Holiday Cheer in Utah County

The holiday cheer has been kicked up a notch. We are ready to welcome the snow, curl up by the fire, and appreciate our loved ones near and far. Year after year, our Utah County community is full of holiday events and activities for the whole family. Whether your holiday spirit needs a little boost or it’s in full-fledged Ruldoph mode, we highly recommend checking out what our local community has to offer. ‘Tis the season!

 

1. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world–so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics.

 

When: November 30 – December 15, 2018

Cost: Adult – $14, child (ages 3-11) – $12, senior (ages 65+) – $12

Where: SCERA Center for the Arts

 

For more information and tickets, visit the SCERA website.

2. A Christmas Carol

The Orem Hale Center Theatre’s musical version of A Christmas Carol is a holiday tradition for many families in Utah County.  See it performed by one of the best theatre companies in the state.

 

When: November 24 – December 22

Where: Hale Center Theater Orem

For tickets and showtimes, click here.



2. Spanish Fork Festival of Lights

Spanish Fork’s fantastic drive-through light display has been delighting families for more than 25 years! Find it at Canyon View Park each night from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

 

When: November 22 – January 1

Where: Canyon View Park
Cost: $8 per car; $22 per commercial van or any vehicle towing a trailer ($22 per trailer); $30 per bus.

For more information, visit the website.

 

3. Luminaria

This captivating mile-long walk in Lehi’s Ashton Gardens features programmable luminaries including moving pictures of blooming poinsettias, reindeer, and a 40-foot tree at the top of the hill.

 

When: November 19 – January 5

Where: Thanksgiving Point

 

Learn more at the Luminaria website.


Ways To Give Back To The Community

 

The holiday season is always a mad dash. Out of nowhere, your to-do list is inundated with hosting guests, shopping, and helping kids finish the school semester. With cooking, shopping, parties, and fun, it can be easy to overlook that there are people in our community who are far less fortunate or a little down on their luck this holiday season. Whether it’s donating your services or making a small contribution, we encourage everyone to see if they can chip in to help those needing a little extra love. Here are four great organizations we wholeheartedly support.

 

Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. For 30 years, Best Friends has been running the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and building effective programs all across the country that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes. Join us. Together, we can Save Them All®.

Learn more about the Best Friends Animal Society and how you can help here.

 

The Younique Foundation

The Younique Foundation inspires hope in women who were abused as children or adolescents by hosting them at a retreat, where they are uplifted by each other and learn skills that can help them find individual healing. They educate parents and empower them to protect their children from abuse while leading a public dialogue to bring the epidemic of abuse to light.

Find out what you can do to help here.

 

Youthlinc

The mission of Youthlinc is to create lifetime humanitarians. Our core programs (Local & International Service Year, Utah Local Service Directory, Young Humanitarian Award, Real Life: Teen Refugee Mentoring, and Global Community Leadership) are based in principles from educational and service learning research: student leadership, hands-on sustained service which creates an emotional bond, mentoring, project-based and cooperative learning.

Find out more about the programs and opportunities here.

 

Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry South County

Did you know that over 78,000 people in Utah County live at or below the Federal Poverty Line? 1 in 5 children in Utah County is food insecure. Tabitha’s Way aims to alleviate food insecurity in Utah County and provides food and supplies to an average of 5,000 individuals monthly. To help, you can donate money, host a food drive or volunteer.

Learn more about how Tabitha’s way is helping fight hunger and how you can help.

 


Utah County Date Night Ideas

Whether you’ve been together for on week, one month, or ten years, keeping that spark in a relationship is so important. Life gets in the way, and between work, school, kids, etc., it can be hard to find the time or the funds to indulge in a romantic outing. Luckily, we found some awesome ways to bond with your partner in Utah County:

  1. Wheeler Historic Farm

http://things2doinutah.com/wheeler-farm/

$0-$2

Wheeler Farm is a 75-acre, fully-functioning farm. It’s free to walk the grounds, but the activities will cost you a small fee. Take a wagon ride for $2 per adult, tour the farmhouse for $4, or you can even milk a cow for just $2. My favorite date idea while visiting here? Pack a picnic and a blanket, eat at sunset and do a little stargazing. Total cost? About $15 if you include the price of the food and the gas money. The quality time spent together? Priceless.

