30 Exciting Things To Do In Utah With Kids

Visiting some of these exciting things to do in Utah with kids is a must for any family trip to Utah. This may have you wondering right off the bat, is Utah good for families? Yes! There are tons of family-friendly things to do in Utah.

From fun outdoor adventures for children of all age levels and historical sites to children’s museums and kid-friendly restaurants in Utah, you can find tons of fun and memorable experiences to have as a family.

One of the things you will lover about traveling in Utah with your little ones is that there are countless free things to do in Utah with kids as well. So, if you are on a budget, fear not! Okay, let’s get started!

a natural archway stands in the desert in a national park, one of the best things to do in utah with kids

30 Exciting Things To Do In Utah With Kids

Zion National Park

Some of the best well known attractions in Utah are the national parks. Zion National Park with kids is totally doable (and a lot of fun!) You and your little ones can drive scenic routes, play in the river, camp, hike, picnic, and more.

One of the best things to do in Zion National Park with kids is to check out the Zion Nature Center. You can also shop for rocks and grab ice cream while you’re there. What really makes this park one of the best things to do in Utah with kids is that there are many kid-friendly trails in Zion National Park.

Kid-friendly hikes in Zion National Park:

1. Weeping Rock Trail (.5 mile)
2. The Watchman Trail (2 miles)
3. Lower Emerald Pool Trail (1.2 miles)

grass, river, and trails in a canyon

Heber Valley Railroad

This exciting railroad experience is one of the best things to do with kids in Utah. They hold different train rides that are fun for the whole family.

You can find excursions like:

1. The Monday Night Train: sing-a-longs, games, etc.
2. The Super Hero Train: costumed staff, photo opportunities, historic exploration
3. Deer Creek Express: incredible views in the mountains

There are also the standard scenic train excursions as well. The Lakeside, Deer Creek, Red Caboose, and the Provo Canyon scenic train excursions offer impeccable views of the remarkable Utah landscape. If you have young kids who love trains, this is a must!

Bryce Canyon National Park

Another national park making it onto the list of best things to do in Utah with kids is the Bryce Canyon National Park. One of Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks, Bryce Canyon has a lot to offer families. One thing to check out while you are there is the Junior Ranger Program. If your little ones are quite the explorers, they will love becoming a junior park ranger.

To encourage hiking and healthy families, Bryce Canyon National Park offers a prize for little ones who find at least three of the nine medallions throughout the park. This is called the “I hiked the hoodoos” program. Just snap a picture of your littles ones with the medallions or take a pencil rubbing of the medallion as proof and the prize is all theirs!

Some kid-friendly hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park:

1. Queens Garden Trail (1.8 miles)
2. Navajo Loop (1.3 miles)
3. Mossy Cave (0.8 mile)
4. Sunrise to Sunset Rim Trail (1 mile)
5. Birdseye Trail (1.5 miles)
6. Pink Ledges Trail (1 mile)
7. Photo Trail (0.3 mile)
8. Hoodoo Trail (0.3 mile)

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best national parks for kid-friendly hikes in Utah!

photo of unique tall features in the desert

High Country Adventure

Ready for some rafting? Sticking to the theme of outdoor adventure, let’s have a look at this amazing opportunity for rafting in Provo, Utah. One of the best things to do in Utah with kids in the summer is to get on the water! Children as young as three years old can participate in adventures at High Country Adventure.

The most popular adventure is the Provo River Rafting which is for ages three and up and lasts up to three hours. You can spend a few hours floating along the river and then enjoy a Texas-style BBQ on the bank of the river. If you have kids age five or older, you may be interested in the kayaking experience instead.

High Country Adventure options include:

1. Provo River Tubing
2. Provo River Rafting
3. Raft ‘n’ Zip (ages 7+)
4. Provo River Kayaking

Arches National Park

Located in stunning Moab, Arches National Park is a must for adventure lovers list of best things to do in Utah with kids. You can drive the beautiful Arches Scenic Drive, take photos at viewpoints, become junior rangers, picnic, learn about Geology, and go hiking in the park.

