Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the USA. Restaurants, interactive museums, sporting events, and festivals make things to do in Salt Lake City with teens easy.
Not only is Salt Lake City extremely safe, but it has a wide range of activities for every kind of teenager to enjoy. And since Salt Lake City experiences all four seasons, the variety of activities for teenagers in Salt Lake City is diverse enough to keep them coming back for more.
Whether your traveling teen is interested in extreme outdoor experiences, culturally-enriching activities, is a budding foodie or lover all things sports, there are so many things to do in Salt Lake City!
As a capital city, Salt Lake City has many standard activities for teenagers: mini-golf, Top Golf, axe-throwing, arcades and movie theatres, concert venues for all-age shows, and a host of other activities. Here are some uniquely Utahn things to do in Salt Lake City for teenagers.
Have a Powder Day!
Salt Lake City (and Utah as a whole) is known for having the “Best Snow on Earth,” due to the soft, fluffy nature of the snowflakes. There are 9 world-class ski resorts just an hour away from downtown Salt Lake City. If your teens love snow this has to be one of the top things to do in Salt Lake City with teens.
Visiting the snow in Salt Lake City with your teenagers is guaranteed to occupy and wear out your teenagers after a few short hours. If your teenager isn’t an avid snowboarder or skier, they can still play in the snow, take all the selfies, and hang out at the lodges with the locals.
Local favourite: Park City Mountain, the largest ski and snowboard resort in the USA.
Park City Mountain address is: 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, UT 84098
Catch a game of Basketball in Salt Lake City
Are your teenager’s sports fanatics? Salt Lake City is home to the Real Salt Lake and Royals soccer clubs, the Utah Jazz NBA team, the University of Utah Utes, and a host of other sporting teams.
And even if your teen isn’t a huge sports fan, there’s nothing better than being in an energetic atmosphere to bring a smile to their faces. You can have just as much fun watching the crowds while you are there. So put this down as one of the most fun things to do in Salt Lake City and go along.
Hiking with teenagers around Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is surrounded by impressive mountain ranges, literally begging to be climbed. Sweeping views, rolling fields of wildflowers, towering waterfalls and roaming wildlife make hiking one of the top Salt Lake City activities. From short, ½ mile strolls along a paved walkway to 5-hour treks, there are plenty of trails for your teens to discover.
Travel with teenagers tip for hiking in Salt Lake City: Some of the local teen-friendly hikes include the Living Room trail, a 2 mile loop leading to a makeshift “living room” where boulders were fashioned into a couch and recliner.
Another popular hike is the Ensign Peak trail, located directly behind the Utah State Capitol. Hike just ½ mile to achieve unobstructed views of Salt Lake City, the perfect backdrop for the ultimate selfie and one of the best Salt Lake City points of interest.
Ensign Peak Trailhead Address: 1002 Ensign Vista Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84103
The Living Room Trailhead Address: (close to) 383 Colorow Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Trail Rides at This is the Place Heritage Park
From beginner trail riders to those who have a little more experience under their belt, your teenager can enjoy pristine views of Salt Lake City on guided horseback rides. Trail rides in Salt Lake City are guided by experienced wranglers and we have healthy horses available for every age or skill level.
Sound like an adventure your traveling teen would like to do? Schedule your opportunity to ride the same trails as early pioneers, explorers, and Native Americans who entered the Salt Lake Valley long ago. Become a part of the living history of Salt Lake City with this brilliant Salt Lake City adventure.
Please note that anyone under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
This is the Place Heritage Park address: 2601 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Shoot the Tube in SLC
Looking for a top adrenalin pumping Salt Lake city activity for your teen? The secret is out! Shooting the Tube is a rite-of-passage for teenagers to do in Salt Lake City in summer. Located next to the Tanner Dog Park and underneath the I-215 and I-80 interstate is a large, concrete tube that allows snow runoff to safely continue down the mountain.
To access Shooting the Tube, follow the dog trails down the hill. If you get lost, just ask anyone around you to point you in the correct direction. The actual tube is less than a mile from the parking lot.
