Friday, December 16, 2011

Natural History Museum of Utah

Last weekend we went to the Natural History Museum of Utah. It's in a brand new building, which made it a little hard to find, as our GPS and all the signs pointed to the old building (plus my city driving skills are a little lacking). If you're looking for it, it's at 301 Wakara Way, and follow the signs to Red Butte Garden.

We met Uncle Ed and his friend Nick, who had the opportunity to see the museum through the eyes and at the speed of a four-year old. Fortunately he works for the University of Utah, so he got in for free. He'll be able to see the museum again at a more leisurely pace and possibly read an exhibit or two.

Desert Boy quickly became attached to extra adult supervision, as the supervision was really fun, willing to swing him, one of his favorite activities.
The ticket lady recommended we start up on the fifth floor since we had a stroller and work our way down. That turned out to be good advice, because the parts Desert Boy was most interested in were down on the second and third floors, so that gave him something to look forward to.

The top floor had an exhibit about weather, along with a nice outside deck. We took advantage of it to check out Salt Lake City's inversion, which obscured most of the view. We were grateful to be up in the sun.
We wound our way down to the biology floor; with exhibits about different types of organisms. We missed most of those as the kids were really interested in the play/educational area. Desert Girl quickly remembered how fun Uncle Ed is.

They had neat dioramas of different habitat zones. I did a double-take when we reached the alpine zone. I recognize this photo--it's a place I've visited frequently! I won't spill the beans of where it is, but I'll say it made me chuckle.

This probably isn't what the building designers intended for a handrail, but Desert Girl sure enjoyed it.
We went through an interesting geology section (although I didn't get to read much of it). The part we concentrated on was the exhibit that showed how erosion works. We moved sand around and then turned the faucets on to see what would happen. I have to admit that I really enjoyed moving the sand, too!

After an archaeological demonstration, we headed down to the dinosaur floors. Desert Boy was in heaven.
I had fun trying to take photos in the low light and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

I think this is a wooly mammoth--again, we really didn't get to read very much. We definitely can go through the museum many more times to pick up on things we missed the first time around.
Besides looking at the skeletons, Desert Boy was fascinated with a see-through floor with bones underneath.

Desert Girl found another one and was equally enthralled.
Desert Boy found a draw-your-own-dinosaur station and did a nice job of making a "cowasaurus."

We then managed to lose Uncle Ed and Nick when we went into the kids' playroom and the kids got soaking wet playing in a fake little stream. They also had a little cave. It was little enough that I didn't really want to go in, but Desert Boy crawled through.

So we left  happy and wet. It was a good day at the museum.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your niece took one look at the photos, and asked "Can we do that?" I think we'll have to plan a side trip on our next Western adventure.That does look like a neat museum!

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