Exploring Denver: Morrison Natural History Museum

How cool would it be to touch a T. rex skull this summer? Or to see Stegosaurus footprints? Or take a walk through time?

Just a short drive away is the Morrison Natural History Museum, opens a new window in Morrison, CO. This small but mighty museum has a wealth of prehistoric Colorado artifacts, as well as recent (and living!) descendants of the featured fossils.

The museum harbors the first Stegosaurus fossils excavated and the only set of baby Stegosaurus footprints ever discovered, found right in Morrison. Guests can touch a Triceratops skull, get an up-close view of a Pteranodon skeleton and find out what inhabited Colorado after the dinosaurs.

The museum goes to great lengths to make guests feel like they are taking a trip through prehistoric Colorado. It's amazing to think we would have all been under water during certain time periods!

Museum staff is incredibly friendly and willing to answer any questions. They conduct free tours throughout the day and love to talk about what the museum is working on. Sometimes you can even help chip away rock from an actual fossil!

I was drawn to the museum because of its location, but I keep going back because it's a perfect day trip for my family. The museum itself is small, making it ideal for the littlest paleontologists, yet packed with one-of-a-kind finds. Our favorite time to go is Saturday morning, when they clean the animals' cages and feed them for the week. If you're lucky, you'll get to see Herkimer, a Dumeril's monitor lizard, hunt for shrimp.

Once you're in Morrison, you'll be close to other great attractions like Dinosaur Ridge, opens a new window (Exploration Pass available) and Red Rocks Park, opens a new window.

Please check the museum's website for updates on hours of operation.