Saturday, May 31, 2008

Event of the Day for Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hear some music. See some magic.

Murray Arts in the Park presents Magic and Music for Kids with magician Paul Brewer who will entertain the crowd along with the Bear Foot Band.

Event: Magic and Music for Kids
Location: Murray Park Ampitheatre, 5300 South 500 East, Murray
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $5.00 for adults, kids 12 and under get in free with paying adults

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Distance from:
Salt Lake City: 9.9 miles
Ogden: 45.3 miles
Provo: 36.8 miles
Logan: 90 miles

Head To The Library For Fun?

I know. Libraries are old stodgy buildings filled with lots of old books, where the old spinster librarians constantly shush you to be quiet, and the only time you get to have fun is when you leave. This library is nothing like that.

The Salt Lake City Library's Main Branch in downtown Salt Lake is interesting and inviting from the moment you see the exterior of the building. Once you go inside it only intrigues and excites you even more.

The north and east wall of the building leans inward from the ground up and curves around from the northwest to the southeast, shrinking from five stories down to nearly ground level.

When you enter the building you can see this curve extended through the five story atrium. The atrium has a glass ceiling and feels nearly like you are still outside on the entrance plaza. To the left are shops that sell books, art, flowers, and food; to the right is the library itself.

The building is meant to be explored. It glass walls and elevators and flying staircases let you look out at all the patrons, books and public spaces in the library. Cross one of the bridges from the library side through the atrium to the exterior curved wall for a great place to read or study. Each of the desks has connections for Internet access and the whole building is a wireless hot spot.

Head to top floor and visit the art gallery with its always changing exhibits. From the gallery floor you can walk out onto the rooftop gardens. The gardens, with it plants, trees and pathways, are designed to feel like a hill or mountainside rather than the top of a building and you get an amazing view of the city and the Wasatch Mountains. From the roof, you can either go back down inside the library or walk the top of the exterior curving wall down to the library plaza.

The children's reading area is an great place for kids. It is in the "basement" of the library, but is at the bottom of a 5 story atrium will a glass wall that extends to the ceiling so there is always plenty of light. The kids can explore not only the books but the two special rooms that are hidden underneath the pond on Library Square. One is Grandmother's Attic, built to give a cozy place for kids to curl up with a book. The other is the Crystal Cave, the kind of place to let their imaginations run wild as they pretend to be in another world.

The Children's Area also has a craft room when there are often activities for the kids to participate in. Check the library's website for a list of events for children and adults.

You could spend hours here, playing and exploring, surfing the Internet and grabbing a bite to eat. You might even want to read a book.

Place: Salt Lake City Library's Main Branch
Location: 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City
Phone: 801.524.8200
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 9:00 6:00 p.m.; Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE

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Distance from:
Salt Lake City (downtown): 0.2 miles
Ogden: 38.0 miles
Provo: 44.3 miles
Logan: 82.7 miles

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go To The Park And Learn Some Science

Taking kids to a park is a great way to get them outdoors, let them play and get some exercise, and peel them away from the television, video games or computers. Most parks have an open place to play ball or Frisbee, some trees to climb, perhaps some basketball or tennis courts, and a standard playground where the kids can swing, slide and hang from the monkey bars.

I recently found a park that has all of the above, but, the playground is anything but standard. This is a playground where the kids can learn about science while they play. They get interactive with experiments while playing and it teaches some cool concepts at the same time.

The park is Novell Children's Discovery Park, part of Manila Park in Pleasant Grove, and is a fantastic place for parents and children.

Discovery Park is broken out into "zones," and each zone has something unique for the kids to do, see, learn, and play with. There are speaking tubes all over the park. Find two tubes that have the same number written on them and kids can talk to each other over short distances. Wow! It's not even a cell phone.

One of my favorites was the whisper dishes. These are two large parabolic dishes (old, six foot tall satellite dishes) that are set about 100 feet apart from each other. Two people stand about two feet in front of each dish and then talk in a normal voice, or even whisper, and you'll be able to hear the other person who is a hundred feet away. My little boy was amazed at how that worked.

Head over to the dinosaur sand pit and see a replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull that the kids can climb into. All around the edges of the sand pit are tiles the explore the geologic timeline, showing something on the tile from each period.

Play a song with metal tubes that are cut at just the right length for each note. Hit the tube with a metal hammer that is attached to each tube and play a note. On a board above the tubes are several songs that show the kids which order to hit the tubes to play each song.

There is an Echo Box that the kids can yell into and hear their own voice echo like they were standing in a canyon. There is an earthquake platform that shows them what the ground might feel like during an earth quake.

When you want to take break, there is Utah Native Plant Garden with benches and tables- one of the tables is a chess board, but you'll need to bring your own chess pieces.

Learn about petroglyph's, animal tracks, rainbows, tree rings, rock types and so much more. Children run, play, swing climb and slide without ever realizing that they are learning about science and why science is cool.

We could have spent hours at this playground, except it started to storm, and we didn't want to learn about lightning firsthand.

