Located in the central northern part of the state, Salt Lake City is the state capital of Utah. Situated at a high elevation of over 4,000 feet above sea level and stretching across more than 110 square miles, the city is home to around 200,000 people, with more than 1.2 million people in the full metropolitan area. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Salt Lake City RV Parks
2.Pony Express RV Resort & Campground
4.Salt Lake City KOA
3 Best Salt Lake City RV Parks
- Salt Lake City RV Parks, Photo: click_and_photo/stock.adobe.com
- Pony Express RV Resort & Campground, Photo: SHrenchir/stock.adobe.com
- VIP Campground, Photo: _jure/stock.adobe.com
- Salt Lake City KOA, Photo: flairimages/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Natural History Museum of Utah
The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) is located on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City. The museum supports research and learning initiatives that foster a learning environment for natural and state history that advocates Utah’s people, land, plants, animals, and culture.
While the idea of the museum was conceived by the University of Utah faculty in 1959, it was officially founded in the George Thomas Library in 1963 by the Utah State Legislature. With additions to their collections between 1969 and 2011 from such discoveries as the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry and as many as 1.5 million acquired artifacts spanning various scientific fields of study, the museum rose to prominence for their scientific research and discoveries. The collection of artifacts at the George Thomas Library relocated in 2011 to its current home in the Rio Tinto Center where it officially became known as the Natural History Museum of Utah.
The Rio Tinto Center is located on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the Wasatch Mountain Range. Not only is the land surrounding the Rio Tinto Center ideal for research, but the 163,000-square foot building also incorporates 42,000 square feet of local copper from the Bingham Canyon Mine that represents Utah’s natural rock formations. The architectural infusion stands as a testament to the goals and values of the museum’s attentiveness to accountability and sustainability of natural resources.
There are currently ten permanent exhibits
· Sky: Astronomy, weather, and climate
· Native Voices: Celebrates the history of Utah’s eight Native tribes
· Life: Studies biology, demography, ecosystems, and diversity.
· Land: Studies geological rock formations in Utah’s Middle Rocky Mountains, Basin and Range, and Colorado Plateau.
· First Peoples: Studies the prehistoric people through archaeological science.
· Gems and Minerals: Studies formation of minerals and gems.
· Great Salt Lake: Interactive studies of the Great Salt Lake and Lake Bonneville.
· Past Worlds: Studies the age-old environments as well as the people who lived through them.
· Our Backyard: Studies natural history.
· Utah Features: Studies political and social significance of local and global issues.
Educational programs offered at the museum introduce age-appropriate tours, classes, and scientific programs to families and students. Participants will take part in in workshops, lectures, summer camps, demonstrations, and hands-on activities that incorporate science and learning opportunities.
· After School Adventure Club: Elementary students learn about natural science.
· Saturday Discovery Classes: STEAMED-based curriculum and studies.
· Scientists in the Spotlight: Participants can engage in dialogue with scientists to learn more about the research and studies at NHSU.
· Girl Scouts of Utah at the Museum: Girl Scouts can participate in activities that contribute to their badges and patches.
· Boy Scouts of Utah at the Museum: Boy Scouts can engage in activities that contribute to their badges and belt loops.
· Utah’s Animals: Engage in observation and research of the local ecosystem using some of the animals in the museum.
· Phun with Physics: Interactive experiments will explain the concepts of physics.
· Viking of the Museum: Participants can meet and interact with Vikings to learn more about the people, history, and culture.
· Hawkwatch: Birds in the Lab-Interact with specimens of birds based in Utah.
· Museum on the Move: Scientists visit schools and advance science as a field of study. Educators can also participate in the program to utilize resources in line with the Utah Public School System guidelines.
The Natural History Museum of Utah Summer Intern and Research Fellowship also provides internships and scholarships to further academic advancements for university students who are pursuing a scientific field of study. Applications are accepted yearly for the summer internship programs from January to April.
· Internship: Anthropology Collections Care at NHMU
· Research Fellowship: Archaeological/Ethnographic Collections at NHMU
NSHU offers a variety of special events that incorporate the learning of the museum with special events like festivals, birthday parties, and family nights.
