Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Where I Live - Thanksgiving Point Museum of Natural Curiosity

It's been a while since I blogged about fun things to do in Utah, but I felt like a visit to Thanksgiving Point's new Museum of Natural Curiosity warranted a post. Please note, all opinions are all my own.

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Thanksgiving Point, in Lehi Utah, has a promotion during August called "$2 Tuesday." That is why my kids and I ended up braving the crowds to see the Museum of Natural Curiosity yesterday. We had originally planned to visit the farm, but just as we left the house, a lovely summer rainstorm began. I didn't feel like slogging through farm mud in my flip-flops, so we changed plans.

Upon arriving, we saw the line to get into the building and I started to get a little worried. It is obvious that this museum is busy because they have partitions set up outside to direct the line, along with signs telling you how long you'll have to wait. We started out by the 60 minute wait sign. 45 minutes later, we were buying our tickets and getting the spiel about the rules of the museum. Entry cost us $6 thanks to the promotion, instead of the $39 it would've cost any other day. Worth the hassle? Probably.

We were informed that if we wanted a chance to visit the rope bridges in the Rainforest section, we needed to go get a timed wrist band immediately which would tell us when we could come back. Sort of like a Disney fast-pass... but less fancy.

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That's what we did... or tried to do. I approached the attendant to ask about wrist bands (at 2:30 PM) and was informed that the next entry time was 6:45 PM. I literally laughed out loud and quickly retreated to deal with my kids' disappointment.

So, we decided to find other things to see. I consulted the map, which told me approximately nothing, then we started exploring. That's when we discovered Kidopolis, a kid-size city filled with all sorts of activities kids can do, from playing bank teller to performing on a theatre stage, x-raying stuffed animals, and playing musical instruments.

Eddie x-rays Fido.
This is where we spent the majority of our time, mostly because it was so crowded that the kids had to wait a while to get a turn for everything. The tiny rooms were difficult to navigate without a proper map and there weren't really instructions posted on how to use the various items in the rooms. Some of them were easier to figure out than others. And then some genius designer decided it would be fun to add in secret passages, which make it inevitable that parents will lose their kids.

After braving the swarms of children, the clearly overstimulated parents, and the tiny secret-passaged rooms for a while, I was ready to snap and decided it was time for a potty break and some time outside in the gardens.

The first thing we encountered upon exiting the building was the playground. It is a nice playground, with digging toys, spinning toys, a zip line, teeter-totters (who knew they still made those?!), and 2 swings... and hundreds of children. We played on the swings and waited in line for a teeter-totter, which was a huge hit with my kids. The line for the zip line was as long as the zip line itself, so I refused to let my kids wait for that. Instead, I convinced them to wander through the gardens with me to see what else there was (since we were uninformed by the map).

In addition to the playground, there is a koi pond with windows so you can see the fish, hedge mazes, a couple of caves, and Noah's Ark, which is actually a splash area that was closed yesterday during our visit.

This was my favorite place. Since it was closed, nobody was around. I defied the rules and let my kids climb up for a photo op. Then we ventured back through the hedge mazes, where I promptly lost both of my kids again.

Once I found my way out of the hedge and located both kids, I was completely overstimulated and exhausted. It started raining again, so we headed back inside to visit the Water Works section. Maybe it was because of the rain, but this area seemed extra crowded. There were lines for every exhibit, no instructions on how to use the exhibits or what the point of them was, so we didn't stay long. Despite screams of protest, I decided it was best for my sanity if we left as soon as possible.

My overall impression of this museum is that it would be fun if it was not crowded, but the cost of going during a less crowded time is way too high. Despite all the exhibits being designed for children, the areas were too cramped for the adults that children inevitably bring with them.

Have you visited this museum? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it!


  1. It sounds like a fun museum, I want to visit on a day it isn't crowded.

    1. I really think that it would be a lot more fun when it's not crowded. You'll have to let me know how that goes. :)


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