Liberty Park (southeast of downtown and bordered by 900 and 1300 South and by 500 and 700 East) is the jewel of Salt Lake City’s public park system and contains abundant recreational facilities in addition to an excellent aviary, an arts center, and 80 acres of grass and shady boulevards. A fun addition to the park is a conceptual “map” of northern Utah that re-creates the rivers, lakes, and mountains as a series of fountains and wading pools.
The Children’s Garden—a playground, amusement park, snack bar, and large pond with rental boats (all closed in winter)—sits in the southeast corner of the park. The tennis center on the western side of the park offers 16 lighted courts and instruction; an outdoor swimming pool adjacent to the tennis center is open in summer.
Birds have taken over the southwest corner of Liberty Park. Tracy Aviary (589 East 1300 South, 801/596-8500, www.tracyaviary.org, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, $5 adults, $4 students and seniors, $3 children 4-12) houses more than 400 individual birds of 135 species and offers shows with trained free-flying birds such as falcons.
Birds on display include majestic golden and bald eagles, showy flamingos and peacocks, the hyacinthine macaw (the world’s largest parrot), the golden pheasant of China, and hundreds of other feathered friends. Emus from Australia prance across fields while ducks, geese, swans, and other waterfowl keep to the ponds. You’ll also get to meet Utah’s only native vulture, the turkey vulture.
Bird shows can change from year to year, so call or check the website to verify what’s happening (shows in summer Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m., 1, and 3 p.m., Sun. and holidays 1 and 3 p.m.).
Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art
The Chase Mill, just north of the aviary entrance, was built by Isaac Chase in 1852 and is one of the oldest buildings in the valley. Free flour from the mill saved many families during the famine of 1856–1857. The mill is open periodically for special events. Formal gardens lie north of the mill.
Chase’s adobe brick house (built 1853–1854), farther to the north, has been restored. Go inside to see exhibits of the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art (801/533-5760, noon–5 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 2–7 p.m. Fri.–Sun. Memorial Day–Labor Day; noon–5 p.m. weekends only mid-Apr.–Memorial Day and Labor Day–mid-Oct., free) sponsored by the Utah Arts Council. On display is contemporary Utah folk art, including quilts, rugs, woodcarvings, ethnic arts, and Native American works.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition