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Tonight my husband and I took our kiddos, ages 1 and 3 to Illuminate at The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake. Illuminate is a light art and technology festival, the first of its kind here in Utah and I have to say I hope it’s around for many years to come. It’s a festival that appeals to both young and old and helps you really appreciate the city in a whole different light.

My kiddos couldn’t get enough of the 30+ amazing light art displays at various indoor and outdoor locations around The Gateway and they loved the crafts and learning experiences provided by Discovery Gateway and Clark Planetarium.

My boys especially loved the giant lite bright board at Discovery Gateway, the brightly colored wooden dinosaur display and the kid’s and youth short films festival (Tumbleweeds Lite) presented hourly by the Utah Film Center.

In addition to the kid activities there are also free dance and music performances to enjoy and lots of yummy food trucks (one was even giving away free donuts)! The festival has also launched an augmented reality app for your smartphone that you can download to enhance your experience.

This app places the first virtual public art pieces around downtown Salt Lake (there are 15 total). The app also includes an augmented reality experience with the art displays featured at the festival. In addition, users can find holographic robots hidden around the city, can unlock games, and check out the leader boards of others who have registered experiences at the festival.

Plus, if you manage to unlock all the virtual art pieces throughout the festival you’ll receive a prize! This is something I think older kiddos would definitely love! My husband was pretty excited about it as well but we had a hard time finding the app. One tip, we weren’t able to locate the app on Google Play while at the festival because we were searching for “illuminate ar” search for “illuminatear” and you’ll find it right away.

Festival admission is free and your kids will absolutely love everything the festival has in store for them.

This event is one you don’t want to miss so be sure to stop by The Gateway on November 11th between 5 and 10pm to check out the second and last day of this amazing and innovative, family-friendly festival.

November 10th & 11th from 5-10pm
Entrance Fee(s)
Admission to the festival is free. Food trucks and admission to the After Glo party on November 11th from 8pm-3am cost money.
Helpful Tips

Dress warm and park in the parking garage near Discovery Gateway (100 South Rio Grande) if you’re attending the festival with kids, that will put you in the perfect spot for easily checking out all of the kid friendly activities.


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