Utah Field House of Natural History with Kids
Utah is known for dinosaur fossils. The Vernal Utah area is known as Dinosaur Land, for good reason. We spent 4 days in Dinosaur Land and could easily have spent 4 more. One of my favorite parts of our trip was going to the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum. This 22,000 square foot building is dedicated to preserving and displaying fossils, artifacts, and replicas from Utah’s Uinta Basin. This museum has it all: dinosaur fossils, hands on displays, a Junior Scientist Program and an outdoor display of life-size dinosaur statues.
As soon as you enter the museum you see a gigantic Diplodocus skeleton. We were so amazed by the skeleton that I wasn’t really paying attention while paying for our admission. A word of advice: purchase your Junior Scientist books while you are paying for admission. It saves you having to go back to purchase them later. They are reasonably priced and children earn a badge when they complete their activity books. There are two versions, Pee Wee Paleo for non-readers and Junior Scientist for children who can do some independent reading. My kids loved seeking out the activities as we walked through the museum.
The museum has hands on displays for all ages. There is a small Kids Lab nook that has activities such as books and puzzles for the youngest of aspiring paleontologists. Other activities delve into fossil removal and preservation. Everyone in our group of 5, ages 3 to 36, enjoyed pretending to be paleontologists on a major dig.
The museum galleries have an impressive number and variety of skeletons and fossils. In their Jurassic Gallery, they have stegosaur, Allosaurus and Haplocanthosaurus skeletons. After visiting the Jurassic time period, you travel through a time tunnel 100 million years into the future. Highlights of the other time periods included the saber tooth tiger skull, fossilized coral and petroglyphs.
My absolute favorite part was the dinosaur garden. This fenced in garden has life-size dinosaur statues on display along the path. The kids had fun posing in front of all the dinosaurs trying to replicate their poses. The garden itself is beautiful and has a Koi pond. The weather was gorgeous while we were there so we walked through the garden a second time before leaving the museum.
Know Before You Go
- Utah Field House of Natural History, 496 E Main St, Vernal, UT 84078
- Hours: Open daily, 9am-5pm
- Price: $6 ($3 for Utah seniors)/ Children: $3/ Kids 5 and under are free
- Time: Plan to spend 1-4 hours depending on your child’s attention span