You’ve come to the right place if you’re in search of recommendations for the best museums in Denver Colorado!
While New York and San Francisco get all the attention, the Mile High City has impressive museums that often go unnoticed. And some of these museums in Denver Colorado are too amazing to pass up!
This part of Colorado is home to a wide variety of world-class museums showcasing various collections. There are multiple options, including those focusing on natural history, anthropology, art, technology, science, and design.
Tourists and residents go to see the ever-changing exhibits at Denver’s landmark museums, such as the Denver Art Museum or the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Long-standing facilities like Molly Brown House or the Kirkland Museum support Colorado’s thriving and ever-evolving cultural identity.
Denver is home to an abundance of stunning museums. But how do you even begin? This article will go over the top 15 museums in Denver Colorado, especially the ones you won’t want to miss. Let’s jump in!
15. Distortions Monster World
500 16th St Mall Suite 180, Denver, CO
Visitors of all ages are welcome at Distortions Monster World for an out-of-this-world experience, where you can gain insight into the creation of monsters, interact with them, and take home cherished keepsakes.
Enjoy being transported by the stage and production values to a mystical dimension. In this incredible museum, giants wander, rulers reign, and there are extraterrestrial lives you can interact.
What’s more, it’s possible to run across “real-life” ghouls, undead, snarling gargoyles, nighttime beasts, and more around every turn!
There are more than thirty-five different interactive exhibits, each allowing visitors to interact with a real-life monster and discover their creation process.
Nosferatu, Slimer, Bigfoot, and Frankenstein are just some monsters you’ll encounter. The museum also houses USDI from Star Trek Continues, Alice Cooper, and several other pop culture icons.
This museum, located in the center of the Denver Pavilions Mall in Downtown Denver, is notable for more than just those things. Some of the reasons for its fame are the abundance of fantastic photo opportunities, the scare factor of its haunted attractions, and the fact that it is excellent for creating lifelong memories with one’s family.
Standard Admission and the Dual Attraction Pass are the two types of tickets available at Distortions Monster World. Access to the museum is in the Standard Admission price. The fee for children (6-11 years old) is $18 per person. The cost is $25.00 for adults aged 12 and up.
However, with a Dual Attraction Pass, you can visit two attractions on the same day without paying different admission prices. Apart from this museum, tourists can also check out Earth Illuminated. Those below the age of 12 get in at $28.00, while those beyond the age of 12 pay $39.00.
14. Earth Illuminated
500 16th St Mall Suite 280, Denver, CO
Travel to Earth Illuminated from the adjacent Distortions Monster World. This is another one of the incredibly unique Denver museums you won’t want to miss!
This Denver art museum is perfect for a family outing, with vibrantly themed sets, alternative vantage points, and picture and video props. The Denver exhibit, which you can find at the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall, opened at the end of 2021.
The talented crew at Blazen Illuminations, based in Loveland, Colorado, created Earth Illuminated.
Distortions Monster World, Blazen Productions’ first joint venture with Distortions Unlimited, showcased the company’s expertise in set design and building for the film, theater, music, and television industries.
The voyage of Earth Illuminated is one into the grandeur of nature at night. You can get a whole new perspective on things with the help of modern technologies. Also, there are more than forty scenarios in Earth Illuminated, each with its unique lighting design, projection, soundscape, and special effects.
One of the best parts of Earth Illuminated is being in a great environment that honors our planet’s splendor. Different and exciting scenery will transport you to other parts of the world, whether you’re looking at it from the sky, the ground, or the water.
In the ocean scene, you may feel the crashing waves, and if you’d rather stay on dry land, a fantastical garden is waiting for you.
There are many picture-perfect nooks in this museum. Take your time exploring the stunning structure with your cameras at the ready. Earth Illuminated asks you to fill in the blanks while keeping your head in the clouds!
This museum hopes to open satellite locations in Orlando and Las Vegas with the neighboring Distortion Monster World. But for now, it exists solely in Colorado and is definitely one of the coolest Denver museums to check out!
