Saturday, November 4, 2017

Frontier Homestead State Park and Other Kid-Friendly Destinations in Cedar City, Utah

For fall break we headed to Cedar City for two days. Spending the night allowed us to see some new things, like Frontier Homestead State Park. It's right on main street and really obvious, but we had always put it off for another day. Fortunately, that day finally arrived!

The state park has a big museum building with lots of photo stops. The kids were happy to participate.

They got engaged trying to plan what to take in their wagon.

Of course dressing up was fun!

Then we went outside, where there are lots of buildings and equipment. Desert Boy was delighted to find lincoln logs, and Desert Girl and I left him there while we toured the oldest brick house in Cedar City, an old school house, and more. When we returned, Desert Boy had made some elaborate structures.

Desert Girl had her turn to play (we were the only visitors at that time), so Desert Boy and I wandered over to the Native American section and checked out the moundhouse.
We also visited the old iron buildings. Originally the state park was called Iron Mission, as some pioneers were sent to mine the Iron. Hence the name Iron County (my aha moment!). I had never really given much thought as to where blacksmiths obtained their supplies.

We just skimmed the surface of this state park, there is so much more to learn. They have a very active friends group.

So what else is there to do in Cedar City that is kid friendly?

The main reason we were there was to go to the pediatric dentist. The kids are happy here, watching movies. A little later they found out they had their first cavities, which definitely wasn't so happy.

We went to the Garth and Jerri Frehner Natural History Museum on the Southern Utah University campus. The museum is small, but has some interesting items. Desert Girl liked all the shells. Desert Boy liked the animals you see below. Check the exhibits tab on their website to see more photos of what they have, including the famous two-headed calf.

Just down the street is the Southern Utah Museum of Art. We went there for the first time last year and really liked it, so we went back and were intrigued with a new exhibit, about dresses. (Okay, Desert Boy wasn't that interested, but he got to do some coloring, and that kept him very happy.)

A perennial favorite is the Cedar City Aquatic Center. Since we weren't in a hurry, we spent hours there. I may or may not have fallen asleep briefly in one of the comfortable reclining chairs along the edge.

When we left the aquatic center, we took a look at the pond (reservoir) adjacent to it. It's called Lake at the Hills. There are sand volleyball courts, fishing, and a beach. Apparently you can rent kayaks in summer. We'll have to check it out again!

We also enjoyed walking around. We went to the Cedar City Public Library and bought a bag of books for $5. We also enjoyed the wildlife art they had on display, and the kids read for half an hour. Then they climbed on the playground just outside the library. One the way back to the motel, the kids insisted that I take a photo of them posing with this statue in front of City Hall. They are trying to imitate the statue.

Something else we did was take an ethnic gastronomic tour of Cedar City. We ate Thai at Sweet Basil (always delicious!), Guatemalan at El Quetzal (the tamales and tacos were deliciosos, the empanadas not so much), Japanese at Ninja (the kids show what they thought of it below--I liked the sushi), and French at the French Cafe (fantastic tarts, crepes, and quiche). Desert Girl wants to learn some French now.

We still have Indian, Peruvian, Chinese, and possibly more to try. An older food review somewhere complained about the food desert of southern Utah, but I'd have to say that Cedar City has quite a variety.

For a few more ideas of what to do with kids in Cedar City (that don't involve hiking or biking, which the kids wanted to take a break from), check out this list.

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