Activities in East Bench

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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 Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out 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 the Utah Olympic Parks lets you choose one of three outdoor adventure courses. 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.

2600 E Sunnyside Ave.
Salt Lake City,
UT
US

Traditionally, if you wanted to find out the length of a giraffe's tongue, you'd have to hide in a tree with a ready hand and a yardstick. Utah's Hogle Zoo has streamlined the process, however: one of its animal encounters allows guests to feed the long-necked creatures alongside a keeper, who will happily tell you that their purple tongues stretch for 20 inches. The giraffes are just one of more than 800 animals inside the zoo grounds. Spanning 42 acres of verdant hillside property, the exhibits strive to showcase fauna in arenas that mimic their natural habitats.

The polar bear inside Rocky Shores—the zoo's largest exhibit to date—lumbers through a landscape inspired by North America's western coast, with a pool that affords guests underwater views of the bear’s attempts to secure its swim cap. Snow leopards, Siberian lynxes, and amur tigers prowl the Himalayan-inspired scenery of the Asian Highlands. At Elephant Encounter's African Lodge, visitors can touch an elephant skull or a rhino horn before glimpsing the pachyderms in the flesh. Summer shows send eagles and hawks swooping overhead in the Wildlife Theatre. From loping wolves and toothy crocodiles to the sagely gorillas of the Great Apes house, the beasts all benefit from the staff's enrichment efforts, which encourage learning as well as instinctual behaviors.

As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Utah's Hogle Zoo demonstrates a commitment to wildlife conservation that extends beyond its gates. Many of its special events contribute funds to preservation programs. For example, the Orange Utahn Art show raises donations for endangered primates, selling original works by both local artists and the zoo's orangutans, who compose colorful paintings. Guests can even get a closer look at imperiled species by saddling up on top of one—the Conservation Carousel arrays 42 hand-carved sculptures of at-risk animals, such as the red panda, the giant panda, and the false panda, which is just a black poodle that rolled in some paint.

2600 E Sunnyside Ave
Salt Lake City,
UT
US

Kathleen King of King Studio believes that fitness and nutritional training alone cannot transform a person’s life—that training must be complemented by a change in everyday behaviors. That’s why her studio focuses not only on exercise and healthy eating but also on teaching clients how to change their negative lifestyle habits, such as failing to get enough sleep, being a couch potato, and recreationally contracting common colds.

In addition to the rows of Pilates reformers and free weights, King stocks her studio with revolutionary TRX suspension bands that hang from the ceilings, earning herself a feature on ABC 4's Good Things Utah. With these dangling straps, she lets gravity and natural body weight do the work during functional workouts that aim to bolster core muscles, stability, and flexibility. She also captains a team of instructors, who help lead personal-training sessions, women’s karate classes, ballroom-dance lessons, and open dance parties within the hardwood-floored studio.

1400 S Foothill Dr
Salt Lake City,
UT
US

Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces?including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis?await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece 7-10 days later.

1414 S Foothill Dr.
Salt Lake City,
UT
US

This Is The Place Heritage Park, Utah’s living-history attraction, is a fun and educational way to learn firsthand what life was like during the settlement of the West. Strap on proverbial spurs and settle into one of the original or replicated historic homes as knowledgeable actors tell epic accounts of the excitement, danger, and horse whispering that occurred in the Old West. Take a gander as artisans demonstrate 19th-century frontier life by spinning wool into yarn, making candles, and blacksmithing, or stop by the petting corral to pet the animals like they did in the days before robotic livestock. And don’t miss a visit to the Native American village, where members of Utah’s indigenous tribes tell histories of their native ancestors.

2601 E Sunnyside Ave
Salt Lake City,
UT
US

By selling and leasing a variety of exercise equipment, Utah Home Fitness makes homeowners members of their own exclusive gym. Exercise bikes from brands such as Precor and Lemond bring the benefits of an afternoon trial ride indoors, and rowers from LifeCORE and First Degree simulate the rigors of propelling a boat without getting your oars tangled in a kraken’s tentacles. All-in-one gyms contain the weights, bars, and resistance bands needed to perform a variety of strength training exercises, and classic treadmills keep runners in shape between 5Ks and marathons.

1354 S Foothill Dr
Salt Lake City,
UT
US