Update on Thanksgiving Point Operations:
Following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) effective Friday, May 21, Thanksgiving Point announced that individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to wear masks—indoors or outdoors— at Thanksgiving Point. The CDC guidance states, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, laws…including local business and workplace guidance.”
In addition, masks will be optional for children 12 years of age and younger when visiting Thanksgiving Point.
“Thanksgiving Point is a place where families can truly gather again,” stated McKay Christensen, President and CEO at Thanksgiving Point. “We’ve been extremely cautious during the past year and want everyone to feel welcome here. This updated policy is another step in that direction.”
“We recognize that many people within our community may continue to feel more comfortable wearing a mask” says Christensen, “We welcome this and ask for kindness toward others with differing viewpoints.”
Thanksgiving Point continues to recommend masks especially for those who are unvaccinated or high risk. All visitors to Thanksgiving Point are asked to please stay home when not feeling well. Thanksgiving Point will continue to monitor and consider guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and its own team of health and safety personnel in making decisions regarding the health and safety of its guests and team members.
Beginning May 12, 2021, Thanksgiving Point will no longer require face masks at any of our Outdoor locations or venues. While masks are still welcomed and encouraged, they will no longer be required outdoors. Visitors to Ashton Gardens and/or Farm Country will still be required to wear masks through the lobbies of these locations and at all indoor venues but may remove them once outside.
Thanksgiving Point will continue to enforce and require face masks at all of our indoor venues and locations through May 31st—we will reevaluate our mask policy at this time and update as needed.
Thanksgiving Point will continue to monitor and consider guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and our own team of health and safety personnel in making decisions regarding the health and safety of our guests and team members.
For now, Thanksgiving Point will continue to enforce and uphold our current mask policy through May 31st—after which time we will reevaluate our policy and provide updates as necessary.
This timing will allow the opportunity for ALL team members to be fully vaccinated. In anticipation of changing mask requirements, we are strongly encouraging our team members to get their vaccination if they have not already done so.
The end is in sight—we understand that for some, the mask issue will continue to be problematic. At the same time, the majority of our guests are grateful for our efforts.
We are committed in our continued support for our teams and their efforts to enforce all current and future policies.
It’s been an unprecedented year, and we appreciate everything that our Thanksgiving Point Team Members and guests have done to keep each other safe at our events and venues. As coronavirus restrictions begin to relax and the statewide mask mandate is scheduled to be lifted April 10, 2021, we want to reiterate our approach to keeping everyone safe.
For now, Thanksgiving Point will maintain its current COVID-19 safety practices, including the wearing of masks--at both indoor and outdoor Thanksgiving Point activities and events.
We are very proud of how far we’ve come in our efforts to keep everyone safe, and we intend to continue on that pathway. Many of our Team Members have not yet had the opportunity to get vaccinated, and we will continue to focus on their safety as well as that of our guests. Throughout this pandemic we’ve closely followed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Utah's guidelines. Like you, we are excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel as vaccinations roll out and cases continue to drop, but we aren’t quite at the finish line yet.
We appreciate the support of all of our guests during this difficult time and look forward to removing masks and barriers at an appropriate time.
Mike L Washburn, President and CEO
Beginning Monday, February 8, 2021 Thanksgiving Point will require face masks* to visit. There are no exceptions to this policy.
Thanksgiving Point has had mask policies in place since April 29, 2020 which have included medical exemptions. Unfortunately, an exemption is no longer available. This change is for the safety and health of guests and employees, which is Thanksgiving Point’s top priority.
This policy covers all five indoor and outdoor venues (Museum of Natural Curiosity, Butterfly Biosphere, Museum of Ancient Life, Farm Country, and Ashton Gardens). Masks are also required at restaurants and at private events being held at Thanksgiving Point unless guests are seated and actively eating. Face masks must cover the mouth and nose for all guests ages four and above.
We respectfully ask those who visit for courtesy and respect for other guests and employees, which includes wearing a mask. We appreciate you for your support.
*All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
On Tuesday, October 13th the State of Utah announced a new Health Guidance plan retiring color-coded guidelines and moving to a Transmission Level Index. As such, effective Thursday, October 15 masks will be required in all indoor AND outdoor venues at Thanksgiving Point—this includes Farm Country, Ashton Gardens and all public gatherings (Cornbelly’s, Luminaria, concerts and events). Children ages 2 and under are not required to use masks. The safety of our guests, employees and community remain at the top of Thanksgiving Point's priorities.