13. American Museum of Western Art
1727 Tremont Pl, Denver, CO
If you aim to familiarize yourself with the American West as it was in the 19th century, the American Museum of Western Art is one of the top museums in Denver to check out.
In this museum, visitors can appreciate both art and history. For only $5, you can get an in-depth look at the collection and all it offers. As a bonus, virtual tours of local schools are available at no cost.
Denver is home to the American Museum of Western Art, The Anschutz Collection. There is a lot more to see than just cowboys and scenery. The galleries on all three levels showcase an eclectic mix of historical artifacts and cutting-edge contemporary works.
The museum’s mission is to support education and understanding by showcasing art and artifacts from Western American antiquity, from the early 19th century to the present.
More than 180 different artists are in the Anschutz Collection’s more than 600 works of visual art. This is one of the biggest Denver museums by far! If you’re interested in seeing or getting to know these works of art, you can do so at any time by visiting this museum, where they are on permanent display.
Explore works by many artists, including those associated with the Expeditionary Art movement, the Hudson River School, and the Narrative Art movement.
Apart from the exhibits, the Navarre Building houses the museum is a significant draw.
Once upon a time, in 1880, this storied structure, designed by Frank Edbrooke, housed a school for young ladies. It faced renovations throughout the centuries, and the building eventually became a nonprofit corporation and the permanent site of the Anschutz Collection.
A museum store is within the same building as the museum itself. Books, scarves, ties, and puzzles are just some of the items available here.
12. Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
1201 Bannock St, Denver, CO
When you visit the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, one of the best museums in Denver, you’ll be able to travel through time and grasp art from the past 150 years.
There are around 30,000 pieces in the collections by over 1,500 designers and artists, with about 4,400 now on display. All three influential collections are side by side, salon style.
Access the world-famous international decorative art collection from the 1870s to the current day in this museum. It includes examples from the Art Nouveau era through Postmodernism.
Alternatively, you can view a collection of Colorado and regional artwork from 1845 to the present day. You should also not miss the exhibition of works by Vance Kirkland, a famous painter from Colorado.
Besides the collection, the museum also hosts several exhibitions. There have been several previous exhibitions, such as “Returning Wright,” “Joseph Hoffmann’s Vienna,” “Truth, Beauty, and Power: Christopher Dresser and The Aesthetic Movement,” and many more.
Past exhibits at Kirkland Museum have all accomplished the institution’s stated goal of inspiring visitors with the splendor of design and art presented in a fresh and approachable manner.
Do you want to hear some lectures? You’re in luck because the museum has many. Events like this sometimes take the form of seminars, conversations, and virtual meetups, where artists or other personalities can share insightful commentary with art enthusiasts.
Stop through the museum store if time permits. Gifts for all occasions are at the Museum Store, with many items being made locally and reflecting the artistry, craftsmanship, and vibrancy of the Museum’s collections and Colorado. Iconic artwork, literature, and other keepsakes are for sale in-store or online.
Admission costs $12 for people 13 years and up while $10 for seniors.
11. National Ballpark Museum
1940 Blake St, Denver, CO
This next one is for baseball enthusiasts.
The National Ballpark Museum is the result of Bruce “B” Hellerstein’s (the museum’s founder, president, and curator) lifetime passion for baseball and its history. It is in Denver, Colorado’s Lower Downtown area.
Smithsonian Books has named the collection among the world’s top twenty finest individual baseball collections.
The Museum is proud of its assortment of rare artifacts, many of which are from the original 14 classic baseball stadiums. Ballparks and their history are the focus of this Denver institution, which is the only museum of its kind in the world.
Rare objects from Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, Shibe Park in Philadelphia, Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, League Park in Cleveland, and Wrigley Field in Chicago are all accessible here.
Completing the artifacts from the original 14 ballparks are Comiskey Park in Chicago, Braves Field in Boston, Yankee Stadium in New York, Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Griffith Stadium in Washington DC, Fenway Park in Boston, and Polo Grounds in New York.
