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    Exhibit extended until February 6

    Survival of the Slowest | October 2, 2021 – February 6, 2022

    Wednesdays - Sundays, 10am to 4pm

    Ticket Pricing | Adults: $12, Children 3-12: $8, 2 and under: free
    Member Discounts (see pricing below) | Click here to become a member!
    Sometimes being slow, small, or weak can have its advantages. This exhibit, featuring 12 live animal habitats, explores the counterintuitive survival strategies of some unique species. How can slow and steady win the race? Does bigger always mean better? What animals benefit from being weak rather than strong? Guests will have the opportunity to meet a Two-Toed Sloth, Green Iguana, Chameleon, and many other incredible species! 
    Survival of the Slowest is produced by Little Ray's Nature Centre.

    Get up close and personal with the stars of Survival of the Slowest!

    Experience a private visit to the exhibit with just your small group. Encounters
    include opportunities to feed, hold, and learn about the fascinating animals and
    their counterintuitive adaptations.

    $375 for the first 4 guests, $50/each additional guest
    Encounters are 90 minutes - maximum of 10 guests.

    Click here to request a Private Encounter.

    Host an “Animal-tastic” Birthday Party at the Swaner EcoCenter!

    $400 for a group of up 20 children and adults, including birthday child and parents (20 people max).
    Minimum of 2 adults are required per party. Birthday parties can be held on weekends anytime between
    10 am - 4 pm.

    What does the party package include?

    • 90-minute private reservation in our party room:
      • 30-minutes: Animal handler from the Survival of the Slowest exhibit will provide your
      child and guests a private show with up to 3 animals from the exhibit.
      • 60-minutes: This is the time to enjoy refreshments, food, and activities of your choice (such
      as gift opening).
    • Admission to the Survival of the Slowest exhibit for your child and guests.
    • Tables & chairs provided.
    • Swaner does not provide food or drink. Please do not bring ANY items that contain nuts of any
    • Modest nature-themed table covers and decorations provided.

    Deposits, Transfers, and Cancellations:
    Party reservations require a 50% deposit at the time of booking. The remaining balance is due on the
    day of the party. Cash, check, and credit card are all accepted forms of payment.

    Changes or cancellations must be made at least one week prior to the scheduled party. Cancellations
    will receive a refund of the deposit, minus a $25 administration fee. Changes of date of date less than
    one week in advance cannot be accommodated. Cancellations made less than one week in advance will
    not receive a refund of the paid deposit. If you would like to book a birthday party or have
    questions, reach out to Katie Ercanbrack at katie.ercanbrack@usu.edu or 435-797-8952.

    Exhibit Hall

    Our engaging Main Exhibit Hall allows visitors of all ages to experience and explore the natural world. 

    During the summer months (June to August) our original exhibits are in place where you can learn more about sustainable construction of the EcoCenter and the function of wetland ecosystems.

    From September to May we open up the option for traveling exhibits.  See below for new and upcoming exhibits and for information about past traveling exhibits. 

    EcoCenter Original Exhibits

    Coming Soon

    Bonneville Cutthroat Decisions Downstream

    Decisions Downstream | February 25 - May 29, 2022

    The choices we make about how to develop water resources have big impacts on river habitats. In Decisions Downstream, watershed scientist Dr. Sarah Null teams up with artists Carsten Meierand Chris Petersonto explore new ways of seeing river habitats. Immerse yourself in beautiful large-scale images created from scientific data, original paintings that capture the transcendent experience of encountering wild fish, and 3D map projections that visualize our water development choices. Decisions Downstream highlights the water development tools and tradeoffs that guide our choices.


    In mid-April 2015 we housed "Utah Wilderness 50:  A Photographic Exhibition".  This exhibit featured 50 photographs that were selected through a juried process from more than 1,400 entries. All photos represent Utah public lands and reflect the spirit of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

    Extra Youth & Family Activities

    • Utah Wilderness 50 Children's Photographic Experience: Borrow an iPad and head out on the Preserve to take your own landscape or wildlife photograph, then print your photo to take home.
    • Film screening in our Theater Room of "The Wilderness Act: 50th Anniversary", courtesy of Kontent Films.