  1. See a free concert

http://things2doinutah.com/free-concerts-in-utah-summer-2014/

$0

Utah is full of free music festivals and concerts that would be awesome to take your loved one to. Even if you don’t know the music, who doesn’t love to go dancing and let loose in a new place?

  1. Visit a museum

http://www.museumstuff.com/states/UT.php

Prices vary

Are you an art fiend? Maybe a history buff? This list is jam-packed with different museums across the state that would provide great quality time for you and your significant other. Museum dates offer a chance for you to watch your partner’s eyes light up with wonder as they learn more about their own interests, and they give you a chance to take part in something they enjoy. You can’t put a price on connection!

There are many things to do in Utah, whether you’re balling on a budget or have a little extra cash to splurge with. If you’re wondering what else there is to do, take a look at this list: http://things2doinutah.com/date-night-ideas/ and let us know what your favorites are!


Level Up Your Summer Cookouts

Barbecue season is the best season! Getting together with friends and family, eating great food, playing fun outdoor games, and most importantly, creating memories with your loved ones. If you’re looking to liven the party up even more, we’ve got some awesome ideas to help you make the most of it!

Invitations
You could send out a text through the groupchat, of course. Or, you can personalize the occasion by making cute invitation cards, and mailing, hand-delivering them, or emailing them using sites like Paperless Post. If your party is themed, make sure to tie the scheme of the invitations in with it!

Turn the Wheelbarrow Into a Cooler
When it comes to barbecues, the quirkier the decorations, the better. Wash out the wheelbarrow, fill it with ice, and throw your refreshments in with it. It adds a unique touch and keeps your drinks cold! Use Pinterest as a creative hub for crafty touches like this all summer long!

Infuse Your Water
Such a simple trick, but it really will make all the difference to your guests! Adding different fruits will give the water a more refreshing twist, that’ll leave your party feeling refreshed. Try one of these for starters, but the possibilities are endless.

The Food
You can never go wrong with the classic hamburger, but why not kick it up a notch and add a few unique ingredients to the mix like pastrami, mushrooms, etc. Add to the variety by offering menu items like pork chops, wings, Portabello mushrooms, kabobs, the traditional all-american hot dog, and pulled pork. My favorite pulled pork recipe? Here you go: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/92462/slow-cooker-texas-pulled-pork/

Desserts
Slushies make a great dessert during the summertime, and they’ll have guests of all ages smiling. Jell-O parfaits, watermelon, and various flavors of cakes are easy and affordable options, that allow everyone to satisfy their sweet tooth!

Activities
Including things like slip-n-slides, firepits, ring toss, etc. are great ways to start and keep conversations and laughs flowing. Whether it’s an all-adults party or an all-ages bash, the entertainment will be the talk of your group for weeks to come.

If money is limited, just remember that the fun doesn’t have to be. These tips will perk up your summer tradition while saving you time, energy, and money. All you have to do is put the party together- keeping it going is up to the guests, which will be easy to do with these ideas! What are some of your favorite ideas? Let us know, we’d love to hear them!


The Best Camping in Utah

Summer is almost here, which means the kids will be on vacation for the next 2-3 months, the weather will be wonderful, and it’s time to take advantage of that vacation time that you’ve been saving up all year. Whether you’re going for the weekend for a full 7 days, these spots are perfect for an outing for your friends and/or family!

 

American Fork Canyon-

Wasatch Mountains

$6-$45   

You’ll find two campgrounds in American Fork Canyon: Little Mill, with 66 campsites; and Granite Flat with 64 sites. Both are very scenic spots, but the Granite Flat sites are more spacious.

 

Antelope Island

Davis County

$3-$75

There are three campgrounds on Antelope Island with 52 campsites total. The scenery is amazing, but the sites are pretty primitive with just pit toilets. If you want to shower, you can always head over to the day use area.

 

Bear Lake State Park

Rocky Mountains, at the Utah-Idaho border

$15-$25

Camp in one of two areas at Bear Lake State Park. Rendezvous Beach, on the south shore, has three campgrounds with modern restrooms and showers. Reserve these well in advance. Eastside campgrounds are primitive, and most are first-come, first-served.

