These 50 summer fun ideas will get the kids off the couch and into the action while banishing “I’m bored” from your family’s vocabulary. We’ll take you from May to August with weekday wins and weekend wonders — no batteries required.
1. Water Wonder
With five public marinas, an average water temperature of 73 degrees and recent restoration efforts, there has never been a better time to enjoy Utah Lake. Gas up the boat, grab your lifejacket and get on the lake pronto.
2. Divine Drive
Had enough of noisy, crowded, expensive summer activities? Get the family in the car for a relaxing Alpine Loop drive. Go in May, June, July and August to see green and wait until September to catch the fall leaves. The 27-mile route (State Road 92) from Provo Canyon to the mouth of American Fork Canyon, this loop offers gorgeous views of mountains and aspen groves galore. Get driving directions at utahvalley.com.
3. Care to dance?
Cha cha your way to Springville’s World Folkfest, a weeklong celebration of international folk dance. Visit worldfolkfest.com.
4. Dog Days of Summer
Attend the Celebrate Your Pet event at South Utah Valley Animal Shelter (582 W. 3000 N, Spanish Fork) on May 17. The event begins at 9 a.m. and activities include photos with your pet, a dog wash, nail trimming, ear cleaning, contests, reptile exhibit, demonstrations as well a licensing and shot clinic. Visit suvas.org.
5. Have a Ball
Take in an Orem Owlz baseball game at Brent Brown Ballpark. Feel free to forego the peanuts or Cracker Jacks (do people eat those anymore?) in favor of Little Caesars pizza, we won’t tell. Visit oremowlz.com for dates and times.
6. Life’s a Beach
Flowrider? Check. Bowling alley? Yep. Ropes course? Got it. Arcade? Of course. Carousel? Duh. Provo Beach is one summer hot spot you can visit over and over again without ever getting beached. Visit provobeach.com.
7. Sweet Escape
Beat the heat with a sneak peek at candy artists decorating sweets in real time at The Peppermint Place in American Fork (708 S Utah Valley Dr.) What a treat! Visit kencraftcandy.com.
8. Timp-Top Shape
At 11,752 feet above sea level, Mt. Timpanogos is the second highest mountain in Utah’s Wasatch Range. Hiking to its peak is a surefire way to show your friends just how tough you really are.
9. Summer Camp 2.0
You’ve probably heard about The Leonardo museum in downtown Salt Lake City, but you might not have heard about its inventive summer camps with themes ranging from urban art to engineering. Visit theleonardo.org to sign up.
10. Rad Rapids
Enjoy a sunshine-soaked float down the Provo River and become a true Utah Valley-ite in the process. High Country Adventure offers guided tours from May through October. Visit highcountryrafting.com.
11. Start Your Engines
Each year, UVU’s Auto Expo and Swap Meet brings thousands of car lovers (and their passengers) to Thanksgiving Point’s Electric Park. The May 17 expo includes a variety of cars to admire and all proceeds are donated to scholarships for auto, diesel and collision repair students at UVU. For more information visit uvu.edu/autoexpo.
12. Atta Girl!
Be The Best You Camps, put on by the Barbara Barrington Jones Foundation, help young women increase self-esteem through classes, workshops and activities led by college-age counselors. This year’s camp will pamper girls ages 12-18 at Thanksgiving Point on July 14-19. Visit barbarabjones.com to register.
13. Cool Beans
After an expansion of more than 30,000 square feet, the Monte L. Bean Museum at BYU is ready to invite back animal loving friends in early June. Many new animal exhibits will be purring, as well as a coral reef exhibit. Visit mlbean.byu.edu for the exact opening date, hours and prices. Read our preview on the new exhibits here.
14. Hot to Trot
Sundance Resort offers guided horseback riding with several trail options including a scenic Stewart Falls route or a sunset ride for those who want to catch a glimpse of wildlife. Visit sundanceresort.com.
15. Track the Trucks
Utah Valley’s food truck craze is still revving, and we challenge you to try ‘em all! Check out Waffle Love, Fiore Wood Fired Pizza, Rocco’s Tacos, Pico Norte Tacos, Corndog Commander, Sweeto Burrito, Marley’s Gourmet Sliders, Art City Donuts and more!
