Thursday, March 23, 2017

Inexpensive Spring Break Day-Trip Ideas in Northern Utah


Spring Break is coming up and my family is trying to plan things to do. In theory this shouldn’t be very hard. We have moved back to Utah, and Utah has TONS of awesome things to see and do. But we have some constraints that we have to take into consideration when planning activities.

The first constraint is distance. I’m working pretty much full time right now, and I’m unable take off work during my kid’s spring break. That means we can’t plan any overnight trips to faraway places. So that eliminates anything south of Utah County.

Our second constraint is finances. We’ve never been able to afford high entrance fees, and that continues to be the case. So that eliminates places like the Living Planet Aquarium, the Hogel Zoo, or the Utah Natural History Museum.

The third constraint is seasonal. Many of the awesome things to do in Utah aren’t available until after Memorial Day weekend. So that eliminates places like Timpanogus Cave, the Uinta Mountains, and the Benson Gristmill.

Fortunately, I've already done a lot of research to find things to do that are close, affordable, and open in the spring. Back in May of 2011, my husband and I wanted to continue our tradition of going on a road trip for our anniversary.  However, we had to accept the fact that we had an extremely limited budget as well as 7 month old twin baby girls. So we went on a Northern Utah Stay-Cation. Each day we focused on a different city in Northern Utah and visited the places of interest within those cities.  We visited many places that we'd wanted to visit together but hadn't got around to doing yet.  We also found a few places that we'd never heard of before.

Of course our exploration of Utah wasn't limited to that one week in 2011.  There are many other places that we either had already visited or found after that stay-cation. And there are even several places that we haven't visited yet that I'm hoping we can make time for during spring break.

I know other people need ideas of things to do in Northern Utah during the spring so I decided to share my list of fun and inexpensive places.  Everything on this list is either completely free - or costs less than $10 per person.

There are a few things that didn’t make this list that are still really great options for spring break. These include places like parks and indoor swimming pools. I felt that compiling a list of great parks and recreation centers was too big of an undertaking right now. For the same reason I didn’t include many hiking trails on this list. Other bloggers have done a great job of listing these things so do a google search and check them out.

I’ve divided this list up by County/Large City Area. Click on the county name to be taken to a post with details such as location and cost.

Salt Lake County (Salt Lake City Area)
Utah State Capitol Building
Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum
Ensign Peak
Temple Square
City Creek Center
Clark Planetarium
Discovery Gateway
Salt Lake City and County Building
Salt Lake City Library
Ride Trax
Liberty Park
Tracy Aviary
International Peace Gardens
Wheeler Farm
Humanitarian Center
County Ice Center
Great Salt Lake State Park

Utah County (Provo Area)
Hutchings Natural History Museum
Bridal Veil Falls
Rare Weeping American Elm Tree
Bean Life Science MuseumSpringville Museum of Art
Young Living Farms
Little Sahara Sand Dunes
Lehman Cave (actually in Nevada, but worth the drive)

Summit and Wasatch Counties (Park City and Heber City Areas)
Olympic Park
Dairy Keen
Union Pacific Rail Trail

Tooele County (Tooele and Wendover Areas)
Bonneville Sea Base
Tree of Utah
Bonneville Salt Flats
Wendover Airport

Davis County (Bountiful/Layton Areas)
Mrs Cavanaugh's Chocolate Factory
Farmington Bay Waterfoul Area
USU Botanical Center
Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve
Sea Quest Aquarium
Antelope Island
Hill Aerospace Museum

Weber County (Ogden Area)
Fort Bueniventura
Choo Choo Express in the Newgate Mall
Ogden Union Station Railroad Museum
Tree House Museum
Dinosaur Park
Ogden Botanical Garden
Ogden Nature Center
Bonneville Shoreline Trail

Cache County (Logan Area)
American West Heritage Center
Logan Riverwalk
Zootah at Willow Park
Logan Canyon

Box Elder County (Brigham City Area)
Willard Bay
Migratory Bird Refuge
Crystal Hot Springs
ATK Rocket Garden
Golden Spike National Historic Site
Spiral Jetty

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Well that's the list. Make sure you click on each county name to get all the details about the cool places you can visit in that county.

I hope this list helps you find something fun to do this spring. 

And as always, I'd love to know if there are more fun and inexpensive places to visit in Northern Utah. If you know of any great places that aren't on this list please leave a comment.

Have a great stay-cation!

