The Best Local Celebrations for the 24th of July Holiday

The 24th of July is quickly becoming one of my very favorite holidays. It's fun to celebrate the heritage of our state, and I won't complain about the extra paid holiday at work. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, I know of a few different local celebrations that you won't want to miss! The best part is, none of them really overlap so you could attend them all and make your weekend one big party!

davis county 24th of july celebrations

Bountiful Handcart Days

When: Friday, July 19th and Saturday, July 20th
Where: Bountiful Main Street and Bountiful Park (400 N)
Cost: Free, Some activities and booths cost money

This celebration starts with the Main Street Parade on Friday. Friday evening's activities also include games, food and entertainment at the park, an arts and craft exhibition and one of my favorite firework shows. Continue your celebrate on Saturday with the Handcart Day Races, Bountiful History Tours at the museum and tabernacle, a Chuck Wagon Breakfast and more activities and fun at the park. Click here for all of the details for Handcart Days.

Antelope Island Pioneer Day

When: July 20
Where: Fielding Garr Ranch - Antelope Island
Cost: Free, some events may cost money

Games from 10:00am - 12:00pm and guided tours of the Fielding Garr Ranch from 3-4:00pm.

bountiful handcart days

Days of '47

When: July 12-24
Where: Various locations in Salt Lake City. 
Cost: Free, some events may cost money

This is the biggest celebration in Utah for the weekend. Celebrations include the Days of '47 Rodeo, Deseret News Marathon, Sunrise Service at Temple Square and Days of '47 Parade. Click here for all of the details about this year's Days of '47 celebration.

If saving your seats hours before the event, sitting in the hot sun and fighting the crowds isn't your thing, you can watch the parade from home! I personally think you get the best view on your TV and you get to hear the story behind each of the parade entries and floats. Plus, you can participate in a contest that KSL hosts by watching for the key words to come across your screen. Last year we picked up smoothies in the morning and watched the parade with our son and I think we'll be doing something similar this year. It makes for a fun and lazy morning!

days of '47 celebrations

Breakfast at Bowman's

When: Wednesday, July 24th 7-10am
Where: Bowman's (326 N Main St, Kaysville)
Cost: $5 - Adults, $3 - 12 and under, $20 per family (up to 6)

A local annual tradition that would be a lot of fun to do as a family! From 7-10am is the annual breakfast. From 10am-2pm is the customer appreciation event which includes free face painting, hot dogs and drinks, cotton candy, cookies and rootbeer floats.

Taste of the Town

When: Wednesday, July 24th 4-7pm
Where: Layton Commons Park
Cost: Free Admission, Food Tickets $1 each

We went to this event as a family a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun! You have the chance to taste food from some of Davis County's best restaurants and enjoy some entertainment. This year's live entertainment will be provided by Red Shot Pony. For the little ones there will be carnival games hosted by Lagoon, an outdoor Nerf Dart Tag arena provided by Dartside, a Disney Princess meet and mingle, face painting and more. Click here for even more details.

Layton's taste of the town

Electric Light Parade and Party

When: Wednesday, July 24th 9pm-12am
Where: Layton Commons Park
Cost: Free Admission. Food trucks may be an extra cost.

Layton hosts a fun Electric Light Parade each year after Taste of the Town. This is a pedestrian walking parade and everyone is invited to participate. After the parade, meet up in the Party Zone (west entrance to Constitution Circle) for a blacklight party, food trucks and a DJ. Click here for even more details.

Don't forget that there are also great summer concerts and other events going on this weekend. Check out our Upcoming Events page for more details.

What is your favorite thing to do to celebrate Pioneer Day?

The Perfect Winter Adventure to Escape the Inversion

Last weekend we got to escape the inversion for a few hours and go on an adventure to Wasatch County! There was a distinct point on our drive when the inversion ended, the skies were blue and the sun was shining bright. It was a huge change from the dreary fog and inversion that we’d been experiencing in Davis County all day. If you’re looking to escape the inversion and get a little sunshine this winter, I have some fun ideas for a day trip to Midway! If you can make an overnight date of it, that’s be fun as well!

We visited Midway for the first time a few years ago and we’ve been back many times since. We love the small town feel, the views, the air, the temperature and the fun and unique things to do up there. We’re hoping to make our visit a yearly tradition during the dreary months of winter when we just need to escape, enjoy the sunshine and have some fun! Our kids aren’t old enough to do a few of the activities listed below but we hope to do them on a romantic overnight getaway or as they get a little bit older.

