Park City with Tweens: A Perfect Family Day
Park City, Utah is made for outstanding summer and winter family vacations, but it can be a challenge to find activities that tweens love and are fun for the rest of the family. Below is an itinerary for a perfect vacation day in Park City with tweens.
Head over to the Heber Valley to discover one of the area's natural wonders – the Cascade Springs natural spring. Seven million gallons of water bubbles out of the mountain and forms a river. Your kids will be fascinated by the network of springs, streams, pools and falls of crystal-clear water running between gentle slopes teaming with wildflowers. Cascade Springs is a great place to spot wildlife and offers scenic photo ops for your scrapbook.
Cascade Springs has a network of boardwalks and paved pathways through the spring area. Educational signs describe the geology, water cycle, wildlife, and plant life. Expect to walk about 0.5 miles to explore the springs. Cascade Springs is free and open to the public.
Tip: If you are in Utah in the autumn, this is one of the best spots in the state for viewing the stunning fall foliage.
Hop aboard the Heber Valley Railroad for an afternoon you and the kids won't forget. The Reins 'n Trains package offers a fun Wild West experience. The Heber Valley Railroad Depot is 11 miles from Park City. Your family travel adventure begins with a ride in an open-sided train car headed to beautiful Soldier Hollow. The trip offers stunning high mountain scenery views of the Wasatch Mountains. Tweens with sharp eyes may spot deer, elk or moose during the ride.
Once you arrive in Solider Hollow, saddle up for a western-style ride on scenic trails led by professional guides. When you have finished your ride, you'll head back to the lodge to enjoy a cowboy-style lunch.
Tweens love this combo. Between the steam-powered passenger cars and the cowboy adventure, they'll be talking about this day for a long time. Parents also have a blast with the gorgeous views and old-time western fun. For more fun, why not dress up in your favorite western gear for a priceless photo of your family travel before returning to Park City?
You'll want to plan on three hours for this adventure. You can choose to depart from the Heber Valley Depot at 11AM and return at 2PM or depart at 3PM and return at 6PM. The 3PM tour returns by shuttle instead of train. This adventure is suitable for kids 8 years of age and older. If you have younger children, consider a wagon ride or other options available through the Heber Valley Railroad. Tickets are $89 for children and adults.
Tip: Advance reservations are required for all Heber Valley Railroad excursions, so call ahead to reserve this or another excursion.
Heber Valley Railroad Depot
450 South 600 West
Heber, UT 84032
More Afternoon Fun:
If your tweens love roller coasters, then the Alpine Coaster at Park City Resort will be their idea of heaven. Fly down the mountain in a two-person coaster car racing between aspens and pines with Park City's historic main street right below. Twist and turn over wildflowers and scream with delight while zipping over ski slopes to the bottom of the mountain.
Your kids will love the Alpine Coaster so much, it may leave them begging for more. But instead of repeating the experience, take them to explore the park's other thrilling things to do. Park City Resort also has zip line rides and the Alpine Slide for an afternoon full of fun. You and your kids can strap into a harness and zoom down the mountain face over the trees, flowers, and Alpine Coaster track. You won't get a look at the wildlife because you'll be moving too fast!
If your tweens aren't drawn to speed and prefer a mellower ride, try the Alpine Slide. You and the kids can choose one of the four concrete tracks and ride down the mountain in a sled. On the Alpine Slide, you control the speed, so you can take it fast or slow and easy.
Park City's Alpine Coaster, Zip Line and Alpine Slide are open year round and make a great break on your winter ski vacation. Plus, Park City's stunning scenery provides great photo opportunities for family photos.
Tip: Park City Mountain Resort's east facing slopes can get very hot in the summer and are sunny year round. Be prepared with sunscreen and plenty of water.
Park City Mountain Resort
1320 Lowell Avenue
Park City, Utah
Evening and Dinner:
Don't leave without trying some of the incredible local Mexican food. Loco Lizard Cantina is one place that is budget-friendly and filling. Kids love the vibrant and exciting decor, including the brightly colored lizards crawling all over the walls. They also love munching on the homemade tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Your tweens may be so busy daring each other to try the spicy concoction that they won't notice they are eating vegetables.
The Loco Lizard Cantina offers a full menu of traditional Mexican food including fajitas, enchiladas, nachos, tacos, and tamales that satisfies even the pickiest eaters. Don't forget to check out their seafood selection and the incredible margaritas for mom and dad. The restaurant is open daily at 11:30AM.
Loco Lizard Cantina
1612 Ute Boulevard
Park City, UT 84098
Family vacations in Park City with tweens include year round fun that ranges from the mild to the wild. Natural beauty, historic railroad rides and zip line rides over the treetops are just the start of a memorable trip to Park City, Utah.
- Overview:Park City Travel Guide