Your Guide to a Family-Friendly Winter Staycation

by Alesa Larsen

Located just north of Salt Lake City between the gorgeous Great Salt Lake and the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains, Davis is ideally located for a winter staycation. Nearby ski resorts, snowmobiling in the Wasatch Mountains, ice skating, hiking and wildlife watching on Antelope Island are some of the most popular outdoor winter activities. Add indoor fun centers and a thriving arts scene, plus family-friendly hotels and hundreds of restaurants to choose from, and you’ll discover Davis has everything you need for a fun-filled Utah staycation or winter getaway.

Explore Antelope Island

Photo: Al Vaught

Winter visitors to Antelope Island State Park are in for a treat. It’s the perfect time of year for a quiet day trip to enjoy hiking, biking, wildlife watching, nature photography and more. Free-roaming wildlife is a major winter season draw to this beautiful island, the largest in the Great Salt Lake. Keep an eye out for bald eagle sightings especially in the early part of the year, and be on the lookout for bison, pronghorn antelope, coyote and other island wildlife. There are trails for all levels of hikers, such as the half-mile hike to Buffalo Point to catch a perfect island sunset, or a full-day hiking adventure to Frary Peak. Antelope Island State Park is also a designated International Dark Sky Park, with dazzling night skies and views of the Milky Way you won’t see anywhere else. 

Take a hike

Frozen Waterfall Hike
Photo by @her_siren_soul

Our 500 miles of trails aren’t just for summer. Take in the panoramic views on the trail from Bountiful’s Mueller Park to Elephant Rock, or hike to Farmington Creek’s frozen waterfall. After a good snowfall you’ll find ideal snowshoeing terrain above Bountiful, Farmington and Layton, so strap on those snowshoes and start exploring. Wherever you go, the valley views are sure to dazzle.

Enjoy the Greatest Snow on Earth®  

Ski Racks at the Snowbasin

It’s closer than you think! We may not have much down in the valley so far this winter, but with nine ski resorts nearby, Davis is the perfect base camp for winter vacationers looking to max out their time on the slopes. Snowbasin Resort is just 30 minutes from northern Davis — and you can even get there without driving yourself, via UTA ski bus #677 from the Layton Frontrunner Station. Want to ski multiple resorts on your winter staycation? You’re in luck! Check out Nordic Valley, Powder Mountain, Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley, all within an hour’s drive of your Davis hotel

Another option for exploring the beautiful Wasatch Mountains is snowmobiling. Bring your own snowmobile and head for the hills where you’ll discover untracked snow and non-groomed snowmobile routes above the Wasatch Valley.  

Spin on the ice

Station Park Ice Bumper Cars
Photo: Noelle Graf

Show off your best moves at the brand new Bountiful Ice Ribbon, or glide across the ice in a whole new way with Station Park’s ice bumper cars. Prefer to skate indoors? Head over to South Davis Rec Center for an hour-long session of freestyle figure skating. 

Come in out of the cold

Davis County deals and bowling fun

No snow? No problem. We have plenty of indoor activities to keep the whole family entertained. With a variety of amusement centers for all ages, it’s easy to amuse yourself indoors with bowling, go karts, laser tag and arcade games at Boondocks, Urban Air Trampoline Park, or Rush Funplex (Utah’s largest indoor fun center!). Get up close and personal at Seaquest, Utah’s only interactive aquarium, where kids can feed sharks, swim with stingrays and even get a fish pedicure. Be sure to cap off your vacation with a little culture by enjoying a performance at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre or visiting the latest exhibit at Bountiful Art Center. 

Shopping and dining

Station Park Farmington Utah

What’s a vacation without a little shopping? Station Park is a premier shopping destination in northern Utah, and with over 100 shops and restaurants, it’s easy to see why. After a few loops on Bountiful’s Ice Ribbon, be sure to stop by the wonderful shops on Main Street for unique local treasures you won’t find anywhere else. Fuel up for all of your Discover Davis adventures at one of over 400 restaurants, from fast food and casual dining to high-end restaurants. No matter what your taste buds crave, you’ll find it here in Davis.

Stay in Utah’s Amusement Capital

Hotel Room Photo at Tru by Hilton

No matter what your budget is for a winter getaway, there are a variety of nationally-branded and boutique hotels that are friendly, clean, affordable and conveniently located near all of the best amusement Davis has to offer. Check out our full list of hotels and be sure to check out current winter specials offered only to Discover Davis visitors! 

There’s still plenty of winter left to enjoy. Plan your winter staycation today!