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Family Fun in Los Angeles

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Universal Studios Hollywood
Find a full day of action-packed entertainment all in one place: thrilling Theme Park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and Los Angeles’ best shops, restaurants and cinemas at CityWalk. Universal Studios Hollywood is a unique experience that’s fun for the whole family. Go behind the scenes of a real working movie studio! Visit 13 city blocks on four acres of historic studio lot in the largest set construction project in studio history, built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg himself. Or see what awaits you inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it’s all here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, now open at Universal Studios Hollywood. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade, and sample fare from some of the wizarding world’s best-known establishments. Plus experience pulse-pounding rides and attractions that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement.
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Disneyland
Enter a magical kingdom where you can sail with pirates, explore exotic jungles, meet fairy-tale princesses, dive under the ocean and rocket through the stars! Disneyland Park is a beloved Southern California destination where generations of families have made their Disney dreams come true. Walt Disney’s original Disneyland theme park, which first opened on July 17, 1955, is now divided into 8 extravagantly themed lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Adventureland.
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Santa Monica Pier
You know you’ve arrived in Santa Monica, California when you see the iconic Ferris wheel of the Santa Monica Pier jutting into the inviting waters of the Pacific Ocean. Set at Santa Monica’s westernmost point, the Santa Monica Pier is a staple of this picturesque seaside community. Packed with family-friendly activities, restaurants and shops, it also has stunning views and over a century’s worth of history. Here’s everything you need to know about the Santa Monica Pier, the area’s most recognizable landmark. Constructed in 1909, the storied Santa Monica Pier was the first concrete pier on the West Coast. It quickly gained a reputation among locals as the best fishing spot in Santa Monica. The Looff Hippodrome, now a National Historic Landmark and home to a beautiful carousel, opened in 1916, followed by the iconic carousel in 1939. In 1941, the iconic Santa Monica Yacht Harbor neon sign was unveiled; this is the place for the perfect selfie!
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California Science Center
he California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. The Science Center is open to the public seven days a week, 362 days per year, with free general admission to its permanent exhibit galleries. The facility, which opened in February 1998, spans more than 400,000 sq. feet and includes four major exhibit areas. World of Life probes the commonalities of the living world, from the single-celled bacterium to the 100-trillion-celled human being; Creative World examines the ways people employ technology to meet their needs for transportation, communication and structures; and Ecosystems, a major expansion opened in March of 2010, features an unprecedented blend of nearly 400 species of live plants and animals, and hands-on exhibits in 11 immersive environments. Ecosystems highlights include a 188,000 gallon kelp tank populated with live kelp, fish, and other marine life, a desert flash flood, and a special gallery dedicated to the urban ecology of Los Angeles. The Ecosystems experience empowers explorers with the science knowledge to become better stewards of the environment.
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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Think there’s no wide-open countryside left in Los Angeles? Think again. The Santa Monica Mountains stretch for 80km across the northwestern boundary of the Los Angeles basin. Within the range lie more than 60,000 largely undeveloped hectares of grassy swales, rock-studded hillsides, tree-shaded glens, and windswept beaches. A mosaic of state, local, and federal preserves protects this land, all managed under the umbrella of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the nation’s largest urban national park. One of the few mountain ranges in the United States to run east to west rather than north to south, the Santa Monicas can claim big nature bragging rights. Considered to be a “botanical island” in L.A.’s urban corridor, the slopes that run straight down to the Pacific are covered in chaparral, coastal sage, springtime wildflowers, and oak and sycamore forests. More than 20 species of endangered plants and animals thrive here. This is a place where you might see a bobcat stalk its prey, a coyote lope across the grasslands, or a golden eagle fly overhead.
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Legoland California
Legoland California Resort has more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including the new Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Mini land Model Display with a 16-foot long Finalizer model made completely out of LEGO bricks plus six more scenes! Conquer dragons, battle pirates and discover ancient treasures at the Resort, also home to Legoland Water Park, Sea Life Aquarium; and Surfers’ Cove – a water park expansion featuring racer-water slides.
