Editor’s note: Out of sensitivity to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, I limited Red Shutters posts last week, including this one. It seemed wrong to write about anything other than the bombings. I also just couldn’t focus enough to complete any in-progress writing. My mind and heart were, as you can imagine, elsewhere. I am incredibly grateful to the first responders, law enforcement, and medical personnel who demonstrated the true meaning of heroism. If you’re looking for something to do to help those affected, join me in supporting the One Fund Boston.
A few weeks ago, we headed to Salt Lake City, Utah to visit my brother and sister-in-law who relocated there last year. It was a short visit, but one that was chock full of family bonding and kid-friendly activities. Here’s my run-down on five things you shouldn’t miss in Salt Lake City (and environs) with kids:
1. Museum of Ancient Life – Likely the highlight of our visit (other than seeing family) was this museum in Lehi, a short drive from Salt Lake City. This is, essentially, a dinosaur museum, and if you have a dinosaur-loving kid like we do, a visit here is a must. We were all, from ages 3 to 72, captivated by room after room of dinosaur bones and fossils. The museum is small enough to visit thoroughly in a morning, and is located in Thanksgiving Point, an events center that is home to festivals and other activities.
2. Hogle Zoo – I am not a zoo person. There’s something about elephants in small pens that break my heart; they should be roaming free on a savanna somewhere. But Hogle, with its winding paths, carousel, and wide variety of animals from polar bears (my favorite) to seals (my son’s) to giraffes (my mom’s) was a perfect choice for an afternoon visit.
3. Skiing – If you’re in Utah during ski season, well, I recommend going skiing. This is coming from a I’m-not-going-higher-than-the-green-slope kind of skier. My husband, brother, and son, on the other hand, look forward to speeding down the slopes, so they headed to Alta during our trip, and had great conditions (the mountain later received a foot of fresh powder during our visit). More information about skiing in Utah can be found here.
4. Outdoors – A visit to Utah isn’t complete without time spent in the stunning out-of-doors. The Wasatch Mountain Range fills the sky, and those impressive peaks even make an ocean-lovin’ girl like me rethink the merits of the Atlantic. For our trip, we explored several of Salt Lake City’s parks, including Liberty Park (which has its own aviary) and Sugar House Park (which has great running paths and is over 100 acres in size). For older kids, more adventurous expeditions may be in order.
5. Discovery Gateway – One rainy afternoon, when the jet lag was making everyone a bit cranky, we visited Salt Lake’s children’s museum, located downtown in the Gateway Mall (hello, perfect!). Oh for a place where small people can run, explore, play, imagine, and pretend and where there’s plenty of seating for moms, dads, and grandparents! The first floor, which is geared to smaller kids, was a better fit for our family, though the helicopter and hurricane simulator, both upstairs, were highlights.
Our trip also included a visit to Park City, a drive through some of the area canyons, and some especially delicious food (do not miss Red Iguana (I’m still dreaming about their mole verde), Eggs in the City, and Ruth’s Diner). It was a wonderful visit, and we’re already talking about our next trip, with plans of visiting some of Utah’s national parks and the Great Salt Lake.
If you’re thinking about a trip to Utah, you can find more information here.