The Littleton Museum is a unique blend of past and present Colorado. Situated on 40 acres, you’ll walk the path of 19th century farmers, learn how they lived and worked, and experience the early years in Colorado’s South Platte Valley.
The museum is just a mile from Littleton’s scenic Hudson Gardens and Event Center, situated beside Ketring Lake. Discover the lake where nature attracts both visitors and wildlife, then visit the three exhibition galleries, research center, and children’s interactive play gallery. At Littleton Museum, there is something for everyone.
There are also two 19th-century living history farm sites. These historic farms feature a schoolhouse and a smithy, and allow visitors to engage with their pasts in a way that merits being recognized as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
What to Expect
Come ready to be greeted by staff and volunteers dressed in period clothing. Move between an 1860s homestead farm and an 1890s turn-of-the-century urban farm. Learn the differences and similarities, and watch the farmers perform daily chores. There may even be an opportunity to join them, for those who want to experience farm life firsthand.
The gems of the museum are undoubtedly the farms. Staff and volunteers dressed in period attire reenact the daily activities of 19th-century farm life. Each farm houses the same breeds of livestock and kinds of plants found in the original fields and gardens, including beehives and an orchard.
The farmhouse itself was originally located less than a mile away from where it stands now, while the barn, tool shed, and privy are modern replicas. There’s also a reconstructed smithy dating from 1903, the year that electricity came to Littleton. Volunteer blacksmiths use tools and equipment from the museum’s own collection to do demonstrations.
Visit the blacksmith shop and see how fire forged necessary farming tools as well as everyday items. Take a seat in the one-room schoolhouse and learn from an actual 1800s schoolbook. See real farm animals such as oxen, mules, chickens, turkeys, sheep and more.
The 1860s farm represents a time before train travel, and includes an original pioneer log cabin, a log barn, a sheep pen, and Littleton’s original schoolhouse, built in 1865. The 1890s farm is particularly interesting to visit second, because it depicts the significant advancements in technology and transportation that occurred in just thirty years.
The grounds include original and restored buildings:
- 1860s cabin
- 1860s barn
1860s sheep pen
- 1860s schoolhouse
- 1890s farmhouse
- 1890s barn
- 1890s tool shed
- 1800s blacksmith shop
When you’ve finished the walking the grounds, check out the research center, where a collection of manuscripts, photographs, maps, and more are on permanent display. The Kids’ Connection is an interactive gallery where young children are encouraged to move, play, and have fun with the exhibits. Hands-on activities are especially geared for children younger than twelve.
An indoor exhibit center focuses on the history of Denver, particularly in Littleton. One part of the center hosts a permanent exhibit. The other two areas contain rotating exhibits, such as photography and artwork. There’s also a collection of historic maps of the early Colorado Territory. The Kids Connection area, with hands-on exhibits and activities, is a great experience for children. They’ll have fun with the farm animals as well.
The Littleton Museum boasts three galleries featuring both permanent and changing displays. Inside the Permanent Gallery, you’ll discover photographs and artifacts that lead you from Littleton’s pre-history through the present.
The Fine Arts Gallery showcases original art from local artists. These exhibits are sponsored by the Littleton Fine Arts Board and change regularly to allow new artists the opportunity to put their work on display.
The Changing Gallery is popular with locals and tourists alike. Here you’ll find traveling exhibits from other museums such as the Smithsonian. These displays are temporary and made to highlight work not otherwise accessible to Littleton residents. It also holds the Littleton Museum Collections.
Admission and Hours
General admission to the museum is always free. The Littleton Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed Mondays and all major holidays. This fantastic experience is free to visitors.
Address: 6028 S Gallup St, Littleton, CO 80120
Season: Year round