If you need super short and easy hikes for small kids or even for older kids who aren’t huge fans of hiking, check out these easy Arches hikes:

1. Delicate Arch Lookout Trail (0.7 mile)
2. Double Arch Trail (0.6 mile)
3. Windows Loop Trail (0.8 mile)
4. Sand Dune Arch Trail (0.3 mile)

natural archways and other natural features at sunset

Fun Family Breakfast at Pig and a Jelly Jar

Ready for some family-friendly Salt Lake City? The Pig and a Jelly Jar is a super fun restaurant in the state’s capital city. Super funky and with a menu made with locally sourced projects, you and your kids will love this brunch restaurant.

Traveling is exhausting, especially when you are traveling with kids. If you wake up a little too late for breakfast, there’s no worries, just head over to the Pig & a Jelly Jar in Salt Lake City to chow down on some delicious American comfort foods like BBQ pulled pork, gravy & biscuits, fried chicken, egg scrambles, banana bread, and more!

a plate of waffles and fried chicken next to a plate of bacon

Park City Mountain

Park City Mountain stands at 10,026 feet tall and is home to a mountain ski resort. For those who love winter sports, this is by far one of the best things to do in Utah with kids! Kids as young as 3 can take ski and snowboarding lessons on Park City Mountain. While the mountains is popping during the winter months, you can also find fun year around.

Outside of the winter months, you can still enjoy the mountain by taking scenic lift rides, riding the Alpine Slide, mountain biking, riding the Mountain Coaster, playing mini golf, riding the Flying Eagle Zip Line and the ZipRider, panning for gems, and more!

aerial photo of chair lift, a town, and mountains covered in snow

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park easily makes its way onto the list of best things to do in Utah with kids! This southeastern Utah park is home to dramatic desert landscapes that have been carved out by the Colorado River.

The Island in The Sky district is the area that is closest to Moab and it is home to many stunning overlooks, scenic drives, and kid-friendly hikes in Canyonlands National Park. On the other hand, the Needles district is a bit further from Moab and has more sandstone formations and amazing hikes.

Kid-friendly hikes in Canyonlands National Park:

1. Upheaval Dome Trail (1.6 miles)
2. Mesa Arch Trail (0.6 mile)
3. Grand Viewpoint Trail (2 miles)

a view of the desert at sunset through a natural arch way

Natural History Museum of Utah

It’s always a good idea to work some educational opportunities into your Utah bucket list. The Natural History Museum of Utah has permanent exhibits that cover life, land, First Peoples, gems & minerals, the Great Salt Lake, dinosaurs, and more. You will also find various special exhibits while you are there as well.

You kids will love checking out the interactive activities and you will love watching them learn while they play and have fun. There’s also a store and cafe where you can eat and grab a momento from your time spent in Utah. The cafe has soups, sandwiches, salads, and specialty dishes. (They have vegan and gluten free alternatives as well.)

th eoutside of a museum with stairs and ramp leading to the front door
source: Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock.com

Lagoon Amusement Park

Located in Farmington, the Lagoon Amusement Park is the place to be for family fun as it is one of the best things to do in Utah with kids. At the park, there are rides for all age levels and heights. One of the most exciting rides at Lagoon is the Canniball. Riders drop 208 feet in a vertical free-fall at seventy miles per hour!

For little ones, the Red Baron airplane ride, Odysea spinning ride, Rattlesnake Rapids, Baby Boats, Boomerang bumper cars, Ladybug Bop small drop ride, Sky Ride cable car ride, Wild Kingdom Train ride, and Tipsey Tea Cups will be perfect for them! There’s also a water park, events & shows, and the Pioneer Village which is a replica of a typical frontier community.

a large ferris wheel with trees beneath it

Capitol Reef National Park

Another one of the most incredible things to do in Utah with kids is the Capitol Reef National Park. Visiting Capitol Reef can give you a break from the crowds at Zion National Park. While Capitol Reef is also very popular, you will likely find it to be less crowded than Zion.

While at the park you can enjoy the picturesque views on Highway 24. This highway is the main road through the park and offers stunningly scenic views. The best part about this is that if you were looking for free things to do in Utah with kids, you found it! You can drive the highway without paying the entrance fee for the park.

