Adventures,  Kids

One Night in a Utah Treehouse: Magical Family Vacation

Right after Christmas I was craving a getaway and we didn’t have a ton of extra funds, but I had to book this—my first AirBnB! This was the perfect family vacation for our adventurous bunch (especially the pirate-loving 3-year-old), only 20 minutes away from us. This place is M*A*G*I*C with enough room for all families, and all the amenities you need all year round. It’s even better than the photos if you can believe it. Click on any photos to enlarge!

They were booked for the next 5 months, so we had to plan ahead. The owner recommended April and May to visit so it’s not too hot and not too cold, to take advantage of both the grill and the hot tub; we visited in mid-May. We kept it a secret from the kids for months so we could relish them freaking out at the sight of the bridge—and they did! Not going to lie, the kid in me was overjoyed, and the adult in me was in awe.

I Spy Tiger Lily and Peter Pan atop the Treehouse

The Fantasy Treehouse is built on top of a live Poplar “mother tree” surrounded by all the “baby trees” over a stream on the owner’s property. It’s a picturesque location with horses to the north, mature trees below, farmland behind, and train tracks to the west. The suspension bridge leading up to the treehouse is a marvel using true suspension—a favorite of the kids—strengthened by feet of concrete underground. Everything felt safe and secure. The kids had no fear exploring and jumping or climbing everything and really getting their energy out, and I was happy to let them!

The inside of the treehouse is 3 levels of fun with ladders connecting each! The main floor had a gathering area including eatery. All the beds were on the second floor, with private nooks for reading and relaxing. My favorite part of the tree house is the third floor “The Crow’s Nest” with a balcony overlooking a 360-view for fair weather. A protected lookout could be shut with rope during not-so-fair weather. We enjoyed the jetted hot tub jacuzzi shaded under a pavilion where a mother robin had nested. A treehouse suspended atop a live tree means no robust plumbing, so it was nice that there was a separate shower area with a full bathroom and laundry facilities nearby. This was a family friendly getaway which even included children’s books available, a private playground, and all the things to climb! There were brand new trees and planters, and a grilling / BBQ area where we cooked and enjoyed all our meals.

Treehouse Activities

What Do You Do in a Treehouse? Although there’s a giant TV, Wifi was out during our stay and I’m so glad! Here’s what we did instead:

  • Climb the ladders. All of them.
  • Read on the roof! So many fun reading spots, nooks, and crannies here. My kiddo who’s a bookworm was in heaven; nearly all the candid pics are of her reading!
  • Enjoy the amazing views. Watch a rooftop sunset/sunrise, share a special drink.
  • Explore the stream, gardens, forest.
  • Ease all your achy muscles with a soak in the jetted hot tub (look for the gnome!)
  • Walk the plank!
  • Watch for wildlife: deer and birds in the morning, horses and dogs in midday, bats and owls at night!
  • Run, jump, swing, play on the suspension bridge. Light it up in the evening.
  • Play card/board games, or a puzzle! We brought a new Star Wars Seek-and-Find that was really fun!
  • Dress in something special (costumes for the kids).
  • Make a special meal on the outdoor grill, and serve it under the shaded pergola with the flame in the middle of the table on.
  • Swing and climb on the playground.
  • Snack away! We indulged in our favorite treats we saved just for this special trip—the best cut fruit, crackers/meat/cheese, Terra and Sunchips, Oreos, Buttery pastries, and Capri Suns!
Can we just appreciate that I captured Peter Pan’s (F’s) “shadow” in the pic above? 😉

Lastly, you may be lucky enough to hang out with the owner who lives on property. We needed some salt for our fish we were grilling, so he came over and we got to meet him! The owner was so generous with sharing the details of exactly how he built a treehouse over the course of 3.5 years. You can tell he loves his trees; he even planted a dead one (see the tall stump behind the playground) and as he says, “It doesn’t know it’s dead” because it’s started sprouting leaves! He could tell you where each military-grade bolt came from, the feats he accomplished with inspiration from his late engineer grandfather, creating the bathroom out of a shipping container, and the response he’s gotten from everyone from the local mayor to skeptical family members, and Hawaiian visitors who had never seen snow before showing up in the middle of a snow storm. Learning about the things that went so right with this treehouse when they should have gone so wrong, feels like it adds to the charm.

Some of my favorite moments at the treehouse were at night, especially seeing everything including the bridge lit up. The hot tub was just as fun, but even more so with color-changing lights in the water! This was my first time seeing bats at night! We saw some birds come and swoop down out of nowhere and snatch the bats away—it was crazy!! The sounds were different being in the trees hearing the leaves whistling in the wind, and I loved how it just kind of put me to sleep after my favorite late night activity of puzzles :). It was super relaxing waking up to the first lights filtering through the treetops and hearing the birds. This was just the “Reset in Nature” I was hoping for!

As soon as their costumes came on they just knew how to play hahaha! The kids can’t wait to come back! The boys keep asking about “sleeping over at the treehouse” daily (after asking about going to Grandma and Grandpa’s). I’d recommend staying at least 2 nights to take it all in. If we can afford it, we’d love to make this a yearly tradition. We’ve had the time of our lives here. I’m so thankful for all the hard work and inspiration that made this unique family experience possible!

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