    Utah Wilderness 50


    Thank you to our sponsors:

    Susan and Dale Poulter Julie Monahan
    NHMU Newpark

    In November 2014 we installed, "Mountain Lion!  The Story of Pumas and People".  This exhibit blended science, history, and art to provide an in-depth look at Utah's most mysterious and elusive predator.

    Extra Youth & Family Activities

    • See how you measure up to a cougar in the Mountain Lion Olympics.
    • Rotating crafts each month, including decorating your own track replica, creating a mountain lion mask, making a mountain lion pencil topper and more.

    Mtn. Lion Exhibit 2015


    Thank you to our sponsors:

    Utah DWR RAP

    The photography exhibition Endangered Landscapes presents over 50 of Rick Braveheart's full color, black & white, non-traditional and video art works of America's national lands. Featuring images captured over 400 days spent living alone within national parks, the exhibit highlights the beauty of more than two dozen locations from across the country. Rick has the unique distinction of serving as a twelve time artist-in-residence recipient from the National Park Service, received the Presidential 1,000 Points of Light Award for his work documenting our national lands. His work is found in numerous private, public and museum collections including the Smithsonian and National Park Service as well as various US Embassies.

    Endangered Landscapes


    Thank you to our sponsors:

    Julie Monahan

    Poulter Logo

    exhibit sponsors

    Small Wonders: The Expansive World of Insects (April 1 - May 15, 2017) 

    A new exhibition entitled “Small Wonders: The Expansive World of Insects” opens April 1st at the Swaner EcoCenter! Topics range from basic questions like “What is a bug?” to coverage of well-known Utah insects like the Mormon cricket and the bark beetle. The exhibition also highlights some insect species that capture our imaginations, such as fireflies and honeybees, and reveals the many ways that insects impact our lives. After all, insects are the most common life form on earth!

    Small WondersNot only is this exhibit packed with information, there are a variety of beautiful specimens on display, and plenty of interactive and hands-on activities for the whole family.

    The Grand Opening will feature some special opportunities such as a chance to meet live insects, create a critter craft, and even taste some of these creatures!

    The exhibition was originally organized by the Utah State University Libraries and the USU Entomology Club.


    Presented in partnership with: 



    UDAM Logo

    USU Logo


    Wild Encounters

    Thank you to our sponsors: David Yarrow Photography, A Gallery, Michelle Brosnan and a grant from:

    Restaurant Grant Tax Logo

    The Art and Science of Arachnids (September 15 - December 9, 2018) 

    Art and Science of Arachnids Logo

    Sept. 15 - Dec. 9, 2018 | Wednesdays - Sundays

    Explore the largest arachnid exhibit in the United States and discover the connections between arachnids and literature, art, folklore, paleontology, science, and history. The Art and Science of Arachnids features 100 live arachnids and exciting hands-on activities, experiments, and play. During its time at the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, this exhibit will be available to read and listen to in both Spanish and English!

    ASA Sponsors

    Nature's Ninjas

    Nature's Ninjas
    Feb 1 - April 28, 2019 | Wed - Sun 10am - 4pm | Thurs until 6

    Discover how animals defend themselves against predators at Nature’s Ninjas, a new traveling exhibit at the Swaner EcoCenter. From porcupines to geckos, explore some of nature’s wildest defensive adaptations! Enjoy live animal shows during the exhibit and get up close and personal with some of nature’s most misunderstood animals.

    Nature's Ninjas Sponsors

    Robot Zoo

    The Robot Zoo
    Sept. 14 - Jan. 5 | Wed - Fri 10am - 5pm | Sat & Sun 10am - 4pm

    Explore the biomechanics of complex animal robots to discover how real animals work! This exhibit reveals the magic of nature as a master engineer. Robot animals and hands-on activities illustrate fascinating real-life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors and how a fly walks on the ceiling. Great for ages 4 to adult.

    Robot Zoo Sponsors


    Water/Ways | December 19, 2020 – March 27, 2021
    Fridays - Sundays, 10AM to 4PM
    Admission complimentary, thanks to our sponsors

    Our world is made of water and so are we. Water/Ways, an exhibition from Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street, takes a deep look at this essential component of life on our planet, which powers the environment’s engine, impacts climate and helps shape and sculpt the landscape.

    Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Utah Humanities, and was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.