Welcome to America’s Mormon State Where It Snows More Than The Total Snowfall in The Country, Is Surrounded by Stunning National Parks and A City Filled with Kid Friendly Activities. With These Top 50 Things to Do for Kids in Salt Lake City, You’d Be Spoilt for Choice.
Let’s be honest: Salt Lake City, Utah, is the unofficial “family-friendly capital” of the western United States and has an incredibly diverse variety of things to do! From the mighty mountain ranges surrounding the city, to a world-famous lake next door, to having a rich cultural scene, your kids will always be on the go. Here is my list of local-approved, kid-friendly things to do in Salt Lake City (don’t worry adults – you’ll have fun too)!
TRAVEL TIPS YOU WILL FIND:
- #01 – #13 – INDOOR THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
- #14 – #29 – OUTDOOR THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
- #30 – #38 –THINGS TO DO ON A ROAD TRIP FROM SALT LAKE CITY
- #39 – #44 – SPORTY THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
- #45 – #50 – SEASONAL THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
- BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
- BONUS TIP #2 – BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO VISIT SALT LAKE CITY
- BONUS TIP #3 – WHERE TO STAY IN SALT LAKE CITY
#01 – #13 – INDOOR THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
#1 – Pioneer Memorial Museum
Check out the Pioneer Memorial Museum and learn more about how Utah began. According to The Pioneer Memorial Museum: it has the world’s largest collection of artefacts on one subject, and features displays and collections of memorabilia from the time the earliest settlers entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake until the joining of the railroads at a location known as Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, 1869. They also do exhibit some strange items such as a two-headed lamb and a loaf of bread from 1893. I’m sure the kids will find that amusing!
Admission is free, and it is opened from Monday – Saturday 9am to 4pm. Bus 500 stops on the northeast corner of Main Street and North Temple, and it will take you up the hill to the museum.
#2 – Largest Genealogical Library in The World
Salt Lake City boasts the largest genealogical library in the world. Your kids can learn how to search for their ancestors at the Family History Library.
#3 – Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum of Utah is a great hands-on museum that promotes creativity and education. What better way to experience a museum than to touch everything? And with over 60,000 square feet of interactive fun, it’s a worthwhile day out with the kids.
#4 – Utah State Capitol
The Utah State Capitol is the house of government for the U.S. state of Utah. The capitol is the main building of the Utah State Capitol Complex, which is located on Capitol Hill, overlooking downtown Salt Lake City. Check out the restored and renovated building on one of their free tours.
#5 – Unique Trolley Square Shopping Centre
Trolley Square is one of Salt Lake City’s most popular shopping centres and is designed around the old trolleys that used to transport passengers in the 1800s. There’s a model trolley on display that is a treat for all!
#6 – The Leonardo Museum
The Leonardo Museum is the quirkiest museum in Salt Lake City and maintains a frequently-rotating exhibition schedule, including items like the Dead Sea Scrolls and Body World. This museum is known as the museum of Creativity and Innovation and is open 7 days a week from 10.00am to 05.00pm.
#7 – Utah Museum of Natural History
Do your kids like dinosaurs? If so, then the Utah Museum of Natural History, located on the University of Utah campus, is a must-see! And not only are the artefacts extraordinary, the museum itself in the Rio Tinto Centre is an architectural marvel and an excellent example of green design.
Open 7 days a week, the museum also hosts a bunch of family friendly events such as Discovery classes, family late night evening of science, walks and urban habitat activities.
#8 – Living Planet Aquarium
Recently renovated at a new location, the Living Planet Aquarium is expanding to create a new Science Learning Campus where visitors can learn about the diverse ecosystems on earth, learn how they can adopt an animal, and discover animals from around the world.
#9 – Salt Lake City Downtown Library
The Salt Lake City Downtown Library is located in the heart of the city and has the coolest glass elevator and worth a trip just to ride it!
#10 – Clark Planetarium
Learn about space at the hands-on Clark Planetarium at the Gateway! Your kids can experiment, play with exhibit, and have their eyes opened to the beyond.
From Clark Planetarium: “The Universe is at least 91 billion light years across. Explore it with Clark Planetarium!” Sounds exciting to me!
#11 – Thanksgiving Point
There’s no place that is quite as extraordinary as Thanksgiving Point. Visit the Museum of Natural Curiosity, meet your favourite farm critters, discover the butterfly biosphere, and get lost amongst acres and acres of beautiful gardens.
