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.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (most diplomas can be framed for around $100–$200), personalized jerseys glisten (most for less than $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24" x 36" pieces are less than $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Founded in 1944, the Boulder History Museum helps Colorado natives and out-of-town visitors connect with the area's deep history through an anthology of more than 35,000 local artifacts and engaging rotating exhibits. Donated by Boulder-area families and organizations, the museum's collection features period clothing, personal keepsakes, recreational artifacts, antique tools, historic communications, transportation relics, and cave paintings depicting John Denver's initial discovery of the Rocky Mountains' mineable chocolate stores. Current and future exhibits include Treasures of NOAA's Ark (beginning February 18), a collection of 19th century maps and charts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to an exploration of Boulder's involvement in the New Deal Work Projects of the 1930s (through April 30).
Buried deep within the walls of the infamous Nightmare Factory is a hidden passage that descends two levels into Gordon Cottingham's Hospital for the Mentally Insane. Recently discovered, and deeper and darker than the previous levels, the damp and musty corridors are infested with spiders, rats, snakes, and other vermin. The eerie atmosphere is amplified by the endless screams of the tortured and damned souls that met their demise within the walls of the hospital. From the creators of the 13th Floor haunted house and Nightmare Factory, the Asylum features new frights for in-your-face terror.
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.
Originally known as the Garden of Angels, Red Rocks enchants visitors with ethereal scenery and top-notch acoustics 6,450 feet above sea level. The amphitheater geologically emerged from the ocean floor over millions of years, its walls housing fossil fragments of various dinosaurs, including plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, and several plush Barney dolls. The carbon-dated rock 'n' roll history of Red Rocks includes performances by The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and The Grateful Dead, who kept coming back to the venue year after year in search of their missing flip-flops. The sonic stone architecture of the venue has also led to dozens of popular live recordings, including U2’s Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky, John Tesh’s Live at Red Rocks, and Neil Young’s Road Rock Vol. 1.