In the southwestern corner of Utah, you will find the city of St. George -- a bustling city of 74,770, a city whose population has swelled in recent decades, up from 11,000 just 30 years ago. Originally founded in 1854 by members of the LDS Church, Southern Utah is nicknamed "Utah's Dixie," because cotton farmers from the South settled in Southern Utah during the Civil War. Southern Utah has a dry, scorching summer of 110 degrees that proved too hot and dry to grow cotton successfully, and the cotton-growing venture lasted only a few decades, and had mixed success. Still, the nickname is in wide use today. With the region's red sandstone, intriguing history, and a commitment to outdoor adventure, you will have plenty of activities to do with the kids while visiting this gem.
The city of St. George (sgcity.org) provides a large number of parks full of amenities that are great for outings with the kids. Hidden Valley Park (no website; 3505 Barcelona Drive; 435-627-4530) features a big splash pad for water fun, playgrounds, open fields, picnic areas, sand volleyball and tennis courts. Slick Rock Park (no website; 2395 Riverside Drive; 435-627-4530) is a smaller park that is excellent for aspiring rock climbers as it features two climbing boulders along with picnic tables and open fields. Town Square (no website; 50 South Main Street; 435-627-4530) is located amid historical buildings and shops offering splash pads, a lazy river and grassy areas.
Family Fun Centers
Jumpin Jack's Indoor Family Fun Center (jumpinjackskids.com) offers several bouncing inflatables for kids and adults. Also available are games such as air hockey and basketball. Parents can take advantage of the WiFi and couch area while the kids jump around. Antigravity Trampoline Arena (antigravityarena.com) is an arena lined with trampolines for jumping, flipping and fun games. Fiesta Family Fun Center (fiestafuncenter.com) offers bumper boats, go-karts, soft play area, kiddie karts, miniature golf, batting cages and an arcade.
The Dinosaur Discovery at Johnson Farm (dinosite.org) is a preserved fossil site with rare fish, plants, dinosaur remains, dinosaur tracks and sedentary structures for visitors to see and learn about. Kids can discover the significance of these fossils and interact with many different dinosaur displays. Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum (rosenbruch.org) is an indoor mountain display highlighting animals in their natural habitat. More than 300 species are on exhibit accompanied by a children's interactive area, an art gallery and movies.
Snow Canyon State Park (stateparks.utah.gov/parks/snow-canyon) is an excellent option to take the kids for some outdoor fun. A wide array of activities are offered including hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, overnight camping, nature studies, wildlife viewing and art activities. The park is amid sandstone formations and lava rock creating a scenic environment. For an off-roading adventure, Red Desert Rentals (reddesertrentals.com) will provide vehicle rentals for all kinds of trips. ATV's are available for personal rental, as well as guided tours.