Red Butte Gardens was recognized in 2009 by ParentsConnect as the best tourist spot in Salt Lake City. With properly mannered gardens as well as natural areas, this verdant oasis charms humans, honeybees, and wood sprites of all ages. Exercise the body's primary olfactory organ on the Floral Walk, which provides exclusive access to such botanical hotspots as the Rose Garden, the Fragrance Garden, and the Children’s Garden. Visitors who prefer nature with its grasses untamed and nails unmanicured should proceed directly to the natural area, where trails connected by less than six degrees of separation lead to canyon overlooks, creeks, and quarry houses.
For more than 60 years, the staff at YMCA Camp Roger has been developing programs that get kids and teens off the couch and in the great outdoors. In doing so, its aim is to help the kids develop social skills that can foster confidence, independence, and leadership. In addition to traditional sleepover camps—where 6–10 kids stay in cabins at night and practice mountain biking, archery, hiking, and arts and crafts during the day—the camp offers focused programs such as creative arts or horseback riding. And if the clan needs a break from the housecat’s despotic demands, it can attend a family camp over Labor Day weekend.
The Glo Run 5K always takes place at night, but it doesn’t seem like it. The course is lined with black lights and lasers, and runners sport glow-in-the-dark gear from T-shirts to sunglasses. On-course DJs add to the festivities, blasting tunes as the untimed participants run, walk, or dance to the finish line. Even more DJs await them there at the glow-in-the-dark after party, which lights up the night better than a raccoon that's swallowed a flashlight.
When Utah High Adventure's staff members head into work, they don't sip coffee during meetings or ride the elevator up to an office on the ninth floor. Instead, they crash through raging whitewater rapids and rappel down the sides of canyons against a backdrop of sun-soaked red rocks. Years of training and education have earned them the certification and expertise to lead other thrill-seekers on rock climbs, which is more satisfying than scaling the granite backsplash of a neighbor's fancy kitchen. They also guide mountain-bike rides across Utah's rippling alpine trails. During the spring, summer, and fall months, the company hosts weeklong tours into the wild, which include lodging and equipment.
Helping visitors make the most of the picturesque surroundings, Park City Adventure Company guides groups on tubing, hiking, fishing, and biking adventures. Customers can climb into one of the company's Unimogs—giant off-roading jeeps—for a seated adventure, or hop on a mountain bike to explore beginner- to advanced-level trails. Meanwhile, tubing trips beckon groups to push out onto the water for a leisurely float through a Class II river.