There is a great free museum in Park City that actually is two museums rolled into one. The George S. & Dolores Dore Eccles Olympic Park Museum, which has artifacts from the 2002 Olympics, and the Alf Engen Ski Museum are a great way to spend an hour or two learning about Utah’s history.
Both museums are located in the Quinney Winter Sports Center, and there are other events in this location, too. Just ask to see the museums at the desk, and they’ll direct you.
The Olympic Museum is rife with artifacts from the Olympics. There are huge models that were used in the opening and closing ceremonies, and tons of equipment and outfits that were worn by athletes in the games. If you are old enough to remember the 2002 Olympics, you’ll recognize many of the names and faces in this museum. Our boys loved the Olympic torch that was on display, too.
One of our favorite things at the Olympic Museum was the view screens. You could choose an event and relive moments from your favorite Olympic event. We enjoyed watching those old videos and spent quite a bit of time reminiscing. We also loved reading and hearing the inspirational stories that come from any Olympics.
The second free museum is the Alf Engen ski museum. This museum tells the history of skiing in the West. It covers the founding of some of the major ski resorts and has several events the kids can participate in. Our boys enjoyed ski jumping and guiding the small pinball down the slalom run.
There are also other interactive displays. We learned why Utah has the best snow on earth and what causes avalanches. For a small fee, you can also participate in some interactive rides. We paid $5/kid so they could ride the virtual reality bobsled. The fee also included the ski jump where they had 3 chances to learn how to ski jump via a screen. They said it was so fun and wanted to do it again!
One other free activity at the Olympic Park is watching the ski jumpers practice their jumps into the pools. You can call ahead and see what days and times there will be teams practicing. Sometimes it is the ski team, and other times it is young kids. Either way it is a lot of fun watching the jumpers fly into the swimming pool. We spent almost as much time watching the ski jumpers as we did enjoying the museums.
It was great to spend an hour or two visiting the Utah Olympic Park Museums. Make sure to stop if you are in the area. If you visit Utah Olympic Park in the summer, there are lots of other fun activities like a zipline, alpine slide, and adventure course. These obviously cost. And if you are looking for other adventures in Park City, check out our list of Family Friendly Things to do in Park City.