 

Devils Garden in Arches National Park

Moab, Utah

$10-$25

You’ll find plenty of desert flora at this campground, along with natural arches and fins. Reserve one of the 51 campsites in advance.

 

Mirror Lake

Uinta Mountains

$23-$70

The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway has numerous campgrounds, many with little lakes. The snow melts pretty late this high up, so plan your trip for later this summer. No matter what time of year you head up there, make sure you packed plenty of jackets, flannel, and maybe even a winter coat as this area is known for June snow showers.

 

Utah has an abundance of camping spots, no matter what area you’re looking in, which is one of the many reasons why we love this state as much as we do. Where are your favorite spots to pitch a tent? Let us know!

 


Summer in Utah Done Right

Even though Utah is known for having the greatest snow on Earth, it’s also full of amazing sights and fun activities to take advantage of during the warmer seasons! From family fun to experiencing everything the great outdoors has to offer, both locals and visitors will be enthralled with our great state’s ability to have it all!

Lagoon

Location: Farmington, UT

Renamed and relocated from The Great Salt Lake in 1899, Lagoon has become a staple for summer fun in Utah, home to one of the oldest operating roller coasters in the world, and the Cannibal—the roller coaster with the steepest drop in North America, fourth steepest in the world, and holds the world record for the tallest beyond-vertical drop on a roller coaster. The prices range from $41.95 to $58.95 for all-day family fun.

Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point

Location: Lehi, Utah

Canopy tours, treehouses, trading posts, and unique activities make this an awesome spot to take the kids for an afternoon of fun and learning. Bring the family in on the third Saturday of each month to spark their inner engineer with the Design Challenge! The second Saturday of every month is dedicated to Curious Critters, an interactive experience that allows your little ones to get up close and personal with exotic animals from all over the world. Admission varies, with the highest-priced ticket coming to $34.95.

Boondocks

Location(s): Draper and Kaysville, UT

There are two locations in Utah making it accessible for people spread across Utah’s metro hubs. They offer many specials, but one of my favorites is $12 Buck Tuesday. For that small price, you get unlimited XD theater, laser tag, rollerball, nowling, kiddie cove and video games until close! And for an extra $8 a person, you can upgrade to go-karts, batting cages, mini golf, and more. What a fun way to spend a Tuesday!

Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

This wonderfully hidden-away garden contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and literary texts. As a whole, Gilgal Sculpture Garden is significant as the only identified “visionary art environment” in Utah. While adults are more likely to appreciate the free garden, this is a great way to expose the little ones to Utah’s art scene.

Dave & Buster’s

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Utah recently acquired their first D&B location jam-packed with fun for adults 21+ or the whole family. While this location is different from the rest in the way that the bar will be kept separate from the rest of the activities, the brand still promises endless amounts of fun! Bowling, arcade games, Dance Dance Revolution and more make this the perfect hangout spot for friends and family to spend some quality time together! If you go, I suggest the Eat and Play Combo, starting at $17.99 a person.

Brewvies

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

A unique, local business, Brewvies makes for an awesome date night for anyone of legal age to take part in. Have a drink and catch a flick at the only cinema pub in Utah with your significant other, your friends, or even flying solo (nothing beats treating yourself). Hit this awesome spot on Tuesdays for their $6 movie deal.

There are so many new things to go out and experience, why are you spending your time doing the same old thing every weekend? Get out and make some memories with your family and friends this summer, and if you have any more suggestions, comment and let us know!

 


May Activities in Utah County

 

Springtime in Utah is a magical thing to experience, no matter how long you’ve lived here. The flowers are in bloom, the trees become green, the temperature is in its very-rare sweet spot, and the long-awaited sunshine is no longer hidden behind grey clouds. Staying inside on days like the ones we’ve had recently is pointless. Here are a few things you can do to celebrate the perfect month of May!

Now Through – May 31, Woodland Fairies at Gardner Village: Visit the Village with your kids to try to spot these magical fairies. Various events throughout the month will include face painting, fairy parades and fairy house tours. There is also a Fantasy Run on Saturday, May 7.

