About The Leonardo
The Leonardo opened it’s doors on October 8th of 2011. It is located on Library Square at 209 East 500 South in Salt Lake City. With The Leonardo being on Library Square, it is near two UTA TRAX stops (Courthouse & Library). If you would rather drive to The Leonardo, there is metered parking along the street. The metered parking is $2/hour with a 2 hour maximum. The metered parking is free on the weekends, with the same 2 hour limit. You can pre purchase your admission tickets online, or at the front desk. Tickets for children 2 and under are free, children 3-12 are $8.95, students (with ID)/military/seniors are $9.95, and adults (13-64) are $12.95. Your admission gets you access to exhibits, hands on labs and studios, and allows you to interact with installations. Special traveling exhibits, such as Mummies of the World, will have a charge separate to The Leonardo’s general admission.
Inside The Leonardo
Now that the numbers are out of the way, let’s talk about the inner workings of the Leonardo. The Leonardo is a wonderful facility that stimulates the minds of all those who enter their doors. The Leonardo is the pinnacle of edutainment in the Salt Lake Valley. The hands on labs and studios encompass all aspects of STEM learning, and the best part is that it will leave your kids wanting to learn more. From LEGOs in the lobby to building simple machines and even simple circuits in Leonardo’s Workshop, your kids will have so much fun learning that they may never want to leave. But there is more to the Leonardo than the Lobby and Leonardo’s Workshop. Just behind the lobby is Leonardo’s Studio. There kids can learn about animation, green screen technology, and even a little about shadow puppets. The first floor is also home to the massive and amazing Flight exhibit. There, kids can climb into a C-131 aircraft and use their imaginations to pilot the C-131 from the plane’s cockpit. Guests will also be able to pilot one of two amazingly accurate, and original to The Leonardo, flight simulators that are similar to ones that real pilots train on. Guest will also be able to learn about animal flight, and the future of manned flight included future space exploration. Once you have finished learning about flight, stop by the sculpture of one of Leonardo DaVinci’s designs for a quick photo op. Share the picture on social media and tag The Leonardo so they can see all the fun you and your family are having. Now it’s time to move to the second floor.
As of this posting, the second floor is home to the eye opening exhibit, Where Children Sleep: Photographs by James Mollison. This exhibit takes you through the sleeping arrangements of children of all different economic background throughout the world. After you leave the exhibit, you will head into the Science Lab. There, you can check out the Science Fact or Fiction Wall, see some amazing experience, and test your reflexes. After spending time in the Science Lab, make sure you take your smaller kids to Pixel Playland. At Pixel Playland, your younger kids will learn all bout pixelation and pixilation by creating their own patterns on the pixel wall and by building with pixel blocks.
Just across from Pixel Playland is the already mentioned Leonardo’s Workshop. Kids can really feel like Leonardo DaVinci by building and problem solving. There guests can also learn about electricity with Jacobs ladder, learn about static electricity, and even play on one of the first electronic musical instruments, the theremin.
As you finish in Leonardo’s workshop, guests will be whisked away to a land of Perception. Guests learn how amazing the mind really is as it manipulates your senses to make you see, feel, and do things you are not expecting to see, feel or do. One of our favorite things to do in this exhibit is get a Virtual Haircut. You sit in a chair, put on some headphones, and the sound of a barber shop fill your ears making your brain think that you might actually be getting a haircut.
After you explore perception, you can check out the brand new cardboard exhibit. Check out the cardboard sculptures, go inside a cardboard fort, build your own fort with some boxes, look at the cardboard chess set and ping pong table, sit behind the wheel of a cardboard train/plane, or just sit back and watch a documentary about a kid who made a neighborhood arcade with some cardboard. This one was a really fun exhibit to go through and I recommend taking some extra time in this exhibit.
When you are done with the cardboard exhibit, you will be walking directly into the Think Math room. In this room, you will experience the magic of the Infinity room, solve some math riddles, use your visual logic, and cross the math bridge. Math was never one of my favorite subjects, but I do love going to the Think Math room whenever we go to The Leonardo.
When you have finished in the Think Math room, head on down to the main floor and stop in the Leo Store to pick up some educational merchandise for guests of all ages. The Leo Store also shares a space with the amazing and delicious Salt Bistro. Choose from starters, sandwiches, salads, drinks, and even a kids menu to make sure that everyone in your group gets nourished physically after being nourished mentally.
Becoming a Member
Memberships to The Leonardo are very reasonably priced and come with some pretty amazing benefits. Members get free general admission, discounts to the Salt Bistro and the Leo Store, discounts on event packages, discounts to traveling exhibits, ASTC reciprocal membership, and more. Memberships start at $45 and go all the way up to $1000. You can click here to see more details about the pricing and benefits of memberships. Also, as a bonus for following J and I, if you buy a membership from now until January 31, 2017, you can use the code JE1910 to get an extra month added to your year membership.
Take it from us, once you go to The Leonardo once, you will want to go back again and again. That year membership (13 months with the special code) will pay for itself within the first month, if you use it as much as we do. On a personal note, we have had memberships to other facilities around the Salt Lake Valley, and I feel like you get the most “bang for your buck” with a membership to The Leonardo.
**This post is sponsored by The Leonardo. We were provided with a family membership (which I upgraded to a family plus with my own money) to share my thoughts about the Leonardo. All thoughts are my own and my opinion was not swayed by the membership. We loved going to The Leonardo before becoming part of this campaign.**