Monday, April 30, 2012

The Best of May

Summer's in the air, can you feel it?  We have been enjoying the warm weather by busting out the sprinklers and swimming suits.  If you're looking to celebrate the heat away from home, here is a list of events happening this month that you might just want to check out!

1.  The 8th annual  Live Green Festival  kicks off Saturday, May 5 at Liberty Square in Salt Lake.  Presented by ebay's Green Team, it will be full of great ideas to live green, not to mention the children's area and eco-carnival games.  So, go get a better education on saving the planet and have a blast doing it!  Opens at 10:00am and runs until 6:00

2. If you are in Utah County you might want to drop by for the Grand Opening of the Utah Valley Convention Center on Saturday, May 12 from 10:00 to 4:00. A day of activities for the family, along with live entertainments, exhibit booths, and my favorite, free food!

3. Just because library story times have closed up for the summer, that doesn't mean everything has. Most libraries continue other programs through the summer, like movies for teens, Great Reads for Girls and Monday night family activities.  For Salt Lake County Libraries, check out the SLCoLibrary Website for info on program running at your nearest library.

4. Make it a point to get up to Ogden for the Hill Air Force Base Open House and Air Show. Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27, check out displays of planes and helicopters up close.  Make sure to bring blankets to sit on and an umbrella to keep the sun off, and really don't forget the earplugs for the kids.  Plan on spending the day and bring a lunch or purchase from one of the many vendors.

5. May marks the beginning of the Gallivan Lunch Bunch Concert Series.  Every weekday at noon, come listen to a variety of performers.  And every once in a while they will feature story tellers, which is really a treat.  At only an hour long it's a fun way to take a picnic.  All concerts are held at Gallivan Plaza.

6. Every month,on the first Wednesday and third Saturday, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts opens their doors for free. So, if you're looking to weave a little culture into your children's experiences or if you're looking for a cheap date, head up to Salt Lake and check it out.

7. The Provo Library holds a Children's book Festival every year, and this year it will be Saturday May 12 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Come and meet authors and participate in free crafts, games and puppet shows.  A great way to spend an afternoon.

8. If you have sci-fi, star lover at your house, be sure to check out the Astro-Fest at BYU on May 19 from 10:00 to 4:00. Held at the Eyring Science Center, come and watch rocket launches, physics demos, astronomy crafts and hands on activities for all ages.

9. You know those tall tales your kids love to tell?  Why not check out the Youth Tall Tale Contest at the Gale Center in South Jordan.  And if you don't have a storyteller at your house, just come and listen!  There are sure to be some whoppers. The contest will be held Tuesday, May 29 from 6:00 to 7:00.

10.  And hey, with all the warm weather, the snow is bound to be melting up in the mountains!  Go on a hike!  Our favorites are Silver Lake, (which might not be thawed, just yet), Donut Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Jordan River Parkway.

Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City

free things to do in salt lake city
One of our favorite places to visit in downtown Salt Lake City is the Clark Planetarium.  We love learning about the rotation of the earth and seeing how clouds are made.  Especially how clouds are made. 

utah things to do
We love walking on the moon and we love trying to figure out just how big the sun is compared to the rest of all the planets.  We love trying to figure out the differences in weight on all the different planets.  

to do in utah
We are big fans of trying to see through the ceiling to find some stars, and we have a great time making our own full moons.  (In a completely appropriate way.) There are so many fun things to see and do at Clark Planetarium without spending a dime.  There is plenty for the little kids to do, but once your kids are old enough to read and comprehend some of the things that they are experimenting with, it becomes even more fascinating.  

things to do utah
If You Go: 
Sun-Thurs. 10:30 to 10:00
Friday- Saturday 10:30 to 11:00
110 S 400 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1145

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Road Trippin'

If you are going to be out and about all over the state of Utah this summer, you will want to this awesome Kids Travel Passport from Rad Roadtrips.  It's full of history, games. and other fun activities to get your kids excited about the destination, and keep them entertained during the journey! This is a great way to sneak in a little education on a vacation!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

State Park Update

Thanks to Janae, we have a little extra info on checking out a  State Park Pass from your local library.  The passes are available STARTING Wednesday morning when the library opens and due the next Tuesday evening, so you get them over the course of the week. You can check it out on Friday or Saturday, if they are still available, but it will still be due Tuesday evening.  During the busy summer months, these passes go fast.  So fast, in fact, that if you are set on getting during a certain week, you may just want to show up at your library  before it even opens to make sure you get it.  When the demand is less during the rest of the year, you don't need to be quite so vigilant.  One more handy tip, you can usually check to see if the passes are available on your library's website, so if you miss the Wednesday window and don't want to go all the way down there, you can check from the comfort of your couch.

