Utah has one of the youngest populations in the nation. The number of families with young children has encouraged a wealth of family-oriented attractions around the state. Kid-friendly offerings range from specialty museums, hikes, theater, and events, to places to cool off, or get a fun snack.
Family Attractions in Northern Utah
Temple Square in Salt Lake City is Utah's most popular tourist destination. Temple Square is much more than a religious icon. It's a collage of fascinating history, singular architecture, and gourmet dining. Learn more and literally visit the center of Salt Lake City.
In Logan, Willow Park has a small zoo with more than 600 animals, 419 W. 700 South, Logan, 435-752-3060.
South of Logan, Hardware Ranch offers wagon and sleigh rides through herds of Rocky Mountain elk, cookout meals, and overnight cowboy adventures (435-753-6168).
American West Heritage Center features a 1917-era working farm, pioneer site, mountain man encampment, native American village, with seasonal hands-on experiences in farm living and more. It is located 6 miles SW of Logan on U.S. 89/91 (435-245-6050).
Minnetonka Cave near the Bear Lake Valley has nine 'rooms' featuring stalagmites, stalactites and banded travertine formations (208-847-0375).
Cache Valley Fun Park. Try extreme bowling, skate on Logan's state-of-the-art roller rink, play arcade games and laser tag, or crawl through soft play mazes. 255 East 1770 North, North Logan. (435) 792-4000 or (435) 750-6552 Mon-Thurs 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-midnight.
George S. Eccles Ice Center: This is Cache Valley's Olympic-size indoor ice rink. Classes, open skating, and skate rentals are available. 2825 North 200 East, North Logan. (435) 787-2288 Call for hours.
Logan Aquatic Center features a leisure pool, lap pool, diving well, and two water slides. (Also available for private party rental.) 451 South 500 West, Logan. (435) 716-9266 Open June-August. Call for hours.
Willows Golf Park: Enjoy 18 holes of miniature golf. 220 North Spring Creek Parkway, Providence. (435) 752-4255 Open Mon.-Thurs. noon-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. noon-midnight.
Stokes Nature Center: Discover a piece of natural history or take in the beauty of the surrounding area at Stokes Nature Center. You can make friends with live reptiles and amphibians, learn amazing things about rocks and fossils, and enjoy the native plants and animals along the Logan River. You are never too old or too young to explore nature. 2696 East U.S. Hwy. 89, 1 mile up Logan Canyon. (435) 755-3239 Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; 2nd Sat. of each month 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Famous Food Tour: Cache Valley is known as the "land of milk and honey." Spend a day visiting our food factories and sample our famous cheese, milk products, coffee, cookies, honey, and chocolates.
The Utah Wildlife Resources Fish Hatchery, Mantua, (435-723-6579), welcomes visitors daily.
Mountain Valley Trout & Llama Farm, 1471 West Highway 218 in Smithfield (435-563-3647), offers fishing fun for the entire family and pack llamas for rent.
When its time for a snack, Utah State University's Food Science Building on the eastern side of the Logan campus is famous for its homemade ice cream. There are several fast-food restaurants in Garden City with unforgettable raspberry shakes.
The naturally created pools of Crystal Hot Springs are year-round favorites for swimming and soaking, 8215 N. Hwy 69, Honeyville (279-8104) .
The George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park, 1544 E. Park Blvd, Ogden (393-DINO) includes replicas of prehistoric creatures.
Ogden's Municipal Garden at 25th Street and Grant Avenue is five acres of flowering beds, trees, and picnic areas. During the Holiday season, it hosts an elaborate Christmas Village.
The Treehouse Children's Museum in the Ogden City Mall has a focus on literacy. The Treehouse Theater hosts a variety of special events, (394-9663).
The North Ogden Trout Farm, 2284 N. Fruitland Drive (782-8582) is fun for "fish watching".
Lorin Farr Park on the Ogden River Parkway is a shady respite with picnic tables, a swimming pool, and waterslide.
The Ogden Nature Center, is a wildlife sanctuary with indoor and outdoor interpretive activities. 966 W 12th St, Ogden (621-7595).
The Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base (777-6868) south of Ogden, just off I-15, has one of the largest collections of vintage aircraft assembled anywhere in the United States. Guided tours combine facts with engaging stories of planes and the pilots who flew them.
Cherry Hill Recreation Park, 1325 S. Main, Farmington (451-5379), has camping, batting cages, a water park, and miniature golf course.
