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Culture » Summer Guide

Cheap Thrills

You don't have to burn through your savings to have fun in and out of the sun



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Lorin Farr Pool & Rampage: $3
The quintessential summer activity is a day lounging at the city pool, repeating the endless cycle of laying out, getting in the water, laying out, getting cheap, greasy food from the concessions stand, laying out, getting back in the water. ... In Ogden, the city pool takes it up a notch, with its enormous Olympic-size pool and two huge, practically vertical “rampage” waterslides. Memorable scenes from The Sandlot were filmed by the pool, but we don’t recommend going to such lengths to attract the attention of a dreamy lifeguard. 1619 S. Gramercy Ave., Ogden, 801-629-8259

Farr Ice Cream at The Oaks Restaurant: $2.95
Driving up beautiful Ogden Canyon on the way to Pineview Reservoir, you’ll probably catch a glimpse of a rustic building on the right side of the road with a passel of cars and motorcycles parked out front. That’s The Oaks Restaurant, and it’s got one of the best vantage points in the state, overlooking the rushing Ogden River. It’s a full-service restaurant, but when you’re in the mood for some lighter fare, you can grab “just” (they’re huge) a cone of delicious, local Farr Ice Cream from the front-counter shop and take it to the back deck, right over the river. Patios might get the credit for summer-dining fun, but if more restaurants had a deck like The Oaks’, patios would have some competition. 750 Ogden Canyon, Ogden, 801-394-2421,

Wednesday-night Films at Peery’s Egyptian Theater: $5
Nine out of 10 movie snobs agree: Seeing a movie in the theater just has a certain something that sitting on the couch watching a DVD doesn’t. What is that certain something? Once you watch a movie at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden, you’ll get it. PET presents a summer film series each year from June to August featuring a mix of movies from cult classics to comedy classics to bona fide black & white classics. We can’t decide what part of the experience is better: the historic theater’s elaborate Egyptian setting and Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, or the fact that beer is served. 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-689-8600, EgyptianTheater

Wasatch Hikers Weekly Wednesday Hikes: Free
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but so is the road to … nothing. Hiking is a summer activity that seems like it should be easy enough, but when it comes to corralling friends into deciding on a date and time that works for everyone, and agreeing on where to go, sometimes it’s just easier to give up and head to the bar. Put down that stein: There’s a group of hiking-crazy friends out there who’ve already got the hike planned. Part of nonprofit Weber Pathways, the Wasatch Hikers group meets every Wednesday evening for a hike somewhere in Weber County. Details are posted weekly; all you have to do is show up.


Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park: $7
Things have probably changed in the dinosaur world since you were a kid and learned about Brontosaurus and Triceratops. For one thing, there was no such thing as a Brontosaurus. Shocked? Well, you should head to Ogden’s Dinosaur Park to get a refresher course on the mysterious beasts that roamed the planet millions of years ago. The park has an indoor museum and education center, but the real draw is the expansive park grounds, nestled at the mouth of Ogden Canyon, which are home to more than 100 life-size sculptures of dinosaurs, modeled after fossils, that are brought to life via robotics and an advanced sound system. Yes, robotic dinosaurs—sounds like the recipe for one killer afternoon. 1544 E. Park Blvd., Ogden, 801-393-3466,

Taste of Downtown: $10
This annual, often-sold-out event is the ultimate in efficient eating. Some of Ogden’s best restaurants—and bars, too—provide samples of their dishes, from wings to chicken canapés to sushi to lasagna. Held in conjunction with Ogden’s Art Festival, the Taste of Downtown makes it easy to have your local culture and eat it, too. Union Station Grand Lobby, 2501 Wall Ave., Ogden, 801-393-9890, June 8, 6:30 p.m.



America’s Freedom Festival: Free
It’s not big, it’s huge. America’s Freedom Festival is one of the country’s largest Fourth of July festivals—so large that it starts three weeks before the holiday, with the flag-retirement ceremony June 14. The festival offers a killer parade, cultural events, flea markets, carnival-style vendor booths, a car show, one heck of a fireworks extravaganza and the Ring of Fire concert, where The Beach Boys (with Brian Wilson) perform as part of their 50th anniversary tour. That concert isn’t free, but many of the other events are. Various locations and dates,

Provo Rooftop Concert Series: Free
Now in its third season, Provo’s Rooftop Concert Series is a mainstay of the city’s buzzing nightlife, if only for one night a month. The monthly shindig creates a lively environment—with up to 2,500 patrons at each performance in 2011—at the show and on the streets, which are full of buskers and gallery-stroll patrons. It’s a fine evening, and this year’s local-centric series lineup can’t be beat: Fictionist, The Lower Lights and a Tom Petty tribute. Provo Towne Square Parking Terrace, 100 N. 100 West, Provo, first Friday of each month,

Hiking to the Y
Why? Because the Y on Y Mountain is one huge piece of university insignia, which, when trodden upon, affords excellent views of downtown Provo, Utah Lake and surrounding areas. One of the largest collegiate symbols in the country, the concrete Y is 380 feet high and 180 feet wide. It’s a fairly steep 1.2-mile hike to the Y, and hiking to the summit of Y Mountain can take around two hours—but enough of the numbers already. This hike is perfect for bringing along a date or the whole fam, and is close enough to downtown to incorporate into an event-filled afternoon and/or evening. Terrace Drive, Provo

Spark Mocktails: $3.50 & up
Provo isn’t exactly known for its nightlife. But in the clean and sober vibe of the town, Spark Restaurant offers a bevy of beverages to sate the thirstiest cocktail critic. Try the bottomless (can any bar offer that in Utah? No.) housemade lemonades with a pinch of flavor, from pomegranate to peach, for $4.95. Or sip the restaurant’s signature mocktails, like the mango mojito, the double-berry martini or the stripped piña colada—each $3.50. 86 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-701-6780,

Moustache Mondays at Sammy’s Cafe Provo: Free
This Provo burger & shake institution is mad about moustaches. The upper-lip ornaments are all over Sammy’s website and can be seen in high frequency inside the store on Mondays. Sporting a moustache on Moustache Mondays gets customers a free grilled-cheese sandwich (ladies: wear a fake or draw one on); even without the moustache, they’re just a buck on Mondays. But the real lure is the pie shake, which are two-for-one on Tuesdays. Try the pumpkin pie or the banana-cream pie shakes, which are sure to transform the droopiest moustache into perky handlebars. 27 N. 100 West, Provo, 801-805-9208,


Nickel City: $2.25 & up
As you navigate the dot-munching Ms. Pac Man through a time warp only to wind up in Sue the Orange Ghost’s destructive path, you can rest assured that your loss didn’t also break the bank. At Nickel City, every arcade game costs a mere 5 cents, after the nominal $2.25 admission. The entertainment center boasts everything from classics like the aforementioned Ms. Pac Man to daredevilish driving adventures to sheer-luck games like Plinko in a near-maddening midi-soundscape of plings, bings and boinks.
1515 S. State, Orem, 801-802-8555,

Spanish Oaks Reservoir: Free
When it’s a darn hot Utah summer day and you’ve already had your fair share of frozen yogurt, how else can one chill out? Try the Spanish Oaks Reservoir. Nestled along the Spanish Fork hills just before the mouth of the canyon, this free swimming hole has stunning views, access to hiking jaunts and some refreshingly cold H2O to plunge into. A summer afternoon sees families playing on the beach, college students soaking up the sun and fishermen trying to lure the reservoir’s stockpile of rainbow trout. It’s cheaper than fro-yo and can only do good for your bikini bod. 2931 S. Spanish Oaks Drive, Spanish Fork