Family Outings: Lagoon means summer fun

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Lagoon Amusement Park • Many Utah families don't consider summer complete without a visit to this venerable Farmington theme park. And those who don't have the time or money to make it to Southern California for a Disneyland, California Adventure, Universal Studios or Knotts Berry Farm adventure usually find Lagoon to be a nice alternative.

The family-owned park, founded in 1886 and on the same site since 1893, mixes history with thrill rides that include eight roller coasters. Pioneer Village shows off collections of guns, carriages and a number of original Utah buildings in a quiet end of the park. Combine that with the 1906 carousel, the wooden roller coaster built in 1921 and historic picnic pavilions where visitors can still bring in their own food, and you have a great place for a summer break.

First runner-up

Tracy Aviary • In Liberty Park since 1938, the aviary has undergone major renovations in recent years. Its smaller size makes it ideal for children and it usually has a relaxed, quiet atmosphere with plenty of shade.

Second runner-up

Utah dinosaur destinations • Families can choose to visit Dinosaur National Monument in the Vernal area, the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, the Johnson Farm in Washington, Thanksgiving Point's Museum of Ancient Life, the Natural History Museum of Utah, the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum in Price, the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in Emery County, the Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden or the Museum of the San Rafael in Price to learn about their favorite prehistoric creatures.