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5 must-do Utah winter activities

5 Winter Activities

Winter is in full swing around here, and we’re not going to lie, a lot of days we dream of sandy beaches and flip flops, but just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to sit inside all day sipping cocoa. We’ve done some research and put together an awesome list of winter activities to explore here in Utah. Whether you are a weekend warrior, out of town visitor or just looking for a few hours of fun on a random Tuesday, we’ve got it all for you!

Midway Ice Castles
Midway Ice Castles

Location: The Ice Castles are located in Midway, just outside of Park City, Utah.

Fun Fact: During different times of the week you can meet an enchanted ice princess or enjoy an entertaining fire show with dancers and fire breathers.

Admission: $10 – $18 depending on age, day of the week and online vs at the door.

Monday-Thursday: 3pm – 9pm
Friday: 3pm – 10pm
Saturday: 12pm – 10pm
Closed Sundays

Phone Number: 888-407-4054


Who doesn’t love sliding down a mountain with snow spraying in their face? Tubing is what winter is all about. Every city has the favorite tubing hill, but Utah is also home to many resorts and parks that offer tubing fun for the whole family and some of them will even tow you back up the hill! No walking required (now that’s the way to go!). Here are a few of our favorites…

Soldier Hollow Resort

Location: Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway, Utah

Fun Fact: Soldier Hollow has the longest tubing lanes in Utah, stretching 1200 feet and includes a lift service for hauling people up the hill (so awesome!) They are open for day or night tubing.

Admission: $12 to $26 depending on age and time on the hill.
• Tube is included.
• Sessions are two hours long.
• Purchase tickets online.

Monday – Friday: 12pm – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

Phone Number: 435-654-2002

Gorgoza Park

Location: Just off I-80 in Park City, 7 miles from Park City Mountain Resort.

Fun Fact: Gorgoza Park offers 7 different tubing lanes to choose from and has a lift that takes you to the top of the hill each time! They also have mini snowmobile tracks for kids and “Fort Frosty”, a winter play area for kids 6 and under.

Admission: $7 to $46 depending on age and time on the hill, average is $27 for ages 5+ for unlimited sledding for 2 hours.

Monday -Friday: 1pm – 8pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 8pm

Phone Number: 435-658-2648

Wasatch Parc

Location: Snowbasin is located in Huntsville, just 15 miles from Ogden, Utah.

Admission: $6 per ride or $18 for 2 hours.

M,W,F,Sat: 12pm – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Phone Number: 800-391-9954


You can’t ask for a better way to enjoy the beautiful winter views Utah has to offer, all while getting a little cardio in. Grab some snowshoes or cross country skis and you can be one with nature in just a few minutes. Check out these great locations!

Solitude Nordic Center

Location: The Solitude Nordic Center is located up Big Cottonwood Canyon and is easily accessible from Solitude Village.

Fun Fact: There are 10 kilometers of marked trails with varying difficulty levels.

Admission: Snowshoe packages start at $18 and include the pass, snowshoes, overshoes and poles.

Monday-Sunday: 8:30 am – 4:30pm
Shuttles from Solitude Village to the Nordic Center depart at 10am, 1pm and 3:30pm.

Phone Number: 801-536-5774

White Pine Canyon

Location: The White Pine Canyon trail is located up Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Fun Fact: You can take a three-hour, five-hour or even nighttime tour with White Pine Touring Center. You can even add on a fireside dinner after the tour Wednesday-Saturday from 6pm-9pm.

North Fork Park

Location: North Fork Park is located in Liberty, Utah which is less than 15 miles from Ogden.
Fun Fact: This loop will lead you through pretty forests that open up to views of the mountain range. This is about a five-mile loop.

Ice Skating

Whether you are looking for a great spot to practice your triple toe loop or just somewhere to have a little fun, check out these ice skating options all across the valley. Just be prepared to fall flat on your butt a few times…those triple toe loops aren’t as easy as they seem, trust us. And if you’ve see the 1992 classic “The Cutting Edge” you’ll know the importance of the toe pick!

Ogden Ice Sheet

Location: The Ice Sheet is located at the heart of Ogden, Utah on the Weber State University campus.

Fun Fact: This year-round ice recreation center was the home of 2002 Olympic Curling events.

