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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Go 'Behind the Scenes' at Utah's Natural History Museum

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue | Posted - Nov 24th, 2013 @ 9:28am


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SALT LAKE CITY — Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum of Utah, where more than a million objects are tucked away, out of view and off limits to the general public?

Wonder no more.

On Saturday, the museum opened its doors, and its hundreds of drawers of collections, to an awestruck public and is doing so again on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for their "Behind the Scenes" annual event.

The public will get a chance to see researchers in several of the museum's dozen labs and get a close-up look at its extensive dinosaur bones that never make it into a public exhibit.

"Behind the Scenes" used to be called "Down in the Basement" before the museum moved into new digs two years ago at 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City.

The concept, however, remains the same: let museum guests take a close look at the voluminous amounts of material that provides a steady stream of inspiration for research in all sorts of disciplines. The public also gets a chance to chat with those researchers and ask as many questions as time permits.

“The Natural History Museum of Utah is more than a gallery but also an important research center for University of Utah paleontologists, anthropologists, entomologists, and many others who are studying and helping us to better understand and learn about both Utah and the world’s amazing natural history,” said Paulmichael Maxfield, gallery programs coordinator. “This is a unique opportunity for kids of all ages to have special insider access and see science up close.”

If you want to go: Price is regular admission, $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and people ages 13 to 24; $8 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under get in free, as do University of Utah students, faculty and staff with valid identification.

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