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SeaWorld San Diego
Spread across 190 acres on beautiful Mission Bay Park, SeaWorld is known for its amazing animals, interactive attractions, aquariums, rides, beautiful landscaping and education programs for all ages. Unforgettable experiences begin immediately at SeaWorld's interactive arrival experience, Explorer's Reef. Guests enter under an iconic wave sculpture and are immediately immersed into an undersea adventure where they can touch a shark, interact with a ray and feel tiny cleaner fish gently nibble at their hands.
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San Diego Zoo
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California, with more than 4,000 rare & fascinating animals. See giant pandas, Komodo dragons, orangutans, koalas, flamingos, polar bears, and more. With animal encounters, interactive experiences, and a lively atmosphere, it's a great place for family fun and gathering friends.
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Balboa Park
Balboa Park, originally called City Park, used to be 1,400 acres of undeveloped land. Landscaping began in 1892, followed by the construction of water systems and roads through 1910. In 1915, San Diego was to be the host of the Panama-California Exposition. Nature lovers have a lot to see in the gardens at Balboa Park in San Diego. The 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden at San Diego Balboa Park features massive cactus and succulent plants. Visitors will even find exotic African and Australian Protea plants at this area within Balboa Park San Diego. The Botanical Building and the lily pond in front of it are some of the most popular areas that are photographed in Balboa Park - and with good reason. There are over 2,100 permanent plants inside the building and a changing collection of cycads, ferns, orchids and palms. The California Native Plant Garden shows visitors thousands of plants that thrive here in their San Diego habitat. Bring your kids to the Balboa Park Carousel. This fun destination is adjacent to the San Diego Zoo and features plenty of hand-carved animals so that your kid has lots of choices. All but two of the hand-carved animals on the Balboa Park San Diego Carousel are original from 1910! While you're on the merry-go-round, you can even play the brass ring game. Balboa Park's Carousel is one of a small number around the world that still have the brass ring game for riders to play. The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad takes families on a fun journey across four acres.
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Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium was founded in 1984 and is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row. It holds thousands of plants and animals, representing more than 600 species on display. Sea life on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, sea horses, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of very few in the world to exhibit both bluefin and yellowfin tuna, and is one of the few aquariums to successfully care for the ocean sunfish in captivity. The centerpiece exhibit in the aquarium is a 1,200,000-U.S.-gallon Open Sea exhibit, which features one of the world's largest single-paned windows. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has attracted more than 47 million visitors and has won awards for its exhibits, architecture, and cultural and educational impacts.
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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a classic seaside amusement park located along a beautiful sandy beach in a friendly beach town. The Boardwalk features more than 40 rides and attractions including two National Historic Landmarks: the world-famous 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster and the beautiful 1911 Looff Carousel, plus many scream-inducing thrill rides, gentle kiddie rides, casual restaurants, gift shops, games, indoor arcades, and miniature golf.
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Roaring Camp Railroads
Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest. In the 1880s, narrow-gauge steam locomotives were used to haul giant redwood logs out of the mountains. Roaring Camp's steam engines date from 1890 and are among the oldest and most authentically preserved narrow-gauge steam engines providing regularly scheduled passenger service in America.
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Mount Hermon Adventures
Mount Hermon Adventures has grown immensely since it began and has become an internationally recognized provider of adventure experiences and team development programs. They now operate the world-famous Redwood Canopy Tours, multiple aerial adventure courses, intentional Team Building programs, and provide Mount Hermon overnight guests with mountain biking, surfing, sea kayaking, target sports, aquatic facilities, paint ball, skate park and more. Guests experience Mt. Hermon's core values of quality, authenticity and inspiration with the final goal of living a transformed life.
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Raging Waters
Whether you are visiting for your first time or your 50th, Raging Waters Los Angeles is the best place to go for endless summer fun! As the largest water park in California, there are tons of rides and slides for the whole family.
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Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Located in Kelley Park in San Jose, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo has been providing affordable family entertainment, education and fun since 1961. The Park is a peaceful, creative and safe place for children of all ages, with the main focus on “little ones” between the ages of 2-10. There are creative play areas, children’s rides, hand puppet and marionette shows, special events, and birthday areas. Learn about wildlife up close during daily meet-and-greets, leap like a lemur on the playground, brush and feed the goats, or take a peek inside Doc’s Critter Care building and the Ranch House. Double-H Ranch features a combination of animal exhibits, including giant anteaters and red ruffed lemurs, as well chickens and domesticated animals that are docile enough to touch.
