Where do I begin when starting to write about our very first state on our 50 states in 50 weeks trip? Utah is so incredible and even had some minor issues with the RV, we were still able to see some fantastic things!
There are so many things to do in Park City summer or winter. We were there in January so there was a lot of snow activities such as sledding, skiing and if you want to give it a try, bobsledding on an Olympic track!
If you want to go sledding a great place to go is Soldier Hollow in Midway. If you want to drive the extra 25 minutes from Park City make sure you make a reservation.
We thought it would be fun to go try bobsledding but we didn’t plan far enough in advance to get a babysitter. You need to be 16+ and weight at least 100 lbs or more. You get to go down the track in a group of three with a professional driver. How cool is that?
Cedar City has a lot of fun activities for kids. We went to the Frontier Homestead State Park, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, Discovery Park. Other recommendations for kids there are the aquatic center and driving up to Cedar Breaks to do some hiking. In the winter they have sledding up there.
The Frontier Homestead State park is a cheap and educational activity for the kids. My kids are five, three and one but there are activities for older children. It cost us $4 to get in and my kids spent an hour just in the inside museum with stagecoaches and the activity center. They were able to build, explore and create.
We went outside to view old farming equipment and learn about how old settlers lived and survived. My kids loved running around. They especially like the horseshoe games.
The Daughters of the Utah Pioneer museum is a free, quick tour where you can see artifacts from how they lived back in the pioneer days. My favorite thing was talking to May Hunter, the receptionist. She has a long history of pioneers and you can really feel her love for her ancestors.
We ate lunch at Hermes, which was an amazing burger place! Best burgers and shake I have eaten in a long time. I ordered the mushroom swiss burger, a large fry (we should have ordered a family size because they were so good) and a blackberry shake. Bobbi, the owner was there and gave us fantastic recommendations on what to order and was very personable. She told us we needed to go visit the bowling ally but we didn’t have time to actually make it there.
Right next to and a little behind, by the library, is a great park for children to play. They have a large play structure and also a smaller structure for my 18-month-old.
Another really fun park to play at is Discovery Park. This park has house-like structures where the kids can climb stairs, do monkey bars and play like they are in the ocean.
Right next to Discovery Park is the aquatic center. This facility is the perfect place to have the kids burn off some energy and have a lot of fun! They have a fish slide and water spewing from the ground. There is also a lazy river, and a lap swimming pool. If you pay for a day pass, you can also get access to the gym on the facility.
Be sure to check times on the aquatic center. Open swim was only available in January after 3:30 when school got out.
My kids’ favorite part of St. George was the Children’s museum. This is a two-story facility right next to town square where the kids can use their imagination and play with other kids. We spent 75% of our 3 hours there upstairs. We would have spent more time downstairs but they were closing. My girls loved the stage where they could dress up and put on a production/sing and the grocery store.
Along with the girls’ activities, we decided we wanted to do a little climbing. We found a great place in Green Valley. If you want to do any climbing in St. George, get a Utah climbing book or check out the mountain project app.
We did go and check out the Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. This is exactly what it is. A farmer was digging and found some dinosaur tracks. They placed a building over top of the discovery site. There are a lot of cool prints but not a favorite for my young kids. I had to keep chasing Saylor (my 18-month-old) to keep her out of the sand on the other side of the exhibits and Blakely and Tessa moved pretty quickly through the site. Very interesting find though and it is always incredible to me how much archaeologists can find in the dirt. There is an exhibit here showing how fast a dinosaur was running. They also had some neat ‘swim marks’ from when the dinosaurs were swimming in the lake.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is spectacular, even in the winter. I really wanted to hike The Narrows hike so we put it in the GPS and drove to the trailhead. This hike starts with a Riverside walk at the Temple Sinawava. This riverside hike is an easy, paved trail all the way to the canyon where the narrow, river hike actually begins. It would be great with a stroller and easy enough for young children or aged citizens. Since it was January when we went, the water was 39 degrees Fahrenheit for the Narrows hike. Brrrr. That would have been cold, especially with three young children. So we did not continue through the canyon, we just turned around when the pavement ended. Bring a coat and a hat on this one if you are going in the winter. The canyon can send a shiver down your spine.
I also ran up the trail to see the Emerald pools. The lower pool would be great for children. My children were pooped from the Riverwalk so Colter stayed with them in the car to take a nap. This path is paved, stroller friendly, to a half-bowel where waterfalls fall past the trail. You actually get to walk under the falls. Since it was January when we went, the waterfalls were not huge but a waterfall is a waterfall! If you want to go past the lower pools to the middle one the pavement ends and there is a lot of stairs and rocks so be prepared if you keep on going to the middle and upper Emerald pool. There are some beautiful National Parks in Utah – check out the most beautiful parks in Utah.
Life is definitely elevated in Utah! Happy and safe adventures.