Chances are a Tyrannosaurus would bite if you tried to pet it. Thankfully, that's not the case at Morrison Natural History Museum, where a Tyrannosaurus skull is one of many safe fossils that visitors are encouraged to touch. The paleontology museum's 3,000 square feet of exhibition space is full of other dino bones discovered in Colorado, from the first stegosaurus fossils to the tracks of an infant dinosaur. A peek into the museum's Paleo Lab reveals scientists conducting research in real time, while trips to the dig pit let kids experience the rush of unearthing their own fossils.
Not everything at the Morrison is about fossils. Among the Ice Age exhibit's bones of saber-toothed cats, for instance, glass displays teem with live reptiles, amphibians, and a wooly mammoth stretching after a 7,000-year nap. Educational programs likewise blend dinosaur-focused activities and interactions with live creatures, such as birthday parties that include the chance to pet a live snake.
Elvis Cinemas invites wide-eyed audiences to plunge into the ocean, soar above the clouds, and traipse across stretches of barren desert, all from the comfort of a theater seat. Its trio of theaters shows Hollywood blockbusters but keeps ticket prices down by playing them slightly after their initial release, when the characters have learned from their mistakes and changed their movie’s plot accordingly. Unlike the massive movie corporations whose theater complexes pop up in every city and shopping mall, Elvis Cinemas is Colorado owned and operated and focuses all its attention on just three theaters.
Based out of 5280 Equestrian in Littleton, Colorado, Millbrook Equestrian rests upon 125 acres of trails and trees. The facility takes special pride in its ability to teach riders of any age or skill set, from beginners all the way up to professional show teams. That versatility stems directly from trainers Alexia Nestora and Devon Meagher, who, like two people inside a horse costume, join forces to make the Millbrook staff a fine-tuned equestrian machine. Both women found their love for riding at a young age while living on the East Coast, and today, both put their experience to use while overseeing lessons, instructional sessions, and birthday parties held on the Millbrook grounds. The property stays active throughout the year, flanked by an outdoor arena and a 70’x250’ indoor riding space that allows lessons to be held during the colder months.
JumpStreet is an indoor trampoline park where taut floors and angled walls made of springy trampoline surfaces beckon children and adults to bounce back and forth or try aerodynamic flips and gravity-defying leaps. The arena is structured like a skateboard park, though bouncers don’t need any equipment to hop across the wall-to-wall planes or climb up, slide down, or spring off the tilted trampoline walls, which can also be used to recreate the summer Olympics’ popular trampoline belly-flop event. Guests can hop on over to the springy dodgeball courts, where safe, competitive play is enhanced with ample bouncing, and arcades and batting cages offer engaging activities for those who need to rest their feet. Scattered across JumpStreet’s various locations are an assortment of other safe, kinetic activities, including a bull ride, a multicolored maze, and a foam pit.
Denver Botanic Gardens houses vibrant flowers, lush vegetation, and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Native and adapted plants flourish in the York Street campus, which also houses Mordecai Children’s Garden—a 3-acre lot with alpine gardens, mountain ranges, and cool bugs. The two-story waterfall at Marnie's Pavilion bursts with blooming orchids year-round, and a Japanese garden features Ponderosa pines sculpted to look like bonsai. Visitors stroll through water gardens inspired by Monet's estate at Giverny.
With a blazing marquee declaring “Hollywood” in towering neon letters, SouthGlenn Stadium 14 invokes the image of classic cinemas while still using the latest moviegoing technology. More than 2,500 high-backed seats cradle viewers across 14 theaters equipped with state-of-the-art Sony Digital 4K projection systems. Nine of these theaters also surround audiences with RealD 3-D systems, allowing them to revel in the thrills of endless snakes-in-a-nut-can scenes. Before films, the SkyboX Bar and Grill offers up a full-service menu of café entrees and craft drinks, including $1 domestic beers, $2 craft beers, and $1 fountain sodas. Entrees and beverages can be delivered to viewers lounging in Premiere Cinema balcony seats or enjoyed in the Skybox lounge.