By Miss Nessa
Arcades and Video Gaming
One of my earliest memories is playing video games with my mom on our Intellivision. I have been hooked ever since and still play with Mom sometimes. If you have a video game system at home, have a family night where you play a group game together like MarioKart or Just Dance. If you are looking for a night out on the town, try one of the local arcades. Some have games as cheap as a nickel per play. You can introduce your children to games that were popular when you were young. I am fond of The Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles machines, myself. Arcades in Utah Include:
Comic Book and Game Shops
You can get your hands on comic books and graphic novels, which are an excellent tool for encouraging children to read. Many shops also feature a gaming area where weekly events are held. During the week you can sit down and try out games from their library, which can be very helpful in determining whether you want to buy them. Some Shops Around Utah:
Conventions and Festivals
Events like Salt Lake Comic Con are a perfect way for kids to get their geek on! They get to dress up as their favorite characters and meet actors. Some conventions have areas specifically designed for children, like Kid Con at SLCC. You can also shop for all sorts of fun toys, posters, costumes and more. My favorite booth is the Truffle Cottage, where you can get delicious chocolates in the shape of your preferred fandoms. Some in Utah:
- Brickslopes (LEGOs)
- Renaissance Fair and Fantasy Festival
- Salt City Steamfest
- Salt Lake Comic Con
These prehistoric animals deserve a listing of their own. As Visit Utah notes, this state is THE place to go if you want to see dinosaurs since it has the most complete fossil record in the world. It’s also the place in the United States where you can find the most species. Visit the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. There is the Museum of Natural History in Salt Lake. Visitors to Vernal can go to Dinosaurland. See life size replicas at the Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden.
This stands for Live Action Role Playing. You and your children have the opportunity to dress up and act out their parts. There will be LARPing at the Evermore amusement park in Pleasant Grove when it opens in 2015. Groups have also formed throughout the state like Living Adventures and Palanthar.
“In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.” -Linton Weeks When you read a book, it can open a gateway to so many other realms. I have long enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy, for instance. Libraries like the City Library in Salt Lake have story times and other events to help encourage your child to become an avid reader.
Aquarium, Planetarium and Museums
There are many wonderfully geeky places you can take your family in Utah. The Living Planet Aquarium recently opened its new facilities in Draper. In the Gateway, go to the Clark Planetarium and wonder at the marvels of the cosmos. Salt Lake also features Discovery Gateway (a kids’ museum) and The Leonardo. Thanksgiving Point also has a kids’ museum called the Museum of Natural Curiosity. If you live near one of the universities like BYU or the U of U, their museums are usually free or inexpensive.
Break out those chemistry sets! You and your children can have a lot of fun learning more about the world around them. Try activities like planting seeds, making potato clocks and flying paper airplanes. You can finish off with a volcano cake that is simple to make. All you need is two angel food cakes, frosting, red gelatin, a plastic cup that fits inside the cake holes, and dry ice. See how to put them together in this video.