Northern Utah summer bucket list!

IMG_0975My name is Claire and I’m majoring in Biology Composite Teaching at Weber State. I also have two daughters, ages four and one. This summer I’m off from school after having gone the last three semesters in a row, so we’re planning on taking full advantage of it. In an effort to make the best of this summer, I (along with help from my four year old) have created a summer bucket list. These are the things we absolutely must do this summer in an around the Ogden area. This list is a work in progress, as we’ve thought of something new to add almost every day since starting it, but here’s what we have so far:

Paint with Nature Paintbrushes. Go outside and find different natural items to use as paintbrushes, then bring them home and paint! Simple as that!


Peanut at the Hogle Zoo for her first birthday.

Visit the Hogle Zoo. We have an amazing zoo in Utah and through September they have Lego animals. Do your inner child a favor and go check it out!

Feed Some Ducks. There are a variety of places to feed ducks near Ogden, as I’m sure you’re aware. Did you know though that you’re not supposed to feed them bread? Cracked corn is a much better option and it’s readily available at our many local farming stores.

Living Planet Aquarium. This place is amazing. They’re actually opening a new aquarium at the end of this year with the current aquarium closing in September. It’s great that they’re updating, but they’re also moving further away. Go visit now before they move while it’s close and then you can visit again later when they open the new aquarium!

Make S’mores. Come on, it’s summer. You. Must. Make. S’mores.

Ogden Nature Center. The Ogden Nature Center is truly a treasure. Weekly Wild Wednesdays, preschool programs, and more! Go out and explore!

Peanut at Baby Animal Days earlier this month.

Peanut at Baby Animal Days earlier this month.

Carter’s Cove Petting Farm. I got this idea straight from Indie Ogden. Baby animals! What can be better? Even if you don’t have kids, I bet this one is worth the trip up the canyon.

Run Through the Sprinklers. What is summer without some sprinkler fun? On my list this year is not only sprinklers, but whole family sprinklers! That means everyone, including mom and dad, have to go running through! It’s going to be a blast.

County Fair. The Weber County Fair (August 7th-10th) is obviously the closest, but there’s also the Davis County Fair (August 14th-17th), the Utah State Fair (September 5th-15th), and more! Go eat some deep fried Oreos and ride some dangerous looking rides! I’ll be the one trying to talk my kids off of the bouncy houses.

Explore 5 New Parks. Ogden has a wealth of amazing parks and I’m sad to say we’ve only scratched the surface ourselves. Mikaela graciously introduced us to Lions Club Park a couple of weeks ago, which has some awesome shade to hang out in while the kiddos play in case you’re wondering. So for us that’s one down and four to go!

Go to the Lake. I used to think of Utah as a big desert (which it is, so at least that part is fair!) without any water, but that’s definitely not the case! Pineview Reservoir is just up the canyon and popular with many of my friends, but there’s also swimming at Willard Bay (with or without a boat) and even saltwater swimming on Antelope Island! And there’s more places even beyond that!

Try to Catch Butterflies. More on finding your inner child. Monarch butterflies are arriving in Utah from May to July, so it’s prime time to go butterfly catching. So go find a wet meadow and catch yourself some beauties. Just made sure to stay gentle and let them go when you’re through.

Peanut and Twig loving the ducks at the Tracy Aviary.

Peanut and Twig loving the ducks at the Tracy Aviary.

Tracy Aviary. Yes, I know that many of these ideas are down in Salt Lake. Ogdenites seem to think that SLC is a day’s drive away, but really it’s a mere 45 minutes! And the aviary is the perfect place to go while visiting the big(ger) city. It’s in the middle of Liberty Park too, so you can take care of finding a new park (see above) while you’re at it. My favorite area is The Owl Forest. There’s one that reminds me of Hedwig!

Go Fishing. Personally the idea of catching my own dinner is fascinating to me and I think that my daughter is getting to the age where she might enjoy going too. There are many options for fishing near Ogden, including Ogden River itself! Just don’t forget to buy your fishing license first!

Lagoon. If you live in Utah and haven’t been to Lagoon yet, I’m surprised. This place is serious fun for all ages, even the very small. I counted and there are over a dozen different rides my one year old can go on! If the price is scaring you off, make sure to head into Costco to get discount tickets!

Check Out the Not-So-Hidden Swimming Hole. There’s a swimming hole off of Wheeler Creek Trail that just sounds grand. I told myself I would go last year after seeing a post about it, but I never did make it out. This year it’s on the bucket list so I won’t miss it!

Wheeler Farm. This is another Salt Lake trip, but of course it’s worth it! Wheeler Farm is a historic working farm. You can see the animals how they actually live (for free!), take a hayride (for a small fee), or even milk a cow (also for a small fee)! They even have a farmers market year ’round (though less frequently in the winter) on Sundays.

Pick-Your-Own Strawberries. There are a few different options for pick-your-own produce in Utah (or even the fruit highway if you’re not interested in the picking part), but my favorite is Day Farms in Layton. They have a variety of produce, including strawberries coming up soon. This year I plan on picking strawberries and having my four year old help me make jam!

Peanut flying a kite.

Peanut flying a kite.

