Visit the USU Botanical Gardens in the Winter

We aren’t really outdoor people during the winter, so this year I’ve been looking for things that we can do outside that are fun and that we might enjoy. We don’t do much skiing or snowboarding or anything like that, so we have to get creative because that’s everyone’s first suggestion for winter fun, especially here in Utah. I’d love to say that we’re adventurous and plan to go on winter hikes or snow shoeing but we’re not that exciting at this point in our life. We’re going to take some of our favorite activities and date night locations and adjust them to fit the colder weather and snow.

Where: USU Botanical Gardens (920 S 50 W, Kaysville)
Cost: Free
Hours: Ponds and trails are open from sunrise to sunset

winter date ideas davis county, utah

The USU Botanical Gardens have become one of my favorite places in Davis County. I love the calm piece of nature that’s right in the middle of town. Until this year, I’d never really seen it in the winter, but I think it’s almost more gorgeous when it’s cold than during the summer or fall. The pond freezes in places and everything is covered in snow. I’ve seen people fishing there, even when it’s cold and there’s a paved trail around the pond that you can walk on. You have a great view of the mountains and might catch glimpses of ducks and other wildlife that frequent the area.

usu botanical gardens in the winter

The gardens would be a fun place to spend walk and talk on a sunny winter day. It’s a quiet trail close to eating establishments and a freeway entrance. Make an entire date out of spending time at the gardens or include it as a portion of your date.

9 Ways to Celebrate the New Year in Davis County

We usually keep our New Year's Eve celebrations low key and stay home because we have young kids and don't want to take our babysitters away from the fun activities that they have planned. I have grand ideas for fun in future years and even a few overnight getaways as a couple and as a family. This year, we're hoping to do a couple of the things on this list, as our kids allow. For those of you who are looking for date night fun this weekend, we've compiled a list of almost 10 different things going on in the area that sound like a great way to celebrate everything you've accomplished in 2018 and look forward to 2019.

New Year's Celebrations

Davis County New Year's Celebrations

Check Out the Remaining Holiday Lights

If you didn't get a chance to visit your favorite holiday light displays amidst the chaos of Christmas, I have good news for you! Most of the lights remain on through January 1st. You could create a new tradition and hit them all on New Year's Eve or the weekend of New Year's. Click here for a great list of light displays here in Davis County.

Ice Skate Outside at Station Park

There's something so romantic about an outdoor ice rink and Station Park has the perfect one! Go skating then cozy up under one of the heaters and enjoy the fountain shows. Stop by one of the delicious restaurants at Station Park for dinner or dessert or grab takeout and enjoy a quiet and romantic dinner at home. If you pay with an America First card, you get your skate rental for half price. Click here for one of our favorite date night restaurants at Station Park

Boondocks New Year’s Eve Celebration

From 6pm on New Year’s Eve to 1am on New Year’s Day, enjoy unlimited access to bowling, laser tag, XD dark ride XD Theater, Rollerball, Miniature Golf, and Go-Karts. You’ll also enjoy $5 arcade play and an all you can eat buffet served from 6pm-10pm. You will receive free noise makers and hats to participate in the midnight balloon drop and toast. Adult entrance is $24.95 per person.

Station Park Ice Rink

Grab Some Donuts

After a late night of partying, the last thing I want to do is cook breakfast, but I always want a celebratory meal first thing on New Year's Day. Donuts and chocolate milk are always the answer when I'm looking for an quick and delicious celebratory breakfast. Click here for some of the best donut spots in Davis County.

Christmas Bird Count at Antelope Island

This year marks the 119th annual bird count, the nation's longest running citizen science bird project. Take an easy hike in the park on Antelope Island to help identify birds and compile vial data. The hike will take place at 8:00 am on New Year's Day and will be an all day trip. Bring water and lunch and dress warm for the weather. You don't need any experience with bird-watching!

New Year's Celebrations at Antelope Island

First Day Hike at Antelope Island

If you're an avid hiker or just looking for ways to be more active and get outdoors in 2019, this is the event for you! A park naturalist will guide the 2.5 mile hike. You will get to enjoy a view of the Great Salt Lake and the beauty of Antelope Island while learning all about the area. There will be two different events this year, both start at 10am. The first hike will begin at the Buffalo Point trailhead and will be approximately one mile total. The second hike will be a six mile loop starting at the Lakeside trailhead in White Rock Bay.

