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Saturday is Family Day at Colorado Springs' Mining Museum!



By Lindsey Grewe

May 13, 2023 - If your kids like exploring cool tunnels and checking out loud machines, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado has you covered!

And if your kids enjoy anything science-related -- this Saturday is the perfect time for your family to visit! The museum is kicking off its series of Family Days this weekend. Each day has a different theme, and the theme of one Saturday is science!

“We will have a dozen science exhibitors scattered in our milk barns, our ore building and on the grounds,” said Richard Sauers, the museum’s curator. “One of the exhibitors is coming in with a flatbed with a steamboat on it. ... We have all sorts of other science exhibitors: the Trails and Open Space people will be here, the Space Foundation. We have a whole bunch of different exhibits here talking to families about different science topics.”

With everything from a mining tunnel to the state’s largest collection of florescent minerals, the museum aims to tell the story of our region’s colorful mining history.

But the part most kids probably love the most are the huge, roaring machines!

“Little kids love to walk around and check out the gear work, the wheels,” a staff member told 11 News.

And the machines are something special about the Western Museum of Mining and Industry -- it’s one of just a handful of mining museums that has functional machines!

“They have some great machines here, and if you come for the tour, they actually turned the machines on,” said parent Karen Ohl.

Those are the indoor ones. The outdoor machines, on the other hand, are only turned on a few days a year. It just so happens that Family Days are some of those days!

“We will run our outdoor equipment, which consist of the 1920s Osgood steam shovel. We will run our trammer, our mucker and as well as our stampmill. And our stamp mill, the YellowJacket No. 2, is one of only five stamp mills in the country that’s fully functional inside a building,” Sauers said.

All of the equipment are authentic pieces from the 1800s and early 1900s, and you can see them operate!

But if giant machinery’s not your thing…

“We will also have hayrides, we’ll have a food truck, we will have two of our blacksmiths in the blacksmith shop demonstrating their tools and what they do,” Sauers said of Family Day.

And most of all, the museum hopes kids leave excited about science!

“We get a lot of fourth graders studying Colorado history, they come here and go through the museum and get a guided tour and they learn all about the history and mining in Colorado. Some of those people come back years later and say this museum started their fascination with mining or this branch of science, and then they go on and go into those fields,” Sauers said.

Family Day starts at 9 a.m. Saturday! It’s just $5 a carload to attend all the day’s festivities on the grounds. Touring the inside of the museum is still general admission price, which can be found here. Guided tours and gold panning are always included with price of admission.

If you can’t make it Saturday, don’t worry! The museum has three more family days lined up this summer, with the themes of summer fun, industry and history!

“And we have all sorts of other events going on, of course, our usual pumpkin patch every Saturday in October. We try to promote as much family fun as we can here,” Sauers said.

“I think we need to take a vantage of what we have in our backyard here in Colorado Springs with this great museum and the history that’s here and the machines,” Ohl said.

For more on the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, click here! The museum is located on the north end of Colorado Springs at I-25 and North Gate Boulevard (exit 156A).