The rocky mountain region is a hub of exploration for lovers of science and outdoor adventure enthusiasts alike. If you have a spark of interest in museums; Denver, Colorado is definitely a place to be for various reasons. Perhaps the most significant of these reasons is that it is home to the Denver Museum of Nature Science (DMNS), whose history goes as far back as 1868. Located at 2001Colorado Blvd., the museum is open to visitors every day from 9am to 5pm, except Fridays when the closing time extends until 9pm. It’s only on Christmas day (December 25) when you will find the “we are closed” sign at the DMNS entry.
But why is this museum a frequent attractive destination to many vacationers, adventurers, students, and academics? Thanks to the museum’s exhibitions, activities, and programs, most of its visitors are more than willing to come back for more. Well, there’s a lot to explore, learn, see, and do. As if this explanation isn’t too intriguing enough, here are some interesting things to see at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
1. Gems and Minerals
The museum is home to sparkling gems that offer a mind-blowing experience for the explorers and curious educationists willing to learn about mineral characteristics and their formations. This you will experience in the Coors Gems and Minerals Hall located in the museum, which offers breathtaking moments to many of its visitors.
As you make your way through the Mexican silver mine via the mine shaft, this is where the real wonders begin. You will find Colorado’s sweet home mine, where you’ll marvel at a 6-foot wall full of beautiful red rhodochrosite crystals. How many real gems have you come across in your lifetime?… Perhaps just a handful? Top up your list by visiting this place!
The Denver museum is also known to have one of the gigantic pockets of aquamarine ever known to man in history from Mount Antero and a Brazilian topaz owned by Salvador Dali. The mineshaft in the hallway will also marvel you with milky white gypsum crystals and stalactites that give you the urge to stop and take a picture. If this isn’t interesting enough for you, then what is?
2. Prehistoric Journey
A lot has been said about history that you are torn between which theory is real. With all that in the books, walls, and online, this museum takes us back three and a half billion years ago. This journey begins beneath the ancient seas surrounded by water habitat animals. As the journey transitions, you move out of the water, and the air is suddenly full of dragonflies. Just when you thought your adrenaline is above the roof, giant centipedes are crawling around you and before you know it, dinosaurs are in the vicinity. Well, this sounds like a script in modern video games or VR movies, but it really feels real in this exhibition hall. In the Prehistoric Journey exhibition hall, a lot is in store, including:
- Experience the climate of the earth cool and warm
- Examine ancient plants
- Witness the mammalian rise and the birth of the human family
- Watch enormous dinosaurs in battle
- Fossil collection and examination
- Witness the use of modern tech in preparation and examination of fossils by scientists
Most of the fossils displayed have been tested in the award-winning Earth Science lab Prehistoric Journey exhibition, which opened in April 1990. Away from this, the entire experience can be breathtaking and is suited to people of all ages.
3. Discovery Zone
As the name suggests, it helps in building a strong foundation in science among young children. In pursuit of curiosity as they look, share, discover, and ask endless questions, children learn a lot while broadening their minds. The Discovery Zone also helps enhance skills such as observing, analyzing, creating, quantifying, communicating and inquiring, all of which are important in science and life in general.
This is no doubt why families, schools, and social organizations take trips to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with kids. Some areas to enjoy in the discovery zone include:
- Wildlife halls – Hunt for colors, count baby animals, and touch statues of bears and sea mammals
- Camp PaleoPals – Explore puzzles, books, and puppets. Fossils give the children a tip of their evolution
- Tykes Peak – They experience multisensory experiences that test their heartbeat
- AstroTot Training – They take off to space with the kid-sized shuttle deck
It is an exploration world for the kids. Make sure you tag them along to experience the beauty of the Denver Museum of Nature.
4. Expedition Health Science Lab
The body constantly changes and adapts to the situations and conditions it is exposed to. If you are used to a nocturnal lifestyle, for instance, your activity level during the day will often be lower. Well, this aside, the Expedition Health Lab Science will teach you a lot about your body and many things related to the genes. You will experience all the magic in health science, like observing your own body under a microscope and seeing those microorganisms we cannot see with the naked eye.
It is a public genetics laboratory where visitors are allowed to visit and watch real science experiments in progress. This genetics lab is where community scientists, museum scientists, and science students do their research. Visiting this section will help you understand your anatomy better, and with the presence of scientists, you will learn a lot in science through demonstrations and experiments.
5. Other Attractions in the Museum
The DMNS is also home to a plethora of other exciting things to do, see, and experience. Some of the permanent exhibitions you could be interested in include:
- Egyptian mummies
- Gem carvings of Russian Folklife
- North American Indian Cultures
- Space Odyssey
- VR Arcade
- Wildlife halls
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Finally, it is important to note that each section in the museum has set age limits. This is because, in some exhibitions, the experiences might be a bit scary to handle for minors. Even more excitingly, persons with disabilities are not left behind either. Those on wheelchairs can easily access different amenities in the museum, making it PWD-friendly. Visits come at a fee, but admission is absolutely free for members.