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Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery began as the Pioneer Museum in 1941. Although it has expanded, the museum has retained the displays of historic buildings, textiles, and agricultural artifacts which show how settlers in the area once lived. It also has displays about the civilization of Paleo-Indian people who lived here around 13,000 years ago; the museum has America’s second-largest display of Folsom points, chipped-stone hunting tools unearthed by archaeologists in the Fort Collins region.

This hands-on museum is a hit with patrons, especially those with children. Since 2012, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery has engaged and educated visitors by creating thoughtful exhibits that detail a variety of scientific, natural, and artsy topics. Additionally, over 820,000 visitors have been welcomed from all other states since its opening.

The Museum combines in partnership with the Fort Collins Museum and the Discovery Science Center. The building will be 43,100 sq. ft. and will have over 21,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space including two classrooms.

Here, you’ll have the chance to learn all about our solar system and the universe, experiment with different musical instruments, and follow the development of Fort Collins from its official founding in the late 1800s to today. The Museum will feature an on-site OtterBox Digital Dome Theater that has a 39-foot domed screen. that will provide an immersive, large-format 360 degrees theater using digital video and audio technology and will provide interactive educational shows, planetarium-style experiences, and movies that explore a wide range of science, history, and cultural subjects

Previous museumgoers called the facility a wonderful place to spend the day with children of all ages. They also appreciated the fact that the museum had some live animals for patrons to learn about, too.

The museum also houses and cares for approximately 38,000 objects only a small percentage of which are on display at any given time. Objects not on display are available for supervised, on-site research use by special appointment. Access to the museum’s collections is available through The Fort Collins History Connection, an online collaboration between the Poudre River Public Library District and FCMoD.

Prominent among the Museum’s collections are stone objects from the Folsom-era Lindenmeier site and Clovis cultural complex; locally focused historic clothing and textiles; and household and personal artifacts dating from the mid-19th century.

There’s even a wall of fossils showing the life that thrived in the Fort Collins area in prehistoric times. On the opposing wall, you’ll find the live critters. See a working beehive, get a close-up look at lizards, snakes, and native fish and learn about arthropods like millipedes and scorpions. Don’t forget to visit the two black-footed ferrets in the Natural Areas Visitor Center, where you can learn about Fort Collins’ nature reserves.

Combining science with history and culture, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery connects visitors to a deeper understanding of the world and their place in it, from our local community to the global community beyond. A museum is a place where people can come together to share events and experiences, a place for building community while providing inspiration and insight. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery creates meaningful opportunities for people of all ages to learn, reflect and have fun through hands-on and collections-based explorations of science and culture.

For a great photographic opportunity take the elevator by the ticket office to the museum’s observation deck. From a height of 42 feet, you have panoramic views across the Old Town and the Poudre River against a mountainous backdrop.

Located just two blocks from downtown Fort Collins, the Museum of Discovery is also within walking distance of The Farm at Lee Martinez Park and the Poudre River Trail, which winds through Riparian habitat teeming with wildlife. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has a small entry fee that differs for students, adults, and seniors. Kids below 2 years old are of free admission. You’ll also find a gift shop and a cafe and parking are free.

Visit the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery to encounter live wildlife, enjoy a planetarium show and learn about natural history and the material culture of people in the Fort Collins area.

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