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 3 and older) and all Team Members. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or when properly socially distanced outdoors. Face coverings may be removed while actively eating or drinking, but guests should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
At this time, based on guidance from State health authorities and the CDC, face shields, face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings at Thanksgiving Point. In addition, the use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.
Like many of you, Thanksgiving Point has accepted the challenge from Governor Gary Herbert in wearing masks and curving the further spread of COVD-19. Beginning Monday, July 20, 2020 ALL Thanksgiving Point indoor venues and events will require face coverings to enter and participate. Children ages 3 and under are not required to use masks. The safety of our guests and employees remains of the utmost importance to us all at Thanksgiving Point. We invite all our community to join in this challenge and do our part to help.
Thanksgiving Point announced it will reopen the fifth and final of its venues on Monday, June 15, 2020 as part of “Utah Leads Together” yellow risk phase. The award-winning Museum of Natural Curiosity and it’s accompanied High Ropes course will also reopen the same day. All Thanksgiving Point venues and most eateries are now open to the public with social distancing limitations and limited admissions in place. Some areas of these venues will remain closed for the time being. All ticketing is limited and advanced tickets are required. Tickets are available at thanksgivingpoint.org.
At all Thanksgiving Point venues the following areas will still be unavailable for guest usage:
· Temple Climber play area (Museum of Natural Curiosity)
· Touch Tunnel (Museum of Natural Curiosity)
· Dinosaur Dig Pit (Museum of Ancient Life)
“Because of the hands-on nature of the Museum of Natural Curiosity, we wanted to take extra steps to ensure proper safety procedures prior to reopening.” “stated Mike L Washburn, President and CEO of Thanksgiving Point. “The safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority while we are anxious to invite the community to return safely and responsibly.”
Ashton Gardens and Farm Country opened on May 1 following moderate risk guidelines. The following weeks saw the reopening of the Museum of Ancient Life and Butterfly Biosphere.
Masks for guests are not required but are strongly encouraged. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout guest areas. Other safety measures include monitoring team member’s daily temperatures, requiring employee face coverings, and additional cleaning and sanitation measures for public spaces.
Thanksgiving Point announced it will open another of its venues on Friday, May 15, 2020. Butterfly Biosphere in the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation Building honoring the memory Hilda Ruth Harrell, will join the Museum of Ancient Life, Ashton Gardens, and Farm Country in limited reopening capacities. The award-winning Harvest Restaurant will also reopen on May 15 for dinner only and by reservations only. Harvest Restaurant is located in Water Tower Plaza.
“We feel the time is right to reopen the Butterfly Biosphere and Harvest Restaurant,” stated Mike L Washburn, President and CEO of Thanksgiving Point. “Each reopening has been strategically aligned with the country and state’s health officials’ comments and precautions in place. The health and safety of all guests and employees remains the top priority for Thanksgiving Point.”
Ashton Gardens and Farm Country opened on Friday, May 1 following the “Utah Leads Together 2.0” moderate risk guidelines. Last week the Museum of Ancient Life was reopened on a limited basis as well.
Areas of the Butterfly Biosphere will still be unavailable for usage, including the Costa Rica Climber play area. Guests will be directed inside the Conservatory in a one-way walkway and only a limited number of guests will be allowed inside per half hour, however length of visit is not restricted. Masks for guests are not required but are encouraged. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout guest areas. Other safety measures include monitoring team member’s daily temperatures, requiring employee face coverings, and additional cleaning and sanitation measures for public spaces.
To safely reopen Harvest Restaurant, the space has been reconfigured to create more space between guest tables. Guests will not be permitted to congregate in lobbies and are encouraged to wear masks when not eating. Guests may order takeout and make reservations by calling 801.768.4984. As part of the government regulations no parties of 10 or more people.
Thanksgiving Point announced it will open more of its venues on Friday, May 8, 2020. The Museum of Ancient Life and its accompanying Expedition Café will reopen to Thanksgiving Point members and the public along with the Tower Deli and Trellis Café.
