Salt Lake City with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

Salt Lake City with Teens: A Family Vacation


Salt Lake City, Utah is a prime spot for vacationing families wanting to take advantage of the endless outdoor activities and attractions. With so many things to offer you and your teens, this city could keep you busy for days. It's not hard to come up with great family vacation ideas in Salt Lake City with teens - just follow the tips below, and you are on your way to a perfect day of family fun!


Any day in Salt Lake City with teens should start with some grab-and-go eats from Les Madeleines 216 East 500 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, (801) 355-2294. This French patisserie offers delectable breakfast items such as scones, pain au chocolat, churros, beignets, croissants and their specialty, Kouing Aman (a pastry originating from Brittany, France). Make sure and try one of their hearty breakfast sandwiches with cheese, egg and ham, or go for some mushroom bread pudding. Les Madeleines is open Tues-Sat 8AM-6PM.

You simply can't plan the best family vacation in Salt Lake City without including a trip to the Great Salt Lake. This saltwater lake (the only one in the western hemisphere) (4528 West 1700 South Syracuse, UT 84075, (801) 773-2941) is the remainder of the ancient Lake Bonneville. Take the 45-minute drive, and you will be able to explore Antelope Island, the largest of the nine islands located within the Great Salt Lake. This barren land is home to bison, antelope, deer, a large variety of birds and much more. The best reason to come here is for the beach, which is far from your typical coastal attraction. The water here is saltier than the ocean, which allows anyone to float weightlessly in what feels like complete solitude. The water is so salty that brine shrimp are some of the only creatures that can survive in the lake. However, the shrimp draw lots of annoying flies, and the smell from the lake is quite pungent at times. Nevertheless, the experience is well worth it, and teens will love playing in the lake and emerging caked with salt. Thankfully, there are showers located at the beach sites. Antelope Island opens daily at 7AM, and the entrance fees are $9.00 per vehicle and $3.00 for walk-ins and cyclists.


Head back into Salt Lake City with your teens for lunch at the historic Ruth's Diner, 4160 Emigration Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, (801) 582-5807. This popular diner opened in 1930 and is one of the oldest in the state. There is something for everyone on its extensive menu, including salads, sandwiches, baked macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, burgers and more. Let the kids try the deep fried macaroni and cheese appetizer and one of Ruth's famous biscuits. After your meal, order the walnut banana bread pudding, an absolute treat! Prices are very reasonable, with most lunch entrees under $10.00.

Next on your Salt Lake City family vacation with teens, learn a bit of Olympic history with a visit to the Olympic Cauldron Park 451 South 1400 East Salt Lake City, UT 84112, (801) 581-8849. This park is located on the University of Utah campus, right next to Rice-Eccles Stadium, the location of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Here, your teens will get an up-close view of the Olympic cauldron that was lit throughout the Utah games. Take a picture of the family standing under the Hoberman Arch, which was the backdrop during the medal ceremonies. There is also a visitor's center with photographs and a short film showing the highlights from the 2002 winter games. A great stop for any Olympic or sports fan! Cauldron Park is open from Mon-Sat 10AM-6PM. The park is free, but theater prices are $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children.

The Clark Planetarium 110 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, (801) 456-7827 is an excellent place to weave some education in with the fun. This state-of-the-art planetarium has lots of free exhibits, including an authentic moon rock, meteorites, a Foucault pendulum and more. This is a top spot for learning science and being thrilled by technological marvels in Salt Lake City. Your teens will love to catch a flick in the Hansen Dome Theater. This theater's digital, 360-degree, wrap-around dome grants the viewer an unrivaled glimpse of space through stunning 3-D films and excellent surround sound. There is also a five-story I-MAX theater with even more options. If you or your children want something a little more edgy, check out one of the dome's amazing laser light shows. The Clark Planetarium is open Mon-Wed 10:30AM-8PM, Thu 10:30AM-9PM, Fri-Sat 10:30AM-11PM and Sun 10:30AM-6PM.


Located just a few doors down from the Planetarium, California Pizza Kitchen 156 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, (801) 456-0075 is among the best places to go for pizza in Salt Lake City. While you can order the usual fare such as pepperoni or meat cravers, why not be a little adventurous and try some of the more unusual pizzas like pear and gorgonzola, tostada or pesto chicken? Personal favorites of ours are the Thai Chicken Pizza with chicken breast, carrots, onions, bean sprouts, peanuts and a peanut ginger sauce, or the Tricolore Salad Pizza with a mix of lettuce on a thin crust with cheese, tomato and a dijon balsamic dressing. Salad on top of a pizza? Sounds weird, but tastes good! They also serve soups, sandwiches, salads and pastas (try the jambalaya if you like bold and spicy food). Save room for one their scrumptious desserts like apple crisp or key lime pie. Business hours are Mon-Thur 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-11PM and Sun 11:30AM-9PM.

If your teens are not ready for bed just yet and you happen to be visiting between the months of April and October, head over to Lagoon Park 375 Lagoon Drive, Farmington, UT 84025, (801) 541-8000. This amusement park is located just 20 minutes from the city center and is an outstanding spot to finish up your family adventure in Salt Lake City. Teens will love the 45+ rides, including nine thrilling roller coasters, the Cliffhanger (somersaults you both forward and backwards), Turn of the Century (swings that propel riders out over the water), and numerous others. Take a break to wander through Pioneer Village and tour the many buildings and shops in this replica of an old 18th-century outpost town. Bring a bathing suit, as there is also a water park located inside the amusement park. Here, you can relax in a lazy river while you let your teens interact with other kids their age at one of the tropical lagoons. The park also offers daily shows and entertainment. Single day passes cost $42.95 for adults, $37.95 for kids and seniors and $27.95 for toddlers. Parking is $8.00 for cars and $12.00 for oversize vehicles or $16.00 per car for preferred parking. Check their website for discounts and seasonal hours of operation. What a great way to end the best family vacation in Salt Lake City!

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