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10 FUN Things to do in Utah with Kids on a Family Vacation

10 FUN Things to do in Utah with Kids on a Family Vacation

Adventure, beauty, and culture await families who visit Utah. There are so many fun and unique things to do in Utah with kids. 

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 this list to plan your own Utah family vacation.

Things to do in Utah with Kids

1. Discover Dinosaurs on Your Utah Family Vacation

things to Do in Utah with kids include discovering Dinosaurs
Eccles Dinosaur Park, Photo by Tiffany Vaughn

Every little explorer wants to find dinosaurs! Utah’s unique geography and geology make it an ideal place to uncover them. Discovering real dinosaur fossils with paleontologists is one of the fun things to do in Utah with kids.

Kids can become a Junior Rangers at Dinosaur National Monument and compare their footprints to a dinosaur track at Potash Dinosaur Tracks

Dinosaur National Monument is also a great place to go river rafting. There are trips for all age and ability levels.

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.

2. Take a Scenic Drive

things to do in utah with kids scenic drive
Scenic Byway 12, Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

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. 

Want more suggestions for scenic drives to enjoy fall foliage? Don’t miss our guide to 10 Places to Enjoy Utah Fall Colors.

3. Visit the Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City

Visit the Great Salt Lake on your Utah Family Vacation
Great Salt Lake, Photo by Flickr/John Morgan

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

Read our article on the 10 Best Things to do in Salt Lake City with kids.

➟ Snag today’s best deals on family-friendly hotels in Salt Lake City

4. Play in Park City in All Seasons

fun things to do in utah park city
Utah Olympic Park, Photo by Flickr/Bill Rand

Ready for history, adventure and luxury? Check out Main Street in Park City, which is filled with 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. Besides, skiing there a lot more things to do in Park City in the Winter, including dining at Park City’s world-class restaurants and even doing yoga on a paddleboard in a geothermal crater.

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. 

5. Experience Native Lands and Cultures

 monument valley utah
Monument Valley, Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

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.

6. Learn About Utah’s Mormon Heritage

temple of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints
Temple Square, Photo by Flickr/Hugh Millward

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. 

7. Ski the Greatest Snow on Earth

things to do in utah ski
Utah Skiing, Photo by Flickr/Matt Kern

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 Ogden. With 10 ski resorts within an hour drive of Salt Lake City, you’ll need help figuring out which are the best ski resorts in Utah.

Want to skip the lines and have ski rentals delivered to your door? Check out this Park City ski package.

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.

8. Find Adventure in Moab

 utah moab
Arches National Park, Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

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.

Book a Moab 4×4 adventure. Trekaroo is a Trip Advisor affiliate.

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.

Here are the best things to do in Moab with kids on a family vacation.

9. Soak up the Sun on Lake Powell

fun Things to do in Utah Lake Powell
Lake Powell, Photo by Sharlene Earnshaw

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.

Read Trekaroo’s article on Houseboating on Lake Powell .

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.

10. Explore the National Parks in Southern Utah

utah zion national park
Zion National Park | Photo by Tiffany Vaughn

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.

Read our full guide on Things to do in Zion with Kids.

The brutal summer heat makes hiking the famous Narrows, a hike through a river in a slot canyon, extra enjoyable.

Don’t miss our Utah National Parks Road Trip itinerary.

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. 

Read our full guide to visiting Capitol Reef National Park.

Tiffany Vaughn