We needed a last little hurrah before school starts, so I decided to use our travel fund to book a hotel room somewhere where there are a lot of FREE and AWESOME activities… Downtown Salt Lake City! I grew up in a suburb of Salt Lake City, so I have been to Temple Square many times, so we decided to check out some of the things at Temple Square that we had never done before! If you’re not familiar with what Temple Square is, you can learn more by clicking this link.
Here is my brief description:
Temple Square is where the Salt Lake LDS (Mormon) Temple is located. I happen to belong to this church, but let me ensure you that Temple Square is a HUGE tourist attraction for anyone, religious or not. The church has turned the 35-acre site into a place where you can search your family history, enjoy beautiful art and artifacts, learn about the origins of the religion, take in some incredible architecture and beautiful flower gardens, catch various local choral and orchestral concerts, eat at fantastic restaurants, and much more! Did I mention that pretty much everything they have to check out (except food) is FREE?!?
We started our overnight trip at the Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel. Here is a panoramic shot of our room view at sunset:
As a family of all girls, we spent the night doing face masks, watching Tangled on the Disney Channel, and just having fun together!
Pretty much everything at Temple Square opens at 9:00 AM. So at that time, we headed over to the Church History Museum. The name sounds kinda boring, right? Well, don’t let the name fool you ladies and gentlemen… They’ve updated it recently, and all I have to say about the updates are that they are awesome! They have so many interactive displays that my girls (and I) LOVED! The museum is full of beautiful art, interesting historical artifacts, an entire kids section with art and architectural activities, and more! Here are a few pictures of our time at the museum:
When we left the museum, we decided to do something we’ve never done before. The Church Office Building has an observation deck! A lovely volunteer named Dorothy accompanied us up the elevator, and showed us the views from both the west and east decks. Here are some pictures (I wish I had taken one with Dorothy. She was seriously so cute):
Next, we went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (or JSMB, for short). We had a lunch reservation at a restaurant there, but had about 30 minutes to use up beforehand. After taking in the gorgeous architecture and chandelier in the main lobby, we happened upon an area where the volunteers were teaching people about an online program called FamilySearch, and there was a green-screen picture setup where you could take pictures of yourself at a “location” where you have ancestors. We took one picture, and no one was waiting in line, so we took another. Here they are:
We then went to a theater in the JSMB where they showed a 20-minute video from a movie called “Meet the Mormons.” I had never seen the movie before, but the segment they showed at that time was about a family of pop stars called Bless4 in Japan who are members of the LDS church. It was really enjoyable, and even made me a touch emotional here and there! What a darling family they are.
We then went to eat lunch at a restaurant called The Garden. It is on the 10th floor of the JSMB. The city views from the restaurant were beautiful! Of course, my girls ordered the most expensive thing on the menu… Steak. I had Orecchiette Pasta in a lemon cream sauce. Yum! We all loved our food, and our server, Gabby, was great!
We headed home shortly after lunch because I wanted to beat the rush hour traffic. All in all, the day spent at Temple Square was fantastic. We highly recommend it! Here are a few more various highlights from our day:
Happy road tripping!