Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Las Vegas for Families, Kids and Teens

My family moved to Las Vegas last month, and I seriously had no idea what to do or how to keep my kids entertained.  So, I set out on a quest to find all of the fun things for families to do here in Las Vegas. Sure, it's "Sin City,"  but there are so many things to do without corrupting the soul a bit!!

FREE Attractions on the Strip
Ok, so here's some advice about the Strip... We took our children on a walk down the strip, and realized it's NOT A GOOD IDEA! {Yeah, I know, DUH!}
Our 5 year old asked, "Mom, why do so many people follow Satan here?"
Um, he didn't "get" what was going on but could see that it we were in "Sin City."
The thing to do here is drive right to the section of the strip you are planning to visit. Or take the monorail.
You will have to walk through hotel lobbies, and you'll  see some gambling and smoking. I don't think it's such a bad thing for kids to see a little bit of that. It provides a good opportunity to talk about the choices your family makes. Maybe you agree with it, maybe you don't, but it can lead to a good conversation with your children.

Photo Credit
 The fountains at the Bellagio hotel are seriously breathtaking!!! {And Free to watch!!}
Also, inside the hotel is a gorgeous atrium, and the biggest chocolate fountain in the world! 

A great family activity on the strip: go to the Bellagio and watch the outside water show, visit the atrium inside, look at the world's largest chocolate fountain. Then eat some of the delicious crepes sold right by the chocolate fountain. Everything's free {besides the crepes}!
Then head across the street to the....

There are gorgeous koi, swans, ducks, parrots, flamingos, and more in the Wild Life Habitat at the Flamingo. Very fun, and worth the visit! Make sure to read the displays about the different animals. I was totally fascinated! {Free!!)
Also, just inside the hotel is a kiosk with real oysters and REAL pearls. I was again, fascinated! The oysters with the pearls are for sale.

3785 S. Las Vegas Blvd. LV, NV 89109

Watch a short, fun movie, and shop for chocolate!

Begins at 7:00 at night and runs every hour on the hour until 11:00. The fire is choreographed to music. It looks so real that my 5 year old was really scared yet so intrigued that he couldn't leave.

"Take a break from shopping and get a taste of festive entertainment, both free and open to the public. From opera singers and entertainers like stilt walkers, dancers and "living statues," Streetmosphere whisks you to the heart of Italy. "
Shows at various times throughout the day- check the web site.
Another great family activity on the strip: Watch the Venetian Streetmosphere, eat a gelato which are served in the shop, and watch the gondolas (or ride them... see below).

Family Friendly
 Attractions On the Strip that Cost

Adults $18    Kids $12
This is one of the best places in Las Vegas to take kids! There are over 2,000 animals and 1.6 million gallons of water.  Amazing!


One of the most famous places for kids in Las Vegas, and I sure hope to go soon!

Ticket prices and times vary. Click HERE to find out times of shows and buy tickets.

$14 for 1 ticket, $7 for the second ride, or $25 for an all day pass.

Check it out...If you dare!!

This is expensive {at least it sure is for me} $59.00 per person, and no discount for children. However, it sounds really fun, and a favorite experience for kids:
"Tournament of Kings is a dinner show with live actors on horseback galloping through the stadium as patrons enjoy their meal. The show has a medieval theme and so does the meal as utensils are not allowed in the arena and guests must eat with their hands just as you would’ve done during medieval times."

General Admission $32
"Featuring more than 300 artifacts, as well as breathtaking replicas from the famous ship, the Titanic exhibit truly brings history to life."

General Admission $32
"Don’t let the images scare you! Bodies: The Exhibition is one of the coolest attractions on the Las Vegas Strip. Located inside The Luxor hotel, this exhibit is one of the most popular ones in the world.  Bodies: The Exhibition features 13 whole body specimens and 260 organs preserved by a special polymer preservation technique. You will get to see the marvels of the human body up close and personal in a variety of activities, from throwing a disc to riding a horse."

Located in the Paris hotel, this is something my daughter MUST do! For Paris lovers, why not give it a try?

