Liberty Park’s Fun in the Sun (but NOT Seven Canyons)

I have a long history with Liberty Park.

When I first moved to Salt Lake City after college in the fall of 1997, this second-largest urban park was only a few blocks from my condo. I spent innumerable hours strolling the 80 acres of paths, gardens, and aviary and sitting by the pond.

In an attempt to impress a boy, I took up running there after a four-year sabbatical.

I nearly passed out after jogging only a few hundred feet.

I didn’t say all my memories were good.

But last week, Haddie, Bode and I built some fantastic ones as we had a picnic with Jamie’s mom, sister Tammy and my edible twin nieces.

See? I told you: YUMMY.

We drove our stylin’ Lincoln MKT and grabbed a pina colada salad, Hawaiian BBQ chicken panini and mango-berry salad from new-to-me Cafe Zupas while the kids ate homemade peanut butter sandwiches.

I couldn’t waste such gastronome grandeur on their wavering taste buds.

Liberty Park has a few different play areas and we started with the all-access playground and splash park that was perfect for a warm summer day. The kids raced through the water, climbed the tree house, sifted through the sand, danced to the musical instruments and played on the playground.

Next, we hit the small amusement park and the kids begged me to ride The Wheel of Death. Here’s a secret confession: I’d rather ride a thousand suicidal roller-coasters before I’d enjoy doing a Ferris wheel. But see those darling faces?

Most days I have no problem saying “no.” That day was the exception. And I’m so glad I relented because the ride on the weather Ferris wheel was exhilarating. The area was ensconced by trees whose leaves were almost close enough to touch as we swooped forward, causing the kids to grab and squeal with glee.

As a total bonus, I didn’t even throw up.

But our most highly anticipated Liberty Park activity was Seven Canyons. I’ve been to plenty of water parks but this one is different. Patterned after the valley’s seven canyons, this feature has seven man-man streams flowing around secret nooks, trees, stairs and rocks.

I had heard it was closed for the season due to an oil spill but was delighted to discover the sign that claimed it would be opening at 3 p.m. that day. And so we grabbed some snow cones and waited.

And waited some more.

When 3 p.m. rolled around, there was Nada. An inquisitive mom went to the concession stand to ask and as it turns out, Seven Canyons was closed due to some destructive lightning.

Struck by a bolt of electricity around the exact time I would be there? What’re the odds that would happen to me?

On second thought, don’t answer that question.

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