I love living in Utah! There are so many fun and wonderful things to do with my kids. Since I have kids of all ages it is helpful to have a wide range of activities to make sure everyone is happy. Here are some of the fun things we love to do in the area. These are in no particular order. So grab the kids, strap on their shoes and get ready for some fun!
- Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, Draper, UT
We love going to the aquarium. They have so manner different ecosystems full of life for the kids to learn about and discover! My kids especially loved the penguins. They now have an amazing new butterfly exhibit, sloths, and so much more. Plan for about 2-3 hours of time. There is a rainforest section that can get a little muggy so I suggest dressing in layers. They are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Get $5 Off on Family Night, Mondays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY
- Lagoon Roller Coaster Park, Farmington, UT
Lagoon is a great way to spend a day or even a few days here in Utah. Since our weather is mostly sunny here in the desert, outdoor activities usually don’t get rained out! Lagoon is a roller coaster park full of 50 rides and lots of events and shows. We love the new rides like Mouse Trap, Cannibal, Colossus and Wicked. They are great rides for thrill seekers and calm people alike. My kids love to do everything but height usually slows them down so Lagoon has been lots of fun for them. They even have a water park area where you could spend a full day on it’s own. Just don’t eat before spinning rides! Trust me, it doesn’t end well. They are open varying hours depending on the season. Check their website for more full details. They are closed during the winter months so plan to attend in the spring, summer or fall. Deals can be found on tickets with a quick google search. Deals come out as the season opens and progresses.
- Hiking, all over
Utah is full of amazing wilderness hikes. Some are easier while others are harder, it just depends on what you are looking for as a group. Visit Utah is a great resource for hikes all over Utah. The list is SO long so don’t plan to get them all in one trip (unless you are staying here for a month and plan to hike everyday, but even then I don’t think you could get them all). I recommend wearing a light jacket around your waist if you plan to be out as the sun goes down. The mountains are always colder to start than the valley, and when the sun goes down it can cause a major chill in the air. Even if you are busy hiking. Especially in the spring or fall. I also recommend bringing a backpack of snacks and waters. One water for each person and more if it is a hot day. My kids tend to enjoy hiking a lot more when I have constant snacks during the hike. The picture above was taken in the October. The temperature started out perfect, probably in the 70s, but quickly dropped as the sun went down. We even had to cut our hike short because everyone was too cold. We will never know what we could have seen farther down the trail. I am pretty sure the trail never ended though. It just keeps going and going and going.
Here are some of our family favorites in the Utah County area (south of Salt Lake):
-Y Mountain Trail (AKA: Hiking the Y) Provo, UT-this trail is a 1-mile up switchback trail that takes you from the base of Y mountain near BYU campus to the top where you can sit on the Y and enjoy an amazing view of the valley. The trail is NOT paved, but is cared for throughout the year with gravel. There have been some major updates recently to add benches and trash cans along the way for your comfort. This is a pretty difficult hike. Depending on the strength of the kid, most kids over age 5 can make it on their own or with some help or breaks. It can take 30-90 minutes to get to the top depending on the fitness level of your group. Difficulty is Hard.
-The Grotto in Nebo Loop in Payson, UT-This is a great and very easy trail. The trail is not paved and has a few river crossings on slim logs. The total mileage is about 1 mile total from start to finish. The path is mostly flat and easy. My toddlers have had no problem completing it. It has a wonderful reward of a beautiful waterfall at the end. We often will even wear our swimsuits and bring a towel for the hike. You could possibly even get away with hiking in flip flops since the hike is so short and easy. I would recommend waiting until a hot day since the trail is quite far up into the mountains making the temperature much cooler than the valley. Difficulty is Easy.
-Bridal Veil Falls, Provo, UT- This is a very fun, easy, paved, picturesque hike. You can take it longer or shorter as you would like. There are fish in the little pond made by the waterfalls and children love to climb around on the wet rocks at the bottom of the waterfall. There are also trails for the older and more adventurous hikers that goes to the middle or top of the falls. But I would not recommend this for kids under 10. Difficulty is Easy to Medium (depends on the trail)
-Diamond Fork Hot Pots, Spanish Fork, UT- This hike is about 2 miles in and 2 miles out. It is a steady and slow incline to get into the pots. The pots are sulfur and have a very strong smell as you get closer and closer. This trail is just a dirt trail and it has no amenities. We like to bring a trash bag or two or three with us since there isn’t anywhere to stash our snacks and water bottles. The hot pots are really fun when you get there. They are SUPER hot in places and people just lounge in the many pools to enjoy the heat. Don’t forget your towel to dry your feet off once you are done! You follow the beautiful Diamond Fork river the entire time and that is also a fun spot to stop and play. The river is shallow most of the year except the spring, but is fast moving. So watch little kids. Difficulty is Easy.
