Ranked the No. 3 best thing to do in Denver by U.S. News & World Report, Denver Zoo hosts 3,500 different animals from more than 650 species, which blend with several interpretive exhibits. Sprawling naturalistic displays place animals in environments approximating their native habitats, giving a glimpse of exotic locales and diverse behavioral patterns. The Tropical Discovery exhibit boasts a 2,250-gallon pool teeming with piscine life and exotic turtles in a waterfall-lined indoor rainforest. Two prides of lions sprawl along rocky outcroppings in the lion kopje in Predator Ridge while African wild dogs, guineafowl, and spotted hyenas play a heated game of Yahtzee. Commune with ancient cousins in the seven-acre Primate Panorama, where chattering monkeys swing from trees while powerful gorillas amble freely about their one-acre exhibit.
For more than 20 years, glass artist Agnes Sanchez has been breathing life into molten mounds, crafting delicate works of art that evoke the elements of the earth. Long-necked vases in glittering hues abut delicate ornaments at Agnes’s studio and gallery, Agnes of Glass, where the internationally trained artist exercises her technique and leads glass-blowing workshops. During the hands-on sessions, students and large-lunged wolves looking for a creative outlet exhale their way to completion of a decorative project.
Having filmed their own skate, surf, and snowboard movies for years, Matt D’Amico and Jeff Barrett acquired a taste for digital videography. When Matt and Jeff launched Valley Home Movies, they combined their passion for video editing with their knowledge of antiquated and modern video formats. Using high-capacity computers, they transfer every frame from aging formats such as 8mm and VHS onto reliable DVDs and convert old photos and slides to digital files, ensuring prom pictures may be ridiculed by future generations.
The pair also puts their editing skills to good use, laying down beats for accompanying DVD soundtracks and crafting individualized DVD menus. Videography services and sound engineering round out the company’s offerings, though the staff also shoots still photography, repairs computers, and develops websites.
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!
Combining science education with interactive entertainment, the Butterfly Pavilion houses five exhibits, 1,600 free-flying tropical butterflies, and a multitude of creepy, crawly creatures. Begin your day with a Tropical Odyssey, a bilingual adventure complete with larger-than-life caterpillars and butterflies and a zip line that allows children to sprout wings and soar like a penguin. Crab-walk to the Crawl-A-See-Em exhibit where brave souls can hold Rosie, a Chilean tarantula, and discover leaf insects, scorpions, beetles, and giant millipedes, and head to the Water's Edge to touch sea stars and more. Furthermore, levitate to the Wings of the Tropics exhibit to admire butterflies from around the world as they rest on your eyelashes. End your safari with a hike on the Butterfly Pavilion's half-mile natural trail teeming with prairie dogs, rabbits, ogres, herons, hawks, and eagles.
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.