Plains Conservation Center | Kids Out and About Denver

Plains Conservation Center

The Plains Conservation Center is a true-to-life homestead: Historic ranch houses, a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop and barn plus an heirloom garden and chicken coop and a Cheyenne camp with tipis bring the experience to life year-round to the public.

Take a trip back in time to Colorado’s high plains and pioneer life in the mid-1800s. The Plains Conservation Center is a true-to-life homestead stretching across 1,100 acres of dedicated open space located at 21901 E. Hampden Ave. Aurora, CO 80013.

Visit the nature center before you head out on the trails to pick up a map and learn the history of the site. Visitors can hike along rolling trails and may see rattle snakes, prairie dogs, pronghorn, coyotes and red-tailed hawks. Those who are especially lucky may catch a glimpse of the resident bald eagle family.

SCFD Free Day Offerings @ Plains

Every third Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. the Plains Conservation Center, in partnership with the Denver Botanic Gardens, will participate in the 2019 Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Free Days program by offering special ecological and historical educational programming, wagon rides, fun family games and refreshments. 
(Except on the months of April, May, Sept., Oct.)

Prairie Wagon Tour
Get to know the prairie in a whole new way. On our ride across the plains, participants watch for wildlife in the landscape, from prairie dogs to pronghorn, antelope or birds of prey, beneath the great stretching sky while learning about the short grass prairie ecosystem along the way. With stops at the sod homes and tipi camp, your group will experience what it was like to be a homesteader and a Native American living on the prairie in the 1800s. Take a guided tour of the sod homestead and see the sod homes, schoolhouse and blacksmith shop. Then visit the Cheyenne Camp and learn about how Native Americans lived on the prairie and followed the bison as a seminomadic tribe. Please note: tours are weather-dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather, you will be contacted. Tours are on most Saturdays with registration through the Denver Botanic Gardens website. Cost is $10 per person, children ages 2 & younger are free. 

Coming Soon! Spring 2019! 
Farm Animal Interaction Program 
Cows, Sheep, Chickens oh my!  The Plains Conservation Center is home to a variety of farm animals including donkeys, sheep, chickens and turkeys.  Join us for an exciting adventure where you can meet and help feed these amazing creatures! Learn how vital they were for pioneer life on the plains and how important they are for us today.  Once we open the program in Spring, it occur daily, Monday-Friday at 11:30 a.m., Saturday/Sunday at 3 p.m. Program will begin at the sod village, which is a 1/2 mile hike from the parking lot. Arrive early to allow yourself time to walk. Registration is on DBG's website and the cost is $5 per adult and $3 for children (ages 12 & younger).

View the site map and enjoy discovering all that the Plains Conservation Center has to offer and contact us at nature@auroragov.org and 303.326.8380.

Hours of Operation
Wednesday - Friday: noon - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Tuesday: CLOSED

View the Aurora Nature News to find out about upcoming nature programming. Sign up here to receive it in your email inbox every quarter.

Open hours: 
Sunday: 9:00 am-7:00 pm
Monday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am-7:00 pm
History, Science, Nature/Outdoors