Worth the Trip

Elk Viewing and Wagon Ride at Hardware Ranch

For a small fee, you can take a wagon ride and view the elk up close and personal. This is a fun activity for the family or a date. Rides are $5 for adults (9 and older) and $3 for children (4 through 8), kids 3 and younger ride for free. On your way home, we recommend a stop in Perry to eat at Maddox Ranch House, their rolls are amazing!

Top Golf

We enjoyed our brunch date to Top Golf this year and are really looking forward to more dates in the future. This year they're putting together an unforgettable midnight celebration with golf and delicious food leading up to it. The New Year’s Eve package includes unlimited game play from 9pm to 1am for up to six guests, midnight fireworks and party favors to ring in the new year. Book your bay soon if you’re hoping to be there!

Spend the Day in Midway

With the gross inversion that we get here in the Salt Lake Valley, it can be nice to escape to the mountains for a day or two. We love heading to Midway because there are lots of great things to do and cozy places to stay if we decide we aren't ready to come home yet. The Midway Ice Castles are gorgeous during the day or at night, Soldier Hollow has the longest tubing lanes in Utah with a lift service to tow you back up the hill, The Crater at Homestead Resort offers a warm escape from the snow, and Wildfire Smokehaus at Zermatt Resort is one of our very favorite places to eat.  All of the activities are open during the day and at night and are fantastic experiences! Make a day of it or ring in the new year and celebrate with an overnight stay.

Midway Ice Castles

Whatever you do to ring in the New Year, make time for date night and each other! Sit down together and set some goals for date night in the new year and don't forget to make plans for the other things that you'd like to accomplish. Oh, and be sure to grab your New Year's kiss ;)

Davis County Light Displays

My favorite thing about the holiday season are the Christmas lights! I love that no matter where you go or what you are doing, you can enjoy the sights of the holidays. Look up toward the hills, out across the valley, or just at the houses and shopping centers as you pass by. I can't help but smile wherever we go because everything is so festive and fun!

A tradition that we started the first year of our marriage was to drive around town sometime the week before chocolate, our favorite hot chocolate in hand, enjoying all of the Christmas light displays. Each year I find out about more Christmas light displays in the area and add them to my list of places to visit. I'm sure this list will continue to grow, but I wanted to share it with you this year. We'll be going out next week of our traditional Christmas light drive and plan to visit many of these.

Layton City Park Christmas Light Display

Christmas Light Displays in Davis County

Bountiful Main Street

Local businesses have decorated their windows for the holidays and the street is lit up for Christmas. Take a stroll down Main Street to enjoy the window displays and all of the lights. Stop in at one of the delicious restaurants for a meal or dessert while you're there.

Bountiful Temple Neighborhood

One of the things that we do every year when we go on our light tour is to drive around the Bountiful Temple. The homes that circle the temple put out banners telling the story of the first Christmas and Christ's birth. It's a great way to remember the reason for the season and the perfect way to start off your holiday light tour each year.

Davis County Nativity

Centerville's Smith Park

Every tree in the park is lit up for Christmas and it is a gorgeous site to see! Add it to your Christmas lights drive or stop and take a walk through the park while the snow is falling. 

Farmington Station Park

If you haven't seen Station Park's all lit up for the holidays, you are missing out!! The streets through the mall are lined with lights and Fountain Square is surrounded in lights as well. Grab dinner or dessert at one of the restaurants and walk around enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas. Around Fountain Square, you'll find warmers so you can sit outside and enjoy the view without getting too cold. If you're feeling extra festive, you could go ice skating.

Elora’s Lights - Heritage Park Farmington

Take a walk along the trail that surrounds Heritage Park in Farmington (1591 N 1075 W, Farmington). Elora’s Lights have been set up in memory of Elora, a sweet little girl who passed away in 2017 from pediatric cancer. You’ll love the blow up decorations, lights strung around the park and a gorgeous tree completely covered in lights. Don’t miss out on this fun, local display.

Farmington Station Park Christmas Lights

Kaysville Main Street

The other night when I was driving to pick up dinner, I was in awe of the lighted trees lining the sides of Kaysville Main Street. If you're up for a short walk, maybe after eating dinner at Orlando's or catching a movie at the Kaysville Theater, this is the place to do it. Or, simply add it to the route for your Christmas light drive.

