Light Up the Holiday Season!

 

Light Up the Holiday Season!

 

The holiday season starts off before you can finish eating all of leftovers from your Thanksgiving meal.  The dark sky is ablaze with festive lights. Here are a few ideas to get into the holiday spirit.

 

Turning On the Lights!

Draper City Park Tree Lighting Ceremony – Monday, November 26, 2018 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.   Draper City Park 12500 S 1300 E.  Festivities include lighting the Tree of Life, music and a visit from Santa.

Lights on Wakefield’s Lighting Ceremony – Friday, November 23, 2018 Lights will be turned on at 7 PM. 6388 S Wakefield Way (5885 West). 60,000 light display in tune to music.  Keep your radio tune to 87.9 FM. Light Display runs nightly until New Years.  Free event, but donations are gladly accepted for the Mascot Miracles Foundation.

Midway Town Square Tree Lighting Celebration – Saturday, November 24, 2018 from 6 PM – 7 PM Enjoy cookies, hot cocoa and have photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Ogden Electric Light Parade – Saturday, November 24, 2018 5:30 PM. Parade of lighted floats and performers on Washington Blvd, from 22nd Street to 26th Street. Santa arrives on the final float of the parade and flips the switch to light up Christmas Village at the Municipal Gardens.

Park City Electric Light Parade – Saturday, November 24, 2018 beginning at 4:00 PM.  Santa and holiday carolers can be found strolling along Main Street.  At 5:30 PM the Main Street lights and the Christmas tree in Miner’s Park will be turned on.  The Electric Parade arrives on Main Street at 6:00 PM.

Spanish Fork Winter Lights Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony – Friday, November 23, 2018, lighted floats parade on Main Street beginning at 7 PM.

 

Merriment!

The Jingle Bus is a free bus service for visitors to downtown Salt Lake City.  Jump on board the Jingle Bus for rides to the Gateway, Temple Square, City Creek Center, Gallivan Plaza and the Capitol Theatre.  Volunteer hosts provide fun facts about downtown as riders enjoy seeing the holiday lights and decorations in the city.  The Jingle Bus runs 7 days a week from Friday, November 23rd to December 31st (except Christmas day) from 5 to 10 PM.

Candy Cane Hunt – Monday, December 10th, 2018 4 PM.  Draper Historic Park 12625 S. 900 E.  Hunt for thousands of candy canes will be hidden in bushes and trees and scattered around the park.  Look for the specially marked candy canes which can be redeemed for toys.  Santa will arrive by fire truck.  He will be available for visits with the children under the Christmas lit gazebo where you can take your own photos for free.

 

 

 

Posted on November 19, 2018 at 2:56 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Holidays | Tagged , , , ,

A Month of Festivities along the Jordan River Corridor

Month-Festivities-Jordan-River

“Get into the River Festival”

 

Festivities to educate, explore, restore, and enjoy the Jordan River and Jordan River Parkway are scheduled throughout the month of September during the annual “Get into the River Festival”.  The Jordan River flows for fifty miles through sixteen cities in three counties.

Cities along the river are hosting events such as a Pancake Breakfast/ Puncturevines Pull, canoe and kayak float, riding the river trail with the Mayor, and a Children’s Beatles Tribute Choir. Although some of these activities have already taken place, there are many more fun events still to come.  Check the schedule  for information on  activities.

There are additional opportunities scheduled for later this month to learn about the flora and fauna; plant trees and seeds, bird watch, listen to live music, play lawn games, mud volley ball, Ducky Derby Dash or enjoy a root beer float.

Each month, approximately 15,000 people utilize the Jordan River Parkway each month for walking, running, skating, cycling and horseback riding.

 

man-with-horse-goats-eating-weeds

Goats eating weeds along the Jordan River trail

 

Although the festival events are scheduled only during September, the Jordan River and trails are enjoyable year round.

If volunteering as an individual or with a group to help with planting, weed pulling, or picking up trash to help maintain the Jordan River is of interest to you, (typically needed between April and October) check with Jordan River Commission for upcoming opportunities.

