Downtown Ogden for the Family
Warm Weather Adventures
There’s nothing quite like getting outside after a Northern Utah winter, and downtown Ogden offers just the breath of fresh air you need. To get those restless kiddos on the move, head for the High Adventure Park just off of Grant Avenue and 18th street. Kids will love the state-of-the art playground with swings, climbing cables, rock walls and slides right on the shallows of the Ogden River. The park also connects with the Ogden River Parkway, a 4-mile, tree-lined walkway, great for a family walk as well as biking or rollerblading with the entire crew.
Farmers Market Ogden runs every Saturday morning from June through September, and it’s your local opportunity to catch some serious summer vibes! Stock up on some fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies, straight off the truck from local growers. Browse the hundreds of local artisan booths and catch a live performance right on the street. Don’t forget to take your littles on the Jupiter Train, a free trolley that takes a slow crawl around the market. Check out the website for this season’s dates and schedule.
If you’ve got a few adrenaline junkies in your mix, The Junction just northeast of Historic 25th street is a must-visit. Try catching a wave right here on the Wasatch Front at Flowrider, an indoor wave pool that combines surfing, bodyboarding and wakeboarding. Freefall into euphoria with a professional instructor at IFly, an indoor wind tunnel that simulates skydiving. Or improve your climbing skills at IRock, a climbing facility that offers structures up to 55 feet.
For some epic adventures with your younger set, you can’t miss Treehouse Museum, a local family favorite. The Treehouse offers hundreds of hands-on exhibits themed around literature and fine arts. With features like storybook houses from around the world, a walkable interactive map, an art garden for crafting, and daily, kid-inclusive theater performances, your kids are sure to emerge with a smile and dozens of new stories to tell.
Looking for some more traditional, one-fits-all activities? Hit up the bowling alley or get in a friendly game of Laser Tag at Fat Cats, or load up on popcorn and treats and catch a summer flick on the big screen at the Megaplex.
Sponsored by the dynamic local youth organization Nurture the Creative Mind, the Ogden Arts Festival is a lively two day celebration of all things artistic that happens every June in downtown Ogden. With local artisan vendors, interactive art-inspired activities for every age, a diverse array of food vendors and live music, dance and theatrical performances, Ogden Arts Fest is an unforgettable experience for everyone in the family. Check the Ogden Arts Festival website or the Facebook page for this year’s schedule.
Ogden Twilight is a concert series offering a variety of world-class performers every June-September at the Ogden Amphitheater. With previous headliners like The Flaming Lips, Indie Pop duo Matt & Kim & Iron & Wine, the series offers some unforgettable family fun. Check their Facebook page or Ogden Twilight website for schedule and ticket information.
You’re sure to please everyone in the family with a riverside meal at Slackwater Pub. With a menu full of gourmet pizzas like five-cheese, chicken alfredo and a create-your-own pizza option plus an evolving selection of fresh sandwiches, it’s sure to become a new family favorite. 25th Street’s Bickering Sisters and Roosters also offer prime patio dining along with a variety of kid-friendly dishes. For a sweet and refreshing treat on a hot day, don’t miss Farr’s, a homespun ice cream shop that’s been serving up homemade ice cream to the people of Ogden since 1929.
Autumn in Ogden
At the end of each September, the Harvest Moon Festival is Ogden’s official welcome to fall, drawing locals and visitors alike. Known for being Ogden’s “biggest party of the year,” the festival boasts family friendly activities, local artisan exhibits and booths, live music, local food vendors and a beer garden featuring local brews from around the state.
Witchstock, a Halloween themed festival for all ages pops up in mid-October, just as the leaves are at peak color and the Halloween spirit abounds. The event features the Witches Tea, a stylish soiree at Ogden’s Municipal Gardens for crones of all ages hosted by The Junior League of Ogden, and the Zombie Crawl that beckons Ogden’s undead to don their best zombie gear and roam 25th street.
