The Utah Museum of Fine Arts lives in the Marcia & John Price Museum Building, a space that is itself a masterwork of blending volumes and light. Inside, the facility houses a permanent collection of more than 18,000 works of art, ranging from antiquity—such as a sarcophagus from the 26th Dynasty of Egypt—to modern day, including paintings by John Singer Sargent and photographs by Ansel Adams. The museum staff constantly rotates special exhibitions, covering diverse topics such as automobile design, Native American history, and modern art.
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.
Within Clark Planetarium's space-exploration-themed facility, the interactive displays and immersive IMAX and planetarium shows enlighten visitors with interesting scientific facts. Spread out across 10,000 square feet, more than 15 hands-on exhibits entrance guests with artifacts such as photos from the Hubble Space Telescope and a moon rock brought back from the Apollo 15 mission.
Audio in the ATK IMAX Theatre emanates from a 14,000-watt digital surround-sound system as the 70-foot wide, five-story-high screen accommodates Hollywood hits and insightful documentaries in 3-D. More entertainment abounds in the Hansen Dome Theatre, where six high-definition projectors fill the 55-foot domed screen with seamless images during scientific films and cosmic light shows.
The Pogo Pass grants Phoenix residents access to top entertainment and cultural venues throughout the city, including amusements parks, museums, and sporting events. Each pass features a singular barcode and the name of the pass holder, making it as individualized as a library card, and their free app allows account holders easy access to their pass using a smartphone.
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, Missouri, 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 the Salt Lake location's Dinosaur Bay, where toddlers splash and ride small slides, and lazy rivers welcome both whippersnappers and adults hoping to relax.
In addition to its water parks, Seven Peaks manages a fleet of fun centers in Utah and Missouri. Visitors to the Lehi location enjoy rides on a pirate ship or in bumper boats, and guests at the Orem location can putt through a glowing, neon mini-golf jungle lit by black lights, or whack at the imagined faces of arch-nemeses in the batting cages.
A true polymath, Leonardo da Vinci was never content learning a single subject at a time. Leonardo’s expertise is renowned, as he honed his mind as an artist, scientist, inventor, and mutant ninja. In this same spirit, The Leonardo, his namesake museum, explores the ways that science, technology, art, and creativity connect. Each day, its exhibits bustle with activity as visitors examine thought-provoking installations, experiment with hands-on activities, and participate in ever-changing workshops.
The Dynamic Performance of Nature exhibit, for example, is a giant sine curve made of solar-powered LEDs that stretches the length of room. It flashes and changes its color in response to real-world factors such as solar radiation, humidity, and pollution. Artists, inventors, and other innovative thinkers work within the Lab@Leo, where they help museum guests make creative projects out of different materials. Some of the museum's other exhibits include I.D.: What Makes You, You?, which explores our genetic origins, and Render, where visitors can create their own short animated films.
It can be tough to visit dinosaurs and outer space in the same day without a time machine and a rocket ship. But Visit Salt Lake's Connect Pass provides a loophole. It grants access to 13 Utah attractions, encouraging families to explore Salt Lake City and beyond. Those using the Connect Pass can see savings of up to 80% on combined admission costs.
At Clark Planetarium, for example, visitors go far beyond the Great Salt Lake and Earth itself, becoming dwarfed by the cosmos inside the Dome Theatre. The Leonardo Museum brings them back to civilization by merging science and creativity with exhibits such as 101 Inventions that Changed the World and a Pixel Playland where kids can manipulate electronic artwork.
Other venues emphasize the beauty and fun found in the natural landscapes of our home planet. Red Butte Garden's 100 acres of local flowers, plants, and trees includes scenic hiking trails, whereas Utah Olympic Park takes a faster track to outdoor adventuring—the pass entitles the holder to a zipline ride or a careening trip down the Alpine slide. And, for those intrigued by animals, Utah's Hogle Zoo presents wildlife that ranges from big cats to sea lions who nuzzle their keepers, similar to the dinosaurs at The Museum of Ancient Life.