Lights on Sherwood Drive

This home's light display is a local tradition, and sadly one that we haven't yet participated in but plan to this year! For those of you who haven't participated yet, the light show runs from 5:30pm to 10pm nightly through January 1st.

Davis County Christmas Lights

Layton City Park

The light display that Layton puts together may be our new favorite tradition! You can walk through the park, drive around the outside or even participate in the Burger Stop Hayrides that benefit charity. I feel like the experience you get walking vs. driving is different, so we're planning to do both each year!

Fantasy at the Bay

I just recently heard about this Christmas light display at Willard Bay State Park. Everyone who's been says that it's the best light display they've seen and that they plan on doing it year after year. It's a little bit of a drive, but definitely worth the trip!

Temple Square Christmas Lights

Lights on Temple Square

If visiting Downtown Salt Lake during the holidays isn't already one of your family traditions, it really needs to be! Temple Square is an amazing sight to see during the holidays with lights, nativity displays and live entertainment nightly in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This year there have been delicious food trucks parked on North Temple and South Temple nightly, and there so many fun activities for families to enjoy.

You should also jump on The Jingle Bus which drops you off at The Gateway where they have a big lighted tree, City Creek Center where you can view the candy window displays, The Gallivan Center where you can enjoy outdoor ice skating and Capitol Theatre where you can enjoy a show. The bus runs nightly from 5-10pm and is free of charge, courtesy of the SLC Downtown Alliance, City Creek Center, The Gateway and other sponsors.

Photo c/o Downtown SLC

Photo c/o Downtown SLC

You can make your Christmas light tour last throughout the week or enjoy it all in one night. Whatever you choose to do, make this tradition one that lasts throughout the years and make it whatever your family needs it to be. Date night, a family event, or even a special event with hot chocolate and Christmas carols. Christmas lights are a low key way to enjoy the holiday season!

Click here for a FB post with a lot more fun locations to see lights this year in Davis County.

Six Things to Love About Cross E Ranch's Fall Festival

This was only our second year attending Cross E Ranch’s Fall Festival, but it is a family tradition that I know we will look forward to for years to come. I loved every feature of the fall festival at Cross E last year but they went bigger and better this year in a way that I didn’t even know was possible.

Where: 3500 North 2200 West, Salt Lake City (take the Center St. exit in NSL and drive west)
When: September 21 - October 29
Cost: $9-$12 (children 0-2 are free)

cross e ranch fall festival

Things to Love About Cross E Ranch’s Fall Festival

Hill full of slides

The biggest change this year is the way that Cross E set up their slides. Last year there was one big slide that came down the side of a tall hay bale tower. This year they’ve build up a hill of dirt and put three different levels of slides together. Our kids loved the smaller tube slide on the the back side that had nobody on it and were quickly scaling the hill and sliding down on their own. We had lots of fun taking them down the largest slide and grabbed a couple of gunny sacks to help us slide faster. There are a couple of medium sized slides that looked like lots of fun as well but we didn’t try them out. The slides thrilled the kid in all of us!

fall festivals utah

Homemade Donuts

Our favorite part of the festival last year continued to be a hit this year! Cross E boasts some of the most delicious homemade apple cider cake donuts. The price of the donuts isn’t included in your admission but they’re more than worth the $1 each that you can grab them for at the donut shop. My only regret is that we didn’t grab a dozen to bring home and enjoy throughout the week.

In addition to the homemade donuts, you can grab some delicious caramel applies from Millie’s Caramel Apple shop on the weekends and delicious burgers made with fresh beef from the farm or one of many other things they have to eat at The Cross E Grill. We enjoyed lunch after our morning playing at the festival and I ended up taking more than my fair share of bites from the kids hand dipped corn dogs. Plan a meal as part of your visit, you won’t regret it!

homemade donuts cross e ranch
homemade caramel apples davis county utah

Hay ride and farm history

Every hour the hay ride leaves from the north east corner of the farm. It’s a quick 15 minute ride to view the cows and the property and hear a history of Cross E Ranch. This has been one of my favorite parts of our visit the last two years. I love to hear how the farm started, the changes it has seen and how the family has worked to maintain the rich history to this day. You’ll learn how the farm operates day to day and what they do when they’re not putting on fun festivals for the public.