Short kid-friendly hikes in Capitol Reef National Park:

1. Capitol Reef Petroglyph Trail (0.3 mile)
2. Panorama Point Trail (0.3 mile)
3. Morrell Cabin Trail (0.5 mile)
4. Hickman Bridge Trail (1.7 miles)

wooden walkway under a tree in a national park, one of the best things to do in utah with kids

Utah State Capitol

The Capitol Grounds are a great place to have a family picnic. There’s also hiking trails that are both kid-friendly and dog-friendly for you to enjoy while you are in the area. The 8.7 acre Memory Grove Park is another great outdoor feature around the capitol.

If you are interested in taking a tour of the capitol you can do a self-guided or docent-led tour. While self-guided tours are great when you are short on time, the guided tours are where you will really get the most out of this educational experience. For homeschoolers and education-driven travelers, this is a must on your list of best things to do in Utah with kids.

the outside of the utah capitol building with a sidewalk out front and three flag poles with flags blowing in the wind

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

This mesmerizing state park is among the coolest things to do in Utah with kids! With breathtaking canyons and dunes, you and your kiddos will be shocked by the natural features in the park. Best visited in the spring and fall, you can sandboard, go off-roading, camp, and hike in the park.

The entry fee is super reasonable and you pay per vehicle. This pass will get you into the state park for the whole week! If you are camping during your visit to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, you will have access to hot showers, picnic tables, restrooms, and fire pits. For RVers, you will be happy to know that some sites have hook ups. There is also free dispersed camping nearby if the campground in the park is full.

picture of sand dunes in the desert at sunset

Grab a Loaded Sandwich From Sensuous Sandwich

Located in Orem, Utah, Sensuous Sandwich is a casual restaurant but it serves up gourmet-level sandwiches that you won’t be able to stop talking about. With… interesting names like The Bodacious, The Tantalizer, and The Spicy Enticer, you may not find this to be a kid-friendly restaurant. That’s okay, it’s up to you.

This is one of the best restaurants in Utah for a quick and tasty sandwich!

a sandwich with chicken, cheese, and lettuce on a plate

Monroe Hot Springs

What is a trip to Utah with a dip or two in a hot spring? Monroe Hot Springs Resort, also called the Mystic Hot Springs in northeastern Utah is where hot mineral water emerges from the ground and flows into a series of pools. Parents and kids alike will love soaking in these springs!

With frequent love music and campsites in the area, you will fall in love with the Monroe Hot Springs Resort. The campsites allow pets and children receive a cheaper rate, making this one of the best things to do in Utah with kids. Families love a good discount, am I right? There’s nothing like sleeping with the glow of the stars in the air and waking up to a stunning sunrise over the mountains.

three bathtubs with water in them, naturally filled from a hot spring

Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point

Easily one of the best things to do in Utah with kids, visiting the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point is a dramatic and exciting museum that families will love! This massive glass-walled museum has a spectacular amount of science and nature exhibits.

The exhibits are all interactive and there are more than 400 of them! In the town of Lehi, the Museum of Natural Curiosity sites on the Jordan River. The green space around the museum has walking trails and stunning garden features like a pier overlooking a Koi pond, a rose garden, and more.

Tracy Aviary and Botanical Gardens

Another addition to your Salt Lake City bucket list, the Tracy Aviary and Botanical Gardens is one of the best things to do in Utah with kids. With eight acres of aviary space, you can find nooks and crannies to explore, enjoy the company of feathered friends, and feed the birds.

Other than simply exploring the grounds, there are fun and exciting experiences offered at the Tracy Aviary. One of the experiences available to you is the opportunity to Paint With The Hornbills. There’s also an opportunity to let your little ones shadow a keeper on the job for one hour. This is amazing for the kids who are interested in working with wildlife when they get older.

flamingos standing in water, tracy aviary one of the best things to do in utah with kids

Bean Life Science Museum

For all us budget travelers, the Bean Life Science Museum is magnificent because it is one of the best free things to do in Utah with kids! This museum is designed to inspire and teach children about the world we live in. There are exhibits on the living planet, protecting the planet, under rivers, evolution, plant cycles, insects, and more.

