Best Museums in Denver Colorado

17 Best Museums in Denver, by a Local (in 2022)

If you’re looking for a list of the best museums in Denver, then you’ve come to the right place! 

Denver has a vibrant arts community and is filled with people (like me!) who take pride in their city and state. This means there are lots of premiere museums in Denver like the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and many more.

Whether you’re looking for kid-friendly museums that are both fun and educational, a quiet, contemplative art museum, or a selfie-style museum full of scary monsters, there’s something for everyone on this list.

If these museums inspire you to try other Colorado attractions, then be sure to check out this epic guide to the best stuff to do in Denver.

Let’s dive in!

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

17 Best Museums in Denver

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Explore scientific discoveries from dinosaurs to space travel

A Triceratops at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

📍 Google Maps | Denver Museum of Nature & Science Website | Cost: Adults from $18.95, Children from $13.95, from $15.95 Seniors | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily

A museum that greets you with a giant dinosaur skeleton in the main lobby, The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is home to Egyptian mummies, a Mars rover model, an IMAX Theater (for an extra fee), and so much more. 

This is, in my opinion, one of the best museums in Denver! One of my favorite spots (and a uniquely Colorado exhibit) is the Gems & Minerals area, where you’ll see Tom’s Baby (the largest piece of gold ever found in Colorado), plus aquamarines and other native gems. Younger kids will enjoy The Discovery Zone with its hands-on activities.

The museum also features a cafe, or you can bring in your own food to eat.

👉  Pro tip: As of now, most of these museums require online reservations, even if you’re a member. Be sure to check the museum websites to see if you need one before you go. Also, Colorado has a wonderful program that includes free admission on certain days to many museums in Denver, along with gardens, and other attractions. You can see the free dates here.

Denver Art Museum

Visit one of the largest art museums between the West Coast and Chicago

Denver Art Museum Exterior

📍 Google Maps | Denver Art Museum Website | Cost: Adults $13, Children are free | Hours: 10 am – 9 pm Tuesdays, 10 am – 5 pm all other days

The Denver Art Museum has more than 70,000 pieces of art from various time periods and countries around the world. From paintings to interactive art installations, there are lots of ways to experience art at the museum. 

If you want to grab a bite during your stay, then I recommend eating at The Ponti or Café Gio inside the museum. If you are heading to the Denver Art Museum with kids, check out the Family Central area for lots of activities.

👉 Read Next: 20 Best Chicago Museums

Meow Wolf Denver – Convergence Station

A surreal, psychedelic art experience

A colorful castle inside the Meow Wolf Denver

📍 Google Maps | Meow Wolf Denver Website | Cost: $49 Adults, $45 Children | Hours: 10 am – 10 pm, Sun – Thurs, 10 am – 12 am, Fri & Sat

I’ve talked to tons of people about Meow Wolf Denver – Convergence Station, and not a single one has been able to really describe it. Here’s what they agree on: it’s crazy popular and perfect if you’re looking for a truly unique art experience in Denver. 

This museum features hundreds of artists who have created fantastical installations, many of which are interactive. Their goal is to fully immerse you into new realms that will inspire your own creativity. And it’s a wild ride, man.

History Colorado Center

Interactive exhibits put you in the middle of Colorado’s history

An exhibit at the Colorado History Center, one of the best museums in Denver

📍 Google Maps | History Colorado Center Website | Cost: $13 Adults, $7 Children | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, daily

The History Colorado Center is close to the Denver Art Museum and is one of the best museums in Denver that details the area’s past. This is where many local kids eventually end up on a school trip, but there are lots of activities and exhibits for adults as well. 

Experience a Dust Bowl tornado, learn the history of Barrel Man, and check out the Makerspace to learn about urban development.

👉 Pro tip: Admission is $1 more if you buy in-person instead of online.

Wings Over The Rockies

Walk through the history of air and space exploration

Aircrafts displayed inside the wings Over the Rockies in Denver

📍 Google Maps | Wings Over the Rockies Website | Cost: $18.95 Adults, $11.95 Children, free for 3 and under | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, Mon-Sat, 12 pm – 5 pm Sun

Wings Over The Rockies is an Air & Space Museum that shares historic aircraft and changing exhibits, with the virtual flight simulators being a huge draw. Denver’s Lowry area was once the site of the Lowry Air Force Base, and this museum is housed in one of the original Lowry Air Force base hangars from that time. 

