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Jefferson County Attractions: Natural Science Museums

Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center

6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster  •  www.butterflies.org •  303-469-5441

Visit the living tropical rain forest with more than 1200 free-flying butterflies and other forest creatures. Admission charge, Gift shop.

 

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum

1310 Maple Street, Golden. 303-273-3815

Outstanding mineral collection within historic School of Mines campus—fossils, gemstones, meteorites, mining artifacts and interactive radiation displays. Admission charge. Gift shop.

 

Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center

16831 West Alameda Pkwy, Morrison  •  www.dinoridge.org  •  303-697-3466

Volunteers provide guided tours of the National Landmark fossil beds throughout the year. Qualified speakers provide Fireside Chats on geology and natural history. Gift shop. Alameda is closed for traffic while guides lead visitors on Dinosaur Discovery Days.

 

Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve

910 Colorow Road, Lookout Mountain  •  openspace.jeffco.us •  303-526-0594

Interactive nature exhibits in a log building of sustainable materials. Jefferson County Open Space supervises naturalist education classes and field trips. 25 "Summer Wanderings" include discovering bats at Matthews-Winters Park on July 15, River Life at Lair o’ the Bear Park on July 17, Tracking Tricks and Tales on August 28 at Crown Hill Park. See website or call for more info. Free admission. Gift shop.

 

National Earthquake Information Center

1711 Illinois Street, Golden 80401  •  neic.usgs.gov  •  303-273-8500

U.S. Department of Interior, Geological Survey scientists record seismic activity from 3000 stations worldwide to determine size and location of earthquakes. Tours by reservation.

 

National Renewable Energy Laboratories

1617 Cole Blvd (Denver West, north of I-70)  •  www.nrel.gov  •  303-275-3000

Our nation’s leading research center for technology to benefit the environment and the economy has an excellent visitor center. The Solar Energy Research Institute that began in 1977 became NREL to expand research in 1991. Discover how North Dakota has enough wind to supply 35% of the total U.S. demand for electricity; Sunlight falling on the U.S. in one day contains more than twice the energy we consume in an entire year, and much more. NREL offers free "green" classes: June 24-Affordable Cooling; July 23-Solar Energy; Sept 13 Home Energy Makeover.

 

Morrison Natural History Museum

501 Colorado Hwy 8, south of Morrison  •  www.town.morrison.co.us  •  303-697-1873

An intimate, hands-on experience with Stegosaurrus, Apatosaurus, live reptiles, and the story of Morrison’s 1877 dinosaur discoveries. Gift shop. Admission charge.

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