St. George – 14 Free or Cheap Things to Do

May 16, 2017

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st george feature

St. George city in Utah is such a great place to take a quick getaway. The city has grown so much over the years and has added so many amazing parks and attractions along with all the great outdoor activities.

Many venture to St. George for sporting tournaments and Spring Break. We visit St. George frequently as my husband does business in the area. Every time we visit, we find something new and fun to do. Here's a list of 14 of our favorite cheap or free things to do while in St. George:

glitter mountain

1 - Glitter Mountain or you can find it on Google Maps under the name of Old Gypsum Crystal Mine. It's about 10 miles away from St. George and located just across the Arizona border. This is a fun spot especially for the kids to chip away their own piece of gypsum. 

glitter mountain

You can find many loose pieces of crystal on the ground, however, if you want to mine your own, you'll want to be sure to bring a hammer and chisel. It is also helpful to bring protective eye wear, gloves, and a bucket to carry your loot. 

Cost: Free

Location: Search Google Maps for Old Gypsum Crystal Mine

pioneer park

2 - Pioneer Park is an outdoor playground where the kids can jump and climb on the rocks. This 50+ acre park includes covered picnic tables, bathrooms, and an amphitheater with fire pit.

pioneer park

You can find areas to boulder, a cave, a slot canyon, and beautiful views of the city of St. George below. This is a free community park that is a rock climbers paradise.

Cost: Free

Location: 240 Red Hills Parkway, St. George

splash pad

3 - Main Street Splash Pad is a great place to relax and bring a picnic. There are plenty of shade covered seating areas to keep the parents happy while the kids splash around.

Cost: Free

Location: 82 S Main Street, St. George

thunder

4 - Thunder Junction Park - is a fairly new all abilities park in St. George. This park is amazing with an erupting volcano, ziplines, splash pad, train and so much more. Check out our review with all the details here>>

Cost: Free

Location: 1851 S Dixie Drive and next to the Tonaquint Park Complex

museum

5 - St. George Children's Museum is an awesome interactive museum that goes easy on the wallet. There are two floors of multiple theme rooms that you could easily spend an entire day exploring.

museum

You would assume that because admission is so cheap, that the museum must be run down or have little to offer. You would be wrong! 

Cost: Donation based and recommended $3 for children and $4 for adults - an absolute bargain for all that you get.

Location: 86 S Main Street, St. George

mystery escape

6 - Mystery Escape Room in St. George - If you are looking for something out of the norm to try, and find yourself in St. George, this is a definite "go for it". It's a great thing to do with family and friends. I think it would be a fantastic family activity for those with teens and pre-teens, or you can join other folks that they pair you with. 

Plus, we have a special discount code for an extra 15% off. Check out our review and find discount info here>>

Cost: Prices start at $24.95 - get discount info here.

Location: Ancestor Square 46 W St. George Blvd.

kanarra

7 - Knarraville Falls is about 40 miles from St. George just east of the town of Kanarraville. This is a moderate hike that is probably not very well suited for very young children. We found various references for the length of this hike from 3 miles up to 5 miles round trip. We found that it was closer to 3.5 miles which was very doable for my kids ranging in ages 7-13.

knarry falls

This is a water hike and your feet will get wet. I would definitely recommend water shoes to hike in. We hiked it during the beginning of April and the water was frigid, but I've heard that the water is always very cold no matter what time of year you hike - it just doesn't feel as cold when the temperature heats up.

You hike through a beautiful slot canyon in about 3 inches of water before you reach one of two waterfalls. The first waterfall has a log built into a ladder to help you up the waterfall. After the second waterfall you will find a fun swimming hole with a mossy rock slide. We didn't make it to the swimming hole since our kids' feet were too frozen. 

Cost: Parking is $10 or some park at a nearby church parking lot to avoid the parking fee, however, this adds about an extra mile to your hike.

Location: Take exit 42 to New Harmony/Kanarraville. Turn right on Hwy 144 and take an immediate left onto Harmony Ridge Dr/Old US 91. Continue about 4.5 miles into Kanarraville and turn right onto 100 North. Follow 100 North 3.5 blocks.

sand hollow

8 - Sand Hollow State Park Located 15 miles east of St. George. This is a great place for all kinds of fun activities where you can camp overnight or just spend the day. There is an area of red dunes where you can drive off highway vehicles. Or spend the day on the reservoir where you can boat, rent paddle boards, kayaks and more. There is a section of rocks on the reservoir that attracts a crowd for cliff jumping. We found a small cliff just to the south of these rocks that was perfect for our younger kids to jump. 