If you go, and have any further advice or tips for the rest of us, please leave a comment or shoot me an email to help out the rest of us.  And thanks again to Janae for the great advice!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wheeler Farm, Salt Lake City

farming and agriculture
One of my favorite places to take my children is Wheeler Farm. I don't know if it is nostalgia, or what but I love it. And lucky for me, so do they!  One piece of advice however, don't go to Wheeler Farm the day after a big rain.  One word: MUD!  

agriculture and farming
Wheeler Farm is absolutely free.  You can wander around, let the kids check out all of the farm animals and if they are brave, maybe even pet a horse.  There are all kinds of great farm animals, and if you are there at just the right time in the spring you might even be treated to a sight of little baby lambs and kids.  (I'm talking about goats, not children!)

agriculture farm
You might even be lucky enough to chase a chicken.  But I don't recommend it.  I do recommend bringing something to feed the ducks.  And the geese. Especially the geese.  You don't want a hungry goose after you. . . .

things to do in utah
They do offer pony rides and wagon rides, but both charge a small fee.  But honestly, climbing on the old tractors, climbing into the tree house and feeding the ducks are plenty for my kids!  
If you go: 
Monday to Saturday 9:00 to 5:00
6351 S. 900 E., Salt Lake City , Utah

Monday, April 23, 2012

This Just In! Free Healthy Kids Day, Park City

free events in park city, what to do in Taylorsville
This Saturday, April 28, if your going to be in the Park City area check out this free event at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School (3050 Rasmussen Rd, Park City), hosted by YMCA. The YMCA Healthy Kids Day will also be held in Taylorsville at the YMCA  Community Family Center  (4223 S. Atherton Dr., Taylorsville). Come and Play on bounce houses, play baseball, games and tennis clinics. Plus over 20 community groups with lots of info on how to be healthy as a family.  
Park City Event 1:00 to 4:00
Taylorsville Event 10:00 to 2:00

Coming this Week: 4/23 to 4/28

what to to in utah
All Week:  Fee Free Days at all National Parks. Ends 4/29

Library Story Tiimes:
Murray Library: Stop in for Story Time: Tuesday through Friday 10:30
Draper Library: Story Time Station, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:15, 11:15, 1:15
Sandy Library: Drop in Story Time: Tuesday and Wednesday 10:30 and 11:30
Bingham Creek Library: Preschool Fitness Fun, Monday 11:00

Library Events: 
LEGO Club, Murray Library, Monday 4:00
Great Reads for Girls, Bingham Creek Library, Tuesday, 7:00
Great Reads for Girls, Sandy Library, Wednesday, 7:00
Terrific Thursday, Ages 6-10, Draper Library, 4:15
No Girls Allowed, Draper Library, Friday, 4:00

Annie Oakley, Gale Center, Tuesday 6:00
Red Butte Gardens, FREE DAY! Friday, all day
Nihonmatsuri Japan Festival, 100 W. 200 S., Saturday, 10:00 to 5:30
Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic: Terrariums!, Saturday, 10:00
Lakeshore's Free Crafts, Saturday, 11:00

Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Park Free Days

free days at National parks list
img src

Did you know that there are 13 National Parks in Utah? And some, but not all charge fees? But here is the best part, every year those national parks have a few fee free days.  The next free day is NEXT WEEK!   It is, in fact, the entire week, April 21-29.  So, if you are looking for anything to do next week you might want to check out your nearest National Park.  You can find a complete list of Utah's National Parks at the  National Park Service website.

Later dates:
June 9
September 29
November 10-12

Thanks to Julie for the great tip!  Do you know something we don't know?  Leave a comment or shoot me an email and spread the word!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In Honor of Earth Day

free shredding service Earth day
img src

You know those stupid credit card applications that you get with your name and address all over them?  The ones you have to shred?  Or the bank documents that you have been holding on to forever so no one will steal your identity?  But your shredder is broken!  Or it overheats if you shred too many!

