We visit a lot of museums. Typically they are the first places that we explore whenever we’re at a new location. While I am of the opinion that exposure to things ignites curiosity – which is important for us since we homeschool, there is a point when it can become a bit mundane. I think that we have reached that point.
Aside from our hiking, a majority of places we’ve visited here in Utah have been museums, or the like. A number of the museums were included in our Connect Pass, so my budget-conscious self had us visiting practically every museum in the area. Unfortunately due to our “extreme-museuming”, we have now officially overdosed and will have to limit exposure for the remainder of this trip. Sorry, Washington, Oregon, and California – we just don’t have it in us right now.
However, there were a few gems hidden here in Salt Lake City. The Natural History Museum of Utah, located near the University of Utah, was astonishing. Both the architecture and the exhibits were gorgeous. As you can imagine, we’ve visited our fair share of science and history museums. This one is by far the best we’ve seen, even surpassing the Smithsonian ones in Washington D.C.
Starting with the location, the building was exquisitely designed to fit-in seamlessly with the landscape.
Then as you walk up the stairs to begin exploring the exhibits, you are met with a three-story display wall.
Take a right into the Past Worlds exhibit and you’re immediately immersed in a museum that was so well-thought and designed your breath is taken away.
Unlike traditionally designed museums where your focus is meant to be directly in front of you as you walk from exhibit to exhibit, the NHMU is laid out so that you can glimpse various exhibits from one location.
As you wander, the natural flow of the building makes it so you’re simply strolling along as you view everything. No in and out of different rooms. No backtracking or overlapping. Was brilliant. The views from the third level weren’t bad either.
Aside from the architecture and design, the most unexpected feature of the museum was the Paleontology Preparation Lab.
To be able to see professionals working in their field right there in the museum was amazing. I could have watched the scientists for hours – not that I’m sure they would have appreciated that.
The day was complete with a trip to the Sky terrace to take in the view of the area
and exploring Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, the special exhibit featured at the time.
Have you been? Did you think it was as well-designed as we did?