At the top of the tube, locals have fashioned a dam with old road signs to pool water. While the water is building up behind the dam, teenagers in bathing suits can sit on floaties and boogie boards in a chain (similar to going down a slide with friends, holding onto the feet of the person behind you).
Once the water has built up enough, the dam is broken and the water “shoots” the teens down the tube and into the little pool at the other end. It’s an adrenaline rush like no other, perfect for the thrill-seeking teenager. And if your teenager isn’t a confident swimmer, hanging out in the pool with the dam is just as fun! This is definitely one of the best Salt Lake City activities for the whole family.
Shoot the Tube address: 2760 Heritage Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
Gilgal Sculpture Garden
If your teenager is into weird and strange art, Salt Lake City has just the ticket. Thomas Child built Gilgal Garden in the mid 1900s as a way “to give physical form to his deep-felt beliefs.”
There are tons of scriptures from the Bible accompanied by sculptures that Child and local artisans produced. This place is weirdly awesome and is a different sort of Salt Lake City tourist attraction but it can be a quick stop for your teenagers to check out what a rich, old man spent 18 years of his life creating.
Gilgal Scripture garden address: 749 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Museums in Salt Lake City for teenagers
Like any city of culture, Salt Lake City has some impressive museums that are particularly catered to teenagers. Sure, there are standard museums full of beautiful pieces of art and sculptures that they can ponder the meaning behind. But Salt Lake City is anything but standard.
How about a museum with a real tank and imposing helicopters that your teens can get up close and personal with, like the Fort Douglas Military Museum? Or gaze at one of the largest collections of lifesize dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum?
What about The Leonardo with its fully immersive experiences that are guaranteed to stimulate the minds of your teenagers? Wherever your teenager’s interests lean towards, Salt Lake City has a museum experience for them!
Fort Douglas Military Museum Address: 32 Potter St, Salt Lake City, UT 84113
The Natural History Museum of Utah Address: 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
The Leonardo Address: 209 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Temple Square in Salt Lake City
Does your teenager have an interest in beautiful buildings? World-renowned choir concerts? Curious about their family history? Or just interested in the beating heart of Salt Lake City?
If so, a trip to Temple Square would be a great experience for your teenager. Salt Lake City was originally designed with Temple Square at the center focal point, complete with beautiful buildings and impressive grounds.
And from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, your teenagers will enjoy walking around the grounds and taking in the millions of festive lights and Nativity displays from around the world. Right here you can get some serious Salt Lake City sightseeing done easily.
Temple Square address: 50 N West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150
Lagoon Amusement Park
So, what to do in Salt Lake City in summer and fall? Lagoon is Utah’s premier amusement park, open during the summer and fall, and is located a short drive north of Salt Lake City. Teenagers visiting Salt Lake City will love the thrilling roller coasters and attractions.
When they’ve had their fill of rides, your teenagers can visit Lagoon’s beach: six acres of surging slides, twisting hydro tubes, waterfalls, fountains, and swimming.
Lagoon Amusement Park address: 375 North Lagoon Dr, Farmington, UT 84025
An epic day trip from Salt Lake City to Bonneville Salt Flats
One of the most unique reasons for visiting Salt Lake City and one of the most epic things to do around Salt Lake City is to take a day trip out to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Your teenagers will love it! Bring a few props and spend hours with your teenagers creating optical illusion photographs: put them far in the distance and pretend to step on them, have a toy dinosaur chase them, or have them “standing” on your shoulder.
Bonneville Salt Flats address: There is no physical address. Drive west on I-80 towards the Utah/Nevada border, exit at “Bonneville Salt Flats.”
Best places to shop with teenagers in Salt Lake City
Gateway – Salt Lake City’s premier downtown place to be for teenagers. The Gateway isn’t a mall – it’s a unique blend of retail, hip nightlife, community-driven festivals and entertainment. Teenagers will be in literal heaven when spending a day or evening at the Gateway.
Stores such as Buckle, GameStop, Bastille, Bath and Body Works, and Victoria’s Secret call The Gateway home. Restaurants featured at The Gateway include Tucanos Brazilian Grill, Chedda Burger, and California Pizza Kitchen.
In addition to shops and restaurants, The Gateway plays host to the Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theater with 2D and 3D state-of-the-art digital projection, equipped with premium luxury seating.