Inexpensive Spring Break Stay-Cation Ideas in Utah's Salt Lake County

Are you planning a stay-cation for Spring Break, but need ideas for where to go and what to do?  Well here is a list of places you can visit in Utah's Salt Lake County (Salt Lake City Area).  Each of these things is open in the spring and costs less than $10 per person.  In fact, many of these places are free.

Utah State Capitol Building
350 North State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: The Capitol is always open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm on Weekdays and from 8:00 am to 6:00 on Weekends and Holidays. Guided tours are offered every hour from 9:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday except holidays.
Phone Number: 801-538-1800
Website: https://utahstatecapitol.utah.gov
Visiting the state capitol building is a great way to learn about Utah’s government as well as see some amazing architecture. Inside the building you can see marble architecture details as well as murals depicting scenes from Utah’s history. Outside the building you can walk around a beautiful courtyard with a reflecting pool. As an added bonus the capitols hill top location allows you to have a stunning view of the Salt Lake Valley. If you time it right you might arrive in time to see the cherry trees blossom on the capitol grounds. Free tours of the building are offered on weekdays. Tours start every hour from 9 to 4. They meet at the desk just inside the east doors of the capitol.

Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum
300 N. Main St
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9:00  am to 5:00 pm.  On Wednesday's the museum is open until 8:00 pm
Phone Number: 801-532-6479
Website: www.dupinternational.org

This museum has the largest collection of pioneer artifacts in the state, and it actually the world’s largest collection of artifacts on one subject.

Ensign Peak
166 Ensign Vista Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Website: https://utah.com/hiking/ensign-peak
Depending on spring trail conditions you may want to plan a hike up to Ensign Peak. This domed outcropping is a signature landmark of the Salt Lake Valley. The trailhead is located in the residential neighborhood several blocks behind the capital building. The Ensign Peak trail is steep. The first .10 of a mile is paved, but after that the trail is unpaved and can be rough and muddy. Still it is a relatively short hike that even young children can do. (I hiked it for the first time when I was 4 years old.) You’ll be able to see amazing views of the Salt Lake Valley and Great Salt Lake when you are standing at the top of the peak.
Temple Square
50 North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Phone Number: (801) 531-1000
Website: www.templesquare.com

There is so much free stuff to do on the 35 acres of Temple Square. Where do we even begin? Even if you aren’t a member of the LDS church you can’t deny that it’s members have played a key roll in Utah’s history. So a visit to Temple Square doesn’t have to be for religious reasons it can also be a history lesson. Tours of Temple Square are offered every hour from 9 am to 8 pm. They start at the flag pole east of the Tabernacle.

In the future, I will create a detailed list of things to see and do on Temple Square. So check back for that.

City Creek Center
50 South Main Street
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Free to visit, stores and restaurants cost money of course
Hours: Generally 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Phone Number: (801) 521-2012
Website: www.shopcitycreekcenter.com
Even if you aren’t interested in shopping you can still visit this mall to appreciate the amazing architecture. The mall spans both sides of Main Street and a raised glass walkway connects the two sides. It's fun to sit on the sides of the walkway and watch cars and TRAX trains go underneath.  This mall is named after the creek that actually runs through the main concourse of the mall. Real trout fish live in the stream. Staff Members feed the fish every day.

Another fun feature that you can’t miss is the dancing fountain on the Western side of the mall. The fountain preform to music every hour,  At night fire is added to the show.

Clark Planetarium
110 South 400 West
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Lobby is free, theater shows cost
Hours: From 10:30 until generally 7:00 Monday to Wednesday, 10:00 pm on Thursday, and 11:00 on Friday and Saturday.
Phone Number: (385) 468-7827
Website: http://clarkplanetarium.org/
This planetarium has many free exhibits in addition to the theater shows which require payment. The free exhibits are very entertaining. There are interactive displays about the solar system and rockets. My personal favorite is “Newton’s Daydream.” A giant maze for balls to roll down and around. It’s always changing and I could stare at it forever.

This is totally random, but if you are like me and you are wondering what happened to the Old Hansen Planetarium you might find this interesting. The building was purchased and is now the headquarters for OC Tanner. The dome of the planetarium was dismantled and donated to the Zion’s Gateway to the stars Planetarium in Orderville, Utah.

Discovery Gateway
444 West 100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: $9.50 general admission. $6 for Sunday admission. There is a group rate of $7.50 for pre-registered groups
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Sunday from Noon – 6 pm
Phone Number: 801-456-5437
Website: www.discoverygateway.org/

This is a fun hands on museum full of interactive exhibits for children to play with. There is something for children of all ages from little babies to older tweens.


