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Experience Utah’s Exciting Cultural Sites and Performances
No matter where your cultural interests lie, you will find exciting performances, museums and other cultural events to enthrall you during your stay in Utah.
Museums in the Beehive State range from fascinating looks at World War II to ancient rock art and Olympic sports.
Alf Engen Ski in Park City is located inside the Utah Olympic Park, and it covers Utah’s 150-year skiing history. If you want to know more about the 2002 Winter Olympic games, specifically, the George Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum is the place for you.
Are you primarily interested in folk art? Visit Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art in Salt Lake City. This hidden gem includes an Ethnic Folk Arts Gallery and a Native American Gallery that allow visitors to see work that is deeply connected to Utah’s heritage.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, also in Salt Lake City, holds a collection of over 17,000 fine art and visual art pieces. It’s housed on the University of Utah campus, and it includes a significant collection of 14th- to 19th-century art created in the European tradition. Salt Lake City is also the home of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA). Its six galleries feature a rotating collection of contemporary pieces by international, national, and local Utah artists.
If Springville is on your itinerary, be sure to schedule a trip to the Springville Museum of Art. It was considered the first of Utah’s visual arts museums, and it strives to preserve a significant collection of pieces from Utah-based artists.
Ancient rock art can be found throughout the state, including in its national parks. One place that should not be missed is Nine Mile Canyon. Referenced as the “world’s longest art gallery,” visitors have more than 46 miles of rock art that has been carved and drawn onto the canyon walls near Price.
Cultural and historical museums are frequently among the top attractions of visitors to the Beehive State. The Daughters of Utah Pioneers: Pioneer Memorial Museum in Salt Lake City includes one of the largest collections of pioneer artifacts in the world. Artifacts belonging to the original pioneer settlers of Midvale are also on display, along with documents and photographs of the area, at the Midvale Historical Society & Museum in Midvale, Utah.
Are you interested in learning more about astronomy? Located in Salt Lake City, Clark Planetarium introduces visitors to the science of space through a series of fascinating exhibits. Also, be sure to visit Willard L. Eccles Observatory on the public nights. And, of course, many of the national parks are known for their incredible stargazing.
Also popular in Salt Lake City is Discovery Gateway. Through a series of touring and permanent exhibits, Discovery Gateway aims to engage children in the arts, humanities and science. From robotics to exploring the senses, the hands-on exhibits are sure to capture your child’s imagination.
Geology, anthropology and natural history are all on display at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum in Vernal. The dinosaur fans in your group will be particularly enchanted by the dig for fossils and the dinosaur garden. The Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City welcomes anyone who wants to unlock the secrets of the natural world. Likewise, budding paleontologists and archaeologists spending time in Price should make a stop at the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum. Between the critter feedings, discovery zones, and the Huntington Mammoth, the trip will be unforgettable.
The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater is a relatively new performing arts venue which can be found in downtown Salt Lake City. The main theater can seat up to 2,500 guests and is the frequent stage for concerts, comedy acts, and Broadway shows. If original, experimental theater appeals to you, their Regent Street Black Box at the Eccles Theater is a terrific venue.
The Pioneer Theatre Company offers a range of theatrical performances, from popular shows like “Mamma Mia!” to more experimental fare. If parodies and irreverent work is more your style, check out shows by the Salt Lake Acting Company. The Utah Repertory Theater Company is also making dance, musical and theater aficionados take notice. It’s a semiprofessional group out of Salt Lake City that is bringing a new voice to the scene.
In Ogden, Peery's Egyptian Theater has become a “go to” venue to see fantastic live theater, choral, dance, multimedia and symphonic performances, as well as films as part of the Sundance Film Festival. And if you are in Sundance in the summer, the Sundance Summer Theater is continuing its run of bringing unique musical theater to its charming outdoor space.
The 1923 Ellen Eccles Theatre in Logan continues to receive kudos. The stage is used for a wide range of live theater, dance, and music events. It is also the host stage of regional companies, including Cache Valley Civic Ballet, Utah Festival Opera, and Cache Regional Theatre.
Among the best known of the Utah dance companies is Ballet West. Their classical repertoire is performed by an extraordinary group of artists, and performances should not be missed if you are in Salt Lake City. If dynamic contemporary dance makes your heart soar, you’ll love seeing productions by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.
The thrilling notes of the Utah Symphony can be heard throughout the year at Abravanel Hall, while full operas are performed by the impressive Utah Opera to enthusiastic reviews. Both the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera tour throughout the state, including presenting a Park City summer series that draws the crowds.
Of course, this is just a brief sampling of all the performing arts venues that bring world-class productions to audiences throughout the year. While you are in Utah, be sure to also check the schedules for Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, The Covey Center for the Arts in Provo, Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, and Tuacahn Center for the Arts.