Guide to Labor Day in Salt Lake City: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

Salt Lake City Skyline
Darwin Fan / Getty Images

Labor Day weekend marks the traditional end of summer and the last chance to enjoy a long weekend with family and friends before school starts and autumn begins. If you will be visiting scenic, high-elevation Salt Lake City, Utah, during Labor Day this year, you can't miss the state capital's views of the snowy Wasatch Range mountains and the Great Salt Lake. You can also make the most of your holiday with great local activities, events and celebrations. Whether you're looking for sports, music, or family-friendly happenings, the Salt Lake area has something for everyone all weekend long.

01 of 11

Check out Some Outdoor Concerts

Deer Valley's Snow Park Amphitheater

Deer Valley Resort 

Wonderful weather continues into September in Salt Lake City, and so do outdoor summer concerts (and some indoor ones). Relax under the lovely skies or sip a cocktail at a local venue while you enjoy a performance happening around Labor Day weekend.

A great, family-friendly venue in Salt Lake’ City's east foothills to see not only well-known musicians but have a picnic with views of the beautiful Wasatch Range landscape is the Red Butte Garden Concert Series. Another popular outdoor option in downtown Salt Lake City is the Gallivan Center amphitheater; in case of unpleasant weather the Gallivan Hall indoor venue is available.

02 of 11

Head to Some Kid-Friendly Museums and Attractions

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Anna C. Brandão Alves / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

With the children off school and adults taking time away from work, Labor Day weekend is a perfect time to visit Salt Lake City's best kid-friendly parks, museums, and attractions. Suggested stops include Hogle Zoo, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and Lagoon Amusement Park. Also don't miss The Leonardo Museum of Creativity and Innovation, an interactive place where kids can explore science, technology, and art through hands-on exhibits.

03 of 11

Have an Adventure on Family-Friendly Hiking Trails

Hiker exploring Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyon Loop, Goblin Valley State Park, San Rafael Swell, Utah
Hagephoto / Getty Images

Fun, free, and healthy, hiking is one of the best Labor Day weekend activities to do as a family. You can discover Utah's natural beauty on some of these recommended hikes that are easy and appropriate for both kids and older adults. For instance, a trip through Bell Canyon to the lower reservoir is perfect for beginners, but you'll need to spend all day to get to the upper reservoir. If you'd like to experience a great view of the Salt Lake Valley, you can take an easy hike up the Living Room trail, which leads to a ridge overlooking the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum.

04 of 11

Cool Off at Pools, Water Parks, and Splash Pads

Cowabunga Bay Water Park Utah

Cowabunga Bay

Stretch your summer fun this Labor Day weekend and take advantage of the typically sunny, nice weather. Salt Lake City in September is 78 degrees Fahrenheit on average, so it would be refreshing to stop at one of the area's pools, water parks, or splash pads. Good places to cool off include Cherry Hill, Cowabunga Bay, and Gateway Olympic Fountain, but there are also numerous community pools spread throughout the Salt Lake Valley (and beyond). While some hotels will also have indoor or outdoor pools, not all of them will. If you want to enjoy a day swimming or lounging, make sure to confirm that your hotel indeed has a pool before booking your room.

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05 of 11

Enjoy Al Fresco Patio Dining

Ruth's Diner, Salt Lake City, Utah

 Ruth's Diner

Nothing is lovelier than a great meal outdoors in good weather, and some of the best restaurants in the Salt Lake City area offer patio dining. Bring a book or a friend and relax with some tasty food and drinks at places like Aristo's near the University of Utah, The Dodo in Sugar House, and Gracie's in downtown. No matter where you are in the city, you're sure to find a delicious meal you can experience in the fresh Salt Lake City air.

06 of 11

Shop at Salt Lake City Farmers Markets

Green Beans at Salt Lake City Farmers Market

Mehmed Zelkovic / Getty Images

Pick up some arts and crafts—or fresh produce for your Labor Day barbecue—at one of these notable farmers markets held Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays around the Salt Lake City area. Check out the many markets that make up the Wasatch Front Farmers Market, the environmentally-friendly Park Silly Sunday Market on historic Main Street of Park City, and 9th West Farmers Market at the International Peace Gardens at Jordan Park.

07 of 11

Catch a University of Utah Utes Football Game

Utah Utes

Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images

Football season for the University of Utah usually kicks off with a Utes game on the Thursday before the Labor Day weekend. The intercollegiate athletics university teams got their name from the Ute tribe of Native Americans. Check out the game against Brigham Young at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, an hour south of Salt Lake City. One lively area to check out the game—amidst a plethora of restaurants, shops, museums, parks, and other places to have a great time—is in the University neighborhood that houses the University of Utah.

Visit the ​team website for ticket and schedule information, or tune into the game at a sports bar around the area.

08 of 11

Oktoberfest at Snowbird Resort

Snowbird's Oktoberfest

Snowbird

Oktoberfest at Snowbird Resort, one of the state's biggest festivals, features music, dancing, traditional German cuisine, and over 50 types of beer at the beer garden, plus bratwurst, sauerkraut, schnitzel, and more German favorites. Kids young and old can enjoy face painting, a caricature artist, inflatable rides, music, balloons, and other Labor Day weekend activities. Oktoberfest events typically take place on Saturdays and Sundays every weekend (plus Labor Day) from mid-August through mid-October.

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09 of 11

Midway Swiss Days

Midway Swiss Day

Go Heber Valley

Midway, near Heber City and about 28 miles from Salt Lake City, celebrates its Swiss heritage with a popular two-day Labor Day weekend festival at the Midway Town Square. The Midway Swiss Days festivities include a chuck wagon breakfast, a 10K run, a parade, and several musical performances. The event also has an enormous arts and crafts fair, which is a perfect place to shop for unique gifts, home decor, clothing, and more. Don't forget to try some pie and ice cream.

10 of 11

Labor Day Luau at Thanksgiving Point

Labor Day Luau at Thanksgiving Pointe, Utah

 Utah Valley

Say aloha to summer with great food, leis, tiki torches, and live entertainment at the annual Labor Day Luau. The family-friendly event features dancing from various cultures of Polynesia, including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Tahiti, plus the ever-popular fire dancers. Bring blankets and chairs for your family to enjoy the outdoor event.

Events take place at Ashton Gardens in Lehi, Utah, about 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, on Labor Day evening. Visitors may want to check out more of Ashton Gardens, given that it is 55 acres and home to what they claim is the biggest manmade waterfall in the Western Hemisphere. History lovers should head to the Museum of Ancient Life also at Thanksgiving Point to see numerous dinosaur skeletons and over 50 hands-on exhibits. 

11 of 11

Miners' Day in Park City

Park City Miner's Day

Park City Rotary Club

Celebrate Park City's mining heritage at Miners' Day on Labor Day. Event features include the funky Miner's Day Parade, the world-famous "Running of the Balls" (thousands of golf balls rolled down Main Street), mucking and drilling competitions, music, a 5K fun run, and kids' activities.

The event will take place on Historic Main Street and City Park in Park City, about 40 minutes by car from Salt Lake City. Learn more about the city's background at Park City Museum; walking tours through late August educate visitors on how Park City went from a silver mining town to a notable ski resort that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. 

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