Salt Lake City is a great city exploring with kids, from interesting museums and historic sites to family-friendly recreation and plenty of outdoor fun. Here is a list of things to do with the kids on a visit to Salt Lake City.
1. The Leonardo
© The Leonardo
The Leonardo is a science and art museum in downtown Salt Lake City that is dedicated to exploring the many ways art, creativity, science, and technology connect. Opened in 2011, the museum was founded on the ideas and theories of Leonardo da Vinci and features fascinating exhibits such as Boy Works, Flight, Leonardo's Workshop, Leonardo's Studio, and Perception. Leonardo's Workshop showcases da Vinci's creative obsession with tinkering, design, and experimentation, while Leonardo's Studio allows visitors to explore the different techniques and technologies that influence art. Perception is a mind-blowing exhibit that focuses on three senses—touch, hearing and sight—and how perception can manipulate them.
209 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, Phone: 801-531-9800
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2. The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
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The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is home to 4,500 animals representing 550 species ranging from Asian small-clawed otters, seahorses, and piranhas to snakes, stingrays, penguins and more. Founded in 1997 by marine biology graduate Brent Andersen, the aquarium features a variety of land and marine exhibits including the Ocean Explorer, which features a 3.5-inch-thick acrylic viewing tunnel and is home to saltwater species from all over the world; Journey to South America which travels through the dense rainforests of South America to see the fauna and flora that reside within it; Discover Utah which houses some of the state’s threatened and endangered species; and Antarctic Adventure which journeys to a Falkland Islands research station to experience gentoo penguins. The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium offers two educational outreach programs and visits over 450 elementary schools around the state each year.
12033 Lone Peak Parkway, Draper UT 84020, Phone: 801-355-3474
3. Utah's Hogle Zoo
Boasting beautiful views of Emigration Canyon, Utah's Hogle Zoo is a 42-acre zoo that houses more than 800 animals from diverse ecosystems. Founded in 1931, the zoo features beautiful natural landscapes with tree-lined pathways and a variety of habitats in which the animals live. One of the most-visited attractions, Utah’s Hogle Zoo aims to provide inspiring educational, recreational, and conservation opportunities for visitors of all ages. Exhibits include African Savannah, Rocky Shores, Asian Highlands, Elephant Encounters, Primate Forest, Great Apes, and the World of Flight. Utah's Hogle Zoo is involved in a range of global conservation efforts with the hope of making a significant impact in saving wildlife and their habitats.
2600 Sunnyside Avenue South, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Phone: 801-584-1700
4. Brigham Young University Museum of Peoples and Cultures
© Brigham Young University Museum of Peoples and Cultures
The Brigham Young University Museum of Peoples and Cultures is a teaching museum of the Brigham Young University that specializes in archaeology and ethnology. The museum boasts over 7,000 collections of around a million objects regions around the globe, including Mesoamerica, America Southwest, South America, the American Southwest, Polynesia, and the Great Basin. The student-run museum offers engaging exhibitions and educational activities for students, adults, and children, including Children's Story Time; Youth Programs such as Cub, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Activity Day groups; Mornings at the Museum; and Museum Camps.
2201 N Canyon Road, Provo, UT 84604, Phone: 801-422-0020
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Located 18 miles north of Salt Lake City in Farmington, Lagoon is a privately-owned amusement park that offers a wide range of fun for the whole family. The theme park is divided into five main areas, each of which features rides, slides, food concessions and games arcades. Lagoon-A-Beach is a waterpark with many water-based rides, slides and swimming pools; The Midway features an array of rides, carnival-type games, and several food outlets; Kiddie Land with rides for small children; the Pioneer Village where pioneer artifacts and buildings are displayed; and the X-Venture Zone where adrenalin-junkies can get their kicks with extreme rides. Lagoon also has a campground, a full-service RV park, and a shaded walking trail that is open all year.
375 North Lagoon Dr, Farmington, UT 84025, Phone: 801-451-8000
6. Clark Planetarium
© Clark Planetarium
Located in The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City, the Clark Planetarium engages audiences with an array of exhilarating exhibits, displays, and shows about space and science. Established over 50 years ago and still one of Salt Lake City’s top tourist destinations, the Clark Planetarium features hands-on exhibits, immersive educational and outreach programs, on-site programming, and mind-blowing shows and performances at the IMAX and dome theatres. The Planetarium boasts 10,000 square feet of space that house free exhibits, the Northrop Grumman 3D IMAX® Theatre, and the Hansen Dome Theatre which present films and shows, the Planet Fun Store where visitors can buy a selection of books, toys, gifts, and souvenirs.
