If you’re looking for totally free museums in Colorado Springs, I’m talking about museums where the entrance fee is always free. I’ve got you covered.
If there’s one thing that many don’t know about me, it’s that I’m very frugal. I generally tend to look at the price before doing anything, unless, of course, it’s that niche fragrance that I must have, or that designer handbag, or travel.
When we first came to Colorado Springs, there were a few things that I had to learn the hard way. However, one of the things that I did miss since we were coming from New York was the abundance of museums that were available to us. Many of them have free days, including the Bronx Zoo, which is always free on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, there are no free days here at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Colorado Springs, while a city, is not as densely populated as Denver and is more of a military town. There are currently five military bases here in Colorado Springs. That being said, there are still many places to go and things to do if you look hard enough, and I had to look really hard as there aren’t many free things to do. While most things aren’t necessarily “expensive”, I still prefer FREE.
Here’s a list of museums in Colorado Springs that always have free admission:
Penrose Heritage Museum
11 Lake Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
The Penrose Heritage Museum showcases the history of the Penrose family, who were early settlers in Colorado Springs. Their legacy includes some of the most iconic attractions here in Colorado Springs, including the construction of the Pikes Peak Auto Highway (1916), Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (1916), The Broadmoor (1918), and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (1926), just to name a few. You’ll find carriage exhibits and personal artifacts of the Penrose’s and even race cars that competed in the infamous Race to the Clouds, one of the oldest motorsport events in the U.S., second only to the Indianapolis 500.
The museum is located in the historic El Pomar Carriage House, which was built in 1902. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday (9 am – 12 pm; 1 pm – 4 pm) and Sunday (1 pm – 4 pm), and admission is always free.
Dr. Lester L. Williams Fire Museum
376 Printers Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80910
The Dr. Lester L. Williams Fire Museum is dedicated to the history of firefighting in Colorado Springs. It is located in the old Fire Station 1, which was built in 1909. Madison and I visited this museum many years ago and learned quite a lot. There were several old firetrucks, including horse-drawn firetrucks, that were actually in use before Colorado Springs became the booming city that it is now. At the time of our first visit, Madison was about 3 or 4 years old, so it was time for a return visit.
The museum is open Monday through Friday (8 am. – 4:30 pm), and admission here is always free, but donations are welcome.
Peterson Air & Space Museum
150 E, Ent Ave, Peterson Space Force Base, CO 80914
The Peterson Air & Space Museum is located on Peterson Air Force Base, and is dedicated to the history of aviation and space exploration. The museum has over 30 aircraft on display, as well as many artifacts from the Space Shuttle program. We visited many years ago and got a personal tour, which was amazing!
Visiting this museum is a bit different compared to the others, as you’ll be visiting a military installation. Visitors with a Department of Defense (DOD) ID card may escort non-DOD members, but those without a DOD ID must make an appointment before 1 pm (MST) 3 business days before the date they plan on visiting. All adults will need to have a valid ID in order to visit.
The museum is open Tuesday through Friday (10 am – 3 pm except for federal holidays), and admission is always free.
The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum
19 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
If your kids, or even yourself, love bikes, then they will love this museum. The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum features over 75 motorcycles from 1903 to the present day. There are quite a number of motorcycles in the museum, all of them restored to excellent condition. If you’re a big fan of Harley Davidson, there’s quite a selection to look at and a world record for the World’s Smallest Motorcycle, on which your kids can sit and take a photo.
The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday (11 am – 8 pm) and Sunday (11 am – 6 pm), and admission is always free.
Old Colorado City History Center
1 South 24th Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904
The Old Colorado City History Center is located in the historic district of Old Colorado City, once the capital of Colorado. Here you can learn about the history of Colorado Springs through history books, photos, and even artifacts. The center has exhibits on the history of the area as well as a research library.
The museum is open during the summer months of June-August, Tuesday through Saturday (11 am – 4 pm), and during the winter months of September-May, Thursday through Saturday (11 am – 2 pm). Admission is always free.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
215 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
The Pioneers Museum is located in a beautiful historic building and houses many artifacts that tell the story of the Pikes Peak Region. The building, which has a domed clock tower, was once the El Paso County Courthouse building from 1903 to 1973. There is so much history here, and there’s currently an exhibit documenting Colorado Springs’ 150-year history, along with remnants of the famous poet Helen Hunt Jackson’s home.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday (10 am – 5 pm), and admission is always free.
So if you’re looking for free museums in Colorado Springs, I hope this list helps. There are definitely more museums in the city, but these are some of my favorites that always have free admission. So, if you’re looking for something to do that won’t cost you a dime, be sure to check out one of these museums.