Admission: Open skate admission costs $6.50 for adults and $5.50 for children under 17 years of age. Skate rental included.

Monday-Saturday: 12pm-2pm and 6pm-8pm
Closed Sundays

Phone Number: 801-778-6360

Peaks Ice Arena

Location: The ice rink is located on seven peaks blvd in Provo, Utah.

Admission: $5 for adults and $4 for children ages 4 – 11 and seniors. Skates cost an extra $2 per person.

Hours: Public skating is available at various times each day of the week, except Sunday.

Phone Number: 801-852-7465

Gallivan Center

Location: The Gallivan center is located in the heart of Salt Lake City.

Admission: Adults cost $9 and children 4 – 12 and seniors cost $8. Children under 3 are free.

Monday-Thursday: 4pm-9pm
Friday-Saturday: 12pm-12am
Sunday: 12pm-7pm

Phone Number: 801-535-6117

We hope you enjoyed this list of Utah winter activities! What are some of your favorite activities you would add to the list? 

Winter Activities 2017


8 must-have hiking essentials

camping elements

Summer might be coming to an end, but that means the best season of all is upon us….fall. There are of course the obvious reasons as to why this is my favorite time of year (hello pumpkin everything) but one reason I love the fall is because I can actually enjoy getting outside and hiking with my family. The temperature is 100 percent more to my liking for being active and you get to enjoy the leaves changing color with the beautiful scenery. 

Lucky for me, my husband is Mr. Outdoors and is always keeping me fully stocked with everything and anything I could possibly need for hiking and camping. Whether I’m planning a short hike or a longer adventure, there are a few items I always bring along.

Flight 18 Peregrine Pack 
This pack is great for easy day trips along the trail. It has a roll-top to keep debris from getting in, but makes it super easy to slide gear in and out through the wide opening. Another plus is you can roll up the excess bag to keep it more compact or even fold it into a zippered pocket to pack down to fit inside a purse or jacket. How awesome is that?!

If you hate the smell of bug spray as much as I do, BugBands are a fun way to ward off unwanted insects without a sticky smelly mess. These bands can be worn on your wrist, ankle, backpack or even pet collars and will work for 120 hours. BugBands are safe for kids and come in a lot of fun colors. 

Adventure Medical Kit
The number one thing I always make sure to take with me, NO MATTER WHAT, is a medical kit. The Adventure Medical Kit is awesome because you can restock what you need without wasting money on a whole new kit. They offer a wide variety of kits from 1-person basic kits, to multi-person multi-day rated kits for the big adventures. You can even go as far as getting one that’s waterproof. Believe me, they are worth every penny!

Bear Spray 
My husband always makes fun of me because I’m a nervous nelly when it comes to wildlife, especially with my daughter around. So I tend to keep bear spray with me just in case. 

Petzl Headlamp 
This is an absolute MUST to take on any trip, whether a short hike or big adventure. A head lamp can save your life by either guiding you out of a bad spot if you get lost and end up staying out longer than expected. It can even be used as a signal device  in the event of needing assistance. You never know

If you haven’t heard of this, you’re missing out. The go-girl is awesome. All I can say is it’s a lot easier to use this then figuring out another way to go on a trail. 

If you have some time to kill, this is a great way to relax on the trail or at a campsite. It’s super light making it easy to pack and comes in a variety of colors.

Nalgene Bottle
We love Nalgene in our home because they will not shatter or crack. They are BPA free and come in a million different colors and styles! 

If you’re looking for some fun hiking options around Northern Utah, click here!


Utah Summer Events Guide for Families

Summer Guide

Every year summer happens to pass me by and I look back at all the fun activities I missed. I promised myself this year would be different and I would be prepared by planning ahead. 

After some research, I’ve found there are endless activities you can do this summer to create fun family memories you’ll have for a lifetime. So slather on the sunscreen, grab your shades and check out this list of fun Utah Summer events. To make it easy, we have a free summer checklist printable below.

(Is there an event we should add? Leave a comment and we will add it to the list!)

Weber County Events:

Davis County Events:

Salt Lake County Events:

Places to Visit:


Don’t forget! DOWNLOAD this free printable and make a list of all the fun things you want to do with your family this summer.