Genuine stadium bricks, gloves, arched windows, turnstiles, and even a lightbulb have been artifacts from these ballparks. There is also a bleacher bench, a pitching rubber signed by victims of 9/11, a fund box, and a wall frame for all visitors to adorn.
It doesn’t matter how long you look at the Museum’s displays; your time there is never rushed. You can also take pictures of anything you like in the museum!
If you are under 16 or in the armed forces, you can enjoy all of those at no cost. But if you’re an adult (over 17), it’ll cost you $15, while seniors (65 and above) only need to pay $10.
10. Four Mile Historic Park
715 S Forest St, Denver, CO
There is a working farm and a museum dedicated to the area’s history at Four Mile Historic Park, making it a one-of-a-kind outdoor living history museum. This Denver museum is a must for everyone curious about the 19th century.
The Four Mile House Museum, the city’s oldest surviving structure, is in this park, along with historically correct replicas, a running farm with horses, goats, chickens, and pigs, and a variety of other Western-themed attractions.
Present-day Park highlights include educational tours of the Four Mile House and other events.
The tranquility of Four Mile Ancient Park is a welcome respite from the city’s fast pace, and its historic buildings are a welcome reminder of the past. You can explore this unique historical site by strolling the grounds or having a picnic.
Getting a taste of the country without leaving the city is one of the most remarkable things to do here. Also, you can see through a one-of-a-kind historical aperture without breaking the bank. And, of course, participating in community celebrations and holidays.
The mission of Four Mile Historic Park is twofold: to preserve Colorado’s past and to create new tales via engaging events and educational programming.
Seasonal celebrations like Halloween, Christmas, and others fall within this category. Educational opportunities abound through the historic park’s field tours and community outreach initiatives.
Furthermore, the Park commemorates the site’s history, which predates the construction of the Four Mile House by a great deal. A trip there will help you understand the fascinating history of the location, which dates back to 1849.
The cost of entry will change from event to event. Age-based pricing and infinite space make up the only certainties here.
9. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
1485 Delgany St, Denver, CO
MCA Denver, or the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, is leading the way for 21st-century museums by fostering innovation in contemporary art and serving as a venue for creative expression.
Philanthropist Sue Cannon and others established MCA Denver in 1996 to showcase contemporary art in the city’s downtown. Since then, it has developed into the city’s cultural epicenter, where cutting-edge art and innovative programming serve as magnets for visitors.
Art from all periods is at Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art. If you’re looking for original and creative activity, we suggest perusing the museum’s event schedule for performances and lectures at The Holiday Theater.
The Holiday Theater at MCA Denver is a cultural epicenter in Denver. There are 400 seats in this classic theater. In addition, it seeks to materialize imaginative, one-of-a-kind experiences for spectators that do things like fascinate, shock, inspire, and please.
A cafe serving drinks and light fare, frequently inspired by the exhibitions, is also available. There’s also a store where you can pick up some cool gear or browse through a curated selection of books, designs, jewelry, and more.
Plan to stop by the MCA Teens section to see what the creative minds of tomorrow are doing.
Both private vehicles and public transportation will get you to the museum. There is a bike lane about a block away from MCA Denver, making cycling another viable option for getting around town.
Members, people between the ages of 13 and 18, and youngsters 12 and under get in for free. The admission price is $7 for university students (with ID), educators, and seniors 65 and older. Adults cost $10. Alternatively, you can access the museum for a penny on the first Saturday of each month.
8. Forney Museum of Transportation
4303 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO
Visit the Forney Museum of Transportation to see old modes of transportation.
The mission of the Forney Museum of Transportation, a philanthropic institution, is to collect, conserve, and exhibit works of art, historical artifacts, and technological artifacts of significance to the field of transportation for the goals of education and self-enrichment.
