As a VENUEHost your event…

Remarkable Events Happen Here at NHMU.  Our home, the Rio Tinto Center, is an inspired architectural wonder, nestled in the foothills above Salt Lake City. This distinct building, complete with incredible exhibit galleries and sweeping views of the Salt Lake Valley, offers a unique environment for social programs and private events in a setting that leaves lasting memories. From the dramatic architecture of the Canyon, our three-story main lobby, to the versatile floor plans of our Level 5 Event Spaces, the Rio Tinto Center offers a customizable event venue with breathtaking views that can’t be matched anywhere in Salt Lake City. Whether you are planning a corporate gala or a private wedding, you can select from a variety of floor plans in the Museum that best suit your needs and budget. Envision an unforgettable experience at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Nine distinctive spaces are available:

  • Full Museum: Rent the entire Museum and receive exclusive evening access to the entire public space of the Rio Tinto Center. Your guests can experience the dinosaurs of Past Worlds, unveil Utah’s rich archaeology in First Peoples, walk through dramatic geology in Land, enjoy stunning views from Great Salt Lake and Sky, discover diversity in Life, and explore the stories of Utah’s American Indian peoples in Native Voices.
    • Capacity: 1,500 Circulating; 232 – 340 Seated Dinner
    • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Canyon/Canyon Terrace: As the signature space of the Museum, the Canyon offers dramatic architecture inspired by the slot canyons of southern Utah. Light plays off faceted walls that soar over a concrete floor inlaid with stones reminiscent of a stream bed. To the west, the Canyon opens to sweeping views of the Salt Lake Valley through a three-story glass wall. An adjacent outdoor terrace extends your guests’ experience, weather permitting. Enhance the memories of your special day with optional Gallery Experiences. Between your ceremony and reception, your guests can stroll through four galleries and millions of years of Utah’s history during a social hour. They’ll marvel at newly discovered dinosaurs, see the Great Salt Lake transformed into prehistoric Lake Bonneville, and discover some of the oldest objects made by Utah’s first inhabitants.
    • Capacity :  400 Standing Reception; 232 – 340 Seated Dinner
    • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Level 5 Spaces: The Museum’s Level 5 Sky and Native Voices Galleries offer spaces for smaller wedding ceremonies and receptions.
    • Sky + Sky Terrace: Sky offers a panoramic view of the Salt Lake Valley as well as an indoor/outdoor interpretive space that invites your guests to interact with weather, atmosphere, and the stars.
    • Native Voices + Native Voices Terrace: Designed in consultation with Utah’s American Indian communities, Native Voices interprets the deep history and contemporary cultures of Utah’s native peoples.  For those looking for an intimate outdoor ceremony space, our Native Voices Terrace offers a backdrop of the Foothills for the bridal couple. Weather dependent.
    • Capacity: 60 Standing Ceremony; 60 Seated Ceremony; 120 Standing Reception; 80 Seated Dinner
    • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Land Terrace: Nestled between the Foothills and framed by the Rio Tinto Center Copper, the Land Terrace offers a scenic backdrop to hold your ceremony. Natural elements reflect in the copper windows, and your guests enjoy their time in the evening shade in this elegant location.
    • Capacity: 120 Seated Ceremony
  • Native Voices Terrace: For those looking for an intimate outdoor ceremony space, our Native Voices Terrace offers a backdrop of the Foothills for the bridal couple. Outdoor ceremony locations are weather dependent. An indoor location will be designated for inclement weather. Enhance the memories of your special day with optional Gallery Experiences.
    • Capacity: 60 Seated Ceremony
    • Time: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Swaner Forum – Daytime Events: With breathtaking views and professional audiovisual equipment, the Swaner Forum is your perfect venue for board meetings, lectures, classroom sessions, seated breakfasts or luncheons, and receptions. The Swaner Forum is the only rental space available during regular Museum hours.
    • Capacity: 72 Seated Dinner; 150 Standing Reception; 150 Lecture; 24 Executive
  • Swaner Forum – Evening Events: An intimate reception, a pulsing nightclub, or a laid-back lounge—the versatile Swaner Forum can accommodate most any evening event you can envision. With the lights of the city spread beneath you, you can dine in elegance or dance the night away. The Swaner Forum comes equipped with built-in house sound, two screens, and LCD projectors.
    • Capacity: 150 Standing Reception; 80 Seated Dinner
    • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • South Terraces: Gather on our South Terraces that offer an intimate outdoor meeting space with sweeping views of the Wasatch Front and foothills above Salt Lake City.
    • Capacity: 120 Standing Reception
    • Time: 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Support the Natural History Museum of Utah …by simply booking your next special occasion here:


