Utah has a big emphasis on family togetherness. As a parent, you know that nothing is more important than spending time together as a family. With family-friendly festivals and events happening any time of the year, you are never at a loss for ideas for family time.
Utah State Fair
A family tradition since 1856, the Utah State Fair is the place to see livestock, maggot sandwiches, carnival rides and games, Utah’s best pie and horse pulls. Nationally known artists perform in concert, and locals compete in a variety of contests. The fair runs for 10days in September.
Location: 155 N. 1000 W., Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Chalk Art Festival
Every Fathers’ Day weekend at The Gateway Mall, more than 200,000 people come together for the Utah Foster Care Foundation’s Chalk Art Festival. Register as an artist or spend the day browsing the many different styles of chalk art. Awards are given for People’s Choice, Best In Show and Super Heroes. It’s the perfect activity to spend the day with your father!
Location: The Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake City
Rates: Free to browse; $25 for 12-18 years, $40 for adults 18+
Safe Kids Fair
Every February the Safe Kids Coalition, in partnership with Zero Fatalities, teams up to bring you the Safe Kids Fair. Kids love learning how to crawl out of a window during a fire, getting their fingerprints taken, signing a contract to promise to wear seatbelts, navigating the bicycle safety course and learning about saying no to drugs. Parents love that the admission is free, and the kids walk away feeling empowered to stay safe.
Location: South Town Expo Center in Sandy, Utah
Rates: Free admission
Day Out with Thomas
Every Memorial Day weekend in Heber City, the Heber Valley Railroad hosts their “Day Out With Thomas” event. Kids get to ride the historic train pulled by their favorite locomotive, Thomas. While waiting for their train ride, and after the ride is finished, kids can enjoy getting their pictures taken with Sir Topham Hat, a giant hay-bale maze, storytelling, magic shows and other fun activities.
Location: Heber Valley Railroad, Heber City
American West Heritage Center Baby Animal Days
Each spring, the American West Heritage Center celebrates its baby animals with a three-day festival. Kids love trying out the mechanical bull, watching the gun shootout, candy cannon and pioneer games. If your kids are feeling brave enough, you can enter them in the Little Buckaroo Rodeo and give them a chance to ride a sheep. Pioneer crafts and games are scattered throughout the village, and kids enjoy learning what life was like 100 years ago.
Location: American West Heritage Center in Wellsville, UT
Camp Floyd Geocache Treasure Hunt
Historic Camp Floyd Stagecoach Inn and State Park in Fairfield holds its family Geocache Treasure Hunt every spring. Download a free geocache or GPS app for your phone and check in at the mess hall. You will receive instructions for your first coordinate to find. Once you find it, you will learn a little bit about the history of Camp Floyd and receive coordinates for your next destination. The entire treasure hunt is within walking distance and enjoyable for families of all ages. Receive a prize upon completion of the treasure hunt.
Location: Camp Floyd Stagecoach Inn and State Park, Fairfield, UT
Rates: $2 individual, or $6 per family up to eight people
The Days of 47 Parade Float Preview Party
The Days of 47 parade holds its annual Float Preview Party every year around July 24th. To celebrate the pioneers arriving in the valley, celebrations are held all over the state, and the Float Preview Party is one of the favorite events. Families will enjoy seeing the completed floats and meeting some of the people who created them. Vote for your favorite float and watch the parade to see if your float was everybody else’s favorite float as well ,with the float awards.
Location: South Towne Expo Center, Sandy, UT
Rates: Free admission
Living Traditions Festival
Cultures and traditions from a variety of heritages come together for three days in late spring for the Living Traditions Festival. Food booths and crafts line the lawn outside of the City and County Building in downtown Salt Lake City, and performances from different cultures take place throughout the festival. Performances such as capoiera (a Brazilian martial art), Native American dances, Irish dances, Chinese dances and German music are attendee favorites.
Location: Salt Lake City
Rates: Free admission, small fee for food booths
Image: Carmony123 – Flickr Creative Commons License