6 Ideas for a Simple Summer Trip to Utah

Another summer visit with cousins! Last time we met up with them in Southern Utah. I had so much fun visiting with my Arizona brother and his family, as well as my NorCal sister who my kiddos are obsessed with. They stayed at our new home for the first time. It was exciting to make plans and try some small reorganization projects. I did struggle with some overwhelm beforehand, but when it passed and I forced myself to get up and do things little by little I was very pleased with how clean the house ended up. The kids helped me a lot with taking care of their own rooms and giving me time to rest.

I needed to keep things simple hosting by myself while my husband was away.

#1. Splash Around

Cool down with hours of entertainment! We visited free splash pads in our area, and either brought a cooler full of snacks (watermelon, frozen ice pops, drinks) or got a pizza nearby for an easy family meal on the go. It’s never just a quick stop with our splash pad visits, and kids get hungry running around having fun! I like that it’s easy to keep track of them without having to be in the water WITH them—though I’m always up for a little sprinkle or getting my feet wet before heading out.

#2. Go to a Farmer’s Market

We checked out some of the booths at the farmer’s market in the same park, and had a great time trying out some music (Peruvian?), finding handmade soaps and artisan breads. I believe my musician / foodie brother had a blast, and even found some “real sour dough”. They have some quality vendors in Springville!

I got a sneak peek at what L was checking out for ideas for her birthday. Her aunt treated her to a beautiful necklace with her birthstone, and that was so special for her. For the kids, we found some really yummy treats and the softest stuffed bunny rabbits made of llama wool that I couldn’t stop petting and wanting to squish!

#3. Take a Hike

We took our crew (including our dog) to a family-friendly hike nearby at Grotto Falls. The kids got to use their binoculars to check out the wildlife and interesting plants they found, and my niece referenced them in her Nature book. It was so nice to see that she learned so much from reading it! Nature is always more enjoyable with snacks, am I right? 😉 The only hiccup was my niece needed to go to the bathroom (there are none on the trail), so she wasn’t too pleased at having to go for her first time outdoors. She survived, though, and hopefully it doesn’t deter her from future adventures!

Grotto Falls

#4. “Tea is Always a Good Idea”

Is it a trip to my house without a Tea Party?

I think not! 😉 Glad we got to share some goodies and cucumber sandwiches with more of our family members. Fresh fruit was a nice addition that the kids devoured in fistfuls. I gave in to my kids rooting, and bought a big thing of guava infused madeleines at Costco. Costco was also my go-to for fresh flowers, which really brightened up my home and all of our mealtimes.

I love that my brother also has a thing for tea! He got some cacao from the Farmer’s Market, and always offered to make a cup before bed or at mealtimes- it was wonderful! I helped him peel some fresh ginger to put in there, and he also spiced it up with other additions. One time it tasted like dirt 😂 but after a while I kind of liked it! Nothing a bunch of honey can’t fix 😉

#5. Treat Yourself

We probably ate way too many snacks and treats while out, haha! There was an old-fashioned ice cream shop in historic downtown that we tried, which meant a limited number of flavors and I thought a trip to Brooker’s Founding Flavors Ice Cream would be better next time. We also visited the bakery next door in Payson, and got some Mexican bread and sweets.

No trip here is complete with hitting up the Red Barn down the street, lol! My brother and sister came home with armloads of special tortilla chips, kettle corn in several flavors, organic salsa, and a bunch of other exciting eats for the family.

It was also a really big treat for us to go out to eat as a family, and I could have some time off from cooking and cleaning (it really wasn’t that much) to relax. We let the kids run free in the play area of Chick-fil-a 😆 and chatted while munching.

#6. Make Memories at Home

The night they arrived I cooked a new recipe in my Instant Pot for a Mexican chicken to put on “taco salad”. My niece loved it so much she asked for it every day, lol. I had a whole meal plan worked out with different foods every time, but somehow we ended up eating it every day?! We made it into quesadillas, tacos, more taco salad, on top of rice… We definitely ate a lot of Mexican food! I did do a Filipino food night with shrimp/chicken pancit and some vegetable lumpia I made with potatoes inside. The biggest complement I ever got (and I’m probably counting in my whole life lol) was when my sweet little niece who has always been very picky about her food told me that she loved my cooking the best.

The kids had a great time bonding. F and his cousin played LEGOs and Family together, and even went on our evening walks holding hands. L and her cousin stayed up the whole first night giggling and laughing in their tent in the basement.

Auntie Lee Ann took time to bring each of the kids a special present from her. W got a battery-powered Black Widow spider that he freaked out of his mind excited about. F got a Star Wars lego set that he adored because it was Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, and he happened to have everyone except Han! L is more grown up now, and enjoyed a beautiful necklace with an infinity symbol on it that her Aunt thoughtfully picked out. They had the best time cuddling with Lee Ann, and she was hardly ever alone haha.

Aunt Chalia taught L some crochet I believe, or maybe beadwork. Uncle Wilee let them mess with his music equipment and even made a mix of all of Walker’s different noises and laughs! LOL it was the best!! We had lots of music and laughter in the house which I enjoyed tremendously. My brother even restrung my guitar and ordered a stand for it, I’m guessing to encourage me to play even after our visit. Wasn’t that so thoughtful?

One afternoon we sat in the loft and watched “The Three Musketeers”, one of my favorite movies from Grandma’s black and white collection. We also took a family walk around the neighborhood around sunset and they got to experience some of our lovely skies. I really miss them and am so glad we had a lot of fun together.

One of my favorite moments was on the hike when I saw my sister-in-law, who is a self-proclaimed homebody, smile and say that we should do this every year. 😊 I wholeheartedly agree.

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  • # Ideas for a Simple Summer Trip to Utah

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