25 Jun
2014
Posted in: travel
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Museum Over Arcade

View of downtown Denver from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

We found ourselves at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Sunday morning, and it was completely our children’s choice.

We were in the Denver area for the weekend with no plans for Sunday before heading back to Wyoming. Sitting in the hotel room after breakfast, we let the kiddos decide what we would do that day. They’ve been to Denver multiple times and know what the metro area contains.

After throwing around various arcade-type options, they collectively decided on the museum. I shouldn’t be surprised they chose a museum over arcade games, but I was a little. They’re well-versed in museums from the many they’ve encountered while traveling. I love that my children, faced with the idea of riding go-carts or learning about space, chose the latter.

We have our favorite areas in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, but chose to wander around the museum with no plan. We were looking at Wildlife of North America and stumbled upon a friendly security officer who changed our visit with one sentence — “Have you found the gnomes?”

Painted gnome riding a dinosaur at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Excuse me? The what? In all our trips to the museum, we’d never even heard the word gnome. Turns out the museum has several ceramic and painted gnomes/elves hidden in different exhibits. Can you find the one in the photo below?

Painted gnome resting on a tree branch at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The officer handed us a paper with directions to exhibits where we should look, and our somewhat aimless visit now had order. The museum gnome search of 2014 was underway. Tip: a “Museum Seek and Find” handout is available at the museum’s information desk, which is easier than searching out a helpful museum security officer.

A word of warning: The directions for the search and find are detailed, but a few of the gnomes take a little bit of time for younger children to find. Our older children didn’t have any trouble finding the hidden fellas. There were a few head smacks against glass at various exhibits. The information sheet warned us that would happen, so we should have been more prepared. Much thanks to the friendly officer who gave us one more reason to choose museums over arcades!

 

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