Salt Lake City and County Building
451 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Tours of the building cost $10 per person from September to May. Tours are FREE during the months of June, July, and August
Hours: Tours are available on Mondays at noon and 1:00 pm during the months of June July and August.
Phone Number: (801) 533-0858
Website: www.utahheritagefoundation.com
Tours of this building will start with the earthquake safety features in the basement and end in the clock tower at the top of the building. However, be aware, this one is not very cost effective during the school year. Tours of this building are $10 a person from September to April. But during the summer the tours are FREE! Tours are offered every Monday during June, July, and August at noon and 1:00 pm.





Salt Lake City Library
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Phone Number: 801-524-8200
Website: www.slcpl.org
This building is another example of amazing architecture that you must visit. This building is full of unique features. From the large curved staircase that leads to the roof, to the 4 story high ceiling in the atrium area, to the glass elevators that rise 5 stories. Classes, movies, concerts and other events are held at the library on a regular basis.







Ride Trax
Various stops throughout downtown
Cost: Free in the "free fare zone" in downtown
Hours: Vary depending on the day, but generally there is a train about every 20 minutes during daytime hours.
Phone Number:801-RIDE-UTA
Website: www.rideuta.com/Rider-Tools/Schedules-and-Maps

While you are downtown you should hop on one of the Trax trains.  They are free in the downtown areas. Riding the train can make it easy to visit places like the Planetarium and the Library in one day.

Liberty Park
600 East 900 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: The park is free, however certain activities have a cost
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Phone Number: (801) 521-0962 (for rides concessions and paddle boats)
Website: http://www.slcgov.com/cityparks/parks-liberty-park

Liberty Park is a fun park to visit any time of year. Some of the bigger attactions like the carnival rides, swimming pool, and the Seven Canyon’s Fountain wont be open until the summer months. But other fun things such as the play grounds and the walking trail are open all year.

Tracy Aviary
589 East 1300 South
Salt Lake City Utah
Cost: $7.95 per adult and $4.95 for children
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day
Phone Number: (801)596-8500
Website: http://tracyaviary.org/

This aviary has many different birds in many different enclosures.  There are walkways that lead throughout the area.  Shows are held throughout the day.

International Peace Gardens
1000 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to Dusk - May 1 through September 30
Phone Number: 801-972-7800
Website: www.slcpeacegardens.com

This place is super cute. There are little gardens representing different countries. Most notable is the scale replica of the Matterhorn and a replica of the famous Little Mermaid stature.

Wheeler Farm
6351 South 900 East
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Admission is Free, there are costs associated with ome activities
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Phone Number: (385) 468-1755
Website: http://wheelerfarm.com/index.html
Wheeler Farm is listed on the National Historic Register. Nine of the structures are original to the farm. It is operated by Salt Lake County Parks and is a working farm that is free to visit. A few activities like milking a cow, touring the historic home, and wagon rides cost money, but there are plenty of free things to keep your kids occupied. Animals include horses, pigs, cows, goats, and chickens. (And mark your calendars. On Saturday May 21 2017 the farm will host Farm Fest which will feature many demonstrations and free tours of the historic farm house.) There is also a really great playground near the entrance to the farm.


Humanitarian Center
1665 S Bennett Road (2030 West)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Tours are available on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
Phone Number: 801-240-5954
Website: www.lds.org/locations/temple-square-humanitarian-center

The LDS church manages a world-wide humanitarian effort.  You can learn about different programs that the church administers by taking a free 45 minute tour of the Humanitarian Center.

County Ice Center
5201 South Murray Park Lane
Murray Utah
Cost: $4 for anyone six and older and $1 for children 3-5 Skate Rental costs $2
Hours: Vary depending on the day. Generally open from 1:15 to 3:00 with longer hours on weekends.
Phone Number: 385 468-1650
Website: http://countyice.slco.org/index.html

I know that we are all kind of sick of winter at this point.  But ice skating does sound fun.  This would be a fun way to say goodbye to winter.

Great Salt Lake State Park
13312 West 1075 South
Magna, Utah
Cost: $3 per vehicle for day use. Campsites are $20
Hours: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone Number: (801) 250-1898
Website: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/great-salt-lake/

Here’s something odd, nobody in Utah really cares to visit the Great Salt Lake. Even though the capital city is named after the lake we all just kind of ignore it during our day to day lives. Tourists to the state ask about visiting the lake all the time, but the people who live here hardly give the lake a second thought. That’s a shame because the lake is very beautiful. You can visit the lake at Great Salt Lake State Park. This is primarily a marina, but you can also picnic, walk along the shore, or camp right next to the lake. Swimming is not recommended. The best place to swim on the lake is the beach on Antelope Island State Park.