#12 – All Things Trains
Obsessed with trains? Visit the Train Shoppe at Ricochet Canyon and get lost in the history of model trains and the most awesome hobby store. Ricochet Canyon also offers other attractions. For the little kids, they can also enjoy rides like the carousel, Conestoga Wagon and the Model T Car.
And there are also 3 interactive train display areas such as the Town Centre, Lost Quarter Mine and in the Retail store itself.
#13 – Trampoline Parks
Want to fly high in the sky, without having to get into an airplane? Check out one of the numerous Trampoline Parks around town.
#14 – #29 – OUTDOOR THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
#14 – Temple Square
There’s no better place to be while the sun is shining than at Temple Square. Stroll along manicured paths between the Mormon (LDS) temple, historical buildings, and impeccable gardens. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the beautiful Mormon Temple that was built by hand by the Mormon Pioneers back in the 19th century. You simply can’t visit Salt Lake City with kids and not take them to this unique temple.
#15 – Short Hike to Ensign Park
Towering high behind the Utah Capitol building is Ensign Peak. Take a short hike up to the top and gain an unobstructed view of the Salt Lake Valley.
#16 – Hike to The Living Room
Hike to The Living Room, a moderately-easy trail that leads to a makeshift, rock-assembled “living room” situation, complete with “recliners,” a “TV”, and even a “remote!”
#17 – Head Up to The Mountains
Need some mountain air? The Place Monument is located near the mouth of Emigration Canyon and celebrates the place where the Mormon Pioneers were to settle. Check out the visitor’s centre and sweeping lawns…perfect for stretching your legs!
#18 – Rent a Bike
Rent a bike from one of the city’s many Green Bike stations and cycle around downtown.
#19 – Check Out the Parks in Salt Lake City
Enjoy one of the many parks that Salt Lake City boasts. Might I suggest Sugarhouse or Liberty Park?
#20 – Red Butte Garden
Anyone with a green thumb out there? The Red Butte Garden on the University of Utah campus includes a botanical garden and arboretum, along with hosting numerous exhibits year-round. Witness a flock of quail passing you by or sign up for a succulent terrarium workshop.
If you’re there in December, January and February you can enjoy half price admissions.From the world's largest genealogical library to the coolest bobsled course, Salt Lake City packs a punch for kid friendly activities! #utahtravel #thingstodoslc #familytravel #travelwithkids Click To Tweet
#21 – The Hogle Zoo
What kid doesn’t enjoy a good zoo experience? The Hogle Zoo is 42 acres big with over 800 animals, classes, and is a great place for families to enjoy Zoo Lights during the Christmas season. The Hogle Zoo also offers close encounter programs whereby you get the time of a personal zookeeper that explains everything you need to know about the animal and best of all, all monies are donated to help saving animals in the wild.
Some of the programs include feeding the rhino or great apes, giraffe VIP encounter or an orangutan training experience. Be sure to book well in advance and note that the programs do not include zoo admissions.
#22 – Tracy Aviary
Flamingos…Macaws…and Owls…oh my! Must be the Tracy Aviary, located in Liberty Park! Opened from 09.00am to 04.00pm daily, be sure to check out their website for their schedule of things to do. This could include discovering the rainforest, pelican encounter or a ladybug experience.
#23 – Free Train Through the City
Ride Trax, Salt Lake City’s light rail train system, for free in the heart of downtown and get a unique view of the city. Kids will love this little free activity.
#24 – Sculptures at Gilgal Garden
Want to see something weird? Gilgal Garden is filled with unique, original sculptures depicting scenes from the Bible. A treat for the eyes, for sure.
#25 – Amusement Parks in Salt Lake City
Want to spend a day at an amusement park or family fun centre? Check out Cherry Hill and Lagoon! They have mazes, picnic areas, mini golf, aero ball and so many other things to keep the kids occupied.
#26 – Salt Lake City’s Water Parks
Hot and in need of some splish-splashy fun? Salt Lake City boasts a number of fun water parks, such as Cowabunga Bay and Seven Peaks. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
#27 – Wheeler Historic Farm
At Wheeler Historic Farm, visitors of all ages can milk a cow, take a wagon ride, and explore the state’s oldest working farm. The farm also has the Playground Fort and a special section for toddlers too.
