Take I-25 to Exit 192 (Ridgegate Pkwy), then proceed 2.5 miles east. Stepping Stone is on the south side of the roadway. View Map

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We’re going in: The Wildlife Experience
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We’re going in: The Wildlife Experience

Maybe you’ve driven past that beautiful, copper-topped building a few times. And maybe you’ve noticed the sign…and scratched your head just a little bit:

The Wildlife Experience? Indoors? Really?

Yes, really. Think of the Wildlife Experience not as a zoo, but more of a cross between the Children’s Museum and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. With central heat.  And best of all, without the drive downtown.

Located at Lincoln Ave. and Peoria St. in Parker, The Wildlife Experience is on a mission to nurture your appreciation for wildlife and the great outdoors. How?  Through hands-on experiences that achieve that elusive, magical blend of fun and education. So that both kids and parents have a good time.

(And speaking of a good time, parents should also know about their fun, monthly Movie and Martini parties. But more on that later.)

The Wildlife Experience pushes the boundaries of the “museum” concept, starting with cool, animatronic displays of wildlife in various habitats, amazingly lifelike and quite enthralling for the little ones. So, rather than passively strolling (or, let’s be honest, running) past static exhibits, kids can interact in a variety of ways, such as testing their knowledge or using scavenger hunt cards to look for different animals.  There are live animal demonstrations — featuring snakes, salamanders, and even cockroaches — and aquarium feedings too.

And there’s a Cub’s Corner, where kids 5 and under can dress up like their favorite critter or build a dam like a beaver. In the Discovery Den, kids ages 6-12 engage with even more hands-on exhibits like “Marble Mountain” (erosion) and “H2Ohhh!!!” (water conservation). There are animal-inspired arts and crafts projects to boot.

Be sure to add extra time for a 3D movie on the 40 x 60-foot Extreme Screen. Penguins and Great White Shark are currently showing.

Also going on this month: Santa Breakfast, featuring a delicious, full breakfast and optional Bloody Marys and Mimosas for parents. Which brings us back to The Wildlife Experience’s adult activities…

Each month offers special gatherings for the grownups in the family. Movie and a Martini nights kick off with a cocktail hour and end with a classic film. Whiskey and a Western nights feature saloon-style whiskey drinks and timeless western movies. Special events such as Kentucky Derby Parties, Wildlife Art & Wine, and the Art & Ale Brew Festival make The Wildlife Experience’s calendar worth checking on a very regular basis.

So much more than a museum. And for the families of Stepping Stone, so very close to home.

December 23, 2013

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