Welcome to the ultimate guide to family activities in Utah! We’ll explore the best outdoor adventures, thrilling theme parks, interactive museums, ski resorts, wildlife encounters, and unique historical sites that Utah has to offer. So, pack your bags and let’s discover the Beehive State together!
The Great Outdoors
Utah is famous for its stunning natural beauty and diverse landscapes, making it the perfect destination for families who love the outdoors.
Zion National Park
Home to breathtaking red rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and scenic hikes, Zion National Park offers an array of activities suitable for all ages. The whole family will love the easy Riverside Walk or the more challenging Angels Landing hike for those seeking adventure.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Famous for its otherworldly hoodoos, Bryce Canyon National Park provides a unique and unforgettable experience. Take the family on a scenic drive, enjoy a leisurely hike, or join a ranger-led program to learn about the park’s fascinating geology.
Arches National Park
Boasting over 2,000 natural stone arches, Arches National Park is a must-see destination for families. The easy hike to Landscape Arch is perfect for young children, while the more adventurous can tackle the iconic Delicate Arch trail.
Thrilling Theme Parks
When it comes to family activities in Utah, the state’s theme parks are sure to provide a day full of excitement and fun.
Lagoon Amusement Park
Located in Farmington, Lagoon Amusement Park offers a variety of thrilling rides, games, and attractions suitable for all ages. From the adrenaline-pumping Cannibal roller coaster to the gentle Carousel, there’s something for everyone.
Cowabunga Bay Water Park
Cool off in the summer heat at Cowabunga Bay Water Park in Draper. With water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool, this park is perfect for family fun in the sun.
Utah’s museums offer a range of educational and interactive experiences for the whole family.
Natural History Museum of Utah
Located in Salt Lake City, the Natural History Museum of Utah provides a fascinating journey through the state’s unique geological, ecological, and cultural history. With hands-on exhibits and engaging displays, it’s a must-visit for curious minds.
Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
This interactive museum in Salt Lake City encourages learning through play, with exhibits that cater to a variety of age groups. Kids can explore a pretend city, test their engineering skills, and get creative with art projects.
Family-Friendly Ski Resorts
Utah is home to world-class ski resorts that cater to families, offering a range of winter activities and amenities.
Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort features beginner-friendly slopes, ski schools, and a variety of family activities like snow tubing and sleigh rides. The historic downtown area of Park City offers a charming atmosphere with shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
Snowbird, located in Little Cottonwood Canyon, offers a range of terrain for all skill levels, as well as family-friendly activities such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and a mountain coaster.
Get Up Close with Wildlife
For animal-loving families, Utah has several attractions that allow you to get up close and personal with wildlife.
Utah’s Hogle Zoo
Located in Salt Lake City, Hogle Zoo is home to over 800 animals from around the world. Families can enjoy interactive exhibits, live shows, and special events throughout the year.
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
In Draper, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium offers immersive exhibits featuring marine life, birds, and reptiles. Highlights include the awe-inspiring shark tunnel and the interactive penguin encounter.
Unique Outdoor Adventures
For a truly unforgettable family experience, explore some of Utah’s more unusual natural attractions.
Bonneville Salt Flats
These vast, flat expanses of salt create an otherworldly landscape perfect for family photos and exploration. The salt flats are also home to the famous Bonneville Speedway, where land speed records are regularly broken.
Goblin Valley State Park
Featuring peculiar, mushroom-shaped rock formations, Goblin Valley State Park offers families an opportunity to hike, picnic, and camp in a unique and fascinating environment.
Historic Sites and Education
Utah is rich in history, and these educational sites provide families with a chance to learn and explore together.
In the heart of Salt Lake City, Temple Square is a significant cultural and religious site for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Visitors can tour the stunning gardens, historic buildings, and learn about Utah’s early settlers.
Golden Spike National Historical Park
Commemorating the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, Golden Spike National Historical Park offers guided tours, reenactments, and exhibits that bring history to life.
Family-Friendly Dining Options
Finding delicious, kid-friendly dining options is a breeze in Utah. Here are a couple of our favorites.
Blue Plate Diner
This Salt Lake City staple offers classic American comfort food with a twist. The family-friendly atmosphere and diverse menu make it a perfect spot for a satisfying meal after a day of exploring.
Known for its award-winning Mexican cuisine, Red Iguana in Salt Lake City is a must-visit for families. With a warm atmosphere and generous portions, it’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Seasonal Family Activities in Utah
From film festivals to state fairs, Utah offers an array of family-friendly events throughout the year.
Sundance Film Festival
Held annually in Park City, the Sundance Film Festival showcases independent films from around the world. While some films may be geared towards older audiences, the festival also offers family-friendly screenings and events.
Utah State Fair
The Utah State Fair, held in Salt Lake City every September, offers families a fun-filled experience with carnival rides, games, live entertainment, and delicious fair food.
Accessible Activities for All Abilities
Utah is committed to providing inclusive experiences for families with members of all abilities.
National Ability Center
Located in Park City, the National Ability Center offers adaptive sports and recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. From skiing and snowboarding to horseback riding and rock climbing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Utah Olympic Park
Home to several events during the 2002 Winter Olympics, Utah Olympic Park in Park City now offers a variety of adaptive programs and accessible facilities for visitors of all abilities.
Festivals and Events
Celebrate the diverse culture of Utah by attending one of the state’s many festivals and events.
Utah Arts Festival
Held annually in Salt Lake City, the Utah Arts Festival showcases the work of local and international artists. Families can enjoy live performances, art displays, and interactive workshops.
Days of ’47 Rodeo
This exciting rodeo event takes place in Salt Lake City every July, celebrating Utah’s pioneer heritage with thrilling competitions, live music, and family-friendly activities.
With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and endless array of family activities in Utah, the Beehive State is the ultimate destination for families seeking adventure and fun. From national parks to theme parks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags and start creating memories that will last a lifetime!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best time of year to visit Utah for family activities?
- Utah offers year-round activities, with summer being ideal for outdoor adventures and winter being perfect for skiing and snowboarding.
- Are Utah’s national parks suitable for young children?
- Yes, many of Utah’s national parks offer easy hikes and ranger-led programs designed for families with young children.
- What are some free family activities in Utah?
- Exploring Temple Square, visiting the Utah State Capitol, and hiking in the many state parks are just a few free activities families can enjoy.
- Do the ski resorts in Utah offer lessons for children?
- Yes, most ski resorts in Utah have ski schools with lessons designed specifically for children.
- Are there any family-friendly accommodations in Utah?
- Utah offers a wide range of family-friendly accommodations, including hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds.