Summer Fun at the History Colorado Center

The History Colorado Center in located in the heart of downtown Denver, a short walk from both the State Capital and the Denver Art Museum.
The History Colorado Center in located in the heart of downtown Denver, a short walk from both the State Capital and the Denver Art Museum.
A giant physical map of Colorado welcomed guests to the museum.
Visitors can travel back in time and experience important moments in Colorado’s history via these time machines. Each of the three machines available were moveable.
One of the original welcome signs implemented in the 1950s. Signs like these are still in use today.
An experiential learning opportunity for all visitors: take a trip back in time to Keota, Colorado during the 1920s.
Stop number one: Keota’s general store.
In addition to recreated goods visitors could purchase at the general store, there were also authentic artifacts from the time period.
It is hard to imagine that people used to purchase almost all of their household goods from mail order catalogs. This interactive Montgomery Ward catalog allowed visitors to interact with a well-known mail order catalog.
The next stop was Keota’s one room schoolhouse.
One of my distant relatives used to attend school in Keota. Although, other than the face, he bares little resemblance to me.
Visitors could add their faces to the Keota yearbook using this interactive desk. A nice touch!
Next up: driving an old Ford Model T around Colorado’s eastern plains.
Another look at the Model T driving experience.
An additional exhibit focused on Colorado as a whole, tracing the state’s collective history. This model Bison showcased the ways in which Indigenous Americans utilized different parts to fulfill everyday necessities.
Visitors had an opportunity to participate in a role playing game (RPG) to better understand everyday life at Bent’s Fort.
Visitors could help blast for ore inside a makeshift mine similar to those found across the state during the pioneer days.
This ski jumping simulator allowed visitors to take their best shot at landing a jump on Steamboat Springs’ ski jump course.
Another exhibit: Colorado A through Z. The letter “D” is for “Devoted.” Case and point: the Denver Bronco’s famed Bucket Man.
A very cool interactive feature highlighting how much water can be found in differing levels of snowpack. This feature addressed a common misconception: 2 feet of snowpack = 2 feet of drinkable water. As you can see, this is clearly not the case: 2 feet of snowpack = 3 inches of water.
The museum’s temporary exhibit focused on food. In this part of the exhibit, visitors could examine scale models highlighting food production in different parts of the world. From France to Vietnam to Brazil.
Ever wondered how chili peppers were ranked? This feature taught many visitors, including myself, about the Scoville Index.
An interactive portion of the food exhibit tested visitors’ sense of smell. Each participant attempted to match the smelling gel cups with their respective picture. It was much harder than it looked!
A closer look at the smelling gel cups and the scents they were imitating: cinnamon roll, liquorice, spearmint gum, and hazelnut spice.
The revealed results. I mixed up, among others, spearmint and peppermint.
What good would an interactive feature be without an informative infographic?
This was, in my opinion, the coolest part of the food exhibit: a look at common dining rooms over the course of culinary history. Pictured here: Jane Austen’s English dining room.
The rulers of the dominant Mongol Empire ate their meals in a setting similar to this.

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