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Top Smaller-Scale Museums In Denver

Most of us are familiar with the Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Nature & Science, both great cathedrals of history in their own right. Yet, other great museums that enjoy less publicity stand ready to impress you with what they have to offer. Here is a short guide to just a few around the Denver metro area.
Denver Firefighters Museum
Denver Firefighters Museum (credit: CBS)

Denver Firefighter Museum

1326 Tremont Place
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 892-1436

The Denver Firefighter Museum located in the historic Station No. 1, offers exhibits and galleries on two levels in addition to a children's gallery. The main level comprises six themes chronicling everything from how firefighter tactics have changed through time to displays of tools used throughout history. The second level focuses on firefighting training. Visitors learn what it takes to become a firefighter and can tour the various living quarters at Station No. 1. The Children's Gallery offers an interactive one on one area designed to help families reinforce the importance of fire prevention complete with computer kiosks, a puppet theater, video center and even a hop scotch game to teach children about matches and lighter safety.

Molly Brown House Museum
Molly Brown House Museum (credit: CBS)

Molly Brown House Museum

1340 Pennsylvania Street
Denver, CO 80203-2417
(303) 832-4092

The Molly Brown House Museum allows visitors to step back in time to a century ago and see the Denver of 1910. Molly Brown's life represents the changes of the early 20th century, as manifested in the life of a woman who demonstrated the power of the individual spirit. Almost a victim of the wrecking ball, Historic Denver Inc. was able to purchase the home back in the early 1970s and through microscopic paint analysis, architectural research and studying original house photographs from the early 1900s the Molly Brown house has been restored to its original splendor. The website offers a great introduction to Molly Brown before you go and includes information about visiting.

Forney Museum of Transportation
Forney Museum of Transportation (credit: CBS)

Forney Museum of Transportation

4303 Brighton Blvd
Denver, CO 80216
(303) 297-1113

The Forney Museum of Transportation is a one-of-a-kind collection of over 500 exhibits that relate to the history of transportation. What began with antique cars has expanded to include vehicles of all kinds, including railcars, fire engines, aircraft and trolleys. Currently housing a vintage motorcycle collection, the museum offers several special events including "Art Amongst the Cars," a wine tasting and art show.

Museo de Las Americas
Museo de Las Americas (credit: CBS)

Museo de Las Americas

861 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 571-4401

Museo de Las Americas lists the following as its mission: the education of the community about the diversity of Latin American art and culture from the ancient to the contemporary. While other museums focus on wider communities, the Museo has positioned itself to focus on a specific cultural niche in a comprehensive manner, playing an important role toward bridging understanding between people from different backgrounds. With interactive tours and outreach workshops, the Museo also offers art camps and classes.

The Leanin' Tree Museum
The Leanin' Tree Museum (credit: CBS)

The Leanin' Tree Museum

6055 Longbow Drive
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 530-1442

The Leanin' Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western Art exhibits the private art collection of Ed Trumble, a publisher of fine art greeting cards. It's a continually growing collection that began five decades ago, born out of a passion for American western art. A 15-foot bronze sculpture, Buck McCain's "Invocation", welcomes you to this unique museum located in northeast Boulder. With a new outdoor sculpture garden, this is indeed a unique part of Boulder's vibrant art community.

University of Denver Museum of Anthropology
University of Denver Museum of Anthropology (credit: CBS)

University of Denver Museum of Anthropology

2000 E. Asbury, Room 146
Denver, CO. 80210
(303) 871-2406
DU Museum of Anthropology

What began as a teaching museum back in 1931 by archaeologist Dr. Etienne B. Renaud, the DUMA serves as a public resource and research center and hosts exhibits curated by DU graduate students in addition to hosting periodic traveling exhibits. Renaud's collection was the first of DUMA's collections, and spans six states including Colorado. While the collection here primarily focuses on the southwestern United States, it has grown over the years to include objects from around the world, currently housing over 150,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects. The gallery is free and open to the public.

Wings Over The Rockies Museum
Wings Over The Rockies Museum (credit: CBS)

Wings Over the Rockies

The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
7711 East Academy Blvd.
Denver, CO 80230
(303) 360-5360

Wings Over The Rockies maintains a collection of over four dozen aircraft and space vehicles. Housed in an historic 150,000 square foot 1930s era former Air Force hangar, the collection is growing steadily as new models are acquired and restored. The museum's new "Gateway to Flight" entrance complex, scheduled for completion in late December, will be highlighted by a three-story observation tower providing views of Lowry, Denver and the Front Range and will honor Colorado's Charlie Gates as a business pioneer and aviation legend. The Welcome Theatre, part of the new entrance complex, is already completed for the Wing's new film starring Harrison Ford. To check out a list of upcoming events go to.

Shelby American Collection
Shelby American Collection (credit: CBS)

Shelby American Collection

5020 Chaparral Court
Boulder, 80301
(303) 516-9565

The Shelby American Collection is dedicated to the history and preservation of Shelby American automobiles. The collection represents the rich race heritage of Shelby American and visitors can see some of the most famous Shelby American cars ever built. The museum also hosts displays of period correct "automobile" tools, even tributes to the greats.

- Scott Smith is a director at CBS4.

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