The Salt Lake Valley is home to beautiful mountains, amazing scenery, and a lot of LDS temples! It is a wonderful place to raise a family, and I feel so blessed to have been able to raise my family here. With the exception of the nasty winter inversion, it really is the idea place for me. Okay, I also wouldn’t mind a longer warm season.
In addition to the beautiful mountains, there is a lot of fun to be had here in the valley! Whether you’re looking for the chance to connect with nature, or to have a good time with your family, there is something for you. If you’re ever in the area and are looking for something to do, let me share with you a few favorites:
#1 Hiking – there are endless hiking possibilities, it seems. Whether you are a beginner with young kids, or are looking for a more strenuous hike, you can find it. Within 30 minutes of downtown Salt Lake are over 3 canyons that you can access. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are favorites of my family, and entrance into these canyons is free. If you’re looking for specific information or hikes, Utah Explore is a great resource.
#2 Thanksgiving Point is home to the Museum of Natural Curiosity, the Museum of Ancient Life, a real working farm, beautiful estate gardens, restaurants, shopping, and more. If there ever was a family friendly place to visit, this is it! Located just off the I-15 freeway, it’s about 30 minutes away from downtown. It is TONS of fun, and my family loves going there!
#3 Temple Square is a pretty well-known spot in Salt Lake, but it simply can’t be left out. The grounds on which the Salt Lake Temple lay are immaculate and stunning! This is a great place to take family pictures. There is a church history museum right there, as well as the church conference center and a pioneer history museum. All are a lot of fun to explore, and absolutely free! Only a few blocks away from Temple Square is the Gateway, an outdoor strip mall. There you’ll find the Discovery Gateway Museum, the Clark Planetarium, and a bunch of shopping.
#4 Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolate Factory is a great option if you want to sample some amazing chocolate. They offer tours at this North Salt Lake City location for only $1 per person, and you get to learn about the history of chocolate as well as sample a few pieces. It is also a store, so you can purchase all the cocoa goodness you want (within your budget, of course)!
#5 The This is the Place Heritage Park is a fun place for everyone! You are able to step back in time to the days when Utah was first being settled. You can ride any of the 3 trains there, and kids will love petting the farm animals and riding ponies! You can pan for gold, search for geodes, visit the Native American village, and so much more. My kids loved dipping their own candles and branding their own piece of wood. Admission during the warmer months is $12.95/adult and $8.95/child. Admission is less during the winter months.
There is so, so much more to do…but it’d take me weeks to share it all with you! These are 5 of my favorite family-friendly activities that are unique to Salt Lake City – for now, anyway. Give me a few months and I’ll have 5 new favorites!
Evelyn Cox is a special needs mom, a wife, and the owner of Utah Explore, a brand new blog dedicated to sharing family activities, tips and tricks, and exploring in Utah. You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest, where she and her family share even more!