15 Best Things to Do in Orem, UT

Orem, UT
Jason Finn / shutterstock.com

For your next holiday, choose a destination that has made it to Money Magazine's ‘Best Places to Live in America.’

Find a city that is consistently growing while preserving its hometown atmosphere.

The City of Orem in Utah fits these descriptions and offers tons of exciting activities for the family and everyone!

Located five miles north of Provo off Interstate 15, Orem is the fifth largest city in Utah and the second largest in Utah County.

Walter C. Orem, then president of Salt Lake and Utah Electric Interurban Railroad, lent the city his name.

Thanks to its commercially-grown produce and orchards, it thrived as a farming community.

Today, you can find a lot of shopping centers, recreational attractions, cultural centers, and numerous high-tech companies in Orem.

Interestingly, this land dates back much farther than the 1800s when it yielded the remains of a hairy mammoth, believed to be the Ice Age relative of the modern elephant.

You can see the entire skeleton on display at the University of Utah’s Museum of Natural History.

The city celebrates SummerFest each June, featuring numerous activities like games, parades, cook-offs, fireworks, and talent shows in terms of events and celebrations.

It sounds like an exciting place, doesn’t it?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Orem, UT:

Admire the Roots of Knowledge at the Utah Valley University

People admiring the Roots of Knowledge
Daniel K. Driskill / Shutterstock.com

Head to the Ira Fulton Library of the Utah Valley University and admire the Roots of Knowledge—a stained-glass window exploring humankind's quest for knowledge.

See 80 individual panes of glass that stand 10 feet tall and 200 feet long.

It took 12 years to make, tapping the ancient art form of stained glass while adapting to a modern setting.

Roots of Knowledge presented as a stained glass wall
Daniel K. Driskill / Shutterstock.com

The windows represent the search and hunger for knowledge and progress, vibrantly colored with interpretations of world history, the printing press, the Mayan calendar, the Kangxi Emperor, and Joan of Arc.

The Roots of Knowledge came through the concerted efforts of more than 40 artists, 350 students, and 26 UVU faculty.

View of Roots of Knowledge from outside the building
Nihonjoe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out the Exhibits at the Woodbury Art Museum

First opened in 2001, the Woodbury Art Museum was originally a donation from Orin and Wally Woodbury, who owned the Woodbury Corporation.

It is an official extension of the Utah Valley University (UVU), a fascinating stop for many students and non-students alike.

Throughout its 20 years of existence, you can already find about five named collections with 500 pieces of art that make up the Permanent Collection.

Today, the museum has earned recognition as a steward of art and education, creating diverse partnerships, exhibitions, and programs.

Part of its growth is featuring traveling exhibitions and particular artists.

Indeed, it’s a beautiful museum to visit.

Get Close to Nature at the Provo River Parkway System

If you want to experience Orem's outdoors, go and jog or run at the Provo River Parkway System.

The trail starts at the Utah Lake State Park and travels parallel to the Provo River, meandering up Provo Canyon and through Provo City.

Otherwise, you can also go biking, skating, or horseback riding for more than 15 miles through residential and commercial developments.

When you get to the northern end, you will pass by the Bridal Veil Falls, which provides spectacular views.

And if you need to take breaks along the trail, there are restrooms, water, and picnic areas available.

Experience Super Family Fun at the Provo Beach

Provo Beach is Utah's premier family fun destination, featuring over 50,000 square feet of indoor fun.

And because the fun is indoors, you won’t have to worry about the weather and other factors.

All you have to do is be here and enjoy!

Everyone in the family will love the excitement and offerings of Provo Beach, including its ropes course, FlowRider, bowling, laser tag, arcade games, carousel, playground, and miniature croquet.

And what’s the best way to cap your day of fun?

Ice cream!

Visit Ike’s Cream for a fruity dole whip float, a decadent sundae, or their banana split.

It’s always more fun at Provo Beach.

Take a Refreshing Dip at the SCERA Park Pools

Welcome sign of SCERA Park Pools
Jeppsna, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Owned and operated by the city government of Orem, the SCERA Park Pools is the go-to place not just during the summer but all year.

Its modern amenities offer opportunities for fun and enjoyment, including its children’s splash pad that features squirting fountains and its sandless ‘beach’ pool that gradually slopes into the water.

People swimming at SCERA Park Pools
Ben P L from Provo, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also try the slides and kids’ structures, the small lazy river, open swim area, two diving boards, the twisting slide, and the steep-drop water slide.

If you prefer to stay on the sides, you can enjoy lounging on the chairs and soaking in the sun with a drink.

It's the perfect place to bring the kids and have them enjoy themselves in the water.

Slides and obstacles of SCERA Park Pools
Ben P L from Provo, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Nielsen’s Grove Park

It’s the oldest park in the entire state of Utah, created in 1880.

Danish immigrant Jorgen Nielsen established it only with a water feature containing various common design elements in European castle gardens.

In 2003, the park became part of Orem’s official green space and now has a pool, picnic pavilions, parterre gardens, a natural pond with ducks, a playground, walking pathways, and a carousel swing.

