The mountains are awash with shades of yellow and red, the air is crisp and there is the smell of fireplaces being lit after a long summer. It’s fall in Park City and while you may be envisioning that last mountain bike ride up Spiro, your kids are clamoring for something new and different. Not to worry, we’ve found some unique fall activities that will appeal to parents and kids alike and a few that even take into account the possibility of another early season snowfall.
Bluebird Day Activities
Nothing evokes childhood memories of fall more than a trip to a pumpkin patch. Park City Nursery is hosting its annual Oktoberfest on Oct. 7 and 8, complete with face painting for kids, great sale items for parents and refreshments. Best of all is the pumpkin patch, which not only allows kids the chance to pick out the perfect pumpkin, but gives parents a great photo op. Admission is free; just remember to bring your own camera if you want to capture that ideal autumn picture.
Park City Nursery Oktoberfest
Saturday, Oct. 7 from 9 a.m.-6p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Located on S.R. 224 at Bear Hollow Drive
Another great way to get outdoors is a family bike ride along the Farm Trail to see the scarecrows on display, hosted by the Friends of the Farm. The Farm Trail runs along the McPolin Farm on S.R. 224 and is paved for even the most uncertain of little riders. You can extend the ride for more seasoned bikers by riding into town and enjoying ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery or hot chocolate at Starbucks depending on the weather.
If you’re up for a bit of a drive, Farnsworth Farms in Sandy offers the chance to tour a small, family-owned cider mill. When the mill is in production, you can view the process through windows or on days when it is not running, you can walk thru the cider mill itself. Occasional hayrides are offered free of charge and fresh apple cider, apples, peaches and other fruits of fall are for sale. When the weather turns colder, hot-spiced cider and fresh doughnuts are also sold. The cider mill is scheduled to open Oct. 1. Call (801) 571-0858 for more information.
Looking for a fun evening activity? Take in a Park City High School Miners football game. There are two varsity home games left in the season, on Wednesday, Oct. 11 (vs. Lehi) and Thursday, Oct. 19 (vs. Union.) All home games are at Dozier Field, gates open at 6 p.m. and kickoff at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students, children under 5 are free. Concessions are available.
Rainy/Snowy Day Alternatives
Here are a few ideas for those not-so-bluebird days. Grab a package of marshmallows, a box of graham crackers and some chocolate bars and make smores in a fireplace. Cooking skewers are an easy alternative to hunting for sticks outside and an added treat is melting the chocolate on a spatula while toasting the marshmallows. Turn on a movie or favorite college football game and snuggle up on the couch for a relaxing afternoon.
If you still want to appreciate the fall colors despite the weather, take a drive for brunch through Provo Canyon to Sundance or Emigration Canyon to Ruth’s Diner. Both drives provide a chance to relax and enjoy breathtaking views. Sundance delivers an eclectic brunch buffet with a Southwestern flair, while Ruth’s Diner provides good, old-fashioned comfort food with its famous Mile High Biscuits. Both menus offer something for everyone and you might get lucky enough to have a family nap when you return home as you all bask in a sleepy food coma.
Sundance Sunday Brunch Every Sunday, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
$27.95 for adults, $14.95 for kids
Take Interstate 80 east to U.S. 40 through Heber. Turn right onto U.S. 189. Pass Deer Creek Reservoir and turn right onto S.R. 92. Follow five miles to Sundance. Brunch is in the Foundry Grill.
Breakfast served daily 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Lunch served daily 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Prices range from $4.99-$6.99 for breakfast; up to $10.95 for lunch
Take I-80 west to exit 134 (S.R. 65.) Turn right onto S.R. 65 toward East Canyon. Turn left onto Emigration Canyon Road. Ruth’s Diner will be on the left side after 7.2 miles.
When all else fails, keep in mind that when it’s raining down low, chances are its snowing up high. Throw your sleds and snowshoes in the car and drive up Empire Pass until you find the snow line. Our family did this a few years ago and the result was an almost surreal experience of sledding and snowshoeing in a foot of snow while it was pouring down rain at our house. There was a whole subculture of locals representing nearly every major winter sport. Everyone from the old to the young embraced and reveled in one of the first snowstorms of the season.
So, despite an early onset of snow, there is still plenty to do both inside and outdoors. As one local said, "the trouble isn’t finding something to do in Park City, but choosing what to do." Add to that spectacular mountain views carpeted with color and aspen trees that shimmer in the sunshine and that is what makes Park City such a delight in the fall!
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