The “mile high” city of Denver, Colorado has many family attractions to choose from.  Here’s why your entire family will love the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  It’s a popular destination that can easily entertain for an entire day.  Check out what ages this museum caters to, which exhibits are must-dos, and why this museum may be way more fun than you’d expect. It’s a sure bet for a day of indoor Denver fun!

 Looking for Colorado family fun vacation ideas in Denver? Here's why we love the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and recommend it for all ages.

Welcome to a day of fun! Denver Museum of Nature and Science / Photo credit Tami Mittan, Outdoorsy TravelingMom

Denver, Colorado is a fun destination which offers plenty of fun for families.  When my family and I were there last weekend, we decided to swing by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  It had been a few years since our last visit.  As it turns out, this place is even more fabulous than we remembered.

With three stories of interesting and varied exhibits to choose from, there’s truly something to pique everyone’s interest here.  Here are my top 3 reasons why I feel the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a Colorado must-do.

TravelingMom Tip:  There’s a free underground parking garage available on the right, as you enter the museum parking lot.  This is a nice, shaded spot to park.  It’s still only a short walk to the museum entrance.

#1 – Variety for all Ages to Explore

Looking for Colorado family fun vacation ideas in Denver? Here's why we love the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and recommend it for all ages.

Can we get a gorgeous globe like this for our house? / Photo credit Tami Mittan, Outdoorsy TravelingMom

From earth’s gems to outer space, Egyptian mummies to 3-D body organ puzzles… you are sure to find something that fascinates you at this place.  Our kids (ages 6 and 12) were equally entertained the entire day.  And during our 4 hour road trip home, they chatted non-stop about their favorite things they discovered and learned.  I can’t recall that type of reaction after visiting any other tourist attraction.

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What? Learning can be fun?

I’m the first to admit, the idea of visit a museum doesn’t top my excitement list.  So I was pleasantly surprised how much we all enjoyed ourselves.

Our top picks?  Don’t miss my family’s absolute favorite exhibits:  the impressive dinosaurs at Prehistoric Journey, and the big picture reality check at Space Odyssey.

 Looking for Colorado family fun vacation ideas in Denver? Here's why we love the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and recommend it for all ages.

Amazing prehistoric creatures on display / Photo credit Tami Mittan, Outdoorsy TravelingMom

#2 – Animals + Air Conditioning = Good Time

The exhibits that stood out the most from our previous visit to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science were the impressive animal displays.  It’s true, the animals are stuffed.  But “bear” with me.

Called the Wildlife Halls, this area is a multi-story, vast display of animals from all over the world.  They are beautifully done, even though they are taxidermy displays.

Grouped by geographic area, these amazing beasts are portrayed in an environment similar to their natural habitat.  Not to mention, some displays are further brought to life by buttons available to play the animal’s sound.

It’s also really fun to see what were once real animals up “so close.”  Realizing their true size was was sometimes startling!

Looking for Colorado family fun vacation ideas in Denver? Here's why we love the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and recommend it for all ages.

Dude. Walruses are huge. / Photo credit Tami Mittan, Outdoorsy TravelingMom

And it’s air conditioned, unlike the zoo next door.

Yes, this is your Outdoorsy Traveling Mom touting the merits of visiting an INDOOR attraction over an OUTDOOR attraction.   There’s a time and a place to enjoy the Colorado outdoors.  But if your visit falls on a 100 degree day, it’s just flat out more pleasant to spend the day inside.  Additionally, you won’t have to worry about getting heat stroke, staying hydrated, or obsessively re-applying sunscreen.

#3 – Hands-On Fun at Every Exhibit

Looking for Colorado family fun vacation ideas in Denver? Here's why we love the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and recommend it for all ages.

Watch your own skeleton dance with you! (Or your muscles, or your circulatory system…) / Photo credit Tami Mittan, Outdoorsy TravelingMom

If you’ve got toddlers in your group, you won’t want to miss the Kids Discovery Zone.  Slip your child into a water apron (how smart is that?), and let them get crazy at the water exhibits.  We spent a fair amount of time here on a past visit.  My 4 year old nephew and son did NOT want to leave!

The life-sized, 3D plastic human cadaver intrigued my preschool aged son.  It features body organs that can be removed, and then fit back together.  Kind of like a gory puzzle.  Yet fascinating, and incredibly informative.  Our little budding physician, perhaps?

Even outside the Discovery Zone, they’ve woven interaction throughout the entire museum.  Overall, they’ve done an impressive job of including hands-on experiences.

Having plenty of engagement for kids throughout the entire museum contributes greatly to the overall experience.  In fact, my entire family had a blast, not just my kids.  Different displays appealed to each of us.  As a result, we often found ourselves  wandering in different directions.

Awesome Day of Family Fun in Denver

Looking for Colorado family fun vacation ideas in Denver? Here's why we love the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and recommend it for all ages.

No doubt if we lived closer to Denver, we would purchase the Family Membership.  Only $109.95, this is a steal of a deal that for a family of 4, which more than pays for itself in only two visits.

They keep things fresh and exciting for return visits.  The IMAX theatre offers an ever-changing roster of movies.  In addition, special exhibits are offered such as the current Vikings: Beyond the Legend, open through August 13 (extra charge applies).