#28 – City Creek Centre
City Creek Center is Salt Lake City’s newest open-air shopping centre and features an actual creek running through the enclosed walkways – a definite must for visitors of all ages.
#29 – Visit Pirate O’s for Candy
Ready for a funky store? Check out Pirate O’s and get some candied bugs, gummy spiders, and chocolate in the shape of cows!
#30 – #38 –THINGS TO DO ON A ROAD TRIP FROM SALT LAKE CITY
#30 – Replica UP House
Did you know that there’s an exact replica of the house from the Disney movie UP? The house is complete with a white picket fence, a mail box and is so colourful. Believe it or not, you can visit the UP house in person despite the fact that people actually live in this house!
This is perhaps one of the more popular things to do with kids in Salt Lake City. You are permitted to take one quick picture in front of the house, as per the house owners but if you want to take photos with balloons, dressed up in costume or it will be used for marketing purposes, you have to contact the owners directly in the first instance.
Oh! And it is located at 13218 S Herriman Rose Blvd, Herriman, UT.
#31 – Hill Aerospace Museum
Get up close and personal with some historical aircraft at the Hill Aerospace Museum, located at the Hill Air Force Base. The museum houses over 100 aircrafts, has 2 galleries and an outdoor air park. The Hill Aerospace Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm and admission is free.
#32 – Street Art in Salt Lake City
Go on a street art hunt around Salt Lake City and discover the artistic abilities of some of our local residents.
#33 – Look for Bison at Antelope Island
Check out the local bison herd while biking or driving around Antelope Island, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake.
#34 – Bonneville Salt Flats
Capture the greatest picture and explore the Bonneville Salt Flats. Nope, you don’t have to travel to Bolivia to finally take that awesome perspective picture with your kids!
#35 – Golden Spike National Monument
Live out your inner-child’s dream (or let your kid live out their dream) and get up close and personal with a couple of gigantic replica steam locomotives at the Golden Spike National Monument.
#36 – Coolest Piece of Art
For a really cool thing to do in Salt Lake City, check out the coolest piece of art at the Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake.
#37 – Drive to a Canyon
Take a scenic drive up Emigration, Millcreek, or one of the Cottonwood Canyons and explore the beauty of the area.
#38 – Laser Tag
Play some stellar laser tag, go out on a high-wire ropes course, ride the flow rider surfboard, and get your game-on in the arcade at Provo Beach…the indoor amusement park.
#39 – #44 – SPORTY THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
#39 – Multi-Level Driving Range
For a unique golfing experience, rent a bay at Topgolf, where you can play, eat, and leave your troubles behind in a multi-level driving range experience.
#40 – Watch a Soccer Match
Any soccer fans out there? Catch a game at the Rio Tinto stadium and cheer for the Real Salt Lake.
#41 – University of Utah
Take in a game at the University of Utah: football, soccer, baseball, basketball and gymnastics provide entertainment for the whole family!
#42 – Basketball Game
#takenote at the Vivint Smarthome Arena and cheer on the local basketball team, the Utah Jazz. And in case you’re wondering what #takenote means, it’s the Twitter # for Utah Jazz. Every NBA team in the league has their own # that they are known by. Small bit of trivia for the non-NBA followers!
#43 – Ride on The Bobsled Course
Take a ride on the bobsled course used during the 2002 Olympics at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. You can hop on a ride with a professional pilot, but you must be at least 16 years old to participate. Sorry kiddos but this one’s for the older teens.
#44 – Olympic Oval Skating Rink
Try your hand at curling or ice skating year-round at the Olympic Oval skating rink. If you have ever been curious about curling but is not a sport you have access to, you can hop on a two hour on-ice class which teaches the fundamentals of curling – including proper delivery, sweeping and basic strategy.
#45 – #50 – SEASONAL THINGS TO DO IN SALT LAKE CITY
#45 – Snow Play
Play in the snow during the winter and experience the “best snow on earth.” Salt Lake City averages 62 inches of snow per year. The US average is 26 inches of snow per year! Salt Lake City with kids just got a whole lot colder!
#46 – Catch A Concert in The Park
Catch a concert in the park every week during the summer and fall at the Gallivan Center, Capitol Building, and various parks around the city.
#47 – Visit the Ice Castles
During the winter, head up to Midway and frolic in the Ice Castles and meet Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen.
