UPDATED MAY 2015
The weather is getting warmer, the daffodils and tulips are popping up in our yard and the hopefulness of spring is stirring in my soul. It is a perfect time to visit Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. The gardens are a peaceful urban retreat that offers lots of room for exploration.
Red Butte Garden is home to several of themed gardens including a Rose Garden, Herb Garden, Secret Garden, Floral Walk, Children’s Garden and more. The Four Seasons Courtyard near the front entrance has a grassy hill that is irresistible for kids to like to run up and roll back down. Red Butte Garden is nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, so in addition to exploring the groomed gardens, you can wander natural areas as well.
During warm weather months, free tram tours are offered between 10 am and 1 pm. However, I think the best part of visiting Red Butte Garden is exploring on foot and taking in the wonderful colors and scents slowly. Red Butte Garden is fun for families, but it is also a romantic place to bring your spouse or date.
If you’re visiting with children, you won’t want to miss Red Butte Garden’s Children’s Garden. Here, you’ll find a maze, splash pad, koi pond, waterfall and other fun features that the whole family is likely to enjoy. You may want to dress kids in swimsuits under their clothes or bring a change of clothes for the splash pad.
Bring a picnic
The “treehouse” patios at Red Butte Garden are among my favorite places to bring a picnic in Salt Lake City. They are located in a hilly section of the garden where the wide paved path moves up the hill in long switchbacks and two small patios with tables and chairs are nestled in the trees growing from below. If the garden isn’t crowded, it’s easy to feel that you have the entire place to yourself.
Red Butte Garden is well worth the price of admission, but there are five days a year when you can visit for FREE. They are
- Pioneer Day, July 24
- Labor Day, 1st Monday in September
- Dumke Day, 1st Monday in October
- Holiday Open House and Art Fair, 2 days in early December
Free days can be crowded, so go early for the best parking and fewest people. Latecomers my have to park blocks away. You may find more of a festive community atmosphere than a peaceful retreat on these days.
Red Butte Garden is a fun concert venue. It is an outdoor amphitheater where you can spread your blanket on the grass and enjoy a picnic during the concert. The acts are mostly folky/indie types that play well in an outdoor venue. Some concerts sell out fast and priority goes to Garden members. Find more information about the upcoming concert season here.
Good to Know
Where: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City
When: Year-round, but the warm weather months are the most popular time to visit. Closed on Thanksgiving Day and December 24-January 1.
- Adults (ages 18-64): $10
- Children (ages 3-17): $6
- Children (under 3): FREE
- Discounts for seniors and military
- University of Utah students FREE with ID
- Half-price admission in December, January, February
How Long: 2-4 hours
Amenities: picnic areas, gift shop, free parking, classes
Planning a trip to Salt Lake City?
You may also enjoy
- Natural History Museum of Utah (next door to Red Butte Garden)
- Hogle Zoo (a few blocks away)
- Tracy Aviary
- The Leonardo Museum
- Temple Square
- Hotel Review: University Guest House