Locals and travelers both know Utah is famous for its beautiful scenery, but few know that you can find everything the wild west has to offer right in Utah’s capital city. Families will find that when visiting Salt Lake City they can jump from the city to the wilderness just as fast as their children can run to their next distraction. Here are the top ten attractions to visit with the family in Salt Lake City.
Ogle at the Hogle Zoo
Photo by Christine Mahler
Hogle Zoo is one of the most visited attractions in Utah and a perfect stop for any family vacation. Over 800 animals call the 42-acre zoo their home. Exhibits like the Rocky Shores, Asians Highlands, and Elephant Encounter bring animals from all over the world to the west.
Get involved in the interactive Leonardo
Photo by Philip Beesley
A unique museum that will spark your creativity, the Leonardo is a must-see in the heart of Salt Lake City. You cannot label the Leonardo; it is a museum where science, art, technology and creativity combine to create a one-of-a-kind experience. With plenty of fun interactive exhibits, you and the family will have so much fun you won’t even realize you are learning.
Play at the Liberty Park
Photo by Edgar Zuniga Jr.
Bring a picnic lunch to one of Utah’s largest parks with plenty to do. The Liberty Park offers families endless trails, playgrounds, paddle boat rentals, amusement rides, and a water play area for hours of outdoor fun. In addition to the park there is also the Chase Home Museum of Folk Arts and the Tracy Aviary.
Let loose at Boondocks Fun Center
Photo by ESPN RISE LAX
Eight acres of fun await families at the Boondocks Fun Center. Just about anything a child can dream up is available at the fun center like go-karts, bumper boats, mini golf and laser tag. The center welcomes birthday parties and group functions too.
Shop till you’re ready to drop and watch a movie
Photo by Steve Greenwood
The Gateway Mall has tons to offer anyone visiting Utah. Space-themed attractions such as the moon rock from 1971 and the Foucault pendulum are available to see up close at the Clark Planetarium—free! And when the kids are tired you can take them to see a 3D IMAX movie at the Hansen Dome Theatre. And if that were not enough, the Discovery Gateway offers families 60,000 square feet of interactive fun for children of all ages. Young children especially like playing in the minature town playground where they can even play shop in a miniature supermarket.
Fun for thrill seekers new and old
Photo by Arbyreed
Utah’s premiere amusement park, Lagoon Park is guaranteed fun for the thrill-seeking family. The park boasts over 45 rides from the most bone-chilling rollercoasters to kid-friendly go-karts. The Lagoon has been in operation since 1896, so they have a unique assortment of old and new attractions. It even includes a waterpark called Lagoon-A-Beach for the summer months.
Float across the Great Salt Lake
Another excellent way to get in touch with nature, the Great Salt Lake State park is a great option for families. In the summer, take a swim in the salty waters of the Great Salt Lake where the water is so dense that you cannot sink (think Dead Sea floating). Locals recommend Antelope Island for the best swimming opportunities. The Great Salt Lake is located about 25 minutes outside of Salt Lake City in Tooele County.
Live like a pioneer at This is the Place Heritage Park
Experience pioneer life at This is the Place Heritage Park. Experience the Pioneer Spirit and Native American Culture at This is the Place Heritage Park. Pan for gold, ride ponies and trains and cool off in the splash pad. Don’t miss Brigham’s Donuts and grab some good grub at the Huntsman Grill. See Blacksmiths, weavers and Native American dancers or try your hand at take-home crafts. All activities are included in the admission fee. This is the Place Heritage Park, 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City.
Descend into the history of Utah
Photo by Charles Peterson
The Natural History Museum of Utah is as close as you can get to nature without being there. The museum entrance itself makes you feel as though you are descending into the red rock canyons of Utah. After your descent you can explore every era of Utah’s history through its Native American and dinosaur exhibits, or learn about contemporary Utah with a basket weaving class. A children’s learning center and café are available within the museum too.
Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens
For a relaxing afternoon take the family for a stroll through the Red Butte Gardens. Located near the University of Utah, the gardens offer four miles of walking paths through 11 themed gardens. In case the kids get bored, there are children’s activities, seasonal family events, and summer camps available too.
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