Homeschooling has been a great motivator to get out and do some of the things we’ve always wanted to do and never gotten around to doing. This fall, we’ve been to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum downtown and the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in north Colorado Springs. Both exceeded my expectations, and today I’m going to share some pictures and tidbits about the Mining Museum!
We arrived at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry (here on out called the Mining Museum) just a few minutes late for the 10 AM tour so we missed the first couple of exhibits but they were happy to let us catch up with the current tour. I hadn’t really even planned on going on a tour, but now that I’ve been I would definitely say to get there in time to attend one of the 10 AM to 1 PM tours, as it was much more interesting with the aid of a tour guide!
If you go on a tour (included with your admission price), you’ll be able to see some of the heavy machines in action. This was perhaps one of the loudest museums I’ve ever visited, but actually seeing the machines whirling and banging and pounding and turning made it so much more exciting than just walking through a quiet museum.
There are quite a few mini exhibits that actually “work” when you press the button. It was fun to see the big machines in action, but also good to be able to look at a scale model to see how those machines fit into the big picture.
You’ll be able to walk into a “mining shaft”, where they’ll explain what it was like to be inside the mountain and how dynamite works. After hearing about how dynamite worked, my kids were a little shy about holding the stick of dynamite that they passed around!
There are some hands-on activities for the kids: there’s a place to dress up in hard hats and other mining gear, and you can even pan for gold! That’s included with the cost of admission, though you aren’t allowed to keep any actual gold you find. (Rats!)
If you’re looking for something fun to do inside when the weather turns cold, the Mining Museum would be a great choice! Make sure you go when you can catch one of their two daily tours to get the most out of the museum.