Tour de Utah Valley: 101 summer fun ideas

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Summer is back, and we’re ready to coach you through a marathon of fun. We’re taking you up to the rooftops of Provo, down to the roots of Pleasant Grove’s farmer’s market and through 101 activities to pack your summer with memories from start to finish. This summer list will guide you up, down and around the valley before you bid the summer adieu.

The Festival Fans

Lehi Roundup

1. The longest-running rodeo in the state is right here in Utah County. Head to the 94th annual Pleasant Grove rodeo June 15 – 20 during Strawberry Days. sdaysrodeo.com

2–18. Summer in the city means festivals galore. Visit each city’s website for details on the events.

Alpine City Days August 3 – 8
American Fork Steel Days July 6 – 11
Cedar Hills Family Festival June 1 – 6
Eagle Mountain Pony Express Days June 2 – 6
Highland Fling July 25 – August 1
Lehi Round-Up June 20 – 28
Lindon Days August 3 – 8
Mapleton Pioneer Day Parade July 24
Orem Summerfest June 12 – 13
Payson Golden Onion Days September 4 – 7
Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days June 15 – 20
Provo Freedom Days July 2 – 4
Salem Days August 1 – 8
Santaquin Orchard Days July 25 – August 1
Saratoga Splash June 8 – 13
Spanish Fork Fiesta Days July 15 – 27
Springville Art City Days June 6 – 13

19. Admire dozens of quality quilts at the 42nd annual Quilt Show at the Springville Museum of Art, July 18 – August 30. smofa.org

20. Sing the Iceland national anthem and taste kleinur at Spanish Fork’s annual Iceland Days. utahicelanders.org

21. Load the family up in the covered (station) wagon and make the trek to Provo’s Pioneer Day Extravaganza on July 24. provo.org

22. Demolition derby, beauty pageant, cotton candy, oh my! Enjoy this and more at the Utah County Fair, Aug. 12 – 15. utahcountyfair.org

23. Grab your bagpipes and Scottish friends and head to the Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games at Thanksgiving Point June 12 – 13. Don a bonnie kilt, too, or they might skelp yer wee bahookie.

24. Payson has some big fish to fry — or shall we say grill? More than 4,000 pounds of fresh Alaskan Salmon are on the menu for Payson’s annual Salmon Supper on August 7 at Memorial Park. paysonutah.org

25. Nothing says summer like a festival by the lake. And nothing says lake like the Utah Lake Festival on June 6. Plus, bring your fishing rods, because it’s also Free Fishing Day. utahlake.gov

26. Grab your boots and yee-haw your way over to the cowboy event that sells out every year. Don’t miss Spanish Fork’s rodeo, July 21 – 24 during Fiesta Days. spanishfork.org

27. Celebrate Pioneer Day like never before with Lehi’s annual Foam Day on July 24 at Lehi Sports Park. lehi-ut.gov

28. Hear ye, hear ye! The Utah Renaissance Faire hereby welcomes thee to joust, dance and be merry at their gathering on August 28 – 29 at Thanksgiving Point. utahrenaissancefaire.com

29. Give your summer the fairytale ending it deserves by getting caught up in the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival on Labor Day weekend, September 2-5. timpfest.org

The Adventurers

Seven Peaks

30. He’s wakeboarding! No, he’s flying a kite! He’s doing both?? Master both wind and water by learning to kiteboard at UKB Kiteboarding in Springville. kiteukb.com

31. It’s the third-longest zipline in the country, it’s two miles long, and it’s all ours. Visit Sundance to glide down the newest, zippiest summer activity in Utah Valley.

32. Take a day trip to a city unfamiliar to you in the valley. Visit UtahValley360.com for road trip itineraries that will take you around the valley.

