Since we flew in and out of Salt Lake City for our summer Wyoming/Yellowstone adventure, we decided to take a few hours the day we were returning home to check out the city itself. Salt Lake City is both the capital of Utah and the most populated city in the state. Founded by Bringham-Young, the city is know for it’s Morman heritage, and today continues to be the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. One of the most famous landmarks is the Salt Lake Temple on Temple Square. It was designed by Brigham-Young and took 40 years to build.
We arrived in the city center in the late afternoon and parked in a garage close to the famous Salt Lake Temple. Walking out from the underground garage, we were enveloped in oppressive heat. Yellowstone had been warm, but not like this. It was easily 100 degrees. We dashed for the nearest air conditioned location, the temple visitor center.
Temple Square North Visitor Center is both a comprehensive museum telling you not only the history of the Mormon people and the building of the great temple, but also an educational center, teaching visitors about Morman beliefs and views on the world. The Mormon religion focuses heavily on family, and they had a nice children’s section with videos of kids answering questions such as “Who is God?”, “Who is Jesus?”, and “What happens when you die?”. My favorite part was a scale model of the temple. Only Mormon are allowed in the temple, so the model showed how the temple was laid out on the inside. Well worth a stop if you are in the area.
Afterward we went to see the grounds of “the princess castle”. (What my kids insisted on calling it.) The grounds are beautiful with walking paths, fountains, and statues of famous figures on the Mormon history. It was also an excellent place for the kids to get some of their wiggles out, as they ran up and down, climbed things, and played with the water in the fountains. If it hadn’t been so hot and there was more shade, we would have stayed longer. But as the heat started to hit me and my husband (the kids were fine, they could have lasted hours more), we decided to take refuge indoors.
Across the street was a modern, air conditioned urban mall, City Creek Center. We found the food court and ordered an early dinner. In the food court we found a great indoor play area. The kids ate their dinner in a great hurry (I’ve never seen them eat so fast) and ran over to enjoy the Dino themed mecca they found. Our kids spent a good hour running around like Tasmanian Devils, jumping from one structure to the other so fast I couldn’t keep up with them.
Toward the end we saw a sudden decline in energy, and even an “let pretend we’re asleep” game. We saw our out. I managed to pull the whiny, but tired kids out of the area, and we headed to our car. The drive to the airport was only 10 minutes, but my two exhausted minions couldn’t stay up for that long. They were out like lights before we hit the street. While that made for a peaceful ride to the airport, it also meant that cat nap was all they needed to be up the whole flight home…
Temple Square North Visitor Center: Open daily from 9 AM – 9 PM. Free admission.
City Creek Center: Generally open 10 AM – 9 PM Monday – Saturday. Check the website for list of shops and restaurants. The children’s indoor play area is located by the food court, at the back, around the corner away from the actual food stands. However, there are tables and a stroller parking area just outside the play area.
Note: In an ironic twist, I ended up finalizing and putting together this post a little over a month after it happened in…Salt Lake City, thanks to my unexpected overnight stay courtesy of Delta. At least I got some inspiration from it. 🙂
* Starred Photos taken by Atma Photography