Thursday, March 5

15 Spring-Summer Activities to Do With A Young Toddler in Utah County

Sometimes it's a challenge to think of activities to do with a young toddler! Either they're barely walking or else they're running all over and it's difficult to find inexpensive distractions that are fun for both of you (especially because there are a lot of boring toddler activities that adults tire of very quickly). So here are some fun suggestions for Utah County locals and especially moms who just NEED to get out of the house (I know I do...). Not all of these are free, but if it's on here, it's been kid-tested and is probably worth a trip (at least once!), and ALL of them are within a 30-minute drive from Provo. 

1. Bean Museum
This museum of stuffed animals is fun for walking around with little children and teaching them about animals of all forms. They have everything from giraffes and elephants to deer, bears, birds of all varieties, butterflies, and more. They also have a small play area with a slide and cave for kids to play in. Live animal shows are performed on certain days and can be scheduled for private showings! The museum also has a cute gift shop with lots of little animal figurines and books. 

~Open Monday-Friday, 10am to 9pm & Saturday, 10am to 5pm

FREE for all, donations optional

2. Paleontology Museum
This fun little museum just off across from the BYU stadium has many models of dinosaur bones and skeletons. You could look at it all in 20 minutes or stay for an hour! 


FREE for all, donations optional 

3. BYU Botany (or Duck) Pond on 800 N
This little grassy park has an enclosed pond with ducks and turtles. It's fun for children to play near and watch or feed the ducks. It is also a good place for photos. 

4. Indoor Playground at University Mall
This play area at the north end of the mall has a little treehouse with a slide, a log tunnel, and fake dinosaur bones for kids to play around. It is a fun place to make a trip to or just stop at during your shopping trip. 

5. Indoor Playground at Provo Towne Center
Located on the lower level near Sears, this woodland play area has a slide and climbing features and is a good place to take a break from shopping.

6. Outdoor Splash Fountains at The Riverwoods
During warmer months, the Riverwoods turns on their play fountains for children to run through. You will definitely want to bring a swimsuit or change of clothes. You can stop at Blickenstaff's after for a sweet treat or to browse the toys, or get one of many varieties of caramel apples at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. 

7. Trafalga
Generally thought to be more for older children or young adults, Trafalga does have a few opportunities for young children. The indoor blacklight mini golf is fun to let toddlers play around while you and your husband (or whoever) play a quick round of mini golf (quick because you'll probably be chasing said toddler). The course is a fun obstacle course for a toddler and he or she will love chasing your ball or fetching it for you. They also sell Dippin' Dots and have a few games (like Ice Ball) that kids can participate in. If you win a few tickets, they can choose some small prizes. 

~Open Monday-Thursday 3pm to 9pm, Friday 3pm to 11pm, & Saturday 12pm to 11pm

Mini golf:
Free with Pass of All Passes
Free for under 3
$6 for 4+

8. Draper, UT IKEA
Fun to explore for adults and children who can play with the display toys and learn the names for things throughout the rest of the store. There is a kids area for potty-trained children when you enter the store, and a small TV area for kids both in the entryway and in the food court. Kids eat free on Tuesdays so that's a good day to check it out! 

~Open Monday-Saturday, 10am to 9pm

9. Pet Stores
Pet stores are like mini zoos for children and a fun little activity if you need something free and easy. There is a pet store on Center Street in Provo with a variety of lizards, rodents, fish, and birds. If you happen to be at or near Wal-Mart, bring your little one to the fish center to look for a little while. Easy peasy entertainment. 

10. Nielson's Grove Park
This park located a little ways behind Orem Wal-Mart has a pond with a variety of ducks and fish which you can catch with a fishing pole (as long as you toss them back). It's fun to feed the birds and there is a lot of room for kids to run and play. There are also swings and picnic tables. It's worth visiting at least once in the summer! 

11. Scera Pool in Orem
This place has a variety of pools including one which has a sloped surface (kind of like a beach) so children can walk in the pool and not go deeper than they're comfortable. There are also several fountains and places for children to splash and get splashed. 

~Open Monday-Saturday, 10am to one hour before dusk

Free for under 1 (swim diaper and liner required)
$1.50 for 1-3 (swim diaper and liner required)
$5 for 4-13
$6 for 14+

12. Thanksgiving Point Gardens
These gardens are fun to walk around and explore. There are waterfalls and fountains, lots of statues, a koi pond (where you can feed the zillions of koi for $0.25), a secret garden, a cave, and of course, lots of flowers. For the best flowers, try to go during peak season which is in April. It's also a great photo opportunity. 

~Open Monday-Saturday, 9am to 8pm

Free for 2 and under 
$12 for 3-12
$15 for 13+

13. Springville Splash Pad
This place has (of course) a splash pad, an interactive water path or "river" (2.5 inches deep), and various spray features for little kids to play in. 

~Open Monday-Saturday, 10am to dusk 

FREE for all!

14. The Museum of Natural Curiosity 
This museum has a little of everything from interactive science areas, to a water play area, a mini town for pretend play, a climbing area, and an outdoor water area (bring a swimsuit!). It also has an outdoor maze, jungle gym, cafeteria, and gift shop. It is a lot of fun and one could easily spend the day here! 

~Open Monday-Saturday, 10am to 8pm

Free for 2 and under
$12 for children 3-12
$15 for 13+

15. The Living Planet Aquarium
The aquarium has its share of marine animals, but it also has South American creatures, and even a section devoted to Utah animals. There are lots of little play areas to explore and a fun gift shop. 

~Open daily, 10am to 6pm

Free for 2 and under
$12.95 for 3-12 
$14.95 for 13-17 and college students with ID card
$17.95 for adults

What other activities are there in Utah County that you have found are toddler (and mom)-tested and approved?
Have you done any of these things? (Or will you go this summer?)

Hooray for spring and summer!

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