Dentonite’s guide to museums in Denton

If you need inspiration for what to do next week with your kids or are looking for ideas for a lunch date, look no further; hit up any of the local museums right here in Denton. Not only are these museums educational, but they are free! Who doesn’t love free admission?

These museums are open during the week and two operate on Saturdays. Not to mention, all are kid friendly. Here’s our guide to four museums located in Denton:

Denton County African American Museum

Since it’s Black History Month, this is the perfect place to visit to learn more about the African American families who lived in Denton. The museum is free and is located at the Denton County Historical Park, 317 West Mulberry Denton, TX  76201. This Quakertown house was built back in 1904 and was part of a small African American neighborhood — Quakertown.

Gretel L'Heureux, who works for the Denton County Historical Park as a tour educator, said at this museum you will learn about the “unique history” behind the the Black community that settled in Denton in the 1870s, south of Texas Woman’s University.

“In 1920, they [citizens of Quakertown] had to relocate their whole community because a bond’s issue had passed by the city [of Denton] for a new park in exactly the same location they had settled,” she said. “This is their story.”

The name Quakertown came from the Quakers, a religious society who helped African Americans that were traveling through the underground railroad, L'Heureux said.

Museum operating hours (closed every Sunday and major holiday weekends):

  • Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Want a guided tour? Contact Gretel L'Heureux at (940)-349- 2854.

Denton Arts Council's Patterson-Appleton Arts Center

This is the spot for art lovers. There are a variety of art pieces from across the country and from all over the world displayed at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, located at 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201, so there is something here for everyone. 

“We try to bring in artworks that promote conversations, either about what we think art is or about what are can tell us about society and culture,” Exhibition Coordinator Jenny Bates said. 

Currently there are three exhibitions on display, Bates said. In Gough Gallery is Life Stories Told Through Quilts, in Meadows is the Materials Hard + Soft exhibition and in Festival Hall there are the works of Sam I’ve and Jonathan Reynolds. 

Admission is free to the center and if you would like a guided tour, all you have to do is contact the center at

Center’s operating hours: 

Tuesday - Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday from 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.

Friday - SAturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bayless-Selby House Museum

If you’re into old spooky stories and want to learn about what it was like living in Denton 100 years ago, this is the museum for you. Located at Denton County Historical Park, you will hear about the alleged ghost that haunts the Bayless-Selby House.

“There was an incident where Mr. Bayless died and there may be a ghost that might be Mr. Bayless,” Marilyn Stevens, museum volunteer, said.

The Queen Anne-style Victorian-era house was originally built a mile away from the current location and was owned by the Bayless and Selby family, Stevens said. Museum goers will see how citizens lived back then — without electricity, computers, or telephones — and get to look at artifacts from the late Victorian era (20th century).  

The Denton County Historical Park began after the house was purchased by Mildige Hawk for $10,000, member of Denton County Historical commision, and donated the home to the county, L'Heureux said.

The museum’s admission is free and if you’re interested in a guided tour, contact L'Heureux at (940)-349- 2854.

Museum operating hours (closed every Sunday and major holiday weekends):

  • Wednesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (November through March)

  • Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (April 1 through October)

Denton Firefighters Museum

This museum goes all the way back to the 1800s. Here you can see the evolution of firefighters over the span of 150 years and get a glimpse at what it’s like being a firefighter. You can also pay your respects to those who lost their lives on 9/11 at the 9/11 Memorial Bell Tower, which is right in front of the fire station building.

Located at 332 East Hickory Street, the Denton Firefighters Museum is home to life-like mannequins displaying uniforms, historic collectibles and equipment like a 1935 ladder truck, fire extinguishers and fire grenades.

“When visiting the museum, you get a chance to learn the history of fire service — mainly Denton’s history,” driver and engineer Michael Ventrca said. “You can request a station tour, which includes getting in the fire trucks.”

Oh, and of course, admission is free! If you have kids, this is the place to visit. You can try on firefighter uniforms, so be ready to take a lot of photos of your kiddos in oversized gear.

Museum’s operating hours:

  • Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Header image via Unsplash.

    Header design by Clarissa Baniecki.