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.
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Housed in a historic brick building, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art challenges minds and peppers peepers with an ever-rotating roulette wheel of exhibits from local, national, and international artists. An individual membership affords artophiles unlimited entry for 12 months, or the approximate time it takes to have a baby. Peruse the industrial-ceilinged, white-walled galleries alone, with a friend capitalizing on the included guest entry pass (one per visit), or with the guidance of a wisdom-infused curator as part of invitation-only exhibitions. Members revel in additional benefits, such as discounts on museum programs and at the museum store, subscriptions to the events calendar and e-news.
The Centennial Village opens a window to the past with living-history demonstrations that re-create American life as it was 100 years ago. As visitors stroll through the 7-acre grounds, they can explore more than two dozen historic structures, including grand homes, a courthouse, and a blacksmith’s shop. Time-swept denizens share tales of their daily lives that provide unique insight into turn-of-the-century struggles. A vast farm area and historic gardens fill the town with lush greenery and a working merry-go-round helps distract visitors from the hourly recalibration of the park’s time machine.
At Bella Glass Studios, students unleash boundless creativity during a variety of do-it-yourself craft classes including paint-your-own pottery, glass fusing, and glass ornament-making classes. The Twigs-N-Berries class equips students with the tools and necessary know-how to fashion two quirky, colorful pendants. Or they can create functional dinnerware in the Sue, She Needs a Plate! class. Students can also design key chains, letter openers, or the global currency: marbles. Throughout each class, staff members monitor students as they arrange smooth glass balls among thin vitrigraph to craft abstract compositions or wield colors as bright as their imaginations.