With its greenery and tons of shade, it’s a great place to relax in the laidback ambiance.

The kids will also love the playground and other amenities, allowing you to sit down and enjoy reading a book in peace.

Enjoy the All-Together Playground

About 4,000 volunteers built the All-Together Playground under the supervision of playground construction professionals.

This is the first all-abilities playground in Utah County, built in the fall of 2016 within just 6.5 days.

What makes it so unique?

It offers inclusive play opportunities for all children.

Children with disabilities who cannot play on standard playgrounds can do so here.

Its design promotes the healthy development of children’s abilities, including cognitive, physical, mental, and sensory.

With an area of more than 19,000 square feet, there is always room to play, offering the chance to meet new friends and build relationships.

Visit Mt. Timpanogos Park

Mt. Timpanogos Park was initially built to hold the largest storytelling festival—the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.

However, today, it is already a place favored by the locals for their dose of the outdoors, where they can walk, jog, run, or picnic with their friends and family.

With several connected hiking trails, it’s not tricky choosing your route.

It is also home to the Orem Bike Skills Trail Park, which features trails for people of various skill levels, from beginner and intermediate to advanced.

Composed of 12 acres, the Mt. Timpanogos Park has a 1.27-mile walking trail with restrooms—plus the Orem Dog Park.

Visit the SCERA Center for the Arts

Exterior of SCERA Center for the Arts
Ben P L from Provo, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When the Great Depression devastated Orem, 3,000 residents struggled to maintain their morale and well-being.

Thus, they created the SCERA Center for the Arts as a gathering place for families and the community, where enrichment can take place.

From 1933 to the present, the locals enjoy performing arts seasons and educational programs.

The spirit of volunteerism and loyalty is still alive to this day, as shown by the 400 young people and adults and seniors who serve the SCERA annually through their talents, skills, and community service.

Interestingly, over 500 cast members volunteer to perform in its stage productions, strengthening the spirit of community theatre.

Explore the Orem Heritage House

Visit the impressive Orem Heritage House, located on State Street.

It is an excellent destination for clubs, organizations, and church and school groups.

With a 30,000-piece collection, it tells the unique history of Orem from World War I to the Korean War through displays featuring weapons, equipment, and uniform.

There is also a coal stove, butter churn, pioneer clothing, and an old-fashioned washing machine.

Check out the arrowheads and Indian petroglyphs!

If you prefer to do a group tour, you are certainly welcome to submit a tour request.

The idea of the museum came about during the gasoline embargo in 1973 when Gareth Seastrand, an Orem educator, and his colleagues and friends put together the city’s history for their children.

The rest, as they say, was history.

Visit the Decommissioned Olmsted Power Station

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Olmsted Power Station was established in 1904 and decommissioned in 2015.

The power station aimed to answer the need for a way to harvest the power of falling water.

So, the Nunns brothers worked with George Westinghouse with the hope of using falling water to power water-powered generators, switches, and transformers.

They successfully created the technology, so the city built the power plant.

Discover the Lakeside Sports Park

The grounds of Lakeside Sports Park
An Errant Knight, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Lakeside Sports Park results from the 15-year dream of the local sports enthusiasts in Orem.

Marvel at this sports facility features eight soccer fields, five lighted diamonds, a snack bar, and grandstands.

Whether you want to run, jog, or bike in the morning or the evening, this 1-mile paved loop is a great place to be.

Besides the multiple sports fields, there is also a playground pavilion for the younger kids to enjoy.

The trail is also stroller and wheelchair-accessible, making it suitable for people of all ages and abilities.

Shop at the University Place

Your vacation in Orem won’t be complete without a visit to the University Place, formerly called University Mall, featuring more than 150 stores.

And you’re not just talking about any ordinary retailers but the likes of Banana Republic, RC Willey, Charming Charlie, Disney, and Express.

University Place is not just for shopping but also for dining.

Choose from a wide array of restaurants, including California Pizza Kitchen, Texas Roadhouse, Carrabba’s, P.F. Chang’s, and Old Spaghetti House.

After shopping and dining, watch a movie at the Cinemark Theatre or take the kids to the Orchard & Kid’s Place.

Try Fly Fishing with Simply Fly Fishing

If you want to try fly fishing but are embarrassed because of your barely-there skills, let Fly Fishing help you.

The guides are seasoned veterans who will ensure that your first fly fishing experience is exhilarating.

From the name itself, they will make your experience easier and simpler so that you can have beautiful memories in Orem.

Jump around at the Hang Time Adventure Park

Spend at least half a day at the Hang Time Adventure Park to experience the ultimate trampoline park.

The place is climate-controlled, allowing you to enjoy its 40,000-square-foot indoor play.

Feel excited playing in the 3D Dodgeball arena, surrounded by angled trampolines.

Play slamball or basketball on trampolines and more than 100 feet worth of foam pits.

Archery Tag, basketball, expert arenas, euro trampolines, and raised platforms are just among the park's entertainment choices.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, Orem is a beautiful city to explore for the whole family.

There is something for everyone to enjoy and make memories with.

So, don’t delay and book your trip to Orem today.