 If you've ever been to Italy, you'll want to see this! The rides are a bit expensive ($18.95 each). Either splurge and take a ride, or just buy a gelato and watch!

In the famous Adventure Dome in the Circus Circus hotel, there are a whole bunch of rides such as:
the canyon blaster, chaos, the inverter, sling shot, and many more. There are arcade games, a real circus act, and just a whole lot of literal chaos. If that's your thing, you'll have a blast. If it's not your thing, at least your kids will have fun (yep that's me).

Free Attractions off the Strip

My kids had a blast watching the "REAL" mermaids! The mermaid interacted with them, and did all sorts of awesome tricks. The fish are beautiful, and mesmerizing to watch also. Fun and free!

2 Cactus Garden Drive  Henderson, NV  89014

A fun place to learn and taste! Free samples!

  Waterfalls, strolling, light show, western pioneer sunset stampede... and free.
This is on my list to check out!

Awesome Outdoor Activities

35 Miles Northwest of the Las Vegas Strip   Mount Charleston, Nevada

This is part of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. It is incredible!!! A place to escape the heat and the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. It's a sanctuary and oasis. Hiking, picnicking, camping, and snow activities in the winter... just a great place.

A visitor will pass seven different vegetation zones as they go up the mountain. "These diverse life zones support a wide variety of plants and wildlife including 26 species that are not found anywhere else in the world. The highest zone is dominated by Bristlecone Pine, possibly the world's oldest living organism.

The Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) consider the Spring Mountains their creation place. They treat this area with great respect and ask everyone to respect this fragile and beautiful environment.

***My family loves to go have picnics on the trails, and drive up to the lodge for dessert!
Click HERE for all the things there are to do at Mt. Charleston.

West of Las Vegas

Hiking, beautiful conservation area, wildlife, visitor's center which promotes appreciation of natural and cultural history.

9200 Tule Springs Rd.  Las Vegas, Nevada  89131

$6 Per Car
This is a beautiful oasis in the desert! There are 4 lakes with fish, and many kinds of water fowl. Peacocks are everywhere. Bring a blanket, a picnic, some games, music, balls, and enjoy.  There's also some hidden secret history to discover... :)

8103 Racel Street  Las Vegas, NV 89131

One of the biggest secrets in Las Vegas! So super fun, very inexpensive, and never busy. 
SOOOOO worth going! 
A mini horse bit my husband's behind while we were there, and my kids are still laughing about it!

7222 W Grand Teton Dr  Las Vegas, NV 89131
Admission $1 (and donations accepted)
A reviewer said, "I think this place is absolutely adorable.  It makes me feel like I'm visiting a cute little town in farm county.  But, nope- it's in Las Vegas, Sin City."

Gilcrease Orchard
7800 N. Tenaya Way Las Vegas, NV 89131

"Fresh food and fresh air is the experience at the Gilcrease Orchard.  Sixty acres of  agricultural land in the Las Vegas Valley offer a diverse choice of fruits and vegetables that you can select and pick yourself."
Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 7 AM til Noon.

 601 National Highway Boulder City, NV 
30 miles out of Las Vegas

"Lake Mead NRA offers year-round recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, photography, picnicking and sightseeing. It is also home to thousands of desert plants and animals, adapted to survive where rain is scarce and temperatures can soar."

Great City Parks and Splash Pads

2600 Nature Park Drive  North Las Vegas, NV 89084

 Dinosaurs, sand, huge playground, splash pad, ducks, geese, and our family's favorite turtles are all here. Fun and free! Seriously, there are tons of turtles... it's awesome!

Centennial Hills Park (AKA the Butterfly Park)
 Buffalo Drive and Elkhorn Road Las Vegas, NV 89131

So much to do... 2 splash pads, Amphitheater, sand volley ball courts, playgrounds, picnic area, and more!

9275 S Buffalo Dr Las Vegas,  NV 89178

This park is highly rated, and has an adorable wooden playground, green grass, volley ball courts, and more!

