Expose your pupils and ear canals to an impressive 10-hour lineup of mainstream country acts performing across multiple stages. Headlined by the platinum-album-selling, award-winning Montgomery Gentry, Country Throwdown also plays host to up-and-coming acts such as Ashley Ray, an ex-cheerleader with a guitar pick in one hand and a beer in the other, on the Blue Bird Café Stage. To pregame for the festival, view the full stage-by-stage set list here and enjoy a free seven-song Country Throwdown Tour digital sampler here. To fully immerse yourself, check out the Country Throwdown iPhone app.
Bumper cars collide, mini roller coasters swerve along tracks, and tubes weave around slides at a soft play area inside The Hollywood Connection's 160,000-square-foot facility. Roller or inline skates glide to pop and rock tunes in a rink illumined with cyber lights and IntelliBeam, and the laser-tag arena glows in neon paint, black lights, and fireflies that carry demands across enemy lines. Elsewhere, golf balls tumble down greens toward 18 holes with themes such as the Old West, an underwater cove, and the prehistoric era. An arcade hosts more than 100 driving, racing, and combat-simulator video games, and a 15-screen Carmike Ritz movie theater treats up to 2,000 viewers to new releases on digital, 3-D-capacity screens. Visitors can reenergize between attractions with popcorn or snow cones from the snack stand (open Friday–Sunday), nab cones from the ice-cream parlor, and shape stacks of nachos into pompadours at the '50s-themed diner.
The experienced instructors at The Front Climbing Club's summer camp guide restless, rock-bound children ages 6–14 through a work-week-long clinic in cave climbing, wall scaling, and skill building. Strength- and agility-improving activities on the indoor facility's climbing walls and caves transform scrambling amateur lizards into scaling connoisseurs, developing skill sets and learning to respect gravity like a bully with the power to de-pants the solar system. Group work, games, and competitions elevate the fun and encourage team building, and an emphasis on safety and equipment use ensures educated climbing. Campers learn to elevate their problem solving skills as they work together to plan their way around obstacles, simultaneously honing their motor skills, balance, and ability to turn adrenaline into sugar cookies. The camp runs weekly, Monday through Friday, and campers can attend four-hour classes in the morning or the afternoon.
Most years, an MLS team would be disappointed by an 11-12-7 regular-season record. That wasn't the case for Real Salt Lake. In 2009, RSL rode that very record to the final spot in the MLS playoffs. Embracing a "Team is the star" philosophy, the squad banded together and swept through the playoffs, besting some of the league's top franchises to capture their first ever MLS Cup. Ever since, the team has been a Western Conference powerhouse behind head coach Jason Kreis, who started his career at Real Salt Lake as team captain before trading his captain's armband for a coach's sense of accountability. Real Salt Lake plays their home games in Rio Tinto Stadium, a 20,000-spectator facility that opened its massive doors in 2008 with advanced technology that includes a 60-foot video screen and LED video ribbons stretching 200 feet across both sidelines.
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 in 2012—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.
Salty Dinner Theater, which ABC 4 describes as “bringing a twist to traditional on-stage classics,” combines professional players and proficient chefs to create edible productions performed at area eateries. Audience members gobble supper as performers interact with attendees before and during the production. Regularly inhabiting Madeline’s Steakhouse, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Joe Morley’s Smoked Beef & Bar-B-Q, and Mimi’s Café, among other locales, the show-accompanying meals range from scratch-made baked lasagna with ground beef and pork to a pound of succulent smoked-beef brisket.