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17 Best Indoor Activities in Salt Lake City For a Rainy Day

17 Best Indoor Activities in Salt Lake City For a Rainy Day

Looking for the best Indoor Activities in Salt Lake City For a Rainy Day?

With over 120 million visitors per year, Salt Lake City is one of the most popular tourist locations in western United States. It is the capital and most populous city in Utah.

There is so much to do for tourists, and the most attractive activities take place outdoors within the amazing Utah landscape. However, some days may be too hot or rainy. If you are staying in Salt Lake City and want to get out of the hot sun or stormy weather, you may be asking what activities there are indoors in Salt Lake City.

Do not worry, because there are hundreds of just as exciting if not more activities that take place inside. Here are the 19 best indoor activities to consider in Salt Lake City.

17 Best Indoor Activities in Salt Lake City

Hill Aerospace Museum

The first best indoor activity on this list is the Hill Aerospace Museum. This location is a military aviation museum within Hill Air Force Base. It is a thirty-minute drive from the center of Salt Lake City.

This museum has a collection of 70+ aircrafts including an assortment of helicopters and planes. It is an enormous museum and is completely free to visit. You can visit Monday through Saturday during the hours of 9 AM. – 4:30 PM.

There are displays of uniforms and artifacts from each of the wars that the United States fought in. This activity is great for both kids and adults. It will be unforgettable to you after visiting. If the weather is not co-operating, this location is perfect for a history lesson and breathtaking entertainment.

Hill Aerospace Museum

Hill Aerospace Museum/ Flickr

Salt Lake City Library

The next best activity is visiting the Salt Lake City Library. This is the largest library in Salt Lake City and it is located at the center of downtown. As soon as you arrive at the library, you will notice why it is recognized as some of the best architecture in Utah. With an angled coliseum style on the outside, the library is extremely modern and a staple of American engineering and architecture.

The library itself is five stories and over 240,000 square feet. It is truly amazing and a must visit in Salt Lake City. It houses over 500,000 books from any genre in existence! There is a plaza with shops and lounges to relax.

Each level consists of the children’s library, audiovisual collection, the creative lab, computer lab, browsing library, teen lounge, newspapers and magazines, alternative press, languages and literacy, special collections, and the rooftop terrace. There is so much to explore and take in at this library making it a perfect visit for any day of your stay in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City Library

Salt Lake City Library/ Flickr

Treehouse Museum

Salt Lake City has plenty of museums, and they never get old! There will be a lot of museums on this list and each one is worth visiting for an easy, fun day that requires indoor activity. If you have kids, this is the top location to visit.

With its focus audience being children, the Treehouse Museum offers many different exciting activities that have the mission of inspiring and creating connections between children. They do this through storytelling, imaginative play, art, and literacy. Some of the activities include informational guides about trees for children and story time. There are also many moments where you kids will have the opportunity to meet other kids and have fun together.

The most popular current exhibit at the Treehouse Museum is the Daily at Treehouse. This is a daily exhibit where participants will gather in the Simmons Storybook theater, located at the museum, to listen and tell stories. Art activities are then held for the rest of the day after the first segment. This is a great family location to visit during a rainy or hot day in Salt Lake City.

Treehouse Museum

Treehouse Museum/ Flickr

Leonardo Museum

Another exciting and amazing museum to visit in Salt Lake City is the Leonardo Museum. This is one of the most advanced museums and is in downtown Salt Lake City. The museum focuses on displaying how science, art, and technology seamlessly connect.

It showcases current innovations in art and technology. It includes information about new gadgets, space shuttles, dinosaurs, history, significance of paintings, and much more. There are also art classes and science lessons that visitors can take part in. You can become a member through a one-time, monthly or yearly pass to experience everything the museum has to offer. The most popular exhibit at the museum is Leonardo’s Laboratory.

Here, there is hands on science including identifying materials and quick science experiments available to the visitors. There is also hands-on Fact or Fiction as well as observation of electricity with the facility’s Jacobs Ladder and Theremin. There is plenty of exciting activities to do at the Leonardo Museum, and you should definitely visit if you are interested in science and art. It is easy to access from Salt Lake City and proves to be great fun for every age.

Leonardo Museum

Leonardo Museum/ Facebook

Casper’s Fat Boy Ice Cream Factory

If you are looking for something a little different, you can visit Casper’s Fat Boy Ice Cream Factory. Or you can visit if you are simply a fan of FatBoy ice cream. FatBoy is the most popular ice cream brand in Utah, and this factory is where they make a majority of their products.

Don’t worry, you can eat as many ice cream sandwiches as you crave as a visitor. Here, you can see the process behind ice cream mass production and how they put out so much ice cream to enjoy. This is the main factory of the FatBoy brand, and it is located about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Salt Lake City in Richmond, Utah. It may not be worth the drive for some, but if you are an ice cream lover and do not want to visit a museum, this may be the perfect location for you.

