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.
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.
Children run in trails marked by prehistoric footprints, and fingers run across fossils during each visit to Dinosaur Ridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of ancient artifacts. Around every corner of the outdoor museum—which rests on land designated as a national natural landmark—bones and impressions protrude from their earthy abodes as evidence of the area's once larger-than-life inhabitants. Paleontologists of all ages can examine curious tracks on surrounding hiking paths, such as Triceratops Trail, or hop on a guided bus tour to examine fossil sites and valleys where brontosauruses used to question the meaning of life.
Lurking inside the visitor center is the Trek Through Time exhibit, where interactive children's games, replica fossils, and massive murals join forces to lead explorers into different prehistoric eras. In addition to its day-to-day operations, Dinosaur Ridge also plays host to various events during the year, including Boy Scout days, birthday parties, and lectures that explain how T. rex stayed humble despite his large stature.
Colorado's ONLY improvised musical! Based on one or more suggestions from the audience, this internationally touring comedy team creates fully unscripted musicals, complete with live accompaniment. By the end, you'll swear we didn't make it up on the spot... but we did!