Where to Have Winter Fun

Where to Have Winter Fun

Looking for some fun in the snow this winter? Thanks to the nice amount of snow we have had so far this winter, the sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snow angel making possibilities seem endless!

To help narrow things down for you, here is a list of some of our favorite places to enjoy the great wintery outdoors with the kids. And if the snow doesn’t float your boat, I have included a couple of indoor activities for you to experience while the snow quietly falls outside and you stay warm and toasty.

OUTDOORS

Sledding

There are plenty of free sledding hills to hit when the snow comes our way. Our local parks have a variety of terrain to satisfy your need for speed.

It is always important to remember sledding hill etiquette. Be aware of people around you and those walking up the hill while you zoom down. After your ride down, get out of the sledding area as soon as you can. Walk up the hill on the side or away from the main sledding zone.

Sugarhouse Park

If you are looking for a fast ride, try the first big hill you see when you enter the park. It is a busy spot and can be overly crowded when the snow starts to fall, but it is quick and fun!
For a less speed and smaller crowds, head over to the east side of the park near Highland High school. There are some shorter hills that are typically less busy and offer a place for younger kids to get some fun runs in.
Cost: Free
Location: 2100 South 1500 East

Lindsey Gardens

This small Avenues Park is a fun place for a quick sledding trip. The rides are steep and short and run out onto the parks baseball diamonds. It can get slushy quick, because of the south-facing orientation of the slopes, so early in the day might be best for this location.
Cost: Free
Location: M Street and 9th Avenue in the Avenues (SLC)

Millcreek Canyon

With the road closed at the winter gate, Millcreek Canyon offers a fun and easy place to be involved in a variety of snowy activities. Mom and Dad can get in a great workout pulling kids up the road in a sled and then sending them careening down while running after them to keep them from catapulting in an icy stream! Just kidding, a little. Millcreek is the region’s longest sledding hill when it’s not too busy with cross-country skiers and hikers. Just be ready to give the right of way to those coming down and remember that just like cars, stay to the right while going up and to the left when coming down.
Cost: $3 per car, annual pass ($40)
Restrictions: Off-leash dogs allowed on odd-numbered days
Location: Head east on 3800 South (Mill Creek Canyon Road) from 3500 East (Wasatch Blvd.). Sledding starts at winter gate at mile marker 4.0 (Maple Grove)

Tubing

Let’s face it, tubing is not the cheapest outdoor activity you can find, but talk about fun! What could be better than lounging on a giant inflatable doughnut while a rope tow does all the work of getting you up the hill, then speeding down a perfectly groomed track just to do it all again? Salt Lakers have two great spots to indulge all your tubing desires.

Gorgoza Park

Enjoy seven lift operated tubing lanes, including four for advanced tubers and three for the beginners. Take advantage of a sunny daytime ride or as the sun begins to set and the lights come up, enjoy a little night tubing!
Make sure to check their website for more information and closures.
http://www.gorgoza.com/lift-served-tubing/

Regular Season Rates
Individuals less than 42″ (ages 3 and up, lower lanes only)
Single Ride $ 5
2 Hour Ticket $ 15
4 Hour Ticket $ 25
Individuals 42″ And Up
Single Ride $ 10
2 Hour Ticket $ 28
4 Hour Ticket $ 40
Tickets can be purchased at Gorgoza Park; they do not take reservations. Rates, hours and dates are subject to change.

Hours
Monday-Friday: 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Directions – 30 minutes from Salt Lake City. If you’re driving, take the Jeremy Ranch exit #141 off I-80 and proceed to 3863 West Kilby Road (frontage road on the south side of the freeway).

