10 Top Free Denver Museums

These free Denver museums are perfect if you love learning about history, sports, arts, or even air crafts. Some of the top options are dedicated to Colorado's rich mining, geologic, and natural history.

If you're looking to get outside the city limits, discover the past of Jefferson County, Arvada, and Aurora at their historical museums. 

Read on to find out about all the free museums on our top 10 list.

Free Denver Museums

1. Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

Colorado Hall of Fame

One of the top free Denver museums is the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, which honors the achievements of the state's best athletes. 

Check out the tribute to the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos as well as exhibits for Colorado's sportswomen and Special Olympics athletes. There's also a kids' zone where kids can dress up in sports gear.

The Hall of Fame, located within Sports Authority Field at Mile High, is free. If you'd like a behind-the-scenes look at where the Broncos play, you can also tour the stadium for a fee.

2. Free Denver Museums: Money Museum

Money Museum

If you've already visited the U.S. Mint, you'll want to make a stop at the Money Museum. As they are both free Denver museums, it won't even cost you a cent. The museum, located on the 16th Street Mall, is officially the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Denver Branch. 

You'll not only learn what the Federal Reserve Banks do but also see money dating back to 1775, a $100,000 bill, and a display of $30 million. As a souvenir, you'll receive a free bag of shredded bills. 

3. Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum

Colorado School of Mines

This museum honoring Colorado's rich geologic and mining heritage is home to one of the state's moon rocks, which was brought back during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. 

Started in 1874, the museum also has displays that include historic mining artifacts, gemstones, meteorites, minerals, and precious metals. Be sure to visit the geologic trail outside the museum — it has fossilized dinosaur tracks! 


4. Madden Museum of Art and Outdoor Sculpture Garden

Madden Museum

The Museum of Outdoor Arts (MOA) aims to make art a part of everyday life by placing sculptures in office parks, city parks, botanic gardens, and other public spaces around metropolitan Denver. 

At MOA's headquarters in Englewood, you can view its indoor displays and special exhibits in the Sound, Whitebox, and Atrium galleries. You'll also want to visit the Outdoor Artwalk, which features a permanent collection. Self-paced and guided tours are available. 

The Madden Museum, MOA's sister museum, is at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village and features sculptures from the private collection of museum founders John and Marjorie Madden.

5. Hiwan Homestead Museum

Hiwan Homestead House

Travel to Evergreen and learn about Jefferson County's history at Hiwan Heritage Park, which features a 25-room log lodge built in 1893 and now on the National Register of Historic Places.

At the lodge, you'll see historic furnishings, Native American artwork, and award-winning exhibits. The grounds are also a perfect place to take a hike or have a relaxing picnic as you continue your travels through on of the many free Denver museums.

6. Arvada Historical Museum

Arvada Center

Learn about the heritage of Arvada, founded in 1870, during a visit to the Arvada Historical Museum, located within the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities. 

Here you'll find artifacts such as documents, photographs, tools, farm equipment, furniture, and clothing. However, the museum's main attraction is the Haines log house. This 144-year-old pioneer home is without electricity and plumbing — just as it was when Asahel and Abigail Haines lived here with their six children.

7. Peterson Air & Space Museum

Peterson Air & Space

The Peterson Air & Space Museum is the state's oldest aviation museum and one of just 12 U.S. Air Force Field museums. Located on the historic site of Colorado Springs' first municipal airport and within Peterson Air Force Base, the museum covers the base's aviation and space history.

Explore the award-winning exhibits in the passenger terminal, Broadmoor Hangar, City Hangar, and Medal of Honor Park. You'll learn about the barnstorming, World War II, and space eras. 

8. Leanin' Tree Museum

Leanin' Tree Museum

At the Leanin' Tree greeting card plant in Boulder, you can get a look at how the company produces more than 30 million cards a year. The card company, founded in 1949, offers free tours featuring large printing presses, cutting equipment, and envelope-folding machines.  

While there, explore the grounds that are home to the Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western Art. This private collection of Leanin' Tree founder Ed Trumble contains a sculpture garden with 100 sculptures and galleries with more than 250 paintings. All works honor the American Old West.

9. Aurora History Museum

Aurora History Museum

At Aurora's only public museum, you'll see a collection of historical artifacts that tell the city's rich history. 

The museum includes exhibits on culture, natural history, and fine and decorative arts. You'll also find an interactive children's activity room and a historic research library (open by appointment). 

The museum offers tours, lectures, workshops, and family events. 

10. University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Museum of Natural History

One of the top free Denver museums is the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, which houses the Rocky Mountain region's biggest collection of natural and human history artifacts.

Located in Boulder, the museum has permanent and special exhibits that include fossils, butterflies, stone tools dating back 13,000 to the last ice age, and more. Kids can play in the hands-on Discovery Corner while parents learn about biodiversity and relax with a drink in the BioLounge.

Free Museum Admission Days

In addition to these free Denver museums, you can also visit some of the paid museums at no charge on free admission days. These days are different for each museum and allow you to visit their museum for free. 

Some of these museums include the Denver Art Museum, the Four Mile Historic Walk, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and many more. Make sure to arrive early as these days can be really busy. 


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