Art and Chill: Make it Interesting with Military Memorials


Hailey Danielson

(Photo by: Haley Danielson || The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Adelina Whitten


Autumn brings beautifully colored leaves and countless festivities. Little did you know, there’s more than just corn mazes and pumpkin decorating. In fact, notable experiences wait around every corner. Relationships can turn into a routine of cheap dining with a general lack of variation, but autumn is the season of opportunity, so let’s turn our typically boring dates into a delta of knowledge and experience.

Memorials and museums are aplenty in the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding areas. These attractions are affordable and will add a spark to any rendezvous. Sure, museums and memorials aren’t the most romantic, but it’s important to acknowledge our military and veterans. Plus, you can snag a warm cup of coffee or a bite to eat afterwards and they are often a beautiful way to start interesting conversations.

(Photo by: Hailey Danielson || The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Fort Douglas

The Fort Douglas Military Museum is a perfect date night destination. The establishment officially opened in 1976 and is located on the University of Utah campus. The museum’s goal is to inform the public of Utah’s military heritage through preservation, education and honor. There are tours, special events and even a gift shop where you can grab a unique trinket for your partner. If you ask around, there are cemetery tours and even rumors of an actual ghost on campus.

The Fort Douglas Museum is near Olympic Bridge and is easily accessible by car or TRAX.

(Photo by: Hailey Danielson || The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Outdoor Tributes

Museums might not be your cup of tea, which is fine. Luckily, there are other military-related places to go with your companion. Take parks, for example. The grassy areas provide great, intimate moments with your special someone. Additionally, you can take a turn about the lawn and receive a little bit of exercise. Most importantly, there are romantic parks which also incorporate our beloved military and our brave veterans.


Memory Grove Park

Park amenities often include grassy lawns, sidewalks and party pavilions, but lack much else. Memory Grove Park includes an additional characteristic which is ideal for your military-themed date. This park features several memorials to Utah’s war veterans as well as a Liberty Bell replica. With a warm cup of coffee, a walk through these memorials makes an adorable time out with your sweetheart.

Dress for the weather because there are various hiking opportunities. Memory Grove Trail is an easy, yet worthwhile hike from the park. Bring some water, wear warm clothes and enjoy a moment in the fresh Salt Lake air.

Memory Grove Park is located at 300 North Canyon Road in SLC. There’s limited parking, but this park is only a 16-minute walk from City Creek Shopping Center.

Layton Commons Park

Layton might be farther away than many U students’ social circles, but this city contains important history. In July 2018, Layton Commons erected a version of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial located in Washington D.C. The wall contains more than 58,000 names of Americans who died in the war. The replica spans 360 feet and is free to the public. It is a meaningful dedication to those who gave their lives in Vietnam, including the thousands of veterans here in Utah.

After you visit the memorial, take a turn about the entire park. Several other opportunities mark this place as a picture-perfect date destination. For starters, it is known as “Duck Park” by nearby residents. There are large amounts of water birds who reside here, specifically ducks and geese. It’s exhilarating to walk through a gang of them and escape rebuttal pinches. Besides the birds, there’s also the Heritage Museum which is fun to walk through. This building houses cultural heritage objects from Layton’s history and is free to the public.

We must take Christmas into account when we’re shopping for a picture-book date idea. Holiday spirit is alive and well at Layton Commons in “The Lights Before Christmas.” The drive-through light display flaunts bright colors and recognizable winter shapes. This feature empowers a little one-on-one time with your significant other, and there’s time to plan since these don’t open until the end of November.

Layton Commons is across the street from Layton High School and has ample street parking.

(Photo by: Hailey Danielson || The Daily Utah Chronicle)

It’s hard to brainstorm authentic date ideas when you’re stuck in a rut. Sometimes the unfamiliar can bring you greater joy than an ordinary day-to-day routine. Make a change and honor our military in the process. You never know, you might give your darling exactly what they were hoping for.

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