May 30, 2013

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Article

For the Fun of It

Your Sandy To-do List

Heather Stewart

May 30, 2013

Vacation should be more than a few days off of work—a vacation is an opportunity to seek unique experiences and make cherished memories. Whether you’ve arrived from far away or are enjoying a well-deserved staycation, you’ll find incomparable activities and adventures in Sandy City.

From culture to sports to Gentoo penguins, visitors can seek out indulgent experiences or find world-class entertainment on a shoe-string budget. And just about every offering is family friendly and designed to appeal to all ages.

Movies and More

The Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons is a great place to start. These theaters provide more than a typical cinema experience, boasting the latest technologies in a clean, comfortable setting.

Jordan Commons is home to Utah’s largest IMAX Theatre, at more than 6,000 square feet. The 2D/3D digital theater creates an immersive movie experience with impressive clarity and powerful sound. Several of the theaters at Jordan Commons also feature D-BOX motion seating, which fuses motion and vibration in the seating with the on-screen action, transporting viewers right into the thick of things.

If that is not enough, Jordan Commons just opened the Groove VIP Theatre. This intimate and luxurious theater offers large, comfortable seating that includes recliners, double rockers and love seats. Along with the latest audio and digital technology, the Groove VIP Theatre has an adjacent lounge with a full menu and dedicated wait staff.

The premiere movie experience at the theaters is matched only by the adjacent restaurants and food court. On-site restaurants include Cantina Southwestern Grill, Joe’s Crab Shack and Ruby River Steakhouse. And the food court encompasses a wide variety of foods, from fish and chips to pizza to crepes.

 “It’s more than just your normal concession fare,” says Jay Francis, executive vice president of the Larry H. Miller Companies, which owns the theater complex. Francis notes that the variety lets families find just the right option for everyone.          

The Real Deal

Sandy City is the proud home to a championship-winning major league team, Real Salt Lake. The Major League Soccer team plays in the distinctive Rio Tinto Stadium and attracts sell-out crowds of über-enthusiastic fans who are passionate about the fast-moving soccer action.

Major League Soccer has become a truly world-class sporting event in the United States and Canada. Real Salt Lake is one of the newer teams in the franchise, but it quickly wowed fans by winning the MLS 2009 Cup championship in its fifth season. Locals and visitors alike are swept up in the excitement of a Real Salt Lake home game in a stadium that holds up to 20,000 spectators.

The Rio Tinto Stadium also hosts clinics and clubs for children, and it provides a thrilling backdrop for big-name concerts. Recent headliners have included luminaries like Neil Diamond and Paul McCartney.

A World of Water

Utah may be a landlocked desert, but the Living Planet Aquarium is an oasis of watery habitats. The aquarium features three main exhibits—Discover Utah, Ocean Explorer and Journey to South America—which together include nearly 300 species and more than 1,550 animals.

The penguin exhibit is one of the most popular. Visitors can see the small, adorable Gentoo penguins zoom through the water and hop onto the ice with a quick splash. The once-a-day Penguin Encounters lets small groups go behind the scenes to learn more about the penguins and their training.

Fairly new to the aquarium, the river otters have also proved a big draw. Attendance increased 28 percent after the exhibit opened in early 2012, says Angie Hyde, spokeswoman for the aquarium. The river otter exhibit gives a glimpse into the river habitat so visitors can see the otters dive and swim with graceful fluidity.

Other popular exhibits include the stingray touch pool, the shark tank, a sea turtle and Utah’s native fish species.

Warm Summer Nights

The Sandy Amphitheater is a crowning jewel in Sandy’s art scene. Attending an outdoor concert at the amphitheater has become a tradition for many local families, and for good reason. The venue is perched on a low foothill, providing gorgeous views of the mountains to the east and the Salt Lake Valley to the west. The setting is perfect for a romantic evening, a fun group outing or a family night out.

The amphitheater has nearly 1,000 theater seats close to the stage with additional lawn chair and blanket seating, for a total capacity of 2,750. With a long summer season, the venue hosts a variety of shows including improv comedy, pop concerts, musicals and classical performances.

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