Colorado History Museum: The Definition of "Interactive"

Colorado History Museum
The Colorado History Museum if the most interactive museum I’ve ever experienced. My boys loved these “time machines” that move across a floor map of Colorado. Once over a region, choose a year and go back in time to see videos about Colorado’s Colorful past.

What: Colorado History Museum 
Where: 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203 303-447-8679
When: Mon. – Sat. 1 am – 5 pm, Sun. noon to 5 pm
Cost:  $10 Adults, $8 Seniors (65+) and students (13-22 w/ID), $6 Children (6-12) Under 5 Free

The Colorado History Museum, or as it is official called the History Colorado Center, is the most interactive museum I’ve ever experienced. This place is the definition of bringing history to life. The entire museum is based on stories, and after all, isn’t that what history is, stories. Here are our favorites

Colorado History Museum
At the Time Machines, kids can choose a year and watch a video story.

Colorado History: Time Machine in Anschutz Hamilton Hall
You enter into a great hall with a map of Colorado on the floor. This is no ordinary map however; roll the ‘time machine’ over certain locations to see video stories from that particular region. The time machines are similar to a kiosk, but they move. They’re heavy, so it takes a group to maneuver, with the idea that guests will interact with each other. This portion was a favorite for my boys and I had pull them away so we’d have time to see other exhibits.

Colorado History: Destination Colorado 
My youngest enjoyed driving a Model T and picking up eggs from the chickens. My oldest enjoyed shopping at Montgomery Ward (or as my dad always said Monkey Wards), milked a cow and the middle son laid out a picnic. In-between, we listened to a snake oil salesman. Remember what I said about interactive. This entire exhibit showcases farm life in Colorado through the stories of a now defunct town called Keota. Artifacts from former residents are mixed with interactive exhibits. Even the pie on the stove smells of apples and cinnamon. There are videos with the former residents talking about growing up there and actors that portray residents talking about life on the prairie farm.

Colorado History Museum
The Keota General Store has everything you need.
Colorado History Museum
Experience life in the Colorado farming town of Keota. My youngest shovels coal into the oven. The pie on top smelled like cinnamon and apples.
Colorado History Museum
Driving to town in the Model T.
Colorado History Museum
A high tech Montgomery Ward catalog. Kids can order what they like from the period catalog on the very modern touch screen.
Colorado History Museum
Learn to ski jump. I attained a gold medal run. Probably due to my intense training with Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.

Colorado History: Colorado Stories 
Everyone liked leaping off the ski-jump, my youngest became an explosives expert in the mines, we traded pelts in a pioneer fort, toured a Japanese interment camp and sat a spell on the front porch while we learned about the African American vacation destination of Lincoln Hills, CO.  That was after we learned all the things you can do with a buffalo. The saddest portion of this exhibit is the retelling of the Indian massacre at Sand Creek. It truly is abominable what we did to the American Indians.  In addition to all the hands on activities, museum staff are stationed throughout the exhibit with games and more interactive history lessons.

Colorado History: LEGO-rado
LEGO-rado is a temporary exhibit and only at the museum through August 1, 2012. What a shame. The whimsical, tongue in check exhibit showcases Colorado history through a series of LEGO vignettes. The Colorado/Wyoming LEGO users group created the exhibit and it’s obvious they have a sense of humor. Batman surveys the city from the rooftops, storm troopers wait in line for the port-a-pots, dinosaurs perform at the rodeo. In fact, there are three levels of scavenger hunts available for guest to find all the oddities within the exhibit. This is the one place where I’ve been able to see the elusive and shy Colorado Big Horned Sheep.

Colorado History Museum
Learn the blast pattern at the mine.
Colorado History Museum
Once you learn the blast pattern, see if you can blow up the rock, without blowing up everyone else too.
Colorado History Museum
A Colorado “Ghost” Town in LEGOS. The LEGO-rado exhibit was temporary, but made me laugh out loud numerous times. This is also where I FINALLY saw some big horned sheep.

The History Colorado Center isn’t done yet, additional exhibits are coming soon that promise to be just as interactive as the current museum.

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