The first Friday of every month, Ogden’s variety of art galleries host the First Friday Art Stroll. If you’ve never experienced this event, a brisk autumn evening is a magical time to take in some arts and culture along the streets of Ogden. Featuring hundreds of local artists in galleries and exhibits across the city, live music and free refreshments, it’s a classic but unforgettable family date. Check the Ogden’s First Friday Art Stroll Facebook page for details about upcoming strolls.
Haunts & Tours
Autumn in Ogden just wouldn’t be complete without seeking out some local spirits. With Story Tours Ogden, your entire family can hop on a bus and visit some of Ogden’s most haunted spots with a knowledgeable guide, or step back in time along historic 25th street on an interpretive ghost walk that suitable for all ages. Check the Story Tours website for current schedules. If you’d rather scare up some spirits on your own, check out Visit Ogden’s interactive map of all things paranormal in Ogden, and choose your own spooky adventure.
For a simple dose of autumn charm and local history, grab a warm drink and take a slow stroll along 25th street. A great place to start off is at Grounds for Coffee 25th Street, a local favorite featuring hot chocolates, lattes, teas and frappes and fresh, house-made pumpkin sauce every fall. Grab your warm drink and wander East up 25th, taking in the spooky shop windows and interpretive signs highlighting the important people and events that shaped Ogden’s history.
For a deeper delve into the rebellious and eclectic history of O-town, check out Weber County Heritage Foundation’s free Audio Walking Tours.
Top off a brisk autumn evening on the town at Union Grill, an Ogden staple featuring comforting entrees like beer battered fish & chips, chicken carbonara, a unique appetizer menu and a legendary pasta salad that locals can’t help but crave. Union Grill also offers a full kids menu and features locally crafted beers. Sonora Grill at the Junction will also warm you to the soul with house specialties like pan fried pork carnitas, crispy shrimp tacos and the best Chile Rellenos in town. Sonora offers a vegan menu, a kids menu and a fully stocked bar, along a breakfast menu that will have you planning to come back just for a chance at the Huevos Rancheros and Sopapillas.
Ogden's Winter Wonderland
Maybe the culmination of great family experiences in Ogden is downtown at Christmastime. On the day after Thanksgiving each year, the annual Electric Light Parade with illuminated floats and vehicles, chaperoned by Old Saint Nick himself is sure to alight your holiday mood. Afterward, the park around the Ogden Municipal Building is transformed like magic into a sparkling winter wonderland. Stay for the countdown to the illumination of Ogden’s Christmas Village with thousands of illuminated trees, shrubs and lighted fixtures. Ogden’s Municipal Garden is transformed each holiday season into an enchanted city square with hundreds of tiny cottages, sponsored and decorated in a yearly theme by local businesses and organizations. Don’t forget to pay Santa a visit, and once everyone’s cheeks are tingling you can treat the kids to some hot cocoa and treats at The Corner.
Looking to start a new family tradition? Catch a showing of the Christmas classic The Nutcracker inside the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater. The 1924 Theater has been returned to its original luster, complete with a twinkling starry sky ceiling, and the performance is tailored by the Julie Moffitt Ballet School to appeal to kids of all ages. It’s the perfect chance for your family to experience a magical holiday tradition. Check the theater’s website for scheduling and ticket info.
Need to work on your shopping list? Historic 25th street offers a variety of unique gift options, and the browsing the shop windows will make you feel like you’ve been transported into a classic Christmas flick. Toys, treats, books and more can be found at The Queen Bee, and all the baked goods of your dreams are waiting at Great Harvest. For a collection of artistic gift ideas, head East across Washington boulevard and up 25th street into The Art Box Ogden. While you’re there, check out the galleries and beautiful in-house artist spaces inside The Monarch.
After you’ve wandered through Ogden’s winter wonderland, done some shopping or taken in a show, head over to Historic 25th Street for some perfectly scrumptious comfort food. Fall in love at Waffle Love with creative concoctions featuring fresh made, gourmet Belgian waffles in flavors like Nutella Love, the Churro Waffle, and Dulce de Liege. For a family-friendly lunch or dinner, try Warren’s Craft Burger, whose menu offers local cravings like fried cheese curds, house-made onion rings, and a huge variety of savory sandwiches and burgers to suit every taste in the family.