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Vernal museum celebrates with free admission

Published October 10, 2011 12:20 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Vernal • It seems the entire Uinta Basin is celebrating the opening of the new Dinosaur National Monument Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall.

And there are some deals to be enjoyed.

The national monument won't start collecting entrance fees until Nov. 1.

"We wanted to give our neighbors plenty of time to see the new facilities and the dinosaur bones without having to pay the entrance fee," said superintendent Mary Risser.

The quarry wall, with its more than 1,500 exposed dinosaur bones, has been closed since 2006 due to concerns about the structural safety of the building. It has been rebuilt with new exhibits and so has a new visitor center with displays, a theater and gift shop.

The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum at 496 E. Main St. in nearby Vernal will be offering free admission through Saturday as part of the celebration.

This kid-friendly museum features a dinosaur garden that is home to 14 life-size animals, a fluorescent minerals room, a Jurassic Hall, Eocene Gallery, dig site and fossil lab, gift shop and theater. Visitors are invited to touch fossil specimens, including a dinosaur bone that is 150 million years old.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most of its collection came from the nearby Uinta Basin.