* * *

I hope this list helps you find something fun to do. If you want more ideas for things to do in Northern Utah during Spring Break check out the full list here.

And as always, I'd love to know if there are more fun and inexpensive places to visit in this area. If you know of any feel free to tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great stay-cation!

Inexpensive Spring Break Stay-Cation Ideas in Utah's Box Elder County (Brigham City Area)

Are you planning a stay-cation for Spring Break, but need ideas for where to go and what to do? Well here is a list of places you can visit in Utah's Box Elder County (Brigham City Area). Each of these things is open in the spring and costs less than $10 per person. In fact, many of these places are free.

Willard Bay
900 W. 650 N. #A
Willard, Utah
Cost: From October 1 to April 30 the fee to enter the park is only $10 per vehicle. Camping starts at $16 a night.
Hours: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm every day
Phone Number: 435-734-9494
Website: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/willard-bay/

Willard Bay was once the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake. However, thanks to a 14 mile dike the bay is now full of fresh water. It's a beautiful place for a picnic, a boat ride, or an overnight camping trip.







Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
2155 West Forest Street
Brigham City, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: The visitor center is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm. It is open on Saturday from 10:00am - 4:00pm. The Auto Tour is open every day from dawn to dusk - weather permitting.
Phone Number: 435.723.5887
Website: www.fws.gov/Refuge/Bear_River_Migratory_Bird_Refuge

There are many things to do at this widelife refuge. You can enjoy a walk, view wildlife, go fishing, and even go hunting in the right season. The James V. Hansen Wildlife Education Center is open all year long and is located right off of exit 363 on I-15. There is also a 12 mile auto tour loop that runs through the refuge.
 
Crystal Hot Springs
8215 UT-38
Honeyville, UT
Cost: Tickets for just the pool are $7 per adult and $5 for a child. If you want to also use the slide (which just about every child will want as soon as they see it) your ticket will cost $10. The best deal for visiting the hot springs is to go on Wednesday night when they have family night. On that night a family of 6 can swim and slide for only $20. (If your family just wants to swim it’s only $14 on family night.)
Hours: Hours vary depending on the day, but generally the pool is open from noon to 10:00 with longer hours on weekends and holidays.
Phone Number: (435) 279-8104
Website: www.crystalhotsprings.net

This is the perfect place to go when you want to go swimming, but it's not quite warm enough to swim outside in a regular pool. These hot springs have a pool and a water slide. Camping is also available at the resort.

ATK Rocket Garden
9160 North Highway 83
Corinne, UT
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Website: www.orbitalatk.com

ATK has built many rockets for NASA. They have created a “rocket garden” to show all the different rockets they have built over the years. Information plaques tell you about many of the rockets.








Golden Spike National Historic Site
6200 North 22300 West
Promontory Summit, Utah
Cost: The winter entrance fee is $5 per vehicle. In the summer it is $7.
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day
Phone Number: (435) 471-2209
Website: www.nps.gov/gosp/index.htm

This the location where the Transcontinental railroad was completed on May 10, 1969. Today you can see displays dedicated to that historic event. You can see full size replicas of the two famous locomotives, The Jupiter and The 119, as well as a replica of the golden spike that was driven to signify the completion of the railroad. Starting in May you can see a reenactment of the driving of the spike ceremony every Saturday. This reenactment includes the full size trains and is especially fun for train enthusiasts.

Spiral Jetty
41.437562, -112.668811
Northern Shore of the Great Salt Lake
Cost: Free - but plan for time and bring plenty of water
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Website: www.diaart.org/visit/visit/robert-smithson-spiral-jetty

 If you are going to the Golden Spike NHS you should think about adding a visit to Spiral Jetty to your trip. The Jetty is about 15 miles past the Golden Spike area. Spiral Jetty is a piece of earth art created by Robert Simpson in 1970. The large spiral is created by rocks and sits in the Great Salt Lake. Visiting the Jetty is definitely a day trip. It’s 2.5 hours from Salt Lake. The last part of the trip is on a dirt road for approximately 12 miles. There are signs to help you take the correct roads to find the Jetty.



* * *

I hope this list helps you find something fun to do. If you want more ideas for things to do in Northern Utah during Spring Break check out the full list here.

And as always, I'd love to know if there are more fun and inexpensive places to visit in this area. If you know of any feel free to tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great stay-cation!

