Amber and I took advantage of the late hours on Tuesday to check out the Toys exhibit that's been running all summer long at The History Colorado Center.
As it turns out, it was also a perfect time to park downtown for free with ample spots. The meters shut down at 6!
The exhibit, which runs until October 3, is on the top floor:
There are multiples areas where you can play with a few select toys. For the record, I won the slinky race.
The awesome 60s area was next:
The bridge between the 60s and 70s was the backyard and garage, where you could challenge each other to Nerf basketball
And finally, the '70s
There was a Toy Trivia Challenge area that was decked out with Potato Heads, but it was in use.
We cruised back out of the visiting exhibit and decided to check out the other floors.
Looking down from the 4th, the topographic map of Colorado on the floor below was getting interrupted by the setting up of Hot Wheels track.
On the second floor was a fun exhibit of more recent Colorado history
Cheesman Park was once the first Denver cemetery, long before the city expanded across it. Cheap labor meant they didn't get a lot of the bodies moved and they're still finding people today. I liked the period animatronic (her head turns around) as well as the zombie squirrel at her feet.
There were, of course, big sections on the skiing industry
Including this guy, whom I'd never heard of before: Claudius Banks, aka Lighted Man, began skiing down Howelsen Hill in 1939 with 100 pounds of Christmas tree lights, wiring, wet cell batteries, and helmet mounted Roman candles strapped to his body. His son has upgraded the tradition to a suit equipped with LED lights and fireproof ski suit.
also with interactive slalom jump (fans for wind in your face included). Amber landed. I wiped out spectacularly.
They also had several darker history installations, including the power of the Klan in the 1920s in Colorado and the WWII Japanese Interment Camp at Amache, CO
We discovered we were actually walking through backwards, which is why we started with the Broncos Barrel Man and ended up here, with the interactive buffalo. You can open compartments all over him and feel his skin, his horns, and, oddly, his stomach.
There are interactive sections on the earliest forts in the state.
And a Mine section where you can close the doors and "ride" down the shaft, shaking, to get to the bottom.
You can also push in the dynamite in the correct pattern and push the plunger to find out if you've just created a cave-in and buried yourself alive. (We did.)
The first floor has an installation entitled Destination Colorado,
featuring life on the plains in Keota, CO, 1920
You can sit in the outhouse and climb around in the barn, complete with not-quite-period twisty slide to get down.
You can also milk a cow (while she moos) and collect eggs from the chickens in a basket to take across the way to the general store.
(it was very dark in the barn...)
In the house section
on our way out we managed to find someone to take a photo of us from farther than an arm's length
and, naturally, played in the gift store a bit before heading out for dinner.
The most fun had on a Tuesday night in a very long time.