Viva la summer, a season where the kids are out of school and family-time abounds.
While this can be amazing, it can also be hard to keep everyone’s attention after exhausting the traditional go-to activities like pool days, slumber parties and camp. Here are some fun and free family-friendly activities that will keep the whole fam excited on the average summer afternoon with no plans.
City Creek Park is in the heart of downtown, so it is easy to access. People take their dogs to play in the pond, and you can set down a blanket and watch the animals play. There is a trail accessed from the park, as well, so the family can take a stroll.
You can’t go wrong with the canyons in Salt Lake. Be it Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon, City Creek Canyon or Millcreek they all have trails. At the top of Millcreek is a road only accessible during the warm months. The road is an all-levels walk, so feel free to take it easy or step up the pace to make it more challenging. If you're looking for a bit more difficulty, right down the canyon is Desolation Trail with views of the canyon and city. Make it a day-long adventure, and check out the barbecue and fire pits to keep the fun roaring into the night.
Fun fact: there are only two peace gardens in the United States, and one of them is in Salt Lake City. The Peace Gardens represent 28 countries and are comprised of over 11 acres of land that symbolize world peace. These gardens are a place to take a stroll and, literally, stop and smell the flowers.
The Shorelands Preserve is one of the most important stopovers for migrating birds. Tens of thousands of birds come to eat and rest along their journey. The visitor’s center offers a chance for people to experience the wetlands and birds from their 34 exhibits, boardwalk (about a mile long) and 30-foot-high observation tower.
The Planetarium has a mixture of free and paid activities. There are three free exhibits: Earth, Near Earth, and Beyond can hold the family's attention for hours. The exhibits span three floors and are full of interactive hands-on activities related to the Earth, the solar system, space and beyond. If your family is interested in catching a flick, there are a range of shows in the IMAX theater for an admission fee.
Throughout summer, The Gallivan Center hosts a range of lunchtime and evening concerts with varying music genres, from opera to big band. Some shows will have food trucks, for a one-stop-shop. The City Library also hosts the free Marmalade Concert Series on the second Thursday of every month. Alternately, if you want to head out of town for a bit of adventure, try going to the Canyons Resort Village in Park City for its free summer concert series, where half the fun is going up the cabriolet (the open-air gondola-esque ride to the concert venue).
This was brought to you by Robert J. DeBry and Associates, a long-standing member of the SLC community.