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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Discovery Gateway

I took Lily to Discovery Gateway in Salt Lake a few days ago and she loved it.  There is SO much to see there!  This post doesn't cover all of it - the museum is 60,000 square feet so I couldn't cover it all in one post.

When we first went in they had a room with a bunch of balls.  Lily got really excited and liked to carry the balls around.  Her favorite part of this exhibit was putting them in the vacuum tube (like the tube at the bank.)  She would giggle as it shot up the tube and came out on the other side of the room.

 After the ball room there was a huge room with pretend play things.  There was a mailbox with letters to put in mailboxes all around and mail clothes for kids who wanted to pretend to be a mail carrier.  There was a "park" with slides and things to climb on, along with dress-up clothes for construction workers.  There were dress-up clothes for firefighters, animals, and a bunch of other things.  There was a part that looked like a tiny house with a kitchen and living room kids could pretend in.  My niece Jayne spent a lot of her time in the kitchen (above) baking with food from the cupboards with tiny oven mitts on her hands.

There was a part for kids 3 and under.  The ground was padded and it had a bunch of toys, books, and games for younger kids.  Lily is checking out the textures on the wall in the picture above.  There was a tree house to play in, things to climb on, and even bouncers for tiny babies.  Lily loved playing with the little kids her age in that exhibit.

On this same floor was a horse the kids liked to sit on (above), a chicken coop that made a "clucking sound" when you would reach in to check on the stuffed chickens or eggs, a garden center (below) which Lily loved, a few cars kids could get into and pretend to drive or fill up the gas/tires, and a huge water center.  The water center was at least 3 different levels and had a ton of things that floated and bath toy type things for the kids to play in the water with.  I didn't get a good picture of the water center, but it was huge.

 Lily's favorite part was the grocery store.  Kids could push around their own carts and pick food items off of the shelves.  They could check out and bag groceries, but Lily just liked pushing around the cart and taking things off the shelf to put in her basket as she went.

  I was impressed she could do so much herself.

We stayed at least an hour in the pretend space I described above, and then went upstairs.  They had a huge room with a ton of toys for all ages.  This would be a great place for older kids.  There were a lot of things to build and learn about.  Lily liked the puzzles but was a little young for most of the activities here so it only kept her attention for 15 or 20 minutes before she wanted to move on.

 One whole wall was covered in sheet metal with magnets.  Lily loved playing with the magnets, and my older nieces and nephews had fun playing with the magnetic pipes and that you could drop balls through pictured above.

My nephew really liked the exhibit above.  You could build things on this board and then push a button to simulate an earthquake to see how well it withstood the shaking.

Outside of this room there was a puppet theater and a stage with all sorts of props where kids could act out a story.  There was a recording studio with a bunch of house hold items that could be used as noise makers (shoes, pots and pans, etc.) where you could record your sound effects for a story and play it back.  There was also a whole KSL 5 center with a weather camera, news desk, cameras to operate, etc.

Outside was a real life-flight helicopter.  Kids could get in and fly or get in the back to sit.  We spent a long time here because all of the kids (old and young) loved it.

Here Lily is sitting in the helicopter next to her cousin Jayne.  (above)

I loved the set up of the museum because Lily could jump from one activity to another and back again which was perfect for her short attention span.  Also everything was set up in open huge rooms making it easy for each kid to do their own thing within eyesight.  There were so many things to do I think we could go every week and Lily wouldn't be bored.

They also have classes available.  A schedule can be found here.  I would love to try Music in Motion and Time for Tots once Lily is a little older.

This place is kind of expensive.  It's $8.50 per person which is pretty standard, but that price is for kids and adults.  Also, you have to pay for everyone 1 year and older, so to take our family of 3 it costs $25.  In addition, you have to pay for parking if you park in the underground parking at Gateway.  Parking is $1 for 3 hours or $3 for all day.

However, you can get a membership which would be $50 for 6-months or $95 for 1 year for our little family.  I don't go up to Salt Lake enough to make it worth it, but if I lived within 20 minutes I'd probably splurge for a membership and take her a few times a week.

Discovery Gateway
444 W 100 S, SLC
801.456.5437 x100

Monday - Thursday 10am - 6pm
Friday & Saturday 10am - 8pm
Sunday Noon - 6pm

Admission prices
General Admission $8.50
Senior Citizen (65+) $6.00
Pre-registered Groups $7.50
Members & Children under 1 - FREE

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