Thanksgiving surrounded by descending waterfalls, indoor waterparks, golfing, and majestic red rocks might seem like an atypical family getaway for Thanksgiving. But this desert getaway boasts mild temperatures, and plenty of inexpensive budget-friendly family activities to lure our family back each year.
Places to Stay: Saint George has a variety of places to stay, but our top place to stay for family-friendly fun is the Budget Inn and Suites. This hotel has it all to make Mom, Dad, and the kids happy! Family friendly suites are available, some with Jacuzzi tubs and kitchenettes. The hotel also has two pools and hot tubs; both indoor and outdoor. It also offers indoor and outdoor playgrounds to combat bed jumping episodes! Continental breakfast is provided as well as coffee and hot chocolate.
Family-friendly hiking: To get rid of those extra calories, head to the hills for a morning of family friendly hiking! The Kayenta subdivision is a community of adobe-looking homes nestled against an incredible red rock mountain backdrop. Quiet, paved roads make a morning walk easy for novices. Depending on rainfall, waterfalls can be seen cascading down the red rock mountainsides. The paved walkways are easy to navigate for even the littlest of hikers, and wildlife in this area can be seen. Lizards, quail, and the quick jackrabbit are fun for the kids to spot along the way. Different footprints from the various wildlife are etched into the soft red sand on the side of the road. After the hike, stop by the Coyote Gulch Art Village and Cafe for a refresher.
Something for the Kids: Saint George has so many fun things for the little ones to enjoy this time of year, with weather perfect for outdoor activities. For the dinosaur lovers, head over to the Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. The farm displays some of the oldest and best-preserved dinosaur tracks in the world etched into sandstone. After that, head over to the Fiesta Fun Center for bumper boats, go karts, and a skate park adjacent to the facility. If your kids are craving water, head over to the indoor water park at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center. The center offers two pools, a competition/diving pool and a leisure pool. It features water walks, slides, sprays and moving water devices. For the “bigger” children in the family (including hubby) enjoy some incredible kart racing at Extreme Racing. All activities listed range from free to moderately priced.
Don’t Forget Mom and Dad: The day after Thanksgiving is always fun for Mom. While Mom hits the Outlet Malls and Thanksgiving Craft Fair at the Dixie Convention Center, Dad can take the guys to hit the golf course. Golf courses are abundant here but one of the world’s best known courses would be the Entrada. Entrada is located up in Snow Canyon and is a Johnnie Miller Signature Golf Course. It’s rated one of the top 10 upscale golf courses in America, and is ranked #2 in Utah. Mom can also enjoy spa treatments at some of the best resorts like the Red Mountain Spa Resort. Definite splurges but great early Christmas gifts. Just make sure you book at Entrada and Red Mountain Spa early!
For the Family: To get in the mood for the holidays, be sure to head to the Tuacahn Theatre in Snow Canyon for an outdoor presentation of the Live nativity play. With the red rocks as a stunning backdrop and live animals, this is the best Nativity presentation you will see. Most presentations will set you back only $2 a person, but several free presentations are given throughout the season. Check the website for details. Also enjoy the Festival of Lights at Tuacahn. An awe inspiring display of Christmas lights serves to mark the beginning of the Christmas season. Enjoy a family ride on the lighted Old Salty Train for only $1 a person. Bring blankets and warm jackets as the canyon gets chilly this time of year at night. For a fun daytime activity, take the kids to the Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum. Over 300 animals in their natural habitat are on display here. The 1/4 mile pathway will take you through the forests of North America, the mountains of Asia, and the plains of Africa. A two story waterfall with thunder and lightning storm displays will bring an awe-inspiring experience to all family members. Adults are only $8 and children 3-12 are only $4.
Why You’ll Come Back: Saint George is conveniently located between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, and is only a 45 minute drive to nearby Mesquite. This desert community is one of the fastest growing areas in Utah and nationwide, but still manages to capture that “quaint” town feel. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to visit Saint George, as temperatures are mild enough to still enjoy outdoor activities. The red rocks of this area are stunning, the canyons inspiring. The activities available provide the perfect combination of fun and excitement along with the feel of a weekend of relaxation. Saint George will definitely top your list of Thanksgiving destinations year after year.
Saint George Budget Inn & Suites:
Kayenta Information and Coyote Gulch Art Village
Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm:
Fiesta Fun Center:
Sand Hollow Aquatic Center