SALT LAKE CITY — The first official day of spring is less than a week away.
For Utah residents this means a glimmer of hope that the days of snow and ice are fading and sunnier times are on their way. If people are looking for ways to bring in the new season with fanfare, they can try ticking a few of these suggestions off their list.
Visit a local botanical garden
The state of Utah boasts a number of private and public botanical gardens. Most of these facilities open mid to end of March and feature early blooms like tulips and daffodils.
- Opens March 29
- Admission: $15 for adults, $12 for children and seniors (ages 65+)
- Address: 3900 N. Garden Drive, Lehi
- Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Red Butte Gardens:- Open year round
- Admission: $10 for adults, $6 for children 3-17, $8 for seniors (ages 65)
- Address: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City
- Hours: Hours vary throughout the year, check website for current times.
Utah State Botanical Gardens (Kaysville extension):- Open year round
- Admission: $2 suggested donations
- Address: 920 S. 50 West, Kaysville
- Hours: Visitor Center open 1-5 p.m. during the winter with extended hours during spring and summer.
Ogden Botanical Gardens:- Open year round
- Admission: free
- Address: 1750 Monroe Boulevard, Ogden
- Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Take a weekend trip to a national or state park
Early spring is one of the best times to visit a state recreational area. The weather in most spots is mild, especially for those traveling a little to the south and the crowds are thinner than they are during the summer months.
Hotels and other lodging facilities may offer reduced prices in off-season months. Rentals and camping may be cheaper as well. While the weather may be a little cooler in the spring, state and national parks offer a host of newly budding flora that won’t be around in the hotter months.
Fly a kite
March in Utah can be windy. Take advantage of the gusts and head to a nearby park or field to fly a kite. The art of kite flying takes minimal skill but can yield maximum fun, especially for young children.
Kites can be either store-bought or homemade. Store-bought kites range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the bells and whistles — in some cases literally.
The Internet provides a cornucopia of tutorials on how to make a kite at home. A search on Pinterest yields an overwhelming amount of information on how to build a kite using items most have laying around the house.
Take a hike
For outdoor enthusiasts who may have had their interests in hibernation mode during the winter, a hearty spring hike is a definite must. Many canyons are still under snow, but trails at lower elevations are starting to dry out in the middle to end of March.
A few recent articles on KSL.com give those living around Cedar Cityand those with small children suggestions on great places to hike. Utah.com also has a list of fun trails and hikes for adventurers of all ages.
Be sure to check weather reports before heading out to the hills. Temperatures in March average in the mid 50s, according to Utah.com, but rain and snow come at unpredictable times. Spring run-off in creeks and rivers can also make water levels higher than they are in the summer, so hike carefully around these areas.