Dinosaur Fun for the Family at the Natural History Museum of Utah

On Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, the Natural History Museum of Utah at 301 Wakara Way in Salt Lake City will host DinoFest 2017.  Here is a what to expect at this first ever event billed as “The Ultimate Throwback Weekend.”

Keynote Lectures and DinoBite Talks

Short talks will be given by 13 paleontologists, including Keynote speakers Luis Chiappe, the Vice President of Research and Collection for Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, and Lindsay Zanno, the director of Paleontology and Geology Research Laboratory for North Carolina Museum of Natural History. In addition to the keynotes, short “DinoBite” talks will cover a range of topics from dinosaur origins in Utah and new dinosaur discovers to how to fossilize a dinosaur. For a full list of speakers, click here.

A Roaring Good Time

In addition to the educational talks, fun activities for the whole family include dinosaur themed face painting, art and science activities, and an open house for the museum’s Paleo Prep Lab.  Extra gallery interpreters will be on hand in the Past Worlds gallery to help explain the many unique Utah dinosaurs displayed. Click here to see the full DinoFest program.

Critical Thinking. Serious Fun.

DinoFest will also feature demonstrations of the learning program, Research Quest, a program aimed at middle school students.  Designed to improve students’ critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills, Research Quest uses 3D and game technologies to create cool and interactive ways for students to explore fossils, analyze evidence and develop their own scientific theories.

Utah Fossil Fame

DinoFest celebrates Utah’s rich geographical diversity and natural history.

Over the last century Utah has yielded significant fossil finds that scientists are actively studying, and new finds continue to be made. In 1909, paleontologist Earl Douglass of the Carnegie Museum discovered a formation layered with prehistoric plant and animal fossils.  Excavation began, and in 1915, Dinosaur National Monument was created.  Initially covering 80 acres, the monument now protects 210,844 acres.  Many of the fossilized bones discovered are partially exposed and left in situ, available for public view.  In February 2010, paleontologists from Brigham Young University and the University of Michigan announced the discovery of a new, plant-eating dinosaur, dubbed Abydosaurus mcintoshi.  In October 2015, an announcement was made of a find reported as an “unprecedented cache of fossils of weird animals that thrived at a desert oasis some 200 million years.” Dan Chure of Dinosaur National Monument stated that everything found at the site was previously unknown to science.  He called it “an amazing paleontological candy shop.”

DinoFest is an exciting event for anyone interested in dinosaurs, natural history and geology.


DinoFest is free with regular admission and free to members. January 28 and 29 from 10 am to 5 pm at the National History Museum of Utah (Rio Tinto Center | 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City).


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By |2017-01-27T17:03:45-07:00January 27, 2017|

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