Inexpensive Spring Break Stay-Cation Ideas in Utah's Utah County (Provo Area)

Are you planning a stay-cation for Spring Break, but need ideas for where to go and what to do?  Well here is a list of places you can visit in Utah's Utah County (Provo Area). Each of these things is open in the spring and costs less than $10 per person.  In fact, many of these places are free.

Hutchings Natural History Museum
55 North Center St.
Lehi, Utah
Cost: $4 for adults and $3 for children. There is a Family pass option which is $12 for up to six people.
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm
Phone Number: (385) 201-1020
Website: www.lehi-ut.gov/recreation/museum

This museum started as the personal collection of John Hutchings. He donated his collection to the city of Lehi in the 1950's. Today there are many displays as well as hands on exhibits. This museum is a great value when compared to the cost of other Natural History Museums in the state.

Bridal Veil Falls
US Highway 189 0.6 miles NE of Mile Marker 10
Near Provo, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Phone Number: 801-851-8640
Website: http://utahcounty.maps.arcgis.com
Bridal Veil Falls is located up Provo Canyon. The trail is generally open from April until October. It is 1.3 miles long and paved the whole way. There are picnic areas located below the falls. This is a great place to go hiking in the spring.






Rare Weeping American Elm Tree
Located behind the Government buildings at
51 S University Ave
Provo, Utah
Cost: Free (though finding a parking space on weekdays may be tricky)
Hours: Dawn to dusk
A visit to this tree isn't something you want to plan your day around, but if you find yourself near downtown Provo you should stop by to see this tree. This is a rare Weeping American Elm that was planted in 1927. It's sprawling branches are supported by metal posts. This is a unique location for photo shoots.




Bean Life Science Museum
645 E 1430 N
Provo, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday though-Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. On Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00
Phone Number: 801.422.5050
Website: http://mlbean.byu.edu/
This museum is full of animals that have been preserved by taxidermy. It is a great place to take your kids. This isn’t just a collection of little animals like foxes and rabbits. They have full sized elephants, giraffes, and lions in here.






Springville Museum of Art
126 East 400 South
Springville, Utah
Cost: Free, though donations are suggested
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00 on Wednesdays the museum is open until 9:00
Phone Number: 801-489-2727
Website: www.smofa.org

Springville is known as a city full of art and this museum is the crowning jewel. It is full of beautiful paintings and sculptures. This museum isn’t very hands on, so I don’t suggest it for little kids. When you are done with the museum make sure you plan time to walk down Main Street in Springville to look at the many sculptures there.

Young Living Farms
3700 North Highway 91,
Mona, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday though Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00
Phone Number: (435) 623-8006
Website: www.youngliving.com

This farm in Mona is one of the largest herb farms in the world. You can visit the farm and take a tour of the lavender distillery.

* * *

And here are two little extra places you can visit if you want to travel a little south-west of Utah County.

Little Sahara Sand Dunes
18 miles south of Eurika Utah
Cost: $18 per vehicle for a One-Night Camping Permit
Hours: The dunes are open 24 hours a day year round.
Phone Number: (435) 433-5960
Website: www.blm.gov
These sand dunes are popular with ATV riders, but there are also sections of the dunes that have been designated as sand playgrounds for children. This is a great place for day use as well as overnight camping.

Lehman Cave at Great Basin National Monument
5500 NV-488
Baker, Nevada
Cost: Cave tours are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children under 5 are free.
Hours: In the spring cave tours are offered at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00
Phone Number: (775) 234-7331
Website: www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/lehman-caves-tours.htm

Okay technically Lehman Cave shouldn’t be on this list. It’s located in Nevada and is over 4 hours away from Salt Lake City. However, I just had to add it. If there is one far away place my family is going during Spring Break it will be Lehman Cave. I really like cave tours, but the tours of Utah's two famous caves, Timpanogus Cave and Minitonka Cave, don’t open until Memorial Day. Lehman Cave on the other hand is open all year. So I’m adding it to this list in case you also want to see a cave this spring.

* * *

I hope this list helps you find something fun to do. If you want more ideas for things to do in Northern Utah during Spring Break check out the full list here.

And as always, I'd love to know if there are more fun and inexpensive places to visit in this area. If you know of any feel free to tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great stay-cation!

Inexpensive Spring Break Stay-Cation Ideas in Utah's Davis County (Bountiful/Layton Areas)

Are you planning a stay-cation for Spring Break, but need ideas for where to go and what to do?  Well here is a list of places you can visit in Utah's Davis County (Bountiful/Layton Areas).  Each of these things is open in the spring and costs less than $10 per person.  In fact, many of these places are free.

