Inside a clear, phone booth-size space, my daughter’s eyes grew wide and her long hair flew as the wind speed accelerated to 80 mph, giving a clear illustration of what a twister-size gust might feel like. This tornado-simulation chamber is just one of the many interactive activities we encountered at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery (FCMoD).
Tucked away at the northern end of this vibrant college town, the museum is a hybrid of the former Fort Collins Museum and the nonprofit Discovery Science Center—they joined forces a decade ago, creating the FCMoD and building the museum’s home. The museum has a wide-range of exhibits and activities that educate, inspire, and entertain visitors of all ages.
October 20 is opening day for the National Geographic Photo Ark exhibit, a photographic display featuring 44 images of birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles, organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society to document the species and foster conservation efforts.
This is a touch-and-feel kind of place, with opportunities for energetic guests to actively explore the world. Kids can team up and play instruments in the music and sound lab, discover the creatures who inhabited Fort Collins millions of years ago along the fossil wall, and participate in hands-on exploration of various science concepts.
The Tot Spot provides a scaled-down microcosm of the museum, while allowing the youngest guests a space reserved just for them. “We have a transportation section, we have water, [and] kids can dress up as animals,” says Kristin Rush, marketing and communications manager for FCMoD.
FCMoD is also the only museum in North America to house endangered black-footed ferrets, along with a number of live animals that inhabit the area around the museum and beyond. On the third Saturday of every month, museum staff bring select animals out for guests to learn about and touch.
Upstairs, the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater hosts educational 360-degree films and music-themed “laser” light shows.
A “free zone” provides space to gather, with a snack bar, gift shop, and access to archival records that chronicle the history of the region, offering insight into the people and natural events that shaped the area.
With an array of hands-on experiences and engaging activities, there’s truly something for curious guests of all ages to explore.
- Check it Out:
- 408 Mason Ct., Fort Collins
- Need to Know:
- Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m. Closed Monday and holidays.
- $9.50 adults, $7 seniors and students, $6 ages three to 12, free for members and children age two and under.
- Insider Secret:
- A Family Plus membership also includes free general admission to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.