#48 – Farmers Markets
Live like a local in the summer and wind your way amongst the stalls at one of the Farmers Markets.
#49 – German Christmas Market
Celebrate culture season during the German Christmas market, Christkindlmarkt. Visit with Saint Nikolas and his reindeer, drink some kinderpunsch, and enjoy traditional German music.
#50 – Fruit Festivals
Sample some of the region’s best produce and hop on your favourite carny ride at one of the region’s famous fruit festivals: Peach Days, Raspberry Days, or Strawberry Days! Yum.
Utah is America’s most Morman state. Even though The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was not founded in Utah, this is where the pioneers eventually settled. Steeped in Morman culture, Salt Lake City makes for an interesting visit. Coupled with their many National Parks, excellent ski terrain and made famous by the Winter Olympic they held in 2002, Salt Lake City is a great family holiday destination.
BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
Top 50 Things to Do in Oahu With Kids
22 Central Park Attractions for Toddlers in New York City
10 Family Fun Adventures for Teenagers in Banff
BONUS TIP #2 – BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO VISIT SALT LAKE CITY
Winter: November to March
The winter months in Salt Lake City are considered relatively mild with average temperatures around 30-50°F or only up to -3°C at the coldest point. It’s a totally different case in the mountains however. As mentioned above, they get 62 inches of snow in a year compared to the country’s average of only 26. This therefore make for some of the best alpine destination for avid skiers and snowboarders. Winter is therefore a peak time for holiday makers and one of the best things to do in Salt Lake City with kids.
Spring: April to May
Spring is short in Salt Lake City and temperatures average between 17°C to 20°C or in the 80s and 90s. Beautiful weather for exploring the outdoors. The only problem with having such a high level of snowfall is that it must go somewhere in the spring time. Coupled with high levels of rainfall, the city can be bit of a soggy mess. Unlike most destinations where spring is a popular time for travel, it certainly isn’t so in Utah.
Summer: June to August
Temperatures in summer range around the 80s and 90s or can reach a high of 32°C. Their summers are also relatively dry so for the hikers out there, this is a good time to enjoy the 5 National Parks and the Great Salt Lake, provided you enjoy the heat. As a vacation spot, it is still not as popular a season as winter despite having the longest daylight days. The longest day in June21, which has an average of 15 hours of daylight!
Autumn – September to October
The prelude to their busiest time of the year is their low season. Temperatures hover around 20°C (68°F) in September and drops to a low of 9°C (48°F) in October. It is not as crowded this time of the year, rainfall is still considered to be on the lower end and because it is low season, prices are also very affordable.
BONUS TIP #3 – WHERE TO STAY IN SALT LAKE CITY
Apartment – The Kimball
As always, we prefer to get an apartment during our family holidays as we like having the space if we decide we didn’t want to head out. Their one-bedroom apartment comes with a family room, a full kitchen and there are also laundry facilities to help reduce the amount of stuff we have to pack. These apartments also offer free parking and is in close proximities to the main attractions. Prices are affordable and is great value for money.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
5 Star Hotel – Grand America Hotel
Grand America is a large luxury hotel of over 700 rooms. It is in Downtown Salt Lake City, within 1 mi (2 km) of Eagle Gate College, Temple Square, and Salt Lake Temple. This opulent European style hotel has a full-service spa, pool, a restaurant, and large rooms. Parking is available on site, at a cost, but certainly useful if you’re intending on hiring one. Their Executive and Premier rooms can take a family of 4 at a reasonable rate for a 5-star property.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
3 Star Property – Salt Lake Plaza Hotel at Temple Square
This hotel is brilliantly located. The Genealogy Library is adjacent next to the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. Temple Square is 200 m from Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, while Salt Palace is 300 m from the property. This hotel offers free shuttle services to Salt Lake City International Airport, has an outdoor pool and best of all, they have rooms with 2 queen beds, perfect for an average family of 4. The room is spacious and comfortable, is very quiet at night and the staff are friendly and helpful.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
Top 50 Things to Do with Kids in Salt Lake City, Utah is written Rachelle. Edited by Family Globetrotters.
Hi, I’m Rachelle, The Mormon Adventurista! Whether it’s discovering my current hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah, or gallivanting off to the other side of the world, you’ll find me having an adventure.
Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.
I’m fascinated by books so probably I’ll visit Salt Lake City Downtown Library. I would also love to pay a visit to the planetarium. I think it’s very educational.
