If you are in need of a fun, warm, potentially inexpensive getaway might I suggest Southern Utah?? We had a great time with our family and everyone got along. Yeah!
Let me fill you in on where to go, and how to save and have a ton of fun.
- Dinosaur Museum at Johnson Farms. About 8 years ago Farmer Johnson was excavating his land, and a large sandstone fell out of his digger. When he got out to look at it, there were dinosaur fossils in the stone. They’ve now built a museum around the site and you can see, up close and personal, their findings. It’s small and good for kids who have short attention spans. The cost is $6 adults, $4 kids 4-11 and kids under 4 are free. For more info go to www.utah.com/stgeorge/johnson_farm.htm. Groups of 10 or more get an admission discount.
- Silver Reef Ghost town in Leeds, Utah. This is about 15 miles north of St. George and is awesome. You can see some ruins of the old silver mine, circa 1866. There is a great museum there, with wonderful guides. The museum is open all day from 10-5, except Wednesdays. It’s free to visit, although donations are welcome. You can drive to the old cemeteries and to an overlook of the actual mine. Well worth it and one of our favorites. There is another ghost town nearby too called Grafton. We didn’t visit this one on this trip, but it may be worth a look. For information on both these locations visit www.ghosttowns.com.
- Brigham Young’s Winter home and Historic downtown. There is a visitor’s center in the middle of town. The ladies there are great to give maps and tips to making the most of your visit. There’s a splash pad, art museum, shops, DUP museum, several Mormon leader’s old homes (many of which you can tour for free). Visit www.go-utah.com for more info about local tours.
- Snow Canyon State Park. This is one of four state parks around the area. This one is my favorite. Snow Canyon has several easy, short hikes to incredible sandstone cliffs and red dirt for miles. The kids can bring their sand toys and dig for the whole day. Restrooms and water are plentiful and there’s an amazing over look point you can’t miss. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. $6 per car, $3 for seniors. If you have a library card, you can check out a weekly State Park pass and visit for free. You won’t be disappointed. Our favorite pastime.
- Splash Pads a plenty. In Ivins, UT and Washington City, UT, both of which are close to St. George there are several splash pads. Visit www.stgeorgeforkids.com for more specifics. There are also a few local pools, which charge admission, but if you aren’t staying in a place that has a pool it may be worth a look.
- St. George Temple and Tabernacle. Two different places and locations. There’s a nice visitors center at the temple and free tours. During June/July there is a great art exhibit too. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday. Open daily and free.
- Eating and Shopping. We did hit the Zion Outlet mall. It was kind of a dump. There wasn’t a lot of shopping that was unique, but it did have a Children’s Place and a Gymboree. There’s the Red Cliffs Mall, but I wouldn’t waste your time there, unless you have teens with time to burn.
We did love the Gringo Grill (open M-F from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) It has the world’s best carne asada ever! Rochelle and Carson Hunt own this little place and it’s worth the visit. Great food and not expensive.
We also enjoyed the Pizza Factory and their huge bread twists.
We went swimming and played with our cousins too. We were sad to leave, but so glad we came. Now back to reality….