In honor of Earth Day, you can bring your recyclable documents to the parking lot of Whitmore Library for a free shredding event! Saturday April 21 from 10:00 to 2:00, get them shredded for free!  Bring up to five boxes of paper that can be recycled, making sure to remove all binder clips or paper clips.  You can also bring old computer hard drives to be punched.  (But just the hard drive, not the whole computer).

If you have questions or need more info you can call 801-943-4636 or get more info at

Monday, April 16, 2012

Silver Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon

One of our favorite hiking spots (well, walking spots in the mountains) is Silver Lake, up Big Cottonwood Canyon at Brighton Ski Resort.  We make the trip up at least two or three times per summer.  We learned last year, however, not to go too early. These pictures were taken mid-June!  

This is a great hike for introducing your younger children to nature. The trail is flat all the way around the lake and about half of it is a boardwalk.  It is even enough to bring your stroller.  Walking at a decent pace, you can lap the trail in about thirty minutes, but we like to take our time and look for squirrels or fish and admire the flowers.  

The views around the lake are fantastic, and there is usually a family of ducks near the shore.  There are also docks and (loosely defined) beaches great for fishing. 

Because the elevation is so much higher, it can be a little chilly up there, so don't forget a jacket.  But if you are like me, the ten degree drop will be a welcome relief from the summer heat!  And for convience sake, the visitor center has restrooms and a drinking fountain. 

The drive from the mouth of the canyon all the way too the top is about 20 minutes.  We spend the time with our eyes peeled for herds of deer, if we're lucky.  

If you go: 
 Most accessible between June and October
Hours according to Canyon Restrictions

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coming this Week: April 15 to 24

free stuff to do in utah with kids

Library Story times:
  • Murray Library: Stop in for Story Time: Tuesday through Friday 10:30
  • Draper Library: Story Time Station, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:15, 11:15, 1:15
  • Sandy Library: Drop in Story Time: Tuesday and Wednesday 10:30 and 11:30
  • Bingham Creek Library: Preschool Fitness Fun, Monday 11:00
Library Programs: 
  • Teen Movie Matinee, Monday 4:00 to 6:00, Sandy Library
  • Family Movie Night, Monday 7:00, Bingham Creek Library
  • Super Bunny to the Rescue, Monday 7:00, Draper Library
  • Great Reads for Girls, Tuesday 7:00, Columbus Library
  • No Girls Allowed, Thursday 4:00, Sandy Library
Other Fun Stuff!
  • Ohana Saturday, 11:00 to 2:00, Hawaiian Cultural Center
  • MonoPrints, 1:00 to 4:00, Utah Museum of Fine Arts
  • Springville Museum of Art Spring Salon opens April 20

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I know you love free stuff!

Have you heard about the new movie Chimpanzee?  It will be coming to theatres April 20th.  In the meantime, if you have any monkey lovers at your house, I have a few resources for you.  Disney has released a packet of activity pages all about Chimpanzees that you can download on their press page
free coloring pages monkeys

If you are an educator or a homeschooling mom, you can download their educators packet as well. It is full of all kinds of great information on chimpanzees.  

homeschooling resource monkey

And have some fun with your own little monkeys!  (I'm so good at cheesy.)

And here is a little taste of the movie to go along with all of your activities!

State Parks for Free!

Thanks to a great tip from Frieda, I am happy to tell you about a great program to check out one of Utah's 43 state parks for FREE!  As long as you have a library card, you are in!  

It's simple: check this list of participating libraries to make sure that your local library is in the loop.  If so, just go in, check out the pass and then take it to your favorite state park for free day use!  

Have fun exploring!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Utah Olympic Park, Park City

If you are in Park City, the Utah Olympic Park is a must see. This is where several events in the Winter 2002 Olympics were held.  It continues to host national and international competitions.  In the summer, ski aerialists practice their technique by going off the ski jump and landing in a huge training pool.  That was what my children and I stumbled upon the day that we went to check it out.  My children were enthralled.  

Every few minutes another aerialist would come flying off of that ski jump and my children's eyes would light up with wonder.  There are bleachers around the side of the pool, and we camped out there for at least and hour watching them go.  