16. Summer Thyme
Pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs at your local farmer’s market. Try the Provo Farmer’s Market, the Pleasant Grove Promenade, the Happy Valley Farmer’s Market at The Shops at Riverwoods, or the Wasatch Farmer’s Market at Thanksgiving Point.
17. Float Away
Summer isn’t summer without a parade. The Freedom Festival Grand Parade in Provo, one of the largest in Utah, starts at 9 a.m. on July 4. Don’t miss it!
18. State of the Art
If you haven’t seen local artist Jess Smiley’s murals along the Provo River Trail, grab your sneakers and get walking. Start your leisurely stroll at 820 N. 850 West in Provo.
19. Hit the Books
Go bananas for books at the Provo Library Children’s Book Festival. Activities include book signings, face painting, crafts and a book giveaway to the first 600 children. Visit provolibrary.com for more information.
20. Fore Power to You
Teach your child the lifetime sport of golf this summer. Fox Hollow Golf Course, located in American Fork, offers a fun and challenging course for amateurs and pros. Visit foxhollowutah.com.
21. Loop de Loop
Take a spin on one of Lagoon’s nine rollercoasters. Did you know the Colossus is the only Schwarzkopf double looping coaster still in operation in the U.S.? Visit lagoonpark.com.
22. Get Into the Act
Spend a summer night at the Hale Center Theater in Orem with the cast of Peter Pan (April 24 – June 14) or Man of La Mancha (June 26 – August 9). Visit haletheater.org to buy tickets.
23. Art of the Matter
Foster creativity in a budding artist. At Color Me Mine, your Van Gogh in training can paint a mug or plate — and at Creativity Arts Studio they can try their hand at watercolor or oil painting. Visit provo.colormemine.com and creativityartstudio.com for details.
24. Bye-Bye Blahs
Cure a case of the blahs at Boondocks. It’s the perfect place to go if you need to entertain a group of different ages and interests. Visit boondocks.com to learn about all of their attractions.
25. Moonlight Magic
Clas Ropes Course has a new excursion this year — moonlight canoeing. Each month on the full moon, guests are invited to push off the dock at 9:30 p.m. to enjoy a night of full-moon fun including spotting nocturnal wildlife and s’mores. Visit clasropes.com for dates.
26. Nature Nurture
Summer camp is a rite of passage. And lucky for you, Mom, your kids can have it right next door at Sundance Resort. The resort’s day camps include art, music, science, environmental awareness and nature exploration. Visit sundanceresort.com to sign up.
27. Hot Ticket
Getting tickets to a show at the Tuacahn Theater in St. George is the perfect reason for a weekend getaway down south. This summer’s lineup includes The Wizard of Oz, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Little Mermaid (back by popular demand). Visit tuacahn.org to purchase tickets.
28. Lavendar Love
Pay tribute to all things purple at Young Living’s Lavender Days, June 28-29. The celebration includes a 5K, a pancake breakfast, fairy tea parties, picking your own lavender and more. Visit youngliving.com for more information.
29. Max Out
OK, thrill seekers, we’ve got something just for you — Max Zipline. The treetop canopy zipline located in Provo Canyon will send you soaring over the valley’s serene landscape at exhilarating speeds. Visit maxzipline.com for more information.
30. Just Curious
When it’s so hot not even the pool can offer respite, take the kids to Thanksgiving Point’s new Museum of Natural Curiosity. The museum offers 45,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and is slated to satisfy curiosity starting May 15.
31. Mini Golf Madness
Seven Peaks Fun Center Orem (formerly known as Trafalga) is the place to go for mini golf. Grab a club and be sure to try the indoor blacklight course. Visit sevenpeaks.com for details.
32. Head for the Hills
From Bridal Veil to Stewart Falls, Utah Valley has more hikes than you can shake a walking stick at! Pick your path and pack plenty of water.
33. Summer Sips
Quench your thirst with a specialty drink. Try a Dirty Diet Coke at Swig, a Mango Mountain Dew at Sodalicious or a Jacked Dr. Pepper at The Slurp.