· Birthday Parties: Science-themed parties include access to exhibits.
· Family Late Night: Families can enjoy the park after-hours by enjoying learning and exploration activities.
· Bluegrass and BBQ is a music festival held at the Museum Café annually.
The Rio Tinto Center is also available to citizens for weddings, private galas, and corporate events that include access to the museum, the Canyon terrace, or closed-session meeting rooms.
Dining and Shopping
The Museum Café is open daily for breakfast and lunch and dinner on Wednesdays to both visitors of the museum and the general public. In line with their other programs, Museum Café uses proudly uses fresh products from local businesses including bakeries and beverage providers. The museum offers gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan menu items that cater to customers with special dietary needs. The café also offers catering for museum special events and ceremonies.
The Museum Gift Shop offers clientele a variety of Utah-inspired gifts, souvenirs, jewelry, and hand-crafted items from local artisans. Customers may also purchase themed toys and collectibles that demonstrate the rich history of the state.
Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Phone: 801-581-6927
Attraction Spotlight: Tracy Aviary
Tracy Aviary is a bird habitat in Salt Lake City, Utah that fosters caring for the natural world through connecting with plants and birds with a focus on conservation and biology, research and fieldwork.
Tracy Aviary is a wildlife sanctuary in Salt Lake City Utah with approximately eight acres of aviary exhibits and gardens that can be explored by visitors. There are currently over 135 species of birds and 400 living specimens with daily bird shows and feedings that allow guests to get up close and personal with these creatures daily.
Tracy Aviary is open seven days a week, year-round from 9am to 5pm with the only closures happening on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day with extended hours on Mondays during the summer hours. During these extended summer hours, discounted admission is offered after 5pm. Annual individual and family members are available that allow unlimited access to the aviary as well as day passes are available for admission.
There are 19 exhibits at Tracy aviary, each featuring different aviary species or native habitats of the region. There are botanical gardens that are public as well as sustainable that can be strolled as well. These exhibits and gardens serve as a cultural oasis in the middle of the bustling city. Guided and self-guided touring is available and interactive opportunities are hosted frequently in the gardens and listen on the online events calendar.
Treasure of the Rainforest- An indoor tropical rainforest exhibit featuring the Scarlet Ibis and Violaceous Turaco.
Hawks & Turkey Vultures- These raptors are native to Utah and are featured in this exhibit that highlights why raptors are environmentally important.
Kennecott Wetlands Immersion- One of the most diverse ecosystems, wetlands are recreated in this exhibit with showy birds and rare plant species that are found in only 1% of Utah’s landmass.
Dabbling Duck Pond- dabbling ducks are popular in the northern Hemisphere and are migratory birds. This pond is home to the bird who quack loudly and often!
Trumpeter Swans- These are one of the rarest native birds in North America.
Owl Forest- Several species of North American Owls inhabit Liberty Park, a grove of 100 conifers and a diverse habitat.
Amazon Adventure- This indoor exhibit features Wild Sun Conures that are native to the Amazon Rain Forest. These birds will eat right from your hand and sometimes live in groups of 30 or more at Tracy Aviary.
Macaws & King Vultures- King Vulture, Macaws, and other South American birds are featured in this exhibit.
South American Pavilion- This exhibit features indoor and outdoor space with tropical elements and 30 different birds from South America like the Red-capped Cardinal.
Chilean Flamingos- The Chilean flamingos are seen alongside black necked swans and ducks in the grassy hills South American plants in this exhibit that is showy and loud.
Backyard Birds- This exhibit in modeled after an abandoned Argentinian home and has birds that visitors would be likely to find in their own backyard.
Sandhill Cranes- Native to the United States Wetlands, Sandhill Cranes are large birds that enjoy dense foliage and wildflowers and can be seen popping out of the landscape.
Bird Show Stars- The birds in this exhibit are the ambassadors of their respective species and are used in the educational programming at the aviary and in outreach programs.
Southern Ground Hornbills- Featured in this exhibit are the Southern Ground Hornbills which are native to southern Africa and live in family groups.
