It’s summertime in Utah. That means long days, sunburns, mosquito bites and bored kids. Instead of letting another summer with your kids evaporate in a mist of cleaning the house, binging on Netflix or playing video games, get out of the house and explore some of these fun opportunities available in your own backyard. Here are some ideas to kick-start the season:
The Hill Aerospace Museum in Roy exhibits an extensive array of airplanes both vintage and modern. To be more specific, more than 70 aircraft are on display throughout the museum’s two indoor galleries and outside air park. You can see everything from a Lockheed SR-71C Blackbird to the infamous B-17 Flying Fortress. Thousands of artifacts representing the history of aviation from the United States Air Force, Hill Air Force Base and the State of Utah are on display here as well.
But it’s not just the airplanes and vestiges of aviation’s history that bring visitors from surrounding states and even foreign countries to the museum. A host of educational opportunities are available as well. Kids of any age will have fun deciphering the airplanes’ nicknames with the emoji scavenger hunts. And 2019 brings the second annual STEM Summer Passport Program for kids eight and older.
Because what kid doesn’t like dinosaurs? With more than 100 full-size, realistic dinosaur sculptures roaming the park, your kids will definitely be entertained for hours. The dinosaurs are based on actual fossil skeletons and brought to life by robotics, artistic details and cutting-edge sound systems.
Like the Hill Aerospace Museum, the dinosaur park provides more than just things to look at. Dinosaur Day Camps teach kids scientific principles through projects like fossil casting, tours of the park with a paleontologist and experiments. Check the park’s calendar for its various daily events going on throughout the summer.
Perched in the foothills above Salt Lake City, the Natural History Museum of Utah is housed in an incredible modern building wrapped with 42,000 square feet of copper that blends into the surrounding landscape. The architecture is impressive, but what’s inside will impress both you and your little ones even more.
The Great Salt Lake exhibit provides insight into the vast body of water that impacts so much of the surrounding valley. Your kids will enjoy taking a stroll around the exhibit to learn all about the lake, and its precursor, Lake Bonneville. After taking in the sights and sounds of the Great Salt Lake, wander over to the interactive exhibit demonstrating land formation. Your kids will be plenty busy modeling seismic events, touching rocks and studying plate tectonics.
With summer camps that focus on STEM principles and the daily Highlights Tours, which detail some of the museum’s most captivating and entertaining stories in 60 minutes, kids and adults will be equally entertained. And, after your tour of the museum, consider striking out for a hike or mountain bike ride on the adjacent Bonneville Shoreline Trail—best explored in the cooler morning or evening hours.
Nestled in Salt Lake City’s beautiful Liberty Park, Tracy Aviary is the largest of only two free-standing aviaries in the nation. With a wide variety of birds, daily shows and unique exhibits spread out over eight-acres, your kids will be hard-pressed to be bored here. Over its 79-year history, it has become a cultural landmark, public garden and leader in environmental education and conservation.
Educational opportunities also flourish at Tracy Aviary. From week-long summer camps to daily Nose to Beak Experiences, your youngsters will learn to better appreciate nature and wildlife. But if spending the day together is more your thing, Tracy Aviary is still the place to do it. Enjoy a stroll around the exhibits; feed the pelicans; take in one of the daily outdoor bird shows; or have a picnic in Liberty Park.
Don’t whittle away your summer. After all, there’s a limited number you have with your kids before they move on to other things. Utah is awash with fun family opportunities. So, get out and explore all there is to do this summer.