The door of the limousine opens and flash bulbs burst in a thunderstorm of press and paparazzi. The crowd shoulders each other behind velvet ropes, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the diamond-studded star at the head of the red carpet. When the sea of people parts, a self-assured third-grader is revealed as she greets her fawning public.
Popcorn Media gives kids the chance to experience strutting down the red carpet during their Movie Star workshops and weeklong camps. Attendees soak up the secrets of screen acting from a director who works with Disney and Nickelodeon studios while producing their own unique work. They oversee each production element that goes into a film's creation, from lighting and filming to rehearsing and giving their parents an autograph. At the end of each session, kids attend a red-carpet premier of their work amid the applause of friends and family.
Birdman Academy takes its name from the pseudonym of its founder, Kevin Koonce. The Birdman estimates that he has trained thousands of hang-gliding lessons, and during that time he’s taught nearly 8,000 first-timers. Currently, he nests at Point of the Mountain, a spot known for what the Academy calls, "legendary conditions." This means consistently smooth winds, which are ideal for training new hang-gliders, paragliders, and baby pterodactyls recently thawed from blocks of prehistoric ice.
The safety-certified coaches at Olympus Gymnastics have taught talented tumblers that have gone on to participate every year in the Junior National Olympics and Utah State Championships. Students ages 3 to 15 years can pick from a schedule of floor-tumbling classes, dropping into the facility once a week to increase their physical dexterity, hone their mental determination, and develop their vocabulary for pommel-horse whispering. Coaches teach tots the basics during classes, and leaping adolescents limber up their bodies in tiered levels and earn their way toward airborne flight, vaulted exploration, and bar-gripping acrobatics. The experienced staff evoke a positive and encouraging atmosphere, in which every child receives individual attention, support, and an opportunity to take an honest bow that wasn't earned by being the first to throw pudding across the school cafeteria.
Velocity Sports Performance’s staff emphasizes the importance of speed, strength, and agility to every one of its athletes, which in the past has included Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap. To help get their message across, the experienced fitness coaches create customized workout programs for adults and kids of all athletic abilities. They bolster the results by offering nutrition programs and staging the exercises on their facility’s array of top-notch exercise tools, including Olympic-style weightlifting equipment, sprint tracks, and indoor turf fields with picnic-table hurdles.
Unlike jumping onto a treadmill, Fit Club Utah’s exercises require a little briefing. The instructor may explain, for example, just what one does with the giant sledgehammer resting on a recalcitrant-looking truck tire. But once the tutorials are through, students jump into high-octane action, swinging the hammer through the air and flipping the tire end over end to build rippling muscle and amp up cardio strength. To keep the sessions engaging, instructors create new routines, filled with box jumps and sprinting, and modify exercises to each client’s individual fitness level or desire not to sweat in their workout tuxedo.
Running from March 17–20, the Sportsmen's Exposition brings all the trappings of the sportsman's life under one giant convention-center roof. Experts in a myriad of outdoor sports, such as fishing and big-game hunting, provide tips for upcoming trips into the wild, and interactive exhibits allow expo-goers to test fly rods, climb a rock wall, and pit arrow-launching skills against fellow bowmen with a 3-D pop-up archery contest. A fully stocked indoor fish pond, meanwhile, lets kids master catch-and-release skills to test out on older siblings when they get home. The event has hundreds of exhibitors selling top-of-the-line outdoor gear and touting sporting destinations from around the globe. The convention center has ample parking and is easily accessible by TRAX. Children age 15 and under are admitted free with a paying adult, and active military members are admitted free with military ID.