📚 First time visiting Denver? Our list of Denver travel tips will help prepare you for visiting the Colorado capital. 

Children’s Museum of Denver

A great place for kids to learn and burn some energy

The author's daughter having fun playing in Children’s Museum of Denver
Yeah…they let your kid have a saw!

📍 Google Maps | Children’s Museum Website | Cost: $17 Adults & kids over 1, $15 for 1-year-olds, free under 1 | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm daily

The Children’s Museum in Denver features climbing, running, creating, bubble fun, and much more! Different areas of the museum are dedicated to water play, outdoor adventures, imagination activities, and art. 

This place is great for younger kids, but kids older than 10 will generally have less interest in them.

📚 Related Reading: If you’re looking for other fun nearby outings, be sure to check out my list of 23 fun things to do in Denver with kids!

Molly Brown House Museum

Learn about the Unsinkable Molly Brown

An exterior view of the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver

📍 Google Maps | Molly Brown House Website | Cost: $16 Adults, $12 Children, free for 5 and under | Hours: 10 am – 4 pm, Tues – Sun, closed Mondays

Molly Brown is one of Colorado’s most famous women. She’s probably best known for being one of the few survivors of the Titanic, but she led a colorful life as an activist and philanthropist before and after that fateful voyage. 

Learning more about Molly is also a good window into Colorado’s mining boom (and bust) and is a glimpse into a raucous, fascinating time in the state’s history.

Denver Firefighters Museum

Check out old engines and gear

View of the Denver Firefighters Museum from the outside
(photo: Mikhail Pogosov / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Denver Firefighters Museum Website | Cost: $9 Adults, $7 Children | Hours: 10 am – 4 pm, Tues – Sat, closed Sun & Mon

Trace the history of firefighting in Denver and see the trucks and gear that have been used over the years at the Denver Firefighters Museum. Along with seeing the equipment, guests can ring an old alarm in the museum, which is located in a former fire station. 

It’s one of the best museums in Denver that’s a great stop for adults and kids alike.

🚗 Wondering how to get around? Discover Cars is an excellent rental car service, or you can check out our guide to how to get around Denver for more options!

Clyfford Still Museum

Experience one artist’s work, all in one spot

Clyfford Still Museum in Denver

📍 Google Maps | Clyfford Still Museum Website | Cost: $10 Adults, free for children | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, Wed – Sun, closed Mon & Tues

The Clyfford Still Museum is dedicated to the exceptional artist of the same name and stands with the Denver Art Museum as is one of several art museums in Denver. 

An artist who is credited with helping start the Expressionist movement, Still wanted all of his works – and only his works – to be presented in one museum. As you walk through the displays, you’ll be able to see how his art changed and evolved over time. 

Museo de las Americas

Check out the premier spot for Latin American art in the Rocky Mountain area

Exterior view of Denver's Museo de las Americas

📍 Google Maps | Museo de las Americas Website | Cost: $8 Adults, free for children under 14 | Hours: 12 pm – 6 pm, Tues-Fri, 12 pm – 5 pm Sat, closed Sun

Museo de las Americas celebrates the art and culture of Latinos and is part of Denver’s vibrant Arts District on Santa Fe Dr. Here you can view works from ancient through modern times, including art from contemporary artists who are still creating. 

Forney Museum of Transportation

See vintage ways to get around

Vintage cars at an exhibit inside the Forney Museum of Transportation Denver

📍 Google Maps | Forney Museum of Transportation Website | Cost: $X Adults, $X Children | Hours: 10 pm – 5 pm, Thurs-Sat & Mon, 12 pm – 5 pm Sun, closed Mon & Tues 

The Forney Museum of Transportation has more than 800 transportation-related artifacts. You’ll see everything from buggies to locomotives to aircraft to sleighs, plus many more ways to get around. 

Vintage vehicles include Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel “Gold Bug”, an 1888 Denver cable car, and a Stutz Fire Engine.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

See and experience modern art in many forms

Exterior view of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver Colorado

📍 Google Maps | Museum of Contemporary Art Website | Cost: $X Adults, $X Children | Hours: 12 pm – 7 pm, Tues-Fri, 10 am – 5 pm Sat & Sun, closed Mon

The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver showcases art pieces through the ages. The museum also features performances and lectures at The Holiday Theater, which I recommend checking the event schedule for if you’re looking for something creative and unique to do. 

