Top 6 Fun Things To Do In Utah With Kids (2022)
Home to some of the most stunning national parks and unique museums, Utah is one of the best states to visit if you are planning to take the whole family on vacation. While the first thing that pops into the mind when you think of Utah is to show your kids the vibrant and unique red sandstone formations at the Big Five national parks, there are many lesser-known attractions in Utah as well, including old-world train rides at the Heber Valley Railroad, the Timpanogos Cave National Monument, and many others.
Top 6 Fun Things To Do In Utah With Kids
Here’s a look at the top fun things to do in Utah with kids.
1. Visit the Arches National Park with Kids
The Arches National Park has the highest concentration of natural arches in the world, having more than 2,000 sandstone arches. The freestanding horse-shoe-shaped Delicate Arch is one of the most famous sandstone arches in the park, sitting majestically on a cliff wall in front of a spectacularly shaped sandstone bowl.
The arches here are nothing short of awe-inspiring, as you see them in a wide range of shapes and sizes, each seeming to have a character of its own. The Arches National Park is situated high above the surrounding Utah desert and the nearby town of Moab. The park is also home to spires, giant stone fins, Slickrock, sand dunes, and many beautiful views as you stare out to the distant La Sal Mountains. Hiking trails and many short walks will lead you to many fantastic sites. This is one park that is also easy enough to explore with small children.
2. The Famous Dinosaur National Monument
The Dinosaur National Monument is one of its kind in the world and a destination to enjoy with the whole family. Located amidst a very scenic and secluded spot, this monument straddles both Colorado and Utah. Built in 1915 to preserve the fascinating dinosaur fossils, there are many colorful canyons to explore here that have over 800 paleontological sites throughout.
Visitors to the Dinosaur National Monument can go camping, hiking, and even rafting to explore the remote corners of this beautiful place. The biggest highlight of this monument is the spectacular Quarry Hall. You will find a wide variety of exciting and informative exhibits on nature, history, and the dinosaurs of the region. The Wall of Bones is another must-visit sight here as you can see hundreds and hundreds of fantastic fossils. The Dinosaur National Monument is as close as you can get to a real Jurassic Park as possible.
3. Let the Children be Fascinated by the Mars-like Landscape at the Zion National Park
The Zion National Park in Utah is one of the most popular and most visited national parks in the US. It is also known for having the most breathtaking landscapes in the entire Southwest of the country. With majestic mountains and massive cliffs that line the valley, this park is often known as the vertical park. In springtime, there are waterfalls that pour off these ledges and feed right into the Virgin River that flows through the canyon.
There are two scenic roads that take you through the park and its main attractions. However, it is best to explore the Zion National Park on foot to be able to see more of this unique terrain. There is a free shuttle service that runs from spring until fall and transports visitors along the stunning Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. You can hop on and off at any of the stops along the way. While the shuttle service stops in the winter months, but the road remains open to private vehicles. If you are coming in an RV, you have to pay a fee and obtain a permit beforehand to use the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, especially to pass through a narrow tunnel here.
There is an extensive network of hiking trails at Zion that will take you through the many canyons and along the ridges located above. You get a really great view of the scenery when you take a hike below the giant rock walls or decide to venture up the Virgin River through The narrows. Many fearless hikers can experience the grandest views from the lookouts located above 1000 feet from the canyon floor.
4. Spend the Day at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
With over 60,000 square feet of many interactive exhibits, the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum is one of the best places in Salt Lake City for a day out with your family. The exhibits here are designed specifically for kids so that they can indulge in hands-on play. Kids can splash around at the Water Play table, pretend to be paramedics, or play with derby-style racing cars. During the summer months, the museum puts on a seasonal outdoor exhibition known as the SkyCycle, which is really famous. The exhibit teaches children about gravity and balance. Apart from this as well, there are many exciting events that happen all around the year, including story times, craft workshops, and a special Breakfast with Santa during Christmas time.
5. A Visit to the Heber Valley Railroad
You need to visit Heber City if you want to take a look at the famous heritage railroad of Heber Valley Railroad. This is the only place in Utah where you can still take the old-fashioned train rides through the scenic valley. There are many scenic rides to select from. The rides range from 90 minutes to three hours in duration, and some even include mock cowboy train robberies. Monday nights are specially dedicated to families. You can come aboard for a special 90-minute ride along the shore of the Deer Creek Reservoir to play games, sing songs, and buy snacks. During the Christmas season, there is a unique wonder-filled ride on the North Pole Express, which includes hot chocolate, caroling, and even a visit from Santa himself.
6. Visit the beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park
As mentioned above, the national and state parks of Utah are some of the most photogenic places in the state. When you first lay eyes on the Bryce Canyon National Park, you will feel like you have been transported to some fantasy world with towering stone spires and many balanced rock formations that are called hoodoos. These hoodoos cover the landscape in shades of gold, orange, pink, and cream. From the lookouts located high above the canyon rim, you get to peek out over this stunning collection of hoodoos into a surreal landscape. This photogenic site is so popular with photographers that you will always find someone or the other setting up camp to photograph various locations at the park at both day and nighttime.
If you want to get the most stunning views, then head to the Sunrise and Sunset Points, located along the Rim Trail. You won’t be disappointed to see the majestic views from here. If you want to get a different perspective on these fabulous sights, consider taking a walk along one of the hiking trails that snake through the canyon and explore around the bases of these gigantic spires and oddly-shaped rock formations. The park is located at an elevation of 8,000 to 90000 feet, and it is home to many ancient bristlecone pines. This is one of the lesser common sights you will get to see in Utah.