Sep 18, 2011
This is the Place
My sweetie works for a large government contractor here in the Salt Lake Valley. Every year they have a family summer picnic and this year it was at This is the Place park. This is the Place is set up like a pioneer village with a nod to Utah’s heritage. The party ran from 10:00 – 3:00 and we showed up about 10:30. The main parking lot was already full even though the park was closed for the private event. We wrapped red wristbands around each kid’s wrist as they climbed out of the van. That was it…everything else was free including lunch and snacks!
The first thing the kids wanted to do was ride the ponies. So we hiked a couple of blocks to the pony rides. Walking with my grandsons is always an adventure. Six-year-old Taco pointed to two brown cows lazily munching hay. “Those brown cows have chocolate milk!” he announced proudly. City kid. “No they don’t,” I commented. Undeterred, he responded. “They must be happy. They’re wagging their tails!”
After all the kids had turns on the ponies, we headed into the petting zoo. The kids loved feeding and petting the baby goats. They followed the pot-bellied pig around, but he wasn’t much interested in them. Some of the little bit bigger goats came right over to the stroller to see if we had anything better than hay to feed them. They took off quick when Baby Doll hollered after one of them licked her toe!
Bean Dip and Sport were interested in earning a This is the Place cub scout badge, so we had a few activities that we had to do. They learned to write their name is “Deseret” which is a phonics alphabet used by the pioneers. They had to play some pioneer games and discover a little history, but it didn’t take too long and we were on our way again.
We passed through an area filled with beautiful yellow sunflowers. Teach remarked, “Look at all these sunflowers!” Curly dropped her hand in a huff. “They’re not dumb-flowers,” he responded, “They’re beautiful!” I think somebody needs his ears checked…
We rode the trains and ate lunch, panned for gold and watched a train robbery. They had a building all set up for crafts. The kids got to bend a nail into a ring, make a whirly-gig, tie an arrowhead necklace, and decorate a small bag. They even launched salt water taffy from a cannon! There were definitely lots more black ones than normal.
Bean Dip got stung by a bee and that made for a few exciting moments, but after a little ice and a wagon ride to distract him, he started to feel better.
The park had booths giving out free kettle corn and roasted corn-on-the-cob (I ate three!). The kids also had their fill of licorice and gummy worms. We were sad and a little surprised when 3:00 o’clock rolled around so quickly. As we walked toward the gate, Teach and I slipped into the “corn” line one last time. As I pulled down the husk and carefully bit into that delicious buttery corn, I definitely had to agree…This is the Place…for tons of fun!