Utah, often referred to as the “Beehive State,” is a hidden gem in the western United States. Known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and a plethora of outdoor adventures, Utah offers something for everyone, including families looking for memorable experiences. Whether you’re planning a summer vacation or a winter getaway, here’s a guide to family-friendly fun in Utah, with activities suitable for all ages.
Utah is home to five iconic national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. Each park showcases its unique geological wonders, and they are fantastic places for families to explore. Hike through the narrows in Zion, gaze at the otherworldly hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, and marvel at the delicate arch in Arches National Park. These parks offer trails of varying difficulty levels, making it accessible for all family members, from young children to grandparents.
If you’re visiting Utah during the winter months, you’re in for a treat. The state boasts some of the best ski resorts in the country, including Park City, Deer Valley, Snowbird, and Alta. Many of these resorts offer family-friendly slopes and ski schools for beginners. Whether your family members are seasoned skiers or trying it for the first time, the Utah slopes have something for everyone. Don’t forget to enjoy the picturesque winter scenery and cozy lodges.
Utah is a hotspot for paleontology enthusiasts. Take your family on a journey back in time by visiting the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City or the Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal. At these locations, you can see incredible dinosaur fossils and interactive exhibits that engage curious minds of all ages. Kids will love the opportunity to get up close and personal with these prehistoric giants.
Located in Farmington, Lagoon is Utah’s premier amusement park. With over 50 rides and attractions, it offers a wide range of entertainment options for all ages. From thrilling roller coasters to family-friendly rides and a waterpark, Lagoon has it all. It’s the perfect place to spend a day of fun and excitement with your family.
Located in the heart of Salt Lake City, the Hogle Zoo is home to over 800 animals from around the world. It’s an educational and entertaining experience for kids and adults alike. Stroll through the zoo’s well-designed exhibits, watch animal feedings, and learn about conservation efforts. The Hogle Zoo is a great way to introduce children to the wonders of the animal kingdom.
Utah Olympic Park, built for the 2002 Winter Olympics, offers an array of family-friendly activities. While the park is associated with winter sports, it’s a year-round destination. During the summer, you can watch athletes practice their aerial and freestyle skills or take part in activities like the Alpine Slide and zip-lining. The park also has a museum that delves into the history of the Olympics in Utah.
Utah is home to the Great Salt Lake, a unique natural wonder known for its high salinity levels. One of the most family-friendly activities here is visiting Antelope Island State Park. Take a scenic drive and witness bison, pronghorn, and a variety of bird species. Don’t miss the opportunity to float in the buoyant waters of the Great Salt Lake itself. It’s an experience unlike any other, and kids will especially love the sensation of effortless floating.
Located in Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden and Arboretum offers a peaceful and educational experience for families. The gardens feature a wide variety of plants, themed gardens, and walking trails. The Children’s Garden is a highlight, designed to engage young visitors with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. It’s a lovely place for both relaxation and learning.
For an underwater adventure, head to The Living Planet Aquarium in Draper. This state-of-the-art aquarium is home to a diverse array of aquatic life, including sharks, penguins, and sea turtles. Interactive exhibits and touch pools allow kids to get up close and personal with marine creatures while learning about ocean conservation.
Goblin Valley State Park is a surreal wonderland of unique rock formations that look like something out of a sci-fi movie. The park’s “goblins” are fun for kids to explore, and the open space allows for imaginative play. It’s an excellent spot for a family hike or a game of hide-and-seek among the towering sandstone figures.
Utah is a state that truly has something for everyone in the family. Do you seek outdoor adventures in breathtaking national parks? Utah has several, including Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef. Or perhaps you’re more of a thrill-seeker, in which case you’ll want to indulge in some of the exhilarating rides at Lagoon Amusement Park.
But that’s not all — Utah’s diverse selection of family-friendly activities also includes the chance to explore the world of dinosaurs and marine life at the Natural History Museum of Utah and Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, respectively. And while you’re at it, make sure to sample some delicious Middle Eastern food in Salt Lake City, which boasts some of the best in the country. Whatever your family’s interests, you’re sure to find plenty of unforgettable experiences in Utah.