As a SHOPDiscover unique gifts…

NHMU’s Museum Store is a favorite Salt Lake City shopping destination for Museum merchandise and unique Utah-themed gifts. We offer one-of-a-kind souvenirs and keepsakes that embody the Museum experience and the natural characteristics of our beautiful state. From hand-crafted jewelry to the latest in dinosaur toys and collectibles, our Store is ever-evolving so every visit will reveal something new. And, thanks to our close ties with many American artisans, we were recognized as the Best Place for Unique Jewelry in Salt Lake Magazine’s Best of Beehive Awards!

Support the Natural History Museum of Utah …by simply purchasing your specialty merchandise here:


As an EATERYFood for thought…

The Museum Café maintains an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients by supporting some of Utah’s own bakeries and coffee roasters. The menu is hand-crafted to showcase the local flavors of Salt Lake while providing customers with healthy, quality ingredients. It offers a homemade selection of soups, salads, and specialty dishes while providing vegan and gluten free alternatives. Located on the second floor and is open to museum visitors and the general public.

Support the Natural History Museum of Utah …by simply dining here:


Be a DONOR: Show that you care…

The Natural History Museum of Utah is committed to offering world-class, science-based programming that matches the extraordinary quality of its incredible new home, the Rio Tinto Center. To help sustain the Museum’s suite of essential science and education programs — programs that enhance the quality of life for Utahns throughout our state and visitors from around the country — please become a member or make a tax-deductible gift to the Museum’s Annual Fund.

Membership: Show your love for the NHMU by joining the membership! All membership levels include the following benefits for one year: Unlimited free Museum admission with express entry; 10% discounts in the Museum Store, Café, and on Museum Workshops; Invitations to Member-Only previews of Special Exhibitions including admission to the Member Hospitality Suite; Admission to the Member Hospitality Suite at our annual “Behind the Scenes” event; Free or reduced admission to 300+ museums and science centers with the ASTC Passport Program; Opportunity to reserve advance tickets for NHMU Lecture Series keynote lecture.  Membership at specified levels are offered: Individual * Dual * Family * Naturalist * Curator, and * Copper Club.

Donations: Help create unforgettable experiences by giving.  Gifts in memory of and in honor of friends and family members are welcomed.

  • Sarah B. George Director’s Innovator Fund: After nearly 27 years of service as NHMU‘s Executive Director, Dr. Sarah B. George has concluded her work with the Museum. To commemorate Sarah’s tremendous service — and set up our new Executive Director, Dr. Jason Cryan, up for success — a number of Sarah’s colleagues and friends established this endowed fund in her honor. Sarah’s bold vision helped create the remarkable Museum we all love today. In this spirit, the Sarah B. George Director’s Innovation Fund will provide Jason with the opportunity to foster — and support — bold new ideas that will power NHMU into the future.
  • Artifact and Specimen Donation: The Natural History Museum of Utah’s Collections and Research Department is grateful when an individual or organization considers donating their specimens or artifacts to our institution. Careful consideration goes into the decision of whether an object is best placed here or if it would be better suited at another institution. Objects or specimens should fit within the research scope and mission statement of the museum. At a minimum, specimens and artifacts must be legally acquired and have appropriate documentation, which may include copies of permits when required for legal collection. Collection staff will not accept objects left at the Museum unless prior arrangements have been made.

Volunteer: Volunteers play a vital role at the Natural History Museum of Utah. They work in every department of the Museum to help us to achieve our mission of illuminating the natural world and the place of humans within it. Whether you want to work behind the scenes with our collections, share your passion for natural history with guests, facilitate field trips for school kids, or put your organizational skills to work for our Registrar, we’ve got a volunteer position that will spark your interest and utilize your talents. Volunteer today!

Support the Natural History Museum of Utah …by simply joining, giving, and volunteering here:

Contact info

301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA

Additional info

Hosting Information

Shopping Information

Dining Information

Giving Information


You don't have permission to register