In addition to harvesting 300 acres of vegetables, the family behind Black Island Farms strives to succeed in the "agri-tainment" business. To this end, they host field trips and autumnal visits, proving that rural living is far from monotonous. Their courtyard houses more than 20 attractions for families—there's a mountain of straw, a bounce house, and even pig races. Four tractors rumble as they tow hay wagons around the estate and cross into the pumpkin patch. There, passengers disembark and pick out a complimentary pumpkin, choosing by touch or by noting which one moves when they shout "Here, boy!"
Carrots, onions, cabbage, and squash all grow on the farm, but corn often takes the spotlight. That's because in the fall, 26 acres of cornfield transform into multiple mazes called Cornfield MAiZE. The mazes have twists and turns that are appropriate for a wide range of age groups, and when Halloween rolls around, a haunted variant also appears as part of Nightmare Acres.
Beyond the 110-year-old Victorian house's rustic green awning, mountains of eclectic home decor and gifts include unique furniture pieces. In addition to goods from renowned brands including Minky Couture, Stonewall Kitchen, Caldrea, Sprout Watches, and Voluspa, the shop boasts sundry locally made wares. A homey feel pervades the shop, as old-fashioned clocks adorn the walls and a cozy kitchen showcases Vietri tableware. Racks of handbags and scarves dangle over accent-furniture pieces and home décor, and glass display cases safeguard Trollbead gold and silver jewelry and glass beads. Teeming with books, games, and stuffed animals, the vibrant kiddie corner distracts child shoppers from playing keep away with decorative lamps.
Shafts of sunlight pierce Tracy Aviary’s dense conifer forest, sending great grey owls into hiding until nightfall, when they emerge to hunt silently above the treetops. The Owl Forest is just one of five diverse ecosystems that dot the aviary’s eight acres. Nearby, at the South American Pavilion, aviary keepers tend to keel-billed toucans as their colorful beaks break through the cereal boxes in which they incubate. And on the Kennecott Wetland, visitors can espy long-billed curlews and American coots roosting in the tall grass.
In addition to providing a diverse habitat in which native and endangered species can thrive, Tracy Aviary’s curators strive to educate visitors about threats to avian species and to encourage stewardship. To that end, the aviary frequently hosts bird encounters, small group talks with avian keepers, and even the opportunity to feed various species.
Standard Wood collects its firewood from dead standing trees and seasons it for up to five years to ensure clean, uniform burning. Bundles of Wyoming mountain pine ($3) join premeasured bins of hardwoods—such as dense, long-burning oak, gray barkless pinion, and fragrant cedar, which fills ears with crackles, pops, and head-rattling sub-bass as it burns—in quarter-, half-, and full-cord increments ($15–$50). Each bundle arrives wrapped in heavy-gauge plastic to ensure that fluctuating temperatures and invasive pests don't sabotage timber’s burning power. Standard Wood delivers kindling to doorsteps throughout the Salt Lake Valley (a $25 fee, eligible with this Groupon).
In 1916, Winder Dairy still delivered its bottles of milk by horse and wagon?but only because founder John R. Winder found the quadruped "more efficient" than the Model T delivery truck brought in the year before. Today, under the new moniker Winder Farms, fifth- and sixth-generation Winders uphold their family's reputation for speed, delivering cooler boxes packed with more than 300 farm-fresh products to customers' doorsteps each night. All-natural milk?free of artificial growth hormones or antibiotics and housed in classic glass milk jugs?takes 24 to 36 hours to travel from farm to doorstep, and natural and organic skinless and boneless chicken also zips to grills and skillets.
All deliveries are made overnight and guaranteed by 8 a.m. Customers can select their desired goods online, and recurring orders grant the freedom to remove "buy eggs" from the to-do list permanently tattooed on your upper back. Winder Farms also sells wholesale quantities of its milk, juice, and bakery items, as well as complete meals such as ravioli and enchiladas.
A 3.5-acre horticultural haven, Millcreek Gardens gives bloom-seekers a means to realize dreams of colorful, lush outdoor spaces by presenting a wide array of shrubs, trees, and assorted flowerpot inhabitants. Stroll amid verdant rows of plant life, perusing prettified foliage ranging from the serene cerulean hues of a delphinium to the cheerful, bubbly blooms of a hydrangea. Accent a lovely lawn with a classic apple tree ($40+), make the bed for a plot of fragrant flowers ($2–$20), or cover up barren yards with a symphony of shrubbery ($6.50–$50). The one-stop shop also stocks organic plant foods, soil amendments, and fertilizers for keeping growing greenery as strong as a box of oxen.
A fluffy cat and an elephant stand side by side opposite a terra-cotta warrior who sternly glares at an Asian sea dragon. A scene like this can only exist in Hunter S. Thompson’s dreams or at Cast in Stone, where cast-concrete garden figures arrange to form whimsical, imaginative lawn scenes. The artistic concrete smiths shape and sell each product at their retail facility, creating wondrous, durable works in the shapes of animals, religious icons, and classical figures. Molded benches and planters can make a backyard more welcoming to guests, and fountains and birdbaths can provide an alternative place to bathe when the shower is in use.