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Winchester Mystery House
Featured by Good Morning America in 2010, this is the house that Sarah, the troubled Winchester rifle heiress, built. Seeking a way to rid herself of the spirits of those killed by the “Gun that Won the West” Sarah sought the advice of a medium. That consultation resulted in Sarah spending decades, as well as her $20 million inheritance, obsessively building onto the house. But what a house it is and don't miss the gardens and grounds either. Spooky? Yes, but beautiful from the wood work to the stained glass. Flashlight tours on Friday the 13th and during October are a trick and a treat, while the Victorian spirit is alive in special light during the December holiday season.
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California's Great America
Fill your day with roller coasters, live shows, concerts, fireworks, amusement park food favorites and even a water park at the iconic California's Great America. Thrills for every age are ready to rock your world and run you ragged. New rides and attractions are introduced every year and special events like the nightmarish Halloween Haunt are looked forward to by the tens of thousands! Get your walking shoes ready and practice your screaming, there's a lot to cover on this adrenaline rush of an outing!
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Fort Funston Beach
Another San Francisco beach located near an old fort. Fort Funston a rugged beach with crashing surf at the bottom of 200 foot cliffs, just south of Ocean Beach. Very popular with dogs, as well. When the winds are blowing, you'll see hang gliders soaring from the cliff tops.
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San Francisco Cable Cars
Cable cars are a historic symbol recognized around the globe and offer real working transportation up the steep hills of San Francisco. The cable cars begin their runs at 6 a.m. and continue until midnight. From Union Square to the crest of Nob Hill, cable cars offer a thrilling way to move with the City. A ride on San Francisco’s cable cars may be the most iconic and memorable of your entire trip to California. Even people who might dismiss cable cars as a cheesy tourist attraction will admit that there is something incredibly romantic about these rides.
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Pier 39
Pier 39 is located on the San Francisco waterfront near the Fisherman’s Wharf area of the city and is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to California. The pier is home to many great restaurants offering local seafood as well as other cuisines. If shopping is your thing you will find 90+ stores offering everything from souvenirs to sports memorabilia. Pier 39 is also where you can find fun and exciting attractions such as the Aquarium of the Bay and the 7D experience. If you walk to the end of Pier 39 and visit K-Dock you will find the world famous sea lions who have made the pontoons their home. The sealions first appeared after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and began taking over the piers on the Pier 39 marina, much to the annoyance of the marina tenants. After numerous attempts to shoo them away they eventually had to give up and the numbers grew and grew reaching a peak of over 1500 in 2009. Today they have become one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco and have their own area of Pier 39. While there why not pay a visit to the Marine Mammal Center just upstairs from the viewing area where you can learn more about the sea lions and pick up some sea lion related souvenirs.
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Aquatic Park Cove
Aquatic Park Cove has a narrow sandy beach and a grass park at the end of the Hyde Street Cable Car line on the San Francisco Waterfront. The cove is located at the north end of Hyde Street and Van Ness Avenue near Fisherman’s Wharf. Boats are allowed to anchor in the protected harbor in the cove. It is protected by a long curved municipal pier that should not be missed if you have time to walk out on it. The view from the pier includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the San Francisco skyline. Nearby Hyde Street Pier has historic ships to see as well. The Marine Museum sits at the center of Aquatic Park Cove near the beach. Behind that is Ghirardelli Square. Aquatic Park Cove is part of San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, a district within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The large park at Fort Mason is a short walk away up the trail to the west.
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Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is the grand-daddy of San Francisco beaches, stretching out for three miles along the entire western edge of San Francisco. This wide, flat expanse of sand is the best beach for long walks or a run. It's also the most popular, which means lots of people on our warm, sunny days. This is a great surfing beach, and dogs can be off-leash in certain parts.
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Crissy Field East Beach
Just inside the Golden Gate, Crissy Field has a wide, sandy beach with a pretty view of the bridge and Alcatraz. It's a short, 10 minute walk from Fisherman's Wharf. Of the San Francisco beaches, this one's the most popular with windsurfers.