Soldier Hollow

According to their website, “Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway offers the longest tubing lanes in Utah. The hill has lengthy 1,200-foot sliding lanes with lift service for towing people up the hill for tubing day or night under the lights, and a sound system keeps the airwaves full of enjoyable tunes”.
Make sure to check their website for more information and closures. They offer private parties and could be closed when you want to make the trip.
http://soldierhollow.com/tubing
2015-2016 Season Rates
Tubing admission for anyone age 7 and above is $22 for a two-hour session. Tubing for ages 3-6 is $12. (Age three is the minimum age to ride the lift, but they do offer free tube use on a small slope, with direct parental supervision, for those under 3). Single rides are also available at the lodge hospitality desk for $7 for 7 and older and $5 for ages 3-6. All rates include tube use and lift ride. All prices include a service fee for our new on-line ticketing system. Purchase tickets and fill out waivers on-line before you go to make it fast and easy.
Hours: Open 7 Days per week and offer two-hour sessions beginning at 10:00 am on weekends and holiday periods and beginning at noon on Sundays and non-holiday weekdays.
Directions: From Salt Lake City, take I-80 East to Silver Creek Junction (exit 146). Go east on U.S. 40 past Jordanelle Reservoir toward Heber City. Take right turn on State Road 113 (100 South) to Midway. Take a left on 113 in Midway, and travel two miles. Turn right just before the railroad tracks and follow signs to Soldier Hollow. Located in Wasatch Mountain State Park, Soldier Hollow is about 53 miles from downtown Salt Lake City.

Snowshoeing/Hiking

If your little ones are up for a great day in the outdoors, snowshoeing can be a wonderful family activity. Get your kid backpack out and bundle up for a hike in the beautiful Utah wilderness. Here are a few adventures that are close to home for any level of snowshoeing skill.
Visit www.snowshoeutah.com for a more comprehensive list of trails, but here are a few to get you started. Descriptions and directions in this list are from the snowshoeutah.com website.

Rob’s Trail

The trailhead for Rob’s trail sits right off a city road, so accessibility is a breeze. The trail itself does not gain much elevation, and provides views of the Canyons Ski Resort, the valley and Park City below. For all these reasons the trail sees quite a bit of use and the snow is often packed and thus easy to follow. This route would make for good snowshoe trail running and it culminates with a splendid view of the Canyons Resort to one side and the valley on the other.
Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes
Distance: 2.3 miles one-way, on the return you can reduce mileage by enjoying straight powders shots down the mountain rather than following the exact trail.
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: Trailhead 7145’; Mid Mountain Trail 8000’
Dogs: Allowed on leash
How to Get There: Head east on I-80 from Salt Lake City. At 21.6 miles you’ll come to Exit 145, the Kimball Jct./Park City Exit for UT 224. Take this exit and turn right onto UT-224. At 2.2 miles take a right on Bear Hollow Drive. 1.5 miles up the road, on the left hand side, lies the trailhead for Rob’s Trail, Colin’s Trail, and the Mid Mountain Trail.

Albion Basin/Cecret Lake

If you’re looking for solitude, this is not the trail for you, but if avalanche conditions are iffy, or you are unsure about heading into the woods alone on your first snowshoe, you’ll find plenty of social opportunity on this trail. The Albion Basin sits in the vertical middle of Alta Ski resort. This Albion Basin route has an elevation gain of 1100 feet if you go to Cecret Lake. There is no route, or suggested trail through the basin. The Summer Road (which is covered in snow during the winter) takes you to the rim of Albion Basin where you can then pick your way down through the basin as your heart desires. Mount Superior stands regally to the northwest, and Catherine’s Pass sits just to the east of Albion Basin.
Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 3.8 miles out-and-back
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Alta Ski Resort, Albion Basin upper parking lot
Elevation: Trailhead 8800’; Albion Basin Ridge 9449’; Cecret Lake 9905’
Avalanche: Low: Maintained by Alta Ski Resort
Dogs: Not allowed in Little Cottonwood Canyon
How to Get There: The Albion Basin is part of Alta Ski Resort. The resort resides at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon as far as you can go and park in the Upper Albion Basin parking lot. The trail starts on the east side of the lot at the Summer Road.

Donut Falls/Doughnut Falls – Super kid friendly

Donut Falls, or Doughnut Falls, is so named because of the round hole through which the fall flows. Over years of pounding on the rock, the water eventually carved a hole and now the water falls through the rock. Donut Falls was closed to public access from 2004 through 2006. The falls were purchased by Salt Lake County in 2007 and are now, once again, open to public use. The highlights that make this a popular destination is the fun waterfall at the top and the relatively easy navigation to get there. Beginners will enjoy this trip as much as the veteran snowshoers.
Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 3.5 miles out-and-back
Difficulty: Easy
Trailhead: Mill D Trailhead/south side of the road—Parking; Donut Falls trailhead
Elevation: Mill D Trailhead: 7268; atop Donut Falls: 7800’
Avalanche: No danger up to the Falls, but be aware of conditions once you get to the waterfall. The waterfall sits between steeper walls.
Dogs: Not allowed in Big Cottonwood Canyon
How to get there: Drive east up Big Cottonwood Canyon for 9.1 miles to Mill D trailhead. Park on the south side of the road.

