We're approaching the dog days of summer, so here are a few ideas to keep you busy:
Lagoon: They've added a German beer garden. Sure, you have to actually sit in the biergarten to drink it, but hey, at least there's beer to be found once again at the amusement park. A frothy mug was served at the Gaslight Restaurant there until the 1990s when the restaurant closed. If you camp overnight at the Lagoon campground, you can buy a cold one at the little store located within earshot of the roller coaster, and your group could always BYOB it to the park's pavilions (with advance permission). During the 1800s, the Lagoon area was a swimming pond with a local dance hall and saloon and reportedly sold bootleg booze. Now it appears the amusement park is finally adulting.
Dog-friendly hiking trails: Millcreek and City Creek Canyon are the only two canyons in the Salt Lake City area that allow dogs. Big Cottonwood doesn't allow Fido off-leash but you can let your canine friends swim in Blood and Lackawaxen lakes off Guardsman Pass. If you and Spot want to get some walking and hiking in, check out the Mount Olympus Trail, Killyon Canyon at the top of Emigration Canyon, Dimple Dell Nature Park, Neff's Canyon and Tanner Park.
Rio Tinto Visitors Center: Six years ago, the visitors center at the top of one of the world's largest open pit copper mines (that giant scar on the mountain in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley) started to slide into the pit. Now, the renamed Visitor Experience at the Bingham Canyon Mine is again open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct 31. Check out kennecott.com to get a reservation, then drive up to the mine and park in designated lots to hop on a shuttle that runs every 30 minutes. There is a $5 fee.
Pioneer Memorial Museum: If it's hot, head inside. What I like to call "the hair museum" is located just west of the state capitol building at the top of Main Street. Victorians made jewelry out of human hair and I personally think the little museum smells a bit like old hair. It's got some of the oddest and most unusual collections you'll find, from original items of those migrating Mormon pioneers to a collection of rattlesnake rattles, bottles of teeth and Mormon money/currency. It's free and open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
State capitol: If you head to the Pioneer Museum, go to the Capitol building, too. There are guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and Wednesdays at 6 or 7 p.m. with reservations. You can also do a self-guided tour by picking up a brochure on the first floor at the east door. Free, of course ... your tax dollars at work!