Summer in Utah: Required Reading Material to Survive the next 90 Days

Today’s update is from my friend Allison who has compiled a short but impressive list of things to do over the hot summer months here in the State of Utah. It includes things to do all along the Wasatch Front and provides you with fun activities that you may not have considered for family fun in the sun.

Thanks for the guest post Allison! I hope you launch that blog one day so that we can see more of your work!

Summer in Utah: Required Reading Material to Survive the next 90 Days
Before you start blowing up the backyard swimming pool and digging through the garage for the bug spray and water weenies, might I suggest you kickstart your summer by adding to your favorite bookmarks?
No, really. Right now.

It happens every summer. One of your beloved offspring will begin recounting how they haven’t done anything all summer except be forced to read, babysit, mow the lawn …You fill in the blank. When this happens, let do all the work of finding things for your family to do throughout our great state. It is like having your own personal event planner. Say goodbye to summer boredom.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:


June 11: Dino Day Camps begin
Camps run throughout the summer and offer activities for different ages

June 17: Father’s Day—free admission for all dads
Celebrate the beginning of summer by stepping back into the prehistoric age at the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park located along the beautiful Ogden River Parkway. Your own little monsters will dig the opportunity to hunt with an Utahraptor, play hide and seek with a triceratops, and enjoy lunch with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The park features more than 100 full-sized creatures, thanks to robotics, artistic detail, and an impressive sound system.

June 9: Get Outdoors Day — Free Entrance into Utah’s National Parks
Utah is not only the Jell-O capital, it is America’s national parks capital. Breathe deeply, pack trail mix and sunscreen, and go have fun. Writing their “What I Did During Summer Vacation” essays will be a breeze for your little thrill seekers when you take advantage of one of the five national parks located in our amazing state. Parks include: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion.

June 15-16: Chalk Art Festival at the Gateway in Salt Lake City
If you have never experienced this event, hit the pavement and commit. A grand event benefiting the Utah Foster Care Foundation, the Chalk Art Festival features more than 120 artists who transform Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande Street into “Utah’s largest live art gallery.” Breathtaking family-friendly art, live entertainment, and the opportunity to cool off at the Olympic Legacy Fountain are all provided. Come be one of the nearly 20,000 spectators who have grown to love this event each year.


July 21: Pioneer Festival at the American West Heritage Center
Unplug your children and give them some old-fashioned fun at the American West Heritage Center in beautiful Wellsville, Utah. Attractions include: a Shoshone encampment, a mountain man/fur trader camp, pioneer family settlement, and a 1917 farm. No need for the Wii when you have the opportunity to milk cows, learn woodcarving, and learn the way of the mountain man. Celebrations include: living history activities, contests, music, and gun-fighting demonstrations.

July 14: Ice Block Day at Hogle Zoo
Nobody wants sweaty, grumpy kids. Come chill out at Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo and enjoy an extraordinarily “cool” tradition. Animals experience a bit of arctic paradise as they enjoy things like food frozen in ice pops and giant 300-pound ice blocks. Animal “ice enrichment” will happen regularly between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ice-themed contests and games will be set up in the Oasis Plaza. Then, go home and have children fold clothes. Call it “laundry enrichment.” Genius.

July 30: Chocolate Lovers Night at the Utah Botanical Garden
Sure, you can bring the children, but maybe you should set this one aside for yourself. After all, at this point you have made it halfway through the summer while being an educator, taxi driver, referee, and sandwich-making specialist. A local candy maker and the owner Pa’s Chocolates, Shirl Shepherd will demonstrate how to do magical and savory things with chocolate. Oh, and you can make a delectable treat of your own. Like I said, movie night for the kids, chocolate night for mom. You must register for this event.

July 30 – August 4: 26th Annual Springville World Folkfest
With gas and airfare prices, shall we say, uncomfortable, cancel the trip abroad and stay closer to home to enjoy what is said to be the “largest festival of folk dance and music in the United States.” More than 300 performers from around the world will bring their culture through music and dancing right into downtown Springville. Don’t forget to sample some of the enticing treats at the international food booths. What a great way to breathe a little culture into a summer of swimming and sleepovers. Does it get any better?


August 24 – 25: Dancing Under the Stars

Orem will host this annual tradition of talented, professional and nationally-recognized dancers and musicians. Relax in the beauty of this outdoor venue while swaying to the music and choreography of jazz, ballroom, hip-hop and more. It’s for every kid who has a dream, and for those of us who are content to be amazed by someone else’s flexibility and rhythm.

August 11: View the Perseid Meteor Shower at Bryce Canyon
If you haven’t done much camping this year, consider planning a trip around, oh, I don’t know — a meteor shower! Come see the orange-glazed beauty of Bryce Canyon while extending your knowledge of astronomy. Get your tent upright, roast those hot dogs and get your brood to the lodge at Bryce Canyon. The show starts at 9 p.m. I will bring a very, very thick sleeping pad to put on top of my own personal air mattress, just so you know.

August 31-September 3: 2012 Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Trial Championship
Any excuse to take a drive through the alpine meadows and reaching streams of the majestic Heber Valley is justified. The world’s most impressive border collies come to Utah in what has been called “positively the foremost trial in the world.” The event will also have plenty to do for the little ones including the Bow Wow Luau Dog Acrobats, Wild Wonders Animal Show and the high-flying Dock Diving Dogs Championship. Enjoy Scottish music throughout the day and divine food from cultures around the world. But they will not train your children, so don’t ask.

I should provide a disclaimer that cannot guarantee a summer without bickering, quarreling, and biting. does not have a laundry service or a dinner delivery program. However, your kids will be so busy doing educational and fun things that they just might forget to fight. That’s my dream anyway.

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