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Simple & fun Pioneer Day activities including recipes, crafts, games, treats, and more!
HOW TO CELEBRATE PIONEER DAY
Regardless of your faith, celebrate Pioneer Day by doing some family friendly activities that take you back to the basics–you know, like living in the days of Little House on the Prairie.
Here’s some simple and kid-friendly ways to make this day memorable for everyone!
WHEN IS PIONEER DAY?
Pioneer Day is July 24th. Don’t know what Pioneer Day is? It’s a holiday celebrating the day the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 after their long walk across the plains. Although it’s a holiday mostly celebrated in Utah, it’s a great day for anyone to celebrate the pioneers of our American heritage.
1) READ PIONEER STORIES
Set the tone for Pioneer Day by reading some pioneer stories! Here are some great pioneer books for kids:
- Each Of Us Is A Pioneer
- Rachel’s Journal
- Pioneer Girl
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
- I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Mormon Pioneers
SHOP BEST PIONEER BOOKS:
2) MAKE HOMEMADE BUTTER IN A JAR
Making butter in a jar is a fun activity for kids! Shake the jar until butter forms and then spread it on some warm bread. Click here for the easy homemade butter recipe and instructions.
3) DO A PIONEER DAY TREASURE HUNT
This simple Pioneer Day Treasure Hunt is a great way to help kids learn what pioneer life was like without modern conveniences. These clues are ready to go and you can do the pioneer treasure hunt in your house!
4) MAKE ICE CREAM IN A CAN
Pioneers on the trail probably didn’t have ice cream, but this pioneer activity is still a fun way to help kids learn to work for their dessert.
Have kids make ice cream in a can to appreciate the work that goes into a tasty treat. Plus, ice cream will taste much better when you make it yourself!
Follow these simple homemade ice cream directions to make your own ice cream in a can.
5) WATCH A PIONEER MOVIE
Make some popcorn and have a family movie night with a Pioneer movie. Here are a few of our favorite pioneer movies you’ll love:
- Legacy-This is a good free film that depicts the persecutions the pioneers went through until they made it to Salt Lake City. Watch Legacy Here
- 17 Miracles– An inspiring movie that tells the story of 17 miracles that happened as the pioneers were on the trail. It’s free to watch using your Prime Membership. Get a free Amazon Prime 30-day trial here!
- Little House on the Prairie is also free to stream with your Amazon Prime Membership. Get a free Amazon Prime 30-day trial here!
6) LISTEN TO THIS PIONEER DAY MUSIC PLAYLIST (FREE ON SPOTIFY!)
These Pioneer songs will fill your home with faith, hope, and inspiration.
7) DECORATE COVERED WAGONS
For a fun pioneer craft activity that children can enjoy, decorate covered wagons!
To make edible covered wagons, you’ll need:
- graham crackers
- thick stick pretzels (like Honey Wheat from Dollar Tree)
- chocolate frosting
- large marshmallows
- gummy life savers
- thin stick pretzels
To make covered wagons, use frosting to attach everything to a graham cracker to make a wagon!
Use this photo as a reference, although if kids are decorating, they may not look perfect, and that’s okay!
8) GO ON A “HARD THINGS” HIKE
One of our favorite Pioneer Day traditions is to do a “hard things hike“. The pioneers did something so hard–trekking across the plains without shoes, warm clothes and much food is not easy! For this reason, we like to take our children on a hike. We call it a hard things hike for a reason.
It’s usually hard and hot, but as we are hiking we talk about the pioneers and how did they did a hard thing, too. We also talk about how most of the children walked the entire way, which helps motivate our children to walk the entire hike too.
This is from our 2017 hike around the top of Snowbird in Salt Lake City.
9) DRESS UP IN PIONEER CLOTHING
Play dress up! Wear a bandana or old-fashioned pioneer hat or bonnet to eat one of your meals in.
10) ATTEND THE DAYS OF ’47 EVENTS
If you’re in Utah, check out the Days of ’47 events including a big parade, festivals, rodeos, fireworks, and more!
11) PLAY SOME OLD-FASHIONED PIONEER GAMES
Put down the Xbox and phone games and get outside for some good old-fashioned fun! Here’s a list of 10 simple pioneer games you can play together!
Do you have any Pioneer Day traditions? Please leave a comment below so we can add them to this list!