33. Hunt for buried treasure — or at least hidden packages — by geocaching. Visit geocaching.com to find a treasure near you. (X may or may not mark the spot. )

34. Race across an obstacle course or take a leisurely canoe ride at Provo’s CLAS Ropes Courseclasropes.com

35. Sundance is bringing you closer to the stars on their monthly full moon lift rides. Werewolves be warned. sundanceresort.com

36. Hike two miles up Spanish Fork Canyon to take a relaxing dip in the Fifth Water Hot Springs.

37. Did you know Martin Hansen was tracking a mountain lion when he discovered Timpanogos Cave in 1887? Learn more — and take a good look at the cave’s heart — on a 55-minute tour.

38. When you get an itch for an all-around adventure, High Country Adventure has your ticket. They offer horseback riding, fly-fishing, rafting and tours on the Provo River to get your inner adventurer out and about. highcountryadventure.com

39. Take a winding sunset drive through Hobble Creek, American Fork or Provo Canyon.

40. Get starry-eyed on a night of stargazing — or check out a planetarium show at BYU on Friday nights in May and June. planetarium.byu.edu

41. Slip, slide, splish and splash at your city pool. Here are some local wave-making faves:

Seven Peaks Water Park
SCERA Park Pool
Lindon Aquatics Center
Provo Recreation Center
Lehi Aquatics Center

42. August 25 is the National Park Service’s birthday, which means you get a fee-free day to explore Utah’s National Parks. Balloons optional, excitement encouraged.

43. Chalk up for an afternoon of rock climbing in Provo Canyon, or get some inside practice at The Quarry in Provo. Belay on!

44. Perch on your porch to catch sight of a Cedar Waxwing or red-winged blackbird. Visit utahbirds.org for pro birding tips.

45. Hey there, sharpshooter. Ready Gunner in Provo is the place for you, with equipment, target shooting, training and certification to help take your aim to the next level. readygunner.com

46. Encourage your teen to take a life adventure at the Barbara Barrington Jones Be the Best You camp for girls ages 12-18, July 13-18 at Thanksgiving Point. barbarabjones.com

47. It’s called Cannibal, and you can ride it this summer at Lagoon. Thrill-seekers will love the new coaster that boasts the steepest drop in the United States and zooms across the track at 70 miles an hour. lagoonpark.com

48. The mountains are calling and you must answer — especially because they’re basically in your backyard. Stake your claim to a family-friendly camping trip at the Alpine Loop, Payson Lakes, Diamond or Cherry campgrounds.

The Groupies

Bluebird Cafe

49. Salute red, white and blue with harmonies at the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra’s concert, An American Celebration with Lloyd Newell, June 19-20. thetso.org

50. Cheer on your favorite bands at Velour’s Battle of the Bands. A battle cry never sounded this good. velourlive.com

51. Forget about raising the roof — this concert has already pushed it sky-high. Rock out to local bands at the Rooftop Concert Series in Provo. rooftopconcertseries.com

52. End a rambunctious day of summer play by sitting back and listening to a concert in the park. Visit city websites for details.

American Fork Amphitheater: afcity.org
Cedar Hills, Heritage Park: cedarhills.org
Saratoga Springs, Neptune Park Stage: saratogaspringscity.com

53. Rock out to a good cause with the 5 Star Legacy Foundation, an organization that seeks to stop the poverty cycle. The summer kickoff event features Neon Trees on June 13 at the UVU outdoor track. 5starlegacyfoundation.org

54. Grow your love for music at the Central Utah Gardens’ free Friday night concerts. centralutahgardens.org

55. Listen to Nashville singers and songwriters tell stories with tunes against the backside of Timpanogos at the Bluebird Café Concert Series at Sundance. sundanceresort.com

The Foodies

Pop N' Sweets

56. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to these local sweet shops: Pop ‘N Sweets, The Chocolate, Sweet Tooth Fairy, Peppermint Place, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, The Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe, Blickenstaff’s, Provo Bakery, Cupcake Chic and Smart Cookie.

