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Park City’s luxury hotels and high-profile restaurants and nightclubs get the most press, but those grown-up amenities aren’t all the friendly mountain town has to offer. If you’re traveling with kids in tow, try one or, if you’re ambitious, all of these five kid-approved activities:
1. Tubing at Soldier Hollow. This cross-country ski resort is home to the longest tubing lanes in Utah. Located within Wasatch Mountain State Park and close to Park City, Soldier Hollow has 1,200-foot sliding lanes with lift service — so you get the fun of tubing without all the work. There’s a special area for kids ages 3 and under, too.
2. Take a ride on the Heber Valley Railroad. Climb aboard Utah’s 100-year-old passenger railroad for a quiet trip down a steep wooded canyon. The track runs the original Denver and Rio Grande Western rail line. Throughout the year, the historic railway offers special kid-centric events like North Pole Express and Day Out with Thomas.
3. Go jump in the pool. The South Summit Aquatic and Fitness Center in Kamas is pool nirvana for kids. Only a 20-minute drive from Park City, the public facility features waterslides, a kids’ play structure and a lazy river, plus a lap pool and hot tub for Mom and Dad. Day use fees are inexpensive.
4. Slide down a mountain. Park City Mountain Resort has tons of on-mountain activities geared towards families with kids. In the winter, try tubing at Gorgoza or riding down the Alpine Coaster — a roller coaster that zips through mountain scenery. In the summer, the resort has one of the world’s longest alpine slides, along with zip lines and a climbing wall.
5. Stop by City Park. This downtown park is a great place for little ones to burn some energy. The park has a playground, softball diamond, volleyball, tennis and basketball courts and lots of open space. There is also a state-of-the-art skatepark where kids can try some tricks or watch more seasoned riders do their thing.
It depends on the season, but here are some that my family really love, especially in summer.
Ice Skating – Two rinks are located at the base of Park City Mountain Resort and Park City Ice Arena.
Snow Tubing – Gorgoza Park offers snow tubing for families and mini-snowmobiles for kids ages 5-12, weight limit 110lbs.
Alpine Coaster/Alpine Slide/Flying Eagle Zip Line. Zip lines are located at Canyons Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and Utah Olympic Park. Alpine slides are located at Park City Mountain Resort and Utah Olympic Park. The Alpine Coaster is Utah's only one, and is a vehicle on a coaster track, really fun, and is located at Park City Mountain Resort only. It is open in winter and summer only.
In addition to zip lines, alpine slides, and the Alpine Coaster, Park City Mountain Resort also offers miniature golf, and a Legacy Launcher where kids are strapped in a bungee harness to bounce and flip on trampolines. There's also a climbing wall, and merry-go-round.
Scenic Chairlift Rides are available at three mountain resorts — Deer Valley Resort, Canyons Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, and Utah Olympic Park.
Color Me Mine is a paint your own pottery studio located in Kimball Junction — 11 miles north of Park City — and is great for families or just the kids. The studio offers “Kids Night Out” where parents drop their kids off for painting, games, a movie and pizza while the parents can have a night out on their own.
At Monkey Mountain, parents can drop their children off for hourly childcare, or come and play together in the safety and comfort of the giant supervised Playlandm, which has 4,000 square feet of interactive play features, a toddler soft-play Zone and a massive 4-tier tree house play structure. There's also a contemporary parent’s lounge with free Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TVs and a magnificent view of the great outdoors.