Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Museum

Our natural history museum  (Utah Museum of Natural History) closed around a year ago... tax payers agreed to support a proposition... some 15 million dollars for a newer, prettier museum (in a new, gold-level LEED certificate-seeking, 103 million dollar building, housing over 50,000 square feet of space for ten galleries).  We got an email the other day, asking if we'd like to reserve a spot for free tickets... opening day was going to be free (and crazy busy), would we like to reserve a time?  The babes both said yes.
To the new Natural History Museum of Utah, then.
I was nervous about the crowds, and leery about the museum itself... I had something like the amazingly beautiful American Museum of Natural History (in New York City) in my head, and was going to be disappointed in anything (unavoidably) less.
Yesterday was the day.

Our crowdHow terrifying they are!

We got there at eleven am, half an hour before our ticket time.  I checked in, thinking we'd be asked to wait our turn, but we were just smiled at, and told to enjoy ourselves.
We walked around that table, and further into the (vast) lobby, then up a few stairs... and there I about started to cry.  It was incredible.
It helped that there were very few people, and that we could just soak it in.
The main room at entry is called The Canyon, and it's three stories high.  And it's fantastically beautiful.
My pictures for the day will in no way show the beauty of the architecture, or the feeling of utter coolness :) of the place, so I can only relay our feelings and thoughts of it.

My pictures are just snapshots... I was so impressed by the place that better photos will have to wait for our next visit, it was all I could do to not stand and gawk for that first while.

A big part of this museum's magic is that there is so much interactive space for children.  There are large rooms for play and exploration, hands-on exhibits, interactive learning areas (like building a cell, while watching a short film on different kinds of cells)... every few feet there is something for children to do or play with or investigate.



Learning about different theories about what happened at the Cleveland Lloyd Quarry

 Most of the time "dinosaur digs" are loose sand, and not terribly authentic (or satisfying)...
this one was hard, and the children had to actually work to reveal the bones underneath.  Much cooler. 

It is a fantastic museum.  Five floors of native peoples' artifacts, evolution, gems and minerals, biology, paleontology finds, and various Utah habitats.

After we'd been there for about an hour, we spotted our friends.  Of course my two were loathe to part company with them after that happy circumstance.

Maddie, Julie, Damek, and Kyan learning a "future Salt Lake City" game.

In the archives

This was one of my favorite things... there was a computer for different applications,
this one we started before the Permian, and watched the earth's continents shift and change through
the Jurassic, Triassic, Cretaceous, and finally into what they look like today.Very, very cool.
I can't wait to play with it the next time we go!

It's a magnificent building filled with all kinds of chances to learn and play.
We look forward to our next few visits... discovering all the things we haven't seen yet.


  1. I am so happy that your new museum is better than you had hoped for, and that the crowds were small :)

  2. OMG - I wanna go!!! How lucky to have such a fabulous resource so close to home! If I'm ever in Utah, I'll pop in and say hello :-)

  3. That looks amazing! So happy it was everything you hoped :)

  4. Wow! We love our little city, but there are drawbacks, like no huge amazing museums. I bet you all will have thousands of amazing hours there.

  5. Ooh lovely museum.

    BTW I just wanted to say, I've been pinning some of your art tutorials and also passing on the links via FB..sorry I didn't think to check it was ok until after I did it.... lol tell everyone about your lovely blog!

  6. Hi, Joxy-- that's alright! I'm just glad you think it's lovely and helpful! :)

  7. Brilliant!!! What a fabulous fun resource!!! Another great reason to live where you live!!!

  8. What a great day and a great place!! My boys would love it there!!!

  9. I love your new museum. :) What a gift. :)

  10. So, so, so envious of that amazing museum. I definitely need to come for a visit. :) So glad you guys had fun and that it's open again. You all waited so patiently for it to be done. Must have been GREAT to get back in there.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!