There are hidden elves and gnomes at Denver Museum of Nature & Science


Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).

Crouch down low. Even lower. You might have to get on one knee. There, under and beyond the back legs of a frozen pronghorn antelope, on the right side of a tiny bush with yellow flowers, you should be able to see it. A tiny red-bearded ceramic gnome is looking back at you.

Can’t find it? You’re not alone. It’s not easy to sniff out one of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s coolest — and, perhaps, most unscientific — collections: a series of mythical creatures that artist Kent Pendleton hid inside several of the dioramas he worked on in the 1970s.

A series of elves and gnomes are hidden in some of the dioramas at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. We’re not revealing which is which, but you can go on a scavenger hunt with the help of a museum handout. (Photo by Richard M. Wicker is provided by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science)

Officially, there are eight tiny “hidden elves” (although some of them are clearly gnomes) in the museum’s scavenger hunt, and visitors can pick up a printed guide for where to find them at the information station just after you enter. But unofficial lore posits that there are more than that, plus a variety of other small surprises hidden in exhibits for keen-eyed observers.

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