Grandparents Day — celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day — has always gotten the short end of the stick. The holiday has been around since 1978, but just hasn’t taken off like Father’s or Mother’s Day. When’s the last time you got a present? Or even a card? Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. We all know what you really want is the gift of time with your grandkids. This year, it’s time for G-ma & G-pa to step up (slowly), to let down their (gray) hair, to have their time in the sun (bring a sweater!). So take those kids out this weekend and have some good old-fashioned fun with these affordable activities around the state.
A sunny September day is a great time to take your wildlings out to see some wildlife. Go to Sugarhouse Park and you can even feed some wildlife. (Remember: Corn, oats and seeds are good for ducks; no bread please!).
If you’re ready for a more active pastime, start the day with one of these kid-friendly hikes. Download an app of Utah flora and fauna to trick your grandkids into thinking you’re an outdoor oracle. (Don’t know how to download apps? Ask your grandkids!) Or streamline your bird watching experience at Tracy Aviary ($10 for seniors, $8 per kid).
If wildlife isn’t your forte, why not visit Wheeler Historic Farm and point out the more familiar barnyard animals while getting a taste of yesteryear Utah agriculture?
Or go all in on flora at Red Butte Garden, a living plant museum curated in fresh air and sunshine ($10 for seniors, $7 per kid).
Grab a Treat
The last days of summer can still be hot, so get to the ice cream parlors you took your grandchildren’s parents to. Happy Valley has the Creamery on Ninth East, Salt Lake’s Leatherby’s Family Creamery serves floats and sundaes starting at just $5 and Bountiful’s Nielsen’s Frozen Custard has cones for $2 and concretes starting at $4.
If they’re not really screaming for ice cream — first of all, what’s wrong with them? Oh, lactose intolerant? Oh okay uhh, sorry — drive up the road to So Cupcake for a $3 baked treat or a mini at half price.
Adventure September is a great time to get wet with a tubing trip down the Provo River ($12 per person at High Country Adventure). Or take part in the Get into the River Festival and celebrate the Jordan River in Salt Lake County. The festival runs the entire month of September and most events are free.
If you’re not as young as you used to be and that sounds a little athletic, watch someone else sweat. BYU and Utah football games can be pricey, all-day affairs, but you might try other sports and/or smaller schools: Westminster College’s soccer, volleyball, and basketball tickets sell for $5.
Learn ’em a thing or two at one of Utah’s many PBSque museums. Watch them gape at gems the size of their head and dinosaur bones at the rock-red Natural History Museum of Utah ($13 for seniors, $10 for kids).
Or teach them how their grandparents’ grandparents lived at This Is the Place Heritage Park ($5 for seniors and $4 for kids on Sundays). If you’re downtown, another museum with discounted Sunday prices is the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum ($6 Sundays).
If you want to take the grandkids back-to-school shopping, try Kid to Kid. The clothing might be pre-loved, but it’s hand-picked by staff to appeal to even finicky fashionistas & fashionistos (fashionisters?).
Get Ready for Fall
Don’t let those kiddos forget that Grandparents Day comes once a year but lives in hearts all year long. As the leaves begin to change, take them on scenic drives to absorb bursts of orange, red and gold.
Visit the Wasatch Front Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings at Gardner Village. The last weekend of the month is Kids Market for Salt Lake’s young entrepreneurs.
There’s also Peach Days in Brigham City for a car and motorcycle show, two parades, hundreds of vendors and, of course, locally harvested peaches.
Whatever you do, don’t let another Grandparents Day slide by. Your grandkids aren’t getting any younger, and there’s no such thing as Great-Grandparents Day. (Yet!)
Check out KSL Deals today if you need more awesome and affordable activities to do with your grandchildren.