57. The valley’s best meals on four wheels are throwing a summer party, and your stomach is invited. Chow down on a food truck feast at the food truck roundup. foodtruckunderground.com

58. Spoil your taste buds by dining at the Best of Utah Valley Restaurants this summer.

59. Chill out at your neighborhood cold dessert haven.

Hokulia Shave Ice
Lani’s Hawaiian Style
Shave Ice
Yogurtland
Fusion Yogurt
Sub Zero
Rita’s
Spoon It Up
Farr’s Fresh

60. Learn the art of cooking up a storm at one of Thanksgiving Point’s cooking classesthanksgivingpoint.org

The City Circle

Farmer's Market

61. Give small businesses a little local love by strolling through the valley’s Farmer’s Markets. Check out the Pleasant Grove Promenade, the LaVell Edwards Stadium Farmer’s Market, the Happy Valley Farmer’s Market at the Shops at Riverwoods, Provo Farmer’s Market or Thanksgiving Point.

62. Fight a fiery hot summer day with an afternoon of ice skating at the The Peaks Ice Arenapeaksarena.com

63. Solve puzzles, look for clues and compete against your friends at GetOut Games, Utah County’s first and only live escape room. getoutgames.com

64. Take a fabulously fishy trip to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, home to 2,484 animals and 451 species. Make it a “fintastic” visit during Shark Week, beginning July 5. thelivingplanet.com

65. When the lights go down in the city, city parks light up with free outdoor films. Bring the family along to Provo’s Rock Canyon Park on Monday nights at dusk in August. provo.org

66. Take the summer party indoors at Provo Beach Resort, where kiddos can race through a ropes course, surf on the Flowrider and ride a carousel. Visit provobeach.com for a list of attractions.

67. Brush up your bowling game at your local lanes. (You can use the bumpers. We won’t tell.)

68. Home is where the heart is — and this summer, your heart is beating for you to check out the Utah Valley Parade of Homes, June 4 – 20. uvparade.com

69. Roll over to the Classic Skating and Fun Center in Orem for a night of skating, cosmic lights and an endless playlist of throwback songs.

70. Catch a summer flick at the new Megaplex Theatre in Vineyard. Between the variety of concessions, the reclining seats and the top-notch screen quality (did someone say IMAX?), be ready to give two thumbs up.

71. Spend the day at Boondocks, where boredom takes a backseat in go-karts and laser tag targets those summertime blues. boondocks.com

72. Paint darling dishes and dainty decorations at Color Me Mine, where you become the artist in residence. colormemine.com

The Culture Cravers

Springville Folk Fest

73. Give your eyes and ears a cultural treat by attending the Springville World Folkfest, where dancers and musicians from around the world perform numbers from their native country. worldfolkfest.com

74. Sing and dance (in your head) as you watch popular musicals come to life at the SCERA. See “Mary Poppins,” June 5 – 20; “Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” July 2 – 18; “Crazy For You,” July 31 – August 15. scera.org

75. See where art meets engineering during the “Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami” exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art through June 20. moa.byu.edu

76. Experience “Big Fish” (May 7 – June 20) and “Into the Woods” (July 2 – August 15) up close at the Hale Center Theater in Orem. haletheater.org

77. Follow the trail of breadcrumbs deeper into the forest with BYU’s opera performance of “Hansel and Gretel,” June 10 – 13. Visit arts.byu.edu to purchase tickets.

78. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will make your kids come alive with their inner explorer. Satisfy curiosity at Thanksgiving Point Curiosity Museumthanksgivingpoint.org

79. Good thing you’re not in Kansas anymore, because “The Wizard of Oz” is taking the stage at Sundance. Follow Dorothy on her journey home July 23-August 15. sundanceresort.com

The Athletes

Taekwondo

80. Young aspiring tigers and ninjas can enroll in summer camp at Beyond Taekwondo in Lindon. See a full list of classes for all ages at beyondsportsutah.com.

