If you find the question around the house usually sounds like, “What should we do today?” you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of activities around Salt Lake that won’t cost you a full day’s wages. In fact, there are some fun and memorable experiences that are free of charge. Here are 24 free things to do in Salt Lake City:
1. Take a tour of the historic Beehive House at Temple Square, which served as the home of early leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints such as Brigham Young as they settled the Salt Lake valley.
2. Bring the kids to the splash pad at The Gateway for a little fun as the weather warms up.
3. The Pioneer Memorial Museum houses photos and artifacts from Utah’s pioneer settlers.
4. See sculptures, paintings, jewelry and photos from Utah artists at Phillips Gallery.
5. Records from the LDS Church are stored at the Church History Library, which is over 230,000 square feet in size, and features a time capsule that was sealed in 2009.
6. There are plenty of free activities to try at Liberty Park, including horseshoes, tennis, or a simple picnic on the grass.
7. Stroll the meticulously manicured grounds of Temple Square for an afternoon of reflection.
8. The Governor’s Mansion offers free public tours of the home by volunteers of the Utah Heritage Foundation.
9. Downtown Salt Lake City is home to the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, which features art exhibitions that can inspire your imagination and get you to engage with the community.
10. There are plenty of free exhibits at Clark Planetarium, including telescopes, a pendulum and facts about the solar system.
11. Enjoy a movie under the stars at the Utah State Capitol each summer.
12. Take a guided walking tour of points around Salt Lake City with the Utah Heritage Foundation.
13. Spend an afternoon at Centennial Park with lots of green space, trails and a pavilion for enjoying snacks or an outdoor dinner.
14. The Salt Lake City International Peace Gardens have impressive displays of colorful flowers, and sprawls 11 acres along the Jordan River.
15. Ensign Peak includes a nature park and hiking trail to a monument, where you can see the Great Salt Lake and the entire Salt Lake Valley.
16. The Salt Lake City Main Public Library is an architectural wonder in the heart of Salt Lake City, and features thousands of books with a 360-degree view of the valley.
17. Across the street from the Utah State Capitol building is the White Memorial Chapel, which is a carefully rebuilt church building used for weddings and special events.
18. Memory Grove Park has a replica of the Liberty Bell, and includes routes around the veterans’ memorial park for joggers and cyclists.
19. Want to see a gorgeous view of the Salt Lake Valley? Hike Desolation Trail up Millcreek Canyon for a fantastic Salt Lake Overlook.
20. One of Salt Lake’s most unique landmarks is the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. Don’t miss a chance to see a “sphinx” in real life.
21. The Downtown Farmers Market runs every Saturday morning and Tuesday evening in the warmer months, and there’s also a Winter Market for those wanting fresh produce when it’s cold outside.
22. Visit a migratory bird habitat at The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve.
23. Experience the rich history of Wheeler Historic Farm, which is one of the few remaining original farmsteads in the Salt Lake Valley.
24. Originally known as Hotel Utah, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building has a beautiful lobby with a huge, crystal chandelier, and the FamilySearch center to do genealogy research.
Andrew James is a writer and multimedia journalist in Salt Lake City. A regular contributor to local media, he is often found writing about businesses, Utah landmarks and local events for a variety of publications. When he is not covering a local event (or behind a computer writing about it), Andrew can often be found trail running, hiking and biking around the Wasatch Front.
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