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.
Darlene Casanova, owner of Imagination Place, believes that music holds the power to strengthen familial and community-based relationships. Drawing from her extensive training and careers in the performing arts, she now strives to nurture family bonds and child development via music and movement classes. Along with a team of certified teachers and music instructors, she leads a harmonious selection of internationally recognized programs open to adults, children, and operatic family dogs. In Music Together, an early-childhood series in which caregivers join their tots in song and movement, children choose from a basket brimming with instruments and Baroque-style wigs to identify their individual musical styles. Teachers spark early creativity with yoga, art, and theater in the Imagination Workshop, and motivate youngsters to explore music theory in Musical Bridge.
When she?s not crooning with kiddies, Darlene teaches AntiGravity fitness. Suspended from an AntiGravity hammock?a soft, pliable fabric used to enhance stretches?she guides pupils through an aerial series of movements that meld techniques from dance, Pilates, calisthenics, and classic yoga.
In addition to her wide range of family classes, Imagination Place hosts music- and art-filled birthday extravaganzas. During the warmer months, an assortment of summer-camp programs fills the studio with creative children eager to escape the stresses of babysitting their parents.
Trees sway with the breeze alongside the fairways at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. A fierce wind whips off the Pacific Ocean, knocking drives off-course at Pebble Beach's famous 18th hole. At Golf Anytime, formerly known as Global Indoor Golf, players take on the signature challenges of 66 international golf courses without leaving the comfort of their hitting bay.
Instead, they queue up the course of their choice on the bay's control monitor and watch as the terrain takes shape on a 14-foot screen, with the slopes, swale, and likelihood for seismic activity accurately recreated via advanced computer technology. Using their own clubs, players hit golf balls off an artificial turf mat into the screen, where two 360-degree curtains of infrared light-wave technology capture the golf ball's flight information and spit back instant feedback on the shot's flight data. The entire experience?from choosing a dream course, to sipping on between-shot beers in the lounge-like setting, to screaming ?fore? in binary code?does away with the hassles commonly associated with real golf, such as uncooperative weather, hefty greens fees, and difficulty attaining a tee time. Guests may also sate post-swing appetites via a full menu of food, snacks, and brews.
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.
Voted 2013's best yoga studio by City Weekly, Centered City Yoga's array of 24 different classes energizes stiff-bodied beginners and advanced astangis alike with yoga fundamentals, high-intensity yoga flow, and specialty disciplines. Led by teachers with diverse backgrounds, the classes aim to help students make use of the fundamental principles of yoga as tools to enrich everyday life. Classes are suitable for students of all levels, body types, and ages, from children and teens to pre- and post-natal mothers to seniors.The studio provides yoga mats but recommends that students bring their own.
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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.