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Baker Beach
Baker Beach is a large popular beach not far from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On sunny weekends both parking lots could be full and all the spaces along the entrance roads too. This popular spot is one of the many beaches in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Just north of the main parking lot is the Battery Chamberlin, a large historic military gun installation that was built in 1904. It is worth checking out especially if you have kids. Be aware as you explore the north end of Baker Beach because North Baker Beach is a clothing-optional area. All of Baker Beach is an unsafe swimming area because of cold water and frequent rip currents in the surf.
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Mile Rock Beach
At the western tip of San Francisco, jutting out into ocean, is Lands End: a nature park of steep cliffs with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. It has a small, rocky beach, called Mile Rock Beach, accessible from the Coastal Trail. Wonderful beach to walk to.
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Arizona Science Center
Arizona Science Center provides exploration, education and entertainment for all ages. Nestled in the picturesque setting of Heritage and Science Park, the Science Center is a unique landmark designed by renowned architect Antoine Predock. The combination of ramps, hallways, galleries and terraces in this 140,000-square-foot building creates an intriguing environment of investigation and discovery. The Center contains four levels of exciting “hands-on” exhibits, a state-of-the-art planetarium, and a 5-story high giant-screen theater. The exhibits and galleries are designed to educate and entertain kids of all ages – from pre-K to gray! Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Science Center is within walking distance to nearby attractions such as Heritage Square, Phoenix Convention Center, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Chase Field, the Arizona Center and more. The Center is located at 7th and Washington Street and is accessible from Interstates 10 and 17, as well as the Metro Valley Light Rail.
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Chandler Fashion Center
Enjoy the Chandler Fashion Center Shopping & Dining Experience! Chandler Fashion Center is a vibrant and family-friendly shopping destination. Comprised of more than 180 shops and restaurants, this indoor/outdoor mall is anchored by Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears. Chandler Fashion Center boasts a plethora of upscale shopping favourites including the Apple Store, Coach, Michael Kors, Sephora, LEGO, Microsoft and H & M to name a few. Plan your day and enjoy an extensive selection of restaurants and eateries including The Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, the Old Spaghetti Factory and more in addition to a dynamic food court. Additional amenities include a 20 screen Harkins theater, community room, valet parking, tour group services and the new outdoor lawn, a great outdoor event space featuring a splash pad by day and a dynamic mixture of water and light by night.
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Foothills Mall
Foothills Mall billed as a “fun place to save money” thanks to a collection of designer outlets as well as a mix of over 80 retail stores, seven restaurants, and a cineplex with 15 screens.
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Tracy Aviary
Under the towering trees of centrally located Liberty Park you might hear the surprising sounds of hoots, shrieks, caws, and cries. There’s no reason to be alarmed, that’s simply the resident flock of birds that dwell within the Tracy Aviary. For almost 80 years, the aviary has delighted passionate bird nerds and those ignorant about avian life alike. You don’t have to be a bird watcher to enjoy the attractions of the Aviary, so pick a day and set off on an adventure to meet Salt Lake’s feathered friends. Tracy Aviary is open 363 days a year and features over 400 birds from 135 species ranging from exotic to backyard bird varieties. A variety of programs for members and the general public are also offered. From the Pelican Encounter, to Bird Walks, to the incredible Bird Show, there’s always something interesting to see at the Aviary. Want to witness an Apolomado Falcon in full flight? Feel the need to watch a silly Roseate Spoonbill strut his stuff? All this and much more wide eyed wonder can be found at the daily bird shows; check the website for a current schedule, as this is sure to be a highlight of any visit to the park.
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The Leonardo Museum
The Leonardo is a non-profit community-powered museum which opened in 2011. The museum combines science, technology, and art in experiences that inspire creativity and innovation in visitors. By adding several hands-on experiences to the traditional museum experience, they believe are forging a new way forward in the museum industry. Once home to the Salt Lake City Public Library, The Leonardo’s downtown location has served the people of the Wasatch Front for nearly 50 years. As a result, The Leonardo is tremendously proud to carry on the legacy of community learning and invites you to become a part of this unique community powered museum experience.
