Summer is here, and we are all eager to make up for last year. Luckily, here in Salt Lake County and surrounding areas, plenty is going on. You can enjoy the great outdoors, take in some art and even experience a taste of Halloween in the middle of summer. Here’s your guide to unique activities you can do locally this month.
Woodland Fairies at Gardner Village
Gardner Village is a historic Utah village-turned-shopping-center located in the heart of Salt Lake County. It’s a beautiful place for a stroll on a summer day, and this month they are giving visitors a midsummer’s dream experience. Right now through June 26th, the village will be home to woodland fairies. Tiny fairy houses and their winged inhabitants can now be found throughout the village. There are also life-sized fairy wings just waiting for your photos.
In addition to the magical decor, the shops have fairy-themed activities that are fun for the whole family. You can take fairy garden classes at Seven Gables Mercantile on Thursdays at 4 pm or Saturdays from 11-2. Simply Flowers is offering a make and take Pixie Dust Bottle activity on Fridays and Saturdays. You can also enjoy a fairy parade on Saturdays at noon and then buy and make bracelets until 2 pm. The village also has a new train ride available Monday through Saturday.
Gardner Village is always a great way to spend a summer afternoon, and the fairy-related activities this month are sure to get your kids (or your inner kid) even more excited.
Click here for more detailed information on prices and hours.
Full Moon Lift Rides at Sundance
Sundance resort is known for its skiing during the winter months, but this time of year, they offer nighttime lift rides designed to show visitors the night sky from a different perspective. This month the lift rides will happen on the 25th and 26th. They go all summer long, and you can check out other dates and details on their website.
After a hot summer day, the mountain air feels amazing, but they do recommend you bundle up for the ride as temps at that altitude can be cold after dark. The rides last for around 45 minutes. Whether you are looking for a unique date or just wanting to get some stargazing in, a full moon lift ride provides a memorable experience.
Dreamscapes at the Gateway
This interactive art installation describes itself as, “A world of pure re-imagination, where immersive physical and digital artworks take you on an ethereal journey.” What does that mean exactly? Well, imagine a 17,000 sq. foot labyrinth that feels like San Francisco street art meets a modern art exhibit. Dreamscapes is an interactive art installation that’s meant to be experienced with all your senses. The best part? They’ve worked hard to make it an accessible experience for everyone, including children, parents with strollers, and deaf and blind patrons.
Over 100 local artists worked on the exhibit, and the whole thing was made with reclaimed and donated materials, making it the first environmentally sustainable attraction of its kind. The experience takes about 45 minutes to walk through, but there’s no time limit. To make the experience less hectic and Covid safe, they allow 15 to 20 guests to enter the exhibit every 10-20 minutes. Dreamscapes runs Thursday through Sunday year-round, so put it on your list of must-do activities. You can check out the details and buy tickets here.
Castle of Chaos Escape Rooms
Utahns have a reputation for being Halloween fanatics, so it’s only right that we have a truly scary Halloween-esque escape room experience that’s open year-round. Castle of Chaos in Midvale is an award-winning haunted house that has been frightening Halloween-time guests for decades. In recent years they’ve begun offering year-round escape rooms that bring the thrills of the haunted house experience together with the excitement of an escape game. You get to choose which themed room you want to experience. Will you try to escape a serial killer’s lair? Outsmart the Lord of Nightmares? Or figure out a mad scientist’s evil plot?
Take your friends and see if you can escape alive. You’ll get your Halloween fix and an air-conditioned summer activity all in one. You need to buy tickets in advance, so visit their website before you go.
Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs at the Natural History Museum of Utah
Who doesn’t love ancient Egypt? The pyramids, the sphinx, it’s all the stuff of both legend and history. Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs is a traveling exhibit that explores the facts and the mythos of ancient Egypt. The exhibit includes over 350 items, some of them dating back more than 4500 years.
Despite the title, the exhibit doesn’t focus exclusively on Egypt’s royalty. It gives visitors an interactive look at what everyday life was like for all classes of ancient Egyptian society. Detailed models of pyramids and houses make history tangible, and multimedia overlays and films show you what Egyptian civilization and art looked like thousands of years ago. The exhibit is designed for curious people of all ages and abilities. You can find out more about accessibility here or buy tickets here (reservations are required).
The Living Planet Aquarium
If you can’t make it to the beach this year, you can still see some amazing marine life at Living Planet Aquarium. We are lucky here in SLC to have an aquarium that ranks as one of the best in the country. The aquarium is home to over 4500 animals housed in beautiful, immersive exhibits.
Their Journey to South America exhibit is the only place in Utah where you can see both an electric eel and a sloth. Visit their second floor to watch the penguins, and don’t miss the beautiful jellyfish displays in the deep sea area. Be sure to visit the Discover Utah exhibit to find out more about the freshwater, marine life in your own backyard. If you feel like making it an extra special occasion, you can sign up for hands-on encounters with penguins or stingrays. The aquarium makes a perfect activity for a day when you want to experience nature without experiencing the heat. You can buy tickets here.