Monday I took my 13-year-old sister-in-law, my 5 year old nephew, and my 1 year old daughter to the BYU Museum of Paleontology on BYU campus. I don't remember ever going to this museum, but figured since I hadn't really heard about it then it probably wouldn't be all that exciting. I was wrong. My sister-in-law and nephew loved it.
We went at 4:00 on a Monday afternoon and we had the whole place to ourselves. I love being in museums that aren't crowded!!!! I was very impressed with how kid-friendly this museum was. Even the animals behind ropes or glass were very easy to view. Even Lily could view them from her height, which she liked.
They also had a number of "hands on" exhibits that kids could touch. There is a map available when you walk in that points out where all of the "hands on" exhibits are. There is also a place where you can watch them working on fossils through a window which was pretty cool.
I think the favorite thing we saw was the giant sloth. I'm sad I only got a picture with the bottom half! In the picture below, my nephew is pointing out the sloth's giant teeth, and Lily is pointing to another exhibit she wanted to look at.
We ended up spending about 40 minutes at this museum at which time we had seen everything at least once. I think the kids wanted to stay longer, but the longer we stayed, the harder it was to keep them from touching things they shouldn't so we left.
The museum is free, but a donation is recommended. You actually put the money through a dinosaur's skull into a box. The first time we put a dollar through the dinosaur growled at us, making us jump. We took turns putting our donations in, but couldn't get it to make the sound again. My nephew begged and begged for more money, convinced he could make it work.
So...what did we think? From the viewpoint of...
A 1 year old Lily loved pointing at all of the new things, but she didn't get that it resembled any sort of living thing. She liked it, but she didn't love it like she loves the Bean Museum just up the road.
A 5 year old My nephew absolutely loved this place. He was skeptical going in telling me that if there were only 1 or 2 skeletons it would be stupid and he would hate it. He is not an easy kid to please, but he got really excited and ran around pointing at things yelling "did you SEE this? Look at this? I'm SERIOUS!" After we got home he told his mom about it for a while, telling her it was a really awesome museum.
A 13 year old My sister-in-law really liked this museum as well. She told me she remembered coming with her school class a few years ago but they have really improved the museum since then. She was very interested in reading all of the descriptions about the animals and plants. She also was very excited when she got home and spent a good while telling her mom all of the details of our trip.
A parent It was a good museum and I don't regret going. I love that the kids loved it. It was interesting to see, although I don't think I would have spent 40 minutes there if it were just me. It's still worth seeing even if you don't have kids, but I probably wouldn't choose it for a "date night" or anything.
BYU Museum of Paleontology (Earth Science Museum)
1683 N Canyon Road (Just East of the LaVell Edwards Stadium)
Provo, UT 84602
Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed University Holidays
Admission: Free, but donations suggested of $.50 per child and $1 per adult.