Now Through – May 7, Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival:

Celebrate the return of spring with over 250,000 tulips in just about every color you can imagine. Garden tours are held daily. Fridays and Saturdays include music, food and vendors. Open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., closed on Sundays.

May 6, May Day on Main:

Visit floral-themed exhibitions at participating Main Street galleries and the eight artist-designed temporary public parks. The evening’s gallery and garden stroll sets the scene for a plethora of creative activities on Main Street.

May 6- May 7: Utah State University Baby Animal Days:

This event takes place at the USU Botanical Center in Kaysville. FREE activities with each ticket include: one FREE horse ride and one FREE miniature train ride. Reptiles, sheep shearing demos, horse rides, miniature train rides, and food vendors. Tickets are $7 per person for ages 3+ or $35 for families of up to six.

May 7, Holi Festival of Colors Salt Lake City:

Festival goers can enjoy interactive dance shows, live DJs and music, food vendors, yoga, crafts and lots of colors at the Krishna temple in Salt Lake City. Tickets cost $5 for general admission, and kids 12 and under are free. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 8-14, Amazing Earthfest in Kanab:

Celebrate the centennial of America’s national parks by connecting with the great outdoors. Various activities include arts and crafts, yoga, documentary films, photography workshop, presentations and guided outdoor adventures.

May 12-16, Great Salt Lake Bird Festival:

Renowned nature artist and writer Julie Zickefoose will be the keynote speaker at this event, and attendees can enjoy field trips to wildlife areas in Utah abundant with hundreds of species of birds. Workshops are free, but tickets are required for field trips. Visit daviscountyutah.gov for daily schedule information.

May 20-through September, Sundance Scenic Lift Ride:

Experience panoramic views of the mountain as you glide to the top of Ray’s Summit on a Scenic Lift Ride. Once you reach the top, take some time to explore the designated hiking trails or just sit, relax, and enjoy the mountain’s serene beauty. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, take Arrowhead lift further up the mountain and enjoy lunch at Bearclaw cabin. Moonlight rides are also available on select dates.

Is there anything that we missed or anything you would add to the list? Make sure to stop by our Facebook or Twitter pages and let us know!


Tips for Summertime Curb Appeal

While we still have plenty of summer left, we’re getting down to the wire when it comes to preparing to sell homes this season. Summer can take a toll on our pocketbooks with vacations, days off of work, and expenses preparing for the upcoming school year. If you’re preparing to sell your home, it can be easy to stress about last-minute fixes and upgrades. Curb appeal may fall to the bottom of the totem pole. This is disheartening because the way your home looks on the outside is a lasting first impression that may make or break the decision to buy.

Don’t stress—we’ve compiled some of our favorite hacks to add instant curb appeal without breaking the bank.

 

1.) Manicure Your Lawn

You more than likely already regularly mow your lawn and trim the hedges, so a little extra TLC can go a long way. Make sure to fertilize all plants in your lawn to make your yard look green and lush. Choose additional plants that fit with the scale of your home and plant a new tree if you feel so inclined.

 

2.) Upgrade Your Seating Area

The more functional your home appears, the better. A seating area can make a home feel cozy and give it an eclectic vibe. Put some new chairs on your porch. Create a new nook with a seating area and garden stool and add some pillows to make the space pop! A little bit of creativity can go a long way here.

 

3.) Paint a small area

A slight rejuvenation in color can really liven up your space. Consider painting your door, shutters, or trim. Paint is generally around $30 a gallon, so you won’t be anywhere close to maxing out your credit card. Choose a color that adds a splash, but still blends in enough with the homes around you.

 

4.) Replace/add exterior lighting

If your lighting fixtures are looking a little worn, it may be advantageous to replace them to give your home an invigorated look. A good #ProTip for saving money is to look for fixtures that have the same mounting system as your current ones. Make sure that your exterior lighting illuminates your entryway in order to enhance safety. Another quick lighting project to consider is adding path lights.

 

5.) Get a New Mailbox

Whether you have a mailbox on the curb or mounted onto your home, a little bit can go a long way when you replace your current fixture. This is a great first impression to capture the attention of guests (and new potential homeowners). Mailboxes also start around $20-30 making it another manageable expense. Make sure you are following all city regulations when installing your new mailboxes!


