A Day Exploring Salt Lake City

Posted by Andrea on April 12, 2012

saltlake2 (saltlake2)

Park City is blessed to be only 45 minutes from one of the West's most popular urban destinations— Salt Lake City.  But don't let the bright lights of this big city fool you— it's still ideal for families. In addition to the rich history you'll find at the Mormon Temple and the plentiful parks, here are a few more kid-friendly things you'll find in Salt Lake City.    

History Comes Alive

People are oohing and aahing and jaws are dropping over the brand new Natural History Museum of Utah. Three miles from downtown Salt Lake City, the building, inspired by the local landscape, is stunning. Yet it's not just the architecture that will impress you.

Over 1.2 million artifacts from Utah's rich history are on display. You can see mocassins worn by Utah's first native people and learn about the state's ecosystem. The museum's gone out of its way to be kid-friendly with exhibits that beg visitors to "Please Touch"— including a wall of human skulls and ancient animal fossils.

Okay, not every child wants to touch a human skull. For younger visitors there's "Our Backyard Gallery", which includes a water table, dress up area and real insects you can examine up close. Kids will also enjoy getting to explore in a supervised science lab. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for ages 13-24, $6 for kids ages 3-12, under 3 is free.

Play's the Thing at this Museum 

Discovery Gateway, formerly known as the Children's Museum of Utah, is a great place to spend several hours with younger kids. It's filled with hands-on, interactive exhibits where kids can play, jump around and build things. Kids can climb aboard an actual rescue helicopter on the building's roof or pretend to be a TV anchor or weather person, while reading the day's news and forecast off a real teleprompter.

The museum is in the Gateway open-air mall which means you can combine your kid's play therapy with some retail therapy for yourself! Admission is $9.50, kids under 1 are free. There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants here, plus the Clark Planetarium, another great attraction, is just steps away. 

Step Into the Past 

Want to take your kids back in time? You can, at This is the Place Heritage Park. Pioneers in period costume show kids how early furniture was made or how wool was spun into yarn. You can watch a blacksmith at work and check out the teepees and hogans of the state's earliest settlers. There are also Native Americans in costume, representing Utah's 5 native tribes, to give kids a glimpse into the early history of Utah. There's also a petting zoo, pony rides and a train you can hop on. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, under 2 are free— some activities require an extra fee.

Sweet Spot 

Forest Gump knew that life was like a box of chocolates. If you want to see how those chocolates are made, step inside Sweet's Candy Company. Since 1892, they've been making our lives richer with their sweet treats.  

They now make over 250 varieties of candy and will let you see how they do it during a free 40 minute factory tour. Candy samples are pulled right off the factory floor for everyone to enjoy!

Factory tours are offered year-round, Monday - Friday, but you do need a reservation. Reservation forms are available on the website.

There's lots for families to enjoy in Salt Lake City.  Consider stepping off the slopes to enjoy them during your next Park City ski trip.    






Comment posted by Kristen on April 14, 2012 8:08 AM MDT

Thanks for this!! We're headed out this summer for a few weeks. We haven't been to the Discovery Museum since it was in it's old location many years ago. Can't wait to visit again. And my kids will LOVE the candy factory!

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