Summer is here, the kids have been out of school long enough to get bored, and they don’t want to hear the same old ideas. So, what’s a parent to do? Here are five ideas to get the kids out of the house without breaking the budget:
- Explore the diversity of Salt Lake by visiting the ethnic markets around town. Chinatown Supermarket on 3390 S State is a wonder, packed full of exotic foods, sweets, and drinks. The market also includes an extensive fish section in the back and a fruit and vegetable aisle with everything from fresh golden pillow durian to Dalian wild red jellyfish. Other markets in town include Shahrazad Restaurant and Market for Middle Eastern fare, Japan Sage Market, and The Old Dutch Store, with a wide variety of chocolates, deli offerings, and more.
- Go to a Star Party. The Salt Lake Astronomical Society sponsors stargazing parties throughout the year. The calendar of events is on their website. In July, there are parties scheduled on July 28 at Granite Library, 3331 S 500 E, and on July 29 at Stansbury Park’s Observatory Complex. The society recommends arriving early for the setup, and the event continues from sunset to around 11pm. Star Parties are informal events and those participating are happy to answer questions and point out stellar viewing opportunities.
- Everyone loves a parade, but not everyone loves standing on the side of the road in the heat. No worries. On July 21 and 22, from 11am to 9pm, some of the floats will be set up for viewing at the Mountain American Expo Center. Vote on favorites, participate in the games & activities, and meet some of the parade royalty. This is a free admission event, with a cost for some activities. The only thing missing is the marching bands.
- The Salt Lake County Library System is onboard to keep the kids happy. With everything from story times at individual libraries, to craft classes and scavenger hunts, local library branches have lots to do and discover. The Kearns Library, along with others have telescopes to check out, a 3D printer lab, and computer access. Various libraries are offering classes throughout the summer in partnership with the Natural History Museum of Utah, called Backyard Naturalist. The class aims to teach kids about the biodiversity in their own backyards and tips on how to be a citizen scientist. Dates and times are on the SL County Library website.
- Another way to explore Salt Lake is on the mountain trails. There are several kid-friendly hikes close by. Lisa Falls is a 0.3-mile hike that is suited for toddlers with a beautiful waterfall as a reward at the end. For older kids, there is the 2.5-mile Dog Lake hike and a 3-mile Donut Falls hike. There are hikes that match all skill levels with recommendations from All Trails. Bring grandma and grandpa. Bring everyone!
With a city as rich and diverse as Salt Lake, there is no reason for anyone to sit at home wondering what to do this summer.