Natural History Museum of Utah

You are here

Field Trip Information

Preparing for your Field Trip

We are excited you are bringing your students on a field trip to the Natural History Museum of Utah. The following information is intended to help you prepare yourself, your students, and your chaperones for a successful and highly engaging learning experience. 

There are four sections to support you:


Before the Museum

Please review these resources to ensure a successful visit:

Preview the Museum
You and your teaching team are encouraged to visit the Museum before your visit. You can visit for free by printing off your confirmation email and presenting it with your ID at the ticket desk. Our visitor services staff will print you a Teacher Preview Ticket. Only teachers coming on a field trip are able to preview the Museum for free. 

Prepare your Chaperones
Well-prepared chaperones are essential for a successful visit. We have prepared a chaperone commitment form for you to send home to recruit chaperones that are willing to commit to engaging with your students and the Museum in meaningful ways.  It will also serve as a reminder of the expectations we have for them.  We encourage you to send both the commitment form and the chaperone guide to them a couple of days before the field trip to support them in their role of chaperone.

Prepare Your Students – Coming Soon!

Set Expectations
Our goal for your students is engagement with learning and safe and respectful behavior. 

Chaperone Guide

Getting Here

Payment
If you are a sponsored school there is no charge. For unsponsored groups, payment is due the day of your field trip.  The Museum accepts checks, credit and debit cards and cash. If you need to make a payment with a P.O. you will need to contact us prior to your visit in order to make that arrangement.

Rescheduling
We understand that things come up, and you may need to reschedule. We will allow you to reschedule your visit one time. Please let us know at the earliest convenience as dates fill up quickly.  Note, we may not be able accommodate the change in date, and if the date you are requesting is in a different month, there may not be available funds to sponsor your students. If you need to change your date more than once, or the date you would like to change to is not available, we will close your request and you will need to submit a new one if you would like to come on a field trip to the Museum.

Cancellation
If you have to cancel your visit, please let us know as soon as possible. 

Large changes in numbers
We understand that numbers of students will fluctuate, however if there is a large change in numbers, please let us know as soon as you do. We have scheduled the day according to the numbers that you provided. We ask that you do not bring another class unexpectedly as we may not be able to accommodate them at the same time as your class resulting in long wait times for them to enter the Museum. You are welcome to contact us via email at f or call 801.581.5567 to see if we can make the adjustment, but there is no guarantee that a large addition to your numbers can be accommodated.

Double-check your date
When you are scheduling your buses, sending out requests for chaperones and permission slips, and putting your field trip on the school calendar, please double check the date you are scheduled to come as listed in your confirmation email.


At the Museum

Check In

Payment
Payment for unsponsored groups is due upon your arrival; a Museum Greeter will assist you.  The Museum accepts checks, credit and debit cards, and cash.

Navigating the Museum

Lunches

If you have received confirmation that you have a reservation for lunch, you need to know the following:

  • You may eat only during your designated lunchtime and only in the designated lunch area.
  • Leave the galleries a few minutes early in order to arrive at the Community Room on time for lunch. Restrooms are available by the elevators on every floor.
  • The Museum will provide wagons for you to store your lunches in. They will be available upon your arrival, and will be stored in the Community Room. They will have signs that identify your School, your scheduled lunchtime, and the number of individuals eating at that time.
  • You and your students will be responsible for cleaning up after yourselves. Please use the sprays, rags, brooms, and dustpans available in the Community Room. 

After the Museum

Post Visit Lesson Plans
The Natural History Museum of Utah has a long tradition of serving Utah's teachers and students through curriculum-based lessons and materials rooted in scientific inquiry.  Our hope is that these materials will offer insights into the natural world and encourage further explorations.  Lesson Plans have been thoughtfully developed and tested to support the Utah State Core Curriculum and its Intended Learning Outcomes. They can be used for pre-visit, post-visit, field trip activities, or in conjunction with Junior Science Academy, Museum on the Move as well as with Teaching Toolboxes. Click here for Lesson Plans

Evaluation
We value your feedback; it informs the ongoing decisions we make surrounding curriculum and offerings the Museum provides. Once you have completed your visit, we would appreciate if you would take a few minutes to fill out an online survey regarding your experience at the Museum.
Click here to fill out an evaluation and thank you in advance for your time!


