Park City with Kids: A Perfect Family Day

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Park City with Kids: A Family Vacation

Alamy

Park City offers a wonderland of activities and adventures for all ages. But, sometimes it may be difficult to find things to do in Park City with young kids. Here are a few suggestions that will make your next Park City adventure fun and memorable for everyone.

Morning


While Flippin Burgers (1300 Snow Creek Dr.; 435-658-1809) flips burgers in the afternoon and evening, they flip some amazing pancakes and French toasts for breakfast. Your kids will love going out for breakfast in this casual, fresh, fast-food restaurant with its cute doggy logo, while you enjoy a traditional American breakfast fare. Choose from eggs, fresh biscuits, bacon, French toast or pancakes.


Next, take a real Wild West wagon ride with your little ones through the scenic Heber Valley, provided by Rocky Mountain Outfitters (435-654-1655). Your kids will love meeting real cowboys and seeing the Clydesdale or Belgian horses pulling the wagons. You will experience the slapping of the reins and the rocking of the wagon while seated on hay bales just like in the olden days, while riding through historical cattle ranch lands over rolling hills and valleys. Plus, you and your children will be entertained by lively cowboy stories while taking in the breathtaking landscape. For added fun, dress up in your cowboy gear for this adventure and for some amazing family photos opportunities.

Wagon rides are a great activity in Park City for kids because they love animals and like interacting with them. Kids will also love the novelty of riding on a wagon and sitting on hay bales -- activities from the real wild West. Wagon rides through Rocky Mountain Outfitters are private and by reservation only. So, make sure you book well in advance to ensure your spot.

Insider tip: Wagon rides can also be sunny and hot. Be prepared with sunscreen, water bottles, and cowboy hats.


Afternoon/Evening


For lunch, hitch your horse (or, in this case, your horsepower car engine) outside the Dairy Keen (199 South Main St., Heber City; 435-654-5336), also known as "Home of the Train." Your little ones will go nuts over the model train that runs through this restaurant. Built to commemorate the history of the Heber Valley, The Dairy Keen train runs overhead through a mural of Heber Valley historic scenes such as an Indian Village, a 1940s street scene including the original Dairy Keen restaurant, and a Denver Rio Grande station. Near the entrance, the mural depicts the Heber Valley landscape including Mount Timpanogoes, Jordenelle Reservoir and granite and red rock cliffs. Also, the older kids can look for hidden objects in the mural such as deer, birds, and a train robber waiting to strike.

Dairy Keen is known for more than its train. They have won Best of State since 2003 for their hamburgers and shakes. Try their special: the Train Burger; with ham, melted Swiss and American cheeses, lettuce, special sauce, tomato and pickles. So, grab a burger, fries, and a shake and watch the train go by.

After the excitement of a model train in motion, treat your tikes on the real thing. Head over to the Heber Valley Railroad (450 South 600 West, Heber; 435-654-5601) and hop aboard the Provo Canyon Express for an incredible ride you and your kids won't forget. The train will take you through Heber Valley with stunning views of Mount Timpanogos, along the shores of the Jordanelle Reservoir, and down the beautiful glacier-carved Provo Canyon. The open-sided train cars allow you to experience the full grandeur of the impressive landscape and give you unique opportunities to spot wildlife including deer, elk and even moose.

But wait! Watch out for the notorious outlaws Jack Raven and the Soldier Hollow Boys. They are known for robbing trains in these parts and taking passengers hostage. Keep your eyes peeled for these scoundrels riding in on horseback in authentic Wild West cowboy gear with guns blazing. Prepare to take cover; or just enjoy the show.

Train rides in Park City are a great activity for young kids who are fascinated by trains and will get to ride a real one. Explore the train cars with your kids and see if you can find the snack car and the caboose. Once the excitement of the train has worn off, toddlers and infants are sometimes lulled to sleep by the smooth motion of the train while older kids can keep a lookout for the outlaws and wildlife.

Plan three hours for this excursion. Because of the length of the ride, you may want to be prepared with snacks and water bottles. The covered cars keep much of the sun out, but the late afternoon rays can sometimes cause sunburn. So, be prepared with sunscreen.

If three hours is too long for your little ones, consider climbing aboard the 90-minute Soldier Hollow Express for a sightseeing tour of Solider Hollow; home to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Insider tip: Advance reservations are required for all Heber Valley Railroad excursions, so call ahead to schedule your time.

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