Lagoon, off the freeway in Farmington, has long been 'the' amusement park in Utah with wild and mild rides, entertainment, food, and a Pioneer Village. It is open daily in summer and weekends in fall and spring (451-8000). The adjacent waterpark, Lagoon-A Beach offers acres of water slides and swimming pools.
On the eastern edge of Salt Lake City, Hogle Zoo has over 800 animals, a one and half acre entry plaza which features a floating globe fountain, a train depot, an events pavilion and a gift shop, 2600 Sunnyside Ave., SLC, 801-582-1631.
Discovery Gateway Children's Museum has imaginative, interactive exhibits.
The Tracy Aviary, located on seven wooded acres of Liberty Park, is the nation's oldest public aviary. This bird park hosts a collection of 400 birds representing 130 species. During the summer guests can see a free-flying bird show and hand-feed colorful parrots at the Lory Walk exhibit. Admission is nominal and all proceeds benefit the birds. Open year-round. 589 East 1300 South. 801-596-8500.
The Utah Museum of Natural History on the University of Utah campus has dinosaur and fossil collections, including a footprint big enough to sit inside! There are also mineral and anthropology displays, and guided art projects (581-4303).
Clark Planetarium, 110 S 400 W, 801.456.STAR (7827). Daily star shows, music entertainment shows, and Utah's only 3D IMAX theatre. Two floors of free, interactive exhibits, and a unique science store.
Abravanel Hall, an architectural and acoustical wonder, is the home of the Utah Symphony. Tours are offered in the summer.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Office Building, 50 E. North Temple (240-2452) is open for year-round tours to the 26th-floor Observation Deck.
The International Peace Gardens, 1060 S. 900 West, inside Jordan Park, have botanical displays representing 25 countries.
The Days of '47 World Champion Rodeo is one of the world's biggest PRCA rodeos. It runs every year in July.
Antelope Island State Park on the Great Salt Lake's largest island offers camping, hiking, biking, beaches, and wildlife watching in every season. They've even got genuine "Buffalo Burgers." (773-2941).
The Adventure Associates (800-987-5582) design and conduct adventure-based teambuilding programs at Snowbird. Operate ropes course and orienteering for the general public. Open to participants of all ages and abilities. Available for youth and non-profit organizations.
Wheeler Historic Farm, 6351 S. 900 East, Murray, (264- 2241 or 264-2212), has a chore tour to help feed the farm animals and milk the cows Mon.-Sat., and horse-drawn hayrides.
On the elegant carousel at The Shops at South Town, children and adults can ride anything from a sea monster, or a chicken, to an elaborately decorated horse.
The world's largest man-made excavation and first open-pit copper mine, Kennecott (Bingham) Copper Mine, is located 25 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. An observation deck, accessible via Hwy 48 (7800 South), is open April-Oct.
On the mountain peak above the copper mine is the Bingham Copper Pit Overlook, giving a panoramic view of the mine, as well as Tooele and Salt Lake Valleys. (801-252-3234).
Tooele County Railroad Museum, has a steam engine, dining car, simulated mine, and children's train, Broadway and Vine Streets, Tooele. (378-0690).
The restored Benson Grist Mill in Tooele County mirrors the past with a log cabin, historic buildings and equipment, and a working blacksmith shop. (378-0690).
At the Park City Ski Area, summer offerings include the Alpine Slide and Little Miner's Park Mini Golf (649-8111). The Alpine Slide sweeps 3,000 feet down the mountainside.
The Heber Valley Railroad (654-5601) is a historic steam railway which regularly steams through scenic Heber Valley and down Provo Canyon to Vivian Park. 450 South 600 West, Heber City, (654-5601).
Sundance Children's Theater, presents original plays in a beautiful outdoor mountain amphitheater, 15 miles northeast of Provo on Hwy 92 at Sundance Resort, (225-4107). Sundance Village also offers fly fishing, horseback riding and other activities.
In Provo, Splash Summit Water Park has thrilling water slides and a giant wave pool, 1334 E. 300 North
Provo's McCurdy Doll Museum, has hundreds of dolls on display at 246 N. 100 East (377-9935).
In northeastern Utah, The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park and Dinosaur Gardens has 14 life-size dinosaur sculptures in a garden setting, 235 E. Main, Vernal, (800-477-5558).
Twenty miles from Vernal, near Jensen, Dinosaur National Monument and Quarry, showcases fossilized remains of over 2,000 bones (789-2115).
At Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, visitors can tour the inside of Flaming Gorge Dam, as well as enjoy fishing and hiking (800-477-5558).
The Ute Stampede is three days of family-style activities every July culminating in a professional rodeo, Juab County Fairgrounds, Nephi. (623-1735).
Family Attractions to See in Southern Utah
Not to brag about our public lands again, but Grand Staircase National Monument is 2 million acres of sand and slot canyons. Hike Zebra Canyon or Spooky and Peek-A-Boo slot canyons, a short drive from Bryce Canyon National Park.
Observation Point is one of the highlights of Zion National Park, but it’s reserved for those who can handle the 2,000-foot elevation gain. Be sure to shout, “Nice try!” at the people below you who thought they were cool for summiting Angels Landing.
Adventure and relaxation make Red Cliffs Lodge a rustic, but elegant destination in the Moab region. Fantastic views combined with great recreational and meeting facilities as well as its own winery bring visitors a taste of the old West.
In Central Utah, Hillside Miniature Golf southwest of Monroe, the rolling sand hills east of Delta, and the KC Water Slides south of Richfield are all popular choices for family fun (623-5203).
Fremont Indian State Park centers on exhibits, rock art, and dwellings of Utah's ancient Indians, 21 miles SW of Richfield.
The Parker Family Ranch on Hwy 89 south of Circleville, was the childhood home of the famous outlaw, Butch Cassidy.
The BLM's Price Canyon Recreation Area in a canyon north of Price, and the area surrounding Joe's Valley Reservoir northwest of Orangeville, are popular for camping, picnicking, and hiking (800-842-0789).
The Desert Wave Pool in Price City Park has 3 action waves and calm water (637-7946).
The Prehistoric Museum at USU Eastern is filled with dinosaur and ancient Indian exhibits, 155 E. Main, Price (637-5060).
Cedar Mountain Recreation Site south of Price offers an excellent view of the San Rafael Swell, and the San Rafael desert is popular for camping and solitude.
The BLM's Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, 20 foot Allosaurus and other exhibits, 30 miles south of Price on Hwy's 10 & 55
Goblin Valley State Park, explore intricately eroded rock creatures. Perfect for hiking and 'hide and seek', the park is between Green River and Hanksville off SR 24.
The Hickman Bridge Trail is a family favorite with geology, flora and remnants of the Fremont Indian Culture, as well as a huge natural bridge. The trailhead is off SR 24. The orchards of Capitol Reef allow self serve picking of several types of fruit in season, and attract deer and other animals each evening.
Helper Parkway offers a shady relaxing trail along the Price River for a brisk or leisurely stroll. The parkway features Bocce courts for those who desire a less strenuous experience. (435-637-3009)
Hike Nine Mile Canyon and discover Indian Rock Art, historic remnants of early ranching, and a variety of wildlife. The canyon features an actual working ranch "bed and breakfast" where you can sleep in an Indian teepee or a rustic log cabin.(435-637-3009)
Birds of every shape and description flock to The Desert Lake Waterfowl Management Area in Emery County, as well as pheasant, dove and rabbit. Tours can be arranged. (435) 637-3310
The Western Mining and Railroad Museum in Helper is a unique historic museum. Visitors get the opportunity to hear actual train whistles while viewing the exhibits because the museum is located across the street from the train station. (435) 472-3009
Green River boasts the John Wesley Powell River History Museum which includes fascinating replicas of the different boats used by explorer's and adventurers to explore the west's waterways, including a unique round hull boat used by the Indians. (435)564-3427
Step back in time and visit a typical pioneer home and schoolroom at the Emery County Pioneer Museum in Castle Dale. (435)381-5154
Life-size dinosaurs in the Paleontology room and artifacts from Indian cultures are a few of the fun things to see at the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale. (435)381-5252
In southwestern Utah, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park has a 'boardwalk' trail and acres of fine, pink sand on which to play. It is 11 miles off Hwy 89 near Kanab (874-2408).
Snow Canyon State Park features short, easy hikes in a stunning setting, 9 miles north of St. George (628-2255).
The Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City (586-7878). Rated as one of the best Shakespearean festivals in the nation! Catch a show during the summer or fall season.
