Natural History Museum of Utah

When I was an undergrad at the University of Utah I visited the Natural History Museum of Utah on campus a few times between classes to kill some time (and avoid studying).  The museum was just as I remembered it as a child: big open rooms, dinosaur bones and the smell of dust wafting throughout the old building–not exactly full of excitement.  So when I heard a new museum was being built, I was excited to see what they would make of a new location and building.
I finally visited the new and very improved Natural History Museum of Utah on a whim a few Sundays ago and was in awe from the moment I arrived.  Perched against the mountain above the University Hospital, the museum overlooks the entire valley.  Throughout my visit, I watched snow clouds roll down the mountains in a beautiful dance, eventually covering the valley view with foggy clouds and snow drifts.
Skull, anthropology
The human evolution exhibit was my favorite.
The architecture of the museum is entertaining by itself, with an abstract foyer inspired by the geological formations in Southern Utah.  The layout spans several levels and many exhibits have journey-like pathways that tell a story as you walk through.  There is a lot of new and improved content that I don’t remember from the old museum and they’ve even gone high tech with an online guide to use on your smart phone.  People of all ages were there, proving that it isn’t just a kids’ museum anymore.  There were couples, families and solo museum-goers like myself all taking it in.
The new museum is a world class exhibit that is worth a visit.  (Your inner child will love the dinosaur exhibit!)  It’s open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays. Check out the Natural History Museum of Utah website for more details.
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