There is an on-site cafe with drinks and small plates, often created with the artwork in mind. Be sure to set aside time to see the MCA Teens area and check out what the next generation of artists is working on.

Four Mile Historic Park

Live like an 1800s family

Relaxing view from the Four Mile Historic Park in Denver
(photo: Duttagupta M K / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Four Mile High Historic Park Website | Cost: $X Adults, $X Children | Hours: Jan-May 10 am – 4 pm, Fri-Sun; June-Dec 10 am – 4 pm, Wed-Sun

Four Mile Historic Park is a unique, outdoor living history museum that includes a working farm and the Four Mile House Museum. While here you can tour the Four Mile House, learn about the history of the area (which begins well before the main house was built), and watch a blacksmith demonstration.

This Denver museum is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about life in the 1800s in an interactive way.

📚 Want to explore more history? Hopping on a guided tour is a great way to explore the area. This Lower Downtown Denver walking tour is a great way to get the inside scoop on the city’s wild west history and learn more about the buildings.

National Ballpark Museum

Step into baseball history

The Ballpark Wall of Fame at the National Ballpark Museum in Denver
The “Ballpark Wall of Fame” at Denver’s National Ballpark Museum

📍 Google Maps | National Ballpark Museum Website | Cost: $10 Adults, free for children | Hours: 11 am – 4 pm, Saturdays

Just a few steps from Coors Field in Denver lies the National Ballpark Museum. This museum contains exciting artifacts from the original 14 ballparks, along with newer items from parks across the country.

The Smithsonian named this museum one of the top 20 finest private baseball collections in the world, and it’s great whether you’re an avid baseball fan or new to the sport.

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Admire the work of a Colorado painter

Exterior view of the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art Denver Colorado

📍 Google Maps | Kirkland Museum Website | Cost: $10 Adults, free for children under 13 | Hours: 11 am – 5 pm, Tues-Sat, 12 pm – 5 pm Sun, closed Mon

The Kirkland Museum in Denver’s Golden Triangle creative district displays about 150 years of art, with three main collections shown in a salon-style setting. You’ll see art from the 1870s until present-day, and you can learn more about Colorado painter Vance Kirkland while viewing his paintings.

👉 Pro tip: There is a paid parking lot behind the museum and you can get a discount if you get your ticket validated while visiting.

American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection

See a variety of ways the American West was depicted by artists

📍 Google Maps | American Museum of Western Art Website | Cost: $5 | Hours: 10 am – 4:30 pm, Mon, Wed, Fri

The American Museum of Western Art features 600 art pieces of Western art from the early 19th century through today.

The museum is home to pieces by artists from the Hudson River School, as well as art from expressionists, cubists, and more – all depicting their interpretations of life in the American West. 

👉 Wondering where to stay? Our comprehensive guides to where to stay in Denver and the best Denver hotels are perfect for choosing the best accommodation for you!

Distortions Monster World

Check out an off-beat monster museum

📍 Google Maps | Distortions Monster World Website | Cost: $18 Adults, $9 Children 6-18 yrs, free 5 and under | Hours: 12 pm – 6:30 pm, Mon-Thurs, 10 am – 6:30 pm, Fri & Sat, 11 am – 5:30 pm Sun

Part art exhibit and part selfie museum, Distortions Monster World is full of (you guessed it) monsters, aliens, and other things that go bump in the night. 

The creatures are based on the art of Distortions Unlimited, a Colorado company that’s one of the nation’s biggest makers of masks, animatronics, and monsters for haunted houses. This museum is awesome if you love spooky things and want some great photos.

***

As you can see, along with Denver’s amazing restaurants, breweries, and sports venues, there are some impressive museums in the Mile High City! 

If you’re coming to Denver from out of state, then make sure to save our ultimate travel guide to Colorado – it will be a great resource for you as you plan.

Enjoy Denver’s museums!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate (you can leave feedback after clicking submit)

Help us help you travel better!

Your feedback really helps ...

What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.