With a collection of more than 250,000 wealth-related objects, The ANA Money Museum educates currency-curious visitors on the history, art, and science of money. Catch the sparkle from silvery English coins from Oliver Cromwell's reign at the Coins, Crown, and Conflict exhibit. Or, watch golden change from 1795 to 1933 gleam in the Harry W. Bass Jr. Gallery, which also features a complete collection of $3 coins. Anyone who uses raw chunks of silver to brush his or her teeth will admire the die-cast craftsmanship and the image of the Goddess of Liberty cast on the museum's two U.S. 1804 dollars, of which there are only 15 known copies.
Like a small-town railroad depot in the 1880s, the Colorado Railroad Museum’s main building features wide eaves and a bright-yellow exterior. The building reflects the Museum’s overall goal: to hark back to Colorado’s railroad era, a time when the state relied on its groundbreaking, narrow-gauge mountain railroads for supplies and information. Since 1959, the Museum has showcased the machinery of that time with an array of locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and cabooses. Alternatively, they present visitors with a glimpse of Table Mountain on the Museum’s train rides, enabling them to ride the rails in a bygone style without just taking the subway in an Abe Lincoln costume. To supplement its trains, the Museum hosts thousands of related rare photographs and artifacts, such as a replica of a 10,000-gallon water tank, humorously dubbed No Agua, that was once used to refill steam locomotives on the Chili Line to Santa Fe.
Garden of the Gods Trading Post was built in the 1920s by trader Charles Strausenback and continues to sell goods today, with an array of updated offerings such as keepsakes, Native American art, and café sandwiches. The Manitou Outpost feathers necks with gold leaf pendants ($12.99+), sheaths feet in soft suede and moosehide Minnetonka moccasins ($38+), and enlivens shelves with keepsakes such as miniature painted ponies ($32.99+), whose neighing registers as soprano squeaks. After walking among the Pueblo pottery ($465+) and Navajo weavings ($310+), guests at the Balanced Rock Grill can indulge in a buffalo burger ($7.50) or unwrap a dried tomato tortilla gorged with spicy chicken and cheddar cheese ($7.95). Patrons can also people-watch at outside tables while sipping from a tap beer ($4.50) and discussing the complications of fashioning mukluks from Yeti hide.
The Wildlife Experience, one of the country's more aptly named museums, offers a chance to encounter members of various animal kingdoms and habitats through an uncommon combination of interactive exhibits, natural history, fine art, and documentary films. Once inside, explore a variety of permanent and not-so-permanent exhibits. Globeology, is a three-dimensional jaunt that takes visitors through biomes from wild Colorado to the barren, WiFi-less tundra. Frogs!: A Chorus of Colors, meanwhile, gives visitors eyewitness access to fifteen types of colorful and vocal anurans, offering young guests insight into what frogs do when not playing a banjo or being chased by a pig.
The Plains Conservation Center is an offshoot of the West Arapahoe Conservation District, an organization appointed in 1949 to teach farming and ranching techniques that could help prevent another devastating Dust Bowl. While the PCC's mission has since expanded, the nonprofit organization's main goal remains the same: preserving the health of Colorado's plains. Between its two sites—a main 1,100-acre location in Aurora and more than 10,000 acres spread along West Bijou Creek—the organization maintains several attractions devoted to the history and environmental character of the region. These include more than five miles of hiking trails, a Cheyenne camp from 1837 with four standing tepees, and Wells Crossing, a replica 1887 farm consisting of sod houses, and heirloom gardens. For more modern sites, the Aurora location's visitor center features interactive displays and seasonal events such as Hops for Habitat, an annual fundraiser with beer tastings from local craft brewers.
Fascination St. Fine Art has been offering customized framing treatments alongside a collection of original paintings, sculpture, and limited edition artwork since 1992. Let friendly and experienced staff members advise you on how and where to hang poodle paintings and game-winning jerseys, choosing from a wide selection of frames, mattes, archival glass, and shadow boxes. Pricing varies ranging from $125 to $1000, depending on the size of your artwork and the kind of materials used. Once you decide on a visually pleasing combination, your newly framed piece will be ready in one to two week's time to impress visiting relatives and Grouponicus guests.