5 tasty spots for foodies in San Diego

Foodie Guide San Diego

I recently had the chance to tack on a family vacation with my husband and daughter to San Diego since I was already going for a work conference. One thing I like to do before I travel is plan every detail. I might actually go a little overboard, but what can I say, that’s me! The number one thing I make sure to always have in my back pocket is a list of places to eat. I don’t know about you, but when I get overly hungry, I can get hangry. This is especially true when I’m in an unfamiliar place and trying to find a place to eat becomes overwhelming and time consuming.

I decided to ask my friends on Facebook if they had any suggestions. Turns out, I have a lot of friends who are familiar with San Diego. I figure it’s only fair that I share this awesome list of great places to eat!

Corvette Diner







Address: 2965 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Corvette Diner Menu

We’ve all been to a 1950’s style diner at some point in our life, but Corvette Diner takes it to a whole new level! When we arrived, we were worried we would have a long wait since it was a Friday evening, but we were able to get seated right away. Traveling with a hungry toddler, it was a huge plus! We were guided to our table by a woman all dressed up, top to bottom in 1950’s attire, beehive wig and all. As we walked to our table, you couldn’t help but “ohh and ahh” at the fun and bright environment. (Check out the virtual tour on the website to see all the fun rooms in the diner!) When we sat down, we were showered with straws thrown at our table by dressed up waiters running around frantically having fun and acting in character.  As I looked around, I noticed kids and adults with tall straws all placed in their hair, compliments of the waitresses. As we were placing our drink order, music began blasting throughout the diner and our waiter shot up, got in position and started dancing to a choreographed number with other employees. They seemed to do this about every 10 minutes! 

The menu was full of home style comfort food, exactly what you expect from a diner. We started the meal with an order of fried pickles. Normally this appetizer comes as battered sliced pickles, but at Corvette Diner, you get pickle spears! It was absolutely delicious. For our meal, my husband ordered the cheese steak sandwich and I decided to go with a classic, a sloppy joe. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous to try it, but figured it had to be good. I was right! This classic sloppy joe had the classic flavors of your Mom’s home cooked sloppy joes. The portion size was huge–spilling over with tons of meat and topped off with classic American cheese. We ordered a grilled cheese and a glass of milk for our daughter Olivia. Her milk came out with sprinkles layering the top of her lid and a marshmallow on top—she was in HEAVEN!!   And we couldn’t leave without getting some kind of dessert for ourselves, so we ordered a brownie fudge sundae. It was to die for, of course! 

All in all, Corvette Diner was such a fun, family friendly experience. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect, making a great end to a busy day.

Corvette Diner Food
Corvette Diner Milk


barleymash logo






Address: 600 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
barleymash Menu

This rustic/industrial pub is right in the heart of the Gaslamp district in San Diego. My co-worker and I were looking for a yummy place to eat lunch in between our conference sessions and I can definitely say we hit the jackpot with this place. I could immediately tell that this place was the perfect hang out spot to meet up with a big group of friends on the weekend. Inside, it’s very spacious with three large communal tables and a huge bar, making it an inviting place to spend an evening catching up and enjoying a few beers. The decor was very trendy and hip, making it a fun vibe to relax and chill. 

When we sat down and started looking at the menu, I knew this place was going to be delicious. Half of the menu was full of items that were built from a base of homemade fries smothered in cheese! You can’t go wrong with fries and cheese.  You could add any type of meat or veggies including carne asade, short ribs, apple-smoked bacon and more. Even though everything on the menu looked to die for, I decided to go with the typical cheeseburger.  I rarely eat red meat and I have to say this was one of the best cheeseburgers I have ever eaten. It was worth it. My co-worker opted for one of the weekly specials, a sweet and sour pork sandwich.  This sandwich had braised pork shoulder mixed with a tangy sweet chili sauce, cucumber, pickled carrots and fresh jalapeno on a  bao bun. 

As if the food and atmosphere aren’t enough, barleymash has entertainment seven nights a week from live bands and deejays to beer tastings and food pairings. 


