Summer in the City: SLC Day-Itineraries for Families

Jun 15, 2016
By: Ann Whittaker


Salt Lake City

The last day of school is Day 1 of Family Summer Fun Academy. Boredom will be crushed to smithereens with explosions of explore-your-own-backyard enthusiasm. All that pent-up desk-sitting energy will be unleashed upon the Wasatch Range. And your kids might actually learn something!

Sure, summer’s longer than two days, but these sample itineraries will kick start the flywheel on your kids’ energetic, exuberant, educational summer. Just imagine what all these trails, parks, animals, museums and picnics can do for both your familial bonds and summer memories!

Albion Basin, Hike to Cecret Lake

SUMMER DAY 1: Trail to Grill




Temple Quarry Trail: 0.5 mile loop; paved (stroller-friendly)
Cecret Lake: 1.5 miles round trip; a family pilgrimage
White Pine: 1 mile to the river

Silver Lake: 0.75 miles round trip; boardwalk to the meadow
Mary/Martha/Catherine Lakes: 4 miles one way; go as far as you please
Dog Lake: 6 miles round trip; for the bigger kids

City Creek: 6.3 miles round trip; go as far as you please
Ensign Peak: 1 mile round trip; sunset is pretty pretty
Red Butte Canyon: 4 miles round trip; city views and end up in the gardens or the museum

LUNCH: On the trail

• Raisins • string cheese • Cheetos • M&Ms (for you to steal a few) • granola bars • potato chips (salt aids water retention) • apple/sauce • compulsory water breaks

Bagels with cream cheese • cheesy Couscous • PB & J/honey (pro tip: pack in a hard container to prevent smushing) • pasta salad (with black olives for little fingers)

Extra bag for trash • wet wipes (always & forever) • sunblock • hat • bandana (dip in river for one of life's greatest pleasures) • Band-Aids for blisters • mini first aid kit

AFTERNOON: Play and rest at a park

Liberty Park: playground, restroom, basketball, tennis, jogging/walking path, drinking fountain, volleyball, pavilion (reservations), picnic tables, swimming pool, horseshoes
Laird Park: playground, multi-purpose fields, softball, drinking fountain, picnic tables, sandbox, sand toys
Sunnyside Park: playground, restroom, multi-purpose fields, basketball, tennis, softball, baseball, drinking fountain, volleyball, pavilion (reservations), picnic tables

See full list of parks in Salt Lake City

DINNER: Backyard BBQ

There’s the standard hot dogs + hamburgers + a bottle of ketchup for each child, but here are some other ideas for foodie kids who’ve been eating tikka masala and quinoa since their days livin’ it up in the womb:

Grilled pizza • grilled salmon & veggies • hummus & veggies • seasonal fruits & cheese • cherry tomatoes & corn on the cob

SUMMER DAY 2: Air Conditioning & Shade

SALT LAKE CITY: Culture, Education, Games & Sunset


MORNING: Museum, Animals or Plants

Bug Brigade: Observe and handle live bugs and learn about arthropods' anatomy, behavior and important ecological roles. (Every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.)
Foothill Wildflower Walk: Join museum entomologists and botanists on a 45-minute walk just outside the museum to learn about local plant biology and identify insects found on the trail.

Nature in the City: Nature walks, nature storytime, eco-art, soundscape interpretation, stream exploration, sensing the seasons, and more educational ways to learn more about Salt Lake City.
Little Chicks Classes: Preschoolers and kindergarteners do arts and crafts and meet a new special bird guest every week.

Lil' Buds: Designed for 3–4 year-olds to explore the gardens, do a fun craft or activity and grab a snack and a story.
Sprout House Workshops: Customizable workshops for any group of 5–12 year olds. Garden staff lead interactive, nature-themed experiments and hands-on projects that your kid can take home.

• Science Lab: Kids learn how to slow down, put their screens down, observe the world around them and how to ask questions about what they hear, see, feel, smell and taste.

LUNCH: Nearby restaurants


• Burgers, Fries & Shakes
B&D Burgers: Classic burger joint near the University of Utah's Presidents Circle.
Hires Big H: SLC's favorite drive-in burger and shake meeting place for generations.

• Pizza
Este Pizza: New York City style pizza.
The Pie: The heartiest pizza in town with thick crusts, lots of cheese and garlic for days.
Settebello: The original Napoletana wood-fired pizza in town.
Flatbread Pizza: Wood-fired pizza in a charming part of Sugar House neighborhood.

• Sandwiches, Soups & Salads
The Soup Kitchen: There's no Soup Nazi here. Famous for their tomato soup.
Corner Baker Cafe: A menu with everything kids love and things parents will enjoy as well: Mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwich, pasta salad, salads, grilled sandwiches.
Ruth's Diner: Dining in the mountains just 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City up Emigration Canyon.
Blue Plate Diner: Where sandwiches, soups and burritos abound.
Great Harvest Bread Company: Freshly baked breads daily and the heartiest sandwiches around. Their baked goods are tuh-die-for.

•All the Other Stuff
Finn's Cafe: Cozy place for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Costa Vida: Fresh Mexican grill willing to whip up a good ol' quesadilla for your pickiest eater.
Kathmandu: Nepali food for the adventurous kids, and the parents who want to enjoy their meal too.

AFTERNOON: Pick a Park & Play Some Games

Frisbee • fly's up • freeze tag • Mother, may I • "Lava" at the playground • crocheting • coloring books • read under a tree

EVENING: Drive to a pretty sunset point with a picnic

• Wasatch Blvd — Mount Olympus trailhead
Natural History Museum Of Utah parking lot
This Is The Place Monument
State Capitol Building

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