Every year when we visited Park City, at least one local would start chatting on the chairlift and tell us how amazing the summers are in town. There was a common phrase among everyone - you come for the winters, but stay for the summers. When we moved to Toronto a few years back and longed for a place to spend some time in the summer, we headed to Park City for a few weeks. Those locals were right....we never wanted to leave.
The other thing that we realized is when we did come in the winter, we skied hard. That meant no time for fun side trips to see any other sights. Unfortunately, I realized that I'd been missing out on the amazing Utah Olympic Park. Located just off the highway and minutes from the heart of Park City, this venue was the site of many events for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games, including luge, bobsled, and ski jumping.
A few summers ago, my brother in law insisted we head up to the Utah Olympic Park for the weekly Sunday show presented by the Flying Ace All Stars. We were dazzled by the aerial show of athletes going off the ski jumps into the pool. Held on Sundays from June through September, bring a blanket, sunscreen and a hat, and pack a snack, and be prepared to be amazed. It is truly spectacular!
The fun didn't end there. The site is home to a three story museum dedicated to winter sports, with wonderful exhibits. Admission is free. Take a walk outside and the views from up on the hill are spectacular. In summer, the park is open for zip line and alpine slide rides. As you ride up a chair lift to access the top of these rides, you can often watch athletes training on the jumps.
It didn't take more than a few minutes for two of my kids to insist that they HAD to try to learn how to jump off those ramps. So on the spot, on our first visit, we registered for camp. Times and dates vary, but basically there is something for every age, and every ability. Keep in mind it does involve hurling your body in full ski gear off a jump into a pool, so needless to say flexibility, good physical condition, and a lot of guts are required. I possess none of these qualities, so you will find me up in the stands as a proud spectator. And proud I was, considering they had never done it before. Click here to watch them give it a try.
Who knew after all these years of visiting that such a wonderful place was just down the street? Times, fees, and events vary, so check the website before you go, and don't forget to take the camera!
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