Frequently Asked Questions 

Are we able to eat lunch at the Museum?
You may eat at the Museum if you have received confirmation that you have a reservation for the area designated for school groups. You may only eat during your designated lunchtime and only in the designated lunch area.

Where do we put our lunches?
The Museum will provide wagons for you to store your lunches. They will be available upon your arrival, and will be stored in the Community Room where you will be eating your lunch. They will have signs that identify your school, your scheduled lunchtime, and the number of individuals eating at that time.

Where can my students wash their hands for lunch?
You and your chaperones should have students wash their hands in the restrooms, which can be found on every level near the elevators. Please allow enough time to exit the galleries, wash hands, and arrive on time for your lunch timeslot.

May we purchase food from the Café?
If you do not have a lunchtime scheduled, we ask that you do not purchase food from the Café, as your students are not scheduled to eat at the Museum.

You may purchase food to be eaten during your lunchtime. However, this is not a feasible option for large numbers of students. We have limited options and only one cash register. This is best for individuals who have forgotten their lunch, or for a parent who may need to get lunch.

What if my students get hungry before our scheduled lunchtime?
You and your students are only able to eat food at your scheduled time, and in your scheduled space. Please be thoughtful about when your students are used to eating. If your scheduled lunchtime is later than their usual lunch, think about having a snack before you leave for your field trip, or on the bus as you come. Students may not eat a snack anywhere in the Museum including the Canyon, near the Café, or outside. 

How do I cancel my lunch reservation?
If you need to cancel your lunch reservation, please email fieldtrips@nhmu.utah.edu or call 801.581.5567 as early as possible. That way we can offer the space to others who may want to eat at the Museum.

Are my students allowed in the Museum’s Store?
If you would like your students to go to the Museum Store, that is acceptable provided:
1. Students not be in the store unless they are accompanied by their chaperone.
2. Our store is small, so we ask that only two groups be in the store at a time.

Is there a place for us to put our coats and backpacks?
If you are coming by bus, we would prefer you to leave your coats and backpacks on the bus. If you choose to bring them with you, you must be responsible for them the entire time. If you are arriving in a private vehicle or on public transportation, we have limited space to store your coats and backpacks.

Where are the bathrooms?
The bathrooms are located on every level near the elevators. There is one unisex toilet located near the Group Entrance and Community Room on Level 2. There is a large bathroom equipped to handle larger numbers just around the corner behind the Museum Store.

Are there drinking fountains? 
Yes, they are located near the restrooms on Levels 1, 2, 3, and 5.

How do we get to the Museum?
There are many ways to arrive at the Museum. You may click here to be directed to our website with driving directions, as well as information about public transportation. 

Where do we enter and exit the building?
All field trips need to enter and exit the building on Level 2 through the Group Entrance which is located on the north side of the building near the loading dock. You will go up a set of stairs from the bus loading, unloading zone to get to the entrance. Please do not enter through the main entrance on Level 1.

Are there spaces to gather our groups?
If you need to gather your group together during your field trip, or at the end of your field trip before you load on the buses, there is space in the Canyon and in good weather, the terraces by the group entrance. Please be aware that these are public spaces, and help students remember that they are still in the Museum and should behave accordingly. These are not spaces to talk loudly, to dance, climb, run or otherwise goof off.

What if we are arriving by car?
IIf you are arriving by car, you need to make arrangements at least two weeks before your scheduled visit. We will assign a space for your group to gather so that we can greet you. Drivers park on Wakara Way and walk up the sidewalk to the Museum. If you have students with special needs, and walking would be difficult, you may drop them off in the bus unloading/loading zone as long as there is an adult to accompany them to the assigned greeting space.

What if we are arriving by public transportation?
If you are arriving by public transportation, please let us know at least two weeks before your scheduled visit. We will assign a space for your group to gather so that we can greet you. The Black campus shuttle has stops near Trax and some bus stops.  This shuttle drops off in the Museum’s loading and unloading zone. For more information go to: http://www.commuterservices.utah.edu/transportation/shuttles/index.html 

What if we are running late?
We understand that things happen to delay departure from school and arrival. If you are running more than 10 minutes late, please call and let us know at 801.581.5567 so that we can make appropriate adjustments. We will greet your group, but you may have to wait if we are welcoming groups who have arrived at their scheduled time.

