The upcoming school holiday used to be called “Deer Hunt.”
And while it’s still held on the opening weekend of the state’s annual general deer hunt, the upcoming four-day weekend is now called the more politically correct “Fall Recess.”
This week, Utah’s children are out of school on Thursday and Friday. Translation? So much time on their hands, so little to do.
Here are 10 ideas for keeping the kids from uttering the dreaded “I’m bored” proclamation during their time off. For more ideas, visit the “Entertainment” section at www.standard.net.
1. GEAR UP FOR HALLOWEEN
Jump start the upcoming Halloween celebration with a visit to one of the many pumpkin patches, corn mazes and haunted houses in the area. Among the most popular are places like Lagoon’s Frightmares (lagoonpark.com), Black Island Farms (blackislandfarms.com), and Haunted Hollow (hauntedutah.com).
2. TAKE TO THE MOUNTAINS
Catch the tail end of the fall colors in Utah’s mountains by hiking, biking or simply going for a drive. Logan Canyon is one of our particular favorites.
However, if you do decide to get out and about this weekend, be aware that the deer hunt starts on Saturday — so make sure to wear bright colors that make you readily recognizable as a human being.
3. OLD-SCHOOL GHOSTS
Although its lack of shade can make Antelope Island State Park a virtual hellscape in the summer, it can be pleasant in the fall. And on Saturday, Oct. 19, park visitors are invited to learn if the historic Fielding Garr Ranch on the island is haunted. Meet at the ranch at 8:30 p.m. that day for a special ghost tour of the ranch — complete with haunting stories and personal experiences.
And after the tour, hang around at the ranch until 11 p.m. to investigate ghosts for yourself.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
4. CHECK OUT THE CRITTERS
A trip to Utah’s Hogle Zoo is always a good time. The zoo tends to be a little less crowded in the fall, and some animals become more active in the cool weather. Plus if you visit the zoo in the evening, you can check out the annual BooLights display.
For more information, visit www.hoglezoo.org or call 801-584-1700.
5. HEAD SOMEPLACE WARM
While October’s average high temperature is just 63 degrees here in the Ogden area, in St. George it’s a balmy 79 degrees. The long weekend would be a great time to take the family and head for red-rock country.
In the St. George area, Snow Canyon State Park is a lesser-known place for exploring. And this weekend, Tuacahn Amphitheater offers the family friendly theater “Disney’s When You Wish,” “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” and “The Sound of Music.”
6. FLIGHTS OF FANCY
Another fun place to take the kids is Hill Aerospace Museum, 7961 Wardleigh Road, at Hill Air Force Base (just off I-15’s Roy exit). Explore 30 acres of aircraft and aerospace-related items — all for free! Call 801-825-5817 or visit aerospaceutah.org for more information.
7. HANG ONTO SUMMER LIKE GRIM DEATH
Nothing says summer like a splash in the pool. So while the inevitable colder weather descends upon us, why not take the family for one last refreshing swim. A couple of places — the Clearfield Aquatic and Fitness Center at 825 S. State St. in Clearfield (801-525-2641), and the South Davis Recreation center at 550 N. 200 West in Bountiful (801-298-6220), offer indoor open-swim times over the weekend.
8. ICE IS NICE
Perhaps you’re from one of those crazy families that actually looks forward to the coming winter. In which case, ice skating at The Ice Sheet could be a fun family activity — and one that portends the big freeze. The rink, at 4390 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, has various open-skate hours over the four-day weekend. For more information, call 801-399-8406.
9. TRY SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY
Described as “a magical marketplace for all your unique gifts and spiritual shopping needs,” the Infinite Possibilities Fall Fair with Flair offers three days of readings, healings, displays, demonstrations, networking and socializing. Entertainment will also be provided — as if the aforementioned weren’t entertaining enough.
The event runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-20, at the Golden Spike Event Center, 1000 N. 1200 West, Ogden. A $5 wristband, available at the gate, is good for the entire weekend (ages 12 and younger are admitted free).
For more information, visit infin8possibilities.com.
10. VISIT A TREEHOUSE
If you have younger kids, Treehouse Children’s Museum is always a solid bet. With plenty of literacy-based activities and hands-on displays to keep children busy, the museum is a good place to spend part of your fall vacation.
The museum is at 347 22nd St., Ogden. For more information, call 801-394-9663.