Forget the Festivals in 2020, But Remember to Get Outside and Enjoy!


MAY, 2020


Summer 2020 will look and feel different than a typical summer in Utah: no concerts, sports leagues, parades, or cultural festivals, but there are still plenty of good reasons to get outside for some fun in the sun!

You know it’s almost summertime in Salt Lake City when you start making plans to go to the Utah Arts Festival, Fireworks on the Fourth of July, or the Days of ‘47 (24th of July) Parade. The summer of 2020 is different, of course.
This year, you can forget about live music at USANA Amphitheater or a local park; there’s probably no swimming at the Liberty Park Pool or the Water Slide. Lagoon Amusement Park is open, but it will seem different in a lot of ways if you decide to don a mask and go there for some amusement park rides (at a social distance, of course).
But just because it is the summer of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it doesn’t have to be the summer of no fun. In town, check out some lesser-known areas of interest, like Gilgal Park. The small garden has paths through one of the most unusual sculpture collections you will find anywhere. The rock carvings were originally created where they still sit, in the sculptor’s backyard, but it has now been made into a public park. Find it at 749 East 500 South, just north and east of Trolley Square Mall.

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Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash

“Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates and men decay.” Thomas Battersby Child, Jr., creator of Gilgal Gardens sculptures. 

On the banks of the Jordan River, the International Peace Garden is tucked away toward the back of Jordan Park, on 1060 South 900 West. The artful arrangements in the Garden are the work of Utah residents who are natives of various countries that each contributed to developing a separate section of the Gardens with landscaping and flowers that evoke images of their home country.

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Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash

In previous summers, you may have enjoyed hiking on one of the dozens of Wasatch Mountain trails that are easily accessible from the Salt Lake Valley. This year, though, you may need to go further to avoid crowds of restless Salt Lakers out for some air. 

If you haven’t visited the Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake or the Sun Tunnels in the West desert, maybe it’s time for a road trip. Both of these art installations in nature are an hour or more away from SLC, but worth the drive to see something new and get out of the city to a place with (hopefully) a lot fewer people.

What’s your favorite “secret” destination where there aren’t too many people?