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Marsha Maxwell

Marsha's Salt Lake City Blog


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Free Outdoor Movies 2014

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Spending time outdoors on summer nights is one of the greatest pleasures of the season, and taking in a classic family movie under the stars is an increasingly popular way to enjoy the cool evening air. Community organizations throughout the Salt Lake Valley sponsor free movie nights all summer, screening animated features, classics and indie films in parks and amphitheaters.

The free outdoor movie season kicks off next weekend, Friday June 6, with Salt Lake City's Friday Night Flicks screening Wreck-It Ralph at Liberty Park and Snowbird showing The Incredibles on the Plaza Deck. So dig through the closet, find that favorite blanket, and get ready for free movies under the stars!

Salt Lake Area Free Summer Movies

SLC Free Movies Year Round

Memorial Weekend in SLC

Saturday May 24, 2014

Salt Lake City residents can kick off the summer season with all-American activities like auto racing, a Wild West entertainment or a crawfish boil this weekend, and also remember fallen soldiers with commemoration ceremonies at cemeteries in West Jordan and Herriman. Whatever you do this holiday weekend, take time to fly the flag and remember the sacrifices of our country's military. Happy Memorial Day, SLC!

SLC Memorial Day Events

SLC May Events

SLC Things to Do With Kids

Popular Baby Names for 2013, Utah and USA

Thursday May 22, 2014

Do you know any little Williams, Emmas, Liams, Olivias, Jameses or Abigails born in Utah last year? These were the most popular Utah baby names in 2013, according to statistics updated every May by the US Social Security Administration. Nationally, Noah was the most popular boy's name, ending a 14-year run by Jacob, and Sophia was the most popular girl's name for the third year in a row.

New names in the Utah top ten include Charlotte, Henry, Isaac, Lincoln, Brooklyn, Benjamin and Avery. Dropping out of the Utah top ten were Lily, Jackson, Luke, Jack and Claire.

I had some fun playing around with the SSA baby naming data - for example I found out that my name, Marsha, was ranked #232 the year I was born, but if it had been combined with #215 Marcia its ranking would have been higher. I grew up with a lot of Michaels and Lisas, the most popular names in my birth year. SSA offers baby name rankings by year, decade or century, and you can also see how a name's popularity has changed over time.

Most Popular Baby Names - Utah and USA

Photo by Siri Stafford.

19 Great Burger Spots in SLC

Wednesday May 14, 2014

If the USA has a signature meal, it's probably the cheeseburger and fries. Salt Lake City is known for the pastrami burger, which was invented in Los Angeles but really caught on in SLC. Another popular burger in SLC is the blue cheese bacon burger. One of the best things about burgers is their infinite variety, and it takes care, creativity and attention to detail to put together the perfect combination of meat, cheese, bread and toppings.

After weeks of painstaking, calorie-intensive research, I've put together a list some of the best places in Salt Lake Ctiy to get a hot, juicy burger, with options for all tastes, including no-frills, gourmet, poultry and vegetarian. Let me know if I've missed your favorite.

Best Burgers in SLC

Photo courtesy Hires Big H

Celebrate Mother's Day in SLC

Wednesday May 7, 2014

Mother's Day, celebrated in the United States on the second Sunday in May, was declared an official holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 after a tireless campaign by activist Anna Jarvis. Jarvis' conception of Mother's Day honors the mother's role in the home, unlike the Mother's Day for Peace championed by 19th-century activist Julia Ward Howe, which encouraged mothers to publicly oppose all forms of war. Here are a few Mother's Day facts from About.com's Guide to Women's History, Jone Johnson Lewis.

  • Anna Jarvis encouraged the use of carnations to celebrate Mother's Day, because it was her mother's favorite flower. Traditionally, a white carnation would be worn to honor a dead mother, and a pink carnation to honor a living mother.
  • After Mother's Day was established as an official US holiday, Jarvis protested its commercialization.
  • 96 percent of US households celebrate Mother's Day.
  • Mother's Day is the second biggest gift giving holiday in the US after Christmas.
  • Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year for many restaurants.
  • In Utah and Alaska, women on the average will have three children before the end of their childbearing years. Overall, the average in the United States is two.

To help you plan your celebration of Mother's Day in Salt Lake City, I've put together a long list of ideas including special events, gift ideas, shopping suggestions, brunches, dining specials and more. Take a look, and I'm sure you'll find something special to add to your celebration. I've also added a link to a great list of non-material ways to celebrate Mother's Day.

