Natural History Museum of Utah

You are here

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 eat?
The designated lunch space for school groups is the Community Room and the Canyon Lobby. It is located on Level 2 right by the group entrance and near the Café. We recommend that you leave the galleries a few minutes early in order to arrive at the Community Room on time for lunch.

May we eat at the tables in the Canyon, or in outside spaces?
School groups can only eat in the designated spaces they are assigned.  Students are not permitted to eat outside on museum grounds.

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.

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. This is especially important to enforce with Middle and High School students who want to purchase a snack.

If you have lunch scheduled, 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 in the Cafe.

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?
That is a decision you get to make. 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 expect 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. We need to know at least two weeks ahead of time, so that we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Where are the bathrooms?
The bathrooms are located on every level near the elevators.

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 Lobby 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 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://commuterservices.utah.edu/

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.

What if we go through the Museum quickly?
Preparing your students well and using field trip curriculum should stop this from happening. However, some groups will hurry through the galleries, and have a lot of extra time on their hands. Preliminary visitor studies show the Museum is at least a two-hour experience while for others it can take more than one visit.  As such, we ask that your students take their time in the galleries on their field trip, so if they went through the Museum quickly, have them re-visit a certain gallery or the whole Museum and help them slow down to make observations and connections. In good weather, there are outside spaces to explore. If your whole group seems to have finished earlier than you anticipated, we request that you call your bus and have them pick you up. 

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 need. 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. Also, the Café is off-limits unless you are purchasing something to eat just before or during your scheduled lunchtime.

Are my students allowed in the store?
That decision is yours. 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. 

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. 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.

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?
Your confirmation email will list the cost per student and teacher as free.  The museum sponsors all Public, Charter, and Title One schools.

How many chaperones do I need to bring?
We require 1 adult for every 8 students for3-12 grades.  We require 1 adult for every 5 students for K-2 grades. 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.

Are teachers counted in the chaperone ratio?
Yes, teachers are counted in 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 welcomeand encouraged 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 Junior Science Academy for 4th & 5th grades. Email jsa@nhmu.utah.edu or call 801.581.6286 for more information. 

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. 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.

How can I be well-prepared before our visit?

Attend one of our Field Trip Workshops here at the Museum!  These workshops are FREE of charge and are open to both teachers and chaperones.  Walk away from this 2-hour long workshop with information and resources to help make the most of your Field Trip to the Museum, and earn 2 relicensure credits for attending.      Click here for more info.