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The Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake and its islands provide outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities in northern Utah. Sunsets over the lake can be breathtaking. Amazing red, orange, lavender and magenta hues slowly dissolve in the evening sky. The lake's turquoise waters attract sailors, its white sand beaches are popular with swimmers and sunbathers, and craggy outcroppings on Antelope Island and some shoreline areas draw hikers and mountain bikers. The Great Salt Lake is one of the most asked-about tourist destinations in Utah. A remnant of the massive ancient Lake Bonneville, the lake is now landlocked and its waters are salty. It is the largest lake between the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean, and is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. Legends abound about the lake. Early explorers thought the lake was an inland extension of the Pacific Ocean, or that a river connected the lake to the ocean. Some Indians and early settlers thought the lake was inhabited by a terrible monster with an enormous head. The lake and its legends are an intriguing part of Utah's landscape and history.
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Skiing at Park City
Winter mountain skiing is always a pleaser with its perfect combo of groomers and powder. Also Park City has more biking and hiking trails in the summer than any outdoorist can handle. Park City is a unique combination of easy access and remote appeal. At times you feel like you're hundreds of miles from the civilized world yet you're just 35 easy miles from the Salt Lake International Airport
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ABQ BioPark
Located along the Rio Grande River near downtown Albuquerque, the ABQ BioPark consists of: The ABQ BioPark Zoo, Botanic Garden, Aquarium and Tingley Beach. Welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors per year, we are the top tourist destination in the state of New Mexico. ABQ BioPark Zoo established in 1927 is home to more than 900 animals from around the world. Many of these animals have been part of successful conservation plans and captive breeding programs. Botanic Garden opened in 1996, and has grown to 32 acres of exhibits, and showcases plants from the American Southwest and around the world. The Botanic Garden’s BUGarium is one of the most elaborate exhibits dedicated to bugs and arthropods in the country. Since its opening in 1996 alongside the Botanic Garden, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium has showcased a kaleidoscope of colorful fish native to a variety of ecosystems found throughout the United States. The popular Shark Reef Café offers spectacular views into the 285,000-gallon oceanic tank, providing an unforgettable dining experience. Tingley Beach is the gateway to the Bosque. Three fishing ponds and a model boat pond offer a respite from the city. A mile-long walking trail loops around the ponds, and the nearby bike path provides access to the Rio Grande. Pedal boat rentals are available during the summer.
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Hinkle Family Fun Center
ABQ's Premier Family Fun Destination featuring a 1/8 mile Go Cart Track, All new Immersive Virtual Reality, Wet & Wild Bumper Boats, two scenic 18 hole Miniature Golf Courses, two state of the art Game Rooms and Prize Centers with 150 redemptions, merchandise and arcade games, Blacklight Laser Tag Arena, Hinkle Family Fun Center Paintball, Rock Climbing Wall, Battletech, Bumper Cars, Bungee Jump Trampoline, Lazer Frenzy, Light Space and two Snack Bars! Fun for all ages! Group Discounts! Birthday Parties! Corporate Events! Open 363 Days a Year! Rain or shine or anytime!
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Hollywick Farms LLC
Visit a working alpaca farm. Meet its herd and discover the soft, luxurious fiber of these magical animals. Get up close and personal and perhaps you'll get a soft, sweet alpaca kiss! See how alpaca fiber is used to produce roving, yarn, woven scarves, wraps, felted hats and fashion accessories. Located at almost 7000 feet in the mountains east of Albuquerque just off the Turquoise Trail, just a short drive from Sandia Crest and the historic mining towns of Golden and Madrid.
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Wildlife West Nature Park
Wildlife West Nature Park is a 122-acre wildlife refuge & an enhanced rescued wildlife zoo featuring over 20 species of native New Mexican animals. The zoo features cougars, wolves, bear, elk, deer, javelina, fox, raptors & more.
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Adventure Zone
At Adventure Zone, kids and parents love the food, fun and activities. Game Zone offers cutting edge virtual reality, full motion simulator games, a western theme 8 player shooting gallery and the best redemption games and prizes in town. Speed Zone with over 800 feet of twists and turns spread out on over one acre, making it El Paso’s premier go-kart destination. Bumper Zone is set in 100,000 gallons of water with a small tropical island.