BY RYAN SPELTS
Our new tradition of putting together a fun summer bucket list was very popular last year, and so we decided to make it a tradition.
If you have a plan, you’re already half way to the fun. We want to make it easier for you to get out, explore, and make memories with your family and friends. There are so many fun things to do in our city or close enough to it. It’s time to seize your summer and remember, it’s all about the journey.
Get a Free Ice Cream Scoop!
We had fun making this list of activities for the summer. We hope you have fun doing some of them. Any child who completes 10 of these items gets a free scoop of ice cream at Farr’s! Take a picture of each activity and email ryan@ connectionpub.com. Have a great summer!
1 – FLOAT THE GREAT SALT LAKE:
For this challenge, you will get to visit one of the most iconic of Utah’s beautiful landscapes, the Great Salt Lake. Due to the very high salt levels in the lake, you can float without any effort. You can just lay there and enjoy the sun and water. We recommend heading to the Antelope Island State Park (fees apply), and head to the campground area where there are showers and changing rooms. It can be very hot, so be sure to bring fresh water and sunscreen. There are also biting gnats in the spring, so wait until it gets hot before going. Not many people can say they have floated in high-level saltwater without even trying.
2 – FRISBEE GOLF:
Disc Golf is a fast-growing sport, especially in Utah. We have some top-notch courses and see national competitions here locally quite often. In 2021, the Professional Disc Golf World Championships will be held right here in Weber County. There will be rounds played at Toads Fun Zone and Fort Buenaventura. For this bucket list item, you can either go watch the world championships, which is quite amazing to see the skill level, or go and play with the kids. We also have courses nearby in Harrisville, Riverdale, Weber State University, and Davis Tech Park. You can use any frisbee you want, but there are special types that make the game even more enjoyable.
3 – ROAD TRIP!
Do you remember those epic road trips you took in college? Or was that just me? This can be amazingly fun. You can either pick a destination and take a drive or just drive and take any turn that you fancy. If you like the safer route and want to stay overnight, make sure you have a hotel or motel reservation before you leave, or you could be brave and just figure it out as you go. Last January, I visited Washington state for a business meeting and was there with one of my good friends. We decided to leave the comfort of our Airbnb to take a road trip to the Washington coast. We saw ancient giant trees and moss at one stop, and then a mountain ski resort at another. Later that day, we saw a rainbow that spanned a huge lake with an outlet to the sea. We grabbed a last-minute hotel in the famous Forks, Washington, which is popular due to the Twilight book series. It had some of the worst Chinese food I have ever tried, but I also saw some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. You can go near or far, just go and explore.
4 – HIT GOLF BALLS:
It is always fun to go to the driving range at your local course and hit some golf balls. We also like hitting off the upper deck at Toads Fun Zone in Marriott-Slaterville. Golf balls seem to go further when you hit them from the second deck. This is a great low-cost, fun event for the whole family.
5 – VOLUNTEER SOMEWHERE:
A quick internet search of “Where to Volunteer in Northern Utah” brings up over 50 ideas of where to put in some time volunteering. This can be a great opportunity to teach children the value of giving of their time with no expectation of anything in return. Some key groups to look at are United Way, The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, and the YCC Family Crisis Center. You can also do work around your neighborhood: clean up around the neighborhood or help a neighbor with their yard work. There are great lessons to be learned in volunteer work.
6 – CATCH FROGS:
There are some great spots for frog hunting around here. I have heard and seen frogs near the Weber River at the River Park Disc Golf Course, which could be fun. Go out at night with a strong flashlight near a body of water. Move quietly and slowly with a really fast grab and take pictures; this is a blast. We have also caught fogs at our local golf course (check before you get in trouble for trespassing). We have kissed several frogs, but no prince or princess yet.
7 – PAPER BOAT RACE:
It is easy to find instructions to make a paper boat; a quick Google search will lead you right to one. Once you find the instructions, have each kid make one and then find some running water. We did this as kids when it rained in Las Vegas, which isn’t very often, but around here, you could find a ditch or creek to race your boats. Use recycled magazine paper from this magazine to make the boats last longer and also save some paper.
