Natural History Museum


Corinne and I were up for an outing and decided to try something out of the ordinary. Cayden had gone to the University of Utah Natural History Museum on a field trip and wanted the whole family to go and put it on our summer bucket list. I had no idea what to expect except that it was five stories high and only one of the floors had dinosaurs. We loaded all 10 kids in the car and drove off.


Let me tell you, this place was amazing. Our first stop- a room with 5 computers and a simulator for creating a community. This would normally be a thing I’d think “Cool” and keep on walking. No- we found one of the main highlights of our trip at the first stop. Luckily there was a toddler exploration room next door so Corinne and I let the little ones play (and play and play).  I don’t think we would ever have left except the little ones finally got tired of their room.  Time to move on.


Checking out dinosaurs


Doing some excavating of our own 🙂


Learning about how plants clean water. This museum had “hands on” exhibits everywhere! This was a tilting table and you could see the “grass” catch all of the marbles/dirt and let the small glass beads/water pass through.


Alison checking out the sea monkeys.


A whole exhibit where you could recreate pottery from a dig, like a puzzle, and it was magnetic so it would stay together as you built it! It was a lot harder than it looked.


Ashlyn making a mega-dam at the erosion table.


This was probably Alison’s favorite thing.  She rebuilt this cell 20 times at least and took every single piece out and put every single piece back. By herself. I couldn’t believe it!


This part of the museum made me feel like I was in Hogwarts.  These were free standing stairways, 3 and 4 stories off the ground. Everytime I saw the kids on them I had a visual of staircases that would just pick up and move somewhere else.


Cayden was in rock heaven. He found some kryptonite. Ha! But his favorites were a collection of rocks that glowed in UV light.


The last area we went to was my favorite- the “Natural Disaster” section.  The boys got to participate in a lab- I want to say it was an earthquake but a month later I have no idea. They got to make simulated volcanoes and play around with the ingredients- heat, the amount of silica, etc.  More silica = More explosion 🙂

But that wasn’t my favorite part. Mine was a section where they had artifacts from real natural disasters.  You can tell a photographer went through after hurricane Katrina and took pictures of the destruction.  There would be a huge canvasof an intersection where a Stop sign was bent and a 90* angle and it was in the middle of chaos, scrap metal, and debris- and then there on display in front of the photo was the actual stop sign. It was surreal. A picture of a destroyed house where you can still see a work table and a clarinet case in the rubble and the battered clarinet case was on display.  It was astounding and beautiful and powerful.

We were exhausted by the end- the scale of this museum is just enormous. It was so interactive and “hands on.” It was not the kind of museum where you just walk around and read signs. I absolutely loved it and would like to go there again with Matt so that we could split into “older kids” and “younger kids” groups.


One response »

  1. Crystal, what a fun adventure. Please tell me WHERE /HOW to get there, and where you parked. Does it cost to go in? I’d love to take some of the more capable neighbors and stop at the potter’s house on the same day. Thanks for sharing what appears to be a wonderful outing! M

    *******************************************Everything tastes good with chocolate except broccoli—Maria Lund

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