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The Denver Museum of Nature and Science: travel the world without leaving Denver

If you've traveled to the Mile High City, you might want to spend a day going just a little farther — all around the earth, out into space and back into time at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Take a space odyssey across vast Martian canyons and through the swirling gases of giant nebulae way, way out in the stars. Or climb inside a time machine in the Museum of Nature and Science for a journey billions of years back into the past.

Relive the evolution of life on earth, from the first simple organisms floating through the seas to the king of the dinosaurs, tyrannosaurus rex — and then on to the life forms that presently inhabit our world, such as those strange creatures called human beings.

With its Phipps Imax Theatre and Gates Planetarium, the museum  offers exhibitions, films and shows that will fascinate the whole family: Egyptian mummies wrapped in linen inside brightly painted sarcophagi; North American Indian cultures, with Inuit igloos and Cheyenne teepees; Extreme Ice, which is James Balog's video and photographic show of the most rugged environments on Earth.

You can hang out with Australia's kangaroos and Tasmanian Devils of the Land Down Under or climb to Colorado's high-alpine tundra in just two of the museum's 90 wildlife and habitat scenes (which will make you feel as if you are there).

Always popular are the many gems and minerals on display. Study the needle-like sprays of zeolite. Go down into a replication of Colorado's Sweet Home Mine and gaze at a wall of glowing red rhodochrosite crystals. Or imagine what it would be like to be a miner discovering an 8-tpound nugget of pure, crystallized gold.   

There's always something interesting at giant-screen IMAX theater. Films currently showing include Wildest Dream; Conquest of Everest 2D, Under the Sea 3D and Hubble 3D. 

For something out of this world, visit the Gates Planetarium. Features for the summer of 2009 have included Journey to the Stars, Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity and for younger visitors, The Little Star That Could

Located in Denver's City Park next to the Denver Zoo, the museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week.

Posted on June 17, 2009 by David Zindell
space around the world museum earth planet nature natural science dinosaurs minerals
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