Sunday, June 1, 2008

On A Hot Summer Day, An Olympic Sized Cooldown

When the heat is on in Utah, we all look for a little relief. Some of us retreat to our air conditioned homes, or to indoor shopping malls, or we head down to the local swimming pool.

One of my kids favorite cool down spots is the Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake. This is an open-air mall on the west side of downtown that has some of the cool, hip and trendy shops that are seen in a lot of major cities these days. But, the reason we like to visit in the summertime, is the Olympic Legacy Plaza's "Snowflake Fountain."

When the Winter Olympic Games came to Salt Lake in 2002, the Snowflake Fountain was one of its lasting legacies. The fountain is a flat surface at sidewalk level, which allows visitors to The Gateway to stroll right through it. But, beware! Unexpectedly, jets of water shoot up into the air at varying heights. The jets alternate shots of water, fountains and fog to provide a fun visual experience. Every 1/2 hour, music plays and the water fountain "dances" to different selections, including the 2002 Winter Olympic Theme.

The best part is that kids (and adults) are invited to play with the fountain- get involved. Try to make it across the plaza without getting wet, or just stand there and let the water soak you down and cool you off.

There are benches all around the plaza for parents who don't want to get wet, to sit and relax as the children play in the water. Be sure to bring a towel to dry the kids off with and a reason to get them to leave. Once my kids start playing in the water, they don't want to go.

Place: Snowflake Fountain, Olympic Legacy Plaza, Gateway Mall
Location: 400 West South Temple, Salt Lake City
Phone: 801.456.2000
Hours: Summer, Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE

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Distance From:
Salt Lake City (downtown): 1.7 miles
Ogden: 37.7 miles
Provo: 44.1 miles
Logan: 82.4 miles

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