fresh beef salt lake city, utah

Kids mini wagon train

Our oldest kept begging to “ride the front loader” again every few minutes, clear until we got home. The highlight of his visit to Cross E is anything that involves a tractor. He loves the hay ride, climbing on old equipment and being pulled in the train cars behind the front loader. These train rides run every hour or half hour depending on the need and they’re a lot of fun for the kids. It’s a slow ride and only lasts a few minutes but they enjoy every single second of it.

mini wagon ride for kids, north salt lake utah

All day pass

Cross E has a Festival Pass and Annual Ranch Membership that we’re hoping to take advantage of next year when we have time to go more than once, but this year we really loved the day pass. I planned for an entire day spent at the ranch. We got there right after they opened and stayed until nap time. We had planned to go back later that night for a date in the corn maze. I think it would have been fun to bring the kids back for more fun after their naps, then come back ourselves to find our way through the corn maze in the dark during date night. All of that fun is possible with one general admission day pass and I love that we can come and go as we please, especially having young kids who would get tired if we were there for a long day without any breaks.

cross e ranch

Supporting local farmers

When you visit Cross E for a festival or purchase meat from the store, you are supporting local farmers. This family has been part of our community for years and is doing a lot to contribute to the local economy. Their festival prices are some of the best in the county and you get a lot during your stay. I really love this family and their farm and love the opportunities we have to support them each year!

fall fun davis county, utah

These are only a few of the amazing things that Cross E Ranch has at their Fall Festival this year. We try to visit a lot of different festivals and fall activities in the county each year, but Cross E’s fall festival is always at the top of our list and always a priority for us to visit.

I’d love to hear what your favorite part of Cross E Ranch’s fall festival is, whether it’s listed above or not! Leave a comment below and share!

Six of our favorite things about Cross E Ranch's Fall Festival

Take a Historical Tour of Davis County

There are a few different scavenger hunt/adventure apps and companies out there that put together and activity to help you explore a big city near you. After looking into a few of those, I realized that you could plan something similar of your own to explore the area that you live in. Below I’ve provided a list of historical stops and museums in Davis County. Pick an area or a few stops that interest you and make an afternoon of it. Learn all that you can about where we live. You’ll be more grateful for where we live!

historic davis county

Where: Various Locations
Cost: Free

Historical Sites in Davis County

Bountiful Historic Museum - The Bountiful museum recently moved a new location on the corner of 300 N and Main Street. You can check it out on Wednesday or Saturday afternoons.

Whitaker Museum - This museum is a prominent part of Centerville Main Street. Not only can you take a tour and learn more about Centerville’s history, they host fun events throughout the year as well. Click here to find out more about each event.

Farmington Historic Museum - Farmington’s historical museum is located on Main Street and 100 N and is open for tours every Wednesday afternoon.

Farmington Historic Main Street Trail - You can take a self-guided historical tour down Farmington Main Street. You will see pioneer-era and other historic sites. Most of them are now private residences, so you will not be able to go inside, but you can still read about the history on the National Register as you go. Click here for more information and instructions on the tour.

farmington ut main street

Layton City Heritage Museum - The museum was built in 1972 as a place to store cultural heritage items of Layton’s history. It is open daily and the hours hours can be found here .

Adams Cabin - If you are up for a long, difficult hike with lots of switch backs and a climb straight up the mountain, you can check out the cabin of Elias Adams, the settler of East Layton. You can find out more about this hike in this post from The Salt Project.

Fernwood Cabin - Another hike in Layton will take you to the Fernwood Cabin, which is currently available for public use. You can find out more details about the hike and the cabin in this post from The Salt Project.

Syracuse Museum and Cultural Center - This museum seems really cool! Displays highlight agriculture and dairy production. You will also find replicas of a general store and the town’s first fire truck. This definitely seems worth checking out! It’s open three days a week from 2pm-5pm. Click here for more details .

syracuse museum

Hill Aerospace Museum - At the heart of Davis County is Hill Airforce Base. This is an Air Force field museum filled with history and displays. Admission is free but donations are appreciated to keep the place running and help with upkeep. It’s a fun place to take kids or explore on your own.

Check out this site for a list of all of the sites in Davis County that are on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll find houses, city buildings, and even a few rides at Lagoon on the list.

Historical sites in Davis County UT