Enjoy the Rest of Your Summer in Utah County

Is it really mid-July? It seems like just yesterday we were picking rambunctious kids up from their last day of school. This time of year always seems like a mad dash to squeeze in as much summer fun as possible. There is still plenty of time to maximize time with your family in Utah County this summer. Here are some of our favorite activities:

1.) Visit the local pool

Visiting a local pool is low-cost and doesn’t take days of planning to execute. Plus, who doesn’t have fond memories of splashing around in their childhood? You can even dive into a new book while laying out when the kids are romping about. Utah County is home to several pools including:

 

SCERA Pool (Orem)

Provo Rec Center (Provo)

Lindon Aquatic Center (Lindon)

Cowabunga Bay

 

And more. And don’t forget to check out our community’s abundance of splash pads, too!

 

2.) Check out a Owlz Game

Very few things say summer like a baseball game with a hot dog in hand. Orem is home to the Owlz, a great minor league team and the games are abundant. You can check their full schedule here.

 

3.) Go Outside

We know a strenuous hike might not be EVERYONE’S idea of family fun, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors and get a little exercise and enjoyment while you’re at it. One of our favorite activities is tubing down the Provo River. Take a nice walk and enjoy the scenery and then max out during your two hour flat down the river. We also recommend Timpanogos Cave, which is a monument that’s barely been open over a year. Enjoy the underground cave and explore the majesty of minerals, water, and beyond.

 

4.) Attend the Utah County Fair

We think the Utah County Fair is one of the best ways to conclude a summer of fun in the sun before the kids head back to school. Festivities in the past have included pig wrestling, monster trucks, a Miss Utah County Pageant, and animal shows. Mark your calendars for August 16-19th at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds!

 

5.) See a Movie

While it’s natural to want to maximize your time outside, sometimes you want to cool down with a good movie with the AC blasting. Cinemark theaters offer $1 G and PG movies as a part of their Summer Movie Clubhouse. There are also a few weeks to enjoy the SCERA Cinema Series that offers matinee films for kids and teens throughout the summer.


Tips for Buying a Home in the Summer

Lots of folks think that the spring is prime time to buy a home. Sure, it may be the busiest season, but there’s no need to fret if you struck out during the spring or are just now beginning your journey. In fact, some sellers actually wait to put their homes on the market until summer due to curbside appeal, better weather for open houses, and more. There are plenty of reasons to buy this season and we’ve compiled some tips to help you navigate through the market.

 

1.) Check Out Old Listings

Just because the spring is peak season doesn’t mean that every home sells. Take a look at homes that have been on the market for 50+ days and start there, especially if you’re looking to save money. If the seller is in a time crunch or eager to part ways with the home, they may be prone to lowering the price.

 

2.) Get Pre-Approved

If you’re looking at this process as crunch time, you can save time, energy, and multiple rejected bids by getting pre-approved. With the beautiful weather and sellers looking to let go of homes, your bid will have a much better chance of being selected if you are pre-approved for a loan. Everyone will feel comfortable with the process and it’s a win-win situation all-around.

 

3.) Be Strategic at Times You Look

Take advantage of looking at homes when no one else is. The nice weather and cashing out on PTO means that people are preoccupied with vacations, BBQs, family time, and more. The last two weeks of July and first half of August can be prime time to find your dream home when not everyone is out looking.

 

4.) Get to Know the Community

With everyone cooped up inside during the winter months, it can be hard to get a feel for the community. In the summertime, people are bustling about. You have a much better time to chat with potential neighbors, can see neighborhood kids outside playing, and have a clear vantage point of neighborhood maintenance and upkeep. If you have any red flags or deal breakers, you will literally see them in the harsh light of day.

 

5.) Spend Time with Your Agent

A busy spring can mean more people competing for your agent’s time. Agents are less occupied with getting new listing after new listing on the market. Take advantage of this to ask questions, schedule meetings, and see as many homes as possible.

 

Our agents go above and beyond to help find your dream home year-round. If you’re just now beginning your search, give us a call to find the perfect agent and perfect office for your needs. 801-995-4700.