Winter activities in Midway Utah

6 Fun Winter Activities in Midway

The Ice Castles

This is our favorite winter activity in Midway and one that kids and adults of every age can enjoy. Each year the Ice Castles open up for a few weeks and you can walk through, slide, sit around the fire and enjoy concessions. We love to get to the castles late in the afternoon so that we can enjoy them in the daylight and stick around to see them after dark, when the lights turn on and they take on a whole new look.

Click here for more information about The Ice Castles.

Sleigh Rides to the Ice Castles

Rocky Mountain Outfitters has put together a really fun sleigh ride and Ice Castles package for families and couples to enjoy! This one way horse drawn sleigh ride lasts 15 to 20 minutes and drops you at the entrance of The Ice Castle. Your ticket price includes the sleigh ride and tickets to the castles.

the Ice Castles at Homestead Resort

Soak in the Homestead Crater

The Crater is Midway’s claim to fame. It’s a geothermal spring under a limestone dome next to The Homestead Resort. Inside is warm and the pool maintains a warm temperature while the hole at the top circulates air and lets in a little bit of sunlight. You can soak, swim or go scuba diving in the crater or take a self-guided tour of the cave like area if you’d rather not get wet.

Outdoor Ice Rink

While we were in Midway this year, I noticed a sign boasting Utah’s largest outdoor ice skating rink. I looked into the rink more and it seems like a really fun winter activity and something that we plan to add to our itinerary for next year’s trip!

Zermatt Resort in Midway Utah

Tubing at Soldier Hollow

With the ages of our kiddos and their hesitation with new activities, we weren’t able to make this happen for this year’s trip, but it’s at the top of my list for future years. The thing I love most about tubing at Soldier Hollow is that you don’t have to hike back up the hill after you reach the bottom. Soldier Hollow has a lift of sorts that you attach your tube to and ride it back to the top of the hill so you can go down again. It always looks like a lot of fun and is something that I’m really looking forward to trying out!

Stay Overnight at Zermatt Resort

Our first visit to Midway included an overnight stay at Zermatt Resort. If you don’t know much about Midway, the entire town as a "Swiss” theme and Zermatt is no exception. It’s a luxury hotel with restaurants, a spa, beautiful property and other fun adventures and excursions available. We loved our stay at Zermatt and would definitely stay again as a couple or with our kids! One of our favorite restaurants is in the lobby of Zermatt. Wildfire Smokehaus has amazing smoked meats, yummy fries and really good pizza! We’ve also eaten there for breakfast and loved that as much if not more than their lunch and dinner menus.

Smoke Ribs at Wildfire Smokehaus

Whether you want to adventure for the day or are looking for a fun overnight escape, Midway is one of our favorite places to hang out any time of year, but especially during the winter. Don’t let the inversion get you down, head up the canyon for some sunshine and cleaner air.

Midway Ice Castles - Adventurous Winter Date Night

Last year I made a goal to go to Midway this year, either on a romantic overnight getaway or with our kids on a mini weekend vacation. When we started planning our little family trip, we found out that the kids wouldn’t be able to participate in a few of the activities that we’d be hoping to do, and decided to make it a day adventure instead. As soon as The Ice Castles opened, we started to plan our little trip and last Friday turned out to be the perfect day for us to escape the inversion and have some fun as a family.

Where: The Ice Castles (700 Homestead Dr, Midway)
Cost: $8-10 for kids (ages 4-11) and $11-16 for adults. Kids 3 and under are free

Midway Ice Castles

We took our oldest to The Ice Castles a few years ago when he was about 9 months old and wanted to take both of our toddlers this year while they were both still free, since we knew that they wouldn’t want to stay as long. Both kids had a lot of fun and although we only stayed for about an hour, we all had a lot of fun! The castles are gorgeous and it’s amazing to think about the work and talent that goes into designing the castles and growing the ice!

winter activities utah

Midway is about an hour drive from Davis County on a good weather day, and a great escape from the inversion. You’ll hit a point in the canyon where the inversion just ends and the sun is shining and the skies are blue and you feel just a bit happier even though you haven’t stepped outside your car. It’s definitely worth the extra miles past Park City and the perfect little winter getaway.

winter date ideas midway utah

The Midway Ice Castles are located on the Homestead Resort property and are a beautiful sight from up close and far away. There are three different slides within the Ice Castles that are fun to slide down, just wear the proper clothing so you don’t get too wet and cold. There is a shorter slide that’s perfect for little kids to race on and have fun, a mid-sized slide and then one that’s for 42” or taller and is fun to ride down on a little toboggan.

