Kids explore Rainforest at the Museum of Natural Curiosity, photo courtesy of Thanksgiving Point

The Museum of Natural Curiosity, Thanksgiving Point

Curious about Thanksgiving Point’s new museum?

Well, a handful of families were guinea pigs earlier this year, and based on their reactions, your kids will go nuts when the Museum of Natural Curiosity opens on May 15.

“The first thing kids see when they come is a giant monkey head,” says Britnee Johnston, Thanksgiving Point communications manager. “There’s a slide inside the monkey head the kids go down, and the interesting thing is the adults were doing it, too.”

The $28 million, 45,000-square-foot museum boasts 150 exhibits in five galleries: 

Rainforest, where you’ll find the giant monkey head (actually made to look like an ancient stone idol) and sturdy rope bridges, along with other Indiana-Jones-ish displays where kids solve mysteries and learn about ecosystems, cultures and healthy lifestyles.

Kidopolis, a pint-sized town with a health clinic, bank, art studio and more.

Waterworks, a red rock desert watering hole for kids to splash in and learn about energy and weather.

Children’s Discovery Garden, which includes a Noah’s Ark replica, hedgerow maze, caves and playground that actually teaches kids about motion and physics.

A space for traveling exhibits provided by San Francisco’s Exploratorium (the first exhibit, titled Motion Matters, arrives June 16).

Another cool part of the museum is the Key Tree, where you and the kids can be the exhibit for future guests. Bring a key (from a home, car, whatever) that means a lot to you, then talk about it on camera, making a film for others to watch.

“We tried to create a space for intergenerational activity—where kids, parents and grandparents can interact,” says Lorie Millward, curator of curiosity. 

Thanksgiving Point, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, 801-768-2300. Pre-register for opening day tickets at 

EXTRA: You can also sign kids up for Thanksgiving Point’s day camps, with themes like Dr. Seuss Day, Angry Birds and Diggin’ Up Dinos.

Back>>>More stuff to do with the kids this summer.

Back>>>Read other stories from our May/June 2014 issue.