I basically couldn't think of a more fitting place to celebrate Utah's Pioneer Day than at This Is The Place Heritage Park so we were thrilled when they invited us out on Saturday. Apparently when the Mormon Pioneers, who settled Utah, first came into the Salt Lake Valley from Emigration Canyon on July 24th, 1847, their leader Brigham Young stopped his wagon at the current location of the park and declared that This Is The Place! 10 years later the first Pioneer Day was celebrated and now it has become an official state holiday that we can use to remember Utah's rich pioneer history.
With Heritage Park being the place where the whole holiday got started, I assumed the place would be packed and a nightmare to navigate on my own with 5 kids, including a 7 week old baby, but it actually wasn't too bad and we managed just great! All the special holiday festivities continue on Monday as well so there is still time to check them out.
My kids decided to rummage through their costume closet and found some pioneerish clothes to dress up in for the day and we thought that made our trip even more fun, but they were definitely the exception. We only saw a handful of other kids in costume, but we still highly recommend it!
They basically had all their regular exhibits open (for more details on those see our previous post here), plus a few special activities scheduled throughout the day.
10:30 am - Flag Ceremony
11:00 am - Native American Dancing
11:15 am - Street Dancing
11:45 am - Candy Cannon
12:00 pm - Native American Dancing
12:00 pm - Watermelon Eating Contest
12:30 pm - Pioneer Days Parade
1:30 pm - Native American Dancing
2:00 pm - Candy Cannon
2:15 pm - Street Dancing
2:30 pm - Native American Dancing
2:30 pm - Watermelon Eating Contest
3:00 pm - Pioneer Days Parade
3:30 pm - Bank Robbery
4:00 pm - Native American Dancing
4:15 pm - Street Dancing
4:30 pm - Flag Ceremony
For the most part the activities repeat in the morning and again in the afternoon so you could come for either half of the day and get to see most of the special events. We just went for the afternoon and ended up skipping half the sites in the park because there really was enough to do that we wished we would have come sooner and spent the entire day.
In addition to the scheduled activities all day long they had Bird Shows, Mechanical Bull Riding ($5 additional fee) and Horse Rides ($5 additional fee). We didn't make it to any of these activities as like I said, we just ran out of time.
Check their website for pricing as it varies by season and events. Here.
You'll be walking a lot, so be sure to take a stroller if you have little ones.
Wheelchair friendly, although there are hills.
Pack some water (lots of water!), snacks and a lunch.
There are food places at the Park as well.
Be sure to check out the Gift Shop and check out the museums downstairs.
Plan at least a few hours at the park, if not the whole day.
Don't forget to print off a coupon for $2 Off Admission Here: $2 off per person. Not valid with any other coupon or offer. (Excludes Witches' Ball or Haunted Village.)