Old Town Mexican Cafe

old town mexican cafe logo






Address: 2489 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
Old Town Mexican Cafe Menu

When asking for suggestions to eat on Facebook, a lot of people suggested Old Town Mexican Cafe in Old Town San Diego. Of course, we decided we had to check it out since it was seemed to be so popular. When we arrived we knew it was going to be a long wait since we saw a line out the door. It was a Saturday night, so it was to be expected. We decided waiting to be seated was the perfect opportunity to walk around Old Town and check out the shops. We did have an hour to kill, so what else were we  going to do? If you haven’t been to old town, I highly suggest it. 

Immediately when you walk in, you see employees making fresh homemade tortillas. I’m pretty sure I overheard someone say you can purchase the tortillas fresh while you wait or order them to take home when you leave. When we finally got seated, the first thing we ordered were drinks, of course. (we just walked around for an hour with a toddler, we deserved it!) I had a classic margarita and my husband was overjoyed to have Pacifico on tap. Apparently that is not common. The chips and salsa were great, although the salsa was a little too spicy for my daughter to enjoy.

The menu was kind of overwhelming with a lot of options, and since we waited so long I was getting a little impatient. I decided not to look too closely at my options and went with what sounded the best in my head, fish tacos. My husband ordered the chili Colorado and we ordered a quesadilla for my daughter. I could only finish one taco before I was completely full, but both of our meals were absolutely delicious. 

The atmosphere was super fun and inviting as well. A Mariachi Band toured the restaurant serenading tables and handing out roses. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for great Mexican food in San Diego with the caveat of coming for lunch instead of dinner so you don’t have such a long wait.

Old Town Mexican Cafe Food

Tin Fish Gaslamp

Tin Fish Logo






Address: 170 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Tin Fish Menu 

When I travel to the coast, the first thing I think of is, “Where can I get some great seafood?”  Let me tell you, I found THE place for seafood in downtown San Diego! The first day at my conference, I was so excited to see this little diner right across the street from the convention center.

The Tin Fish isn’t a formal dining experience but delivers on the quality of food. When you enter the restaurant you step up to a counter, place your order, and pay. It’s a little pricey but once you dig into your meal, you know why. Trust me, you won’t be mad paying the price. With tons of options on the menu it was really hard to choose what I wanted. I opted for a combination of fried shrimp and fish so I could taste a variety of what they had to offer.  The batter was perfect and neither the fish nor shrimp were greasy. I ate the entire basket and wanted more!

TIn Fish Food

UNION Kitchen & Tap

UNION Kitchen Logo






Address: 333 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
UNION Kitchen & Tap Menu

The UNION Kitchen & Tap was a place my co-worker and I happened to stumble upon when looking for a place to eat lunch in-between conference sessions. This place, like barleymash, has a very rustic but modern feel. The menu was full of great choices, but we decided to stick to some classics. I had the blackened chicken wrap with avacado and Hayden had the cheeseburger. The food was so delicious and had great flavor. The best part about this place was the selection of beer. The UNION Kitchen and Tap would be the perfect place to hang out with a group of friends on the weekend.

UNION Kitchen

Image Sources:
UNION Kitchen & Tap

Foodies Guide


Weekend in Waco at Magnolia Market

Magnolia Market

I just got back from a weekend in Waco living my “Fixer Upper” dreams. You know the show. It doesn’t matter if you’re 12, 25, or 65, chances are you’ve heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their wildly popular HGTV show, “Fixer Upper.” And if you’re like me, after one episode you’ve fallen in love with their down-to-Earth attitudes, Chip’s goofy antics, Joanna’s stunningly simple, fresh décor, and the shocking before and after reveals that accompany each episode.

I’ve always been a sucker for home remodeling shows. I think it was TLC’s “Trading Spaces” that first got me hooked. You know, the one where two sets of neighbors got to spend $1,000 and redecorate a room in each other’s houses in two days? I remember watching episode after episode during my freshman year in college and wishing that hottie-handyman Ty Pennington could make me a built-in bookcase. Trading Spaces ended, but I followed that quirky, tan carpenter over to ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

I’m a sucker for “big reveals” and a cause, so naturally this show literally had me crying each week when they said, “Move that bus!” In 2009, hurricane GRADUATE SCHOOL hit and I was forced to say goodbye to free time, cable, and happiness. It has taken me years to recover from that bomb and find TV again, but I’d like to thank the Food Network for reeling me back in and Hobby Lobby for re-igniting my love of home décor with their endless aisles of stuff. I’m back in the creativity game and it feels good. Take that science degree. 