The Bean Life Science Museum is in Provo which is one of the best cities in Utah to visit with kids. You will be near to other museums on the Bringham Young campus as well. The BYU Museum of Paleontology, Museum of Mormon Mexican History, and the Museum of Art are all within walking distance from the Life Science Museum.

Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum

Would this even be a list of the best things to do in Utah with kids if we didn’t throw in a children’s museum or two? The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in Salt Lake City, previously called The Children’s Museum of Utah, is a hands-on museum in the downtown area.

Fun colors and exciting exhibits that will make eyes open wide and little gears turn as children explore are plentiful. There is a new exhibit which is particularly exciting for kids and that is the dinosaur exhibit! In this exhibit kids can see fossils, learn about the prehistoric creatures, and dig for fossils.

inside a childrens museum with toys and exhibits on display, one of the best things to do in utah with kids
source:  Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Mountain America Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point

It’s time for some more dinosaurs! The west is well-knowns for the dinosaurs that have been found there and at the Mountain America Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, there are tons of family-friendly activities and displays to learn about dinosaurs and aquatic life.

There are discounted entrance fees for children and small kids aged two and under get in totally free. You will find one of the worlds largest collections of mounted dinosaurs, an Erosion Table, a Quarry Dig, and more while you are there. One of the coolest things at the museum is that you can watch paleontologists and volunteers work to unearth a 150 million year old dinosaur called the Barosaurus. This is one of the reasons this museum is among the best things to do in Utah with kids.

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

With more than 550 species of animals, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is doing remarkable work towards marine conservation. They take part in the survival plan of several species and they also are a part of a Coral Rescue.

Furthermore, they are working to protect sea turtles in the Philippines and are a part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program which encourages sustainable food usage. (The Monterey Bay Aquarium is actually one of the best things to do in central coast California with kids!)

the exterior to an aquarium, sign above the door
source: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Old Spaghetti Factory in Salt Lake City

When you dine at the Old Spaghetti Factory, you are in for more than just dinner. It is a whole experience when you visit this yummy eatery in SLC. You will be blown away by the old-fashioned trolley car, colorful booths, antique lighting, brick walls, and overall design and atmosphere at the Spaghetti Factory.

There are actually other locations of the Old Spaghetti Factory as well. Visiting the Louisville, Kentucky location is one of the best things to do in Kentucky with kids!

a plate of spaghetti with meatballs on top

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

The Timpanogos Cave National Monument is a must see for the adventurous family travelers out there. You are able to hike your way through this secret underground world and feel the thrilling excitement of stepping where many other will never go. Visiting this incredible cave system is one of the best things to do in Utah with kids.

You can take a tour, hear stories of the cave’s history, and learn the science behind the formation of the cave. There are various tours offered and they even host an Arts in The Park where artists scatter throughout the park, including inside the caves to capture the landscape. While there, you can enjoy food trucks, Junior Ranger crafts for kids, picnics, a cave simulator, and performances. Be sure to check online to see if there are any fun events taking place during your visit.

the entrance to a cave with a chain across the walkway

Rosencruch Wildlife Museum

Located in St. George, the Rosencruch Wildlife Museum is among the most educational things to do in Utah with kids. This is a very unique museum that has more than 300 dioramas that represent animals from every continent. There is an interactive Children’s Gallery and a Family Insect Room which children are sure to love!

Treehouse Children Museum

This fun children’s museum in Ogden is perfect for young kids and is reading-oriented, meaning it encourages children to to into a story and enjoy the hands-on activities and exhibits that the museum has to offer. The exhibits at Treehouse have won awards and have been hand crafted for young kids. By far, this museums is one of the best things to do in Utah with kids under the age of 10.

Fun activities like a gravity race track, air tubes, and a science circus are all there and waiting for you to visit! Pricing is super reasonable and children aged two and younger get in for free. When it comes to parking, there is free parking on the streets around the museum, but this is limited. You can also look toward the North end of the Junction Parking Terrace for free parking there as well.

a horse statue outside of a museum, this museum is one of the best things to do with kids in utah
source: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum

Located in Vernal, Utah, this museum offers visitors a look a prehistoric life around every corner. The exhibits at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum cover nearly three billion years of history of the Earth. There are multiple halls, each catering to a different aspect of Earth history.