Mrs Cavanaugh's Chocolate Factory
835 Northpointe Circle
North Salt Lake, Utah
Cost: $1 per person. (Includes samples of chocolate)
Hours: Tours are available from 10 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday
Phone Number: (801) 677-8888
Website: http://mrscavanaughs.com/Misc/factory-tours/

Who wouldn’t love to see how chocolates are made? This chocolate factory offers tours where you learn about history of chocolate and the history of the company. You can look through large windows into the factory where the chocolates are made. The end of the tour includes samples of chocolates.

Farmington Bay Waterfoul Area
1325 W Glovers Ln
Farmington Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to dusk, various areas are closed throughout the year. Check the website for open areas.
Phone Number: 801-476-2740
Website: https://wildlife.utah.gov/habitat/farmington_bay.php

Each year, hundreds of thousands of birds stop along the shores of the Great Salt Lake as they follow their migration routes. Farmington Bay is one of the main places they stop. Many birds build nests and live in this area during the spring. Wildlife viewing is the main activity here though hunting and fishing are also allowed during certain seasons.


USU Botanical Center
920 South 50 West
Kaysville, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: The ponds and trails are open from dawn to dusk. The buildings are open from Monday to Friday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Ponds and trails open sunrise to sunset.
Phone Number: 801-593-8969
Website: http://usubotanicalcenter.org/

USU Botanical Center is part of the Utah State University Extension program. The center has several gardens to show the many types of plants that you can grow in Utah. Classes are offered throughout the year for a fee. In addition to the beautiful gardens you can visit the Wetland Discovery Point which is an eco friendly education center where you can learn about the many plants and animals that live in wetlands. You can also visit the Utah House which was built with sustainability in mind. Visiting the Utah House has a suggested donation of $2 per person.

Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve
41 South 3200 West
Layton, Utah
Cost: Free, but donations are accepted
Hours: Open from dawn to dusk every day.
Phone Number: (801) 531-0999
Website: www.nature.org

This place is one of my favorite places on the Wasatch front. It’s located only a few miles from the hustle and bustle of the 1-15 corridor, but it feels like it is a remote location. The area is managed by the nature conservancy in order to preserve an important resting spot for migratory birds. There is a mile long boardwalk that takes you over marshy water and through tall grass and cattails. The board walk passes displays that help you learn about the birds who come here and why this place is important. There is a pavilion and an observation tower.


Sea Quest Aquarium in the Layton Hills Mall
1201 North Hill Field Road
Layton, UT
Cost: $14.95 for Adults and $9.95 for children (This is $5 less per ticket than the Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake.)
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and on Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 am.
Phone Number: 801-544-4938
Website: http://seaquestaquariums.com/utah/seaquest-experience/

This place is the most expensive place on the list, but I've included it because it a less expensive alternative to the Living Planet Aquarium. Seaquest bills itself as an interactive aquarium and allows it’s guests plenty of chances to get up close and personal with all sorts of interesting creatures - including mermaids.

Antelope Island State Park
4528 West 1700 South
Syracuse, Utah
Cost: Entrance to the island costs $10 per vehicle. Camping starts at $15 a night.
Hours: Open every day from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Phone Number: 801-725-9263
Visiting Antelope Island is a little bit like stepping back in time, and since it has some of the oldest exposed rock in all of Utah it’s not hard to see why. Places of interest on the island are the Visitor Center which has architectural details constructed from the original railroad trestle that spanned the Great Salt Lake. You’ll want to also plan some time for a hike. Expect to see buffalo since this is the location of one of the last free range herds of buffalo. If the weather is nice plan to swim in the salty water of the Great Salt Lake. If you are very adventurous you can plan a camping trip. Bridge Bay campground on Antelope Island is one of the only campgrounds Northern Utah that is open year round. Just be prepared – there is no water at the campground - though drinking water and showers are available at the day use area.

Hill Aerospace Museum
7961 Wardleigh Road
Hill AFB, Utah
(You do not need special ID to enter this part of the Base)
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone Number: (801) 825-5817
Website: www.aerospaceutah.org
The museum contains over 100 aircraft on display. The display takes up not one, but two aircraft hangars and still there isn’t enough room. Many of the larger aircraft are on display outside the museum. There are many WWII era planes, including  a B-17 bomber. There are also more modern planes such as the SR-71 Blackbird.

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I hope this list helps you find something fun to do. If you want more ideas for things to do in Northern Utah during Spring Break check out the full list here.

And as always, I'd love to know if there are more fun and inexpensive places to visit in this area. If you know of any feel free to tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great stay-cation!