Place: Novell Children's Discovery Park (part of Manila Park)
Location: 1550 North 100 East, Pleasant Grove, Utah
Phone: 801.785.6172 (Recreation Department)
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Cost: FREE

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Distance from:
Salt Lake City: 36.5 miles
Ogden: 71.8 miles
Provo: 12.3 miles
Logan: 117 miles

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Free Event of the Day for May 27, 2008

Tonight at the Orem Public Library is a FREE screening of the movie, "Tom and Viv" about the turbulent relationship between T.S. Eliot and his wife.

Place: Orem Public Library
Location: 51 North State Street, Orem
Phone: 801.229.7050
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE

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Distance from:
Salt Lake City: 40.1 miles
Ogden: 75.5 miles
Provo: 5.0 miles
Logan: 120 miles

Book Talk Tuesday for May 27, 2008

Utah Off the Beaten Path (5th ed.) by Michael Rutter, is one of those books that even Utahns who have lived here their entire lives will find a valuable source of information. Tired of heading to Lagoon, Temple Square, or the park? Look into what this book recommends and you'll see things that maybe you had no idea existed in the state of Utah.

I've often found that the best places to go to do things with the kids aren't ones everyone knows about or that are easy to find. It takes a little searching, some investigation, and even some wandering up and down streets until you find something really cool to do or see. Rutter has done a lot of this work for you and found some of those cool places. Most of what he introduces you to are the best places to go for an adventure. He also gives you some cool and quirky facts.

I have a few minor problems with the book, but nothing that should stand in your way of wanting to use it to find some great places to go in Utah.

The inherent problem with books like this, is that they are outdated. This edition was last printed in 2006, which already makes it a couple of years out of date. Having said that, most of the places listed in the book, are still around or in business, though prices, phone numbers and such MAY have changed since publication.

My other problem is that the photos in the book are in black and white. In this day and age when printing has advanced enough to make color nearly as inexpensive as black and white, why don't publishers give us a little more color. The pictures would be a lot more interesting if they were in color.

But, overall, great book.

This book is a must read. 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Cabela's = Adventure

Oddly enough, the adventure days that I take my kids on will sometimes step away from the traditional museums, planetariums, parks, etc., and we will go and spend an hour or two at a store. That's right! A place where they try to sell you stuff. Now, I'm not talking about taking my kids to a Super Walmart for the day. I'm referring to truly exceptional stores- places that are not just for selling things, but are a destination by themselves. Cabela's is one of those mind-blowing stores.

Cabela's calls themselves the "World's Foremost Outfitter," and of that I have no doubt. If you want to do something in the outdoors, from your backyard to hunting or fishing in the mountains, Cabela's probably has what you need. Their selection of products is mind-boggling. But, what sets Cabela's apart, and makes it a destination for an adventure day are the displays and attractions all over the store.

When you first walk into the Cabela's in Lehi, you are immediately overwhelmed by everything. Straight in front of you is Conservation Mountain, dominating the store by its sheer two and a half story height and the stuffed animals that are all over it. From moose to polar bears, snakes to wolves, nearly every kind of North American animal you can think of is represented on the mountain. It even has a small waterfall, tumbling into a small pond at the base of the mountain that is filled with live trout. My little boy howled with laughter at the Prairie Dog that was stuck head first in its burrow, legs and tail straight up in the air. It took us nearly an hour to look at Conservation Mountain.

Just when you think there couldn't be more, there is. The aquariums, which are really the floor to ceiling walls of a hallway that you walk through, are breathtaking. Trout, catfish, and fish I'd never seen or could even hope to name are swimming all around you. I'd like to try and catch a fish here, but I'm afraid my pole would snap in half due to the size of those monsters.

Don't miss the African exhibit near the back of the store, with animals that you might not even see in a zoo. There is also the exhibit of animals that inhabit the Rocky Mountain region, complete with an animatronic camper sitting in front of his tent, telling you interesting facts about the Utah outdoors.

Upstairs is a shooting gallery, where for a few quarters, you and the kids can shoot at targets, that when hit, will make animals move, buckets tip over and other funny things happen (the targets are activated by light- no actual ammunition). There is also a deli style restaurant and a general store where you can get all kinds of candy, fudge, jerky and more. Look up and you'll see an actual bush plane suspended overhead, like it's flying over Conservation Mountain.

It may seem a bit strange to head to a store for an adventure, but Cabela's redefines what a store is.

Place: Cabela's (Lehi, Utah)
Location: 2502 West Grand Terrace Parkway, Lehi
Phone: 801.766.2500
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Holiday and winter hours may be different, call for times.
Cost: FREE (all exhibitions, shooting gallery is extra)

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Distance from:
Salt Lake City: 25.8 miles
Ogden: 61.2 miles
Provo: 20 miles
Logan: 106 miles

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Events This Week- May 26 through May 31

Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorial Day- See the post for things to do on Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The Orem Public Library is showing the movie, "Tom and Viv," about the relationship between T.S. Eliot and his wife. The movie is in the auditorium at the library and begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is FREE. 51 North State Street, Orem, Utah.