 

Posted on September 11, 2018 at 9:58 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , , ,

Fall Fun & Halloween Haunts

 

Fall-Fun-Halloween-Haunts-Salt-Lake-City

 

From boats, trains, races, mazes and more there are lots of options for celebrating fall and Halloween.  It isn’t too early to purchase tickets or to schedule these events in your calendar.

Halloween Cruise

Listen to the captain tell a scary story as you ride a riverboat down the Provo River as you pass over a hundred hand-carved jack-o-lanterns.  Boat ride is approximately 20 minutes long.

Pumpkin Train – Heber Valley

Take a 40 minute ride on the pumpkin train and be entertained by costumed characters.

Scary Lazy Race

Always wanted to run in a race, but don’t like to run?  West Haven has a 0.5 K lazy man’s race on October 13, 2018.  Dress in costume to enter for a prize.

Haunted Half Marathon

A Headless Horseman begins the race at Sugarhouse Park to Emigration Canyon for a 13.13 mile challenge on October 20, 2018.  There will be a costume contest as well.

 

Pumpkin-Regatta

Pumpkin Regatta

 

Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta

Dozens of giant pumpkins weighing in at hundreds, or even a thousand pounds will set sail for a race on the North Shore of Oquirrh Lake in South Jordan on October 20, 2018.  Family activities and food trucks will be available.

Black Island Farms

Visit the Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch Hayrides, Nightmare Acres and Farmers Market in Syracuse.  Season opens on September 21, 2018.

Haunted Hayride – Hee Haw Farms

Take a moonlit hayride through the haunted 156 year old barnyard in Pleasant Grove.  Halloween attraction is available on Monday, Friday and Saturdays during October.

Corn Maze – Cornbelly’s

There are several maze options available.  The Greatest Maze on Earth is a circus-theme maze through 8 acres of pathways.  Interactive games are placed throughout the maze to challenge you.  Ride a grain train through the Candy Corn Acres Maze and see scarecrow and jack-o-lantern scenes along the way. The Kiddie Maze offers the youngest maze explorers a 5 minute challenge to conquer.  The Haunted Insanity Point Maze has animatronics, live spooks and surprises lurking in the corn.  Be prepared to be scared.

Little Bear Bottoms Corn Maze

Attractions include Corn Maze, Scarecrow Walk, Haunted River Trail, Giant Straw Fort, and Spooky Barn Ride.

Pumpkin Nights

Explore the Pumpkin Pirate Cove, Maravilla Lane, Pumpkin Reef, Spider Alley, Forbidden Pumpkin City, Great Pumpkin Hall, Monster Mash and Pumpkin Passage and see over 3,000 hand-carved pumpkins at the Utah State Fairpark. Be entertained by pumpkin artists, performers, and fire dancers.

Halloween Carnival – Provo

Animal and magician show, haunted house, crafts, games, and Trick or Treat Street.  October 27, 2018.

Witch Fest – Gardner Village

A 45-day celebration of witches including Breakfast with a witch, a Witches 5K Run/Walk, Six Hags Witches Adventure, Witch in the Kitchen cooking and much more.  See link for schedule of events.

Boo Lights at Hogle Zoo

Lighted displays at the zoo, take a train ride at night, explore a labyrinth-themed maze with puppets, and see ‘Spiderella’.

Little Haunts – This Is The Place

Wear your Halloween costumes to This Is the Place Heritage Park to go trick-or-treating, visit the story telling witch, take a train ride, pony ride and make take-home crafts.  (October 13, 18, 19, 20 & 27th).

Garden After Dark – Red Butte Garden

Light displays, games and crafts. (October 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27th)

Thriller – Odyssey Dance Theater

The performances include Thriller, The Curse of the Mummy, Dem Bones, Frankenstein, Jason Jam, Salem’s Mass, The Lost Boys, The River of Blood Dance and more.