Inexpensive Spring Break Stay-Cation Ideas in Utah's Weber County (Ogden Area)

Are you planning a stay-cation for Spring Break, but need ideas for where to go and what to do?  Well here is a list of places you can visit in Utah's Weber County (Ogden Area). Each of these things is open in the spring and costs less than $10 per person.  In fact, many of these places are free.

Fort Buenaventura
2450 A Avenue
Ogden, Utah
Cost: Entrance fee is $2 per person - children under 5 are fee. Activities cost extra money.
Hours: Opens every spring on Easter Weekend. Stays open until late October.
Phone Number: 801-399-8099
Website: www.webercountyutah.gov/Parks/fortb/index.php

Before the Mormon Pioneers settled the area, Utah was a wilderness area that was home to Native American's and mountain men fur trappers.  Fort Buenaventura is a place where you can learn about this fascinating time in Utah's history. There are tipis and old buildings to help you envision what life would have been like during those days.  There are also over 80 acres of trees and wetlands that make this a wonderful outdoor area.  Activities offered include canoeing, black powder rifle shooting, and camping.  You can even reserve a tipi for a night. Unfortunately, this fort will not be open until after spring break. However, it opens Easter weekend and so I think that earns it a place on this list. In fact, the famous annual "Mountain Man Rendezvous" will take place Easter weekend.

Choo Choo Express in the Newgate Mall
36th St. & Wall Ave.
Ogden, UT 84405
Cost: $3 a ticket or $2 if you buy a punch card for $10 tickets
Hours: The mall is open 10:00 to 9:00. Train hours may differ.
Phone Number: (801) 621-1161
Website: www.newgatemall.com/store/Choo-Choo-Express/2138916559/
This is a little train that you can ride in as it drives around the mall. The ride is fairly short, but it’s fun. This activity will especially appeal to little children.


Ogden Union Station – Utah State Railroad Museum
2501 Wall Avenue
Ogden, Utah
Cost: Tickets are $5 for an adult or $3 for a child. They offer a family pass for $15 for 2 adults and up to 8 children.
Hours: Open from 10:00 to 5:00 Monday through Saturday
Phone Number: (801) 393-9890
Website: http://theunionstation.org
Ogden has been a railroad hub since the 1860's. This charming museum celebrates Ogden's railroad history and is sure to please the train lover in your life. And it might make you into a train lover too. There museum has displays full of train artifacts. Ranging from parts of the original wooden tressel that spanned the Great Salt Lake to a real caboose that you can climb inside.  There is a great hands on play area for children. The most exciting part of this museum is the model train layout depicting the railroad route through Utah and surrounding states. Four model trains run through the layout and are a delight to children of all ages. And make sure you don’t miss the full scale trains on display to the south of the building.
Your admission ticket also grants you access to the Browning Firearms Museum, the Classic Car Museum, and the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum all located inside the Union Station Building.

Tree House Museum
347 22nd Street
Ogden, Utah
Cost: Tickets are $5 for an adult and $7 per child. On Friday nights from 6 to 8 tickets are $2 for adults and $4 for children.
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00. On Fridays the museum is open until 8:00.
Phone Number: 801-394-9663
Website: www.treehousemuseum.org
This is not the type of museum where you can't touch anything. In fact, its the opposite. Everything in this museum is really a toy that children are encouraged to play with. This is a great place for children to come play and explore. There is something to excite everyone. Play areas include trains, farm animals, dress ups, play houses, a hospital, a building area, and a small stage - just to name a few. And don’t forget the large tree house/ staircase in the middle of the building.

George S Eccels Dinosaur Park
1544 East Park Boulevard
Ogden Utah
Cost: Adults are $7 and children are $5. There is a group rate that reduces the cost by $2 per ticket. You must have more than 10 paying customers and make a reservation 7 days in advance for the group rate.
Hours: Hours vary depending on the season, but during the spring the park is open from 10:00 to 5:00 every day of the week.
Phone Number: 801--393-3466 ext. 56
Website: www.dinosaurpark.org
You don’t have to drive all the way to Vernal to see cool dinosaur bones and statues. And you don’t have to pay the high prices at the Museum of Natural History or the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. Instead there is a local, affordable, and memorable Dinosaur experience waiting for you in Ogden. This dinosaur park has over 50 full size replicas of dinosaurs on display outside. You can walk around the park and view the different statues. Children can also have fun playing on the playground. Inside the museum you can see fossils of dinosaurs as well as plants and animals. And don't forget to see the animatronic T-Rex located upstairs.

