Escape the heat, tour a museum

Butterfly at the Botanial Gardens

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Butterfly at the Botanial Gardens

A convenient way for you and the kids to escape the heat this summer is by touring an area museum.

With the exception of the Museum of Western Colorado’s living history site and parts of the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, there is air conditioning to be found at museums, and — watch out! — you or your kids may just learn something.

John McConnell Math and Science Center, 2660 Unaweep Ave.

The center offers hands-on experiences for students and families.

There are more than 150 exhibits dealing with science and math concepts, as well as the Riverview Science Park for outdoor learning.

The center’s website,, describes it as “a place for kids of all ages to explore science and math: to touch, turn, look, listen, feel, pull, adjust, try out, and question.”

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $3 per person/$10 maximum for families.

The center also opens for Family Science Nights from 6:30–8:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month. This event offers access to the exhibits, and “stations” with hands-on projects for families to do together.

Cost for the evening is $5 per family. Call 254-1626 or go to for information.

Western Colorado Botanical Gardens and Butterfly House, 641 Struthers Ave.

The 15-acre site along the Colorado River features a butterfly house, herb garden, cactus garden, rose garden and orchid display as well as the Children’s Secret Garden, a community garden and more, indoors and out.

An open house for the Western Heritage Gardens will be May 22.

Admission is free every first Sunday of the month.

Go to or call 245-9030 for information.

The Museum of Western Colorado actually has three museums under its umbrella. Check them all out. For information, go to

Dinosaur Journey, 550 Jurassic Court, in Fruita.

This hands-on interactive dinosaur museum has a full-sized robotic Tyrannosaurus rex that will be on display between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There also is a scary spitting dinosaur, plenty of exhibits, an earthquake simulator and more.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Call 858-7282 for admission prices and information.

Museum of the West, 462 Ute Ave.

“Travel Back in Time” with the various exhibits and programs at this museum. There also is a tower from which you can get a good, high view of Grand Junction.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Call 242-0971 for admission prices and information.

Cross Orchards Living History Site, 3071 F Road.

History comes to life at Cross Orchards, which was once part of a 243 acre fruit ranch, according to the museum website.

In 1980, the museum acquired the original 4.3 acres containing the historic structures. The site since has added more acres and several ancillary exhibits.

Visit the website or call 242-0971 for information about special events and programs.

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734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
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