The Aurora History Museum is puny compared to the gleaming History Colorado, set to open in Denver this spring. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in honesty — and accessibility. Not only is the museum free to visit, it's also very free with the facts. Its exhibit about the city's founding, for example, is accompanied by explanatory plaques that reveal how cows would block traffic on "the dirt track that was Colfax" in Aurora's early days, and why an early-1900s town marshal assigned his pet parrot the job of protecting Aurora's only buckeye tree from "marauding children." The best plaque, however, could be the one that describes former Mayor Dennis Champine: "Rising from humble roots to become a successful businessman in Aurora, his term was marred by a minor criminal record, an investigation into nepotism and inappropriate behavior. In 1979, he punched the City Attorney in the face." Now, that's an honest plaque — if not an honest way to govern.
Readers' Choice: City Park Jazz