Over 800 rare and priceless transportation-related artifacts are accessible here. It encompasses many more than automobiles, such as buggies, motorbikes, steam locomotives, aviation, carriages, rail gear, fire apparatus, public transit, snowmobiles, bicycles, toys & miniature models, and vintage fashion. This is definitely one of the museums in Denver Colorado with the coolest pieces!
Among the most noteworthy items in the collection are #405, a Union Pacific “Big Boy” steam locomotive, Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel “Gold Bug,” a Forney locomotive, a Colorado & Southern caboose, and a 1923 Hispano-Suiza.
There is also a collection of Indian motorcycles from 1913 to 1953, a dining car from the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, an engine from the Stutz company, a cable car from 1888, a steam tractor, and more.
Apart from its outstanding collection of historic automobiles, this museum also hosts several noteworthy exhibitions and events. Past activities have included a wild west storytelling night, a Cinco mayo party, a ghost hunt, a disco, and a holiday craft fair.
The Adopt-an-Artifact initiative is another one-of-a-kind feature at the Forney Museum. You can select from the shown objects and receive unique perks like private museum visits and customized photographs. The one-year adoption plan starts at $100.
Group trips for schools and other organizations are welcome, too. It is also the place for you if you’re looking for a venue. This area has a lot to feature, and the cocktail-style central space and the VIP motorbike room are just a few examples.
7. Museo de las Americas
861 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO
Are you looking for a place to view Latin American art? Then the Museo de las Americas should be your destination.
Located on Santa Fe Drive in Denver’s thriving Arts District, the Museo de las Americas is a showcase for Latin American art and culture. Art from antiquity to the present day, including that of active, working artists, can be viewed here.
After its opening in 1991, Museo de las Americas quickly gained international renown as an important cultural institution. Over three decades, it has established itself as the preeminent Latin American art center in the Rocky Mountain area.
The collection, preservation, explanation, and exhibition of the arts and civilizations of the Americas at Museo De Las Americas are all part of the museum’s mission to educate the public. The unique exhibits and events they put on are how they achieve their goals.
Three to five exhibitions are featured yearly in the museum’s main gallery, showcasing Latin Americans’ diverse cultures and perspectives worldwide. It frequently collaborates with curators and groups to give artists places to show and share their work.
The museum’s Curatorial team selects pieces from private collections to display in two minor galleries: the Gallery of the Ancient Americas and the Tragen Folk Art Gallery.
Each exhibition at the museum comes with a series of related events designed to encourage visitors of all ages to think critically and interact with the works on display. It is a fantastic opportunity to engage with and gain deeper insight into the pieces of art presently on view.
The standard admission price is $8, with discounts available for youths, the elderly, professionals, and military personnel. Museum members and children aged 13 and under go in free.
6. Clyfford Still Museum
861 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO
Clyfford Still Museum guests have a rare opportunity to learn about the artist’s life and work. Over 93% of Clyfford Still’s entire body of work is in the museum’s 28,500 square feet, built expressly to display the artist’s works.
You will watch a short film to learn about Clyfford Still, the museum, and the journey that brought this extraordinary collection to Denver before you come. Also, watch the multilingual Art Protector animation video with your kids to find out how to keep the artwork safe so everyone can enjoy it.
Manual wheelchairs are free on a first-come, first-served basis, and the Museum welcomes visitors to bring their manual or electric wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters. Bathrooms suitable for people with disabilities are on the ground floor.
It also has seats and stools available on demand apart from the benches on each level.
The first gallery has exhibition materials available in large print. Visitors with disabilities welcome bringing their service animals into the Museum’s galleries and public spaces. Companions of guests with impairments are admitted free of charge with a reserved ticket.
Regarding tickets, adults must pay $10 to enter the museum, while seniors (65 and up) pay only $8. For college students and teachers, the price drops to $6. The museum is free for members, children under 17, active duty and retired military, and organized school trips.
The archival cases on the lower level include further information regarding Clyfford Still and Abstract Expressionism. On the other side, nine galleries devoted to Still’s work are on the second floor. Exhibitions rotate multiple times each year.