Live Animal Show at the Monte L. Bean Museum tonight focuses on Adaptations. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the museum and animal shows are FREE. 645 East 1430 North, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Senior Movie Afternoon is being held at the Salt Lake City Public Library, Main Branch. These are movies for and about seniors. Today's movie is "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont," which will begin at 2:00 p.m. Admission is FREE. 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Live Animal Show at the Monte L. Bean Museum tonight focuses on Utah Plants & Animals. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the museum and animal shows are FREE. 645 East 1430 North, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Thursday, May 29, 2008
The Utah Cultural Celebration Center, presents a historical exhibit of art from China's Cultural Revolution. Rich in the folk traditions of rural peasant artists, this historical exhibit highlights the impact of politics on artists and their art during Mao's China. Open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is FREE. 1355 W 3100 South, West Valley City, Utah.

The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Arts is showing an interactive art installation featuring 120 Dutch wooden clogs that "dance" a different rhythmic pattern each time the sculpture is activated. The installation was created by the Seattle-based sound sculptor Trimpin. Open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is FREE. 650 N. 1100 East, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

Live Animal Show at the Monte L. Bean Museum tonight focuses on Ecosystems. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the museum and animal shows are FREE. 645 East 1430 North, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Looking for some good clean comedy? Try "Laugh Out Loud," a BYU comedy group that is performing its first show of the season tonight. Admission is $1.00. Performance starts at 8:00 p.m. 151 Tanner Building, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Live Animal Show at the Monte L. Bean Museum tonight focuses on Invertebrates. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the museum and animal shows are FREE. 645 East 1430 North, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Saturday, May 31, 2008
The Utah Museum of Fine Art will be presenting the "Highlights of the Collection" tour at 1:30 p.m. today. This is a FREE 30 minute tour of some of the best art the museum has to offer. Admission is FREE. 410 Campus Center Drive, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Springville Museum of Art is showing, "Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting" and is also hosting the 84th Annual Spring Art Salon. Don't miss the children's gallery in the basement. Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is FREE. 126 East 400 South, Springville, Utah.

The Fort Douglas Military Museum presents, "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon," a special exhibit on loan from the Hayes Otoupalik collection. This features uniforms and artifacts from the U.S. Army's cavalry units from 1858 to 1943. Admission is FREE.
32 Potter Street, Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Live Animal Show at the Monte L. Bean Museum tonight focuses on Reptiles. The show begins at 1:00 p.m. Admission to the museum and animal shows are FREE. 645 East 1430 North, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Wasatch Mountain State Park presents, "Astronomy: Stories of Light." Join the park naturalist at 9 p.m. for an evening viewing and learning about the stories of light in our night sky. Learn some constellations and get a glimpse of just how big space really is. Program will be held at the campground amphitheater. Weather permitting. Admission is $5.00 per car (see State Parks Memberships for a great deal). Wasatch Mountain State Park is located in the northeast corner of Midway, Utah. Head to Midway and follow the signs.

What To Do On Memorial Day 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008
It's the first big holiday of the 2008 Summer season and there is plenty going on besides laying by the pool and backyard barbeque's. Here's a few things you can get out and do:

At the Hill Aerospace Museum: he Utah Aviation Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. in the F-16 Special Event Space (inside the Hill Aerospace Museum). Cliff Jolley will become the newest inductee. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel with patriotic readings. To get to the museum from I-15, either northbound or southbound, take Exit 338 and drive east. Information, call 801-777-6818 or visit
Also at the Hill Aerospace Museum at the Memorial Park: Four airmen from Hill who were killed last year in the war will be honored at 11:30 a.m. during a memorial dedication ceremony at the new Hill Air Force Base Memorial Park in a 30-minute ceremony. The airmen being honored are Timothy R. Weiner, Ryan A. Balmer, Elizabeth A. Lonki and Daniel B. Miller. The new park will be dedicated and a memorial plaque with the names of those honored will be unveiled. Four streets will also be re-named for the fallen airmen.

In Eagle Mountain: Y Mountain Productions presents a free family concert with “Goody Two Shoes”, featuring pop, rock, country, jazz, folk, acoustic, and inspirational music.
Also appearing is Impact, an A Cappella singing group.
Location: SilverLake Amphitheater, 7920 N. SilverLake Parkway, Eagle Mountain

Antelope Island: Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at one of Utah's earliest ranches, the historic Fielding Garr Ranch. Learn how the people of Antelope Island lived. Learn to make pioneer handkerchief dolls, pick up a needle and quilt. Dip candles and make a pioneer lantern. Learn pioneer games such as farm ball and race your family in a sack race. Participants will need to bring an empty vegetable or soup can to make their own pioneer lantern.
Also at Antelope Island: Walk in the Park: Bird Walk (May 26, 2008 - May 26, 2008)
Join the park naturalist on a bird walk through historic Field Garr Ranch. Participants should meet at the museum entrance at 11 a.m. For more information, please call (801) 721-9569.