Ogden Botanical Garden
1750 Monroe Boulevard
Ogden, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Phone Number: 801-399-8080
Website: http://ogdenbotanicalgardens.org

Ogden Botanical Center is part of the Utah State University Extension program. The center has several gardens to show the many types of plants that you can grow in Utah. Classes are offered throughout the year for a fee.

Ogden Nature Center
966 W. 12th Street
Ogden, Utah
Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 to 5:00 and 9:00 to 4:00 on Saturday
Phone Number: 801-621-7595
Website: www.ogdennaturecenter.org

This is a nature preserve that is located only a few miles from downtown Ogden.  They have walking trails and education centers.  They have many events every month and offer many classes and other activities.

You may want to consider buying a membership to the Nature Center.  The cost is only $30 per person or $45 for a family.  In addition to free admission to the Nature Center you will also receive one free admission to the Dinosaur Park on weekdays, free admission to the Railroad Museum, and  free admission to the Tracy Aviary on the first Thursday of every month.  That's a pretty awesome deal.


Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Various Access Points
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Phone Number:
Website: /www.bonnevilleshorelinetrail.org
Thousands of years ago Lake Bonneville filled the valleys along the Wasatch Front. Evidence of the lake remains along the edges of the mountains. Efforts have been made to create a trail along the whole shoreline of the long-gone lake. The Ogden area has some of the best parts of the trail. See the website for trail head information.  This is a great place to go hiking in the spring when the higher trails in the mountains still have too much snow. Also you'll see amazing views of the Ogden Area and the Great Salt Lake.



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I hope this list helps you find something fun to do. If you want more ideas for things to do in Northern Utah during Spring Break check out the full list here.

And as always, I'd love to know if there are more fun and inexpensive places to visit in this area. If you know of any feel free to tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great stay-cation!

Inexpensive Spring Break Stay-Cation Ideas in Utah's Cache County (Logan Area)

Are you planning a stay-cation for Spring Break, but need ideas for where to go and what to do? Well here is a list of places you can visit in Utah's Cache County (Logan Area). Each of these things is open in the spring and costs less than $10 per person.  In fact, many of these places are free.

American West Heritage Center
4025 South Hwy 89-91
Wellsville, Utah
Cost: Varies depending on event
Baby Animal Days tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children
Farm animal days are $6 per ticket the other Friday's and Saturday's in April
Hours: Varies depending on the event you are interested in
Baby Animal Day's goes from 10:00 to 6:00
Phone Number: (435) 245-6050
Website: www.awhc.org

The American West Heritage Center is dedicated to educating visitors about the early inhabitants and explorers of Cache Valley. They have many events throughout the year. Perhaps the most popular is Baby Animal Days which takes place from April 5th through the 8th in 2017. This event has train and pony rides in addition to plenty of baby animals.

Logan Riverwalk
from Golf Course Road to Rendezvous Park
1500 South US 89-91
Logan, Utah
Cost: Free
Hours: Daylight Hours
Phone Number: (435) 716-9000
Website: www.loganutah.org/

This wide, paved trail runs along the banks of the Logan River.  It's a beautiful trail during every season.  This trail has been turned into a scale model of the solar system.  There are markers representing each planet along the trail.

Zootah (Formerly the Willow Park Zoo)
419 West 700 South
Logan, Utah
Cost: $4 for adults and $3 for children
Hours: The zoo will be open from 11:00-5:00 Monday through Saturday from April 3-8. It will be open on Friday’s and Saturday’s the rest of the month.
Phone Number: (435) 750-9894
Website: https://willowparkzoo.wixsite.com/home
This zoo has a reputation for being just an aviary. However, over the past few years the zoo has added other animals in addition to birds. Most of the animals are small, but there are a few large ones such as reindeer.






Logan Canyon
Various spots along Highway 89 between Logan and Garden City
Cost: Free for most day use areas. Camping starts at about $19
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Website: www.explorelogan.com/brooks/do/pages
Logan Canyon is a treasure trove of opportunities to explore the outdoors. I didn’t appreciate Logan Canyon when I lived nearby, but after we moved I often found myself thinking, “if only there was somewhere close we could have a fire tonight.” Or “I wish there was somewhere close we could go camping this weekend.” Or “I want to go hiking I wish we lived near some good trails.” All those things could easily be found in Logan Canyon. Highlights include the First, Second, and Third Dam picnic areas. The Windcaves, and the Guinavah-Malibu Campground.

* * *

I hope this list helps you find something fun to do. If you want more ideas for things to do in Northern Utah during Spring Break check out the full list here.

And as always, I'd love to know if there are more fun and inexpensive places to visit in this area. If you know of any feel free to tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great stay-cation!

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