Free or Inexpensive Historical Museums 

1830 S. Boulder Hwy  Henderson, Nevada 89002
Adults $2 Children $1

"The Clark County Museum... is a 30-acre site that features a modern exhibit hall with a timeline exhibit about southern Nevada from pre-historic to modern times and a collection of restored historic buildings that depict daily life from different decades in Las Vegas, Boulder City, Henderson and Goldfield."

McCarran International Airport
5757 Wayne Newton Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89119
Free and Very Cool!
"Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum is located in McCarran International Airport. Visitors can observe the history of commercial and general aviation in southern Nevada, from the first flight in 1920 through the introduction of jets.
  Aviation buffs can park south of the airport on Sunset Road and tune their FM radios to 88.5 to follow the conversations between the pilots and flight controllers during take-offs and landings."

200 Michael Wendell Way  Searchlight, Nevada 89046

Admission is free
"Focus is on the fascinating of the community of Searchlight, NV.  Founded in 1898, the community was originally a mining town."

721 South Moapa Valley Blvd.  Overton, Nevada 89040

Adults $5  Youth under 18 free
"The Lost City Museum was built of sun dried adobe by the National Park Service to hold the artifacts excavated from the Pueblo Grande de Nevada site.  Operated and maintained by the state of Nevada, they are still conducting archaeological research on the remaining Anasazi Indian sites.  Artifacts and exhibits tell the story of a people who lived in southern Nevada long long ago."

Historical Museums that Cost

755 E. Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89119

Adults $14  Youth $11  Under 7 Free
"The National Atomic Testing Museum is a repository for one of the most comprehensive collections of nuclear history. As part of its mission, the National Atomic Testing Museum seeks to collect and preserve a wide variety of materials and artifacts relating to atomic testing, the Nevada Test Site, the Cold War, and nuclear and radiological science and technology.s and data.

The National Atomic Testing Museum’s collection is fast growing and soon will include even more Cold War artifacts including those of the men who worked at Area 51."

900 Las Vegas Blvd N.  Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

Adults $10 Children $5
"Devoted to educating the public about the natural sciences both past and present.  Exhibits include prehistoric life, wildlife, African galleries, a wild Nevada gallery and much more."

770 Las Vegas Blvd N.  Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

Adults $18 Children $12
"Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic and cultural enrichment."

The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement
Downtown Las Vegas

Adults $18 Children $12
"Take and in-depth look at Las Vegas as the ultimate "open city" that became a haven and playground for American organized crime in the 1950s and how it evolved into the gaming and tourist destination of today."

Mobsters and Mormons began this city :)

600 Yucca Street  Boulder City, NV 89005

"To experience an authentic train ride, take a trip to Boulder City, located only 30 minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip. This is the original train track used to bring supplies to the Hoover Dam. Today, guests can ride the train and listen to history about Boulder City, the city responsible for building the dam."

30 Miles SE of Las Vegas

Adults $11  Children $9 

" The Bureau of Reclamation has conducted tours through the Hoover Dam and powerplant since 1937. Today, close to 1,000,000 visitors a year take the tour and millions more drive across the dam."

45 Minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip

Mine tours and canoe/kayak trips. Make reservations first. Info HERE.
"The oldest, richest, and most famous gold mine in southern Nevada... Where steamboats docked and stamp mills operated over 100 years ago." Explore the Ghost town here too!!!

State Parks In or Near Las Vegas

500 E. Washington Ave.  Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

$1 for adults  children free
The first permanent non-native settlers in the Las Vegas valley were a group of Mormon missionaries who built an adobe fort along the  Las Vegas Creek in 1855. The fort was called Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort.  It was the first permanent structure erected in the valley!! Now, the oldest standing structure!

55 Miles Northeast of Las Vegas

Nevada's oldest and largest state park. Name is derived from red sandstone formations formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs.

15 Miles West of Las Vegas in Blue Diamond, Las Vegas

"This 520 acre oasis was developed into a combination working ranch and luxurious retreat by a string of owners who have given the area a long and colorful history. Located in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area." There are living history programs and a super summer theater.