ice castle slides midway utah

Throughout the castles you’ll find tunnels to climb through, thrones of ice to sit on, and intricate designs from the ice. As you walk along, take the time to look up, down and all around so that you don’t miss out on a single sight. There are also benches and fire bowls situated throughout the castles for people to sit and talk and in the center of the castles is a concessions stand where you can purchase hot chocolate and treats to help you stay warm. Our kids loved to see the moon in the sky as we explored the castles and as the sky got darker, we were thrilled by the lights that glowed from deep within the ice itself.

midway ice castles winter adventure utah

If you haven’t had a chance to visit The Ice Castles yet this year, it’s definitely something to do and turn into a tradition that your family enjoys year after year! I know that we’ll continue going back year after year.

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 ;)

10 Davis County Date Ideas to Chase the Winter Blues Away

I don't know about you, but as soon as the new year comes, I eagerly await spring and warmer temperatures. Winter is fun for a little bit and adds to the festive feeling of the the holidays, but by mid-January, it starts to get old and dreary and I long for the those hot July days. I’m grateful to see snow so early this year, and that snow waited to make its appearance until after Thanksgiving. I’m not loving the frigid cold that’s come with it, but I’m hoping that we’ll be done with snow and move onto rain for our needed moisture by mid-March this year. If you’re less than a fan of winter like I am, I've come up with fun ideas for date nights and family activities that we can enjoy during the cold summer months, and I wanted to share a few of them with all of you!

winter date ideas in davis county utah

10 Winter Activities in Davis County

Ice Skating at Station Park - The skating rink and the fountains at Station Park provide the perfect romantic atmosphere for a date night. It's open through February 25th, hours can be found here. Skate rental is $6 for two hours for adults, but you can get your rental for half price if you use an America First card.

Lockbox Mysteries at Home - We loved our group date with Lockbox Mysteries earlier this year and are really excited because their newest crate is launching next month! This date is perfect for when you don't want to go out, but you don't want to do dinner and a movie at home either. Rent your crate here.

Hot Chocolate Tasting - We love hot chocolate and are always on the lookout for a delicious cup. I have a goal to find the most delicious hot chocolate in Davis County this winter. It's a challenge that I'm really looking forward to. You can either grab a few flavors from the grocery store or you can stop by a few different places around town and get a cup of hot chocolate to go. Enjoy quality conversation while you decide which cup tastes the best. Click here for a list of our favorite places to get hot chocolate in the area.

fun winter activities

Progressive Dinner - I think progressive dinners are a lot of fun! If you're not familiar with them, you enjoy one course at each stop. Drinks, appetizer, main dish and dessert. This could be a fun way to try new restaurants or enjoy your favorite menu items at a few different locations. I also think it's a fun idea to do a backwards progressive dinner, starting with dessert and ending with the appetizer or drinks.

Cookie Skillets at Home - These cookie skillets are our favorite dessert. We love to make them on the grill in the summer and enjoy baking them in the oven during the colder months of the year. They're warm and gooey and comfort food at its finest. We like to enjoy them while we binge watch our favorite Netflix show or while we sit and talk.

Around the World Dinner - Another fun idea, sort of like the progressive dinner. For this date, you pick different international cuisines to enjoy. Asian, Indian, Italian, Mexican, whatever you're craving. You could even grab takeout from each and have dinner at home.

See a Show - There are three different theaters in Davis County. Centerpoint Legacy Theater in Centerville, Hopebox Theater in Kaysville and On Pitch Performing Arts in Layton. Each of these theaters has a great season coming up and great shows to choose from in the coming months. Pick one that interests you, purchase your tickets and enjoy! Click here for more information on our local live theater.

winter date ideas

Worth the Trip

Sleigh Rides at Hardware Ranch - Through February 26th, you can enjoy sleigh rides that get you up close and personal with the elk. Rides are $5 for each adult and you can get more information about hours here.

Spend a Day in Midway - A dream winter date in my mind involves an overnighter in Midway and lots of winter fun. See the ice castles, go tubing at Soldier Hollow, take a swim in the Homestead Crater, eat at one of the local restaurants, then stay overnight at one of the cozy inns or bed and breakfasts.

Top Golf - One of the best things about Top Golf is that the bays are temperature regulated. You can enjoy golfing in the middle of winter, when it's below freezing outside! You can enjoy food while you hit some balls. It's like bowling for golf. Their menu is worth checking out as well, starting with their amazing brunch!

romantic winter activities

I hope you're able to enjoy your date nights this winter, whether you're a winter sports fan or not! And let's all hope that spring comes sooner than it's looking like it will.