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.
The paranormal investigators at Grimm Ghost Tours get up close and personal with Salt Lake City?s most infamous specters during their bone-chilling ghost tours. On these tours?which helped them win the A-List Award for Best City Tour?they guide guests toward local haunts while sharing the city?s grisly past in true tales of murder, mystery, and violence. Groups may leave the city limits behind during the Outer Reaches tour, shuffling off to the unimaginably dark corners that were once Ted Bundy?s hunting grounds. Guides also tell the tainted history of other spooky local sites, sending chills down the spines of guests who explore old Fort Douglas, the Hancock mansion, and the haunted scotch bottles of the Premiere Gentile Gentlemen?s Club. All of Grimm?s paranormal jaunts combine aspects of a bus and walking tour, quickly shuttling those with a morbid curiosity from one site to the next.
For participants looking for a more intense paranormal experience, Grimm Ghost Tours offers ghost hunts at a haunted site, during which they teach guests the techniques and mortal perils of the ghost-hunting business. Once the sun sets, the brave guests join their tour guides as they use specialized equipment to scour their destination for clues and signs of life after death.
Salt Lake City Guided Tour's brainy guides back up historical accuracy with a collective 30 years of experience, leading inquisitive sightseers and lore-hungry locals on educational promenades through Wasatch Front. A fleet of new vans transports sightseers through city streets as guides illuminate patrons with knowledge of the architecture, history, and primatology of old Fort Douglas, the olympic stadium, and pioneer trails during Salt Lake City Grand tours. Organ symphonies waft into auditory canals in the Mormon Tabernacle, and eyes set sights on the state capitol and old Union Pacific station, Disney's inspiration for its own train port. Alternatively, the Great Salt Lake tour lets craniums absorb the history and ecology of Great Salt Lake's sodium crystals and brine shrimp as eyes rove over Utah's wetlands, a refuge for migratory birds. Guides explain the flow of mineral salts that lends the sodium-rich lake its name, as well as fill in travelers on a competing theory that postulate its origins as Poseidon's kiddie pool.
Stocked with gear for standup paddling and white-water kayaking, the newly remodeled, sunny storefront of The Salt Lake Surf Company also boasts colorful racks of surf, beach, and casual clothing. Skim the oceanic inventory of flip-flops and simple shoes ($28–$70), or backstroke through waves of T-shirts ($30–$50) and swimsuit separates ($40+). Organic-cotton summer dresses bedeck beach bods in splashing colors ($50+), and the four-way-stretch board shorts ensure comfort and protection while hurtling across the surface of water or high-kicking in dolphin chorus lines ($50–$70). While perusing, feel free to consult the friendly onsite husky or the helpful staff of wave-whisperers for advice on standup paddling or white-water kayaking equipment, or to help you to locate items online that are not currently in stock.
Part-bike, part-car, and all eye-catching, the Pedal Hopper isn't transit for the faint of heart. This massive vehicle seats anywhere from 10 to 16 passengers at a time as they pedal in unison around downtown Salt Lake City. A company-provided driver sits in the middle, operating the steering wheel and brakes, while guests sitting around the mobile countertop laugh, chat, and exercise their legs to power the vehicle towards custom destinations along a specific route. The two-hour-minimum rides are generally spaced into 20-minute visits with 20-minute pedal sessions, perfect for parties going on a pub crawl or participants on Supermarket Sweep. The Hopper also sports a stereo, disco ball, and LED lights for safe and festive night riding for its 21-and-up clientele.
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.