Unplugging in Heber City Utah

Derek and I attended college at Brigham Young University, nestled right at the mouth of the canyon in Provo, Utah. For the most part, all of our friends were interested in being adventurous, hiking, and getting outdoors. I have countless pictures of us hiking through various trails in Utah, swimming in Deer Creek Reservoir, and skiing at Sundance ski resort. When I think about our college experience, it seems like a miracle that we ever graduated because most of my memories from college are of all the fun we had outside, and I don't have many memories of being studious in my apartment... Although maybe that explains why I only have an associates degree.

It's been really important for me to be able to take our kids back to Utah and show them where Derek and I lived, what places were meaningful to us, and what we did to have fun. Since we were wanting to go to Utah/Idaho to be with family this year for the holidays, and then this post with the City of Heber had come up, it seemed like the perfect timing to be able to show the kids our old stomping grounds, and make new memories together as a family of four. 

Traveling with kids is hard, I won't deny that. I've felt the last few years that with Em and her disability that it's even harder for us to travel, and so we would avoid doing really adventurous things because it was easier to just skip out instead of learning to adapt and accommodate. I'm so glad that we were finally able to put some of those fears aside, ditch the tablets that the kids had been playing on for hours of driving and flying, and have a really great fun filled day together in the great outdoors of Heber City. 

Heber City offers a wide variety of activities and places for you to connect with children. One important thing I try to implement is not going overboard with planning activities. I try to only plan for 1-2 big activities per day so that the kids don't get worn out and cranky.

Since we were staying at The Homestead Resort for this trip, it made it easy for us to do one activity in the morning, come back to the hotel for quiet time and naps, and then head back out to do something else before dinner and bedtime.

We started off our morning at the Heber Valley Railroad. They have a ton of amazing programs that they do all year round, and since we were there for the holidays we got to do the "North Pole Express" train. They had an amazing 90 minute round-trip train ride with hot cocoa and cookies for the kids, and lots of Christmas caroling. When we hit the half way mark on the trip, Santa came aboard and gave each kid a little gift, and it was such a magical experience for the kids to feel like they were reliving one of their favorite Christmas movies.

Since we had some time before heading back to the hotel for naps, we decided to go and explore the Wasatch County Library. This is a fun little tradition that we picked up from my friend Janssen when we travel, and I think it's so fun to see and explore different libraries wherever you go. We played in the kids section, colored some pictures, and played with puzzles for about an hour before heading back to The Homestead Resort for a little rest and relaxation.

One of my favorite features of this library was the huge reading wall in the kid's section. It's basically a massive cinder block wall with holes cut out, and kids can curl up in the holes and read their stories. Jay was beyond himself, and thought it was the greatest thing ever. Em also loved curling up with Derek on the bottom and reading stories with him. 

After the library we headed on over to The Junction for lunch. We were wanting to try out some of the local food, and this place didn't disappoint. It's a fun place that serves a variety of burgers, pizza, and salads, and has a really chill atmosphere. The kids both shared the chicken tenders and fries, while Derek got a burger, and I got the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. The food was fast, and delicious which are two important qualities when you're trying to squeeze in food before nap time.

Once we were rested and ready to take on the evening, we headed out for the Midway Ice Castles, which were conveniently located on the same property as The Homestead where we were staying. The Midway Ice Castle is one of just four in the Northern Hemisphere. It's a majestic structure made of thousands of icicles frozen together that weight over 25 million pounds. The walls themselves are 10ft thick and are just an incredible sight to see if you ever get the chance.

This was something that Derek and I had never done while we were in college, and were really looking forward to getting to experience it with the kids and everything for the first time. Unfortunately, when we were in Heber City, they were having unseasonably warm weather and rain, and we were unable to see the Ice Castles, or get close enough to take our own pictures.

Luckily The Homestead Resort had some mini Ice Castles on their property that the kids were able to see and admire from a distance. Even though we only got to take this one picture with them, Jay still claims that "seeing the giant Ice Castles" were his favorite part about Utah.

We were so glad that we were able to squeeze this little trip in while we were in Utah. We don't do vacations very often, but this small one day trip was just what our little family needed. As we were leaving and making our way back down Provo Canyon I was overwhelmed by just how beautiful Utah really is, and how lucky we were for getting to share it with our kids. This little place certainly holds a big piece of my heart.

This post was compensated by Heber City, although all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. 


  1. What a fun time in Heber you had! I've driven through a few times, but we haven't stopped. The ice castle is on our list and now I'm adding the railroad too! Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Aw looks like you all had an amazing time! Those mini ice castles are so neat!

  3. What a fun trip down memory lane! I love how you made your family a part of it and I definitely need to check out that ice castle!! Gorgeous!

  4. This looks like so much fun! I need to plan a trip!

  5. It looks like you guys had a blast. The ice castles are so beautiful. I live just 30-40 minutes from there but we haven't made it up there this year yet.

  6. Lovely family, seems like you guys had a really good time :)

    Cathy Vargas

  7. I love the photos (: I really think you guys showed that you had an amazing time! I need to go visit Utah.

  8. Lovely! My parents live there :) Also, not sure if your hears were ringing tonight but we had a team retreat and talked about what a great, loyal commenter you are on Say Yes. THANK YOU!