 

Posted on September 3, 2018 at 10:39 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Holidays, Places to visit | Tagged , , ,

Cascade Springs – Accessible Nature Walk

Cascade-Springs-

 

Cascade Springs, accessed from the Alpine Scenic Loop drive, offers an easy stroll alongside of cascading springs through limestone terraces.  The lower trail at Cascade Springs is wheel chair accessible; the paved paths, wooden bridges and raised boardwalks make it easy to navigate with strollers, young children or anyone with limited abilities.  The higher trail does include stairs which may hinder access to some.  There are three interconnected trail loops; each would take approximately 15 minutes to walk.

 

wooden-bridge-over-Cascade-Springs

 

It is a beautiful nature walk with a diverse ecosystem and interpretive signs identify some of the species of plants, trees and wildlife in the area.  Take a seat on one of the benches and take in the sound of the water flowing.  Over seven million gallons of water flow through the springs each day.  The pools contain trout and you may see them swimming among the reeds, but fishing is not permitted.  A variety of birds and mammals may be spotted, including songbirds, hawks, wild turkeys, beavers, deer and moose.

 

Cascade-Springs-Nature-Walk

 

To see an abundance of flowers it is best to visit Cascade Springs between June and September.  Fall colors from Aspen, Oak and Maple trees are best seen during September and October.  The road to the trail will be closed during winter months due to snow.

How to get there:

Take the Highland/Alpine exit (Exit 284) from I-15.  Travel east on State Route 92 to the Forest Service entrance station (approximately 8 miles).  Cascade Springs is part of the Uinta National Forest and a fee is required to park in the American Fork Canyon.  At the present time, a three day pass is $6.  Weekly or annual passes are also available.  They also accept the America the Beautiful Interagency Parks Pass.

Continue up American Fork Canyon on SR-92 (Alpine Loop Scenic Byway) for approximately 17 miles until you reach the Cascade Scenic Drive. The road to Cascade Springs goes left after you reach the summit.  The Alpine Scenic Loop road is very narrow with switch backs that are very tight.  Parking is available at the upper and lower trailheads.

Restrooms and drinking water is available.  Dogs on leashes are permitted.

 

Posted on August 27, 2018 at 10:48 am
John Hamilton | Category: Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , , , ,

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

Whether the Wasatch Front is where you live or if you are planning a visit, there are plenty of activities going on in and around Salt Lake City that are fun and free or low cost to participate in.

This is the Place Heritage Park  2601 E Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.  Hours are from 10 am to 5 pm.  There are over 50 historic homes and buildings to visit.   On Huntsman Day, (scheduled on June 15th this year) admission is free for everyone thanks to a grant from the Huntsman family.  What could be better than free admission?  How about a free ice cream cone?

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Do you appreciate viewing Art?  Would you enjoy speaking with the artists?  The Gallery Stroll is scheduled on the 3rd Friday of every month; except for in December, when it is held on the 1st Friday of the month.  Here is the list for June’s Gallery Stroll.  It is a free event.

Cool Air Concert Series Plaza Deck, Snowbird Center 9385 S Snowbird Center Dr.  Snowbird, Utah 84092.  Bring your lawn chairs and coolers for a free concert every Saturday beginning June 16 through August 11 and enjoy a free concert with local and national bands.

Mondays in the Park in front of the Chase Home Museum in Liberty Park 600 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105.  Listen to folk and ethnic music and dance on selected Monday evenings during July and August.  Pack a picnic, blankets or lawnchairs to enjoy the free performances.

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

Red Butte Garden  300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 has six scheduled days  for free admission every year.  Take a relaxing walk among the beautiful botanical garden.

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

International Peace Gardens 1060 S 900 W (Inside Jordan Park).  The cultural diversity of 28 nations represented through native plantings and garden architecture.  Open year round, free.

Natural History Museum of Utah 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108  has four scheduled days every year for free admission.

Hogle Zoo  2600 E Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.   Military Appreciation Day is on July 4, 2018 free admission for service men and women, their spouses and their children under age 18.

