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.
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.
At Big City Bowl, staffers exude a down-home affability that puts bowlers at ease, even when games stretch past closing time. The alley buzzes to life during cosmic bowling, when customer-requested music videos flash across screens while beats pour into the lanes. Myriad leagues elevate the laid-back sport to a spirited showcase of athletic ability, whereas birthday parties dial bowling back to its more recreational uses. Resting competitors can nourish throwing arms with food and beer at the onsite snack shop or watch NFL or college football games splashed across six TV screens.