“We made significant operational changes to safely reopen outdoor venues last week and we’re employing these strategies in the Museum of Ancient Life,” explained Mike L Washburn, President and CEO of Thanksgiving Point. “Our mission to provide community gathering places to learn will be delivered again. The difference is that now, our community is gathering at socially-distanced 6-foot intervals.”
Ashton Gardens and Farm Country opened on Friday, May 1, 2020 following the “Utah Leads Together 2.0” moderate risk guidelines. In addition to physical distancing, Thanksgiving Point requires guests to reserve advance tickets, which limits the number of guests each half hour. Length of visit is not restricted. Masks for guests are not required but are encouraged. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout guest areas. Other safety measures include monitoring team member’s daily temperatures, requiring employee face coverings, and additional cleaning and sanitation measures for public spaces.
Additionally, venues including the Museum of Ancient Life have been converted to a one-way path. As one of the world’s largest dinosaur museums, the path through the museum will provide a full experience. For those unable to visit in-person, there is also a free virtual tour of the collection. Visit thanksgivingpoint.org/DinoTour for more information. Some hands-on exhibits will not be available and the 3D Mammoth Screen Theatre will remain closed at this time.
To safely reopen, Trellis Café at Ashton Gardens and Tower Deli and Ice Cream Shop have been reconfigured to create more space between guest tables. Guests will not be permitted to congregate in lobbies and are encouraged to wear masks when not eating. Tower Deli guests may order takeout by calling 801.768.4984. Trellis guests may call ahead for reservations or takeout at 801.768.4996.
Thanksgiving Point announced a re-opening of its outdoor venues Ashton Gardens and Farm Country beginning Friday, May 1, 2020. Its three indoor venues, Museum of Natural Curiosity, Butterfly Biosphere, and the Museum of Ancient Life remain closed at this time.
“The safety of our guests and team members is our first priority,” stated Mike L Washburn, President and CEO of Thanksgiving Point. “Our state’s “Utah Leads Together” plan provides guidelines to safely enter a moderate risk phase and allow socially-distanced limited admissions to outdoor venues. We aim to carefully provide a place to visit and recharge.”
The following guidelines are in place for those planning a visit to Thanksgiving Point:
Thanksgiving Point is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020. The closure created the first Virtual Tulip Festival, presented by Utah Community Credit Union, via official Thanksgiving Point social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Options for Virtual Tulip Festival will continue to be published and available online through May 9.
MARCH 24, 2020
We are focused on the health, safety, and well-being of our community. As part of this focus, Thanksgiving Point closed all buildings and venues beginning March 16 through March 29 to help stem the spread of COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus.
On March 23, 2020 the State of Utah extended school closures through May 1 to follow current health guidelines to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. In light of these changes, Thanksgiving Point will remain closed until further notice. This closure includes the Ashton Gardens and the Tulip Festival. During this interim, we will continue to provide transformative family learning opportunities when possible through social media and other channels. We will also stay in contact with appropriate officials and health experts and will adjust operations based on updated guidance.
We look forward to welcoming back guests as soon as possible. Please check this page for most recent announcements.
MARCH 16, 2020
In accordance with updated guidance from authorities, Thanksgiving Point announced effective 3 pm Mountain time March 16, 2020 its four venues (Butterfly Biosphere, Museum of Ancient Life, Museum of Natural Curiosity, and Farm Country) will close to encourage social distancing preventative measures for COVID-19 . Included in this closure are Harvest Restaurant and the Tower Deli at the Water Tower Plaza. Ashton Gardens remain closed for the winter season.
Thanksgiving Point cares deeply about the health, safety, and ongoing wellbeing of guests, employees, vendors, and other personnel who visit each day. During this time of temporary closure Thanksgiving Point will host a number of live and taped education options such as the popular “Tales for Tots” program.
“We join with the rest of the country in taking care of each other and ourselves,” stated Mike L Washburn, CEO and President of Thanksgiving Point. “We strive to be a safe haven from the storms of life and a fun place for families. We are committed to keeping our property safe for everyone. During this time, we encourage our employees and guests to care for one another and be patient as we work through these issues.”
For the past 25 years Thanksgiving Point has been a beacon of education, entertainment, and fun in the community. This short hiatus will not stop that mission from continuing. Please visit thanksgivingpoint.org for details about upcoming events, classes, and venues.
Memberships will be adjusted to account for this closure. Further details to come. This page will be updated as further information or changes become available.
Additional resources are available at these links:
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