The summer heat in Utah can make it unbearable to play outside during the day. So what are your local options? We have lots of indoor play centers, but kids want and need to be outside during the summer. The good news is you don’t have to take cover inside midday. We asked a bunch of moms to help us find the best options. They helped us compile this list of shade parks and stroll trails in the Greater Salt Lake City Area. You’ll see pictures of the ones we have visited and personally verified.
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Help us grow this list! Email your suggestions to UtahFamilyFunStuff@gmail.com. We’d love to use any pictures you might have, but they’re not necessary. Our criteria? Shaded during the hot, summer days. Really good shade over the playground equipment so littles aren’t burned when trying to play. Also, parks and easy walking trails for families with young children. Think lots of trees and shade.
Click on each park or trail name below. It’s a link to more information.
Bair Creek Trail, next to Castle Park, Fruit Heights. The park is cute but not shaded well. To the side of the park, however, is a short trail that leads down to a beautiful, wooded area that is part of the Bair Creek Trail. Walk in the shade as far as you’d like, and dip your toes in the stream. It’s a beautiful walking area where you can decide how far you’d like to go. Kays Creek Trail, 2721 N 2125 E, Layton. Layton Commons Park. 437 N Wasatch Drive.
Main Street Park, Bountiful. 200 W. 400 N. Bathrooms and pavilion nearby. Or bring a blanket and sit under a tree near the playground. Some benches available in the hot sun. Located on a busy street. Watch youngsters carefully. Variety of new playground equipment.
Mueller Park, East Bountiful. 900 Mueller Park Road. Limited playground but shaded trails and campgrounds near stream. Camp restrooms available. Mostly shaded trail to Elephant Rock. Great hike but steep for little peeps if you go very far. Still fun to walk even if you just go a bit. Signs in the area clearly mark the trail. Fee to enter park, but you can park outside the entry gate and walk in. Most people do this if they don’t need to take in a vehicle. PLEASE NOTE, SPRING 2019: Water runoff is high. Do not let your kids wade in the streams until water level has lowered.
Lagoon Trail. Farmington. 2 N 200 W. We absolutely love this wheelchair/stroller friendly, paved trail. Perfect for toddler bikes and beginning bike riders. See behind-the-scenes Lagoon and some of their animals (bison, elk). Cottonwood fluff is abundant during allergy season. Picnic tables provided throughout, but the wasps may chase you away. No bathrooms.
Salt Lake County
Big Bear Park, 930 E Onyx Lane (9695 S), Sandy.
Centennial Park, 5405 W 3100 S, West Valley City. Mom Whitney P. tells us the park overall is quite sunny but the playground areas are in the shade. There are three or four different playgrounds, all within a short walking distance of each other. Nearby is the rec center, which offers an outdoor pool and a skate park.
Copperton Park, 8690 W Park St., Copperton Township.
Draper City Park, 12500 1300 E. Mom Alexandra W. says there are three total playgrounds. Two are right next to each other, and the whole area is surrounded by really big trees, along with picnic tables and benches. Large portions of the two playgrounds are in the shade, depending on the time of day. The third playground is on the far end of the park and is in full sun. Fairmont Park, 1040 E Sugarmont Dr., Salt Lake City. One of our online friends, Elise B. says, “It has lots of shade trees. We went today (June 10, 2019) from 1-4:00 pm. There is also a cute, small stream that borders the entrance of the park. It’s maybe 6-inches deep, with slow-moving water, perfect for dipping your toes and exploring.”
Jungle Trail, 13625 Carolina Hill Ct., Draper. See our review here.
International Peace Gardens, 1060 S 900 W, Salt Lake City. Jordan River Parkway Trail. Laird Park, 1185 S 1800 E, Salt Lake City. Small neighborhood park with a sandbox. Neighborhood leave sandbox toys there for all kids to enjoy. Liberty Park, 589 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City. One of the area’s oldest parks. Playground equipment is dated, but the shade is great, especially near the park’s perimeter. Lots of amenities nearby.
Murray Park, 296 E Murray Park Ave. Tanner Park, 2695 E Heritage Way (2760 S), Salt Lake City.
Union Park, 7360 S 700 E, Midvale. Newly updated playground and amenities.
Wheeler Historic Farm, 6351 S 900 E, Murray. Wheeler Woods and Little Cottonwood Creek are particularly enjoyable shade areas.
The beauty of this park is its wide-open grassy field, nearby pond, and doggie park. While the playground itself is minimal, the mature trees do provide shade and a beautiful, natural setting. Note: Trees do not overhang the playground equipment. Use caution when the sun is out in full force. Small pavilion also nearby.
We’re off to a good start on this list and will be adding to it, with everyone’s input and help. Pin it for frequent reference.