The Pepperidge Foods Factory is very close to the Ice Cream factory, so you can also visit this location if you plan on spending the day in Richmond. It is a great location to get some insight on how ice cream is made and has lots of pictures in the windows and fun things for the kids!

Monte L. Bean Museum

About a 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City, the Monte L. Bean Museum is another extraordinary museum located in Provo, Utah. This museum is free and has many amazing exhibits to enjoy indoors. It is part of Brigham Young University, so it is very advanced and in-depth in terms of knowledge about the exhibits.

This museum is a little more advanced compared to other museums on this list, so children may be a little confused. However, there are still many activities children can enjoy while at the museum like playing in the surrounding green areas.

The museum is dedicated to understanding the evolving earth and its lifeforms. There are exhibits that describe and explain the living planet as well as evolution. You can also learn ways to protect these evolutionary patterns and life itself.

There is a section on land life, submerged life, and life in the air. You can also learn about a variety of creepy insects. This is a great museum if you want a lot of information about the exhibits that you are viewing.

Monte L. Bean Museum

Monte L. Bean Museum/ Flickr

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

Next is a breathtaking aquarium situated in Draper, Utah. It is home to 4,500 different animals that belong to 550 different species.

There are outdoor exhibits, but most of the museum is indoors. You can hang out with penguins or look at hippopotamuses. There are a vast variety of turtles and sharks. The aquarium takes action on conservation so many endangered species take sanctuary at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Additionally, there is a new technology available at the aquarium known as the EECO Voyager.

This is a new virtual reality experience where you embark on a quantum voyage where you can discover Earth’s aquatic ecosystems up close and personal. The voyage departs every 15 minutes, so the wait time is very manageable. All visitors with a visitor pass can experience the EECO Voyager.

There is so much to see and learn at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium and is absolutely worth the 20-minute drive from Salt Lake City. It offers so much and is extremely accessible for Salt Lake City tourists. If you are a fan of aquatic life and conservation, this is a must-see indoor activity when you are staying in Salt Lake City.

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium/ Flickr

Great Harvest Bread

Everyone loves bread. So, go take a tour of Great Harvest Bread company! Yes, they do their own private tours to visit and experience the process of bread making.

You can even make your own delicious sample. You can play around with all different bread ingredients, add oils and seeds, and use the bread machinery, and observe the brick ovens. Finally, there is amazing bread to sample and purchase at great prices. It will be a breadtastic experience.

This is all indoors and is perfect for visitors of all ages, especially children. Kids love to make their own food and have fun while doing it. The Great Harvest Bread company is in Layton, Utah. This is a 20-minute drive from Salt Lake City, making it extremely accessible for a 1 or 2 hour visit. This is a great location and activity to fill some time on a day where you have other activities planned.

Great Harvest Bread

Great Harvest Bread/ Flickr

The Curiosity Museum

This museum is a 30-minute drive from Salt Lake City located in Lehi, Utah. When you arrive, you will notice the beauty of the architecture. It is a large, sparkling glass walled cabin styled building, and you will not miss it. It is home to over 400 nature/science themed activities and displays.

There are extremely interesting and inspiring parts of the museum that look like they are from a book or movie. It is known for being the most interactive museum in Utah. So, if you like hands-on and more personally engaging exhibits, this museum is for you.

There are secrets and treasures throughout the museum that you will find as you explore. If you are feeling adventurous or just want an interesting indoor activity, The Curiosity Museum is perfect to visit near Salt Lake City.

The Curiosity Museum

The Curiosity Museum/ Facebook 

Clark Planetarium

My personal favorite indoor activity to do on a rainy day is to visit the planetarium, and this is the best planetarium to visit in Salk Lake City. It is located right in downtown Salt Lake City and is free to visit. The only cost you can choose is to see the planetarium’s exclusive movies, which are well worth it. There are lots of exhibits, one of which you can walk on a set of Mars.

The three main exhibits are named Earth, Near Earth, and Beyond. You will learn about our planet, the planets in our solar system and alternative solar systems. They also include current astronomy news and projects that scientists are currently working on.

There are some of the highest quality telescopes available to visitors and great places to get food. I am a big fan of space information, so this location is easily my favorite on this list. The optional movies are shown in IMAX and the Hanson Dome theaters. I highly recommend seeing these if you visit the Clark Planetarium as the tickets are only $7 to $9 a piece, and sometimes cheaper for children.

Clark Planetarium

Clark Planetarium/ Flickr

Home Depot Workshops

This indoor activity is a little simpler, but even simpler to sign up for. There is Home Depots all over Salt Lake City, so stopping in for a workshop is extremely easy and you do not have to go out of your way to participate. Plus, who doesn’t love DIY! You can learn a lot about home improvement and crafting skills that prove extremely useful in day to day life in a house.

