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Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit farm, garden, and museum complex. The nonprofit organization features the Museum of Ancient Life, Farm Country, the Museum of Natural Curiosity and the Thanksgiving Point Gardens. Other attractions include the Harvest restaurant, Tower Deli, Emporium gift shop, and Brick Canvas spa. Thanksgiving Point also holds numerous public events such as a tulip festival and seasonal corn maze. Approximately 1.9 million people visited Thanksgiving Point in 2012.
Thanksgiving Point was founded in 1995 by Alan and Karen Ashton.
Alan Ashton co-founded software company WordPerfect with Bruce Bastian in Provo, Utah in 1979. On February 14, 1995, the Ashtons purchased land in Lehi, Utah that was the site of the historic Fox family farm.
Agricultural practices of the area were memorialized in Farm Country and ancient dinosaur fossils were collected for the Museum of Ancient Life. Golf, shopping, and dining were added for guest leisure and to provide additional sources of revenue for the property.
Thanksgiving Point Gardens
The Thanksgiving Point gardens opened to the public in 1997. The master plan for Thanksgiving Point Gardens was developed with Salt Lake City landscape architect Leonard Grassli. The gardens cover approximately 55 acres and include 15 different theme gardens, including a replica of the garden described in Frances Hodgson Burnett's book The Secret Garden. There are approximately 3.2 miles of walking trails.
Community horticulture courses are offered by Utah State University master gardener volunteers. Commonly offered courses include square foot gardening and perennial plant landscape design. The gardens demonstrate water-wise gardening techniques and showcase a vast water reclamation system.
Children's Discovery Garden
The Children's Discovery Garden is part of Thanksgiving Point Gardens. It is an educational area designed to teach youth about the natural environment. The garden includes two child-size vegetative mazes, an "eco-pond," and a replica of Timpanogos Cave.
Thanksgiving Point Golf Course
Thanksgiving Point Golf Course is the largest golf club in Utah at 7,728 yards (7,066 m) long and more than 200 acres (0.81 km2). The course was designed by professional golfer Johnny Miller. The course opened to the public in 1997 and it is host to the annual "Champion's Challenge." While the course was built by and is still owned by Thanksgiving Point, it is operated and managed by Vanguard Golf Management.
Museum of Ancient Life
The Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point first opened in 2000. The museum has the largest collection of mounted dinosaur skeletons in the world in addition to various other fossils and scientifically significant minerals(60).
Farm Country is functional farm open to visitors. Guests to Farm Country can participate in live cow-milking demonstrations, interact with traditional farm animals, and learn about the agricultural industry.
Thanksgiving Point hosts public events year-round. Examples include a Thanksgiving feast that is prepared and served in a manner that closely resembles the feast of 1621 and a drive-through Christmas light display with 1 million lights. A number of concerts are also held in the Garden's amphitheater. Private events such as weddings, parties, and corporate events are also held in conference and meeting rooms throughout the property.
Museum of Natural Curiosity
Thanksgiving Point's most recent attraction is the Museum of Natural Curiosity that opened in May 2014. The museum features five exhibit areas: Rainforest, Waterworks, Kidopolis, Discovery Garden, and Traveling Exhibits. The 45,000 square foot building also includes a five-acre outdoor component.