110 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 385-468-7827
7. Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
© Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
Located in The Gateway shopping center in downtown Salt Lake City, the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum, formerly known as The Children's Museum of Utah, is an interactive, hands-on children's museum dedicated to the joys of exploring and discovering through play. The museum boasts 60,000 square feet of interactive, and immersive fun for children of all ages, ranging from workshops and classes to educational programs, and hands-on exhibits. Exhibits include the Garden, which features a giant marimba, and an enormous machine humming; Kid's Eye View, where children can shop in a Market; and the Construction Zone where kids can build structures. Other exhibits range from the Utah Family Farm to Hatch, Waddle, and Fly, and the Story Factory, which highlights plays, comic strips and motion films.
444 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 801-456-5437
8. Cherry Hill
© Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill has been a fun, family-friendly destination for more than 50 years and features a family-fun center, a water park, and shady campsites. Founded in 1967 and located on 20 acres of beautiful landscapes that were once a working farm in Kaysville, Cherry Hill is named for the more than 700 trees on the property, many of which used to be cherry trees. The family park features a lazy river, a water playground for children with a pirate ship, two swimming pools, and several water slides with lighting effects and human-made fog, a foam-padded Cardiac Canyon River Run, batting cages and a ball crawl, mini-golf, a climbing wall, outdoor pavilions for parties and camping. Other features include a jungle maze, several food concessions, and snack bars, and a Pie Restaurant and free live entertainment is offered every Friday and Saturday evening.
1325 South Main Street, Kaysville, UT 84037-2639, Phone: 801-451-5379
9. Natural History Museum of Utah
© Natural History Museum of Utah
Located at The University of Utah, the Natural History Museum of Utah is dedicated to natural history with an emphasis on Utah and the Intermountain West. Founded in 1959 and based in a new building called the Rio Tinto Center, the museum has a collection with more than 1.6 million objects, many of which are from the inter-mountain region of the United States and focus on the natural history of Utah. Used for both education and research, the collection is divided into genres ranging from Paleontology, Entomology and Vertebrate Zoology to Mineralogy, Botany, and Malacology. Permanent exhibitions include Past Worlds, Great Salt Lake, Life, Land, First Peoples, Gems and Minerals, Native Voices, Sky, Our Backyard, and Utah Futures.
The University of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Phone: 801-581-6927
10. Museum of Natural Curiosity
© Museum of Natural Curiosity
Based at Thanksgiving Point, the Museum of Natural Curiosity® inspired learning through exploration and discovery with more than 400 interactive experiences and educational opportunities. Exhibits encourage visitors to delve into the natural world and offer a wide range of topics, such as Water Works, which explores the scientific side of the earth, sun, wind and water; the Discovery Garden that is all about fauna and flora; and the Rainforest where visitors can explore ancient ruins and chambers, pretend to fly a Piper Cub plane, and crawl inside the 45-foot-tall monkey head. Other fascinating exhibits include the Archimedes Playground, the town of Kidopolis with its secret passageways and the Exploratorium exhibit in the Innovation Gallery.
3605 Garden Dr, Lehi, UT 84043, 888-672-6040
Caputos has become a Salt Lake City institution over the past two decades, originally opened in 1997 in the city's historic Greek-Italian neighborhood by its namesake Tony Caputo. The cafe and deli is one of the city's most popular quick-casual lunch spots, serving up high-quality sandwiches prepared with fine imported meats and cheeses. Sandwich options range from traditional muffalettas and pastramis to concoctions such as the Soprano, which pairs Cacio de Roma cheese with roasted red pepper spread, balsamic vinegar, and capocollo. Fine olive oils and vinegars are also sold, along with regional delicacies such as gourmet chocolates by Chocolatier Blue. Classes and workshops with food artisans are held regularly, focusing on topics such as meat curing and wine tasting.
314 W Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 801-531-8669
12. This Is the Place Heritage Park
© This Is the Place Heritage Park
Located at the foot of the Wasatch Range near the mouth of Emigration Canyon and just a short drive from downtown Salt Lake City, This Is the Place Heritage Park is a family-friendly attraction that takes visitors back into time to life in the West as it was in the early settlement of Utah. The park features over 50 historic homes and structures to visit, including a Native American Village, the Treasure House, a Prospectors Pit, blacksmith, tinsmith, and saddle-makers shops, and countless activities to enjoy. Three trains tour the park, and mini train rides around a small pond for young children and other attractions include pony rides, a petting zoo, the Irrigation Station splash pad, the Stoddard Gallery, the Mormon Battalion Museum, and a modern visitors center with loads of information about the park and a gift shop.
