With fitness-oriented facilities ranging from an ice-skating rink to racquetball courts, the gargantuan South Davis Recreation Center can host almost any type of physical activity. Recreational softball, basketball, volleyball, and hockey leagues engage both adults and kids in friendly competition, while events like an annual triathlon keep the community active and involved. The center also features a fully equipped gym with a weight room, a steam room, and an aerobics studio that hosts regular fitness classes.
The clatter of victimized pins echoes across Orchard Lanes's 18-lane alley and family-fun center. Unless there is a league on the floor, Orchard Lanes's staffers are happy to bring down the lights for glow-in-the-dark bowling at a customer’s request during any of its daily open-bowling hours. For special occasions, party packages are available to equip revelers with the necessary pizza, ice cream, and goody bags, and Orchard Lanes has even played host to a wedding. A computerized scoring system logs each player’s achievements, and between frames, a stop at the full-service snack bar yields pizza and soda to refuel sphere-tossing muscles. The center is also home to billiards tables and an arcade that, like the fairest time-out corners, has a redemption center.
It’s 7 p.m. on a Monday night and the alligator is hungry. Fortunately, the reptile keepers at Scales and Tails brought dinner with them. As families in their audience look on in awe behind the safety of a fenced enclosure, the expert handlers feed the reptile its meaty morsels. After a while, with the keeper's help, the kids get in on the action, too, guiding a long pole laden with chicken towards the gator's waiting maw. Moments like this one happen every week at Scales and Tails, but the center's handlers are far more than reptile caterers. They travel throughout Utah and Wyoming, visiting classrooms and birthday parties sharing their interest in reptiles and birds with rapt audiences of children. At their storefront in Salt Lake City, they invite families to drop by and interact with the animals.
Frolicking in a 500,000-gallon wave pool, plummeting from 100-foot free-fall slides, and drifting along a 1,200-foot lazy river with 5 mph currents are just a few of the diversions found within Seven Peaks' net of water parks. The aquatic havens spread across Utah and Indiana, luring families and adventurous kayakers with forests of twisting water slides such as the Provo location's Boomerang, which sends passengers ricocheting down three stories. Calmer fun awaits at child-friendly areas such as Sand Bar Bay, where gentle spurts of water surprise and delight kids and a tiny slide sends them, careening and giggling, into the water.
GameWorks fosters friendly competition between kids and adults by surrounding pizza and half-pound burgers with a mosaic of interactive pursuits. Each location holds hundreds of arcade-style games, which include racing and shooting challenges from Sega as well as lower-tech classics such as pinball.
Shafts of sunlight pierce Tracy Aviary?s dense conifer forest, sending great grey owls into hiding until nightfall, when they emerge to hunt silently above the treetops. The Owl Forest is just one of five diverse ecosystems that dot the aviary?s eight acres. Nearby, at the South American Pavilion, aviary keepers tend to keel-billed toucans as their colorful beaks break through the cereal boxes in which they incubate. And on the Kennecott Wetland, visitors can espy long-billed curlews and American coots roosting in the tall grass.
In addition to providing a diverse habitat in which native and endangered species can thrive, Tracy Aviary?s curators strive to educate visitors about threats to avian species and to encourage conservation. To that end, Tracy Aviary hosts daily bird encounters, small group talks with keepers, and up close encounters with many species.