The silver screens at Showstar Cinemas 6 flicker to life with first-run Hollywood blockbusters, but that’s not the only thing drawing in movie buffs to this locally owned and operated theater. Special events bring old classic favorites, such as The Little Rascals, back to the big screen, while 3-D movies allow viewers to imagine themselves in the middle of the latest heart-pumping action film. To help kid’s feel extra special on their birthdays, Showstar Cinemas 6 also designs party packages that include putting the honoree’s name on the marquee and welcoming up to 30 of their closest friends for a private screening of a kid-friendly flick or a slideshow of their least embarrassing baby pics.
In the cradle of the Wasatch Mountains, the 400 acres of Utah Olympic Park preserve the grounds where, in 2002, athletes from 77 nations competed in the XIX Olympic Winter Games and the VIII Paralympic Winter Games. A decade later, the park still retains its history through the Utah Olympic Legacy, a nonprofit organization that's maintained the sites of its six nordic ski jumps, bobsled, luge, and skeleton tracks, and skiing-terrain park. Park staffers encourage visitors of all ages and ability levels to experience these winter sports year-round.
Whether led by tour guides or coaches, park goers and athletes of all ages can navigate moguls and launch from jumps on a winter competition hill, bobsled down a 1,335-meter year-round track, or hurl down a water ramp into a summer training pool to practice their freestyle ski jumps. They can also soar through alpine terrain on ziplines that mimic nordic ski jumps or climb across the treetops on adventure ropes courses to escape a time-share salesman. After exploring the outdoors, visitors can peruse Olympic history exhibits at the Alf Engen Ski Museum and Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum.
Blue Sky Adventures beckons adventure nuts with its 3,300-acre Blue Sky Ranch filled with abundant wildlife, mountain peaks, meadows, and canyons. The outdoor experts offer activities year-round. Summertime days are spent rafting, fly-fishing, horseback riding, biking, and spending warm nights in a yurt. During the winter months, nature lovers can take in the white-blanketed sights on a sleigh ride or dogsled, or try to sneak up on a rare species of snowman in a pair of snowshoes. Other group adventures include archery and a geo-cache scavenger hunt for the mountain's golden egg.
The whirring carnival attractions inside Jungle Jim's Playland never pack up and leave town. Instead, the year-round kiddie complex keeps its stable of rides completely indoors at its climate-controlled facility. Proud parents look on or join the action for free as kids 11 and younger enjoy jungle patrol cars, a ground-level roller coaster, and a traditional carousel. In all, seven rides and a multilevel jungle gym provide all the fun of an outdoor carnival without having to endure sticky, summer heat and long carnie lectures about 17th-century Italian operas. Kids split up their bumper car sessions with Skee-Ball and other arcade games or sit at picnic tables and nosh on a house-made pizza from The Jungle Cafe concession stand.
Big City Bowl enlivens the nightlife with urethane orbs supersonically tumbleweeding down well-oiled lanes. With this deal, up to six pin-clobberers get two hours of unlimited play, as well as bowling-shoe rental (a $2.50 value per rental), two large pitchers of soda (an $11.50 value), and two large orders of french fries (a $6 value), which can be dipped into bowling ball holes for extra horseradish flavor. With two hours of unlimited play, groups of six casual bowlers should be able to play about two games, and groups of six philosophers can play one game followed by intense debate as to whether predeterminism renders the picking up of a 7-10 split meaningless. All globe-slingers should call ahead to dodge longer wait times on league nights.
Visitors to the Utah Arts Festival stride across concrete promenades and grassy lawns sprawled out between fountains and modern buildings, which have glass walls that reflect the fest’s vibrant paintings and eclectic sculptures. Since its inception more than 35 years ago, the four-day festival has taken over a multiblock radius to accommodate hundreds of visual artists, musicians, performers, and culinary artists, each celebrating modern art and the local community. Throughout indoor and outdoor exhibitions, visitors explore varied works of visual art represented through special exhibitions and hands-on workshops with featured artists. A marketplace also gives artists a place to sell their paintings, wearable art, and sculptures to help disseminate their crafts and raise enough money for van Gogh’s ghost to move out of their basements.
Musicians score the festival throughout its days with worldwide genres on several outdoor stages, and storytellers and other literary artists tickle ears with eclectic tales and recitations of the UN staff directory. Across the grounds, festival staffers recycle the fete’s discarded plastic, aluminum, and cardboard as well as food scraps and vegetable oil, and promote eco-friendly practices with a protected bicycle lot and bike valet.