Ice-skating

Ice-skating is a fun activity for kids of all ages. Just be ready for some bumps and bruises to go along with the smiles and giggles. Dress warm and take breaks often for hot chocolate to keep your energy up and kids spirits high.

The Gallivan Center

Great outside skating at a fun downtown setting. Make sure to call at check their hours; they close for private events.
Hours:
Monday-Thursday 12p-9p
Friday-Saturday 12p-12a
Sunday 12p-7p
Prices: Pricing includes skate rental
Adults: $8
Seniors and Children: $7
Contact Information
Ice Rink Hotline: 801.535.6117
www.gallivancenter.com
Address: 50 E. 200 South

Salt Lake City Sports Complex

For indoor skating fun, this is the place for you! They even have a Theme night on Saturdays! Make sure to call and find out about their hours; they rent the space out for groups and parties and may be closed for a private event.

Check out their website, http://slco.org/recreation/slcSports/publicSkating/publiciSkating.html, to learn more, but here is what they say about the theme night,
Saturday Theme Nights:
Come dance and have some fun! We will have the disco ball on, the music turned up, and the lights low. If you have a group of friends 20 or more please call or email for a group discount. See you there!!!
Prices:
Admission
Toddler (5 an under) – $1.00
Children/Adults – (6+) – $4.00
Skate Rental- $2.00
Hours:
Check the Public Skate calendar for hours.
Times are subject to change without notice.
Please call 385.468.1925 to confirm times from our front desk operator.
Address: 645 South Guardsman Way (1580 East), SLC UT 84108

INDOOR

The Leonardo

I recently took my kids to the Leo for the Mummy exhibit. Big mistake! I enjoyed it, but it was a bit much for the kids. BUT… after we realized it was a bust for the mummies, we explored the rest of the museum. I was impressed and so were the kids! It was so much fun for both of my kids (age 6 and 3) that we stayed almost the whole day! We went on a Saturday and were happy to learn that every Saturday they have a fun event called Tech Take-Apart from 1-3 pm. It was so much fun to take apart all sorts of electronics. They provide the tools and old equipment so kids and adults can dissect to their hearts content. My son spent two hours dismantling an old CD ROM drive and Scout, who is in the 3B class, played with parts and tools imagining little circuit board cities. There are also experiments in stop-motion animation, interactive sculpture creations, hands on math and science works, and currently in house are exhibits about water, our perceptions of reality and illusion, an exhibit of images about life without a permanent home address, and of course the mummies. If you haven’t been down to the Leo it is worth it! Check out their website for more detailed information http://www.theleonardo.org

General admission prices:
(Special events and exhibitions have additional fees)
Adult (Ages 18-64) $9.95
Inventor (Ages 6-11) $6.95
Senior (Adults 65 and Older) $8.95
Know-it-all (Ages 12-17) $7.95
Student (I.D. Required) $7.95
Military (I.D. Required) $8.95
Doodler (5 and under) FREE
Hours:
Daily 10:00am–5:00pm
Friday 10:00am–10:00pm
Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm
Location:
209 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
ph. 801.531.9800

Parking downtown can be a bit of a challenge. The Library has ample parking and there is plenty of metered parking surrounding the library and the Leonardo. But, for an added adventure take Trax. From the U of U stadium, jump on the red line and ride to the Library station. Kids 5 and under ride Trax for free and a round trip ticket for me was only $5.

Clark Planetarium


The Universe is an amazing place! At the Clark Planetarium, you can get a little slice of just how amazing it is in a way that is manageable for all ages. Lots of hands on learning and amazing visuals from life-size lunar and Martian landscapes to scale models of the solar system and out of this world IMAX films and virtual 3D dome movies and laser light shows.
Hours:
Opens at 10:30 AM, 7 days a week.
Admission to the main exhibit area is FREE!

Prices for Hansen Dome and Orbital ATK IMAX documentary show tickets are as follows:
$9 for adults/teens/seniors
$7 for children 12 and under
$7 matinee tickets for adults for programs beginning before 5 pm, except special engagements.

Location:
Clark Planetarium is part of The Gateway Mall
Address: 110 South 400 West in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
Phone Number: 385-468-STAR (7827)

http://clarkplanetarium.org