Thursday, April 18, 2013

Natural History Museum of Utah

A month of two ago I saw a friend post a question on Facebook asking whether our local Natural History Museum would be good for her almost 4 year old son.  I was so excited because I hadn't known there was a natural history museum less than an hour from my house!

I had the opportunity to tag along with my husband last year on a business trip to Washington D.C. and I spent a lot of my alone time (while he was in the conference) walking around the Smithsonian Museums.  My very favorite, by far, was the Natural History Museum and my one regret was that I couldn't take my kids there.  I knew they would love it.

Well, now I could.  I mean, of course, I knew it wouldn't be the same, but I also knew it would be fun. 

And it was.  In addition to all the cool exhibits I knew would be there, they have so many activities to involve kids throughout the entire museum.  We were there two hours and could have easily spent the whole day if we'd stopped to do every activity along the way.

There are five levels including the lower admissions level, so bring your walking shoes.

This is something we didn't do, but think would be a really great learning tool for our older kids.  You can use your smart phone to access extra information all over the museum.  It even says that some of the codes are hidden, so it's like an information treasure hunt trying to find them all. 

There are so many fun activities, I'd encourage anyone in the area to stop by.  If you aren't convinced yet, look through a few of the fun things my kids got to do.

James is "fishing" at the top of the stream in a room with a cave to crawl through and a few terrariums full of critters that will never be allowed in my home, but my kids all LOVE.

This is one of my very favorite activities we got to do and the best part?  They're all over the museum!  You get to smell all sorts of things.  Just push a little button (this one's green) and then sniff at the silver circle near it to see how different plants and animals really smell. 

And they aren't all good smelling.  I had Makenna smell this one and she gleefully encouraged Ben to smell it while she took pictures of him.  I'm not sure he appreciated her excitement.

This is my audition for the Price Is Right (is that show even still on the air?).  I know, I totally missed my calling in life.

Their special exhibit right now is all about weaving and Makenna especially liked the pattern on this bowl.

They all had so much fun creating a sand damn and then filling up one side with water until it washed away (Ben has his hand on one of the spouts).

The best part of our visit?  Okay, it wasn't the best part, but it was pretty great.  We went for FREE!  Now, it's worth the price of admission, but I do love free.  Once every 3 months the museum has a free day, (although you still need tickets to guarantee entrance) and you can check out when they're having the next free day on their website. 

Maybe I'll see you there!

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