You might even be able to do your own crafting or repairs in your home allowing you to save lots of money on a handyman. The workshop is completely free, and you can sign up on Home Depot’s website. They teach you how to do all different types of projects including crafting flowerpots, other accessories, and basic skills for a handyman.

Believe it or not, these workshops often fill up so you can meet lots of other people and have a fun time with them workshopping. This is a great indoor activity if you want something less formal and spontaneous while staying in Salt Lake City and the weather is too cold or rainy.

Home Depot Workshops

Home Depot Workshops/ Flickr

The Union Station

The Union Station is situated 40 minutes north of Salt Lake City and has the most to do in a single visit out of any spot on this list. There are 4 museums, 1 historic train station, 2 galleries, and even restaurants to enjoy. You can easily spend a full day or even two here at Union Station.

The station used to bring in 100 trains back in the popular western days. The station was built in 1889, and is now dedicated to museums and teaching about history. The 4 museums to visit within Union Station are Utah Cowboy Western Heritage Museum, John M. Browning Firearms Museum, Utah State Railroad Museum/Spence S. Eccles Rail Center, and the Browning Kimball Classic Car Museum.

There are model trains, cars, and weapons that display classic American history. Union Station is certainly backed with information and sites to see, so expect to spend a full day visiting. If you have time after visiting, the historic 25th street is right around the corner for great food, shipping, and exploring.

The Union Station

The Union Station/ Flickr

The Dartside

The Dartside is an outstanding indoor activity for loads of family fun and excitement. It is an amusement center for the amazing game of dart tag using Nerf guns.

They have an enormous arsenal of all different types of Nerf guns and darts that you can select from. It is like laser tag, but more fun in my opinion. You can do a 1 versus 1 battle all the way up to 40 versus 40 wars. You can see and dodge the darts which adds an extra layer of fun and skill compared to laser tag. Choose to play casual or competitive to settle rivalries in the family, whatever suits you better.

There are two 4,300 square feet indoor arenas with obstacles and jungle gyms to navigate and take cover. Be prepared to have a fun, vigorous exercise of dodging and diving at the Dartside in Layton, Utah, twenty minutes north Salt Lake City.

The Dartside

The Dartside/ Facebook

Crystal Hot Springs

Although this list is about indoor activities, the Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville, Utah is still a great location during rainy weather. Even if it is cold and rainy, the hot springs feel amazing. Some argue the Crystal Hot Springs are even more scenic and enjoyable when it is raining.

It is an amazing time with family and extra interesting if it is raining while you are in the water. There is a small fee of less than $10 to enter. Make sure to consider these popular Springs when staying in Salt Lake City.

Crystal Hot Springs

Crystal Hot Springs/ Flickr

Utah Children’s Theatre

If you have kids, this theatre is perfect as it is directed towards kids. They have plays and shows for children of different movies and media.

Outside, the theatre is vintage, however inside it is completely renovated, modern, and especially comfy. They offer Shakesperean productions like Romeo and Juliet and much more. Your children will especially enjoy these productions, but adults can too.

It is loads of fun and comfortable to relax on a cold day. It is situated right in Salt Lake City so you can find it easily for a night or lunchtime activity. This is a great place to visit for family time together.

Utah Children’s Theatre

Utah Children’s Theatre/ Facebook

The Food Truck League

The Food Truck League is an association of food trucks that gets together in Utah and creates a line of food trucks for visitors to enjoy. You can most likely find an event from The Food Truck League no matter the date you visit Salt Lake City.

They love to set up a show in the city each week, so you cannot miss them. They are a league of over 200 food trucks with food from every style in existence.

This is a delicious activity to take part in where you will only have to travel a few blocks to reach. The Food Truck League only incorporates the highest rated, top growing food trucks in Utah, so you can expect the best food when visiting.

Usually, an event will include 15-20 food trucks, but sometimes more. This is a great activity to simply relax and enjoy some amazing street food in Salt Lake City.

The Food Truck League

The Food Truck League/ Facebook

Natural History Museum of Utah

Go to see the Extreme Mammals Expedition exhibit at The Natural History Museum of Utah inside of Salt Lake City for a perfect indoor activity.

The building itself is magnificent and the inside is awing to be inside. It is one of the largest museums in Utah with displays of over 5000 artifacts relating to natural history specifically in Utah. The focus of the museum is to highlight the history of the natural world with illumination of humans and how they affected it. There are full reconstructions of many different dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

These reconstructions are full displays of every bone in the animals from the past. It is remarkable to look at and put into perspective the scale of these historic creatures. This museum is perfect for visitors of all ages and makes for a perfect indoor activity visit when staying in Salt Lake City.

See more: Things to do in Vernal Utah

Natural History Museum of Utah

Natural History Museum of Utah/ Flickr