For many parents, the idea of having the kids home all summer can be daunting. How can you beat the heat without letting the kids become couch potatoes? Good news! We’ve got you covered with a local activity for every week of the summer.
1. Stansbury Lake
Bring a picnic lunch and an extra loaf of bread to feed the ducks. Enjoy the shade and wildlife. The lake offers several public access points including a boat ramp park for swimming and launching non-motorized watercraft.
To Get There: Take SR 36 North from Tooele to Stansbury Parkway. Turn left and make an immediate left onto Clubhouse Drive. Follow signs to the boat ramp.
2. Benson Grist Mill
Soak up some local history with a guided tour of Benson Grist Mill. The Mill offers several interesting demonstrations throughout June such as looms, saw mills, and wagon wheels. The mill also offers several picturesque backdrops for family photos.
How to Get There: Take SR 36 North from Tooele to SR 138. The Mill is on the right.
More information: http://www.bensonmill.org
3. Settlement Canyon
Enjoy short easy hiking in the shade—perfect for little legs—right from the gate of Settlement Canyon. Park and walk through or, for a small fee, drive into the canyon. In additional to lots of shade and picnic areas, Settlement Canyon also offers a shallow creek perfect for testing those homemade model boats.
How to Get There: Take Main Street in Tooele south to Settlement Canyon Road.
4. Settlement Canyon Reservoir
Amateur anglers in the family? The Settlement Canyon Reservoir offers fishing from the dam and the banks of the reservoir. The local consensus is that dusk is the best time to go. Bring some snacks for the fish and the kids. Remember, little ones should always wear a life jacket when playing near water. Swimming in the reservoir is prohibited for safety reasons.
Cost: Free (with fishing license)
How to Get There: Take Main street in Tooele south to Settlement Canyon Road.
5. Tooele Library
The local library has announced a full roster of family-friendly activities sure to capture your children’s imaginations. Grab a book and then walk about one and a half blocks to the Tooele City Park and catch up on your own reading while the kids enjoy the playground.
Star Gazing Party: June 18 at 9:00 pm in the library parking lot.
Wednesdays at 11:00 am: Kids Story Time
Fridays 3:30-5:30 pm: Kids Crafts
How to Get There: Take Main in Tooele to Vine: 128 West Vine Street, Tooele
More Information: http://www.tooelecity.org/tcl/library.html
6. Deseret Peak Complex
With so much to do, you can easily spend an entire day here. Begin at the Pitch n’ Putt Golf Course while the sun is low and enjoy some friendly competition then move on to one of three playgrounds in the complex. Daredevils favor the playground with a view of the motocross park. Moms will enjoy the shaded pavilion and nearby restrooms. Bring your picnic lunch to the Aquatic center and dive into the state’s largest swimming pool. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunblock!
Cost: Around $4
How to Get There: From Tooele’s Main Street turn West on 200 North. 200 North will become SR112. After Sheep Lane, turn right into the complex.
7. Middle Canyon Overlook
If you’re not afraid of heights (or depths), you’ll enjoy the view from the top of Middle Canyon. Once you reach the top you can take in the breathtaking site of one of only two man-made objects visible from space: the Kennecott Copper Mine. Enjoy great views from both sides of the county line. On the way to the top there are plenty of places to stop for a picnic or a short hike. You won’t need four-wheel drive in the summer, but plan to enlist the kids for a family car wash when you return. The road is only paved half the way.
How to Get There: Take Vine Street east from Main Street in Tooele.
8. Grantsville Reservoir
If you own a dog, a fishing pole, a canoe, or even a swimsuit you’ll enjoy the 88 acre Grantsville Reservoir. Slather on the sunblock because while there is plenty of water, there is very little shade. Parents and kids can walk around the entire 1.6 mile rim of the man-made reservoir, but should wear sturdy shoes for walking on the uneven ground. The amenities are rustic but if the noise and crowds of a water park make you hyperventilate, you’ll find this place a breath of fresh air. As always, make sure children wear life jackets at all times.
How to Get There: From Grantsville Main Street heading west, take the left road just before Main Street bends north. Follow this for 2 miles and turn right at the sign for the reservoir and North Willow Canyon.
9. Dinner in the Park
Many local parks offer barbecue and picnic facilities as well as playgrounds. Rancho Park and the Dow James Recreation Complex (Tooele) and Grantsville City Park (Grantsville) all feature skateboard parks perfect for tweens and teens. Instead of another meal at home, take dinner on the road. Barbecue while the kids play in the cooler evening weather. At England Acres Park the entire family can enjoy a post-dinner stroll on the walking path that surrounds the entire park.
Download a map and amenities guide to Tooele City Parks: http://www.tooelecity.org/pdfs/parks/ParkListings_withAmenities.pdf
10. Family Movie Night
Tooele is lucky enough to be home to one of the state’s very few operating drive-in movie theaters. And even better, family features are in heavy rotation. Show times begin at dusk so load the kids into the car in their pajamas, stock plenty of healthy snacks, pile up the blankets and pillows, and enjoy a double feature.
Cost: $6 each
How to Get There: Take Main Street North out of town until you reach Erda Way.
More Information: (435) 882-9979
11. Take in the Fair
Still going strong after over 60 years, the Tooele County Fair is a tradition that is not to be missed. Pre-fair events begin July 27 with the fair officially running August 2-4. Enjoy the petting zoo, live entertainment, carnival rides, Children’s Art Yard, the animal show. and more. Your kids will not only love seeing and touching real farm animals, but also meeting the kids that raised them.
Cost: Free Entry
How to Get There: From Tooele’s Main Street turn west on 200 North. 200 North will become SR112. After Sheep Lane, turn right into the complex.
More Information: http://www.tooelefair.com
12. Back Yard Fun
You don’t have to leave home to have a blast. Here are three unplugged ideas you can do at home.
1. Collect your empty cardboard boxes all summer and enjoy an epic live action Angry Birds’ battle. You’ll get plenty of photo worthy moments as your kids work up a sweat playing the live version of their favorite game with boxes, stuffed animals, and inflatable rubber balls.
2. Kids love playing in water and they love earning money. Help your tween do both with a “public” car wash in your driveway. Invite the grandparents and family friends to have their car made new again.
3. Pick a clear night, grab a big blanket, and go stargazing. Most Tooele neighborhoods enjoy very little light pollution, making it a great place to search the stars. If you really want to wow your kids with your knowledge of the stars, there are lots of apps available for your smartphone that allow you to identify constellations and stars by just aiming your phone at them. If your stargazer seems captivated, you can take things to the next level by attending one of the Stansbury Observatory’s Public Star Parties: http://slas.us/calendar.asp?list=Yes&Year=2012&StarParty=1