Are there any spaces that my group won’t have access to?
Yes, there are a few. We ask that fieldtrips do not use the elevators unless there is a medical condition requiring use. On Level 2 there is a gallery called “Our Backyard” and is intended for our very young visitors and their families.  We ask that school groups do not go in that space.

Are my students allowed in the store?
We welcome students in our store, but we do have expectations. They must be accompanied by their chaperone, and we ask that no more than two groups are in the store at a time. Please make sure to mark on the Chaperone Guide if your students are allowed in the store or not. 

When do I have to pay for my field trip?
Payment is due the day of your field trip. The Museum accepts checks, credit and debit cards and cash.

Can I visit the Museum for free to help prepare for my field trip?
You and your teaching team are encouraged to visit the Museum before your visit. You can visit for free by printing off your confirmation email and presenting it with your ID at the ticket desk. Our visitor services staff will print you a Teacher Preview Ticket. Only teachers coming on a Field Trip are able to preview the Museum for free. 

How do I know if I’m a sponsored field trip?
Public and Charter schools are eligible for sponsored admission. Your confirmation email will list the cost per student and teacher as free.

How many chaperones do I need to bring?
We require one adult for every eight students through 12th grade. The Museum reserves the right to turn away any group that arrives without adequate numbers of chaperones. Teachers are considered part of the adult to student ratio.

Do my chaperones have to stay with their group, even if they are Middle or High School students?
Yes! Teachers and chaperones must actively participate in the supervision of all students. This means students are close enough to you that you can see them and engage with them quickly. Your group may be asked to leave in the event of inadequate supervision or inappropriate behavior in the Museum.

May I bring more than the required number of chaperones?
Yes, you are welcome to bring as many adults as you would like.

May bus drivers visit the Museum, too?
Yes! Once they park in the designated area, bus drivers are welcome to enjoy the Museum.

What can we see at the Museum?
There’s lots to see at the Museum. This link will take you to a webpage where you can learn about the new building, the surroundings and get exhibit overviews.
You can also explore the Museum’s collection by topic or area of interest by clicking here.

Is the Museum aligned to the State Core Curriculum?
Yes, click here to see how the Museum aligns to your science or social studies core.

Are there any classes or tours that we can take?
We offer LEAP into Science, a one hour integrated science and literacy class for K-3rd grades. Email fieldtrips@nhmu.utah.edu or call 801.581.5567 for descriptions of the classes. We also offer Junior Science Academy for 4th & 5th grades. Email jsa@nhmu.utah.edu or call 801.581.6286 for more information. And, during your visit your students will be able to interact with Gallery Interpreters on the floor.

How do I reschedule?
We understand that things come up, and you may need to reschedule. We will allow you to reschedule your visit one time. Please let us know at the earliest convenience as dates fill up quickly.  Note, we may not be able accommodate the change in date, and if the date you are requesting is in a different month, there may not be available funds to sponsor your students. If you need to change your date more than once, or the date you would like to change to is not available, we will close your request and you will need to submit a new one if you would like to come on a fieldtrip to the Museum. To rescheduled please email fieldtrips@nhmu.utah.edu or call 801.581.5567.

What if we have a scheduled visit, and another class wants to join us on our field trip?
We understand that numbers of students will fluctuate, however if there is a large change in numbers, please let us know as soon as you do. We have scheduled the day according to the numbers that you provided. We ask that you do not bring another class unexpectedly as we may not be able to accommodate them at the same time as your class resulting in long wait times for them to enter the museum. You are welcome to contact us via email at fieldtrips@nhmu.utah.edu or call 801.581.5567 to see if we can make the adjustment, but there is no guarantee that a large addition to your numbers can be accommodated.

What do I do if I have to cancel my visit?
If you have to cancel your visit, please let us know as soon as possible.  You can email or call 801.581.5567.