The Living Planet Aquarium has become one of Utah´s most unique and popular attractions, and is definitely a must-see if you are planning a trip to Utah. Exhibits feature sharks, rays, seahorses, jellyfish as well as octopus, eels, starfish, amphibians, trout and other freshwater species.
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 stewardship. To that end, the aviary frequently hosts bird encounters, small group talks with avian keepers, and even the opportunity to feed various species.
Since its inception in 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has become a renowned haven of culture in the Salt Lake City community. The museum is a multi-year recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and its numerous accolades include Best of State in 2011 and 2012. Its four gallery spaces have hosted exhibitions by local artists, such as LeConte Stewart and Anna Campbell Bliss, as well as famous names, such as Ignacio Uriarte, Christian Jankowski, and Jennifer West.
In addition to gallery displays, the museum hosts film screenings, classes, and other activities that promote appreciation of the arts. A museum educator drives an art truck to schools along the Wasatch Front, introducing students to contemporary art and activating windshield wipers that spray paintbrush cleaner. Kids and parents can see the current artwork and create their own collaborative, hands-on projects during free Family Art Saturdays, and adults can get a crash course in art appreciation during Art Fitness Training.
Morning Star Balloons ushers cloud hunters toward their quarry, navigating the skies as transfixed guests float high above Utah's pristine mountainscape. The seasoned, FAA-certified pilots employ experience flying military jets, winning numerous hot air balloon competitions, and establishing dominance over out-of-control umbrellas as they confidently steer the colorful vessels to heights of between 500–1,500 feet. Groups of up to 12 soar above Park City’s lush landscape and during early-morning flights, with a complimentary champagne or nonalcoholic toast welcoming passengers back to solid ground. Despite its burgeoning fame through the TV shows The Amazing Race and Nitro Circus, Morning Star Balloons keeps a level head as it donates its services to local schools and charities.
At Castle of Chaos, the most fearless of participants can sign a Hands On Horror waiver, allowing ghouls to touch them as they traverse the creaky hallways of the haunted mansion. Whether opting for the add-on or not, spooks await visitors within the mansion, asylum, and dungeon at the Taylorsville location, four new attractions such as the Bedlam Institute and the Phobias Research Center greet guests at the Orem location, and the Riverdale facility coaxes guests into its creepy 3-D carnival and a haunted house modeled after the seven deadly sins. Riverdale participants can also settle into a coffin for a simulated journey from mortuary to graveyard or explore a menacing midway's games, live entertainment, and concessions. Continually rearranged rooms at both houses ensure that feng shui is maintained and repeat scare-seekers will frequently embark on new trips of terror.
To more than 9,000 students, artist Harold Petersen is known simply as “Pete.” In founding the Petersen Art Center in 1994, Pete created a place where creative minds could come together, express themselves, and share their abilities with others. Pete has been teaching for more than 50 years, and he continues to lead students each week in the fine arts of drawing and working with watercolors. In addition to giving pupils the benefits of his own expertise, he has assembled a crack team of sculptors, painters, and visual artists to help students navigate the right sides of their brains.
Claiming to be the nation's largest paragliding and speed-flying facility, Cloud 9 Paragliding School touts its complete repair loft and lessons held seven days of the week year-round. The facility also stocks a variety of flying gadgets and equipment and imports a variety of international brands of paragliding equipment, which it then distributes to more than 40 flying schools across the country. But above all, the facility sees itself as a big toy store, providing big kids with playthings such as kite tricycles, pogo sticks, and mountain unicycles.