Shafts of sunlight pierce Tracy Aviary?s dense conifer forest, sending great grey owls into hiding until nightfall, when they emerge to hunt silently above the treetops. The Owl Forest is just one of five diverse ecosystems that dot the aviary?s eight acres. Nearby, at the South American Pavilion, aviary keepers tend to keel-billed toucans as their colorful beaks break through the cereal boxes in which they incubate. And on the Kennecott Wetland, visitors can espy long-billed curlews and American coots roosting in the tall grass.
In addition to providing a diverse habitat in which native and endangered species can thrive, Tracy Aviary?s curators strive to educate visitors about threats to avian species and to encourage conservation. To that end, Tracy Aviary hosts daily bird encounters, small group talks with keepers, and up close encounters with many species.
Within Clark Planetarium's space-exploration-themed facility, the interactive displays and immersive IMAX and planetarium shows enlighten visitors with interesting scientific facts. Spread out across 10,000 square feet, more than 15 hands-on exhibits entrance guests with artifacts such as photos from the Hubble Space Telescope and a moon rock brought back from the Apollo 15 mission.
Audio in the ATK IMAX Theatre emanates from a 14,000-watt digital surround-sound system as the 70-foot wide, five-story-high screen accommodates Hollywood hits and insightful documentaries in 3-D. More entertainment abounds in the Hansen Dome Theatre, where six high-definition projectors fill the 55-foot domed screen with seamless images during scientific films and cosmic light shows.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts lives in the Marcia & John Price Museum Building, a space that is itself a masterwork of blending volumes and light. Inside, the facility houses a permanent collection of more than 20,000 works of art, ranging from antiquity?such as a sarcophagus from the 26th Dynasty of Egypt?to modern day, including paintings by John Singer Sargent and photographs by Ansel Adams. The museum staff constantly rotates special exhibitions, covering diverse topics such as automobile design, Native American history, and modern art.
Sugar Space Studio for the Arts offers an expansive and constantly updated schedule of innovative visual and movement-based arts classes, including Ayurvedic and Ashtanga yoga, martial arts, dance, and more. In Aerial Silk classes, students use fabric to wrap, suspend, and spiral their bodies into and out of skeleton-contorting positions. Limbs and trunks can explore movement and response in Contact Improvisation, a form of postmodern dance. For those with previous belly-dance training, Intermediate/Advanced Bellydance with Yasamina translates basic movements into more complex and dynamic combinations, leveling up the wow factor of performances. In addition to movement-based courses, Sugar Space will be adding experimental art and pottery classes for kids 5–12 this fall, so children can spin their imaginations in clay. Reservations are recommended to reserve your space and ceiling-hung ribbons as needed.
Designed to highlight the different ways children learn, Discovery Gateway's exhibits are colorful and kid-friendly. Around every corner is something to touch, investigate, or explore.
Size: 60,000 square feet
Eye-Catcher: Kids enter The Garden through a 30-foot beehive to learn about how life grows.
Don't Miss: At Kid's Eye View, everything's scaled down to help kids learn about the world on their own scale; here, kids explore a farm, a market, a construction site, and a water play area.
Hands-On Experiences: At the Saving Lives exhibit, kids role-play and learn in a number of activities, coordinating a life flight launch, caring for patients in an interactive treatment area in a helicopter, and using a gurney track to transport patients from the helicopter to the emergency department.
Special Programs: The museum hosts a wide selection of art and science classes, plus activities and workshops for kids.
Celebrations: A charming room hosts birthday parties with themed activities, such as a superhero obstacle course and a musical parade.
The Natural History Museum of Utah explores the world from the age of dinosaurs to today, showcasing nature and man through a variety of lenses. Learn about the past of the Great Salt Lake with hands-on activities, or visit "Chocolate: The Exhibition" to learn about the history and culture of chocolate. Discover the stories of the Great Basin's prehistoric peoples and learn the traditions of Utah's five native nations, or tackle the complex systems of science ranging from DNA to ecosystems.