There are loads of things to do while you are in Denver for ALA Midwinter! To take a break from the conference and see the city I would recommend taking in at least two of my top 5 places to visit.
The Downtown Aquarium in Denver is my top choice for things to do. It could be because I love seeing things up close, it could be because I love going at my own pace, or it could simply be because Colorado is a land locked state so seeing tropical fish is super fun! Although it is a little pricey, the experience is worth it and once in the building, you can go through as many times as you would like. The Aquarium also has a 4-D Theater for those that really want to “feel” the experience. A must-see when you are in Denver.
Number two of top things to do in Denver when taking a break from ALA Midwinter is the Denver Zoo! The Denver Zoo is a wonderful experience and a great way to relax after a busy day at ALA Midwinter. The Zoo is laid out to include many different climates for different types of animals so you will get your steps in. As an added fun bonus, you can purchase beer at the zoo and enjoy a cold one as you get to experience all the sights and sounds of the numerous animals.
No visit to Denver is complete without a visit to the nature and science museum! The hands-on experience you will get at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will ignite anyone’s curiosity for sure. With Bill Nye speaking at ALA Midwinter, it is a great tie-in to what will be experienced at the conference.
With all the focus on animals, don’t forget to give plants some love while you are in Denver. The Denver Botanic Gardens is another great adventure to see plants both native and not native to the Colorado region. Take a walk through and enjoy the peaceful experience of the gardens.
To round out my top 5 places to visit in Denver, escape to the Denver Art Museum. The traditionalist and the modern artist will find peace in the galleries. Many exhibitions will be open during ALA Midwinter including “Revealing a Mexican Masterpiece: The Virgin of Valvanera”, “Then, Now, Next: Evolution of an Architectural Icon”, “Stampede: Animals in Art”, and “Past the Tangled Present”. Also opening on February 11th, the exhibit “Degas: A Passion for Perfection”. The Denver Art Museum is the sole American venue for this exhibition.
Because I couldn’t just end at 5 things, take in a show at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts while in town. Choose from 4 different shows during the weekend of ALA Midwinter. All are sure to be a fun time!
Antonia Krupicka-Smith is the Adult and Teen Services Manager for Library 21c of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, CO. She loves all things science which is clear in what she thinks is best to do in Denver!