Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Have You Ever Wanted to Pet a Zebra?

When I was younger, traveling with my family along I-15 between Provo and St. George, was torture.  Small towns were merely passing blurs on our way to St. George, Las Vegas, and Disneyland.  We might occasionally have stopped in Nephi to grab some lunch and top off the gas tank before heading back out on the road.  But after that, it was hours of boredom.

Yet, if you know where to go, there are some interesting stops to make along the way.  It's these stops along the way that make adventures about more than just the destination.  And more fun.

Whether you're traveling north or south on I-15, you should make a stop in Scipio (about an hour south of Provo and an hour north of Beaver), at the Flying J Travel Center where there is a unique petting zoo.

This free petting zoo has the typical petting zoo type animals- goats, sheep, chickens and rabbits.  The kids will have fun with these friendly farm animals who have mostly gotten used to being touched, hugged, and fed by excited children.

But, a petting zoo with just your normal farm animals wouldn't be enough to get most people to pull over at what has been for years a stop for semi-trucks.

There are also zebras, ostriches, alpacas, miniature horses, and more.  The more exotic animals are kept behind fences, unlike the smaller animals that are allowed to roam around the enclosures with the visitors.  Yet, they will come right over when tempted with some hay or food pellets (purchased for a quarter at machines around the corrals.

Watch your fingers and hands though.  The zebras are mostly friendly, but will occasionally take a nip at you.  And the ostrich can get a little aggressive, swinging its large head and pecking a at unsuspecting people.

When you're done at the zoo, walk across the street to the Flying J to the clean, but busy, Burger King and pick up a soft serve ice cream cone to enjoy while you continue on down the road to the next part of your adventures.

Going north or south on I-15, take Exit 188 at Scipio and go to the west side of the freeway to the Flying J Travel Center.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day- The Official, Unofficial Start of Summer

It's Memorial Day.

Swimming pools are opening.  Grills are sizzling.  The kids are nearly out of school.

And the call of summer can almost be heard already, "I'm sooooo bored!"

At Things To Do, Utah, we're here to help you find interesting places to go and fun activities throughout Utah that won't break the bank.

To kick off Summer 2014, here are 10 of our favorite places to go, in no particular order:

  1. Wild West Jordan Playground.  West Jordan, Utah- This playground, themed around an 1880's Utah main street, has climbing walls, a multi-story playhouse made to look like the old Saltair, and of course, plenty of playground equipment.  Part of the expansive West Jordan City Park, the playground is a great place to spend a warm summer afternoon.
  2. Hogle Zoo.  Salt Lake City, Utah- Hogle Zoo has been undergoing a major transformation over the last few years.  Asian Highlands, Rocky Shores, and Elephant Encounters are being joined this year by African Savanna, complete with 4 new lions.
  3. Hill Aerospace Museum.  Hill Air Force Base, (near Roy) Utah- The history of aviation and the U.S. Air Force unfolds in massive fashion at this high flying museum.  From World War I to the Cold War and today's military fighter jets, this museum is just plain cool.  Don't miss the SR-71 Blackbird, a huge and amazing looking plane that set speed flight records before being retired.
  4. Antelope Island.  Accessible by causeway, west of Layton, Utah- This, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake, has a museum about the wildlife on the island, the Garr-Fielding Ranch, a sandy beach, and plenty of hiking trails.
  5. Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum.  BYU, Provo Utah- Reopening on June 7, this life sciences museum was already a fascinating place to spend an afternoon.  New, improved and expanded, it should prove to be even more fun.  Head to their website for information on Family Nights and live animal shows.
  6. Springville Museum of Art.  Springville, Utah- This gem of an art museum is one that a lot of people who've lived in Utah all their lives either don't know about or have never visited.  Take a day and explore this museum, housed in a building in Spanish Moroccan style architecture.  Don't forget the sculpture gardens.
  7. USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum.  Price, Utah- This great museum splits its exhibits between paleontology and anthropology.  See a great collection of dinosaur bones, dinosaur eggs, and dinosaur footprints.  Take a picture with Utah's very own, Utahraptor.  Then, move over to the other side of the museum and learn about the people that first inhabited Utah.
  8. Bridal Veil Falls.  Provo Canyon, Utah- Bridal Veil Falls is a beautiful, double horsetail cascade that tumbles from 600 feet from the canyon bottom.  At the base of the falls is a small wading pool, shady picnic areas, and paved walking/biking trails that run down the canyon.
  9. Novell Children's Discovery Park.  Pleasant Grove, Utah- This is a playground that's been built around teaching kids science while playing.  Check out the different zones and explore music, dinosaurs, sound, and light.  When you're tired, sit down and play chess at one of the nearby tables.
  10. We're leaving this to YOU to tell us where in Utah is your favorite place to go.  Just leave a comment below and we'll share it with all our readers.
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where we post fun weekly events and other things to do.  And be sure to watch for some special things coming this summer that will help you find even more things to do.