By: Jessie Sterr
Hi Friends! My name is Jessie Sterr! My husband, Wayne (OMS III), and I have been married for 7 years and we have 3 fun-loving kiddos; Lydia (5), Xavier (3), and Liam (1). I oversee MSP’s Craft Club and love all things MSP! If you love to do fun DIY projects, definitely join the craft club on FaceBook so you can be a part of all the fun! I love to spend time with family, have date nights with my handsome hubby, come up with and do fun activities with my kiddos, create beautiful things (especially sugar cookies and clay earrings), read cheesy romance novels, spend time with friends, and indulge in chocolate! I’m a huge advocate for having a family in med school and making the most of it, so if you ever want my two cents on the matter feel free to ask!
But for today I want to share with you some fun things you can do with your family during your time here in St. George and help make your med school journey even more enjoyable and memorable! We have loved our time in St. George and at RVU-SU and will truly treasure the memories we’re making forever!
There are literally parks ALL over the place, you will find it’s not uncommon to bump into a new park within 5 minutes from the last. If you’re new to the area and want to find a fun park to try, the best thing to do is google “parks near me” and you will find a great big list! Jot them all down in your phone and every few days go down the list and try a new one. Even though there will be tons of parks within 5-10 minutes of where you live, don’t shy away from visiting a park that may be 20-30 minutes away. We live close to Washington and when we first moved here almost all of the park day group adventures were out in Ivins. I dreaded hauling my kids 25 minutes across town just to go to a PARK, but it was always so worth it and this has now become the norm at times! If I hadn’t made the trek out I wouldn’t have found some of our favorite parks!
With that, not all parks are created equal. Some are suitable for a specific age range that your kiddos may not fit into, some parks are kind of gross or sketchy, and others you may find that you simply don’t like. But here’s a list of our favorites:
Crimson Ridge Park: a ways out for most, but a really fun park. If you go here, plan to go to the Alumni Creamery (BYU creamery) just across the street and make a whole trip of it!
Sienna Hills Park: another Washington park, but super fun - also has a splash pad!
Ivins City Park: Basically right next to RVU and SO fun for all ages! We LOVE this park!
Firehouse Park: A good mid way park no matter where you live. Really fun, fairly well shaded and has a dog park next to it for those of you with four-legged kiddos!
Hidden Valley Park: This one is super fun and also has a splash pad with it. No shade though, so come prepared! It’s a pretty big park and perfect for all ages!
Bloomington Hills North Park: Perfect if your kiddo is a climber! Has a beautiful walking trail around it too! This park is a ways out for most people though.
Thunder Junction Park: We call this “the dinosaur park!” This park is a huge tourist attraction and is always super busy. It’s geared for children of all abilities and has a lot of things to do, including an awesome splash pad and train ride. This park is HUGE and because of that I don’t like to go by myself with my 3 kiddos. So we make this park extra special and go with daddy when he has a little free time! If you go, plan to go on the weekdays when it’s not as busy!
I also have a few parks I don’t love as much, if you care to have that list you can reach out to me personally!
Much like parks, there are a TON! Not quite as many as there are parks, but still a lot! This is the perfect way to cool off with your kiddos here in St. George! Our top favorite splash pads include:
Downtown St. George Splash Pad: Right in the heart of St. George, behind the library and Children’s Museum. This is our TOP favorite and is so so fun! It has a fair amount of shade depending on when you go and provides endless amounts of play!
Unity Park Splash Pad: This park’s playground is also very fun. This splash pad has a lot of water features. I know they’re redoing this though and I’m curious how it may change with the renovations.
Green Springs Park: This one is out in Washington and also has a fun playground area! Similar to Unity in that it has a lot of water features, but it’s a smidge smaller than Unity.
Pine View Park: a little trickier to find, but a really fun splash pad. There are also two playgrounds on either end of the splash pad, but are quite a ways from the splash pad itself.
MUSEUM OF SORTS
Museums of sorts:
Perhaps museums are more your thing! There are a few here that are more child friendly; the Rosenbruch World Wildlife Museum and the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. The Wildlife Museum is basically a bunch of taxidermized animals from around the world on display, and there’s one area that’s a little hands-on for children. We’ve gone here once and I have little desire to return. It’s very expensive (but there is a deal on the starving student card if you go) and, for lack of a better word, boring. But It was cool to see the variety of animals. The Johnson Dinosaur site we’ve been to once or twice and it’s also not worth the expense. This one is harder to take young kiddos to as it isn’t roped off well for little ones and can be a bit dull.
And then there is the St. George Children’s Museum! We LOVE this place! If you have an EBT card, you can get 5 people in for free and spend the whole day there if you wish! There are two floors of pure discovery and fun. They also have various activities that they hold (ie: music time on Thursdays) so look into that! But I cannot say enough good things about the Children’s Museum!!
In addition to parks, splash pads, and museums there are so many other fun places and events you can go to as a family around town.
Red Hills Desert Garden: This is especially beautiful at Christmas time and made for a fun adventure. This is also the home of the Desert Duck Derby! An event where you get to decorate a rubber ducky and race in through the stream that runs through the gardens!
Adventurous swimming: If red sand and natural water sources are your thing then check out Fire Lake Park at Ivins Reservoir, The Virgin River (skimboard park), and Sand Hollow Reservoir.
Swimming Pools: If sand is NOT your thing, then check out Sand Hollow Aquatic Center, Washington Community Center, or become friends with someone who has a pool!
Library story times: I’ve compiled a list of all the various libraries’ Storytime, so let me know if you want that! But all libraries (Santa Clara, St. George, and Washington) have fun events happening all the time. Check out their websites to stay in the loop with the latest fun things that are going on!
House of Jump: This isn’t our thing, but if you love trampoline parks then this is the place for you! They also have “Toddler Time” on Wednesday’s and Friday’s from 9am-11am.
St George Carousel: Yet another fun thing to do in downtown St. George near the library and Children’s Museum! Very limited hours that change depending on the season.
Staheli Family Farm: They always have fun things going on! Our favorites have been the hot air balloon festival and all of the activities they have in the fall!
Cedar Pets or Puppy House: Now let me start by saying I do not support these stores or the potential mistreatment of their animals. We go to these stores to offer pet exposure for our kiddos and get some awesome snuggle therapy! It’s amazing and I 100% recommend it if you do not have a furry friend of your own!
Other random events: I frequently look on Facebook under the “events near you” to see what’s going on! There are always fun things happening around town and at Utah Tech University! It may take some time and digging, but you’re bound to find fun things for your family to do!
There truly is SO much to do here in Southern Utah! The experience that you and your family have while your significant other is in medical school is entirely up to you! You don’t have to go out to Storytime or park day every week, but know that you have those resources and events there if you want to take advantage of them! Like I mentioned earlier, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally if you have any questions. I hope you enjoy your time in St. George and at RVU and make the most of it!