Put 144 candles on the cake, August 1 is Colorado’s birthday! We’ve got a party game to make the celebration last all month long: take the kids on a hunt for the state’s official symbols. Here’s where to find some of our favorites.
Colorado’s State Symbols
Animal: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
FIND IT: While you may never see the impressive Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep in the wild, you can observe Lucy, Rita, and Sandy, the resident ewes at the Denver Zoo. They make their way up and down the side of Sheep Mountain throughout the day.
FIND IT: Pay homage to the site of the world’s first Stegosaurus discovery in the Bone Bed at Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison.
Song: “Where the Columbines Grow” and “Rocky Mountain High”
FIND IT: You could just ask Alexa to play Colorado’s second state song, “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver, but the John Denver Experience at History Colorado Center, offers a glimpse of Denver performing the song in a concert video, alongside other memorabilia.
Insect: Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
FIND IT: The Hypaurotis crysalus or Colorado Hairstreak can be found in its wild habitat among Gamble Oak groves in the Foothills. But for a guaranteed glimpse, visit the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster.
FIND IT: Get an eyeful of this red stunner in the Gems and Minerals Hall at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Enter the Sweet Home Mine to see a six-foot wall covered in the rhodochrosite crystals. You can also find the state gemstone, the aquamarine, in the same Hall.
Grass: Blue Grama Grass
FIND IT: Kids probably know the state flower is the Columbine, but you could stump them with the state grass. View the Blue Grama Grass in the Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens York Street. As an added bonus, check out the Claret Cup Cactus, the state cactus, in the Dryland Mesa Garden.
Just to make the day even more festive, admission to the History Colorado Center is free on August 1. Reserve tickets to explore more Centennial State history.