Fly a Kite. We had a wonderful day last week flying kites at a friend’s birthday party out at Big Dee Sports Park last week, so this one is already crossed off on our list. It was a ton of fun though. You can pick a windy day or have your kiddo run to keep the kite up, which is great for getting some energy out. The kite we flew was bought from Tuesday Morning and it worked like a dream.

Farmers Market. In case you didn’t know, there’s an abundance of farmers markets in the summertime. My favorite has always been the one in Ogden. It’ll start up July 13th and continue through the end of September. I’m sure that we’ll make it out more than once (dare I say every week?). Let’s hope the weather is good enough to extend it again like last year!

Bowling. Family bowling! Of course there’s Fat Cats at The Junction. If price is an issue, Sparetime in Roy has a host of daily deals. Go have some fun!

Summer Movie Clubhouse. 10 family movies for $5? Count us in! Every Tuesday or Wednesday, you can go to Cinemark in the Newgate Mall and see a family movie. If you’re not interested in going every week (the movies are all old-ish, so you may have seen some of them already), you can go to any individual movie for $1 per person.

Family Bike Ride. For some this is a daily or weekly occurrence, but for me this is a little reminder to get my bike fixed! I’ve had a flat all winter and it’s time to get a new tube already! Then we’ll hook up the bike trailer and get going. Don’t forget your helmets!

All dressed up for the Mad Hatter Party at the Southwest Library.

All dressed up for the Mad Hatter Party at the Southwest Library.

Walk to the Library. Did you know the Weber County Library has Discovery Time (story time) every week at each branch? And it’s staggered throughout the week, so if you can’t make it to your own library’s time, you can go to another branch. We love ours at the Southwest Branch and try to make it every Wednesday. On good weeks, we even walk the mile to get there. I hope to do it more than once this summer.

Train to Thanksgiving Pointe. Now that Frontrunner has been extended down further South, I’m hoping to take the girls to Thanksgiving Point via mass transit. For small children, taking the train alone can make it the Best. Day. Ever. but going to the Museum of Ancient Life will make it that much more so. My daughter adored digging fossils when we went last year.

Go to an Outdoor Concert. My children love music and so do I, so it’s on our list to take them to their first real concert. My older daughter went to the Twilight Concert Series as a baby, but I don’t think it really counts if they can’t even sit up yet. There’s some great bands scheduled for this year, so I think I’ll be checking it out. There’s also the Ogden Music Festival this upcoming weekend and I’m sure there will be many more opportunities for live music in Ogden later on this year.

Splash Pad. Maybe it’s because I’ve lost the enjoyment in being splashed in the face with water repetitively, but I’m not quite sure why kids love splash pads so much. Regardless, we shall be visiting the Riverdale Splash Pad this summer.

Stargaze. It’s easy to get frustrated when your kids won’t sleep, but rather than moping about my lack of me-time, I’m going to take them outside to look at the stars. Use the opportunity to teach your sleepy child some lessons from this handy guide.

Getting ready to watch a parade last year.

Getting ready to watch a parade last year.

Parade. There are a variety of parades in the summertime near Ogden, but my favorite is the Ogden Pioneer Days parade on July 24th. Arrive early and set up a chair. They’re worth going if just to watch your child’s amazement as candy is thrown at them from cars.

Botanical Gardens. Especially right about now when it’s not quite summer, it’s the perfect time to visit a botanical garden. Red Butte is up in Salt Lake at the University of Utah. You could visit the gardens while you’re at Thanksgiving Point (see above). The Ogden Botanical Gardens are where I plan on going this year. I haven’t ever been, so I’m quite excited.

Watch the Sun Rise. Along the same lines of stargazing, when my kids wake me up too early one morning I’m going to take them out to watch the sun rise. We did this last year and it actually ended up being a lot of fun. Set up a chair, grab a blanket, and wait. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get them to fall back asleep.

IMG_0290Treehouse Museum. This place is a kid’s dream. We have a membership that we need to utilize more often, so I plan on going more than once this summer.

Swimming. Yet another one of those must do’s for summer. Our favorite is the Roy Aquatic Center because it’s so close to our house and it’s just a fun pool. Find the pool closest to you and go swim!

Find a Waterfall. Living near the mountains, waterfalls aren’t exactly uncommon. Nevertheless, they’re awe inspiring. I’ve already found a couple just on our hikes, but I want to find a big amazing one. Please leave a comment with where to find your favorite Utah waterfall!

SLC Breastfeeding Cafe. Last, but not least, I plan on volunteering at the Salt Lake Breastfeeding Cafe in August. I’m running the blog carnival again and hope to bring a mini cafe (along with a location of the Big Latch-On breastfeeding world record) to Ogden this year for one glorious day, but I also hope to volunteer down at the Downtown Library too. If you have nursed your babies or are currently nursing, please consider volunteering too!

Well I hope that my summer bucket list has helped you come up with some ideas for your own. Leave a comment if you think there’s anything I need to add! I hope you all have fun getting out and exploring Ogden and the surrounding area this summer!

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Claire is a wife and mom and future biology teacher. She writes as her alter-ego superhero Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl about breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, gentle discipline, and other natural parenting topics. In her {little} free time she likes to knit, read, and watch tv.

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