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“Amazing!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Natural History Museum of Utah

Natural History Museum of Utah
301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
+1 801-581-6927
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Type: Natural History Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: As the Utah state museum of natural history, this top attraction provides an introduction to the science in Utah's remarkable landscape! With engaging exhibits and over 5,000 artifacts on display, the Museum features Utah's paleontology discoveries, fascinating gems and minerals found world-wide, preserved artifacts from Utah's prehistoric peoples, and stories told by the five Native nations that lie within the state's boundaries. Journey to the top of a three-story indoor Canyon. Wander through Utah's dinosaurs and animal life. Interact with earthquakes, erosion, and our Digital Globe to discover how the earth's surface and the Great Salt Lake have changed over time. Enjoy breath-taking views from our observatory deck. Hike the Bonneville Shoreline trail. Experience natural history as only Utah can reveal it. Enjoy beverages, lunch or a snack at the Museum Cafe. Shop the Museum Store for unique jewelry and gift items influenced by nature's design. Visitors with young kids will enjoy Our Backyard, an intimate, discovery-based environment that invites our pre-school visitors to experience natural history first hand!
Provo, Utah
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Incredibly decorated and informative. Not only the exterior is artful: each exhibit is, too! Plan to spend at least several hours going through the museum or break it up into multiple trips.

Visited December 2012
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371 reviews from our community

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Salt Lake City
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“World-class small museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Teh NHMU is small in comparison with natural-history museums in Denver, NYC, and DC, but it is laid out superbly, featuring a spiraling walk down through the geologic sediments (and thus eras). The fossils are wonderful, and the docents very knowledgible. As others have noted, the curators put great emphasis on interactive displays, and on giving visitors a glimpse into the ongoing scientific exploration. There is an excellent collection of gems that I believe is permanent. The building itself is outstanding, with a great view of the city and the Great Salt Lake. For visitors to SLC with interest in natural history, this is easily the best sight-seeing opportunity in town.

Visited November 2012
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Salt Lake City
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“World class educational fun! Exceeded expectations.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We had postponed visiting this NEW facility for a long time, having had a very ho-hum experience at the OLD Utah Natural History Museum. We regret the delay now.

This is a brand new facility, and built with a real focus on entertainment and education for all ages across a wide variety of subjects. We were a bit concerned when the first exhibit seemed to be an overly politically correct pitch about carbon footprints and sustainability type stuff, but the rest of the exhibits had none of that off-putting flavor.

In fact, the rest were OUTSTANDING. An amazing variety of dinosaur fossils and species (many from relatively local areas!) was followed with an interesting section devoted to geological features. Anyone feeling a bit elderly needs to go there and see stuff figured in millions of years to make a few decades seem insignificant. Lots of great habitat displays with plants and critters great and small. Also a wetlands and Great Salt Lake section. Nearly every exhibit had hands on stuff that appeals to kids (and the young at heart). Very nice section on ancient Indian civilizations and their clothing, decorative and functional arts. The lab with experts working on recovered fossils is right there so you can watch them use tiny tools to reveal the ancient bones. Also a nice video nearby showing how they get those out of the ground and back to the lab.

Way up on the 5th level there is a great section on the Indian tribes of Utah and their contemporary life and many of their arts and crafts and some excellent videos on life in their communities. Don't miss this section, even though you have already been there a while.

Frankly, this is NOT a "one visit" attraction. At least two or three are needed to enjoy it all.

Convenience features include lots of seating for when you get tired. There is a nicely stocked gift shop on the way out. Food and drink are not permitted in the museum galleries, but they have a nice snack bar area near the exit, so you could take a lunch break there and then explore some more. Everything is stroller or wheelchair accessible, with ramps and elevators.

Admission is not cheap, at $11 for adults, $9 for seniors. (Sorry, did not see the kids rate, but probably less than that.) But for the extended time it takes to visit, it is a fair value.

And, for a family with diverse interests, the excellent Red Butte Gardens are literally next door, so the flower fanciers can go spend several hours there while the dinosaur hunters visit here.

We look forward to a return visit!

Visited December 2012
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Layton, Utah, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Utah Natural History Museum: World Class”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

This isn't your typical, stuffy, old style museum.
No, this is a first-class, even world class, interactive museum with loads of variety and something for all ages.
One of the biggest gems of all is its huge, wall of temperature averages in Salt Lake for about the past century.
This gigantic chart proves that it doesn't get as cold as it used to during winters in Salt Lake and that it is trending upward in warmth overall.
With many distinct levels, this museum offers so much that one visit won't be enough to try or absorb it all.
Located along the foot of the Wasatch Mountains and at the southeast corner ofthe University of Utah, this is a must do for all Utahns and visitors.
Only downside is that on crowded days, there isn't enough parking available in the museum's own lot. So, you will have to plan on a 400 yard walk or more from the northwest, in another U. of U. parking lot.

Visited February 2012
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Whitewater, Colorado, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Great Salt Lake Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

LOVED the interactive displays! It is a big museum, so plan for at least 3 hours to see everything! The Rock and Mineral Displays were quite interesting, and beautiful.

Visited April 2012
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