The LDS Conference Center was dedicated in the year 2000, and though we’ve always wanted to take a tour, we’ve never found the time. Tours are open nearly all the time and take about 45 minutes, though they will shorten it for you upon request. The tours are also FREE.
To take your tour show up at door #15 on the south side of the Conference Center. Your group will be assigned a guide who will take you through the building.
The first stop is the meeting hall where LDS General Conference is held. This room is the largest indoor auditorium on this continent and holds over 21,000 people. The construction is unique in that there are no pillars to block the view of anyone in the theater. This was accomplished with a huge support placed upon eight-foot diameter pillars. The construction information alone is enough to make this tour worthwhile.
There are plenty of other interesting stops on the tour as well. Every piece of art in the Conference Center is original, and there are many pieces from the Book of Mormon that are well-known to those of the faith. On the west side of the museum is a gallery of 12 pictures that were painted as Primary visuals and are included in many copies of the Book of Mormon.
Another gallery upstairs includes church leaders. There are portraits of the current Apostles and all the past LDS Apostles (minus 2). There is a room with busts of all the Presidents of the Church that were carved by different artists. There are also fountains, skylights, and many other pieces of art that you stop to see.
Finally, your tour takes you to the top of the building. The roof is 4 acres and is covered by a beautiful garden. When we visited in the winter, we weren’t allowed outside, but we could still look through the windows at the beautiful grounds. We returned in the summer and walked through the gardens. Our tour guide said that the end of April through May is the best time because that is when the flowers are the prettiest. If you visit in the winter, they show a short video that lets you take a virtual look at the gardens.
The top of the Conference Center is just as fascinating as the inside. The soil is a special blend it is 1/3 the weight of regular soil so it saved a lot of weight on top of the building. All of the plants are native to Utah from the trees to the grasses. There are lots of places to walk and there are beautiful views. There is one large fountain that is the start of the huge waterfall running down the front of the Conference Center. You can follow the water as it works it’s way across the roof to the waterfall. One of the highlights of the roof is a sand blasted image of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from different time periods. It is amazing!
There is also a great view of the temple and tabernacle across the street. Our boys were fans of walking behind the waterfall that is seen from the outside of the building. There are many windows throughout the building. It is so light and open!
One thing we loved about this tour was our guide, who seemed to know everything, and being a former kindergarten teacher, knew just how to interact with our boys. It seemed that all of the guides were very interactive and fun as we passed different groups throughout the building. We loved that they were flexible with our time. They asked us how long we wanted to spend with the full tour being 45 minutes. So if you think your children have shorter attention spans, let them know you’ve only got 20 minutes. Our boys loved learning about this magnificent building and seeing all the artwork.
Even though we just took this tour, I’d take it again with you tomorrow, if you wanted me to! The LDS Conference Center has tours daily from 9 am-9 pm. The last tour leaves at 8 pm. They do stop tours for events and General Conference, so check their schedule or call before you go.
Family Tips for Tours at the LDS Conference Center:
- Plan on 45 minutes for your tour, but let your guide know if you need to leave before you are through. They are very flexible.
- Remember the magic number: Tours start at door 15.
- Prepare your young children before you go. We told our 3 year-old he had to stay right by us and no running. We find if you give expectations before, children will usually live up to them.
- Wear comfy shoes. We walked a lot while we were at Temple Square, especially on this tour, so make sure everyone has comfortable walking shoes.
- Before or after your tour, enjoy some of the other venues on Temple Square. We have a huge list of 12 awesome FREE things to do with kids on Temple Square.