Looking for ways to keep the kids busy, active, and learning this summer? Luckily you live in Utah! We were surprised to see the long list of things to do and places to go this summer. While it is by no means an exhaustive list, we picked out some of our favorite kid-friendly hikes, events, museums, and other places to go.
Ensign Peak – A one-mile round trip hike on a well-maintained trail. Up at the top you get great views of Salt Lake Valley and the Great Salt Lake.
Secret Lake – This is a 1.5 mile round trip easy hike. You will see some beautiful summer wildflowers and wonderful scenery.
Silver Lake – An easy .75 mile round trip hike around the lake at Brighton Ski Resort. The hike includes a boardwalk that extends out into a meadow and runs along the lake’s shoreline.
Twin Lakes and Lake Solitude – These trails are about 2.5 to 3 miles long and will take you through a scenic forest and up some moderately steep ridges.
Battle Creek Falls – An easy 1.2 mile roundtrip hike up to the top of the waterfalls.
Devils Kitchen – Only .5 mile roundtrip, this easy trail will take you to see some wonderful rock formations. It is often called a miniature Bryce Canyon.
Grotto Falls – Only 0.6 miles out and back this hike will take you to a wonderful little waterfall. And if the water is warm enough, you can wade out into the spray!
Timpanogos Falls – This trail leads you on a 2 mile hike up to the waterfall on the east side of Mt Timpanogos.
Birdsong Trail – This one-mile trail takes you past six springs, a pond, and deep into the forest where you will see numerous birds.
Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games – A family-friendly event that features dancing, music, food and games. The event is hosted by Disney’s movie Brave and is a great chance for your kids to see some of the athletic events seen in the movie and to experience the rich culture of Scotland. Children 11 and under are free.
Utah Lake Festival – The festival is free and will include fishing clinics, children’s activities, educational booths, food, and sailing demonstrations. It is also Free Fishing Day, when you can fish without a license in the state of Utah.
Mountain Man Living History Camp – Come see a living history encampment and learn how our forefathers lived. Includes demonstrations in period firearms, clothing, blacksmithing, leatherwork, cooking, tanning, and horse packing. This Is The Place Heritage Park.
Fire on the Water – Enjoy food, live music, kids zone, parade of lights and fireworks. Jordanelle State Park.
Annual Llama Fest – Bring the family to learn more about llamas and the communities that they originate from. Enjoy music, dancing, food, an Andean craft fair, and a baby llama corral. Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork.
Timpanogos Storytelling Festival – The largest storytelling festival in the West, come see some of the nation’s best-known storytellers along with some local talent. Mt. Timpanogos Park.
Utah State Fair – It isn’t summer without the fair! A popular exhibit for the kids is the Little Hands on the Farm Exhibit. Designed to teach children the agriculture connection from the farm to the grocery store, the exhibit lets them participate in each step of the process. Utah State Fairpark.
BYU Planetarium – Sign up for one of their scheduled outreach shows geared towards children or come for one of their Friday night public shows.
BYU’s Museum of Art Van Gogh Play Dough – Scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, children from 3-5 can come and learn more about art through song, play, and creating. The program is free, but you will need to register first.
BYU’s Museum of Art Adventures in Art – This series teaches children more about art through sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, and movement. Sessions are offered for children 5-7 and 8-11.
Thanksgiving Point – A great place for kids, Thanksgiving Point has several activities to keep you busy over the summer. Farm Country is a great place for animal lovers. And if your kids are more interested in extinct animals, drop in to see the Museum of Ancient Life. When it is hot, the Children’s Discovery Garden is a good place to cool off in the shooting fountains. You can also visit the hedgerow maze, Bear Cave and Eco Pond.
Free Family Flicks at Snowbird – Free movies on the Snowbird Center Plaza Deck every Friday. Shows start at dusk.
Antelope Island – Antelope Island is most well known for its bison, but don’t think that is all it has to offer! The island is also a great place for bike riding and hiking. The island even hosts a Moonlight Bike Ride on July 19th. Or you can enjoy the Antelope Island Stampede from August 31st to September 2nd with hot air balloons, professional kite flyers, BMX demos, and local bands. You can even fly your own kite! Or you may want to check out one of their star gazing parties!
The Great Salt Lake – You have probably heard both the good and the bad about swimming in the Great Salt Lake. But if you can overlook some of the negatives, floating around like a cork in the buoyant salty water is quite an experience. By driving out to Antelope Island a lot of the smell from the lake goes away—Bridger Bay Beach is a popular place to go. Don’t go in the spring and you won’t run into as many flies and gnats. Plus most of the flies clear once you leave the shoreline and walk deeper into the lake. As for the brine shrimp, they won’t hurt you or bother you. So try to live and let live. It may not be for everybody, but if you are the adventurous type it is something your kids won’t forget!
Wheeler Historic Farm – An agricultural living history museum and outdoor recreation site, the farm is also a working farm. Kids can visit the animals, see milking demonstrations, or take a wagon ride. Admission is free, but there is a charge for some of the activities.
Compiled with the help of local mom Melissa Campbell