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

Wheeler Historic Farm 6351 South 900 East, Murray, UT.  Visit this 19th century working farm for free, year round.  Walk through the 40 acres of woods.  There are fees for wagon rides, milking the cows and special events.

See free screening of dramatic, documentary, and independent films at venues including the Salt Lake City Library, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Utah Museum of Fine Arts and other locations throughout the state.  See the Utah Film Center’s schedule for upcoming films.

Children can get a ZAP summer passport at the Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County or Murray city libraries for free and discounted destinations to enjoy throughout the summer.

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 5:39 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Places to visit, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , ,

Baby Shower Benefit for Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Baby Shower Benefit for Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah

Arya, Barn Owl Ambassador for Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah (WRCNU) is holding their 8th annual baby shower hoping to get much needed supplies for the animals they rescue each year.  When the center receives a new animal, there is a need for an abundance of food, as well as cleaning and medical supplies.  The WRCNU opened in 2009, and have treated over 18,570 sick, injured or abandoned animal patients.

The WRCNU is opening their doors on April 27, 28 and 29th to the public. It is located at 1490 Park Boulevard Ogden, Utah. The baby shower is a child friendly event with crafts, bird presentations, refreshments and the opportunity to meet the bird ambassadors. Silent Auction Gift Baskets fill up a room and a hallway, with gifts for a wide range of interests. There is no charge for the event, but participants are encouraged to bring gifts. Check here to see a list of requested donations, as well as additional ways to support the WRCNU including AmazonSmile and Smiths Rewards card.

Not all young animals need to be rescued.  To help you to determine how to respond appropriately when you find a bird, they have created a flowchart.  Call the WRCNU (801-814-7888) or your local licensed wildlife rehabilitator, if you find an injured or orphaned wild animal, to determine if the animal needs help.

Approximately 2/3rds of the animals are able to be successfully reintroduced back into the wild.  The animals that are not able to survive in the wild are found homes at aviaries, zoos, nature centers, or other licensed organizations.

 

George S Eccles Dinosaur Park

While you are in the area, you may want to visit the Dinosaur Park and Stewart Paleontology Museum next door.  The Stewart Paleontology Museum features dinosaur skeletons. The park includes 8 acres of outdoor trails with 100 dinosaur sculptures and a playground area.  Outside food is permitted (no glass containers allowed) with picnic areas available.  Pets are not permitted.  Admission is $7 for adults (18+), $6 for seniors (62+), $6 for students (13-17), $5 for children (2-12), and free for children/babies under 2 years old.

The Birdsong Trail

As you are exiting Park Boulevard onto Valley Drive, you may opt to park at the parking lot on the South Side of Rainbow Gardens to hike the Birdsong Trail.  This trail passes by springs and a pond, and offers shade along the trail.  Dogs are permitted on a leash. Expect to share the trail with mountain bikers.  It is a 2.4 mile loop trail.

John Hamilton, Associate Broker of Windermere Real Estate, has nearly five decades of experience working with Buyers, Sellers, and other real estate professionals, and has sold more than 1,400 Utah properties.  He has the experience to provide you an edge in negotiating your real estate transaction. 

Posted on April 28, 2018 at 9:20 am
John Hamilton | Category: Places to visit | Tagged , , , , , ,

It’s Thyme for Tulips

Alt=tulip bulbs, blooming tulips

Friday, April 13 marks the official start of the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point for 2018.  The Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point is approximately a 30 minute drive from Salt Lake City to Lehi.  The 280,000 tulip bulbs imported from Holland were planted in the fall and are now blooming.  It is a treat for your senses as you stroll among 15 themed gardens on a 2 mile brick pathway that meanders through 55 meticulously kept acres.  The flat brick pathway is easy to walk, but there are options for renting a golf cart or Segway.

Alt=Ashton Gardens, Thanksgiving Point

One of the first things you will notice is the aroma of the rich soil and subtle scents of the diversity of flowers, shrubs and other plant life. The vibrant colors, shapes and textures of the gardens are a feast for your eyes. As you walk through the gardens, you will hear the harmonious sounds of rippling streams with accents of songs from birds, and ending with the thunderous crescendo of 40,000 gallons per minute pumping through the man-made waterfall.

