Summer is winding to a close, but after being sick for two months of the summer, I was feeling bad my kids didn't get to do anything fun, so we packed up and went to Utah! Yes you might be thinking, "Why Utah?" Well believe it or not there are many fun things to do in Utah. You just have to know where to look. What to do in Utah is really based on how much time and resources you have to spend. But we're a small family on a tight budget, so we kept it simple with a trip to one of my favorite places, Hogle Zoo!
Looking for Things to do in Utah? Take in the zoo!
Ever since moving West, we have made an effort to visit the Hogle zoo at least once a year. One of my sisters usually buys a membership where she has free admittance for her family as well as a certain number of "friends" with her membership. They also get free carousel and train rides.
So we always take my sister up on the offer to take us all to the zoo when we visit. It's a great way to spend some fun family time together and the kids always have a blast! But I should warn you, are you ready to see
some an exuberance of pictures? It really was amazing this year, plus we saw new additions to the zoo and more!
We always have to make a stop at the monkey house. It has always been a tremendous favorite of all the kids.
Jade was very fascinated by the monkeys. Actually she loved all the animals as she was too young to really enjoy our visit last year.
I really enjoyed the Elephants as most zoos I have visited never had them.
Really, how could you not love the elephants?
Near the elephants is this large structure. It is a major kid attraction! It makes sleeping noises, elephant noises and it even sneezes and sprays water out through it's trunk. Plus it's a great place to get pictures!
We got to visit the Rino habitat, and even look through windows that are at ground level, so we can get right up close and personal with them, without the animals even knowing we are there. Although it does look like he's looking right at me. A little freaky right?
Surprise! More monkeys! Yes, they have monkeys in more than one location. Ok, so yes, they aren't all monkeys, some are different breeds, but when it comes to simplicity of explaining to my kids, we'll go with monkeys for now until they understand a little more about different breeds.
Experience the newest Utah attractions at the Utah Hogle Zoo; Rocky Shores!
One of the highlights to this trip was being able to go into the newest attraction, Rocky Shores!
Last year this was still under construction, so this is the first year it's been open! And I loved every bit of it!
We got to see unique birds for the regions. It was amazing to be this close to a bald eagle! Did you know they are no longer on the endangered species list?
I even got to put my kids into a nest! Haha! By the end of the day my kids were thinking "Oh mom! Not again!" But it really was fun! They were good sports for mommy.
Definitely one of the highlights of Rocky Shores was the new Polar Bear! I've never seen one before and neither had my kids. And let me tell you this guy was really playing it up for the audience! Just watch our video!
This guy went on and on for the entire time we were there and was still going when we left! He was so much fun to watch! Jade really loved the sea lions from the video but they only were out for that short time I was able to catch them on video and then they went inside again. We really lucked out to see them.
Now if you've been to Yellowstone or Yellowstone Bear World, this may not be as cool to you. But for all my city dwelling readers, this one is for you! A TRUE Grizzly Bear! They had three of them in the park. They may look cute and small, but don't let that fool you, these things can run amazingly fast and are quite vicious if you get them at the wrong time. We always have bear safety discussions with my kids before we go camping, because yes, these animals quite often roam free and wild where I'm from.
Don't worry, there are plenty more animals in the new Rocky Shore expansion. But If I were to add them all, then what would be the fun in going to visit? Beside, I don't know if one post could handle that many photos.
Encounter a rare adventure with the Live Bird Show in Utah!
My Sister says she visits the Bird show every year, and this year we were actually at the zoo at the right time that we got to see it too! I must say, this was definitely a highlight for me! You sit in an outdoor theater setting. And then they bring out some truly amazing birds. And yes, quite often the birds are flying over your head. In fact my head was grazed by a few of these stunning creatures!
We got to see quite a few exotic birds, and they definitely put on quite a show!
And their colors were truly outstanding! I see why they teach the birds to say "pretty bird" because they truly are pretty. But I have to say we did learn that they don't make great pets! They may be fun, and quite funny at times as you will see in the video below, but they can definitely be loud! Just watch and you'll see what I mean!
We saw all kinds of amazing birds, and we were fully entertained the entire 30 minutes of the program.
The kids called this one the Harry Potter owl! Uhm..yes, I can see it! It was huge! I'm not kidding. It is the largest breed of owls in the world. And we got to see one live! This was J.'s favorite bird.
Did I mention that they had the birds flying right over our heads? Yeah, it was awesome! Eagles, Hawks, Vultures (a little scary haha), Owls and more!
I wish I could have gotten more of the flying bird shots, but they just went so fast, it was hard to capture them without blurred pictures.
We didn't just see amazing birds, but we got to learn about them too! This barn owl has perfect hearing and can find a mouse in a stack of hay just because the mouse is chewing! No joke, we got to witness the amazing hearing in action.
I think the barn owl has to be one of the most beautiful owls I've ever seen!
The trainers were truly amazing with these birds and they definitely put on a great show!
I'm only showing you a very small portion of the amazing things we saw at the bird show! If you ever have the chance to attend I definitely highly recommend it!
Experience the many attractions the Utah Hogle Zoo has to offer
Not only does the Hogle zoo offer exposure to some truly amazing animals, most of which I didn't even share with you; but they also feature fun things for the kids to do like the carousel and the train ride!
We got to take a ride on the Carousel and the boys loved it!
Well, T. was a little upset with me because I didn't let him go off on his own and find the animal he wanted to ride. I made him stay by me. Such a mean mommy, I know. But once it started up, he had a great time.
Jade also loved being on the carousel. She thought it was the greatest thing to sit on top of a polar bear!
She was all smiles and having fun…until the silly thing started moving. And then it all went down hill. She cried the entire time and just wanted mommy. The poor girl. I feel bad for her, really I do; but I was laughing the entire time. Am I a mean mom?
To make it up to her, we then went on the train ride. She liked this much better and didn't cry when it started moving.
With my adorable nephew (Jade's best buddy) who is only one week older than Jade, in front of us and…
my boys and their cousins behind us, we had a great train ride! We got to go around the park and see Buffalo and other fun things! Definitely something you should take your kids to!
There really are fun things to do in Utah!
So what do you think? Would you have fun at Hogle zoo? I haven't even been able to show you half of what we saw, and sadly we didn't even get to visit the entire zoo! We ran out of time and it was getting too hot for the kids. But they have an amazing reptile house, and tigers and much more!
You will want to visit the Hogle Zoo website for their hours of operation, and ticket and membership prices. And did you know if you have a special membership from one of their partnered zoos across the US, then you can get a discounted entry? Pretty cool right?
Also be sure to like their Facebook page so you can keep up on the news of what's happening with your favorite animals!
What was the last Zoo you visited?
What's your favorite Animal?
What was your favorite shot from our visit?
Have you found fun things to do in Utah?
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any manner for this article. This article is sponsored purely from summer fun with kids. We had a great time and we had to share with all of our amazing readers! Definitely a destination worth visiting! All images and opinions are 100% my own.