We took a quick jaunt down to Salt Lake City recently. We didn’t have lots of time, but we did squeeze in visit to the Discovery Gateway and I’m so glad. Everything is hands-on and ultra kid-friendly. It’s a great way to get some relief from the heat with plenty to keep your little ones (toddlers and grade-schoolers) occupied.
There are several exhibits in the museum ranging from waterworks to film-making, but even the lobby is engaging, with wheels and cogs for turning and learning. Our favorite stops of the day–keeping in mind that our toddler is not quite 3 years old–were the Kids Eye View town and The Terrace.
Kids Eye View was an ideal setting for our toddler. First stop: a fantastic water station with pumps and spigots and chutes and boats where the kids can splash away, discovering how this object floats or how that object sinks. Also great are the miniature crane the kids can operate themselves (My kiddo was thrilled), gas station, farm and supermarket.
Out on the terrace was the pinnacle of M’s day: a real helicopter. It’s disabled, but kids can climb in, move the gears, push the buttons, listen to the sounds of engines and propellers and generally just have a great time. M was convinced that we were going to fly away and called out: “bye bye daddy! see you later! we’re all ready to go!” He was beyond excited about the whole thing. School-age kids will enjoy the mock control tower, too.
The studio upstairs looked like great fun, though they are definitely geared to an older age group than my little boy. Ages 6-10 would have a blast staging their own news broadcast or designing airplanes to test in the wind tunnel.
Admission is $8.50 per person, which covers everything going on at the museum on any given day (they often have special children’s workshops scheduled), unless otherwise noted.
- Arrive early in the day Monday-Thursday to avoid the largest crowds. Call ahead to learn if they anticipate field trips or high attendance for special activities, which you may want to avoid if you have very small children.
- Most of the museum is stroller-accessible, but some areas are not, so it may be wiser to leave yours in the car. Lockers are available for stowing gear and the staff are friendly and accommodating. For example, benches are scarce but I needed to sit and feed my baby. A staff member noticed my plight and promptly procured a chair from a closet. I didn’t even have to ask.
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