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Activities For Kids When Visiting Salt Lake City
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Salt Lake is a city of unexpected surprises and brims with history, art, culture, entertainment and recreation - all in a beautiful location at the foot of Utah's Wasatch Mountains.
Activities for children when visiting Salt Lake City are featured on this page of our 2022 Visitor Guide.
- Keeping the kids busy and entertained while you are visiting Salt Lake City -
Here are some suggestions...
If you're traveling with children when you come to Salt Lake, there are lots of things to do to keep the kids entertained. Salt Lake City is known as a kid friendly place. One reason, the large population of members of the Church of Latter Day Saints have children. The LDS Church emphasizes the importance of kids and family, and many parts of the city are built with this emphasis in mind. Thus when you're visiting with children in Salt Lake City, you may not have time to enjoy all the family activities and centers available.
One option when you're in Salt Lake with children is The Children's Museum of Utah. Now known as Discovery Gateway, the leading children's museum of Utah! Discovery Gateway provides hands-on creative activities that are both educational and entertaining for the whole family. Located in downtown Salt Lake City, Discovery Gateway motivates children and adults alike to discover, learn, and connect with their world. Discovery Gateway opens up a world of possibilities and inspires children and adults to consider endless career opportunities as they share the moment of discovery. Plan to take at least more than half a day for a visit to the museum, which has great interactive exhibits. A child can create stories, become a DJ or design their own webpage. Plan to spend at least half a day at this fabulous museum. Kids can't get enough of the interactive exhibits, such as areas where you can pretend to be a weather person and read the day's forecast from a teleprompter, use a crane to haul up soft building blocks to make a tower, and climb aboard a real rescue helicopter on the building's roof. There are 75 permanent exhibits to explore and many touring exhibits that will make each visit to the museum a fresh experience.
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Why Have an Aquarium in a Desert? Where else in the world is water so valued and respected? It's a precious resource that defines how we live in Utah. Because we're not surrounded by oceans and immense water habitats, we have fewer opportunities to experience, understand and appreciate the water environments that cover more than 70 percent of our planet. The Living Planet Aquarium brings animals to people who might not have the chance to see them or their water-based ecosystems in a natural setting. Travel from the river to the sea, as you experience a freshwater stream stocked with Utah's fish species. Run your hands through a touch pool and discover the playful touch of friendly stingrays. Come nose to nose (almost!) with several species of fascinating sharks. In the aquarium's Marine Hall, you can touch the stingrays in an open pool. Kids especially like the Giant Pacific Octopus, Moon Jellies and Lionfish. Storytime is held in the Sunken Ship.
Another great place to see with children in Salt Lake City is Hogle Zoo, home to over 1000 animals. You'll find rare animals like the white rhino and the snow leopard, and other animals that come from over 250 regions across the world. Hogle Zoo Named for the couple who donated land for the Salt Lake City animal habitat in 1931, the Hogle Zoo features a brand new Asian Highlands exhibit, with tigers, leopards and linx, an elephant encounter, which recreates an African plain; and daily live animal shows at the Wildlife Theatre. Hop on the Zoofari Express, which winds its way through the zoo, allowing for an overview of the entire park. This outdoor attraction is open year round. If you haven't had your fill of animals after visiting Hogle Zoo, consider seeing some of the local animals at the Wheeler Historic Farm. It is open from dawn to dusk every day, so if you have early risers, this is the activity fir them! This historic farm is "dedicated to the history of Utah farming and agriculture." Attractions include wagon rides, hands on farm activities, tours, demonstrations, exhibits, etc. There are activities for every season. Additionally, if you're with children in Salt Lake City, the Tracy Aviary is a great place to see many endangered bird species, with over 150 species of birds to visit.
It's hard to think of Utah, without thinking of the many fantastic dinosaur digs there. A great place to explore the world of dinosaurs with children in Salt Lake City is the Utah Museum of Natural History. Again there are interactive activities for kids as well as many learning opportunities at the museum.
When kids have had their fill of the many museums in Salt Lake City, it may be time to pursue some outdoor activities.
Lagoon Park Drive 17 miles north of Salt Lake City and you'll find more than 40 theme-park rides as well as a water park at Lagoon. The attraction is actually one of the country's oldest amusement parks, dating back to 1896. There's just something about the Giant Rollercoaster that nothing can match when you're young Today's thrill rides include vertical fall towers, suspended roller coasters (where you're seated with your feet dangling), and the brand new "Wicked" coaster, which reaches 100 feet. Tamer rides for younger children include a carousel and Ferris wheel. Open April to October. Alternately, play paintball at Paintball Planet, or take the older kids racing at FastKart's indoor track.
For evening entertainment with children in South Lake City, consider visiting many of the family friendly theaters that offer live productions in town. In particular, check schedules for the Desert Star Playhouse, which offers many family-oriented productions. The other theaters in town may also have musicals or family friendly productions of interest. In particular, take a look at upcoming events at either the Grand or Pioneer Theater. Or you might want to explore the night skies, at any time of day, at the Clark Planetarium. The Planetarium offers the best light/music and star shows around. There are shows for every taste, both adult and child. It offers shows about the forces of nature, different planets and also includes movies in the IMAX format. The shows are generally between 50 and 60 minutes long, and they suggest that you get there at last 20 minutes beforehand. There are many fun and interesting exhibits to enjoy while you wait.
You'll find many gorgeous local parks to visit with children in Salt Lake City. As well, check schedules of different festivals held throughout the year. There are numerous yearly events that may coincide with your trip and will make it even more entertaining. For instance the Utah State Fair, held annually at the Utah State Fairpark definitely makes a visit with children in Salt Lake City a fun time for all. The fair runs in early September.
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