Day 1 You'll See:
- Thanksgiving Point
- Ashton Gardens
- Museum of Natural Curiosity
- Farm Country
- Museum of Ancient Life
Day 2 You'll See:
Day 3 You'll See:
Enjoy this epic 3-day educational getaway in Salt Lake City, this tour including the most interesting, educational, and insightful local attractions and landmarks!
Technically located in Lehi, Utah, just 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City, Thanksgiving Point offers valuable learning experiences that allow guests to roam with the dinosaurs, explore a working farm, stroll a 55-acre botanical garden, and climb high within a ropes course. There are several different attractions within this family fun entertainment park, including the following:
- Museum of Natural Curiosity - Over 400 interactive experiences for curious minds.
- Farm Country -The spot to go to meet your favorite farm critters.
- Butterfly Biosphere - A new immersive butterfly experience and insectarium.
- Museum of Ancient Life - Explore dinosaurs, ancient forests, and prehistoric oceans.
- Ashton Gardens - 55 acres of stately gardens featuring labeled flora.
Gilgal Sculpture Garden
This whimsical sculpture garden was envisioned, designed, and created by Thomas Battersby Child, Jr., from 1945 to 1963. The garden contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 engraved stones with various scriptures, poems, and literary texts. Child created these sculptures in hopes that visitors would think about the 'unsolved mysteries of life,' the sculptures and stones creating 'a landscape of meaning and a unique work of art.' Some of the stones you will see inside weighed up to 62 tons, Child finding the perfect rocks from various mountainsides and streambeds. He used an oxyacetylene torch to give the sculptures that polished sheen you see throughout. Take a self-guided tour of the park and see popular sculptures such as The Altar, Birdhouse, The Spinx, Elijah's Cave, and more.
The Beehive House was first built in 1854, sitting just 1 block east of Temple Square. This home served as the offices for the church, as well as Young's home for quite some time. Brigham Young served his tenure as Mormon head and Utah Territory Governor while he lived here, conducting several important meetings within the home during his time. After Young, 2 more Latter-Day Saints presidents lived here as well, including Lorenzo Snow from 1898 to 1901 and Joseph F. Smith from 1901 to 1918. Learn all about the lives of these men and much more during a free tour of the home, usually lasting about 30 minutes total. During the tour, you will learn details of Brigham Young's role as a prophet and community leader, as well as the private life of his family. You will also see his office, his carpentry tools, the place where Joseph Smith got his famous vision, architectural details such as the ornate woodwork and beehive structure, and much more!
The planetarium is the go-to destination for any aged visitor with an interest in discovering and learning. There are several educational outreach programs and hands-on exhibits offered here, as well as the two onsite IMAX and dome theaters that present educational films and laser light shows. Ther are 3 full floors of free, hands-on exhibits, broken up into 3 main categories; Earth, Near Earth, and Beyond. Experience things like a giant tornado and a human earthquake within the Earth section, then explore space weather and solar flares within Near Earth. In Beyond you will explore planetary processes and star sizes, plus so much more! Be sure to check if there are any shows happening during your visit, which there likely will be, within the Hansen Dome or Northrop Grumman Theater, with examples such as Extreme Weather 3D, Perfect Little Planet, and Secrets of the Universe 3D.
Start at the North Visitors Center and see the Thorvaldsen's Christus, an 11-foot statue of Jesus standing high on a pedestal and stretching his arms to the people below. Grab a map or even a tour guide and tour the campus to see the many educational attractions available. Learn about the history and doctrine of the Mormon Church at the Church History Museum where you can see an authentic 1847 log home, an original 1830 Book of Mormon, and even see an immigrant's ship bunk. From there visit the Joseph Smith Memorial Building which now houses the Legacy Theatre and several cafes for a lovely lunch outing, or tour some more history with the Beehive House where Brigham Young lived when he was President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, built between 1853-1855. Temple Square is home to so much more and the Church welcomes you and your student group to tour the grounds to discover their history, culture, and faith.
Utah Olympic Park
The Utah Olympic Park is the winter sports park built for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The park sits 28 miles east of Salt Lake City, near Park City, hosting bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, ski jumping, and Nordic combined events. It was built from 1991 to 1997. Today visiting groups can enjoy ski jumps, bobsled rides, ziplines, and an onsite museum. Known as having the 'fastest ice on earth', Utah Olympic Park is certainly an exciting place to visit! Take a 1-hour group tour while here, this tour the best way to explore the venue and learn about the American stories of Olympic achievement. The tour includes a ride on the shuttle bus to the top of the world's highest Nordic Ski Jumps and one of the fastest sliding tracks in the world. The tour is meant to inform, explain and entertain guests, working to bring the Olympic Games to life.
Big Cottonwood Canyon
This stunning natural area provides 'epic backcountry ski access, hiking and mountain biking trails, and picnic areas straight out of an outdoor magazine'. There are 2 highly popular ski resorts within the canyon area, Brighton and Solitude. Your group can do several different things while here. You can take a scenic drive through the ancient canyon, eroded by both glaciers and streams over time, the drive lasting an hour for a round trip. You can also hit the trails to stretch your legs, rent mountain bikes, or enjoy a scenic picnic. You will see remnants of Old West miners settlements throughout the canyon area, a tangible history lesson just waiting to be explored!
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Welcome to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah, home to over 2,400 marine-life animals and seemingly endless educational opportunities! This educational institution first opened in 2014 and has since welcomed over 3.6 million guests. Loveland is AZA-accredited (there is 238 total in the United States) and is excellent for all age levels, interests, and groups interested in learning. The mission of this aquarium is to 'inspire people to Experience, Discover, and Learn about Earth's diverse ecosystems'. There are also several 'Encounters' you can take, including the Shark, Penguin, and Stingray encounters. Field Trip specific groups will have custom options for Ecoventure Classes, with specialized options for pre-K through 12th grade. The subjects covered range from the most basic Animal Shapes and Colors to the most advanced Bird Adaptations Lab. There are additional educational options for camps and scout workshops as well.
Historic Trolley Square
We suggest you start your visit to the Trolley Square History Museum, the spot where you can get all the details of the history of the Salt Lake Rail company and experience the workshop where blacksmiths and carpenters prepared trolley cars daily. You will learn all about how the first tracks were laid here in Salt Lake City in 1872, and how the railroad industry affected the city and its economy. After you've learned all you can at the history museum do some shopping and dining, some popular shops being Pottery Barn, The Machine Age, Well Book Works, and much more. Next grab a bite to eat at any of the several onsite eateries such as Rodizio Grill, Old Spaghetti Factory, or Normal Ice Cream. Be sure to try and save time for a Tower Tour, a 30-minute educational exploration of the 1908 Trolley Square Tower, the historic spot with the best views of downtown Salt Lake City, by far. This tower once held 50,000 gallons of water, but today it holds over 6,000 dazzling lights sparking up its spot on the city skyline!