After your tour, drop in the Museum Shop to get a new book, postcard, or other remembrance of your stay.
5. Molly Brown House Museum
1340 Pennsylvania St, Denver, CO
Colorado has produced several notable women, but none more so than Molly Brown. She is best reminisced as one of the few to survive the sinking Titanic, but her life before and after the ship was colorful and filled with activism and philanthropy.
Molly Brown House Museum will enable you to discover more about Molly, like getting a peek into a wild and intriguing period in Colorado’s history.
There are both permanent and temporary displays and a permanent collection to explore once you enter the museum. Various Brown family heirlooms are displayed here, including clothing, furnishings, artwork, glassware, and historical documents.
The House Museum, one of the permanent displays, comprises a tour of the entire house, all three levels, and sixteen rooms.
You will enter the Browns’ mansion through an ornate golden foyer and see their library with bookcases stacked to the ceiling. You will also spend time in the Browns’ private sitting room, bedrooms, and servants’ quarters.
The exhibit “James Joseph Brown and the People’s Quest for Gold” is always open to the public. By visiting the brand new Natural Resources Center, James Joseph Brown, you learn more about the man behind the scenes.
Here, you’ll also discover more about the mining operations that helped the Brown family become wealthy and transformed Leadville forever. You will also learn about the transformation of Denver into a thriving cultural hub.
The Titanic Heroine is a featured exhibit that rotates. Because it has been 110 years since the RMS Titanic went down in the Atlantic Ocean, the museum is doing this as a memorial.
Rare Titanic relics and unseen family records tell the narrative of a heroine and bring to life the experiences of survivors on that terrible night.
4. Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
2121 Children’s Museum Dr, Denver, CO
The Denver Children’s Museum is a fantastic location for children to learn and play.
When it opened to the community in 1973, the museum was in a refurbished school bus. Not long after opening, it became clear that it needed a more permanent location, so it rented a restored property on Bannock Street.
After only a few short months, the Museum was receiving an unprecedented influx of visitors, prompting organizers to start thinking about expanding.
The museum’s current facility on the west side of the Platte River was accessible to the public in 1984. Expansion costs reached $16.1 million in 2015, resulting in a 9-acre facility and doubled display area.
At the Denver Children’s Museum, kids can enjoy climbing, running, inventing, and having fun with bubbles, among many more! The museum has sections devoted to art, outdoor exploration, creative play, and aquatic play.
See their film, so you know what to anticipate and have a wonderful time on your visit. Make sure you and your kid have plenty of time to wander around. Check out Box Canyon, the Altitude, the Early Learner’s Oasis, the Joy Park, and the Adventure Forest.
Imagination and creativity can flourish in the kid-sized versions of the fire station, the vet clinic, the market, the bookstore, and the reading nook. There’s also a teaching kitchen, an assembly line, and a studio for creating art.
The Museum and Joy Park are pet-free zones; however, service animals are always welcome.
Members and children under 1 go free, but everyone aged one must pay $15. Tickets cost $17 for everyone between the ages of 2 and 59. Finally, those above the age of 60 pay $15.
3. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
7711 E Academy Blvd, Denver, CO
You can take a stroll through the evolution of aviation and space travel at Wings Over the Rockies.
Hangar 1 at the decommissioned Lowry Air Force Base in Denver’s east is now home to the air and space museum. Among the many things on show at the museum are historic planes, spacecraft, relics, uniforms, and more.
Historic aircraft, relics, and memorabilia are accessible to view up close, while you can experience the potential of aviation and space travel through interactive events and lifelike flight simulators.
Included in the display is ADAM M309. It is a six-seat light twin built at Centennial Airport between 2006 and 2007. Further, this aircraft is the concept and evidence demonstrator for that model.
The museum also stores an Aerospatiale AS316 Alouette III. In 1972, this was the only hospital-based helicopter service operating in Denver, Colorado.
