Saturday, August 8, 2009

Utah Site: Creepy cool Gilgal Gardens

Ok, so I am home alone with the boys. Brodi ditched us for some writing thingamajiggy so the boys and I are just out partying. We have been jumping on the tramp, biking, swimming, etc..

Back in high school, I heard about a 'creepy' park downtown. I decided to take my kids today and experience another Utah site. Gilgal Gardens. It is located on 5th East and around 730 East, right behind the Wonderbread store downtown. It was the idea of a man named Thomas Child who ended up spending his money and his days finding stone and working on his sculptures for the gardens. It was his way of leaving his beliefs of the mormon church and christianity in a way through art (even if some of it is pretty strange and different art) Though he died over 40 years ago, the gardens is still going strong thanks to donations and volunteer efforts.

The Sphinx is the most well known of his sculptures. He used a sphinx as a symbol of riddles and mystery with Joseph Smith's (mormon prophet) head symbolizing the answer to many religious questions.

This is my favorite sculpture and it is of Thomas Child and it shows his love of masonry and religion, mixing them both together. It is a tall structure. Child is said to be especially pleased with the great look of his coat that 'he' is wearing in the sculpture. I love the colors to it and it is one of the more normal sculptures in the gardens.

Here are various other sculptures which represent different things to him (ranging from the Priesthood to characters in the bible like Job and Daniel). All the sculptures are 40+ years old. Let me tell you...these are all some pretty cool things, but late at night when I would go with my friends, it was rather creepy. I don't know what appears to be a bunch of body parts strewn across a hillside (like the pic on the right), but at night, sheesh.

The gardens are filled with flat walking stones with carvings throughout. Probably 75+ of these stones have scriptures, quotations, etc. carved into the rocks for people to read. After many decades, some of them are fading, but plans are to restore it to its past glory. The gardens are very pretty and well maintained.

If you have a chance, it is an interesting and rather entertaining 30-45 minutes.

Once again, if anyone has any ideas of other things to see in the SL Valley (besides DI), let me know as we are ready to do some exploring.


Kim said...

Have you tried Wheeler Park? I think they let your kids milk cows and stuff like that. Also, the Red Butte gardens are nice, but not free.

samandbrodi said...

Kim--the kids have been to Wheeler Park with their grandparents...but I haven't been forever, so I may have to give it a try.

I grew up near Red Butte Gardens but I haven't been in years and the boys have never been, great idea. I may have to take the boys in the next month or two. Thanks.

Aunt Sissy (Alissa) said...

Sam, I think "Kim" meant in her comment, "Have you tried the more traditional, fun, "appropriate" (there I said it) things to do with your kids? Gilgal gardens? Are you serious? You only go to Gilgal gardens as part of a dare, or after a stomp to kiss or somethin'. You DON'T take your 5 and 3 year old there as if it is some equivalent of the Children's museum. Do I need to come and pick up your kids? (and protect them?) The last comment was mumbled under my breath.

nielsons*love*family said...

hey now! the D.I. is fun Sam! if you go right at opening time, it is kinda like Black Friday (you know that crazy shopping day, the day after Thanksgiving?). People, huge crowds, of humanity waiting anxiously for the doors to open.
AND once you're inside, you can let your kids loose for hours. They can try on fashion from the
70's (retro-for them, when i grew up-for me!), they can play with toys, look for treasures, etc. And if you're REALLY feeling generous, you can tell them you will give them each 50 cents to spend on "one treasure!"
LOL...could be fun??

samandbrodi said...

Alissa--totally appropriate! c'mon, you know how cool it is. I am exposing them to the real crazy world.

Dorien--wow, that does sound like a lot of fun.

jamkmb said...

Dude, Gilgal gardens is way more fun at like 12:30am on the night of a full moon with 3 or 4 cheerleaders in tow.