- The Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, UT
The zoo is a kid’s wonderland! It has so many different animals and creatures to see. Kids are constantly in awe. For your own comfort and the animals I don’t recommend going on a super hot day. The animals are much more active on cooler days and it is a lot easier to walk around. Make sure you have your step counter on when you visit because you will get a lot. Along with all the animals the zoo also has a play area and splash pad. There is a train and carousel for the kids to relax and enjoy themselves. The zoo is open 7 days a week and there are even free zoo days on the last Wednesday of every winter month (Dec-Mar). Summer hours run March 1 – October 31 where the zoo is open 9am to 6pm. Come enjoy the lions, tigers, and bears! Oh my!
- This is the Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City, UT
Ever wonder what life was like for your ancestors? Come enjoy a plethora of activities to celebrate and learn about the pioneer heritage of Utah. Here you will be able to play with baby animals in the spring, ride a pony in the summer, watch the smith at his forge, make crafts like the pioneers or enjoy the warm fire on a snowy winter day. They are open all year long and have many activities for people of all ages. It is a very fun place to get back to the simple days.
- Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University (BYU) Provo, UT
This museum is lots of fun for kids. It is a large museum full of taxidermy animals that kids can get up close with (but no touching, it wears off their fur!). They have three levels full of animals large and small. They are organized into different ecosystems to better view and understand these animals. My favorite part are the scavenger hunts that they have created. Head to the front desk to find papers for kids of three different levels. Depending on how hard you want to work, you can find lots to learn about. They also have live animal shows each day. Check the schedule for exact times each day. Right now they have an amazing new exhibit of Titanaboa: monster snake! You won’t want to miss this FREE museum on BYU campus.
- Homestead Crater at Homestead Resort in Midway, UT
“The Crater” is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock located on the Homestead property. Over 10,000 years in the making, The Crater formed when melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains seeped deep within the earth. Two miles below the surface, the earth’s interior heated the water. As it percolated upward, it picked up minerals, which were then deposited on the surface — eventually forming the volcano-shaped limestone deposit called The Homestead Crater. It is such a fun and unusual place to visit. It is worth taking a dip in the warm water.
- Ski Resorts-Found in Salt Lake City, Park City and Provo Canyon (Sundance)
Utah is known for having the best snow in the world. The snow usually arrives pretty early in November and keeps coming until May some years. Alta ski resorts is one of my favorite places to go. They have a free bunny hill running from about 8am until 5pm. They also have a $10 lift pass that runs from 3-4:30pm and it is just perfect for our family. We like to ski the bunny hill as a warm up from about 2-3. Then we hop on the Sunnyside lifts from 3-4:30pm. We get around 3-5 runs down the slopes and it is a great time. You can also rent gear there for pretty cheap too. Especially when it is the afternoon rental prices that start at 12:30pm. For more information check out their website.
For a listing of all the ski resorts in Utah Click HERE.
- Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, UT
Thanksgiving Point is a non-profit farm, garden, and museum complex that draws upon the natural world to cultivate transformative family learning. We love going here because there is something for everyone. They have fun Farm Country full of all different kinds of farm animals like draft horses, ducks, cows, goats, sheep, rabbits and so much more. The kids can also ride a pony, help milk a cow (at certain times of the day), learn about milk production or farm to store process, and take a fun wagon ride. We also love to visit the beautiful gardens and the Dinosaur Museum. You can see dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, dig for bones or learn in a hands on water erosion table. The best part, in my opinion, is the Museum of Natural Curiosity. Full of hands on adventures indoors for kids. There is one outdoor play area also. The areas include a rainforest, a water area, a metropolis, and another area that changes frequently. My kids love it there and they could spend ALL day. The hardest part is getting them to leave when it is time to go!
- Discount Movies at the Theater
When traveling around the United States I have learned that not all movie theaters are the same. Here in Utah they have many different ways to get discount tickets. There are the usual matinee times, but in many theaters if you come to the very first showing of the day you can get a discount. Another way to get a discount is if you watch a movie on anytime on a Tuesday. All Tuesday movies at most Cinemark theaters and even some Megaplex’s have $5 Tuesdays. All tickets are $5 no matter your age. However you have to be quick because the most popular movies will often sell out in advance! They even have senior day on Mondays if you are traveling with Grandma and Grandpa. So grab some popcorn and watch a discounted movie while you are here visiting Utah.
Thanks for reading about Utah. This is by no means a comprehensive list of the exhaustive number of activities you can do in Utah, but it is a great place to start. Know of something that we missed? Send us a message in the comments!
Click Here to read our recent post about other local fun we are having this winter!
|Tammy is a master Jedi planner and organizer able to battle the fiercest traveling adventure for anyone. She is married to a traveling junky and has 5 kids. In her spare time she plans vacations to build memories, strengthen families, and challenge companies. She can also be found running, reading, cooking or sleeping. (one of her favorite past times)|