The snowy season in Salt Lake brings an incredible number of opportunities to play outdoors, from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing. The winter also offers plenty of spectacular indoor activities, like one-of-a-kind art exhibits and hands-on museum experiences. No matter what you choose to do, your adventure will be “West of Conventional.”
Birding on Skis at Alta
Whether you consider yourself a birder already or you simply have an interest in how our beautiful feathered friends live in the mountains, Birding On Skis at Alta is your big chance to enjoy one of the most unique birding experiences in the world. It’s a collaborative effort between our local Tracy Aviary, the Alta Environmental Center, Alta Ski Area, and Friends of Alta. To join, you’ll need to be an intermediate skier or better, and at least 12 years old. Sign up in advance; outings are 9 a.m. - noon on the second and fourth Thursday of each month starting in December.
Snowshoe With a Naturalist at Alta
Skip the skis for an afternoon, rent a pair of snowshoes, and take the unique chance to get to know the terrain of Alta on foot, guided by a local naturalist. You’ll learn all about the local wildlife, animal tracks, and ecosystem, with a little dash of Little Cottonwood Canyon and Alta history thrown in. The experience is a collaboration between the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation and Alta, and is offered the third weekend of each month starting in January. Registration is just $10, with inexpensive snowshoe rentals available from the Alta Ski Shop.
Dive into an immersive experience at Dreamscapes. Created by over 100 artists, builders and audio-visual experts of the Utah Arts Alliance, this colorful labyrinth is a dream-inspired art piece you can literally get lost in. The one-of-a-kind exhibit is built using reclaimed and upcycled materials, making this Utah’s first environmentally-sustainable attraction! Dreamscapes is appropriate for all ages, so the entire family is welcome to enjoy the chromatic creations. For those who want to keep dreaming, annual memberships are available for individuals, duos and families. If you want to check out Dreamscapes and multiple other Salt Lake attractions at one low price, check out the Connect Pass.
Go Snow Tubing or Terrain Park Riding at Woodward Resort
Just 20 minutes up Parley’s Canyon from Salt Lake, the new Woodward Resort boasts a multi-lane snow tubing hill for hours of high-speed family fun. A gentle “magic carpet” style belt conveys riders and their tubes to the top of the groomed hill. Riders can then cut loose, whooshing downhill and whooping all the way. The small resort also includes beginner-friendly ski runs and an excellent terrain park. Kids’ camps, held weekly, are a great way for kiddos to build up their skills.
Attend a Utah Symphony Performance
Utah Symphony performances are one of the most magical things to attend during the symphony’s winter season in downtown Salt Lake. With a vision to connect the community through world-class music, the orchestra plays pieces from renowned classical artists and breathes new life into each and every performance. The Utah Symphony also pays tribute to modern media, playing songs from recent films. Whether you're craving a Beethoven sonata or perhaps a score from the Star Wars saga, there's a concert sure to transport you this winter.
Discovery Gateway's I Dig Dinos
I Dig Dinos is Discovery Gateway's newest exhibit. Kids — aka mini paleontologists — get hands-on with real fossils that were found in Utah. This one-of-a-kind exhibit epitomizes the immersive learning experience the museum prides itself on. Ever wish you had the chance to uncover relics of the past? Now your little ones can live that dream by digging for fossils and bones, taking them to the lab, and identifying them under a microscope. I Dig Dinos is the perfect place for little paleontologists to make big discoveries! And if you buy a Connect Pass, you can combine this experience with other family friendly attractions for one price.
Visit Salt Lake's Chinatown Market
Utah's largest Asian market is located in Salt Lake and is open until 9 p.m. seven days a week. This 5.7-acre shopping center hosts an abundance of unique restaurants and shops. If you're looking to create traditional dishes, over 6,000 products unique to Asian countries can now be easily found on Chinatown Market's shelves. Discover Cantonese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese cuisine. On top of grocery stores, you can grab a bite to eat with food and drinks from the market's restaurants. Just look for the market's bold red gate, and you'll know you've arrived.
New and Notable Dining
Salt Lake's culture never stops evolving, and the city’s bar and restaurant scene is no exception. It seems like every week, there's a new eatery open for business. Discover some of the latest hot spots sure to have you going back for seconds on our New & Noteworthy Restaurants page.
Woodbine Food Hall & Tavern is perfect for the indecisive crowd. From tacos to pizza to pastries, this hall features a range of local vendors. Plus, there's a rooftop bar with spectacular city views. The Pearl Bar & Kitchen creates Vietnamese street food dishes. Chef Tommy Nguyen takes pride in cooking traditional recipes he learned from his mother. Don't forget dessert! Mochinut is exactly what it sounds like — crunchy mochi and sweet donuts. Grab yourself a bite (or two) and consider your sweet tooth satisfied.
Cross-Country Ski Lessons at Solitude Nordic Center
With miles and miles of perfectly groomed nordic-skiing trails, the Solitude Nordic Center is a hidden gem tucked between Brighton Resort and Solitude Resort. This haven, on the shore of Silver Lake, offers inexpensive cross-country ski lessons, rentals, and camps for all ages, including women-specific clinics, kids’ clinics, and group lessons if you want to bring the whole gang. Nordic skiing is one of the best forms of cardio exercise out there—and the stunning mountain views help you forget what an intense workout you’re getting!