Family Travel: Education Vacation in Denver, Colorado, Flickr: dok1

 Georgetown Loop

  If your kids are struggling with a difficult relationship with history, consider an educational vacation exploring historic points of interest.  Often times, a hands-on, interactive history presentation can work wonders on even an educationally jaded child.  A fantastically coherent history tour is available in and around Denver, Colorado.  History Colorado operates 12 museums within the state, all focusing on a history from various perspectives. The brand new History Colorado Center, located in downtown Denver, is a great place to start this educational journey.  Permanent exhibits such as the Great Map and Time Machine allow kids to explore regions of Colorado on an artfully inspired mosaic map of Colorado, as they were at various points in time.  When the time machine is moved over a region, a video plays explaining life centuries ago in Colorado.  Destination Colorado places visitors in 1918: get your yearbook picture taken, purchase items from the general store, milk a model cow, and slide down the hayloft in the barn. A visit to the Byers-Evans House Museum, originally built in 1883, is one of Denver’s oldest historic monuments.  Guided tours are available daily, and can be tailored to meet the needs of the younger set of visitors.  At the El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo, CO, an 1840’s adobe trading post is recreated, focusing on the areas numerous ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds.  Cultural crossroads in the region were great, and the museum focuses almost exclusively on this historic exchange. Fort Garland Museum and Pike’s Stockade offers a tour of the original adobe fort used to protect the San Luis Valley in what is now Fort Garland, CO.  A current exhibit highlights the Civil War’s Battle of Glorieta Pass.  Additional exhibits highlight the Western Buffalo Soldiers movement, and Kit Carson, the commander of the original fort. Numerous presentations and live reenactments take place at various times of the year. An 1835 fur trading post, Fort Vasquez, located 30 minutes north of Denver, features adobe buildings, teepees, and dioramas focusing on the Plains Indians and trading tactics from almost 200 years ago.  An hour west, visit the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining and Railroad Park to explore the amazing 1884 railroad with its awesome architecturally amazing bridges, a silver mine, depot, and mill building. The Healy House Museum and Dexter Cabin in Leadville, CO transplants visitors back into life in a historic mining town and offers the chance to visit two prominent period homes.  Stroll through beautiful gardens, explore local homes and visit the Sante Fe Trail Museum at the Trinidad History Museum in Trinidad, CO.  An ethnic garden rotates produce yearly and focuses on a different country involved in WWII, teaching similarity and uniqueness among cultures to children in a very interesting approach. Finally, visit the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, CO for an incredibly thorough collection of Ute Native American artifacts, history, and folklore.  A picnic area, nature trails, and exciting festivals round out the offerings at this historic museum and park. A visit to any (or all) of these 12 history museums in and around Denver is sure to spark a renewed interest in the love of history and cultural understanding, and will hopefully offer much more than a family vacation to get away from it all. Love our blog? Sign up for our weekly blog newsletter and get the top five posts sent directly to your inbox! photo: dok1

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