The Pioneer Memorial Museum is sort of like the headquarters for all Daughters of the Utah Pioneer museums. This museum is most famous for housing the wagon that carried Brigham Young into the Salt Lake Valley. There is also a really cool horse-pulled fire engine that has been beautifully restored. (These were obviously my boys favorite things to see).
I was fascinated by all of the artifacts in this museum. There are so many different pioneer relics that have been saved by families and donated to the Pioneer Memorial Museum. I was also surprised at how large it was. There are four floors, as well as the carriage house which has two floors. You could visit this museum every week for 10 years and never see everything inside. We were here for about an hour and a half, and we walked through pretty quickly.
You are not allowed to take videos or photos, so we apologize for not being able to show some of the amazing artifacts. There is an old theater seat and curtain from the Salt Lake Theater. We enjoyed viewing many old pianos including one that was buried by a family crossing the plains. (They later retrieved it after getting settled in Salt Lake). We also saw the original eagle gate and a replica of the golden spike that connected the transcontinental railroad. Those are the big items to look for, but there are thousands of small items such as newspapers, books, clothes, shoes, tools, toys, and much more.
The best part–it’s FREE. They will accept donations (which we gladly gave) and with your donation you can take home a small book which includes some amazing pioneer stories and pictures from the museum.
One caveat: This is not a state-of-the-art interactive museum with tons of hands-on displays. It is simply walking and looking. Our kids are pretty “museum savvy” and handled this just fine. If your small children have not been to a lot of “look” museums, they may find this “boring.”
The Pioneer Memorial Museum is located at 300 N Main Street in Salt Lake City, just a few blocks north of Temple Square and to the west of the Capitol Building. We walked up the hill from Temple Square (and it is straight up the whole way), but our 6 and 4 year old boys made it with a few stops on the way. There is parking along the street next to the museum. The museum is open year-round, usually from 9 am – 5 pm, but check their website for specific times.