Our summer bucket list tradition continues, and now we have a fun list centered on activities for the adults!
Make some room in your summer calendar to do a couple of these activities that would be a great date night or grab some friends and go!
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1 – GO ON A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
Even if you have seen our hometown from an airplane, I imagine the experience is quite different in a basket of a hot air balloon. Imagine the coolness of the morning air as you silently float 4,000 feet above Ogden Valley. The memory is sure to last a lifetime! Skywalker Balloon Company can take you up; give them a call at 801- 824-3934 to get their rates. You can also mark your calendars for the third weekend in August to attend the Eden Balloon Festival. There, they offer tethered balloon flights where you can still get in the air for, what I imagine, a cheaper price.
2 – EAT AN EXOTIC MEAT
The first place I think of when I think of exotic meat is Roy, Utah’s Burger Bar. I make the drive past the joint regularly, and it’s always interesting to see their exotic meat of the week on the standup sign on the sidewalk: yak, alligator, and some animals I’ve never heard of before. When I go to a restaurant, I tend to order what I know I like, but every now and again, it’s fun to have what I call a “form an opinion” meal. Oceanmart is also a cool place to visit, and they have recipes posted around if you want to make something you’ve never prepared before, like crab or even octopus! One time, my husband brought home an octopus, and I’m proud to say I tried it, but eating it was freaky-deaky.
3 – ATTEND THE OGDEN ARTS FESTIVAL
Ogden is really developing into quite the art hub, and Ogden’s history seems to be the foundation of the feel in the downtown scene. Step into a world of creative inspiration by visiting the Union Station on June 12 and 13 to attend the Ogden Arts Festival. Check out the artist booths, music, theater, kid’s activities, urban arts area, and artisan food vendors. You can enjoy a variety of local and regional artists, creatives, and entertainers. If you’re feeling inspired to create on your own and want to swap some supplies, visit the unique and fun art experience. We will host live music, theater, and dance performances throughout both festival days, giving you yet another great reason to attend and stay a while.
4 – MAKE A SUCCULENT GARDEN
Succulents are resilient little plants and a good way to cut your teeth on keeping plants alive. Succulents propagate as they grow, and most of them grow a new plant if you break off a leaf or a stem from the main plant. Chances are, some of your friends and neighbors have some they’re willing to share. Talk with them and have a succulent swap! I know my mom is trying to thin out the hens and chicks in her flowerbed that are encroaching on her daffodils. If you’re looking for more guidance, Utah State University is hosting an All About Succulents class at the Ogden Botanical Gardens on July 15, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Bring your own container, and they will provide the plants, soil, and expertise! The class is $45, and you can register at eventbrite.com. Call USU Extension with questions 801-399-8200
5 – HAVE A PICNIC AT A SCENIC SPOT
You can go to the park closest to you, a pond in the area, or plop down in a patch of dirt on a hike, like we did last month. Having a picnic means trading your frequent mealtime table and chair for an out-of-the-ordinary spot. With roughly 21 meals in a week, enjoy one of them by breathing in some fresh air and soaking in some nature while you eat. Your picnic doesn’t have to be perfect. You can pick something up on your way or feast on a perfectly planned epic picnic smorgasbord. This month, we put together some awesome picnic ideas for the recipe in case you need some picnic planning inspiration. Picnic at Centennial Park in Syracuse, Beus Pond, Layton Commons Park, or any trail in the mountains.
6 – BIKE TO SALT LAKE CITY
It’s about 50 trail miles to get to Salt Lake City, but with the help of the FrontRunner, you only need to bike one way! Several years ago, I did this, and it was fun and exhausting, both of which made it all the more memorable. The Denver and Rio Grande Western Rail Trail begins in Roy and connects to the Legacy parkway trail just north of Bountiful. This will connect you to the Jordan River Parkway Trail. The trail eventually crosses North Temple, and that takes you to the North Temple FrontRunner Station. North Temple is rated as a high-comfort road to bike on in Salt Lake, since there is a bike lane on the shoulder. If you’re too tired to ride or you just don’t want to ride on the roads, you can always take the TRAX to the station. Celebrate your arrival by grabbing some food at your favorite restaurant in Salt Lake. I suggest Taqueria 27; their tacos are unique and really tasty. Just remember to get to the station before the last train departs for the night and to arrive with plenty of time to purchase your ticket. The touchscreens on the kiosks can be a bit finicky. Use Traillink.com and rideuta.com to plan it out. Also, keep in mind that FrontRunner stations are all along the journey to Salt Lake, so it’s easy to have a plan B if 50 miles isn’t in the cards.
7 – THROW AXES OR BREAK SOME BOTTLES
This summer go to Ruckus Axe Throwing to hone your skills or to try it out for your first time. The goal is to throw the axe and firmly plant its blade in the wood target on the wall. The staff there are good teachers, and they can help you learn either the two-handed over-the-head approach or the less utilized one-handed approach. It certainly can be an entertaining way to connect with friends or go out on a date. You can also check out the Ruckus Rage Cage and obliterate a box of bottles. Usually, when you break a dish at home, it’s something that elicits feelings of regret. Not the case here! Whether you’re looking to let off some steam or not, you’ll probably have a good time either throwing axes at walls or smashing things.