North American Eagles- Bald and Golden Eagles are both found in this exhibit where the birds have been rehabilitated from injuries they received in the wild. These raptors will be ambassadors of their species and live their days at Tracy Aviary.
Keas- These birds are endangered like 12% of bird species of the world and can be found at Tracy Aviary in sanctuary.
King of the Andes- The Andean Condor can be found in this habitat. One bird is considered a local celebrity.
Pelican Pond- This pond is home to American White Pelicans, several species of ducks, native Utah birds, and fish that can be seen being gulped by the pelicans frequently.
Along with touring the exhibits and visiting the birds, there are many special programs and tours offered at Tracy Aviary that give special insight and educational offerings to students and families. Keeper Talks are available daily at 2pm at various popular exhibits throughout the aviary, there are outdoor shows at the theater at 12:30 daily and wetland tours that depart from the visitor’s center throughout the day as well as story times, treasures of the rainforest, stream exploration and many other daily activities that are detailed on the website.
589 E 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84105, Phone: 801-596-8500
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Attraction Spotlight: Discovery Gateway Museum
The Discovery Gateway is a 60,000 square foot attraction in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. The museum was founded in 1978 and had a total of 8 exhibitions when it opened in 1983. The purpose of the museum is to interact with the children; helping parents understand the development process that is involved as they grow. In 2006, the non-profit organization took to changing its name from The Children Museum of Utah to Discovery Gateway after the completed move had been cemented. Discovery Gateway’s vision is to be the most sought-after educational resource center in the world, and consistently look to build upon that. Discovery often looks for sponsorships and volunteers, and have ways in which individuals can actively support with fundraising and donations.
The hands – on approach usually works, and the Discover Museum maximizes that with countless hours of fun, games and frolics for the parents and their kids. There is so much to be enjoyed that it's best if the children just lead the way. ‘The Kids Eye View’ is a view that allows the kids the freedom to simply explore a miniature world that has various sections like, Water Play, Ken Garff Service Station, Utah Family Farm, Climbing Wall, Gerri’s House, Construction Zone and Harmonds Neighborhood Grocer. ‘The Garden’ works as an exhibition that keeps things buzzing in the garden, and gets both child and parent to buzz along with the wide selection of balls.
There can't be any party without a ‘block party,’ and all young ages are welcome to play with the blue blocks - and to build their imagination in the process. The active return of the ‘Move it Exhibit’ measures a room space of 1,600 square feet, and is used as an obstacle course with activities like hopping, crawling, stretching, sliding, balancing, jumping and digging, and lasts for 60 minutes for all to participate in. The fun of physics can be a satisfactory experience with the ‘STEAM Studio, DG Derby & STEAM Lab’ - here is the competitiveness of competing on an aluminum derby track designed for pinewood racing. The rescue tips can be put to the test with the ‘Intermountain Healthcare Saving Lives.’ The kid can learn how to perform life – saving emergencies as a paramedic, pilot, or command center staff.
The Discover Museum has summer camps like ‘Full Steam Ahead,’ ‘Steam Explorers’ and ‘Once Upon a Time.’ The summer camps are graded from preschool to 3rd and 4th grade and K – 3rd Grade. The camps offer a range of subjects from Science, Math’s, Technology and Engineering, to kindergarten tales on fairies and steam based activities. There are art spaces, kid’s galleries, exploration of gardens and workshops. The other programs focus on cultural – based activities that will inspire the children as well as the adults. ‘Music in Motion’ has the children expressing themselves through musical instruments and starts from 18months and older. ‘Creative Kids - Family Artworks Program’ will attract the 2 – 5-year-olds who want to submerge themselves in the world of art. The young kids have access to materials like glue, paint and clay. There are ‘Daily Programs’ and ‘Annual Events’ that are chock-a-block with fun things to also do.
Discovery Gateway was recognized in 2011 for its continuance in nurturing the health and wellbeing of growing kids. The museum is one of seven in the country to receive the prestigious award from ACM. It has continued to promote its message of healthy eating, and wants kids to eat right and get plenty of exercises.
1473 S 700 W, Salt Lake City 84104, Phone: 801-908-7137