History Colorado

Stroll through 10,000 years of the state’s history at this modern, interactive museum.

The History Colorado Center is packed with impressive high-tech and hands-on exhibits that cover Colorado’s past in extensive detail. Learn about Colorado's history including mining, agriculture and skiing. It’s easy to spend an entire morning or afternoon here.

The centerpiece of the museum is a sky-lit, four-storey atrium. On one wall there’s a giant media screen that shows a 20-minute clip covering 10,000 years of Colorado history. Learn about when the city of Longmont started the “Pumpkin Pie Days” in 1899, and the 5,000-ton (4,536-tonne) ice palace built in 1896 that melted prematurely and was never rebuilt. On the ground there’s an interactive 40-foot by 60-foot (12-meter by 18-meter) terrazzo tile map of the state. Push around an H.G. Wells-inspired “time machine” to reveal short video stories, including that of Mike the Headless Wonder Chicken who survived for 18 months without a head.

As you make your way through the museum, you’ll find recreated homesteads and haylofts, virtual ski jumps and historical wartime photographs. Every Saturday there are free, one-hour guided tours. Daily events include chorale and tap dance performances and historical reenactments.

The $110 million museum opened with much fanfare in April 2012 to replace the Colorado History Museum. Smithsonian Affiliations Director Harold Closter dubbed it the “first great history museum of the 21st century.” The building itself is spectacular, and is made from locally sourced materials such as sandstone and Colorado pine.

History Center Colorado is centrally located in the Golden Triangle Museum District, an easy walk from Downtown. The café serves up sandwiches, salads and soups, as well as coffee and cakes. There are books, gifts, toys, jewelry, DVDs and CDs in the gift shop.