81. Salute the sun on its summer solstice by celebrating the second annual International Yoga Day on June 21.

82. Disc golf, Frisbee golf, Frolf — no matter what you call it, you can practice your tomahawk and hyzer flip at these Utah Valley courses. Register for the July 27 Highland tournament at highlandcity.org.

Dry Creek Trail Park, Lehi
Art Dye Park, American Fork
Rock Canyon Park, Provo
Disc Golf Course, Spanish Fork
Bicentennial Park, Provo
Beacon Hills Park, Highland

83. Five, six, seven, eight! Time to enroll your future dancers in summer classes at The Pointe Performing Arts Academy. Kids ages 3 and up can learn ballet, jazz and hip-hop in two summer sessions. thepointeacademy.com

84. Putt the day away at the 18-hole TalonsCove Golf Course, overlooking Utah Lake in Saratoga Springs. talonscove.com

85. Mathnasium is the place is for aspiring mathletes looking for a way to stay in shape. Mathnasium teachers tailor learning plans to each student so everyone scores big. mathnasium.com

86. Pass on your skateboarding skills by teaching your young ones a trick or two at the Pony Express Skate Park in Eagle Mountain.

87. Swim 600 meters, bike 12 miles and run a 5K along the west side of Utah Lake in the Saratoga Springs Triathlon, August 15. Register at saratogaspringstri.com.

88. If love for Utah Valley runs through your veins, return the love by running on its roads and trails. Visit UtahValley360.com for a full rundown of races.

Utah Valley Marathon and Half Marathon, 10K: June 13
AF Canyon Run Against Cancer: June 27 (Read about this run against cancer here.)
Timpanogos Half Marathon: August 1
Run Murdock Canal Half Marathon: August 29

89. Marathons not enough for you? Then lace up for these ultra races. Visit squawpeak50.com for race details.

Squaw Peak 50 Mile Trail Run
June 6, Vivian Park, Provo
Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Run August 1, Hobble Creek Road, Springville

90. Hey, batter, batter, grab a team and swing your heart out at the Firecracker Softball Tournament in Provo June 19 – 27. Register at freedomfestival.org.

91. Cheer on the Orem Owlz baseball team at one of their 30+ home games. Play ball!

BONUS! Enter to win a night in the baseball suite for you and 11 of your closest friends, complete with snacks, drinks and a firework show. For details on this suite deal, visit utahvalley360.com/contests.

92. Pedal your way through 16 miles of single-track bliss at Alpine’s Lambert Park, perfect for beginner to expert mountain bikers.

The DIY-ers

Humane Society

93–95. Put your hands where your hearts are and volunteer with a local charity. Here are three ideas to get your heart a-givin’.

  • Build a home with Habitat for Humanity
  • Care for pets-to-be with the Humane Society
  • Make a friend at a local rest home

96. Stage a battle of the super-soakers and water balloon grenades in your backyard. Check out our Pinterest Page for ideas on how to put the hose to good use. pinterest.com/utahvalleymag

97. If roughin’ it in the wilderness isn’t your cup of Tang, build a makeshift camp in your backyard. Your bed is only a step away if you change your mind. #youprollywill

98. Practice chalkin’ up your block before the official Chalk the Block Festival, September 17-19 at The Shops at Riverwoods.

99. Make homemade lemonade. Or pick up a copy of our March/April issue and read about 40 fabulous folks who made lemonade out of lemons in their lives.

100. Unplug for a day — or take the challenge to unplug for 10 days. Check out weplayunplugged.com for a local list of ways to do a digital detox.

101. Throw an indoor camping party, complete with scary stories and microwave s’mores.

BONUS: Make up a game with the extra marshmallows or make a homemade marshmallow gun.

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Alisha swapped plains for peaks when she moved to Utah from her Kansas hometown. After graduating from BYU and traveling around China with her husband, Shane, they put down roots in Utah Valley, where Alisha first fell in love with yoga, learned to ski and discovered fry sauce. Alisha is an associate editor, writing for Utah Valley Magazine and UtahValley360.com. Follow her on Twitter @alishagallag.

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