In the Geology Hall, there are fossils dating back more than 600 million years. While in the Anthropology Hall there is the history of Native American life including their handicrafts and items of cultural significance. Then, in the Natural History Hall, you will find replicas of 17 prehistoric animals, all built life-size. Kids will love digging for fossils and interacting with all of the hands-on exhibits at the museum.

Utah State Railroad Museum

One of the best things to do in Utah with kids is visit the Utah State Railroad Museum, also called Union Station and Ogden Union Station. Located on the west end of the historic 25th street in Ogden, this is a must-see for the little train-lover in the family.

The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday and is budget-friendly. Kids will enjoy a discounted entrance fee and kids aged two and under get in for free. Keep in mind that there are several days a year where the museum is free so be sure to check your travel dates to see if you will be visiting on a free-entry day!

a train parked on tracks in a rail station
source: O.C Ritz / Shutterstock.com

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Penguin Brothers

This super fun and unique ice cream ship in Salt Lake City is an incredible place to swing by on a hot summer day. Famous for their ice cream sandwiches, Penguin Brothers is the place to be!

You can find cookies of all variety pushing together a remarkable scoop of ice cream. You can find ice cream flavors like s’mores, dark chocolate sea salt, strawberry nutella, and more. Some of the mainstay ice cream sandwiches are the Ron Burgandy which is snickerdoodle cookies with strawberry nutella ice cream in between and the Luigi’s Mansion which is double fudge cookies with mint oreo in between!

These flavor combinations are just part of what makes Penguin Brothers one of the best things to do in Utah with kids.

three ice cream sandwiches stacked on top of each other from penguin brothers, one of the best things to do in utah with kids

Dead Horse Point State Park

A nice alternative to busier and more dangerous natural sites like Angel’s Landing, Dead Horse Point State Park is one of the best things to do in Utah with kids. The most iconic feature in the park is the overlook that showcases a dramatic U-shaped turn in the river below.

A popular thing to do in the park is camp in the yurts. There are multiple yurt areas and styles for you to stay choose from, plus, traditional campsites and campgrounds as well. If you are looking for a dog-friendly place to stay in the park, the Moenkopi Yurts are the only ones that allow dogs inside.

photo over a U-shaped river where in a canyon

Kanarraville Falls

This breathtaking natural feature in Kanarraville, Utah is something that you should not pass up. While this will be best suited for older kids, you should still keep it on your radar as one of the best things to do in Utah with kids. They recommend the hike for children over the age of eight as anyone younger than that will likely struggle.

Tickets and reservations must be bought in advance and there are a limited number of hikers allowed each day. Jumping over rocks, wading through water, climbing a tall aluminum ladder, and other obstacles are a part of this hike so sturdy hiking shoes are highly recommended. Keep in mind that this is not a dog-friendly hike.

waterfall in canyon with ladder leading up to a higher level, one of the best things to so in utah with kids

What Do I Need To Visit Utah With Kids?

If you plan on hiking in the Beehive State, you will want to make sure your kids have what they need to succeed. Kids grow so fast it can be hard to buy them new gear every time they have a growth spurt. However, there are a few things that you will want so you can rest assured knowing they have what they need while hiking.

You may not need to spend 200 bucks on a pair of hiking shoes for your five year old or buy expensive moisture wicking clothes for their simple 1 mile hike in a park. However, there are a few things that will make life a lot easier for you and them both if you plan on hiking with little ones in Utah.

1. A hydration bladder pack (Kids love them and feel excited to hike!)
2. Sturdy shoes (Does not need to be expensive hiking shoes)
3. A sunhat (Kids are happier when the sun isn’t in their eyes, go figure.)

Best Time To Visit Utah With Kids

This all depends on what you are wanting to do while you are there. However, in general, the best times to visit are the spring and later summer/early fall. This way you avoid the hottest parts of the year and you can either see the wild flowers bloom or the leaves change colors during your visit.

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