Now back to Waco and the country-chic-flea-market-finding-shiplap-loving mecca that Chip and Jo are creating there. What a blast. The market was actually a little smaller than I thought it would be, or maybe that’s just because it was crawling with well-meaning, decorating wannabes like myself. But the space was enchanting and full of fresh ideas and “Fixer Upper” staples. Many of the items rotate through seasonally, making it a unique selection of goods each time you go.

Magnolia Market

Weekend in Waco

In addition to home goods, they had a few of Joanna’s favorite items for purchase as well—like her favorite perfume or candle. I only wish I had suitcase to bring it all home on the airplane with me. Given my rationed space I was forced to buy only packable items, which included a #shiplap t-shirt, tea towel, and a black Magnolia canvas tote. If I could buy whatever my heart desired I would have purchased some cool light fixtures, some dishes (if you know me, you know I have a slight addiction to bowls), some fun florals and vases. 

Joanna's Favorites

Magnolia is to Waco what Disney is to Anaheim. No, but seriously. The fun doesn’t just stop at Magnolia Market, next to the market are “the Silos” where they have a huge turf and lawn games, dozens of picnic tables, swings sets, food trucks, and gardens. The atmosphere is unique with a clean, urban design among the farmland backdrop. The area is very family-focused and a perfect spot to hang out and enjoy lunch. They are also working on a garden shop that is slated to open up later this year. People love this place and are flocking by the thousands to experience all things Magnolia. I have a feeling there may be a Magnolia Amusement Park in the near future, but that’s just a guess, haha.

Magnolia Market

People love this place. It is a perfect day trip if you’re in the area or an easy weekend getaway. But if you’re wanting to stay onsite at the Magnolia House you’re going to need to plan ahead, way ahead. That place and practically every other B&B and hotel in Waco is sold out until 2017. Can you believe it? But if you’re itching to get down there sooner, I know a nice roadside Marriott just out of town that you can stay at. And if you’re making a weekend out of it like we did you’re going to need a few more things to do while in Waco, so check out these fun spots while you’re down there…


  • Spice Village: A huge market full of different booths and shops from locals and other larger brands. It’s like Etsy, but in real life.
  • Dr. Pepper Museum: Yep, Dr. Pepper was created in Waco and the town couldn’t be prouder. Stop in here for a self-guided tour and pick up a Dr. Pepper float when you’re done.
  • McLane Stadium: Home of the Baylor Bears, even if you’re not into sports this place will “wow” you. Nestled right on the Brazos River, this state-of-the-art facility is a fun stop on your Waco tour, especially if it’s filled with 45,140 screaming fans!
  • Food Trucks: Xristo’s, Club Sandwich and Pokey O’s to name a few. Waco’s food truck scene is small when compared to larger cities, but it’s a niche market that is continuing to grow. Look for them around town mid-morning to mid-afternoon (even at the Magnolia Silos!) or check out the top 10 Waco food trucks.
  • Torchy’s Tacos: A classic Texas taco joint and one of my favorite. With fried chicken, shredded barbacoa beef, slow-roasted pork carnitas, beef brisket, blackened salmon, jalapeno sausage, hand-battered shrimp, seared ahi tuna and Jamaican jerk chicken on the menu you can’t go wrong. Order it “trashy” and you’ll your taco will be topped with their amazing, green chile queso. If only this was a universal term, I’d prefer most things I eat in life covered with melted queso.
  • Manny’s on the River: This is actually a pretty basic Tex/Mex restaurant, but if you sit out on the back patio the breeze and river make up for the generic food. That being said, this restaurant is basic and casual enough to accommodate kids, large groups, grandparent taste buds, and everything in between. Not to mention the chips, salsa, and queso are great!
  • Looking for more food options? Check out The Local Waco 10 Favorite Restaurants.

weekend around town

Image Sources:

Waco Suspension Bridge from Baylor website.
Manny’s from Manny’s on the River website.
McLane Stadium from CE Engineers website.
Dr Pepper Museum from the Dr. Pepper Museum website.
Spice Village from Waco Point website.