Monday, January 9, 2017

My favorite family places in Salt Lake City Top 5

I told you I was going to post a top five list for the places I have lived in the past few years (really the past 9 years). We have moved a lot in that time and I have covered those places, Omaha, Spokane, Scottsdale, Aberdeen, and Yakima. I thought I was done there, but I am going to include one more place, the place I call home in spite of the fact I haven't lived there in about 14 years, the place of my birth, where I visit frequently and where my family still resides: Salt Lake City, Utah (which I will abbreviate as SLC from here on out)! Which incidentally is one of the most family friendly places you will ever find! 

One final Top Five family spots: SLC

Top 5 Salt Lake City

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and lived there until the end of 4th grade. We moved away for a few years while my dad was in law school. We moved back to SLC when I was starting ninth grade. I graduated from high school there (Go Titans!) and College there (Go Utes!). After college I taught high school there for a year before this whole medical schooling journey took us away to Omaha. Though I haven;t lived in SLC for many years, we visit several times a year and it is home for me! So, this one might read more like a visitor than a local view, but here's to hoping I still sound a little like a Utah native! Gosh! :)

Before my list, One Note on DEALS in Utah: 

There are a couple GREAT discount passes you can get if you plan to do several activities in Utah. SO, before you plan a trip to Salt Lake, or if you live there.

What is it? A ski resort

My Experience with it: My family never skied growing up, but we did have a summer time share at Snowbird. So, for most of my growing up years I spent a week in the summer staying in the Iron Blossom Lodge at Snowbird. Which pretty much makes me an expert, well except for the part where I had no clue what was going on at that SKI RESORT during the winter. LOL. I have skied a few times with my husband and kids as an adult. But we had not done a real ski trip in Utah. When we visit Utah, almost all our time is spend visiting family. So, we had not skied much in Utah with our kids. Last Christmas (like a month ago), Wes (my husband) had the week before Christmas off work so we took the kids to Utah, but decided this time we were going to spend the first 3-4 days of our 9 days there at Snowbird skiing as a family. So we stayed at the Cliff Lodge and were able to ski and figure out the winter part of Snowbird. It just makes me love it even more. 

Where is it? Up Little Cottonwood Canyon. 

What can you do there and what does it cost?  There is so much to do there-ski, swim (if you're staying there), play in the arcade, hang out at the snowbird center, hike, ride the tram! Some of it is free (If you want to hike in the summer, just drive up, find a parking spot and start hiking), but much of it costs money (skiing!). Check out their website for more details

What is it? A park with a pond in the middle, lots of picnic areas, a couple playgrounds, and tons of grass!

My Experience with it: I grew up not far from Sugar House park and spent lots of time sledding and playing in this park. I've been to many a picnic in the covered shelters. It is a big park with lots of meeting places.

Where is it? 1330 2100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84106

What can you do there and what does it cost? You can sled, play in the park, go for a walk or meet up with friends. It is a fun park, but really it's just a park...and it's FREE! 

3. Temple Square

What is it? The grounds around and including the LDS Temple in downtown Salt Lake City. 

My Experience with it: Well, I was married in the temple, and I have visited Temple Square many, Many times in my life. 

Where is it? Downtown SLC. It is hard to miss, and the grid numbering system of the streets on SLC basically radiate out from the Temple. Here is a description of how to get there

What can you do there and what does it cost? So, to go in to the Temple you have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and you have to hold what is called a temple recommend. BUT don't let that deter you from visiting the grounds. There is a visitor's center where all are welcome to tour, and there are missionaries at Temple Square that can take you on a tour of the grounds and tell you about the history. Or you can take a self-guided tour. ALSO, if you are in SLC during Christmas season, the amazing lights at Temple Square are not to be missed! It is absolutely beautiful there during the Christmas Season. Please read more about Temple Square here

4. Thanksgiving Point

What is it? A big "campus" with shopping, museums, farms, and lots of stuff to do with kids.

My Experience with it: Honestly this was new and not anything like it is now when we moved here, but now every time we visit, people want to meet there for one reason or another. To go to one of the museums or farms, or movies. So, we have been there just about every time we have visited for the last several (10?) years.

Where is it? 3003 Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, UT 84043, USA

What can you do there and what does it cost?  There are a few main events to visit here. I will list them below with a link to each item so you can check out current prices and descriptions:
5. Seven Peaks SLC

What is it? A water park (It was Raging Waters when I was growing up, but Seven Peals bought it a while back) 

My experience with it: I had my 12th birthday party here (when it was Raging Waters). And my family has been there a few times over the past few years. Because we have bought the Pass of all Passes which lets us do lots of awesome stuff including this water park! Some might argue that that the Provo Seven Peaks is better, but I like the SLC one best. Personal preference I guess.

Where is it? In SLC: 1200 West 1700 South in Salt Lake City, UT 

What can you do there and what does it cost? This is a seasonal option for summer fun! Water slides, lazy river, wave pool, and more! Cost changes year to year, but we have found that we go more than one day a year so the Pass of Passes is the best bang for our buck! If you watch Groupon deals in SLC, usually they have awesome deals on The Pass of all Passes. 

As I said earlier, I grew up in Salt Lake, so it was tough, REAL tough to keep this list at 5 items! So here are some honorable mentions that probably should be squeezed into more of a top 10:

  • This is the Place Park (It is a Pioneer site with old time activities, shows, and even live animals. My sister works at the livery stable so you might even see her there if you're lucky!)
  • Hogle Zoo (I grew up going to this zoo. Make sure to get the obligatory picture at the lion drinking fountain!)
  • U of U (University of Utah). #GoUtes! When I was a kid, my dad was in school at the University of Utah and we lived in family housing on campus. I lived there until I was 8 years old. So, I have often said I grew up on the campus. Later I went to the U and got my degree in Theater education. I include it on this list because walking or biking this campus was the most fun as a kid! Plus there are tons of collegiate sports and excellent college theater as well as a professional theater on campus. AND there are tons of kids camps and programs throughout the year and especially during the summer. Check out Youtheater where I worked for several summers during college! Great summer program for kid to experience theater! 
  • Discovery Gateway  A hands on children's museum
  • Clark Planetarium I love planetariums and this one is big! And fun!
  • Lagoon Utah's amusement park! As a kid I thought it was a half step below Disneyland. As an adult I can say it is not to that level, but it is certainly fun! And it is full of great roller coasters! Which I love!