SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Whether you live near Salt Lake City or are visiting for any amount of time, the area offers plenty of free, family-friendly activities and places to visit.
Look no further for activities that people of all ages can enjoy without spending a dime.
Liberty Park: Salt Lake City’s oldest and second-largest park (second to only Sugar house Park in size) has several playscapes, as well as grassy areas for tossing a ball or frisbee. It also has walking areas where kids can bike or skate.
Museums: Salt Lake City has numerous free museums, like the Fort Douglas Military Museum, the Pioneer Memorial Museum, and the Church History Museum. Even museums that are not completely free sometimes have free admission days. For example, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts has free admission on the first Wednesday and the third Saturday of the month.
Salt Lake City Library (Main library): The six story building is home to over 500,000 books and other materials for check-out. The library has an interesting architectural build and walkable wall which leads to a rooftop terrace. It also has shops and services available on the ground level and a children’s library on the lower level with plenty of places to curl up with a book.
International Peace Gardens: The garden is one of only two peace gardens in the United States and opened in 1952 with the goal to promote peace and understanding. Located in Jordan Park, the garden represents 28 countries through sections of the park that are decorated and beautified by each Utah-based nation group.
Clark Planetarium: IMAX and planetarium show tickets cost money, but guests can view the museum’s space-based, interactive exhibits for free. Guests are asked to reserve a scheduled time to visit the exhibits in advance online if they have not purchased theater tickets.
Gilgal Sculpture Garden: This unique garden is described on slc.gov as “a hidden local treasure” which contains 12 original sculptures and 70 stone engravings of scriptures, poems, and literary texts. The creations were made by Thomas Child, an LDS bishop and masonry contractor and document his spiritual exploration over the course of about 20 years. It is Utah’s only visionary art environment.
Wheeler Historic Farm: The farm is the perfect place for kids to interact with nature while getting their energy out. They can see the farm animals consisting of pigs, cows, goats, chickens, sheep, and even peacocks. The farm also has a playground area and 75 acres of trails and grassy areas to run and play on.
Hike: With Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons nearby, the Salt Lake area has numerous kid-friendly hiking trails to get the family outdoors. Try Ensign Peak, the Temple Quarry Trail, and Lisa Falls are just a few kid-friendly hiking trails.
Visit a skate park: With skateboarding recently making its Olympic debut, bring the kids to learn some new skills at the skate park. The Salt Lake area has several skateparks to practice in. Don’t forget a helmet, knee, and elbow pads!
Splash pad: Splash pads are an easy (and free!) way to cool down on a hot day that can be a more stress free option for parents than watching their kids at the pool.
Movies in the park: Many cities in Salt Lake County offer free evening movies in the park. Bring a blanket and some snacks and watch a movie under the stars with the family.
Utah State Capitol Building: Many Utahns visit the state’s Capitol building in the spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming, but the building and grounds are open to the public and a great place to take the family year-round. Having undergone one of the country’s largest historical preservation projects the Capitol Building is a place to learn about the state’s history and enjoy the magnificent painting and architecture that it holds. Take a stroll around the tree-lined walkways surrounding the building or relax on the lawn.
Gardner Village: Parents and kids will enjoy the wide variety of locally-owned shops at Garner Village. located at the historic Garner Mill, the quaint shopping center has something for every age group with candy, antiques, bedding, and more. Kids will love seasonal displays and scavenger hunts.
Public Star Parties: For families who enjoy star-gazing and astronomy, the University of Utah’s Physics and Astronomy Department hosts free Star Parties on clear Wednesday nights on South Physics Building’s roof.