8 – MARBLE RUN:
If you are going camping this summer or heading to the dunes, bring a sack of marbles and dig out a course with the kids. Carve your course on a hillside or make your own hill. You will want some water to dampen the sand or dirt to make it easier to work with. Make sure the track is wide enough so that marbles can pass each other. Put in some fun twists and turns so that the race will be exciting. Lastly, have everyone pick a color and send the marbles down the race track to see who wins!
9 – BOWLING:
This family classic is so fun. With the gutter bumpers up, anyone can bowl and have a great time. Local bowling alleys are a fun time, especially if you can visit during the day when they don’t typically have their bowling leagues. There is nothing quite so exciting as hitting that strike!
10 – VISIT 10 NEW PARKS:
Sarah Lansing, a local blogger, started finding and taking pictures of the 84 city parks in Weber County, then took on parks in Davis County. Her blog is an awesome place to find some ideas; you can take the kids to 10 new parks this summer. Some of them look super cool. Visit her site at webercountyutplaygrounds.blogspot.com. It is a great resource, and it will help you cross this one off your bucket list.
11 – RIDE BIKES AROUND PINEVIEW OR ANTELOPE ISLAND:
We have actually done both of these, and both are tons of fun. It is great to just get out on a bike and breathe in the fresh air. I remember the freedom I felt as a child riding my bike, a precursor to my first car. These two local locations are beautiful, and both have trails that you can explore. If you would like to get two bucket list items checked off in one day, go to Antelope with bikes and swimsuits so you can ride and float on the same day.
12 – HIKE BEN LOMOND:
Gear 30: Sponsored: Utah’s premier mountain shop. Stop in for hiking gear and info on trails that your crew can handle. Many hikes around here are for every level of hiker, whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate one. If your list includes hiking an iconic mountain like Ben Lomond this summer, stop by Gear:30 before you head up. Ben Lomond is an iconic peak north of Ogden. There are several different trails to the top, which summits at 9,716 feet. This is at the top of our list this summer with our teens and pre-teens. If you have littles, it is still worth making the beginning of the hike, as you can catch a great view of Ogden and the Ogden Valley without having to hike too far up.
13 – VISIT A MUSEUM:
There are some great museums near us: Union Station contains great info on the history of the railroads in Ogden, Dinosaur Park has dinosaur bones and an awesome collection of rocks and gems. The Hill Aerospace Museum is great if you like planes and military history, and the Treehouse is a great place to take younger kids who can learn while they play. Any of the museums is a great way to have fun while learning. Don’t let the kids turn their brains off completely this summer.
14 – RENT AWESOME STUFF FOR AN ADVENTURE
(Sponsored): Speaking of Weber State’s Outdoor Program, they have just built a new 1700-square-foot facility that you have got to go see! There are lots of new fun things to do, including on-site rock and boulder climbing. This upcoming season, you can introduce your kids to rock climbing; kids 14-18 year-olds can participate in summer camps to learn how to rock climb or improve their skills. Once a week for two hours, they can practice on the center’s 55-foot rock wall or one of the two 15-foot bouldering walls. Then, on the last day, they will take their skills outdoors. There’s something for the whole family at the Weber State Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. They can help you cross off some bucket list items and also inspire some more.
15 – ARCHERY RANGE:
Weber County partnered with the Utah Division of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a local Archery Park with indoor and outdoor ranges. You can harness your or your child’s inner Katniss Everdeen.
16 – VIDEO CHAT WITH GRANDPARENTS AND ASK THEM ABOUT THEIR LIFE:
We had the opportunity to interview my grandmother recently when she was turning 100 years old (quite the accomplishment)! I am so glad we interviewed her and had the chance to ask her about her childhood, careers, love life, and other interesting things from her past because she passed away shortly after her 100-year celebration. This can be a great way to record someone who younger kids might not get to know well before they pass away, plus, it will add some great depth to your family history.
17 – ATTEND YOUR CITY’S CELEBRATION:
Whether it is Founder’s, Heritage, Cherry, or Tomato Days. Or if your city just has a fun carnival and parade, take the kids and enjoy the warm weather and provided entertainment. There are usually some very fun activities for kids. Our kids’ favorite was catching trout with their bare hands.
18 – SLED DOWN THE DUNES:
If you make it to the dunes for your marble race, look into renting sand sleds and boards. Your snow sleds will not work on the sand, but slick wood sleds and boards will slide easily, and you will have a blast. Race your marbles and then race on the sand boards. It is great fun!