34. Lemon Aid
Get your sip on at a good old-fashioned lemonade stand. Or, if lemonade isn’t your flavor, donate to Zack’s Shack, a local organization that raises money for wheelchairs through a lemonade stand and a donation site.
35. Lifeguard on Duty
Get into the swim of things at the Lindon Aquatics Center. The facility has a FlowRider Double, a six-lane lap pool, the longest lazy river in the valley, a brand-new AquaClimb wall and a toddler-friendly, zero-entry Pirate Pool and baby pool. Visit lindoncity.org for more details.
36. Show Time
Every Monday night in August, Provo City invites movie lovers to enjoy a film under the stars at Rock Canyon Park. The movie is free and starts at 9 p.m. Who’ll bring the popcorn?
37. Homes Away From Home
Whether you live in a tiny apartment or the lap of luxury, the Utah Valley Parade of Homes is the place to go for design inspiration from local builders. This year’s parade opens the front doors on June 6 – 21. Visit uvparade.com. See a map of the Parade of Homes here.
38. A Likely Story
The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, now in its 24th year, hosts some of the best storytellers in the country and is a Utah Valley must-do. This year’s festival will be August 28 – 30. Start your story at timpfest.org.
39. The Wheel Deal
Cruise through town with your crush on a tandem bike. Provo Beach offers several rental options. Visit provobeach.com for rates.
40. Stars and Stripes
Get blown away by Carrie Underwood at her encore Stadium of Fire performance on July 4. Visit freedomfestival.org for tickets.
41. Go Camp Crazy
Host a “Camp Mom” week at your house. Let the kids sleep outside in a tent, roast marshmallows over the stove, go on a nature scavenger hunt in the backyard and make your own trail mix. Visit pinterest.com/utahvalleymag for ideas.
42. Cowboy Up
Dust off your cowboy boots and head to a rodeo. Spanish Fork’s Fiesta Days rodeo is a local favorite and the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds will also be the site of the 2014 Wrangler Champions Challenge Rodeo on May 31. Don’t miss it! Visit spanishfork.org for more information.
43. H2O Happiness
Get your feet wet at your local splash pad. The Shops at Riverwoods has a splishy splash pad with shopping nearby for Mom.
44. Farm Charm
Whether you want to try your hand at milking a cow or just want to enjoy a pony ride, Thanksgiving Point’s Farm Country will help you find your stride this summer. Visit thanksgivingpoint.org.
45. Raise the Roof
Tune into one of the valley’s coolest events, the Rooftop Concert Series, every first Friday of the month. The concerts take place at the Provo Town Square parking terrace and this year’s performers include Desert Noises, Van Lady Love, Mimi Knowles and Fictionist. Visit rooftopconcertseries.com for a complete lineup.
46. School of Pool
Dive into summer with swimming lessons for your little ones. SwimKids has more than 30 years of experience and teaches children 4-months-old and up. Visit swimkids.biz for more information.
47. On Deck
Cannonball away the day at the Lehi Legacy Aquatic Center. Your kids will scream with glee when the Big Bucket feature drops several hundred gallons of water on their happy heads. Visit lehi-ut.gov for more information.
48. Blast from the Past
Lehi’s John Hutchings Museum of Natural History, located at 55 N. Center St., is a hidden gem. The museum includes a diverse collection of Native American, western and pioneer artifacts including Porter Rockwell’s pistol. Call (801) 768-7180 for more information.
49. Say What?
50. About Town
Honor all things hometown at your local city celebration.
Alpine Days: August 3 – 9
American Fork Steel Days: July 14 – 19
Cedar Hills Family Festival: June 21 – 28
Eagle Mountain Pony Express Days: June 3 – 7
Highland Fling: July 26 – August 1
Lehi Round-Up: June 21 – 29
Lindon Days: August 4 – 9
Mapleton Pioneer Day: July 24
Orem Summerfest: June 13 – 14
Payson Golden Onion Days: Aug. 29 – Sept. 1
Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days: June 16 – 21
Provo Freedom Days: July 3 – 5
Salem Days: August 1 – 9
Saratoga Splash: June 9 – 14
Spanish Fork Fiesta Days: July 19 – 24
Springville Art City Days: June 7 – 14