Face it: You’ve grown up. Whether you like it or not, you have to maintain a semblance of adult dignity. You can’t suddenly go rolling down a snowy hill just because you feel like it or skive off a day at work like you did at school. But that doesn’t mean you can’t act like a kid now and then! In fact, there are a lot of places locally where you can let your inner child loose without making a fool of yourself.
What is the biggest line in the sand between adults and kids? Simple—it’s activity. A kid is always doing something, having adventures, enjoying life and everything within reach. Put your head in that place and take on the joy of being a kid again. Here’s a list of experiences to help you do it. And not one of the adventures listed involves wearing a Harry Potter costume.
Take a Utah Winter Games clinic. The Utah Winter Games are back, and it’s a chance to get introductory coaching, at an inexpensive price, in a sport you may have never thought about trying before. You can learn how to luge on the Olympic bobsled track in Park City, with a sled and helmet provided. You can learn freeride or freestyle skiing, how to do jumps off a small kicker or get air on freeride terrain park-type feature. Try speedskating, hockey, curling, ice skating and more.
All the venues cooperate with UWG to help conduct these clinics, which are usually one to two hours in length and range in price between $10-$20. After you take the clinic, you can sign up to compete. You can compete in most of the UWG contests without taking the clinic, but for sports where some experience is required, like luge, the clinic is mandatory unless you already have some experience either through a club or other competition
Clinics started in December and continue until February. After the contests are finished, there’s an awards banquet, where all participating athletes are recognized. Lots of local bigwigs attend, so the banquet is also a good place for some grown-up schmoozing.
Here’s a very abbreviated list of clinics to give you an idea of what’s available (there are many other clinics as well):
Jan. 15 & Feb. 5: Nordic jumping (ski jumping), freeride skiing, mogul skiing
Feb. 1: Curling
For information about available clinics, go to UtahWinterGames.org/sports.htm or call Tim Preston at 435-658-4220. For help in registering for a clinic, call 435-658-4206.
See A Cool Movie On A Really Big Screen. Want to see a cool film in an overwhelming venue? Try the newly remodeled IMAX theatre at Clark Planetarium. The Gateway attraction has teamed up with Megaplex movie chain to bring you a totally revamped experience that will bring back the kid-like fun of seeing a movie. “You’ll be seeing it in state-of-the-art 3-D technology, 1,400 watts of digital sound, on a 70-foot-wide screen. We’ve also installed brand-new seats,” says planetarium marketing director Dani Weigand.
The grand opening started off with a bang: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opened there Dec. 17. Over the Christmas holidays, it alternated with Light Before Christmas. In January, the new science-fiction thriller Tron makes its Imax debut. Best of all is the price: only $8 for a matinee, $11 for an evening show.
Stop Animals From Being Lonely. Maybe these animals would prefer running across the savannah, but some of the animals at the zoo do like showing off for their human visitors. Don’t let them be lonely in the winter. Go see them in their newly refurbished homes at Hogle Zoo, which features 249 different species and 800 animals within its 42 acres.
Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children 3-12 and seniors 65 and older; children under 2 are free. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 2600 Sunnyside Ave., at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Phone: 801-582-1631.
Indoor BMX. Yeah, you can ride your BMX bike out of a starting gate and over jumps and tabletops. You can just practice riding the dirt or actually race grown-ups and kids, either in an informal moto (the 5-year-olds will challenge you), or in an actual race against those of your own age and ability level.
Several times a month during the winter, the manure-infused dirt of the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park in South Jordan is bobcatted into the starting ramp, bumps, jumps and rhythm section of an actual BMX track. You can try it once for free. After that, it’s $3 for two hours of practice, or $10 for an hour and a half of practice and a race, with huge gaudy trophies for winners. Everyone is friendly, and if you’ve never tried BMX, you’ll get plenty of help learning to ride a track. You’ll also make many new friends who are kids at heart. Practices are Friday and Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m, races are Saturdays and Sundays, usually starting at 10 a.m.
Location: 5200 W. Old Bingham Highway (9800 South) Phone: 801-641-5644. For a schedule of practices and races, go to RadCanyonBMX.com.