Things To Do Before Eating Your Thanksgiving Meal.

 

Things to do before eating your Thanksgiving Meal.

 

Are you looking for something different to do this Thanksgiving besides cooking all day and eating a big meal?  Whether you are a newcomer to Utah or a lifelong resident, spending the holiday alone or with house full of friends and family; here are some fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

 

Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary

The 20th Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner and fundraiser for the animals at Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary will be held on Saturday, November 10th at the Wasatch Elementary School, 30 R Street from 5 to 9 pm.  Erika Tymrak, midfielder of the Utah Royals Soccer Team, will be the guest speaker.  Also there will be plenty of great items to bid on during the silent auction.  Buy tickets here 

 

Utah Food Bank

The Utah Food Bank distributed 39.2 million pounds of food to people facing hunger in Utah during 2017.  Each day, 392,000 Utahans (including many children) are at risk of missing a meal.  You can help support them by donating food, time and/or money.

Donating Food:  There is a virtual food drive on-line where you can fill up a grocery cart with the most needed items – with the added benefit of paying less for the items than you would at retail prices, as well as save on gas and time by doing it on-line.

Time:  Last year, volunteers worked 83,418 hours.  There are lots of opportunities to volunteer time as an individual, family or group at the warehouse.  All volunteers must sign up in advance.  Keep in mind, Thanksgiving is a popular time to volunteer, but volunteers are needed throughout the year.

Money: There are several ways to donate to the Utah Food Bank including cash, donating your used car, employers’ matching gifts, and gifts of stocks.  Check their link for further details.

Utah Human Race 5K/10K

You may also want to participate in the 13th annual Utah Human Race on Thanksgiving morning (and burn some calories before your Thanksgiving meal) to support the Utah Food Bank.  Registration Details

 

Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving Day 5K

Be part of the longest “running” Thanksgiving Day event.  Strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome.  Commemorative Medals awarded to participants who beat the Mayor to the finish line.  Registration Details

 

“Thankful 13” Half Marathon / 5K / Kid’s Race

Participate in the half marathon, 5k or kid’s race on the Jordan Parkway trail in Lehi.  Pumpkin pie, rolls and hot chocolate are available for participants at the end of the race. Registration Details 

 

Pilgrim 5K

The Pilgrim 5K at Thanksgiving Point is a pilgrim wear costume run which includes their iconic long-sleeved cotton T-shirt and a giant buckle hat or bonnet.  Pilgrim scenes can be found along the course, ending at Plymouth Rock where finishers can feast on pumpkin bars and drink apple cider.  Registration Details 

 

 

 

Posted on November 5, 2018 at 7:57 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Holidays | Tagged , , , , ,

A Diversity of Vegan Dining in Salt Lake City

 

Diversity-Vegan-Dining-Salt-Lake-City

 

Salt Lake City offers a diversity of vegan restaurants.  If you ever wondered what a vegan eats, the SLC VegFest would give you some ideas.  The 3rd annual SLC VegFest organized by the Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) was held at Salt Lake City Main Library Plaza on Saturday, September 8.  The event offered a kids’ area, live music, beer garden, cooking demonstration, a film showing, and expert speakers.

Vegan Panini’s, gyros, crepes, ice cream, pastries and much more was available to purchase from food trucks, bakeries and local restaurants.  It was a great opportunity to try many different options all in one place.

 

Diversity-Vegan-Dining-Salt-Lake-City

 

The event is attended by thousands of people each year, and continues to grow.  Many people are interested in learning more about vegan diets, whether for ethical reasons, environmental concerns, or for improving one’s health.

A Vegan Kids Panel featuring children ranging in age from 5 to 17 responded to questions about being vegan and how they handle different situations when eating at school, attending birthday parties, social events, and while traveling.  They also shared their experiences when celebrating holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving.  They offered tips about prepping food for the week, and easy food to take on the go.  One of the panelists stated that a friend asked her if she just ate grass.  Although none of the children ate grass, they did share what their favorite foods were, and several stated that they enjoyed preparing food at home themselves.

Whether you prefer American classics, Italian, Mexican, or Asian dishes, Salt Lake City has many vegan options for dining out.  UARC has a free SLC Veg Dining Guide which can be found at many local businesses, or can be downloaded from their website. Their Dining Guide identifies restaurants that are entirely vegan, vegetarian and those are who UARC partners (providing special offers or discounts to UARC members).

 

 

Posted on September 8, 2018 at 9:14 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Food, Salt Lake City | 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 , , ,

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

From flag raisings, breakfasts, races, parades, games, entertainment and fireworks there are plenty of activities to celebrate from dawn through dark on the 4th of July in and around Salt Lake County.  Here are some of them.  If you know of any others, please add them in the comment section.

Jordan Park – 1060 South 900 West, Salt Lake City.  Fireworks beginning at 10:00 pm at the North end of the park.