The BLM's Squaw Trail is an easy hike from Kanab City Park offering panoramic views. Other fun spots in this area include Kanab City Park; Kids Pond at Woods Ranch 10 miles east of Cedar City on SR-14; the BLM-administered Sand Dunes between St. George and Hurricane on Hwy 9; and the Utah Wildlife Resources Mammoth Creek Fish Hatchery (735-4200) southwest of Hatch near Hwy 89 (800-233-8824).
Southeastern Utah's Grand County Library in Moab provides a cool respite during 'Summer Story Hour', Thursdays at 10a.m. all summer, 25 S. 100 E. (259-5421).
Arches National Park has many short, easy trails through a magically eroded landscape which make this park a favorite for hikers of all ages. The park is north of Moab off US 191 (259-8161).
Canyonlands Field Institute presents educational programs on the ecology of the Colorado Plateau for children and adults, P.O. Box 68, Moab (259-7750).
The La Sal Mountain and Abajo Mountains offer excellent chances to cool off in the summer and to cross-country ski in the winter.
Dead Horse Point State Park shows off Canyonlands National Park's geology in vivid color, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
The Monticello Golf Course is a winter favorite for tubing and sledding.
Mill Creek Canyon adjacent to Moab and Negro Bill Canyon north of Moab offer short, secluded hikes. An evening boat trip on the Colorado River is a leisurely way to wind down the day. (259-8825 or 587-3235).
Bryce National Park - (435) 834-5322 The Junior Ranger Program offers children ages 12 and under the opportunity to learn more about the park. Although the program is designed as an independent learning experience in an effort to accommodate individual family schedules, one important requirement is that the kids attend a ranger-guided activity. Recommended minimum time needed for completion of the program is approximately one full day. When kids fulfill their requirements, they can bring their completed booklets to the park visitor center and receive a Junior Ranger certificate. In addition, a special patch is available for $1.
Zion National Park (435-772-3436) Family recreational opportunities available in the park. Hiking - Zion offers many trails ranging from short "leg-stretcher" walks to the strenuous adventures. Wildflowers & Fall Colors - The variety of mountain and canyon environments makes Zion an excellent location for wildflower walks in the spring and summer and brilliant leaf color in the autumn. Photography - Zion offers the photographer many opportunities to explore color, texture, and light. Birdwatching - Zion is home to 271 species of birds. A bird checklist can be obtained at the visitor centers. Bicycling - The Pa'rus Trail offers a paved, car-free alternative for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with strollers or wheelchairs to visit lower Zion Canyon and access the Scenic Drive. Ranger-led activities - During the summer, join a Park Ranger to learn more about Zion National Park. Topics include geology, plants, animals, human history and other features. Programs include guided walks, short talks at the visitor centers and evening programs at the campground amphitheaters and Zion Lodge. All programs are free. Check the weekly schedules posted at visitor centers and bulletin boards throughout the park for times, places, and subjects.
Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theatre (772-2400) in Sprindgale features a giant screen epic exploring the natural beauty of Color Country. Zion Canyon Treasure of the Gods takes viewers an a thrilling panorama through time to explore the legends of Zion Canyon, and surrounding areas. A terrific preview of must see places in southern Utah. Open daily.
Bumbleberry Theatre only one mile short of the entrance to Zion National Park and adjacent to the Bumbleberry Restaurant. This new Branson-style show, TWIST the NIGHT AWAY at the Bumbleberry Theatre is a 1950's Musical Production that will send you back to the days of young love, bobby socks, Doo Woppin' melodies and good ol' Rock n' Roll. This era of rich harmonies, classic love songs and unforgettable dances is fun for the whole family.
Capitol Reef National Park at Torrey (435)425-3791. Harvest Homecoming celebrates the pioneer legacy and fruit harvest of Capitol Reef. Watch as traditional craftspeople demonstrate skills ranging from soapmaking to tinsmithing. Learn about Native American culture or hear stories of the Mormon pioneer settlement. Re-enact a day in the life of a student at the Fruita schoolhouse. Come celebrate the crafts, skills and talents of turn of the century pioneers whose isolation required self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Contact the Visitor Center for the date and events schedule of Harvest Homecoming.
Cedar Breaks National Monument - The grass fields, evergreen trees, wildlife and windblown sandstone make for a grand family experience. The high elevation of the area provides mild temperatures during the summer months that is a great escape from the desert heat. Cedar Breaks will become a favorite stop for those seeking the solitude and beauty nature. Cedar Breaks National Monument is just a short drive from the town of Brian Head and its many recreational facilities.