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Children enjoy real-life ‘Night at the Museum'


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LEHI — When 7-year-old Tyler Gibby walked into the Hutchings Museum of Natural History in Lehi, he just couldn't believe the things he was seeing: snakes, seahorses, rocks.

"I kind of like the jewels and stuff like that," Tyler said.

But when he saw Robin Hood, an Egyptian pharaoh, even a ninja running around, that's when he really started smiling — and learning.

"This is pretty much the best museum I've seen so far," he said.

That's exactly what museum workers want to hear.


It's a digital age, and I think people, they don't want to do the research. A lot of people don't even want to read the signs. So this kind of puts a face on history.

–Ben Woodruff, museum director


#woodruff_quote

The museum has been doing a "Night at the Museum" event for five years now. It's based on the 2006 Hollywood movie of the same name.

Museum director Ben Woodruff says the event gives children the chance to learn about history from actual characters.

"We have about 70 actors who come out and help with this," Woodruff said. "It's a digital age, and I think people, they don't want to do the research. A lot of people don't even want to read the signs. So this kind of puts a face on history."

Kids can see how mountain men made fire, even watch as characters from different eras talked to each other.

For parents, like Haley Gibby, most are just excited to see their children having a blast. Gibby has lived in Lehi for seven years and is just now learning about the museum.

"I didn't realize we had this much stuff in here," she said, adding that she's planning on coming back when she has more time.

Night at the Museum
Event details
Dates: Feb. 23, 24, 25
Times: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Hutchings Museum of Natural History, 55 N. Main Street, Lehi
Additional Info: Cost is $4 per person, ages 3 and up. There is no room for strollers. CLICK HERE for more details.

Woodruff credits the success of "Night at the Museum" to the volunteer actors who make it happen.

"People don't get paid to do it. They recognize this is something good, and they want to be part of something good and something rewarding," Woodruff said.

When it comes to getting kids excited about history, sometimes it takes a little more than a book or display.

"You need a lot of bells and whistles, it seems right now, to keep your kids' attention," Gibby said. "And obviously having (historical characters) come to life sort of helps that."

The "Night at the Museum" event only happens once a year, but this year it will continue for three straight nights. If you missed it Thursday night, you can still be part of the action Friday and Saturday nights, Feb. 23 and 24.

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Alex Cabrero

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