When everyone had enough of the jumpers, we headed off to do more exploring.  There are some self guided tours and trails that lead to the larger ski jump areas, with information about the games all along the way. This would be a great day of hiking for kids. There are some decent inclines, but the trails are mostly paved with makes the walking just a little bit easier.  

If you go: 
Hours: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tours available, but there is a charge.  
Olympic Parkway and Highway 224 at Kimball Junction
Park City, UT
(435) 658-4200

Monday, April 9, 2012

This just in!

For the rest of April, kids eat free at Gardner Village's Archibald's Restaurant.  A perfect month to go wander around the village and then get dinner!  One free kids meal per adult entree purchased.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Coming This Week: April 9-14

Find more info about all of these events and more on the Fabulously Free Utah Event Calendar

Library Story times:

  • Murray Library: Stop in for Story Time: Tuesday through Friday 10:30
  • Draper Library: Story Time Station, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:15, 11:15, 1:15
  • Sandy Library: Drop in Story Time: Tuesday and Wednesday 10:30 and 11:30
  • Bingham Creek Library: Preschool Fitness Fun, Monday 11:00
Other fun and free events!

  • Book Adventure: Monday, 4:00, Sandy Library 
  • Easter/Spring Craft: Monday, 7:00, Bingham Creek Library
  • No Girls Allowed: Tuesday, 4:15, Bingham Creek Library
  • Utah Youth Rodeo: Tuesday, 5 to 9pm, Golden Spike Event Center
  • Kids Afternoon at the Movies: Thursday, 4:00, Sandy Library
  • Gardening Class: Thursday, 6:30, Jordan Conservation Garden
  • The Good Life Expo: Friday-Saturday, Spanish Fork Fairgrounds
  • Wild Jungle Journey: Friday, 4:00, Draper Library

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Heads Up: Free Day at Natural History Museum!

Just a quick reminder before the craziness of Spring Break starts, (unless you are one of the lucky ones who get the whole week off!)  The Natural History Museum of Utah is FREE on Monday, April 9.  They will start taking reservations for tickets at 12:00 noon on April 3, TODAY!  Reservations are accepted online only, so don't call, it won't do you any good.

The tickets are free but the demand is such that you can go without a reservation but you risk waiting or even being turned away. So get on the ball so you can check out the new Natural History Museum for free!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jordan Valley Conservation Garden, West Jordan

One of my very favorite places to take my kids is the Jordan Valley Conservation Garden.  It doesn't sound like a blast, but trust me. My kids love it.  It is the perfect place to take a picnic during the summer, or the spring or the fall.  It is gorgeous all year round.  And if you think the kids will be bored just looking at plants, you haven't found the dog house or the ladybugs yet.  You can also request a free tour of the garden, great for homeschooling groups.  Or just go play.  Totally worth it! 
west jordan photography locations

This is also one of my favorite places to take pictures of my kids.  For the past three years all Christmas card pictures have happened at Jordan Valley Conservation Garden.  You can't go wrong.  

Summer Hours
May 1 to September 30
Monday - Saturday: 8am to 8pm

Winter Hours

October 1 to April 30
Monday - Friday: 8am to 5pm

8275 South 1300 West
West Jordan, Utah 84088 

Coming this Week: April 2 to 8

*For more info on all events going on this week, check the Event Calendar. 

Library Story times:

  • Murray Library: Stop in for Story Time: Tuesday through Friday 10:30
  • Draper Library: Story Time Station, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:15, 11:15, 1:15
  • Sandy Library: Drop in Story Time: Tuesday and Wednesday 10:30 and 11:30
  • Bingham Creek Library: Preschool Fitness Fun, Monday 11:00

Easter Events:

  • 8th Annual Community Easter Concert, Friday 7:30, Provo 
  • Cottonwood Heights Free Teen Skate and Egg Hunt, Friday, 7:00
  • West Valley City Teen Flashlight Egg Hunt, Friday, ages 13 to 16, 9:00
  • Easter Rendezvous, Ogden, Saturday, All day
  • Payson City Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday
  • Provo City Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, 10:00 am
  • Eagle Mountain Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, 10:30 am 
  • Draper Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, 10:00
  • Cottonwood Heights Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, 9:00
  • South Jordan Egg Hunt, Saturday, 9:00
  • West Valley City Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, 8:30
  • Snowbird Easter Egg Hunt, Sunday, 9:00
  • Alta Easter Egg Hunt, Sunday, 11:00 am 

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