One of my go-to favorite activities for a rainy day while traveling is exploring history and culture indoors at local museums. On my recent visit to Colorado, the weather decided to be oddly hot and humid one minute and gloomy and rainy the next, so my mom, sister, and I headed over to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery one afternoon to engage our minds and have some knowledge dropped on us. We didn’t realize how much of the museum would be dedicated to the rich and fascinating history of Colorado and even more specifically Fort Collins.
The museum has a little bit of everything related to local history and science. My favorite exhibit, Wildlands and Wildlife, catalogs the flora and fauna native to Colorado. Giant fossils gave us insight into the dinosaurs that were indigenous to the area. There is even a live bee hive in which you can observe hundreds of honeybees at work. You can also peek in on various reptiles and even (shudder) tarantulas and scorpions in terrariums if you’re into that kind of thing. I didn’t even know Colorado was home to any tarantulas, so that was my least favorite thing I learned at the museum.
Also of note (pun intended), the Music and Sound Lab gives everyone a hands-on opportunity to learn about the history of the Fort Collins music scene and the physics of sound. The slight germaphobe that I am, I admit to being a little disturbed when I saw dozens of kids (and adults!) playing a trumpet one after the other, but later I discovered that the museum offers fresh/clean mouthpieces for each person to use. Nice! That said, I don’t recommend visiting this museum with the expectation of a quiet, peaceful experience. The Museum of Discovery is entirely interactive and nearly every exhibit allows visitors to participate via sight, sound, touch, and even smell, which makes it an awesome place for families with kids. But adults will find the museum interesting as well – we enjoyed exploring the various displays and our visit took a little over an hour. Oh, and I didn’t see any rules specific to photography, but no one seemed to have an issue with me taking a few iPhone photos.