If your teenager loves video and arcade games, Dave & Buster’s is the newest addition to The Gateway. Teenagers can play hundreds of the hottest new arcade games or watch sporting events on one of their massive TVs, complete with an epic sound system.
Gateway Shopping Mall address: 400 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Travel with teenagers shopping in Salt Lake City tip: City Creek – If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind places to visit in salt lake city for a shopping experience for your teenager, a visit to City Creek Center is where it’s at!
City Creek is Salt Lake City’s newest world-class shopping and dining experience, located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, directly across the street from Temple Square.
With over 100 stores and services, your teenagers will be hard-pressed to find a store that doesn’t fit their taste and style. An Instagram-worthy creek, “City Creek,” runs through the shopping centre, offering plenty of backdrops for selfies.
Teenagers will love the variety of stores: Vans, Michael Kors, H&M, Disney, Coach, Tiffany & Co., Gap, and dozens more! Even if your teenager isn’t a big shopper, there’s plenty to see at art galleries and delicious food to sample at the numerous restaurants.
City Creek Shopping Mall address: 50 Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Escape rooms in Salt Lake City
For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down.
An escape room, also known as an “escape game”, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.
Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your teen likes this stuff it is definitely one of the top things to do in Salt Lake City with teenagers.
You will have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and find the truth. Below you will find map with locations of Salt Lake City Escape rooms.
Cinema’s in Salt Lake City
A perennial favourite with teenagers in Salt Lake City weather visiting or residents is the cinema. Salt Lake City like any major city in the USA has a wide range of cinema’s for you to attend.
In Salt Lake City you will find megaplex, Imax, 3d and specialty cinemas showing art house, foreign films and even one called Brewvies cinema pub. Check the google map above for cinema locations in Salt Lake City.
Best restaurants in Salt Lake City for teenagers
Red Iguana – The BEST Mexican food in Utah is undoubtedly found at The Red Iguana. Moles, tacos, and salsa reign king at this local favourite, which is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of teenagers.
Prices are affordable, the atmosphere is joyful, and the staff is friendly and engaging. Be prepared for a little wait for your table, but soak up the experience of eating at one of the most beloved institutions in Salt Lake City. And Guy Fieri from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives would agree, as an episode was shot at The Red Iguana.
Red Iguana address: 736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade – Hot biscuits. Cold limeade. Fresh salads. What more could a teenager want?
Sweet Lake’s homemade limeade is a winner all the way. During the summer months, Sweet Lake sells their mint limeade at the downtown Farmer’s Market made-to-order and is considered to be the unofficial drink of the market.
Sweet Lake’s Address: 54 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Where to stay in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is full of family-friendly hotels scattered throughout the city, so finding something that fits your budget and personal preferences is easy. The Grand American is Salt Lake City’s premier accommodation option and is similar to The Plaza in New York City.
Not wanting to stay in a 5-star hotel? Not to fear – Marriott, Hilton, and other national chains are available within walking distance to many Salt Lake City attractions. And the best part? Many of them have pools for your teenagers to play in!
Want to have your own place? Airbnb properties are popular in Salt Lake City, with a wide variety of lodging options to satisfy your every need.
How to Get to Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City International Airport is located 10 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, and is one of the most easily accessible airports in the USA. Visitors can drive, take rideshares, or use public transportation from downtown.
Amtrak and Greyhound also frequent Salt Lake City, if you’re wanting your teenagers to have a more adventurous experience in getting to Salt Lake City.”
You can also drive to Salt Lake City from anywhere in the mainland United States. Las Vegas, Nevada is 5 ½ hours south via car, with shuttle companies also operating connecting trips.
Nearby international airports include Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada. Regional airports include St. George, Utah, Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Provo, Utah.
Throw away all of your prejudices and stereotypical thoughts and let Salt Lake City become a new family favourite destination, full of things to do for teenagers!
When people visit Salt Lake City, they don’t anticipate falling in love with it. There’s just something about Salt Lake City that draws you in and blows away any expectations or preconceived notions that you might have had. Your Salt Lake City family vacation is going to be an epic one!
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