art across 12 permanent exhibitions, featuring global and local artists alike. Among its multiple buildings, visitors will find North American Indigenous art, African art, Asian art, and Latin American art spanning all media and ancient, modern, and intermediate eras. DAM also offers a wide variety of creative classes and programs for art lovers of all ages.
What you should know before you go: The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays until 9 p.m. Admission is $13 for adult Colorado residents, $10 for seniors and students, and free for children 0-18 (and museum members). Tickets for non-Colorado residents cost an extra few dollars.

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Featuring a range of permanent and rotating exhibits from space exploration to ancient Egypt to the age of the dinosaurs, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a dream come true for anyone wanting to learn something new. In addition to the many exhibits, visitors can visit the Gates Planetarium or the IMAX Theater for special events and tours.
What you should know before you go: Museum admission is $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for children, and $16.95 for seniors, with special exhibits and events at various additional costs, and tons of discounts for the military, students, educators, and more. Museum hours are 9am to 5pm daily and most Fridays 9am to 9pm.

Museo de Las Americas
Museo de Las Americas

Lincoln Park
Learn about and celebrate Latin American art at the Museo de las Americas, located in the heart of Santa Fe’s arts district. Opened in the early 1990s, the museum displays Latin American art and cultural artifacts from ancient times to folk art and contemporary art from around the world. There are typically three to five exhibitions per year (in the museum’s main gallery), with two smaller galleries displaying private collections. Museo offers a variety of programs for both the public and museum members, and is also non-profit, meaning visits, memberships, and donations are crucial to keeping the exhibitions going.
What you should know before you go: Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. General admission is $8, $5 for students, seniors, artists, teachers, and military members, and free for members and children 13 and under.

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This is a two, as the Center for Colorado Women’s History is just one part of the large network of museums that encompasses History Colorado. The History Colorado Center is pretty self-explanatory and describes the best and most interesting parts of Colorado’s extensive history and role in the American West. Guests will find four floors of ever-changing exhibits and a wealth of interactive and educational experiences. In addition to its standard exhibits, the Center for Colorado Women’s History also presents fellowships, research, lectures, and tours covering the diverse history of Colorado women, with the home itself serving as a dedicated space “for inspiring women” since 1883.
What you should know before you go: The History Colorado Center is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, free for members and children under 18, and $15 for adults. The Center for Colorado Women’s History is open Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $8, seniors are $6, and History Colorado members and children under 18 are free.

MCA Denver
MCA Denver

LoDo
Although MCA has only existed for just under three decades, it has made a powerful impact on the Denver arts community, both by showcasing stunning, thought-provoking modern pieces and by encouraging artists near and far to continue this expression. Grab a ticket to explore the many exhibits and installations that challenge the mind, spirit, and often the medium used, or attend one of the museum’s regular events.
What you should know before you go: Opening hours are Tuesday to Thursday 12pm to 7pm, Friday 12pm to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, but be sure to check updated general admission times before visiting of the museum. MCA Denver charges a $6 rebate on parking in the public parking garage at 1900 16th Street (used Tuesday through Friday before 4:00 p.m.). Limited parking meters are available on Delgany Street. Reservations are not required, but you can reserve your tickets in advance to collect them upon arrival.

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Would you like to see a piece of moon rock from the Apollo space mission? How about a propeller designed by Orville Wright himself? That and so much more awaits you at Wings Over the Rockies. Technically, there are two buildings/experiences here: the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum — with its 100,000-square-foot exhibit space featuring a variety of aircraft, spacecraft, artifacts, military uniforms, and more — and the 15-acre campus is Exploration of Flight, one of the busiest general aviation airports in the United States, offering comprehensive and informative programming for all things flying.
What you should know before you go: Wings is open daily from 10am to 5pm, Sundays at 12pm. Tickets range from $11.95 for children 4-16 years old to $18.95 for adults, with multiple discounts available. Free parking is available on the south and east sides of the building (former Lowry Air Force Base Hangar 1).

Clyfford Still Museum
Clyfford Still Museum

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Dedicated entirely to the work of artist Clyfford Still, this museum is a wonderful place to lose yourself in giant canvases, bold colors and over-the-top brushstrokes. A post-WWII abstract expressionist, Still’s provocative works all touch on “universal themes about creation, life, struggle and death (the human condition)”. Consider one of the exhibitions dedicated to Still’s early work, late work, or those in between, or that of an equally compelling guest artist.
What you should know before you go: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult tickets are $10, kids can visit for free, and there are multiple discounts for school groups, military, seniors, and more.

Molly Brown House Museum
Molly Brown House Museum

Capitol
If you’ve been to Denver for at least a few days, you’ve probably heard of Margaret Tobin “Molly” Brown. If not, you should definitely take a trip to this home and museum to learn all about their badassery in Colorado and beyond. A titanic As a survivor, advocate for the betterment of Colorado’s cities and communities, and champion of women’s labor rights, Molly lived a life of adventure and innovation and remains a pillar of Colorado history.
What you should know before you go: The museum is open Wednesdays from 9am to 1pm, Thursdays and Saturdays to Tuesdays from 9am to 5pm, and Fridays from 9am to 7pm. Tickets for solo exploration or guided tours can be purchased online from around $16.

Central Business District
Interested in impressive depictions of life in the old American West? Look no further than the American Museum of Western Art. With three floors of galleries showcasing both historical and contemporary art, it’s easy to get lost in scenes of cowboys, prairies, and stunning landscapes of the American West—though only that a small part of what you can expect as you explore.
What you should know before you go: Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 4.30pm with last admission at 4pm. Tickets for self-guided tours are $5 everywhere, but guided tours are also available at select times.

Children's Museum of Denver on the Marsico Campus
Children’s Museum of Denver on the Marsico Campus

Jefferson Park
Fun for everyone ages 2 to 92, the Children’s Museum of Denver is a fantastic place to bring the whole family and learn a thing or two during your visit. Here kids (and kids at heart!) can learn the physics of water and energy, discover the fun of Adventure Forest and Box Canyon, or pretend to be at Fire Station #1 or My Market. Join us and spend the day creating, absorbing and adventuring with your favorite little explorer.
What you should know before you go: Museum hours are 9:00am to 4:00pm daily, but reservations are required to guarantee entry. Admission starts at $15 for children 1 year old and adults over 60, $17 for visitors ages 2 to 59, and members and children under 1 year old attend free. Free parking is available on site.

Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver dining and other Mile High shenanigans.

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