Sunday, July 20, 2014

20 Totally Awesome Free Summer Activities in Utah

Author: Alyssa Craig


With summer time in full swing and the heat rising, Utahns are on the lookout for fun, free activities for themselves and their families. Whether you are looking to enjoy the outdoors, experience some culture, or escape the heat, don’t forget to check out some of these great options!

  1. Clark Planetarium (Salt Lake City): Admission is free, but shows cost a small fee.
  2. Gardner Village (West Jordan): The grounds are free to peruse the shops and displays. Check their website for the many events taking place throughout the summer.
  3. Hill Aerospace Museum (Ogden): View a collection of over 90 aircrafts from all over the world and throughout history.
  4. St. George Children’s Museum (St.George): Admission is free, though a small donation is appreciated. There are also many camps, classes and events available for children of all ages.
  5. tooele railroadTooele Railroad Museum (Tooele): Go for a tour of the railroad station and let the kids ride on the little train. Tour guides are available.
  6. Rooftop Concert Series (Provo): Shows start at 7:30 and there are many surrounding restaurants available for food during the entertainment. Come early to set up blankets, chairs, etc.
  7. Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City): Comprised of five different galleries, this museum offers exhibitions, films, events and classes.
  8. Movies on the Plaza Deck (Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon): Movies are shown every Friday night from June 5- August 15. It is outdoors in the mountains, so bring the bug spray and a light blanket for chillier summer nights.
  9. Payson Scottish Festival and Highland Games (Payson): July 11. Enjoy Scottish music, food, entertainment and more! There will also be a 5k, fun run and parade.
  10. Annual Highland Fling: July 26-August 1. Some activities may have a small cost.
  11. Lunch Bunch Concerts (Salt Lake City): Every weekday afternoon (excluding holidays) between 12-1 pm, enjoy free music, ranging from folk to jazz to pop and blues.
  12. Utah Olympic Park (Park City): While there are some activities that do require payment, there are a variety of fun activities available for free, including: Alf Engen Ski Museum, Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic Games Museum, Discovery Zone, and the Mountain Challenge.
  13. Cool Air Concert Series (Snowbird, Little Cottonwood Canyon): Every Saturday from June 21- August 9. Bring your lawn chairs and coolers!
  14. Layton Heritage Museum (Layton): See displays depicting the rich history of Layton and the pioneers who settled this city.
  15. Silver Lake Boardwalk (Big Cottonwood Canyon): Located behind the Nordic Center by Brighton Ski Resort, walk around for sightings of many different birds and other wildlife.
  16. Monday Night Movies (Salt Lake City): Located at the Gallivan Center, each week the movies move to showcase a new decade ranging from the 60s-90s.
  17. Gilgal Sculpture Garden (Salt Lake City): Contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and literary texts.
  18. Fiesta Days (Kamas Valley): July 18-26. A variety of events and entertainment such as music, games and food. Be aware some activities may cost money.
  19. Fort Douglas Military Museum (Salt Lake City): Though free of charge, donations are welcome. Among the display of war artifacts throughout the years you will even find Saddam Hussein’s boots brought back by a Utah soldier present at his arrest.
  20. Sweet’s Candy Factory Experience (Salt Lake City): Available by appointment, the experience includes a virtual tour with your personal tour guide, fresh factory samples, and educational and interactive stations.

Along with the fun and even educational experience each activity provides, there are added bonuses to choosing free events over those that may cost money:

  • If you are more money conscious, free events can help you stay within your monthly budget without having to sacrifice entertainment or date nights.
  • If you are working on getting in control of your finances, free activities can assist you by allowing you to allocate your money where it is most immediately needed. More tips for getting out of financial trouble can be found in this article.
  • Free events also help teach children money is not everything. As you enjoy family time together at these events, your children will recognize you do not have to spend anything to have a great experience.

Whatever your reason, treat yourself or your family to a free activity or two and enjoy this Utah summer!

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