One day over Spring Break, my sister, Jennifer, and I went to This is the Place in Salt Lake City. This is apparently where Brigham Young said, "This is the place" when deciding to settle in the Salt Lake valley with the pioneers that came west with him. There are several monuments and statues to explain the history. The neatest thing though is that the park is set up as a village that the pioneers would have built and lived in. There are also plenty of actors in each building dressed in period attire who explain the way their lives are in the village and what they do. It reminds me a lot of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia (on a smaller scale) if you have ever been there.
You basically just walk around the village and go into each of the buildings. Inside each building, is an actor who will tell you about his/her specific trade and show you how things were done back in the day. One woman showed us how to spin string from cotton and we watched a blacksmith turn a piece of iron into a beautiful decorative leaf. He actually gave the leaf to Jennifer to keep (and maybe I was a little jealous). Of course we had to stop by the schoolhouse as well. It was pretty cool because there was a group of young students there on a field trip and the teacher actor was teaching them a lesson. It was funny to see all the students actually paying attention to her. The best part is that when she was done with the lesson, they were all expected to stand and in unison thank her for the lesson. Oh, if only things were still that way.
Currently, the park is also featuring baby animal season. Jennifer and I got to see and hold lots of baby animals in the barn. Let's be honest though, we were completely terrified to pick them up. It would seriously take us about five minutes to work up the nerve to pick one of the animals up. We were fine once we had them in our hands, but reaching for them was quite scary. (We both have a serious and irrational fear of animlas.)
There is also a fun gift shop with a lot of old fashioned goodies you can by as well as an art gallery. I got the most delicious hot cinnamon sucker there that I have ever had in my life! I need to stock up when I go back. The only bad part of our trip was the weather. First it was just cold, then it rained for a few hours, and then it snowed. Kind of hard to enjoy a park where you have to walk around a lot in those conditions. Also, because we didn't go in their summer season, not everything was open. There are also fun trains that can take you around the park, but we didn't go on them because we didn't want to get even more soaked. I definitely want to go back on a beautiful summer day to explore the park more fully!