2601 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Phone: 801-582-1847
13. Thanksgiving Point
Thanksgiving Point is a family-friendly museum complex that is comprised of the Children’s Discovery Garden, the Museum of Natural Curiosity, the Museum of Ancient Life, the Farm Country, Ashton Gardens, and several restaurants. Other attractions in the complex include the Thanksgiving Point Golf Course, the Brick Canvas spa, the Tower Deli, the Harvest Restaurant, and the Butterfly Biosphere, which will open in 2019. The Museum of Natural Curiosity features more than 400 family fun experiences that inspire learning through exploration; Farm Country is home to an array of animals that can be petted and touched; Ashton Gardens is a 55-acre beautifully manicured stately garden; and the Museum of Ancient Life allows visitors to roam among dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
14. Red Butte Garden and Arboretum
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Red Butte Garden is an official year-round arboretum located on the campus of the University of Utah. Located on over 100 acres of pristine landscapes, the botanical garden is the largest of its kind in the Intermountain West and features more than 21 acres of beautifully manicured and maintained gardens and horticultural habitats, as well as five miles of hiking tracks and paths in an extensive area of outstanding beauty. Renowned for its numerous and impressive plant collections, an award-winning collection of daffodils and springtime blooming bulbs, display gardens, notable fauna-focused educational programs, and outdoor summer concert series, the Red Butte Garden is the official arboretum of the state of Utah and has been welcoming guests since 1985.
300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Phone: 801-585-0556
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15. Great Salt Lake State Park
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Great Salt Lake State Park is a state preserve and recreation area that surrounds the Great Salt Lake and offers a wealth of outdoor activities and attractions. The park is home to the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club, which boasts beautiful views of Great Salt Lake, nearby Antelope Island State Park, and Black Rock. The Saltair Resort is built on pilings over the shore area of Great Salt Lake and is a fantastic venue for outdoor concerts and a new Visitors Center offers a variety of information about the area, the lake and the activities that can be enjoyed, such as boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, stand-up paddle-boarding, and more. The Sunset Galley restaurant is a great spot for breakfast and lunch against a backdrop of gorgeous lake views. Great Salt Lake State Park also has a campground that is open year-round and offers RV sites and regular camping.
13312 West 1075 South, Magna, UT 84044, Phone: 801-828-0787
16. Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates and Ice Cream
© Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates and Ice Cream
Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates and Ice Cream is a traditional candy and ice-cream shop that sells handmade chocolates, ice-cream, and other sweet treats. Owned by Marie Cavanaugh who began making pecan rolls and other delicious candy confections and selling them to raise funds to build a church in South Dakota, the small business grew in leaps and bounds into the popular candy store it is today. Using only the highest quality ingredients, all confectionary is made from scratch and created by hand without using any preservatives. Specialties include brittles, caramels, ice cream, cream fondants, truffles, popcorn and more, and the store has five locations throughout the Salt Lake valley in Bountiful, Layton Hills Mall, North Ogden, Orem, and Valley Fair Mall.
835 Northpointe Circle, North Salt Lake, UT 84054, Phone: 801-677-8888
17. Wheeler Historic Farm
© Wheeler Historic Farm
The Henry J. Wheeler Farm, also known as the Wheeler Historic Farm is a beautifully restored turn-of-the-century dairy farm that offers a wealth of family-friendly attractions. Once owned by Henry J. Wheeler, the 75-acre property is an interactive working farm where visitors can view farm animals, milk cows, learn about the machines that made this 19th-century farm successful and watch live demonstrations. The historic complex includes an adobe and brick home and several outbuildings that date back to 1898, along with a granary, a chicken house, an ice house, and a work shed, and the remains of the original barn, which burnt down in 1973. The farm, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is surrounded by beautiful landscapes with ponds, streams, trees, and flowers, and open to the public 365 days a year.
