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.
Whirlybird Helicopters’ FAA-certified pilots take to the sky for an array of services—from crop dusting to cattle herding to aerial photography. During flight training classes, they provide one-on-one instruction while introducing students to real-life situations aboard a Cessna 172 airplane or Enstrom or Robinson helicopters. Pilots also jettison guests high above the city for 10- to 60-minute helicopter tours, which take in sprawling views of the Ogden Canyon, Wasatch Mountains, and more.
Lucky Duck Aviation's FAA-certified flight instructors have created a unique step-by-step curriculum to help the land-locked proceed into the clouds. Flying Cessna 172s in their lessons and tours, Lucky Duck equips amateur pilots with the necessary tools to safely fly as a hobby or profession while learning to avoid nomadic gangs of flying saucers. The trained pilots also give guided tours of 30–60 minutes so passengers can behold some of Utah’s most notable sites, such as the Red Butte Gardens, Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, and local wildlife.
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.
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 101 Inventions that Changed the World 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 Utah Olympic Park takes a faster track to outdoor adventuring—the pass entitles the holder to a zipline ride or a careening trip down the Alpine slide. 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.
US Bus Utah's namesake vehicle is a common sight on the streets of Salt Lake City; in fact, it's almost impossible to miss. The open-topped bus snags sightseers from around SLC for hop-on, hop-off tours of local landmarks such as the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Hogle Zoo, and Clark Planetarium. The bus runs a continuous circuit from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., seven days a week, giving sightseers a chance to catch a ride back from their adventures once they're done exploring.