Denver Art MuseumThe fall weather is moving in and I know that the snow is just around the corner.  Last winter, when the kids tired of playing in the snow but didn’t want to sit around the house, we started our museum tour of Denver.  We still have over a dozen museums to visit in and around the metro area, but here are five that we found are great for the kids.

1. Denver Art Museum: Color on the Floor Surrounded by Art.

I was blown away by the Denver Art Museum when I visited with my two children, ages 6 and 9, during a school holiday.  Not only are the exhibits interesting and captivating, there are a number of things for children to enjoy.  The highlight of our visit was exploring the exhibits with a backpack or art tube.  This program is available on weekends and most school holidays (though call ahead to be certain).  Check out a backpack or art tube near the entrance of the museum.  It is free to do but you will have to leave your driver’s license as collateral.  Follow the kid-friendly directions to the wing that you are supposed to find and open the backpack or art tube.  Inside you will find art projects to complete, games to play and more all while exploring the art pieces that you find in the exhibit.  It was almost surreal to be creating a mask while sitting on the floor surrounded by masks from the past.

2. Clyfford Still Museum:  Explore the Abstract.

Also an art museum but much smaller than that Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum allows for some great conversation with your children.  The abstract art allows your children’s imagination to run wild.  The pieces are switched out every few months so every visit is different.  On your way home, stop by a craft store to pick up a canvas and some paint.  Let your little ones go to town and create their own masterpiece.  This museum might be suited to older children because there is not much interactivity available.

3. Denver Museum of Nature and Science: Gems, Space, and Wildlife.

We arrived at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science around 11 in the morning and did not leave until after 4pm.  You could potentially stay all day and explore what the museum has to offer.  Our favorite exhibit was the Gems & Minerals.  There is a re-created mine and lots of gems and minerals to look at.  Another favorite was the many wildlife exhibits.  See animals in dioramas and learn more about them.

4. Colorado History Museum: Stories about Colorado.

Learn more about the history of Colorado and what the state is all about at the History Colorado Center.  Our favorite exhibit was the Denver A to Z.  Each letter of the alphabet shares something interesting about Colorado.  Take some time to explore the Time Machine and watch videos about the state.

5. Children’s Museum of Denver: Play for Hours.

I hesitated before adding the Children’s Museum of Denver to the list because our adventure there was lackluster at best.  We went on not only a school holiday but also a rainy and downright dreary day.  This was the kind of day people love to visit museums and the place was packed.  What little bit we did do was fascinating to the kids.  The exhibits seem to be well-maintained, which is something that is not always common in children’s museums.  Our favorite spot was the bubble room because no matter how crowded it got there was still fun for all.  It is my opinion that this museum is great for children under the age of 8.