Mother's Day in Salt Lake City

Non-Material Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

Image by Stockbyte

Oasis Cafe Named One of America's Top 100 Brunch Spots

Tuesday April 29, 2014

Oasis Cafe in Salt Lake City has been named Utah's only winner of the OpenTable Diners' Choice Awards for the Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America.  The list of winners is derived from more than five million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Oasis is one of my favorite spots for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, with an eclectic menu and a peaceful ambiance that puts a smile on my face. Some of my favorite menu items are the breakfast burrito, the German buttermilk pancake or the huevos rancheros for breakfast; the Reuben, the turkey burger or the grilled cheese with tomato soup for lunch; and the stuffed filet medallions, the chicken and goat cheese tamales, or the Mediterranean salad for dinner. For dessert, there are lots of options, but I recommend the vegan chocolate cake or the lavender infused panna cotta. Oasis is vegetarian and vegan friendly, and many menu items either are or can be vegetarian or vegan.

Oasis Cafe
151 S. 500 E.
Salt Lake City, UT 84102-1906

Oasis Cafe: Full Review

Patio Dining in SLC

SLC Mother's Day Brunches

Photo: Oasis Cafe


Planning Ahead for Summer Day Camps

Monday April 21, 2014

Kids, parents and teachers are starting to count down toward the end the school year, but freedom and exhilaration can soon turn to boredom if kids aren't active and engaged during the summer. Short-term summer day camps can be a great way to combat boredom and still allow plenty of time for unstructured play and relaxation.

Many of the best Salt Lake area summer day camps are already taking registrations, so now's a good time to ask the kids what they want to do this summer. The possibilities are exciting and nearly limitless, whether your child is into sports, outdoor recreation, music, drama, science, art or all of the above. While you're at it, you could think about signing up for a class or two yourself, through University of Utah Continuing Education or Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

Salt Lake City Summer Day Camps

Things to Do With Kids in SLC

Photo by Yellow Dog Productions.

Happy Easter, SLC!

Thursday April 17, 2014

Easter weekend is going to be bright and beautiful this year, with gorgeous spring weather for egg hunts, spring festivals, Easter brunches and more. There's no better time to renew friendships and celebrate the good things in life. Connect and have fun with these ideas for celebrating Easter in SLC.

SLC Easter Events

Best Easter Brunches

Egg Hunts

Photo by Don Farrall

Easter Brunches in Salt Lake City

Wednesday April 16, 2014

A beautiful brunch is a meal just about everyone can love, and with Easter just a few days away, it's time to make reservations for Salt Lake City's favorite Easter brunches. Easter brunch is a holiday tradition for many families, and whether you prefer a huge buffet like the ones at the Grand America or La Caille, a Saturday option like Harvest restaurant at Thanksgiving Point, or a plated brunch like the ones at Caffe Niche and Market Street Grill, there are lots of yummy options to choose from.

SLC Easter Brunches

SLC Easter and Passover Events

Photo by John A. Rizzo

Art is 100 Celebrations at UMFA

Thursday April 10, 2014

A century ago, University of Utah administrators opened a small art gallery in the Park Building on Presidents Circle. That small collection has grown to become the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the official fine arts museum of both the university and the state of Utah. The UMFA collects, interprets, and preserves a collection of 19,000 objects, ranging from antiquities and European masterworks to art of the American West and international contemporary art.

To mark this milestone, UMFA is celebrating Art is 100--100 years of collecting at the U--with a series of parties and programs that highlight artworks, events, and people who have influenced the making of the museum. Events begin Wednesday, April 16 with an "Art Swap Party," and continue through spring, summer and fall 2014.

"Art is 100" 2014 Special Events at UMFA:

  • Free SMAC Art Swap Party, Wednesday, April 16, 4-7 p.m.

The Students' Museum Advisory Council (SMAC) marks Art is 100 with an art swap party on the UMFA patio. Celebrate 100 years of collecting art on campus by swapping or making some art while enjoying refreshments and live music.

  • Free Third Saturday for Families: Art is 100 Anniversary Finger Puppets, Saturday, May 17, 1-4 p.m.

The University of Utah and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts have been collecting and exhibiting portraits for 100 years. During this free Third Saturday event, families will use portraits as inspiration for puppets.

  • Art is 100 Gala, Thursday, May 29, 6 p.m.

The UMFA's Art is 100 Gala is this year's must-attend event for Utah art lovers. Enjoy gourmet food; pop-up performances University of Utah singers, dancers, musicians, and visual artists; and a special preview of Creation and Erasure: Art of the Bingham Canyon Mine. For tickets, visit the UMFA website or call 801-585-0464.

  • Free UMFA Family Day, Saturday, July 19, 1-4 p.m.

This free family day celebrates 100 years of art at the University of Utah. Get inspiration for your own art-making projects from UMFA's amazing collection of 5,000 years of human creativity, and enjoy fun performances.

  • Art is 100 After-Hours Party, Friday, October 3

Celebrate Art is 100 and the premiere of American sculptor Tony Feher's new Great Hall installation with hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and dancing to live music. For tickets and more information visit the UMFA website or call 801-585-0464.

Salt Lake City's Foothill Cultural District

SLC Connect Pass Attractions

SLC Free Museums

Image courtesy UMFA

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