As the most populous city in Utah, Salt Lake City is a popular place to live as well as to visit. Brigham Young and a group of settlers founded the city in 1847 and named it after the largest saltwater lake in the US, Great Salt Lake. And with warm temps most of the year, the lake really is a hot spot.
There is plenty to do and see in Salt Lake City from beaches to museums and everything in between. Liberty Park, the Hogle Zoo, and the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum are just a few of the fun places to visit. Are the kids tired of carrying those backpacks? Be sure to drop off your bags at a suitcase storage facility in Salt Lake City to lighten the load. Then it’s time to explore!
Discover Something at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
The kids will have so much fun at this museum, they won’t even know they are learning. The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum features more than 60 thousand square feet of interactive exhibits to explore. The second floor is the Garden, where they can play music and run a giant machine.
But the most popular is the Kid’s Eye View, which is a child-sized city where they can shop, build, feed animals, and learn about real jobs. There is also a special playground for toddlers in that area. The third floor is where they can create a film at the Story Factory and learn art and science at the Studio.
Amuse Yourselves at Lagoon Amusement Park
Just outside of Salt Lake City, Lagoon Amusement Park boasts 53 rides with 10 roller coasters and 95 acres of fun and games. It opened way back in 1886 as Lake Park Resort but they did not build the first roller coaster until 1921. And the wooden coaster is still there, 57 feet high and 2,500+ feet long.
The park is divided into five sections. The Midway has most of the rides and games. Lagoon-A-Beach is a water park with slides. Kiddie Land boasts more than 20 rides for the little thrill-seekers. Pioneer Village has the Rattlesnake Rapids and Log Flume. And the X-Venture Zone is where all the extreme thrill rides are.
Visit the Animals at the Hogle Zoo
Housed at the front of Emigration Canyon, the Hogle Zoo has 42+ acres of animals from different ecosystems. The African Savanna features giraffes, zebras, ostriches, a warthog, lions, and more. The Rocky Shore houses polar bears, otters, seals, and sea lions as well as a few grizzly bears.
The Asian Highlands is where the tigers, lynx, and leopards live. The Elephant Encounter boasts two African elephants and two white rhinos. The Small Animal Building hosts reptiles, birds, and marmosets. The Great Ape Building holds gorillas and orangutans. And the Primate Forest is packed with monkeys.
Play Around at Liberty Park
Liberty Park is the city’s second-largest park with 80 acres that include playgrounds, picnic areas, concession stands, trails, and a pond with two islands. You and the kids can rent a paddleboat, play horseshoes and other games, and cool off in the swimming pool during the summer months.
One of the most popular spots is the Tracy Aviary with eight acres of birds. It started in 1938 when Russel Tracy donated his private bird collection to the park for all to see. Today there are more than 400 birds in seven exhibits. But don’t miss the 1852 Isaac Chase Mill, which is the oldest commercial building in the state.
See the Stars at Clark Planetarium
The Clark Planetarium features the first pitless digital dome in the US. You can see a variety of free displays in the 190-seat theater that even has interactive seat button controls so you can all see the universe in 3D with no glasses required. The HD video has a stellar sound system and 21 speakers!
The ATK IMAX theater also features 3D films about nature and science. All of this is free and fun so you and the kids can spend the whole day there. But when you get to the Planet Fun Store, you are likely to spend money on some really awesome souvenirs, so it is good that everything else is free.
Learn Something at the Natural History Museum of Utah
If you leave Salt Lake City without visiting the Natural History Museum of Utah, you and the kids will miss a lot of cool stuff. The Sky exhibit will tell you how a star is born, Utah Futures has games to see the results of your everyday activities, and Our Backyard boasts live bugs and a pond to play in.
The Past World exhibit has dinosaurs, the Great Salt Lake exhibit teaches all about the lake, and the Gems and Minerals exhibit is full of gorgeous gems. First Peoples lets you learn about the prehistoric people at an archaeological dig site and the Land exhibit takes you all on a tour through Utah’s three ecosystems.
See Where It All Started at This Is the Place Heritage Park
See where Brigham Young first viewed the Salt Lake Valley before he and the Mormon pioneers settled there in 1847. There is a white stone obelisk monument at the very spot where he stopped, built in 1921. Heritage Park itself boasts a 450-acre living museum of an 1800s Mormon village.
The kids can ride horses, take a trip around the park on a mini-train, and make some fun crafts. You will be amazed at how happy they are to do “chores” there, unlike how they do them at home. They can even go panning for gold, join in on Native American dancing, and dig for artifacts at Prospector Pit.
Since you have to eat while you are in Salt Lake City, don’t be pressured to spend $20 on a hot dog at one of these attractions. Stop at one of the fantastic kid-friendly eateries around the city. Try R&R Barbecue for some fantastic ribs, steaks, or other BBQ meats, the Pie Pizzeria for a slice or two, or Moochie’s Meatballs and More for a hoagie or burger.
If you would like more ideas why not take a look at one of these websites:
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.