Curious Business: 4 lessons you’ll be dying to learn at the Museum of Natural Curiosity

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A replica of Noah's Ark is part of the Discovery Garden at the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. (Photo by Rebecca Lane)

A replica of Noah’s Ark is part of the Discovery Garden at the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. (Photo by Rebecca Lane)

After 20 months of construction, the highly-anticipated Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point swung open its doors for curious guests on May 15, 2014, and has already earned its spot as the Best Utah Valley Museum by Utah Valley Magazine readers.

“We are incredibly touched and humbled by the community support of the Museum of Natural Curiosity,” said Thanksgiving Point founders Alan and Karen Ashton. “Our favorite part about the museum is that it provides a place for parents and children to interact in learning together.”

Learning, fun and interaction go hand-in-hand-in-hand at this 45,000-square-foot marvel where entertainment and education meet.

Here are four lessons to feed your curiosity at Thanksgiving Point’s newest attraction.

1. Animal Instincts

Get physically active with the Rainforest wing of the museum. Learn what it really means to pounce like a panther, climb like a monkey and cling like a sloth. A 45-foot monkey jungle gym has guests large and small climbing in, outside and around the giant head while observing what is happening in the forest below. It’s Darwinism at its finest as kids and parents learn what it takes to survive in the jungle.

2. Who’s Who with Mother Earth

Captain Planet doesn’t have anything on the element lessons in the Water Works exhibit at the Museum of Natural Curiosity. Get swept away with the wind speed display, get charged with a lesson on natural energy and experience the safest natural disasters that exist (a tornado machine and an earthquake simulator are popular features).

Fun fact: The Water Works exhibit sits on a huge sink so all the water you play eventually seeps between the floor tiles, which means you are practically walking on water — practically.

3. All Grown Up

From finances and laundry to film and dance lessons, Kidopolis has plenty of real-life experiences in mini-me sizes. Kidopolis, a fully constructed community with businesses and departments, encourages kids to explore careers — without realizing that is what they are doing.

Plant a garden with your toddler or make a movie with your tween; they won’t mind these lessons outside of the classroom.

 4. A more natural habitat

Caves, wooded areas and a pond create examples of the many animal habitats found in the wild. Tour the Discovery Garden where you’ll find games, an amphitheater and a display of Noah’s Ark.

If your kids would rather frolic on a playground, then the gardens hold a special trick. The Archimedes playground teaches children about the six simple machines just by playing around on the equipment.

 

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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