Whether you're looking for a place to indulge your inner art critic, engage your mind, or learn about local history, Denver's museum scene has something for everyone. Centrally located, these museums are within close proximity of one another, enabling you to explore them on foot or with just a few short drives. To get some culture, head to one of these world-class institutions.
Denver Art Museum
With over 70,000 works from North America and across the world, the critically acclaimed Denver Art Museum is the largest of its kind between Chicago and the West Coast. Works from Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Henri Duchamp highlight the more popular works at the museum. However, the museum's American Indian art is among the most extensive in the world, giving visitors a glance into the history and culture of the area's oldest inhabitants.
Located at 100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway, the Denver Art Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. Tickets for Colorado residents are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Out-of-state visitors pay $13 for adult admission and $10 for senior and student tickets.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Covering 716,000 square feet and housing over 1 million objects and artifacts, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is the largest museum in the city. Geared to entertain both adults and kids, the museum has 10 permanent exhibits as well as a rotation of traveling exhibitions. The Discovery Zone helps children learn about science, ecology, and nature with a variety of hands-on exhibits, while the Prehistoric Journey features life-size skeletons of dinosaurs.
The on-site planetarium is another awesome amenity, giving visitors a chance to gaze at the stars, planets, nebulas, and constellations visible from Colorado. An IMAX theater adds another level of entertainment, showing both educational and Hollywood blockbusters throughout the year.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd. at the eastern end of City Park. Admission is $16.95 for adults (19-64), $13.95 for seniors (65+), and $11.95 for juniors (3-18). Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Opened in 1996, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver is the city's first museum dedicated entirely to modern art. With amazing architecture, a rotating series of events, and a rooftop cafe, it's a great spot to visit, even if you aren't into contemporary art. What makes this museum even more unusual is that it has no permanent exhibitions. Instead, it has rotating exhibits that last two to three months, meaning your experience is different each time you visit.
You'll find MCA Denver at 1485 Delagny St. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults (19-64), $5 for seniors (65+), and free for children 18 and under. Don't miss out on penny entrance days for Colorado residents on the first of each month.
From one of the world's largest collections of American Indian art to giant dinosaur skeletons, Denver's museums are a surprising breath of fresh air in the Mile High City.