Traditionally, if you wanted to find out the length of a giraffe's tongue, you'd have to hide in a tree with a ready hand and a yardstick. Utah's Hogle Zoo has streamlined the process, however: one of its animal encounters allows guests to feed the long-necked creatures alongside a keeper, who will happily tell you that their purple tongues stretch for 20 inches. The giraffes are just one of more than 800 animals inside the zoo grounds. Spanning 42 acres of verdant hillside property, the exhibits strive to showcase fauna in arenas that mimic their natural habitats.
The polar bear inside Rocky Shores—the zoo's largest exhibit to date—lumbers through a landscape inspired by North America's western coast, with a pool that affords guests underwater views of the bear’s attempts to secure its swim cap. Snow leopards, Siberian lynxes, and amur tigers prowl the Himalayan-inspired scenery of the Asian Highlands. At Elephant Encounter's African Lodge, visitors can touch an elephant skull or a rhino horn before glimpsing the pachyderms in the flesh. Summer shows send eagles and hawks swooping overhead in the Wildlife Theatre. From loping wolves and toothy crocodiles to the sagely gorillas of the Great Apes house, the beasts all benefit from the staff's enrichment efforts, which encourage learning as well as instinctual behaviors.
As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Utah's Hogle Zoo demonstrates a commitment to wildlife conservation that extends beyond its gates. Many of its special events contribute funds to preservation programs. For example, the Orange Utahn Art show raises donations for endangered primates, selling original works by both local artists and the zoo's orangutans, who compose colorful paintings. Guests can even get a closer look at imperiled species by saddling up on top of one—the Conservation Carousel arrays 42 hand-carved sculptures of at-risk animals, such as the red panda, the giant panda, and the false panda, which is just a black poodle that rolled in some paint.
Established in 1966, Utah Heritage Foundation was the first statewide preservation organization in the western United States to preserve Utah’s historic buildings and neighborhoods, from pre-history to mid-20th century, through financial assistance, public and school tours, and advocacy.
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
As a full-body perfecting school, Skinworks and its aesthetic armada of students clear smooth, silky paths with a selection of waxing services. Improve Chunnel swim times with a full-leg ($35 for 60 minutes), arm ($15 for 30 minutes), or back ($30 for 60 minutes) wax, or de-fuzz smaller bodily tunnels, such as noses and ears ($7). Lips, chins, and navels bid strands adieu in one fell yank ($7), and bikinis suit up for competition with a 30-minute procedure ($15).
This month’s Comedy Showcase invites a trio of jokesters to excavate laughs in The Depot’s urban space. Comic J. Chris Newberg enlivens standard standup with his blend of audience interaction and short songs that bait giggles with a grab bag of controversial topics, from religion to the usefulness of the metric system. Newberg’s edgy humor nabbed him stage time with Dane Cook, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Comedy Central. A seasoned DJ and comedian, DJ Cooch sweet-talks microphones with confidence gained from co-hosting MTV’s Rock the Vote with Ashton Kutcher and flying overseas to entertain troops in Iraq, and funny woman Jen Murphy dissects dating and intergender communications. Before the show, host AJ from 97.1 ZHT warms up the stage with only a microphone and a huge electric blanket, as audiences settle into the urban interior of the old Union Pacific Station.