Here’s another reason why the most valuable card in your wallet is your library card. The Denver Public Library has partnered with area museums and cultural institutions to offer FREE admission for DPL cardholders. Book a pass online up to 2 weeks in advance and print your confirmation to gain entry to the museum. Admission details vary by institution, see each site listed below for requirements. A permanent DPL library card in good standing is required.
At Butterfly Pavilion you can frolic with 1,600 free-flying tropical butterflies in Wings of the Tropics, hold the famous Rosie the tarantula in the Crawl-A-See-Em, dive into the wonder of the coral reefs and other ocean invertebrates in Water’s Edge, and explore the unique and diverse invertebrate habitats that exist here in Colorado. Admission valid for ONE free entry, $5 entry for each additional person, children under two free, up to 4 total in the party. Reservations required for all guests.
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
A 700-acre native plant refuge and working farm located along the banks of Deer Creek in southern Jefferson County. Facilities include the Earl J. Sinnamon Visitor Center, the historical Hildebrand Ranch, a restored 1918 dairy barn and silo, the 1874 Deer Creek Schoolhouse, 2.5 miles of nature trails and numerous wildflower gardens. Bring your binoculars and wander the many trails. The area is known for exceptional bird watching. Pass admits 2 adults and 4 children.
Denver Botanic Gardens York Street
The dynamic 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city offers unforgettable ways to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class education and plant research. Visit the Tropical Conservatory, interactive exhibitions in the Science Pyramid, the Freyer-Newman Center for Science, Art and Education and explore outside to find hidden pathways and international gardens. Pass admits 2 adults and 4 children.
Denver Firefighters Museum
Housed in the original Firehouse Number 1 since 1909, the Denver Firefighters Museum offers outstanding exhibits on the history of firefighting in Denver, focusing on the Denver Fire Department.
Admission is valid for a party of up to 4.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science offers natural history exhibitions, planetarium shows, activities, and lectures that explore the wonders of science, Colorado, Earth, and the universe.
Admission is valid for up to 7 in total party.
Denver Zoo seeks to inspire exploration and discovery, and creates connections with people, animals and nature. Home to 4,300 animals, representing more than 600 species, Denver Zoo is committed to species conservation by bringing science education to life and providing extraordinary experiences that foster human and animal connections.
The Denver Zoo has transitioned to their own free pass program and passes are no longer booked through the library. Book a free pass and bring your library card for entry. (5 by 5, My Denver Card, or CityPASS are not required for library card holders).
Visit the Denver Zoo website and choose Access to Awe tickets. A calendar for the next week will appear with access times every 15 minutes. Hover over any time to see the number of FREE tickets available and click on the desired time slot. Tickets will be delivered via email to the registrant. Bring your library card and ticket for entry.
Dinosaur Ridge is an iconic scientific site and outdoor museum located in Morrison. Featuring 100-million-year-old dinosaur and crocodile bones, tracks, and fossils, Dinosaur Ridge has been ranked by a panel of leading paleontologists as the #1 dinosaur track site in the nation. Admission is valid for up to 4 including 4 Audio Tours and entry into Trek Through Time Exhibit Hall. Guests can purchase bus tours at a discount of 10%.
Forney Museum of Transportation
The Forney Museum of Transportation collects, preserves and displays artifacts related to historical transportation. Collection highlights include the Union Pacific “Big Boy” locomotive and Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel “Gold Bug.” Admission is valid for up to 3 people (not including children under 3). Simply bring your printed pass or display the pass on your mobile device.
History Colorado Center
Designed to ignite imaginations of all ages about Colorado history, the History Colorado Center is a hub for civic engagement and creates a rich experience for visitors through exhibits and programs that blend technology, media, environments and artifacts. Admission is valid for 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 18.
Molly Brown House Museum
Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum enhances Denver’s unique identity by telling the story of Margaret “Molly” Brown’s activism, philanthropy and passion through educational programs, exhibits, and stewardship. Admission is valid for a party of up to 4.
Museo de las Americas
Located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, Museo de las Americas is the premier Latin American art museum in the Rocky Mountain region. Check the museum for current hours. Pass admits up to 4 adults.
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) explores the art and culture of our time through rotating exhibitions and public educational programs. Admission is valid for up to 4 adults. Children 18 and under are always admitted for free.
Wings Over The Rockies
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is located in Hangar #1 of the former Lowry Air Force Base in eastern Denver, Colorado. Today, the museum boasts more than 182,000 square feet of hangar space full of iconic aircraft, space vehicles, artifacts, military uniforms and much more. Each pass is valid for up to 4 people.
NOTE: Each cardholder may reserve a pass once every 365 days at Denver Zoo, and once every 182 days at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science; all other passes may be reserved every 30 days. Check the museum or cultural institution’s website prior to your visit for unexpected closures or special events.
Here’s a link to similar free pass programs at libraries across the Front Range.