Although my children are a little older now, I still remember that strain of finding free things to do with toddlers in Utah County.  I knew of a lot of places that cost money, but what do you do when you don’t want to spend money?

I want to share with you 5 free things I did with my toddlers during the Winter when I absolutely had no money to spend.  In fact, often I’d bike us there just so I didn’t have to spend money on gasoline.

1.  Go to the local library.  It may seem like an obvious choice, but libraries are so great for children!  Plus almost all libraries offer some sort of story time and many of them offer crafts, music, or some kind of preschool for the slightly older kids.  However, that didn’t stop me from taking my little toddlers.  They may have had no idea what sound “A” made, but they sure knew how to color those coloring pages.

Libraries also hold free events.  We go to a lot of cultural performances, movies, puppet shows, and author greetings.  Make sure to check in with your local library to see what is happening.

Love that cities and libraries provide story time for kids who are home! #utah #utahvalleymoms #thingstodoinutah#utahvalley

A photo posted by Utah Valley Moms (@utahvalleymoms) on

2.  Go to the mall.  For me, it is really hard to not spend money when I’m in a mall, but I’ve found that it is possible.  My family has been to the mall a lot for somewhere to just let the toddlers get out energy.  There is a lot of walking involved at the mall which is perfect for a toddler that wants to be moving (and perfect for you if it’s cold outside).  Most malls also include a small little play area.  We have loved those play areas for during the winter when the kids want to slide and run around but I refuse to take them to a park.

It’s also a great place to put a toddler in a stroller and walk around to get them sleepy.

3.  Head to Provo Recreation Center (320 W 500 N, Provo).  There is a free indoor playground for anyone to enjoy.  Go and let your toddler climb and play when it’s just too cold to be outside.  There is even a special area for just toddlers.

4.  Visit a museum.  Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University both have free areas to visit, however, Utah Valley University’s art museum is at University Mall, also called the Woodbury Art Museum.  Brigham Young University has a Museum of Art, Bean Life Museum (animals), Museum of Paleontology, and Museum of Peoples and Cultures.  Each of these museums is free to the public and parking is free at Brigham Young University if you park in guest parking areas.

sneak peak – guess where we were today #utahcounty #utahvalley hint, it opens to the public next week!

A photo posted by Utah Valley Moms (@utahvalleymoms) on

5.  Take a trip to Cabela’s.  Cabela’s is not just a store, it also includes a collection of animals and live fish.  One area, in particular, is great for kids to be able to look at the animals and run around just a little bit.  This area is separate from any shopping that people would do which makes it great for toddlers.  Plus, there is only one entrance – even better for toddlers who love to wander off.

Find more events and activities on our Utah Valley calendar.