Cost is $10 per vehicle or $5 for Seniors . Camping fees start at $15 per night.

Location: 3351 South Sand Hollow Road, Hurricane

cedar reservior

9 - Lake At The Hills  Located in Cedar City and less than an hour North of St. George. This is a fun 11-acre reservoir  hidden within the neighborhoods. Fish are added to the lake every Spring and kids under 12 years old can fish free - there is a limit of 2 fish per person. There's a nice sandy beach perfect for digging and beach toys. 

We brought a blow up raft to paddle around in, but you can also rent Kayaks during the Summer months (weather permitting) for just $6/hour. There is a boat ramp for non-motorized boats and restrooms are available.

Cost: Free

Location: W Royal Hunte Dr, Cedar City (Just East of the Cedar City Aquatic Center)

red cliff(photo credit)

10 - Red Cliffs - Trail head is located at Red Cliffs Campground just 15 miles north of St. George. We have not visited this hike, but it is on our list. This is an easy, family friendly hike that is 1.44 miles. This trail includes a waterfall, swimming hole, and pictographs. The waterfall marks the official end of this hike.

Cost: $5 per car day use fee.

Location: 345 E. Riverside Drive, St. George

snow canyon

11 - Snow Canyon State Park Located just 10 miles from St. George with so many family fun hikes! Here's some of our favorite shorter hikes that are perfect for small hikers:

jenny

  • Jenny's Canyon - this is a very short (half mile round trip) and easy hike to a slot canyon. Trail is closed annually from March 15 - June 1.

sand dunes

  • Petrified Dunes - this is a great area to let the kids hike off the beaten path and climb the fun rock formations.

lava tube

  • Butterfly Trail/Lava Flow Trail - Butterfly Trail and the Lava Flow Trail follow the same path for most of the hike at just 2 miles. There are markers where the Lava Flow trail continues. We found two lava tubes that you could climb down into an underground cave. It is dark inside and you will need a flashlight or we used the flashlight on our phones.

johnson arch

  • Johnson Canyon Arch - is actually located just before you enter Snow Canyon on the east side of the road and there is no fee to access this hike. It is 2 miles in length and fairly easy. The Arch has a 200-foot span, making it one of the largest in the area.

Cost: $6 per car. Camping available for as low as $20/night.

Location: 1002 N. Snow Canyon Rd, Ivins.

zion

12 - Zion National Park - definitely ranks as one of our favorite National Parks and is located just 42 miles from St. George. Zion National Park has a free shuttle that runs March to late November to alleviate traffic. Some of our favorite kid friendly hikes are: Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, and Pa'rus Trail.

Cost: Private Vehicle: $30. Valid for 7 days, Motorcycle: $25. Valid for 7 days,
Per Person: $15. Valid for 7 days.

Find Fee Free Days Here as well as info on how 4th graders can get a free annual pass and those 62+ can get a lifetime pass for just $10, price will increase to $80 soon.

Location: 1 Zion Park Blvd. State Route 9, Springdale

tuacahn

13 - Tuacahn Theater  - Tuacahn holds some of the most amazing concerts and musicals in this beautiful outdoor theater. Plus, if you watch, you can find some pretty awesome deals. We saw Beauty and Beast in the past and happened to get a deal for free kids tickets. Our tickets ended up costing around $15 per person after this discount. Just be sure to check out their discount section here for available deals.

Cost: Varies based on the show

Location: 1100 Tuacahn Drive Ivins

shakespearean festival(photo credit)

14 - Utah Shakespearean Festival - located in Cedar City about an hour from St. George. Performances typically run from the end of June until mid-October. This Summer Festival offers Shakespeare plays and contemporary shows. This festival is recognized nationally and has been awarded the Tony Award for "Outstanding Regional Theater."

Cost: Varies based on the show

Location: The Campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City


We love visiting St. George and there is always so much to do. What are some of your favorites?

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2 Responses

  1. Meg

    This is a great article! I’m pinning it for the next time we head down to St. George with our kiddos. Thanks for all the effort you put into it.

    • Coupons4Utah

      You’re so welcome! Glad it helps and have fun in St. George.

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