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Adventure, beauty, and culture await families who visit Utah. Don’t know what to do in Utah? Diverse geology shaped this land to create five glorious national parks. Remnants of the state’s rich history dot the state at historical and archaeological sites. Skiers flock to the Utah mountains in the winter for world-famous snow. Activities in Utah offer wonder and excitement for families willing to explore. Use our list of fun things to do in Utah with kids to get your adventure started.
Fun Things to do in Utah
10. Discover Dinosaurs
Every little explorer wants to find dinosaurs! Utah’s unique geography and geology make it an ideal place to uncover them. Discover real dinosaur fossils with paleontologists and become a Junior Ranger at Dinosaur National Monument. Compare your footprint to a dinosaur track at Potash Dinosaur Tracks.
Explore Utah’s many interactive dinosaur museums such as Thanksgiving Point Museum of Ancient Life and George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park. Or check out the Natural History Museum of Utah to learn about ancient Utah and its inhabitants.
Follow this guide to find all the Prehistoric Adventures in Utah.
9. Take a Scenic Drive
If you spot a scenic byway sign in Utah, take it! A drive down one of these highways leads to discovery of some of the grandest sites that can be found from any piece of blacktop. Scenic Byway 12 offers red rock formations, breathtaking viewpoints, and slickrock terrain.
Alpine Loop winds families from American Fork Canyon to Provo Canyon. Visitors especially enjoy this drive in autumn when the aspens and scrub oak display their colors.
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8. Visit the Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City
Discover an inland ocean five times saltier than seawater. The best place for families to experience the Great Salt Lake is Antelope Island. Here families can float on the high-salinity water and hike around the island. Find out more about the birds you see on the water by visiting Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve.
After the lake, try some Fun Activities in Salt Lake City. You can visit animals at Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary, and Living Planet Aquarium. Or if you family is into space, stop by Clark Planetarium for interactive exhibits and IMAX movies. In the summer, cool off in the lazy rivers and water slides at Cowabunga Bay Water Park.
7. Play in Park City
Ready for history, adventure and luxury? Check out Main Street in Park City unique boutique shops and hotels such as Marriott’s Summit Watch. Did you know you can play on the grounds of the 2002 Winter Olympics? At Utah Olympic Park, families can zoom down the alpine slide, zipline beside ski jumps, and conquer the rope courses.
After those inspiring adventures, you’ll be ready to try out skiing Park City’s award winning ski resorts. Park City Mountain Ski Resort boasts the title of largest ski resort in the country. Deer Valley Resort was voted the best ski resort in America in 2018. If the snow is gone, head to the Blood’s Lake Trail for beautiful hiking and Beaver Creek Trail for biking through the Wasatch Mountains.
Find things to do in Park City in the Winter.
Stay and play in Park City!
6. Experience Native Lands and Cultures
Several ancient Native American tribes flourished in Utah, leaving remains of their rich cultures throughout the state. Families can see evidence of our state’s original inhabitants just by hitting a trail at some of the national and state parks. Imagine wandering trails to find ancient petroglyphs carved into cliff sides at places like Fremont Indian State Park and Museum!
Utah also houses hands-on museums like the BYU Museum of People and Cultures and historical sites such as Anasazi State Park Museum that celebrate these cultures. You can even wander through ruins of Native American dwellings at Hovenweep National Monument and Edge of the Cedars State Park. Head to Monument Valley in the the southeastern corner of the state to witness iconic southwestern vistas and learn about the Navajo Nation which owns these lands.
Find Utah’s Native American Sites & Teach your family about Native American History and Culture through Travel.
5. Learn about Utah’s Mormon Heritage
In 1847, Brigham Young settled Utah with pioneers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Mormonism is still a big part of Utah culture. The Church History Museum is the best place for families to learn about Mormon culture. Or experience living history at This is the Place Heritage Park to learn what life was like for the first Utah settlers.
At Temple Square, be sure to stop by the visitor center. From here, families can join a free tour around Temple Square to learn about the historic buildings.History buffs, you won’t want to skip the Family History Library, the largest genealogical library in the world. You can also visit the FamilySearch Center for family activities relating to family history.
4. Ski in the Greatest Snow on Earth
You can’t beat Utah’s snow for skiing. The dry climate leaves behind fluffy, powdery snow; perfect for any winter outing. Utah also claims some of the best ski resorts towns including Park City and Brian Head. Many of the resorts even offer free skiing for kids.
In addition to skiing, families love to explore mountain trails in the winter with snowshoes or back-country skis. Or just find a snow-covered hill and zip down it on your sled.
Learn more about skiing at Brian Head.
3. Adventure in Moab
The outdoors are a natural play area in Moab. Excitement and adventure are only limited to your family’s thrill level. Start out mild by hiking through some of the easier trails at Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. Get your adrenaline flowing with some whitewater rafting or off-road excursions.
Need more thrills? Try mountain biking on the Slickrock Bike Trail or take your family canyoneering. Even if you’re not into adventure, the red rocks and stunning scenery may reveal a wild side just waiting to explore.
Use this Guide to Family-Friendly Moab to start your adventure.
2. Soak Up the Sun on Lake Powell
The unusual scenery and vast reaches of Lake Powell beckon over three million visitors a year. Combine that with the hot, dry weather and you’ve got an ideal destination for water sports. Marvel at hanging gardens, golden cliffs, and narrow slot canyons as you splash and play the day away.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy Lake Powell is via a houseboat trip. It is easy to find a private cove for your family to enjoy on the lake’s 1,900 miles of shoreline. In addition to water fun, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provides hiking, camping, and photography opportunities. A visit to Lake Powell wouldn’t be complete without a hike to the famous Rainbow Bridge.
Consider Houseboating on Lake Powell for your next multi-generational getaway.
1. Explore the National Parks of Southern Utah
Captivating landscapes and geological wonders abound throughout Utah’s national parks. Zion National Park near St. George, Utah captivates visitors with its stone monoliths and narrow slot canyons. The brutal summer heat makes hiking the famous Narrows, a hike through a river in a slot canyon, extra enjoyable.
Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its brilliant hues and hoodoo spires. Hike into the canyon to experience the towering canyon walls, then hike high above it for incredible views.
It’s a little bit out of the way, but you wouldn’t want to skip Capitol Reef National Park. The sandstone sculptures and the water pocket fold are otherworldly. Kids will also love picking fruit from the park’s orchards.
Watch the Top 10 Things to do in Utah with Kids:
Lead photo by: Bigstock/ Prochasson .