Even a Boilerplate for the Apollo Command Module is available inside! Contrary to appearances, this relic never transports humans into space on the Apollo mission. It’s just a template, a metal replica made for testing purposes to mimic the real spaceship in size and shape.
If the Apollo Command Module Boilerplate did not interest you, maybe the Apollo Moon Rock will!
John Leonard “Jack” Swigert, a Colorado native crew member on the troubled Apollo 13 mission, was honored by NASA with a lunar sample from the Apollo 15 mission. This rock is one of the total 842 pounds of moon rock on Earth, whereas Apollo 15 contributes 170 pounds.
Over 50 aircraft and space vehicles, including some not explicitly mentioned, are on display at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. You’ll want to check it out to see the whole thing.
2. Denver Art Museum
100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO
If you’re looking for the best art museums in Denver Colorado, look no further than the Denver Art Museum.
The Denver Art Museum houses over seventy thousand works of art from around the world in all periods. Numerous mediums are on display in the museum, from painting to interactive art pieces.
The collection focuses on specific areas of artistic expressions, such as those of ancient America, Asia, and Africa. Along with European and American Art Before 1900, there is Native North American Art, Latin American Art, and Modern and Contemporary Art.
The museum also features notable collections of Western American art, art from Oceania, photography, textiles, and fashion.
Denver Art Museum’s conservation team has ensured the preservation of the hundreds of artworks on display.
Outdoor sculptures complement the many housed inside the museum. In the surroundings of the Denver Art Museum, you may see several outdoor art pieces. If you can track them down, you can discover the meaning and context of each work of art.
The Ponti and Café Gio are two great options for a bite to eat while you’re here. Visit the Family Central area of the Denver Art Museum for a wide variety of kid-friendly events and activities.
The Denver Art Museum has an extensive online collection that you can peruse at your leisure, even if you cannot get there anytime soon.
Explore the museum’s holdings and exhibitions through videos, print out and use them as digital wallpaper, learn about the artists who produced the works featured, and much more, all from the comfort of your home using the museum’s online presence.
You can enjoy all of these for free or with a fee between $10 and $18 for each ticket.
1. Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science features displays covering the history of science from prehistoric times up to the present day and beyond. This is one of our favorite museums in Denver Colorado because everyone loves these exhibits, even if you’re not into science!
Denver Museum of Nature & Science a public museum is dedicated to showcasing the city’s rich scientific and historical heritage. It serves as a tool for non-formal education in the sciences in the Rocky Mountain area.
Apart from the history of Colorado, you can also discover the Earth and the cosmos via the museum’s many exhibits, programs, and activities. More than a million items, spanning the fields of natural history, anthropology, and archaeology, are in the 716,000-square-foot building’s archives and libraries.
A massive dinosaur skeleton dominates the museum’s entrance hall: Egyptian mummies, a Mars rover model, an IMAX theater, and much more to see within.
One of the best features of this institution is the Gates Planetarium. Explore black holes, volcanoes, and more as you soar through space on a cosmic adventure. Laser Fantasy also provides a special laser show that is only available for a limited period. This cosmic concert series will stimulate all your senses!
Many people view Tom’s Baby, the most significant chunk of gold discovered in Colorado, in the museum’s Gems & Minerals section. The Discovery Zone, filled with interactive exhibits and games, is even more exciting for kids.
Apart from what we have stated, the venue also hosts a variety of other exhibitions, films, programs, and events. Tickets rapidly ran out, so if interested, look for them on their website.
The museum welcomes more than 300,000 kids and instructors annually in organized school trips. To further its mission, the museum hosts workshops for educators looking to improve their craft.
It is one of Denver’s finest museums!
And that makes up our list of the top 15 museums in Denver, Colorado!
With so many museum options available, your time in the area will be worthwhile. Science, aviation, history, sports, and many more exhibition hall await your visit.
Make sure to try out one of the places we have for you next time you are in the area; they will leave you surprised and impressed. Have an excellent time!