Beth Blake, contributing writer

“Spring” and “break” may seem to be ordinary words by themselves, but put them together and they become a magic spell, conjuring up a week of potential fun and freedom. If a special destination isn’t in the cards for spring break this year, there are a lot of opportunities right here in the Valley for an unforgettable week.

Families might just find the right kickoff to a spring break staycation at the Smithfield Library. On Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m., the library will be holding their “Star Party,” in partnership with the Cache Valley Astronomical Society. There will be a story time, a presentation done by the society, and then several telescopes will be set up along with assistance for all curious stargazers. For more information, check out smithfieldcity.org/library/page/upcominglibrary-programs online.

Local library websites are full of hidden treasures that could be perfect spring break activities. Several libraries in the area have telescopes that patrons can check out and many offer free activities for kids and families such as story time, game nights, movie nights, STEM activities, and Lego building.

Beaver Mountain offers another potentially great spring break kick-off: On Saturday, March 30, Beaver Mountain will host its annual “Beaver Bash Spring Party.” This party includes the traditional “Race the Face” and “Pond Skim” events, as well as an Easter egg hunt and costume contest. For more information, check out skithebeav.com/events.

American West Heritage Center is hosting their annual “Baby Animal Days” welcoming in spring with new life. While enjoying the beauty of the American West grounds, families have the chance to hold, pet, and interact with baby animals of all sorts. Train rides and pony rides add to the festivities, as well as a field full of concession stands and food trucks. 

March 28-30, visitors can enjoy animals from the Utah Petting Zoo “Gone Wild” program. April 1-2, it will be farm animals only. April 3-6, visitors can see baby bears from Yellowstone Bear World.

April 3-6 is also the Mountain Man Rendezvous, giving the chance to go back in time with activities such as tomahawk throwing and primitive skills demonstrations. For more information about Baby Animal Days and Mountain Man Rendezvous, visit awhc.org.

Some other local ideas with magic memory-making potential include:

  • Go ice skating at George S. Eccles Ice Center.
  • Take a trip to Angie’s Restaurant to “clean the sink.”
  • Find some of the free little libraries in town and exchange some books.
  • Watch “Willy Wonka” and then take a tour of Aggie Chocolate Factory.
  • Have a culture day and visit Logan Fine Art Gallery and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers museum.
  • Have an adventure along the Logan River Walkway.
  • Visit Shivers in Logan and have a contest for the most unusual ice cream creation.
  •  Spend an afternoon at Cache Valley Fun Park.
  • Go for a “downtown walk.” Peruse The Book Table, get a slice of bread at Great Harvest, and get a chocolate from Blue Bird Candy.
  • See The Antics Comedy Improv Group’s family night show on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. Visit theanticsimprov.com/schedule/ online.
  • Visit a local park you’ve never been to before.
  • Have a picnic at First Dam and then hike the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
  • Play tourist and take the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau’s self-guided “foodie trek.” Visit explorelogan.com/assets/files/brochures/foodie%20trek%20sig%20products%20sheet%20Sep%202023.pdf online.

“We should be tourists in our own backyard,” Julie Hollist Terrill, director of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, said. “People from all over the world come here on vacation and you should too. You can save money on gas and support local businesses by eating and shopping here. Stay in a local hotel for a real getaway feel.”

If an exotic spring break vacation is on an unattainable wish list this year, explore Cache Valley and see your home through new eyes. Walk into Aggie Ice Cream and inhale that scent of waffle cone and vanilla as if it is the first time. Marvel together as the first signs of spring show up in the Wellsvilles. You never know, it might just be a family opportunity of a lifetime.