The two-handed, over-the-head approach is preferred by most people; the one-handed approach happened to work better for me. Brayden said that, so far, they are 100% at getting people to be able to stick at least one axe in the target. It is a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of things and follow the instructions, you will be able to stick one for sure. Brayden and his partners are good teachers.
8 – SWIM AND RELAX AT LAVA HOT SPRINGS
At Lava Hot springs, you get all the thrills of a fun waterpark at a reasonable price. Jumping from any of the Olympic diving platforms are sure to leave a lasting memory for those brave enough to free-fall from its five-, seven-, and 10-meter heights. I haven’t been to Lava Hot Springs yet, but I remember my friends in Junior High and High school talking about how thrilling those platforms were. Another adrenaline-pumping option is the speed slides that can get you flying up to 35 mph! When you come to the complex, guests are welcome to pack canopies and coolers to hang out all day. The indoor facility also has a kiddie cove if you want to bring your little ones along for the fun. There’s something for everyone! A good way to wind down from a fun-filled day in the cool of the evening is to relax in Idaho’s world-famous Geothermal Hot Springs that range from 102 ̊ to 112 ̊.
Backpacking is a great experience and a wonderful accomplishment. You will be able to explore beautiful places that those who stay on the pavement never get to see. It’s priceless.
There are many local areas that are great for backpacking. In addition to the Wasatch Range, there are beautiful wilderness areas around Logan Canyon, and the stunning Uintah Mountains are not too far away. If you’ve never gone before, it can be helpful to start with a one-night trip. It’s good to have some experience with your gear before you head out for a week!
You’ll need a backpack that fits you (trust me when I tell you, if it doesn’t, you’ll regret it), a light and sturdy tent, a sleeping pad, a lightweight sleeping bag, sturdy footwear, and a water filter. If you need advice on finding gear, go to Gear 30 on Washington Blvd. They can help you find the best gear for your expedition and remind you of anything you’re missing. Quality equipment can make all the difference on your trip.
- Quality gear performs better, keeping you safe and comfortable
- Weighs less (you’ll thank me later)
- Lasts longer (you KNOW you’ll want to go again!)
Backpacking is an adventure filled with shortcuts, animal encounters, all sorts of weather, and always LOTS of togetherness. It includes hanging your food up at night to keep it safe from critters and watching the sun go down behind the mountains. There’s nothing like enjoying the crisp, fresh mountain air and that sense of peace you can only get in the wilderness.
Savvy Backpacker Tips: Never put food in your tent. Don’t go to sleep in damp socks or clothes and always keep an eye on the weather. If it’s sunny, guard against heat stroke, dehydration, and sunburn, and if the weather turns stormy, watch out for hypothermia, exposure, or lightning.
10 – EXPERIENCE FLOTATION THERAPY
This time of year, with the weather warming up and school wrapping up, everyone is looking for an escape. Did you know there’s a way to escape without even leaving the county? i-Float Sensations in South Ogden can introduce you to the life-changing therapy that has been around since the 50s. Nearly 1000 pounds of Epsom salt are present in the water in their float pods. This salt helps release lactic acid in achy muscles, and reduce inflammation, swelling, and bruising. An experience like this is coined as “takeaway therapy.” Particularly, in moments of chaos and noise, clients are encouraged to “remember the float experience.” The peace that they felt in the float pod exists within them.
11 – WSU OUTDOOR
There is so much of the outdoors to be explored, especially right here in Weber County. Checking off items from your bucket list is easier than ever thanks to the Weber State Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. Whether you’re a hardened outdoorsman or just a beginner, they are equipped to make this spring and summer fun for you and your family.
In January, the Center moved into a new 1700-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. Since then, they’ve doubled all their fleets of equipment, added on-site rock and bouldering walls, rappel stations, and a full ski/snowboard tuning shop. They are committed to providing access to outdoor recreation to the community. With a new larger facility, the hope is more people discover and utilize the center in their pursuit of a healthy and active lifestyle.
FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY
Never get lost on a hike again with guides from the Outdoor Program crew. They offer a series of guided waterfall hikes and can also help you pick from all the awesome trails the area has to offer and help guide you through them at minimal cost to you. Even if you think your family isn’t suited for hiking, they have the gear to assist you. The Outdoor Program facility also has trail chairs for those in wheelchairs to be able to travel dirt trails, you can rent them for absolutely nothing!
Now, you can try an overnight adventure with your family in near-perfect conditions. For an awesome price, you can get a guide, all the equipment, and even the food prep. You just need to show up for the adventure to begin. From life jackets to wet suits, they have every size to fit every member of your family.
If you’re already an outdoor professional, you will have access to quality rafts, kayaks, tubes, bikes, sport sets, tents, and so much more. The prices are very affordable and you can trust that all the gear is meticulously maintained. You can even rent some gear for an entire season, saving you from buying equipment that your kids will grow out of next season.
There’s something for the whole family at the Weber State Outdoor Adventure and Welcome Center. They can help you cross off some bucket list items and also inspire so much more.