Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Graham Hyde

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) is a very highly rated museum located just outside of downtown Denver at Colorado Blvd. and Montview Blvd. With three floors and very friendly staff, this is a very high-caliber museum.

1st Floor

On the first floor, the first thing you see when you enter the building is a cast of a giant T-rex skeleton. After you come in, you can turn left and go to the T-rex Cafe or the gift shop. The exhibits are straight ahead. The closest exhibit is Space Odyssey. There is a sub-section where you can learn about the time after the dino-killing asteroid. There are mammal skulls and rock specimens that show the first ferns ever found. Continue on to the main exhibit. To the left, you can smell scents from the universe and become a miniature planet. To the right, there is a Mars diorama and a rocket launch simulation. If you go straight you can go to the Planetarium, dock your own satellite, or the VR transponder. The Planetarium has shown every half-hour, but watch out! They sell out fast. After you exit, the next exhibit is the Gems and Minerals section. It contains such displays as a giant topaz owned by Salvador Dali to Tom’s Baby, an 8-pound golden boulder. Then move to the next floor.

Second Floor

The second floor contains quite a few more exhibits than the first, a coffee shop, and the IMAX movie theater. They have quite delicious popcorn. The most interactive exhibit in the museum is just to the left of that, it is called Expedition Health. From height and arm span measures to movies and frequent new additions, it appears to be the fan favorite. Then there are the diorama halls, occupying floors 2 and 3. With incredible details and a couple of small hidden trinkets hidden within.

Third Floor

The last permanent exhibit is on floor three and it is called Prehistoric Journey. It is perhaps the most detailed exhibit, with multiple floors and a children’s play area. They have specimens of Dunkleosteus, one of the biggest ever fish, and Stegosaurus and Allosaurus fossils.

Sky Terrace

Only available on sunny days, the Sky Terrace is only accessible from an elevator in the west atrium; it has two special telescopes that allow non-painful viewing of the sun and the sky. The telescopes have special filters to edit out the white light. Out of the almost 15,000 reviews, the museum is rated at 4.7/5. I highly recommend making it your next stop if you’re looking for a weekend activity!