It may still be sweltering outside, but the countdown to Opening Day is officially on. While summer is winding down it isn't too late to squeeze a couple more sunny mountain memories before the flurries fly. Check out this list of activities around Salt Lake City and Utah for your next family day, solo outing, girls’ night, or date night.
You may be unaware, but Snowbird actually hosts one of Utah’s longest-running cultural events each year: Oktoberfest. Since 1973, Snowbird has provided beer lovers with an alpine escape to enjoy cooler temps and beautiful fall foliage, all while sipping delicious libations and sampling authentic German fare. This year’s 47th annual Oktoberfest will continue to offer a huge number of diversions for kids and adults in addition to over 50 beers and wine. The festival will run Saturdays and Sundays starting through October 20th with the Grand Oktoberfest Weekend falling over the Labor Day Holiday.
If cramming beer and brats down your gullet isn’t your style, consider participating in the Cirque Series Snowbird Race on Saturday, September 7th. This grueling race challenges runners in an 8.7-mile course with 3,566 feet of climbing. If you prefer to earn your beer, this would be a rugged diversion before heading off to Oktoberfest to celebrate completing such an insane feat! More on trail running options here.
While visiting Oktoberfest, make a day of it and head up early to take advantage of scenic tram rides, the climbing wall, hiking, mountain biking on the Big Mountain Trail, a spa treatment, or testing your physical prowess on the Woodward Wrecktangle. Each Oktoberfest will be accompanied by local vendors, live music, ample food options, and the haunting call of the Alpenhorns atop Hidden Peak at 3:00 PM each day.
A great way to spend a summer Sunday is to head on up to Snowbasin Resort for activities aplenty and their always free Blues, Brews, & BBQ concert series. The concerts run every Sunday through September 8th on the expansive lawn and patio behind Earl's Lodge at the Snowbasin Base Area. Make room in your belly by taking a hike, playing a round of disc golf, or enjoying the 26 miles of mountain biking trails before making a beeline for the lawn to grab great seats.
Musical acts begin at approximately 12:00 pm and typically, three bands or acts will run through 5:30 pm. The headlining band will usually begin their set around 4:00 pm. Kids will discover games and activities and Snowbasin’s award-winning BBQ will satisfy hungry patrons as they enjoy the ambiance and cool air on the lawn. Bring your own chairs and blankets for this festival-style event. Leashed dogs are also welcome to attend.
Additionally, new this year Snowbasin will be hosting SnowWiesn. This fall festival encompasses activities from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany and is sure to be a hootin' time. SnowWiesn will be held in the base area Sundays September 15th, 22nd, and 29th from 2-7 p.m. in partnership with Roosters Brewing Company and Wasatch Distributing.
In this climate of political tumult, sometimes the only antidote is laughter, and you’re guaranteed a bellyful at the Salt Lake Acting Company’s 41st rendition the annual Saturday’s Voyeur. This cabaret-style show lampoons current events at national and local levels. While irreverently poking fun at all the oddities that make Utah special and unique, the Salt Lake Acting company provides satirical relief and witty commentary on current events and happenings. The decidedly silly atmosphere reminds us all to take time for a little comedic relief now and then. The 2019 show has been extended through September 15th; be sure to book tickets well in advance, as this popular show often sells out.
Don't miss the last show of the summer at the Gallivan Twilight Concert Series! Madge, Sudan Archives, and Santigold will wrap up the season at 6:00 PM on Friday, August 30th. Tickets should be purchased for $10 in advance directly from Twilight’s website, as the show will likely sell out.
Early in the morning on a misty September weekend, more than 20 hot air balloons gather for a free and inspiring spectacle. The annual Autumn Aloft event celebrates color, form, and the carefree nature of mountain living with morning hot air balloon parades on September 14th and 15th and an evening Candlestick procession on Main Street at 8:00 PM on the 14th. While rides aren’t available to the public, the sight is worth waking up early for. You never know which forms the balloons will take and it’s an especially perfect event for awe-struck children or avid photographers. You may run across Donald Duck, jack-o-lanterns, a winsome frog, a gremlin, or Mr. Peanut.
Since the day’s festivities wrap up by 10 am, you can easily head over to Park City Mountain and wear yourself out with their many summer activities. The Adventure Park is best suited to families seeking adrenaline while miles and miles of perfect singletrack beckon to mountain bikers. Intermediate/advanced riders won’t want to pass up the Mid Mountain Loop, an IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) Epic rated trail. There are also scenic lift rides, zip tours, golf, and a multitude of hiking trails. Wrap up your day with a delicious meal on Main Street and catch the Candlestick procession afterward!
If you're looking for additional family-friendly activities, you'll want to read Brooke's Top 10 Activities for Kids at Utah resorts. And, if you're looking for a more rowdy end to your summer, check out Après Adam's: 6 Pack of Summer Activities.