Our List of the Top 10 Family Activities in Salt Lake City
If you’re reading this, you likely fall into one of the following categories: you are visiting Salt Lake and want to find fun things to plan your trip around, you’re new to the area and want to better familiarize yourself with the family-friendly activities in SLC, or you’ve lived here for a while and have grown bored of the status quo and want to shake things up a bit. Either way, hopefully, we can help you identify some of the great family activities Salt Lake City has to offer. Canyon Rim Dental is one of the premiere dentists in Salt Lake City, and we truly love this city! There’s a LOT to do for families in the area, so narrowing it down to ten wasn’t easy. In no particular order, here are ten great ideas for your family to get out of the house and experience Salt Lake City.
Per their mission, the Clark Planetarium has been “creating and presenting enlightening experiences that transpire wonder in learning about space and science” since 2003. In addition to their various exhibits, the planetarium showcases an IMAX theater that plays educational films about Earth and space, as well as the Hansen Dome Theatre that creates a 3D way to experience the universe in a resolution that surpasses high definition. The Clark Planetarium is located in downtown Salt Lake City at 110 S 400 W.
The Living Planet Aquarium
While the Clark Planetarium focuses on opening our horizons to space, the Living Planet Aquarium’s mission is “to inspire people to explore, discover, and learn about Earth’s diverse ecosystems.” As its mission statement suggests, the aquarium showcases various ecosystems and many different animals. You’ll find sharks, toucans, leopards, anacondas, penguins and much more. The aquarium offers a season pass that gives you unlimited visits as well as discounts at the cafe and gift shop – due to how much there is to see, you may want to strongly consider buying the pass. The Living Planet Aquarium is located at 12033 Lone Peak Parkway in Draper.
While we are on the topic of animals, we may as well bring up the Utah Hogle Zoo. The Hogle Zoo features over 800 different animals, including giraffes, gorillas, polar bears, elephants, and African lions (to name a few). In addition to normal zoo hours and usual exhibits, Hogle Zoo offers many different programs to engage kids’ and expand their learning – including classes with a zookeeper, pre-school programs, after-hours zoo group campfires, and more. Hogle Zoo is located at 2570-2600 E Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City.
Antelope Island State Park
If you’re looking for an activity to do with some of your older children, Antelope Island gives you an opportunity to hike, bike or even horseback ride some incredible trails throughout the island with amazing views of the Great Salt Lake and surrounding area. You can enjoy some sandy beaches and even take a dip in the lake if you desire (fun fact – you will float due to the high salt content of the water). On the island, you’ll also find some unique wildlife that calls the island home, including mule deer, bison, antelope (of course), bighorn sheep, and many other animals.
Utah Olympic Park
Utah Olympic Park was built for the 2002 winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City. The park is located in Park City, only 25 miles east of Salt Lake. If you want a taste of Olympic history, you’re able to get a guided tour of the facilities when visiting. Some of the summer activities include summer bobsled, numerous rope courses, tubing, massive slides, zip lines, climbing walls, and much more. Visit this page here to get specific instructions on getting to the Olympic Park.
Okay, so Thanksgiving Point isn’t exactly in Salt Lake…but Utah Olympic Park isn’t either. Either way, both are worth the extra drive. Thanksgiving Point is one of the most versatile attractions in the area, featuring two museums – the Museum of Natural Curiosity and the Museum of Ancient Life – as well as a farm with petting zoos, wagon rides, pony rides, cow milking, and more. The Thanksgiving Point complex also showcases Ashton Gardens, a 55-acre garden with 15 garden themes and the largest man-made waterfall in the Western Hemisphere. Side note – if you feel like catching a movie after a day at Thanksgiving Point, there is a Megaplex next door to the Museum of Ancient Life.
Lagoon is located 17 miles north of Salt Lake in Farmington. It’s the only amusement park of its kind in Utah, featuring 10 major roller coasters, several kids rides, a water park (included in the price of admission), and carnival-style games. You’re sure to find something the whole family will enjoy at Lagoon, located at 375 North Lagoon Drive in Farmington.
If you’re looking for something that’s both free and fun, look no further than Liberty Park. Liberty Park is an 80-acre park located on 6th East in Salt Lake City. Some of the facilities include a playground, children play areas, boweries, restrooms, pond, concession stand, large grass areas, swimming pool, basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, 1.5-mile jogging path, and more. The park is a perfect place for a picnic and day out in the sun the whole family can enjoy.
Ensign Peak is another free and fun outdoor family activity. Ensign Peak is in the foothills of Salt Lake City, located roughly a mile north of the state Capitol. It’s a hike even young children can finish, being only 0.9 miles in length. The peak offers an incredible view of the city and is a great place to enjoy a picnic (also, the sunset looks marvelous from the top).
It’s impossible to talk about the family activities Salt Lake City has to offer and not mention skiing. Utah is home to “the greatest snow on earth,” at least that’s what our license plates claim. There may be some truth to that though – according to this Forbes.com article, Utah has three of the top ten best ski resorts in North America. Snowbird, Alta, and Park City/Canyons all made the cut, with Solitude coming in at #14. Skiing is certainly not a cheap activity, but if you can afford to take your family, you’ll have an incredible time hitting the slopes. If you get injured, you may want to check out this article.
*Honorable mentions: Natural History Museum, Utah Jazz, Real Salt Lake, City Creek Mall, Children’s Museum