1. Red Butte Garden
Take a bird-watching tour, do Yoga In The Garden, wander through the gardens, or take a cooking class. The garden hosts Family Night on Monday and free outdoor movie nights throughout the summer. 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City.
2. Temple Square
Completed in 1893, the Salt Lake City LDS Temple is literally the centerpiece of the city; the downtown streets are centered around Temple Square. While visitors can’t go inside the temple, they can enjoy the beautiful grounds, hear a concert at Tabernacle and stop in at the visitor center. 50 N Temple, Salt Lake City.
3. Utah's Hogle Zoo
Give yourself an entire day to explore all 42 acres of Hogle Zoo. You’ll meet more than 800 animals there, including the three baby lion cubs, born in February. In addition to many recently renovated animal enclosures, you can stop and play at the new Creekside Play Area. 2600 Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City.
4. Gilgal Sculpture Garden
This strange and quirky garden is full of sculptures created by Thomas Battersby Child, Jr., a masonry contractor who built it in his spare time over the course of many years. Check out the sphinx featuring Joseph Smith’s head...you can’t say you’ve ever seen anything like that! Entry into the garden is free; summertime hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. 749 E 500 S, Salt Lake City.
5. Discovery Gateway Children's Museum
There are so many hands-on exhibits and play spaces here, that you can spend the entire day! Play with huge foam blocks, race pinewood derby cars, play in the kids’ sized grocery store, house, construction zone and more. 444 W. 100 S.
6. Natural History Museum Of Utah
There’s so much to see at this museum that you’ll want to clear your schedule for the day. In addition to special exhibitions, the museum houses 10 permanent exhibitions that include displays and exhibits for everything from Utah’s native people to the science of DNA. 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City.
7. Clark Planetarium
Check out the interactive displays, then settle in for a star show, IMAX show or cosmic light show. 110 400 W, Salt Lake City.
8. Salt Lake City Library Main Branch
The Main Branch of the Salt Lake City Library System is truly a wonder. In addition to the typical books, periodicals and media you’ll find at any library, this one also houses a coffee shop, cafe and shops. The 300-seat auditorium hosts film screenings, lectures and other events. 210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City
9. Ensign Peak
One of the best things about Salt Lake City is its proximity to the Wasatch Mountains - they’re literally in our backyard! Take a hike up to Ensign Peak for a fabulous view of the Salt Lake Valley. It’s just one mile roundtrip.
10. City Creek Center
City Creek Center is a mecca for shopping in Salt Lake City. It houses over 100 restaurants and shops, and features fountains, “creeks” and plenty of benches for people-watching. 50 Main St, Salt Lake City.
11. Liberty Park
Liberty Park covers 80 acres and includes a large pond, two playgrounds, rides, fountains, splash pads and areas. Tons of large trees provide plenty of shade on hot days. Visit Tracy Aviary while you’re there. 600 E 900 South, Salt Lake City.
12. Abravanel Hall
The Utah Symphony plays at Abravanel Hall during its regular season, which begins in September. The hall is not only beautiful, but is also features a design that creates acoustics perfect for listening. The 30-foot-tall glass sculpture in the lobby was created by artist Dale Chihuly and is called “Olympic Tower.” It’s stunning - especially at night. 123 W. South Temple.