Visiting Salt Lake City with kids is filled with unique experiences and fun-filled activities. From museums and parks to amusement centers, this city has something for every family.
For us, SLC was a gateway to explore three of Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks. We gave ourselves three days to discover the city though and found many memorable activities.
Here’s how to make the most of your visit to Salt Lake City with kids.
Salt Lake City with Kids Top Sights
If you’re visiting between June-August, make sure to check out our guide to exploring Utah in the summer with kids.
This is the Place Heritage Park
Exploring Salt Lake City with kids offers an array of fun-filled activities, and a visit to ‘This is the Place Heritage Park’ is undoubtedly one of the highlights. This park provides a unique blend of education and entertainment that makes history come alive for children of all ages.
From watching the blacksmith at work to panning for gold and riding the miniature trains, the park offers numerous interactive experiences that keep kids engaged and entertained throughout the day.
We started our visit at the Pioneer Center to pick up a map, learn about the significance of the monument and to get advice on the best activities based on our children’s ages.
When planning your trip, remember that the park is vast, so wearing comfortable shoes and bringing plenty of water is advised. You may also want to pack a picnic. We spent a lot more time here than we originally planned.
Bonneville Salt Flats
One of the most distinctive natural features in Utah, the Bonneville Salt Flats, offers a unique and memorable experience for families visiting Salt Lake City with kids. This vast expanse of hard, white salt crust is like no other place on earth, making it a fascinating destination for children and adults alike.
Located 90 minutes west of Salt Lake City, be advised that there are no amenities on site, so be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and any other essentials you might need. There’s a rest area before you reach the flats, so take advantage of those facilities. Then keep your eyes peeled for your pull off! If you pass it, it is a long way until a turnaround opportunity.
It felt surreal to drive across the flats, as if we could fall through ice at any moment.
The hard salt crust is perfect for running about. Some families bring kites or remote-controlled cars for added fun.
If you’re lucky, you might even witness a race or a test run, which would undoubtedly become a retold story for years to come.
Bridal Veil Falls
Tucked away in the scenic Provo Canyon, this iconic Utah waterfall offers not only a mesmerizing view but also an easy and family-friendly hike. If you’re planning a trip to Salt Lake City with kids, a visit to the breathtaking Bridal Veil Falls should be on your list.
The falls are easily accessible via a trail that connects to a parking lot. The trail is a mixture of paved and dirt paths, making it suitable for strollers. The hike to the waterfall is around 0.4 miles round trip.
The spray from the falls provides a refreshing cool-down, especially during the summer months. Down near the base, the water is calm, perfect for play.
Utah’s Hogle Zoo
When it comes to family-friendly activities in Salt Lake City, a visit to Utah’s Hogle Zoo is a must. Home to over 800 animals from diverse ecosystems, this 42-acre zoo offers an exciting day out for families visiting Salt Lake City with kids.
Remember, the zoo is mostly outdoors, so dress appropriately for the weather and don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, and water bottles. There are several dining options available at the zoo, but you’re also welcome to bring your own food if you prefer.
The elephant encounter is another favorite among young visitors. Here, children can watch as the zoo’s resident elephants partake in their daily training and care routines.
For younger children, the zoo’s Teton Trek offers a chance to see grizzly bears, wolves, and eagles, while the Discovery Theatre provides interactive wildlife shows that are both entertaining and educational.
Two more favorites for the kids are the Conservation Carousel and the Zoo Train’s relaxing ride around the zoo.
Red Butte Gardens
These botanical gardens offer an oasis of calm in the city. Kids can explore the themed gardens, participate in children’s garden programs, or simply enjoy a picnic while taking in the beautiful scenery.
Big Cottonwood Canyon
For families who love the outdoors, Big Cottonwood Canyon offers hiking, fishing, and picnicking opportunities. The stunning views make it worth the trip when visiting Salt Lake City with kids.
Salt Lake City’s Temple Square
The heart of Salt Lake City, Temple Square, offers a rich cultural experience for families. This 10-acre complex is brimming with historical landmarks, stunning gardens, and captivating exhibits that appeal to both adults and children.
Before visiting, families should know that Temple Square is open seven days a week and admission is free. Keep in mind that while the beautiful Salt Lake Temple is viewable from the outside, only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can enter.
The beautifully maintained gardens, with their vibrant flowers and tranquil water features, offer a serene space for children to explore.
Wheeler Historic Farm
Traveling to Salt Lake City with kids? Don’t miss a visit to the Wheeler Historic Farm, an authentic 75-acre working farm nestled right in the heart of the city. This unique attraction offers families a glimpse into the agricultural past of Utah while providing fun, hands-on experiences for kids.
Kids are sure to love the up-close encounters with the farm animals, which include horses, chickens, goats, cows, turkeys, peacocks, a mini donkey, sheep, and a pony. Moreso than that, my kids loved the playground.
Admission to Wheeler Historic Farm is free and they’re open 365 days a year.
For those visiting around Halloween, the farm transforms into a festive haven with a corn maze and a slew of fall family fun.
Lagoon Amusement Park
For thrill-seeking families, the Lagoon Amusement Park offers roller coasters, water rides, and games. It’s a perfect day out for families visiting Salt Lake City with kids.
Thanksgiving Point’s five attractions will easily fill an entire day making the admission cost a fair value. The exhibits include: Ashton Gardens, Butterfly Biosphere, Farm Country, Museum of Ancient Life, and Museum of Natural Curiosity.
Salt Lake City with Kids Indoor Options
Natural History Museum of Utah
This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the natural world, making it a must-visit when in Salt Lake City with kids. The dinosaur exhibit is a particular highlight, with life-sized models that will surely impress little ones.
Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
Salt Lake City’s Children’s Museum provides endless fun and learning opportunities for children. With interactive exhibits designed to stimulate curiosity and creativity, it’s a great indoor option when exploring Salt Lake City with kids.
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Ranked as one of the top places to visit in Salt Lake City with kids, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium offers a remarkable journey through the world’s diverse ecosystems. Kids will be thrilled to see the marine life up close and learn about their habitats.
George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park
An indoor and outdoor experience, the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park is a sprawling sculpture park, dino museum, and gem and mineral museum. It’s located in an adorable Utah city called Ogden about 45 minutes north of downtown Salt Lake City.