Cousin Trip To Utah (Fall 2023)

Happy Halloween! Are you celebrating? I wasn’t a big “Halloween person” before I had kids, but now I am 100%. All. IN. I have Halloween lights on the front porch, ordered costumes a month ago, and seeing my 4-year-old’s excitement about dressing up and trick-or-treating. It’s all so fun! Whether you celebrate or not, I hope you have a cozy Tuesday evening tonight.

Earlier this month, I took the boys to Utah to visit my sister Courtney and my new niece. Here’s a little look at our autumn weekend:

Ok, it’s worth mentioning that this was my first time to travel solo with both boys. Milo (4) is easy on a flight. He’ll sit still and color or watch a show for several hours. Dayton (2) is in nonstop motion and doesn’t like the idea of being confined to our row of seats…so I felt a bit nervous about getting through a 3 hour flight with him.

But it was fine! The boys did so well. I checked our bag so I wasn’t carrying stuff through the airport, and I brought the backpack with a couple diapers + wipes, spill-proof water bottles for the boys, a very big bag of snacks, coloring activities, and one of these for each of them. Probably the very best $55 purchase I could have made for this trip.

Oh, and lollipops were a game changer! They would buy me about 10 minutes of time, which was great for take-off/landing.

Dayton got the aisle seat (because he was up and down the most), I was in the middle, and Milo got the window seat because he tends to just stay in one place on a flight.

He was so excited when I got the coloring project out of the bag. He loves arts and crafts!

Yay! We made it to SLC! I was starving (because I didn’t eat 1 million snacks on the flight like the boys did, lol) so I ordered a turkey sandwich for myself and they boys stayed entertained by climbing on this bench. Plus m&ms for a “we made it” treat!

Phew! Once we were off the flight this boy was ready to RUN!

Courtney picked us up (3 cheers for a sister who was willing to borrow and install all the carseats for us – made my travels so much easier!) and we drove directly to a fall fest.

It was SO cute to see these cousins spending time together.

The fall festival was adorable. It was very similar to the ones we go to here in Texas, except it wasn’t 90 degrees. Haha. A fall festival in actual fall weather? A phenomenal idea.

^ Milo loved these little boat races, and Dayton and Ella just loved splashing in the water.

The corn pit is always a hit!

They had this ropes course, and it looked pretty advanced with lots of balancing and such. But Milo ran right over to it and went around the whole thing…over and over and over!

At one point I hadn’t seen Dayton in a few minutes and started looking around for him, and I found him…

…right here. Ha. There was a line of kids waiting to go through the tunnel and he was completely unbothered by that.

Sweet Ellie is getting sooo good at walking now, and she wanted to do everything herself…even climb the ropes course.

Apple cider donuts and some tractor climbing, and it was time to leave the farm.

Cheese! It was such a fun evening! We went home after that and everyone slept really well.

I love those Utah mountains.

The next morning was a bit chilly (about 55 degrees…very cold when you’re coming from Austin where it’s 90!) and so the boys sat on the couch and watched a show under a cozy blanket.

Milo kept trying to give Dayton hugs and Dayton is clearly thinking “this is some sort of trap…”

I love my sister’s cozy mountain home! I’ve visited her in the summer months several times (here and here) but this was my first time being here in the fall. Next I need to plan a winter trip and get the boys on skis.

We spent the morning at a nearby park.

The cousins played for several hours. Shout out to Courtney who got on this ^ merry-go-round with all three kids. Haha. I declined.

And then we walked/biked/strollered home for lunch and naps.

The boys were very excited to play with all of Courtney’s pets!

Omg Dayton’s face. It was just pure delight every time he saw an animal.

After naps we went on an afternoon hike. ^ I just love this picture because it very accurately describes hiking with kids: both boys are already eating their snacks (I think we’re about 2 1/2 minutes into our hike at this point) and Ellie is refusing to be held (because she knows how to walk so she’s going to climb the dang mountain!) and we’ve already had about 12 temper tantrums before the hike even started. But hiking we will go!

A few more minutes in everyone settled down. Milo kind of sprinted ahead.

He and my sister’s dog blazed the trail.

Oh hi little nugget! I sure do love you.

Yay, we made it to the top! More snacks, of course.

Milo liked to climb this little hill and slide down the rocks.

And then it was time to hike back down.

^ Or run back down, I suppose?

3 happy hikers.

That evening after dinner and baths, we dressed the 3 cousins in matching autumn jammies that Courtney bought. Gosh they were cute! Both of my boys let Courtney comb their hair…

…haha Dayton.

She is SO scrumptious!

And then we had a dance party!

Happy fall, y’all!

The next day we decided to head to Snowbird Ski Resort for their annual Oktoberfest. It was a bit of a drive, but it’s supposed to be the biggest Oktoberfest in Utah and it sounded fun.

Friends, it was NOT fun. Haha. Courtney and I just kept looking at each other like, “welp, now we know…”

The drive was absolutely gorgeous! Which is a good thing because it was sooo long. Traffic was insane. Our map app kept saying “50 minutes to go” and it said that for about 2 hours. Ugh! All three babies in the back row did a great job, but it was a really long, slow drive.

^ And once we got there, the parking lot was packed, the shuttles were packed, and the actual festival was packed. I mean, like 30 minute lines for the bathrooms, lines for food, lines for drinks. We very quickly realized it wasn’t going to work trying to navigate three little ones through there with two adults, and the kids were all cranky and hungry.

So that’s why I have zero pictures of us inside Oktoberfest at Snowbird. You win some, you lose some! That’s just how parenting goes.

You know what was really fun, though? The rocks at the entrance. 😉 I took the boys there and they climbed and climbed and had the best time!

I let them get out a bunch of wiggles before it was time to…

…get on the shuttle, load up in our car, and drive back home.

So no, Snowbird Oktoberfest was not our favorite kid-friendly autumn activity in Utah. And now we know for future years!

We ordered pizza and Courtney and I drank beers and the cousins played outside at dusk.

It was so sweet watching the boys bond with their cousin on this trip.

For our final morning in Utah, we woke up and Milo helped Courtney make some waffles for breakfast.

Dayton wanted to help, too! 

And then we headed to the most gorgeous park! The river sounded beautiful in the distance and it was a cool and sunny morning. Perfect.

I didn’t snap any pictures of the playground, but it was a good one! The kids all played there for a while, and then Milo declared that “we’re going on a hike.”

So everyone climbed these boulders all the way to the end of the park where we ended up at…

…a ramp down to the river. My two boys were in HEAVEN on these rocky banks. The probably threw 200 rocks into the water and I think Dayton would have stayed there all day if I let him.

Haha. And Ella is such a little mountain baby and doesn’t mind the cold at all, so she kept trying to scoot into the water to go for a swim.

After playtime at the park, it was time to load up in the car and head back to the airport for our flight back home to Austin.

And that was our fall trip to Utah. I’m so excited for many more cousin trips in the future.

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