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Denver Art Museum's roof. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Museums and More: 9 Denver Cultural Institutions Reopening Right Now

From art museums to the zoo, we explain how and when to book visits at some of our favorite cultural and historic institutions as the Mile High City slowly reopens.

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Denver Zoo

Reopened: June 10 for members, June 12 for general public
The animals at the Denver Zoo can’t wait to see you, but before you head over, be sure to purchase your tickets online. To allow for social distancing, only a select number of tickets—which have a timed entry—will be sold each day. All patrons are required to wear masks upon entry to the zoo. To limit contact with employees, maps won’t be handed out. Instead, download a digital one to your phone through the Denver Zoo’s app.

Denver Art Museum

Reopening: June 23 for members, June 25 for general public
Like the zoo, the Denver Art Museum requires museum-goers to purchase a timed ticket before entry. Tickets are sold in two-week increments and new dates are available everyday at 10 a.m. Masks are required for entry to the DAM. More details here.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Reopened: May 22 for York Street, June 11 for Chatfield Farms
To allow for proper social distancing, both locations for Denver Botanic Gardens—York Street and Chatfield—are requiring patrons to purchase timed tickets online or to make reservations if they are member. Guests must arrive within 30 minutes of their timed ticket and wear a mask the entire time. To limit the spread of germs, access to buildings is limited to restroom use only. At the York Street location, Mordecai Children’s Garden is closed. At Chatfield Farms, the children’s play area is also closed.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

Reopening: July 1
To limit exposure to COVID-19, the MCA Denver will reopen with its debut summer exhibition, Nari Ward: We the People on July 1. When the MCA Denver reopens, timed tickets will be required to purchase before entry and masks will be required.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Reopened: June 22 for members, June 23 for general public
With the exception of theater spaces and exhibitions under construction, most of the museum is now open for patrons, who must schedule a date and time online in advance of their visit. All guests are required to wear facial coverings, and entry to the museum will be staggered, with a wave of guests permitted to enter every 20 minutes to ensure proper social distancing is possible. Guests may interact with and touch exhibits at their own risk.

Denver Public Library

Reopening: No date set, curbside service begins July 7
In accordance with public health guidelines, the Denver Public Library’s locations remain closed indefinitely. Book drops are available at most locations (with these exceptions) and curbside service will begin soon: If you placed a hold on materials prior to closure, you’ll be able to make an appointment to pick those up starting July 7; new holds will be accepted starting July 13. Daily online programming can still be found on the Denver Public Library website.

Downtown Aquarium

Reopened: June 17
Much of the Downtown Aquarium is now open—including most of its exhibits as well as dine-in and patio seating at its restaurant. Some of the more high-traffic areas, including the 4D theater, playground, and the stingray reef will remain closed indefinitely.

History Colorado Center

Reopened: June 22
History Colorado’s museums statewide are gradually reopening with safety precautions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. In Denver, the History Colorado Center is now operating at limited capacity (members only on Monday through August, general public is allowed the rest of the week.) All guests must make a reservation or purchase timed tickets in advance online. Guests may not arrive more than 15 minutes early for their allotted time and all guests over the age of three are required to wear a mask.

Butterfly Pavilion

Reopened: June 12 for members, June 13 for general admission
Like many of the other institutions, the Butterfly Pavilion requires guests to reserve or purchase (free for members) tickets online in advance for timed entry, and all patrons over the age of three must wear a facial covering. Most of the live animal and invertebrate exhibits remain open, with a few exceptions: guests will not be able to hold Rosie the tarantula or dig for worms, and the playground area is closed. Details here.

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