Friday, March 11, 2011

little vacation, big adventure

Last fall, when all five of our kids had the same fall break from school we wanted to spend the time doing something really fun. But with only a couple of days and a limited vacation fund to work with we had to get creative.  Inspiration came through a friend who told us about their great trip to to San Fransisco last summer and how a city pass they found made their trip even better.  We couldn't squeeze in a trip to California but maybe a city a little closer to home had a city pass.  One Google search later and there it was, the Salt Lake City Connect Pass.  We found that, through one option, for $36 per person or $30 for kids we could enjoy our choice of 13 different attractions in two days.  That sounds like quite a race, but that is what made our little vacation such a big adventure.

Day 1
9:00 a.m    
Friday Morning began early at the Hogle Zoo just as it was opening.  We headed straight to the giraffe house to catch them in time for breakfast and then worked our way back, to see all the animals as they were coming out for the morning.  We made a stop at the bat house and playground, and then headed out the front gate just as long lines were starting to form.

10:30 a.m.
 The next stop was This is the Place Heritage Park just across the street from the zoo.  After panning for gold and trading it in at the bank, attending school, and checking out some of the other sites we were off again.

12:00 a.m.
The Lion House Pantry is in the heart of downtown and is a definite do not miss on the connect pass.    The menu is different every day, and we loved the chicken, salmon and desserts.

1:00 p.m.
A fun surprise for the day was the Museum of Natural History and was especially loved by our older kids.  Unfortunatley the doors are now closed on the old museum as they are moving to a new building.  It will be open again in later 2011.


The children's museum, Discovery Gateway, was a great way to spend the afternoon.  There are attractions and activities for kids of all ages, but our favorites were the food market, stage(complete with curtains and costumes), the news station TV set, and the life flight helicopter on the roof.   The Gateway offers great restaurants,  shopping and the fabulous fountains for the kids.

6:00 p.m.
Our day ended on a good note at the Clark Planetarium.  The lobby alone is highly entertaining with three story maze full of balls, marble, lights, bells and whistles.  We checked out the moonscape, and caught a night time show and then called it a day.

Day 2
9:00 a.m.
Saturday started with a trip up the canyon to the Utah Olympic Park.  We watched a few ski jumpers in action before we were treated to a tour.  The kids sat at the top of the ski jumps and bobsled run and were amazed to learn what goes into the winter sports that they usually only see on a TV screen.  The museum offered a close up look at props and memorabilia from the ceremonies and interactive winter sports exhibits.

1:00 p.m.
The trip down the canyon included a picnic lunch at the park before we drove to the Snowbird Ski Resort.  Yes, it is also an amazing place to go in the spring, summer and fall.  The connect pass includes a tram ride for striking mountain views.  If time allows, look into the hiking trails down the mountain.  The resort would also be a great place to spend the night especially if there are off season deals.

3:00 p.m.
After the awesome views from above it was time to check out life under the sea at the Living Planet Aquarium.   Both the small and the tall loved petting the sting rays and laughing at the penguins before the adventure continued on.

6:00 p.m.
The evening started with swinging past our favorite burger stop for dinner as we headed to our last destination, Thanksgiving Point.  The connect pass includes admissions to both the Gardens and the Museum of Ancient Life.  As the sun set, the kids raced and played in the never ending fun of the Children's Garden and the last hour of the day was spent in total happiness at the sand and water table in the museum.

We only made it to ten of the thirteen attractions offered through the connect pass.  We would also love to see the Tracey Aviary, Red Butte Gardens, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.  Lucky for us, spring break is coming, so we will see you there.

For a little vacation and big adventure check out the city pass for a city near you.


  1. Sounds like you had a wild and wonderful family time together. Thanks for the great idea about using this pass for a Utah "stay-cation."

  2. nice idea, thanks for sharing...


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