Oh I’m a sucker for a good library too. I’d love to do a world trip where I visit the top 10 best libraries in the world!
I haven’t been to Salt Lake City and these activities are very exciting, both for kids and adults. My friend who just moved to US would be happy to visit this city. Which of these activities are your favorite?
I think if you live the US, a visit to Utah should be definitely be on the list. Pass it on:)
This is one helluva post on things to do with your kids in Salt Lake City. While I don’t have kids, I would love to do all of these. Especially, outdoor activities like short Hike to Ensign Park.
It sure is! So many wonderful things to do in SLC. Utah have some beautiful National Parks so if hiking is your thing you should make a trip there one day.
I’ve never been to Salt Lake City but you’ve provided an exhaustive list sure to keep a family occupied for a long time! The curling lesson sounds like fun. I also love a good farmers market – let’s you see what local people are into!
I absolutely love a good farmers market too! We typically always stay in an Air Bnb when we travel so we’re always looking for fresh local produce And sometime they have cute knick knacks too:)
First of all, I may not be going to USA anytime soon, but I’m in the phase of life where I’m reading everything that can be done with kids! Lolz…
As a very big fan on streetart that might be my number one thing to do when I visit Utah…
Bolivia Salt Flats is in my wishlist since long. Good to know that there’s a Utah version of it! I’ll definitely make it my 2nd top thing to do!
Up House is obviously 3rd in my list!
I love street art too! Such an interesting addition to city travel now for me. Always hopping on walking tours to see it all. LOVE the UP house!
Some of the activities would be fun for adults too! I would love to visit the ice castles in winter. The bobsled course does sound intriguing. Did you try the bug candies at Pirate O’s?
If ever you get the chance, I reckon the bobsledding would be such an incredible experience. I mean how often can you say “I went bob sledding?” LOL!
There are so many things to do in Salt Lake, I had no idea! It would be really cool to visit the Genealogical Library! If I go to Salt Lake city, I would try to go in the winter to see the German Christmas market!
Hahah! You’re exactly like me! Such a sucker for a good Christmas market:)
That’s a very detailed guide to salt lake city. From indoor activities to road trips – you have covered all the grounds. I am really interested in the museums and road trips in your guide. Will be very useful for anyone visiting Salt Lake city with or without kids
Thanks Sinjana! Yeah, its a great list to suit people of all interests:)
I haven’t visited Salt Lake City in almost 15 years but still remember it being one of the most beautiful cities I had ever seen with the mountains and the sunset. I would do half of the suggestions on this list even without kids! I had no idea there were this many things to do and I’m a huge fan of street art, which I wouldn’t have expected to see there.
Street art I think is a culture that just becoming more prevalent in all cities nowadays as it becomes more acceptable. Loved that you think its one of the most beautiful cities you have ever seen!
This is a fantastic guide on Salt Lake City in general Amy! I don’t have kids (yet) nor have I ever visited Utah when in the US. I’m familiar with its Mormon heritage after watching the Book of Mormons lol in London. The train shoppe would be the best place for my partner; he loves trains and the models, and is in general a big kid! If we ever make it to Utah, I know I’ll have the best guide to follow!
Thanks Lisa! Hah! The Book of Mormons was my first real introduction into Mormon life too. Obviously not the best intro but I did learn a thing or 2!
What an amazing list! I’ll be visiting Salt Lake for business next year without kids but this list still gave me a lot of cool suggestions. I’m so glad I came across this article! Thank you for sharing and keep up the good work.
Great timing for the post then! So many things on this list for any visitors to the city. Hope you’ll get some time for yourself whilst on your business trip!
I had no idea there would be this much to do in and around Salt Lake City! I like that you’ve provided things for indoors and outdoors, road trips, sporty ideas and some options that are more seasonal. I love the sound of the Trolley Square Shopping Centre, All Things Trains, the Red Butte Garden, and the Gilgal Garden.
Thanks Kavita! Yeah, helps to break down the things to do into different categories so its easier for families to plan their itinerary, pending on their interests.
Wow! With so many things to do, it would be really easy to keep kids entertained in Utah. The Utah Museum of Natural History, all things trains, planetarium, tracy aviary, the picturesque street arts all are very interesting. I am surely keep this guide handy when I plan my next trip to Utah.
I know right? Such a fun and interesting place to visit!