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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Children jump in the Panther Pounce at the Museum of Natural Curiosity, Utahs newest family museum, at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

LEHI — Kids have a new place to learn science, arts and culture through 400 interactive activities.

The new Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point opened its doors Thursday.

Hands-on exhibits let kids of all ages try ideas themselves, with the ultimate goal of making them curious to know more.

The $28.5 million museum, which has been under construction since October 2012, features a 45,000-square-foot building and 5 acres of gardens.

"(There are) five main exhibition galleries all about science and engineering and art and creativity, really creating that curiosity in all of us,” Thanksgiving Point CEO Mike Washburn said.

The five galleries are Water Works, Rainforest, Kidopolis, the Discovery Garden and Innovation Gallery.

Parents say the museum offers a unique opportunity for children to think, regardless of their age.

"You can come and have so many experiences here you normally wouldn't find, and I think it is such a fun, interactive, learning experience for the kids," said Heather Adams.

According to the curators at Thanksgiving Point, the museum was not designed to be entertaining, but is all about giving students a new way to get excited about learning.

"We wanted all of the experiences to be things that would reinforce what our children are learning in the classroom and to again get that curiosity going so that when they go home, they're experimenting and trying these things at home as well,” Washburn said.

Learning about science, engineering, art and creativity is what museum officials believe will make the Museum of Natural Curiosity a success, as it inspires the children of today to become the innovators of tomorrow.

“This Museum of Natural Curiosity is going to spawn new entrepreneurship, people that will become the new business people, the new Steve Jobs, the new Bill Gates,” Gov. Gary Herbert said. “People will use this kind of curiosity to invent new things, make our lives better.”

The museum is in the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation building at 3605 Garden Drive. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for kids and seniors, and free for Thanksgiving Point members. For more information, visit thanksgivingpoint.org/curious.

"My older kids that aren't here, guaranteed they'll be jealous they didn't get to come today," Adams said.

Email: spenrod@deseretnews.com