Temple Square is world-renowned for its history and its displays, but did you know you can plan a birthday on Temple Square or visit a splash pad just a few steps away? If you’re planning a trip to Salt Lake, here are nine things you may not have known you can do on your trip to downtown Salt Lake.
Visit a Planetarium
The Clark Planetarium is only a few blocks southwest of Temple Square. Many of the exhibits in the planetarium are free so you can discover at your leisure. There are also several theaters in the Clark Planetarium, including an IMAX screen, that showcase a variety of movies about our world and the universe (for a small fee).
Take Your Kids to a Children’s Museum
The Discovery Gateway museum a few blocks away from Temple Square is great for those who want a more “hands-on” approach to learning. This is a perfect place to let the kids run around and explore at their own pace. There are also plenty of activities that parents and children can do together. And after, you can even shop at the Gateway Mall right outside of the museum!
Get Wet at Splash Pads and Fountains
Summers in Utah are hot. Luckily, there are fountains you can cool off in just steps away from Temple Square. The splash pads at City Creek Mall are the closest to Temple Square, and there’s also the Olympic Snowflake Fountain a few blocks away at the Gateway Mall. If seeing either of these fountains is on your to-do list, you may want to bring a towel or a change of clothes.
Take in a Spectacular View of the City
The Church Office Building has been a part of the Salt Lake City skyline since 1972. If you’ve ever wondered what the view looks like from up so high, wonder no more. There’s an observation deck on the 26th floor open to tourists that commands a unique perspective of the Salt Lake Valley. Be sure to bring a camera to capture this moment.
Celebrate a Birthday at the Lion House
You can be sure your child won’t soon forget the experience of going to their own pioneer-themed Lion House birthday party. You’ll be given special Lion House invitations, and your child can bring up to 12 guests, each of whom will leave with a party favor. Children ages 8-10 can have this unique experience. For information about reservations, click here.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
Have you ever wanted to add a little adventure to you summer vacations? Consider a treasure hunt around downtown Salt Lake. Double Key Treasure Hunts provides actual treasure you and your family can hunt for while in Salt Lake City. When you order an online package, you can customize what sort of treasure you’ll look for. You’re free to explore and take your own pace with solving the clues, so don’t feel worried if you have younger kids struggling with a clue. Plan for the whole adventure to take 1-2 days.
Tour the Temple Square Gardens
The sweeping vistas of blooming flowers seen during general conference are more beautiful in person. Tours of the gardens at Temple Square are free of charge and run April through September. Tours of the rooftop gardens of the Conference Center are also available for you to enjoy. Click here to see where to meet for these beautiful tours.
Discover Your Family History
With the FamilySearch Center located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, family history has never been this interactive or hands-on. Learn where your family came from and what your family name means; discover what you might have looked in the fashion of your grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ time; get a taste of what life was like for ancestors without leaving the comfort of the 21st century.
Watch a Movie—For Free!
The Legacy Theater has long been host to a variety of major motion films such as The Testaments, Legacy, and The Prophet Joseph Smith, all with no admission charge. While those films are still available to watch by request in the North Visitor's Center, currently, the Legacy Theater is playing Meet the Mormons. The recent documentary featuring six stories from all over the world details how everyday Latter-day Saints live their lives in their callings, families, and careers. On the Top 40 Documentary of All Time list, Meet the Mormons is one worth seeing.
If you enjoyed Meet the Mormons, you can get it here.