Natural History Museum of Utah

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Plan an Event

We are pleased to offer select spaces within the Museum's new home, the Rio Tinto Center, for private rentals. From the architectural details, the extensive collections, and the spectacular views, the Museum is a unique environment in which to hold memorable events for corporate, professional or community organizations.

The Canyon

The signature space at the Rio Tinto Center, the Canyon can accommodate:

  • up to 272 people for a seated dinner
  • up to 400 for a reception

The Canyon is available Thursday through Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. for events beginning at 6:30 p.m. or later. All events must be completed by 11:00 p.m.

The Canyon is not available for private events Wednesday evenings or any other time that the Museum is open to the public.

Evening Canyon Rental: $5,000

The Canyon + Pre-Dinner Gallery Reception

The Canyon rental can be combined with either the Past Worlds or Special Exhibits Gallery for a pre-dinner exhibit experience for your guests. This event format can accomodate:

  • up to 272 people for a seated dinner
  • up to 400 for a reception

Please note: The Special Exhibits Gallery is available during special exhibitions only. Food and beverage may not be admitted to the Special Exhibits Gallery.

Evening Canyon + Pre-Dinner Gallery Reception Rental: $7,500

The Canyon + Gallery Stroll

Your guests will enjoy exclusive access to seven exhibit galleries on three different levels.  They can explore the dinosaurs of Past Worlds, the dramatic ecologies of the Land gallery, stunning views from Great Salt Lake and everything in between. 

Add a feeling of five star-treatment to your event by extending your guests interaction with our galleries in a private setting and at their own pace. The gallery stroll option will guarantee a memorable experience for all in attendance.

When renting the Canyon + Gallery Stroll, the Museum can accommodate:

  • up to 272 people for a seated dinner in the Canyon
  • up to 800 for a reception

The Gallery Stroll is available only in conjunction with a Canyon rental.

Evening Canyon + Gallery Stroll Rental: $10,000

Full Museum

Exclusive evening access to the Canyon plus all galleries, including the Sky Gallery + Terrace on Level 5. 

When renting the Full Museum (Canyon + Gallery Stroll and Level 5 Galleries), the Museum can accomodate:

  • up to 272 seated at one time for dinner in the Canyon
  • up to 1,000 for a reception throughout the Museum

Full Museum -- Evening Canyon + Gallery Stroll + Level 5 Galleries: $11,000

Swaner Forum

Boasting breathtaking views of the valley and professional amenities, the Swaner Forum is the perfect venue for board meetings for up to 30 guests, classroom sessions of 36, a seated dinner for 72 or a reception for 150 guests. 

The Swaner Forum is available for private events daily from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

  • Full Day Event 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.:  $1,000
  • Morning 8:00 a.m. - Noon:  $550
  • Afternoon 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.:  $550
  • Evening 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.:  $1,500

Sky Gallery + Terrace

The Sky Gallery + Terrace offer a panoramic view of the Salt Lake Valley as well as an indoor-outdoor interpretive space that invites visitors to interact with weather, atmosphere, and the stars above. 

These Level 5 galleries are available Thursday through Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. for events starting at 6:30 p.m. or later.


  • Evening Sky Gallery + Terrace Capacity: Seated dinner up to 50 / Reception up to 120
    Rental Fee: $1,500
  • Evening Sky Gallery + Terrace combined with Swaner Forum Capacity: Seated dinner up to 128 / Reception up to 250
    Rental Fee: $2,400
  • Evening Level 5 (Sky Gallery + Terrace, Swaner Forum and Native Voices) Capacity: Dinner up to 128 / reception up to 250
    Rental Fee: $3,500

The Reception Package 


NHMU is pleased to offer our rental spaces for wedding receptions (NHMU cannot accommodate wedding ceremonies). The wedding reception package is designed to offer our clients a memorable experience for their big day. The reception package is used in addition to NHMU’s other rental spaces.  
All alcohol must be served by a licensed and bonded bar tender, which is set up through the chosen approved caterer.
Reception Package Includes:

  • Wedding party prep/dressing area in the Swaner Forum (Level 5).
  • Client service for the planning of the event and coordinating logistics between all outside vendors.
  • Portrait photography session at the Museum. To be arranged through the NHMU Events Department (photography sessions to take place during NHMU’s regular business hours).

​Explore the Possibilities

To explore the possibilities of holding your private event at the Museum, call us at 801.585.9538 or email us now.

Interested in holding a youth birthday party at the Museum? Contact Shelli Campbell at 801.585.3948 or by email.

Additional Information

Approved Caterers:  The Natural History Museum of Utah requires the use of an approved caterer.

View Approved Caterer List Here

Nonprofit Discount:  We extend a 20% discount on rental pricing for 501(c)3 organizations, public agencies, and to entitities of the University of Utah. All 501(c)3 organizations requesting discounted rates will be required to present proof of non-profit status with a tax-exempt determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service.

Availability: Events in the Swaner Forum can take place when the Museum is open to the public and after hours.  All other rentals can take place evenings only, except for Wednesdays.  The Museum is open to the public until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Private events cannot be scheduled in the Canyon, Galleries or for the Full Museum on Wednesdays.

Regretfully, the Natural History Museum of Utah does not accept bookings for high school dances.

General Visitor Services Information & Policies