Spring fun at Cross E Ranch: Baby animals, food, and more

Reading Time: 3 minutes Cross E Ranch is hosting its annual Spring Festival. It is a great place to have fun and enjoy good food with the whole family or a date.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The perfect way to welcome spring is the Spring Festival at Cross E Ranch, happening now until May 18th. The weather is warming up, the sun is out, and the farm animals are happy to meet the little ones as they explore the dozens of activities and attractions all included with admission. It is easy to lose track of time with so many things to see and do at Cross E Ranch for the whole family. There are pony rides, giant slides, jump pads, giant Legos, obstacle courses for the kids, tulip fields, a hayride to see the cows, archery, farm animals to pet, and delicious homemade donuts that Cross E Ranch is famous for. 

Salt Lake City is home to this slice of agricultural heaven in an otherwise busy, concrete city. One can forget how close they are to downtown on the drive to the ranch. Heather Limon and her brother Dallin Hinckley have continued their family’s legacy on the ranch and hope that everyone who comes can enjoy their hard work and make happy memories.  

Cross E Ranch got its name from Mormon pioneers who used to brand their cattle with that symbol. In an interview with the Review, Limon explained, “Cross E Ranch is actually the name of the brand, spelled with a cross and an E. It’s one of the oldest brands in Utah. Legend has it it’s the second oldest that came across with the Mormon pioneers. The people who originally owned this ground were the ones who brought it, and my dad became really good friends with them. He began to use that brand, and before the owner died, he was like, ‘You better not change the name. This is all Cross E ground.’” The name has never changed and that is part of the magic.  

The festivals started about ten years ago after Limon’s father passed away. One of his last wishes was for the ranch to stay in the family, so it has become a labor of love for Limon and her brother. They welcome visitors to enjoy this land every spring and fall.  

Limon went on to express, “There’s a lot to do. When people say, ‘Oh you’re a petting zoo,’ it’s like oh no, we’re so much more. We have a whole big play area with ropes courses, slides, jump pads, archery, rock wall—just so many little things to do that are fun to play on. We have a hayride that takes you out and tells you about the cows and the history of the farm. And then we have the baby animals in the spring, they’re so awesome. And the food is a huge part, people love the food here.” 

When the chance arises to visit Cross E Ranch, it is a must to try some of their locally-made food. They are famous for their apple cider donuts. They went as far as Michigan to learn how to perfect their recipe in true East Coast style. Their ground beef is grass-fed and sourced from the ranch. The food alone draws in visitors each year.  

There are discounted hours for the Spring Festival as well. Limon shared, “We have a great date night here too—we have a cheaper price after 6 p.m. so it gives you two hours until the festival closes to grab some food, see some animals, and play. It’s better than going to the movies!” 

If there is not a chance to visit now in the springtime, make sure to plan to visit in the fall. They have a 15-acre corn maze and 30 acres of pumpkins. 

When asked about their first time at Cross E Ranch, one visitor said, “There’s so much to see with all the different kinds of animals. I also love the explanations about the animals. Families will have a lot of fun. The food was amazing too.” 

Limon and her team have put a lot of thought into the guest experience. They know it can be hot in the springtime so there are free water bottle stations throughout the ranch. 

Another notable feature is that it is dog friendly. Limon explained, “You can bring your dogs to the farm with lots of places to walk around. We don’t have them go in the pens with the animals. Here you get to go in with the calves, in with the goats, and get up close and personal. You can pet the bunnies and the chicks. It’s very interactive. There are over one hundred baby animals around here. We have your basic farm animals, plus an alpaca.” 

Cross E Ranch is wholesome fun for all ages and a great opportunity to slow down and smell the tulips. There may not be anything cuter than petting a baby goat as it nibbles on your shoelaces or brushing a calf as it takes a much-needed nap. This is the place kids will remember going and parents will enjoy seeing their kids’ faces light up with excitement. Cross E Ranch is Salt Lake City’s hidden gem.