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SALT LAKE CITY — When the weather turns cold, the kids usually turn restless. Keeping young ones entertained during the winter months can be a daunting task for parents.
Many shopping malls throughout the state have indoor play areas. These areas are free and can usually keep the kids occupied for long enough that a tired mom or dad can snag a short peek at a book, or just sit and relax.
If you’re looking for a place to take your children, where jackets can be shed and sleeves can be short, check out our list of fun indoor mall play areas in and around the Salt Lake Valley.
Layton Hills Mall (Layton)
Layton Hills Mall hosts a fun indoor play area with an outdoor theme. The carpeted area features “landmarks” from around the Layton area, like a small replica of the Weber State University bell tower, the Utah sego lily, the desert tortoise and the Bonneville cutthroat trout.
Adequate seating is provided around the play area for parents who would like to (or can) sit and relax. The play area is right next to the food court, so snack and treats aren’t far away.
Address: 1201 N Hill Field Rd, Layton
South Towne Center Mall (Sandy)
For Salt Lake County folks, South Towne Mall houses one of the best and most accessible indoor play areas around. The area is smaller but mostly walled-in, so children more prone to wandering will be easier to keep track of. Play structures consist of climbable flowers and plastic slides, with a few tunnels and games to occupy curious youngsters for at least 20 minutes.
For more adventurous outings, South Towne also boasts a train that runs around the mall. But a there is a cost for tickets, so be aware before promising a group of 10 eager youngesters a ride.
Address: 10450 S State Street, Sandy
University Mall (Orem)
The play area at University Mall is one of the more unique around. A large tree house marks the center of the area, and a faux dino excavation site serves as a place for kids to climb or explore (although a sign cautions parents to keep kids off the top of the largest dinosaur).
This is one of the largest play areas around the state, but there is no enclosure to the park so it’s necessary to keep an eye on kids who like to run. Bathrooms and drinking fountain stand adjacent, enabling parents to keep entertained kids playing for as long as they have energy.
Address: 575 E University Parkway, Orem
Provo Towne Center(Provo)
This play areas isn’t huge, but it’s a great place to escape the cold and let the kids burn some calories for a bit. The play structures are fun and standard; a plastic slide, plastic flowers and a fun painted rubber carpet with a river and bridge.
For interested parents, a full-size carousel lives on the second level near the food court. The rides cost a ticket price, so be aware before making plans.
Address: 1200 Towne Centre Blvd, Provo
Getting out in the winter doesn’t have to mean bundling in five layers and building snowmen for hours on the lawn. There are options for free indoor recreation and kids will love getting out of the house on days when TV seems to be the only option for fun and diversion.