Magna Copper Park – 8950 W 2600 S, Magna, UT, Flag Ceremony at 7:00 am, Lions Club Breakfast from 7:00 am–11:00 am.  5K Fun Run at 7:30 am.  Watch the parade at noon on Main Street and return to Magna Copper Park for games and inflatables from 2:30 to 10:00 pm.  Music from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and fireworks beginning at 10:00 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

Riverton – 12830 South 1700 West, Riverton, Utah.  July 4, Bike and running races, 10K, 5K, 1-Mile, and the Tour De Riverton bike race.  Chuck Wagon Breakfast from 7 am to 10 am.  Games, food and activities at the Riverton City Park throughout the day.  Fireworks begin at 10:00 pm.

Sandy City Hall – 10000 S. Centennial Parkway, Sandy.  Flag Raising and National Anthem at 6:50 am followed by a 5K.  Games, inflatables, crafts, food, and entertainment from 10 am to 10 pm. Fireworks Sky Concert at 10:00 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

South Salt Lake Freedom Festival –Wednesday, July 4, the day kicks off with the 5K/Fun Run at 8 am.  At 9:30 am the Parade will make its way to Fitts Park, 3050 South 500 East, South Salt Lake; where the Freedom Festival will run from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Thanksgiving Point’s Electric Park, Wednesday, July 4 from 4:00 pm to Midnight at 3003 Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, Utah.  Music, games, prizes, concessions and vendors.  Fireworks start at 10:00 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

West Jordan – 8000 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan, Utah.  Watch the Grand Parade as it makes its way from City Hall to 7000 South from 10:30 am to noon.   Carnival and park activities including entertainment stage at the Veterans Memorial Park at 8030 S 1825 W from noon to 11:00 pm. Fireworks start at 10:15 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

The noise from fireworks can be frightening to pets

If you have pets – it is best to plan to leave your pet at home.  Fireworks can be very frightening to animals and cause them to run away.  Be sure that their micro chip has been updated with current contact information in the event they do become lost.  Be sure to check your yard and other areas where they walk or play for leftover fireworks debris, which can be dangerous if your pet plays or tries to eat it.

Posted on June 20, 2018 at 10:33 am
John Hamilton | Category: Holidays, Places to visit, Salt Lake City | 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 , , ,

The Jordan River Parkway – a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway is an urban park with a network of non-motorized trails that runs along the Jordan River.  The Jordan River flows north from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake wetlands, through Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties.  The concept for the Jordan River Parkway was developed in the 1970’s to address flood-control, but also included opportunities for recreational use.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

Bicyclists, walkers and runners enjoy the trail.

The mixed-use trail is used by bicyclists, runners, skaters and walkers.  There is also a separate equestrian trail.  Dogs are permitted on-leash.  Picnic areas as well as playgrounds can be found at various points along the trail.  With the beautiful backdrop, it is not unusual to come across artists sketching or painting the scenery.  Whether you prefer early morning, day time, or evening use, it is a perfect way to relax in nature without leaving the city.  There is no charge for day use or parking.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

Fishing at the Jordan River Parkway

For some people, the Jordan River Parkway is a perfect place to relax and catch dinner.  If you are fishing  in the Jordan River, be sure to follow the general statewide regulations.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

Hundreds of species of plants and animals can be found along the Jordan River Parkway’s ecosystem.  It is the perfect place for birding.  These are some of the birds that can be commonly found at the Jordan River Parkway.  In addition, you may see a variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway Trail Bridge

In November, 2017 a 120-foot arch bridge over rail yards was completed to enable existing trails to be connected, providing more than 100 miles of continuous off-street paved trail for bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.  It doesn’t matter at what point you enter the trail, or the path that you take, you are sure to find a fun time.

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 7:33 am
John Hamilton | Category: Outdoor Living, Places to visit, Salt Lake City | 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 , ,

ORGANIC FOOD ON A BUDGET

 

Organic food usually tastes better, and is better for you, but it can also be very expensive compared to non-organic products. Organic food can cost nearly 50 percent more, thanks to the extra labor required to produce it and consumers’ demand exceeding supply.

So how do you get tasty organic food without spending a ton of extra money? Follow these tips to get more bang for your buck.

Shop at farmers’ markets: You can get fresh organic produce for far less at a farmers’ market than you’d pay at the grocery store. It’ll taste just as good, and you’re getting your food straight from the source.

You can still find fresh, local produce at the Winter Market at Rio Grande Depot in Salt Lake City on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm through April 21, 2018.

Choose seasonal produce: Out-of-season produce usually has to be imported, and that can really drive up the price. Focus your meals on in-season fruits and vegetables so that you don’t end up paying $6.00 for a pound of organic asparagus.

Shop more frequently, and plan your meals around bulk sales: The trick here is to only buy what’s needed for your meals, and to only plan for a week of meals at most. That way you’re less likely to throw food away, because you can use leftover produce for more meals before it goes bad.

Grow your own: A home vegetable garden will provide some extremely cheap organic produce, and gardening can also be a fun and rewarding hobby.

Posted on January 9, 2018 at 11:29 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,