Tons of Fun

360 Promenade Place  Las Vegas, NV 89106

"Think about a kid in a candy store. Now imagine that the candy store is actually a three-story museum full of interactive exhibits promoting science, art and culture -- and your child's reaction is strikingly similar to being confronted with a three-story candy cane.
That's the Discovery Children's Museum. Home to nine themed exhibition halls, the 58,000-square-foot museum entices children of all ages with a well-rounded array of learning experiences that feel a whole lot more like play."

333 South Valley Blvd  Las Vegas
See web site for prices, hours, and specials

"The Springs Preserve is the premier place in Las Vegas to explore the valley's vibrant history through interactive science and nature exhibits, botanical gardens, hiking, trails, and live animal shows.

Named "Best Place to Take the Kids in Southern Nevada" by Nevada Magazine and"Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests" by the Las Vegas Review-Journal

These were the lions previously at the MGM hotel, but now available to see and interact with at the Lion habitat ranch. There are many options to see, interact with, and even "eat with" a lion! Check it out. Costs vary depending on the activity.

 1775 N. Rancho Las Vegas, NV 89106

See website for prices and hours
" The mission of the Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park, managed and operated by the non-profit Nevada Zoological Foundation, is to educate children and the general public about endangered species and habitat protection, so as to begin to understand and appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of the natural world around us."

746 Snowden Ranch Road  Moapa Town, NV 89025

See web site for days this is open to the public or book a private tour!!
"Ever wanted to pet a camel? Ever wanted to look inside a kangaroo's pouch? Ever wanted to meet a lemur or play with a monkey? With over 160 animals to meet and greet, there is something for everyone.
Roos-N-More is a privately owned non-profit educational zoo, operated by veterinarians Dr. Valerie and Jay Holt and their family." *** AWESOME !!!

16395 Bonnie Springs Road  Blue Diamond, NV 89004

Adults $10 Kids $7
This is one of those places I just stumbled upon as I was getting directions for Red Rock Canyon and Springs Mountain State Park. {All 3 are close together}.  I was totally flabbergasted that such a cool little "town" would be in the middle of the canyon. There's a petting zoo, a train, "gunfights", melodramas, a restaurant, pony rides and more... so fun!!

Local Fun

Trampoline Parks & Laser Tag

Trampolines, Air sports, arcade, bouncers, LASER TAG!

Great Food
Okay, so I don't mean the best of the best gourmet food here. I mean fun and family friendly.
A great thing in Las Vegas is that there are great food options EVERYWHERE!! Just drive down the 95, and options galore!!
Here are a few new places that we've found since moving here:


Only in the Centennial Hills Area
 7785 N. Durango Dr. #130
Las Vegas, NV 89131

 Found mostly in gas stations in Las Vegas. Go to web site for locations.
Inexpensive and delish!

This restaurant has the reputation of being a "hole in the wall" yet GREAT cooking. It's said to offer cooking worthy of the "French Quarter."
I must and will try!

I'm continuing my research, and if anyone reading this has any more suggestions, please let me know any more family activities in Las Vegas!


Pin It


  1. This list is awesome! Don't forget to mention your a "local" at almost all these places and you get in much cheaper! We need to get together soon, I keep meaning to get your phone number. Have mike text it to Nate and I will call you!

    1. Thanks, Tiff! That is really good to know! We've been wanting to get together with you guys too... You've had a whole lot on your plate, and we've been praying for you. I've got your number now so let's definitely get together, even if it's just us and the kids :)!

  2. I never knew there was so much to do in Vegas that didn't deal with the strip!!! Someday we will get to come visit. Miss you like CRAZY!!!

    1. I'm definitely trying everything I can to persuade you to come down here!! Miss you like CRAZY too!!!!!!

  3. Thank You for that post. I have wanted to go to Vegas, but there is too much garbage to sift through to get to the good parts. Keep posting on how to see the wonders of Vegas without getting drenched in filth:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...