6351 South 900 East, Murray, UT 84121, Phone: 385-468-1755
18. Tracy Aviary
Tracy Aviary is the oldest aviary in the nation and home to 400 birds representing over 135 different species that reside in a tranquil wooded setting. The family-friendly attraction offers visitors the opportunity to see hundreds of different birds in their natural habitat, as well as enjoy interactive experiences such as watching free-flight bird shows, hand-feeding birds, taking guided tours with ornithology experts, and attending classes, workshops and summer camps. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the aviary is open to the public 363 days a year and offers exclusive packages for special celebrations such as birthdays. More info
589 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105-1111, Phone: 801-596-8500
19. Salt Lake City Main Library
© Salt Lake City Main Library
The Salt Lake City Public Library is a 240,000 square feet library that boasts a has a collection of over 500,000 books as well as subscriptions to over 60 newspapers and magazines and 163 internet capable computers. The library is based within an architecturally significant structure designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie and features a five-story curved glass wall, a sweeping outer façade, and a magnificent main foyer. The wedge-shaped building boasts a tranquil roof garden with trees, perennial plants, grasses, and flowering bulbs and is surrounded by a landscaped and paved plaza with several shops and the studios of radio station KCPW-FM. Other features of the library include an art gallery displaying works of local artists, a spiral staircase and three glass elevators, a coffee shop, and fireplaces designed to resemble a column of fire.
210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, Phone: 801-524-8200
20. So Cupcake
© So Cupcake
So Cupcake is a cheerful, family-friendly bakery that makes, bakes and sells specialty cupcakes, custom-order cakes, fresh pastries, and other sweet delights on a daily basis. Signature cupcakes range from sweet to savory with flavors like So Banana Cheesecake, So Bavarian Cream, So Boston Cream Pie, So Butterfinger, So Brownie Raspberry, and more. So Cupcake caters for a range of special events such as birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries and can supply cupcakes by order or via their cupcake truck which can park at the venue.
4002 S Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84124, Phone: 801-274-8300
21. Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island State Park is based on the 42 square mile Antelope Island, the largest of 10 islands located in the Great Salt Lake. Situated in the southeastern portion of the lake, Antelope Island becomes a peninsula when the lake is at shallow levels and is home to a diverse variety of wildlife such as American bison, badger, porcupine, bighorn sheep, coyote, mule deer, and pronghorn. The island has beautiful natural landscapes with alluvial plains and dry, native grassland which create an ideal habitat for the Antelope Island Bison Herd, which is a valuable genetic pool for bison breeding and conservation purposes.
Davis County, Utah, Utah
22. The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts
The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts is dedicated to showcasing folk art from Utah and is the only state museum of its kind in the country. Located on South Constitution Drive in Salt Lake City, the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts offers a place for local artists to exhibit traditional arts, crafts, dance, and music. The museum features several permanent and temporary exhibits, along with hosts concerts and performances throughout the year and houses a historical archive of documents, photographs and audio recordings that relate to Utah's traditional culture. The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts has three permanent exhibition galleries, including the Native Gallery, the Ethnic Gallery, and the Occupational Gallery, and one temporary gallery.
1150 South Constitution Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, Phone: 801-533-5760
23. Even Stevens
© Even Stevens
Even Stevens is a regional Salt Lake City-based restaurant chain, opening 15 locations throughout the Utah area since its founding in 2014. The craft-casual restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout underserved neighborhoods in the Salt Lake region, focusing on nonprofit activism and charitable food donations as a turnaround for all its profits from meal sales. Delicious internationally-inspired sandwiches are served up throughout the day, ranging from clever Cubanos to jackfruit-stuffed Mexican tortas. Health-conscious salads are stuffed with superfoods such as beets and housemade granola, while a shareable bites menu highlights options such as pretzel bread with beer cheese. Live music performances are hosted throughout the week, along with open mic showcases inviting community performers to audition for the chance to be showcased in future performances.
2030 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, Phone: 801-953-0357
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Hale Centre Theatre
The Hale Center Theater is a community theater located on South Decker Drive and provides innovative, professional musicals, theater shows and other entertainment for the whole family. Established by Nathan and Ruth Hale in 1933 with the aim of providing the community with first-class entertainment, the theater has grown into one of the largest and most respected community theaters in the country. Seasonal shows include ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,’ and the theater offers a variety of educational programs, performing arts camps and student matinee programs for budding performing artists and adults interested in the arts.
3333 South Decker Lake Drive (2200 West), West Valley City, UT 8411, Phone: 801-984-900
Salt Lake Bees Baseball
The Salt Lake Bees are a Minor League Baseball that plays in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and are based at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City. Previously known as the Salt Lake Buzz and then the Salt Lake Stinger, the team changed their name to the Salt Lake Bees 2006 and have been called them ever since. Smith’s Ballpark, formerly known as the Franklin Quest Field, Franklin Covey, and the Spring Mobile Ballpark, opened in 1994 and hosts home games with a seating capacity of 15,411. Fondly called the Apiary by loving fans, the ballpark hosts home games for the Salt Lake Bees of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and is also home to the collegiate Utah Utes of the Pac-12 Conference.
77 West 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115