Whether you’re looking for something to do as a family, need a snazzy spot for first date or just want to add a little culture to your day, visiting a good museum is always an excellent option. But if you live in the Denver south region, driving 30 minutes to Denver, struggling to find parking and eventually losing your mind may not seem like the best idea.
Good news — there are plenty of museums to explore right in your own backyard.
Here are some of the best museums to hit up in the Denver south region, whether you’re bringing the kids, impressing someone significant in your life or just flying solo:
The Madden Museum of Art, Greenwood Village
Located within Palazzo Verdi, a stone’s throw from Fiddler’s Green, The Madden Museum of Art is truly an undiscovered gem. It’s easy to spend some of your lunch hour enjoying the wide array of art, much of it from the Maddens’ private collection, and offers an upscale setting for private events.
Don’t miss: The Museum itself! It’s easy to forget it’s there among the office buildings of the Denver Tech Center. And don’t forget: it’s free.
CU South Denver, Lone Tree
Parents and kids alike will have a great day at the CU South Denver on-campus museum, which is only closed three days a year.
Explore the planet at the Globeology exhibit, including a 17-foot waterfall, or let the kids get some energy out in the Imagination Playground, where they can build anything their minds come up with.
The CU South Denver museum also offers a hefty rotation of special exhibits throughout the year.
Don’t miss: Science on a Sphere, developed by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, uses multiple projectors to turn a white sphere into a life-like educational experience.
Marjorie Park, Greenwood Village
Another gift of art to the Denver south community from the Maddens, Marjorie Park is a fully outdoor museum featuring whimsical sculptures just outside the doors of Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater.
Fans of Alice in Wonderland will enjoy the sculptures of the Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat and even the Mad Tea Party. Oh yeah, and it’s free to the public (outside of private events or concerts).
Don’t miss: Unfortunately, the park is currently temporarily closed for improvements on days that they aren’t hosting a concert. They expect to be back up and running soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Littleton Museum, Littleton
The Littleton Museum is a wonderful place to visit no matter who you are or you’re going with, but families will find in particularly enjoyable.
Billing itself as the link between Littleton’s past and present, the Littleton Museum occupies a sprawling 40-acre, lakeside complex. Featuring three exhibition galleries, an interactive gallery designed with the kiddos in mind, a research center and two 19th-century living history farm sites, there is truly something for everybody here.
Don’t miss: The farms. Although they represent a time difference of just 30 years, visitors can get an appreciation for the way of life back when Littleton’s economy was driven by the local mill and get a glimpse into the drastic transformation that occurred during that time.
Samurai Museum, Littleton
Sure, there’s the Samurai Museum in Tokyo, but we’ll bet you didn’t know there was one in Littleton.
Featuring a small but powerful collection of samurai armor and weaponry, the Samurai Museum is great for any history lover. But it’s also much more than a museum.
Offering martial arts classes for kids, ninja-themed birthday parties and even sword-fighting lessons, this is truly a one-stop shop for all things Samurai.
Don’t miss: Your chance to be a ninja. This is one of the only places that teaches authentic Japanese Ninjutsu in the Denver Metro area.