Plan Your Day at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum [2024] | 🎯 Guide, Tips, Info

Last Updated on: 12th August 2021, 01:18 pm

Looking for fun things to do in Salt Lake City with kids? Whether you’re just visiting the city or relocating to one of Salt Lake’s many great neighborhoods or suburbs, you’ll find plenty of award-winning attractions. One of the top Salt Lake City attractions for kids is the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum located in the heart of downtown SLC’s entertainment district. This hands-on children’s museum features fun programs and classes, interactive exhibits, and much more to explore. Here’s what you’ll want to know to get the most out of your visit!

What to Expect at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum got its start as the Children’s Museum of Utah in 1978 when it was founded by educators, community leaders, and parents. In 2006, it moved to its current location at the Discovery Gateway with a new 60,000-square-foot facility and a brand-new name.

The museum is designed specifically for kids with interactive activities and engaging classes that help kids learn and understand the world around them. The Children’s Museum is best for pre-K to elementary school-age kids, although even older kids can still find fun activities to enjoy.

Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum Exhibits

The Discovery Gateway Museum has nine interactive exhibit galleries where kids can explore problem solving, science, art, literacy, design, and collaboration. Some of the exhibits are designed for younger kids but others are great for kids up to 12.


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The Garden

The Garden on the second floor is a fun environment where kids can play on a giant marimba and see how bees live and work with the Honey Climber, 30-foot Pollinator, and Live Hive.

Kid’s Eye View

This kid-sized town allows kids to shop at the market, build in the construction zone, feed animals on the farm, work on vehicles at the Subaru Express Service exhibit, and learn about finance at the First Utah Bank Discovery Branch exhibit.


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Story Factory & Sensory Room

At the Story Factory, kids can learn ways to tell their story through comic strips, story-telling, plays, and more. There’s a miniature theater stage, Jumbo Picture Pegs, and Colors in Motion. The adjacent Sensory Room includes touch boxes, plasma balls, and other fun interactive exhibits to challenge the senses.

This exhibit is one of the best kids activities in Salt Lake City, especially for older kids who have outgrown the Kid’s Eye View and Move It! Exhibits.

STEAM Studio & Lab

This exhibit is perfect for older kids who can compete with each other and learn about physics in DG Derby. The Derby exhibit includes a 37-foot-long aluminum racing track and pre-made pinewood derby cars plus Legos that can be used to build custom vehicles. The STEAM Studio is the perfect place for kids to use their imagination with Legos and Magformers that can be used to test structures on an earthquake table.

Move It!

This large play space features 1,600 square feet of obstacle courses, mat areas, and multi-use space for playing. Kids can dig, crawl, slide, and jump in an open environment with kids their own age.

Saving Lives

This exhibit has a real Life Flight Helicopter, a miniature Primary Children’s Emergency Department, and a Life Flight Hangar. Kids can learn about how paramedics, pilots, surgeons, nurses, and engine mechanics save lives every day and even step into their role.

Reading Nook

At the Reading Nook, kids can find a comfy spot to read classics. Families can bring in books to exchange through the Take a Book, Leave a Book program.


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Block Party

A hit with kids of all ages, Block Party is a large Imagination Playground filled with large blue blocks. Kids can build structures, connect blocks to the walls, and transform the space into anything they imagine.

Water Play

At the Water Play exhibit, kids can interact with water using a 38-foot water table. The water table encourages collaboration and critical thinking with racing rivers, wheels, buckets, a vortex, and a water wall.

Programs at the Discovery Gateway Museum

One of the best parts about the Discovery Gateway is its programs and daily classes. These classes are included with general admission.

  • For young kids, there are early childhood curiosity shop classes like Times for Tots, Creative Kids, and Little Scientist.
  • STEAM programs involving science, technology, engineering, arts, and math are perfect for older children.
  • World Connections cultural programs allow kids to learn about other cultures through artists, performers, and community groups.


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Special Events at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum frequently hosts themed events for kids of all ages. You can always check the calendar to see which events are coming up which may include special programs or events at the STEAM Lab, STEAM Studio, or Theater.

Examples of fun events the museum has recently hosted include:

  • Dinosaur Week with songs, stories, art projects, and science experiments to help kids learn about dinosaurs.
  • STEAM Storytime with STEAM-focused reading in the Reading Nook
  • STEAM Lab Programming to teach kids basic programming skills
  • Witches & Tea, an annual Halloween event
  • Pumpkin Painting Workshop
  • Sensory Inclusive Afternoon, a free event for kids and families with a sensory-friendly environment


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Summer Programs & Birthday Parties

While school is out, kids can keep learning and having fun with summer camps at Discovery Gateway. Kids can explore fun STEAM concepts like programming with the Children’s Museum and partners like the Clark Planetarium and the Natural History Museum of Utah. Summer camps are usually $200 with a discount for museum members.

You can even book the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum for an unforgettable birthday bash! Birthday parties are $200 or $250 but members save 20%. The birthday rooms can accommodate up to 40 guests with gifts, games, crafts, and food. Packages include admission wristbands, a room reservation, room decorations, and a party host. You can also add party favors.

Where Is Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum?

Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum is located in downtown Salt Lake City in The Gateway, a large open-air entertainment, residential, retail, and office space. The Gateway is located on the west side of downtown between 50 North and 200 South streets and 400 and 500 West streets.

The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum is within the UTA Free Fare Zone with several TRAX stations nearby. You can access the Gateway and museum directly on the TRAX from any direction to the TRAX Arena or Planetarium stops. It’s also 2 blocks from the North Temple Station stop on the FrontRunner.

Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, 444 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 (801) 456-5437

Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum Parking

The most convenient parking for the Gateway Children’s Museum is the Winter Parking Garage. Park near the south end and exit level 2 to enter the Gateway Mall next to the Discovery Gateway entrance. You can have your parking ticket validated at the Admissions Desk for $1. This covers up to 3 hours of parking.

Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum Prices

Discovery Gateway prices are currently $12.50 for ages 1 to 64, $10 for seniors, and free for kids under 1.
If you live near Salt Lake City with young kids, you’ll probably benefit from a Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum membership. Membership comes with free guest passes per visit, free admission and parking, discounts on birthday parties, and reciprocal or discounted admission to many children’s museums throughout the country.

A family membership is $175 and covers up to 2 adult cardholders and up to 5 other family passes per visit. A trio membership is $110 and covers up to 2 adult cardholders plus up to two guest passes per visit.

A few times throughout the year, you can take advantage of Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum free days. These days are often sponsored and allow you to visit the museum all day with no admission cost.

Discovery Gateway Museum FAQs

When is Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum open?

The Discovery Gateway Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

What attractions are near Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum?

The museum is within walking distance of the top Salt Lake City kids attractions like the Gateway Mall, the Clark Planetarium. The Leonardo, Liberty Park, and Tracy Aviary are nearby.

Which age range is the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum designed for?

The Discovery Gateway Museum is designed for kids of all ages but kids between 3 and 9 will likely get the most out of the museum. Older kids will probably be bored at many of the exhibits.

Ready to start your adventure at Discovery Gateway? Plan to be there for 2 to 3 hours. Be prepared to chase little ones around or sit back and relax while they explore each exhibit!


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