It can get crowded during special events at Ashton Gardens, but it is open year round and is worth seeing throughout the year for seasonal changes.  One of the benefits of having an annual membership is being able to enter the gardens an hour before it is officially open to the public.  They are closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Alt=whimsical caterpillar, Koi fish

A couple of my favorite places at the gardens are the pier where you can feed the Koi fish, and the Secret Garden.  There is no need to feel rushed. There are plenty of places to sit to enjoy the serenity, meditate, or read a book.

Alt=Secret Garden at the Ashton Gardens in Thanksgiving Point

 

Alt=umbrella art, meandering stream, field of flowers, Origami swans among white flowers

Thanksgiving Point also has additional venues including Museum of Natural Curiosity, Museum of Ancient Life and Farm Country.  If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can purchase an Explorer Pass will grant you admission to all four venues.

John Hamilton, Associate Broker of Windermere Real Estate, has nearly five decades of experience working with Buyers, Sellers, and other real estate professionals, and has sold more than 1,400 Utah properties.  He has the experience to provide you an edge in negotiating your real estate transaction.

 

Posted on April 13, 2018 at 10:09 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Places to visit | Tagged , , , , ,

Owl About Tracy Aviary

Birds at Tracy Aviary, Sun Conure, Andean Condor, Peacock

The Owl Forest, Treasures of the Rainforest, King of the Andes, and Pelican Pond are among some of the exhibits you will encounter as you stroll through the eight acres of garden paths, groves of trees and streams inside of Tracy Aviary. Don’t be surprised if you see Andy, the Andean Condor, taking a walk around the grounds.  Andy was born in 1959 and is the oldest bird at the aviary and is very popular with the guests. He even has his own Facebook page.

Tracy Aviary landscape, trees, native flowers and streams

Tracy Aviary sits on the southwest corner of Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tracy Aviary is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.  In 1938, Russell Lord Tracy, a local banker, donated his collection of 200 birds for the children of Salt Lake City to enjoy.  Currently, the aviary maintains a collection of approximately 400 birds representing 135 species.  Several of the bird species participate in their Species Survival Plan; which is a breeding program to promote genetic diversity in captive animal populations.  A portion of every admission or membership purchased is directed to their conservation fund which supports conservation projects throughout North and South America.

grove of trees at Tracy Aviary

Open year round, and great to visit during any season, I particularly enjoy visiting during the winter when it is less crowded.  There are opportunities for child and adult volunteers to participate in the bird shows. Also, at scheduled times, the bird keepers are available to share facts and stories about birds such as the Guam Kingfishers, Chilean Flamingos, King Vultures, Keas and others.

Sun Conure perched on finger at Tracy Aviary

For an additional fee ($2 for members, $3 for non-members) visitors can feed Sun Conures or Pelicans.  Tickets are limited for the feedings, so be sure to get yours in advance, if you would like to participate.  I held a small container of chopped blueberries for the Sun Conures to eat.  It isn’t unusual to have several perch on your arm to feed from the container.

Pelicans preening under the shade of a tree

When feeding the Pelicans, you will receive a small container of fish.  The price of the ticket is for the container of fish—which you could share the experience with others.  Some of the younger children were a little hesitant to touch the fish, while others were delighted to toss the fish gently underhand and watch the pelicans skillfully catch their meal.

Feed Fish to the Pelicans

If you enjoy an early morning walk, you can meet in front on the Aviary near the gift shop at 8am on Wednesdays to go on a free bird walk around Liberty Park.  Binoculars are not necessary, but be sure to bring them, if you have them, and learn about the birds you might encounter in your own back yard.

Tracy Aviary also offers workshops, volunteer opportunities, Nature in the City programs for families, summer camps and much more.

Posted on March 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Places to visit, Salt Lake City | Tagged , ,