Things to Do with Kids in Vegas
Once known as a freewheeling playground for grown folks, Sin City has evolved to embrace a wider audience. Where once it was rare, parents now can find lots of things to do in Vegas with kids. They don't even have to leave the hotels of the Strip.
Gondola Ride at The Venetian
Most people think romance when they imaging a gliding ride piloted by a singing gondolier. But this is Vegas, where everything is a little tongue in cheek. Step into a gondola for a sightseeing tour either indoors along the shops on the Grand Canal, or outside around the hotel. Aspiring gondoliers can even take a few hours to find out what it take to steer a craft of their own at the limited enrollment Gondola University.
The Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur
Be thrown back in time as soon as you walk into this 900-seat arena, where sparks will fly from the swords of knights as they battle. The thunder of horse hooves fills the air as visitors dine on an old-world meal, tearing into cornish game hens with no other utensils but their own hands. Based on the story of King Arthur, this spectacle is a thrilling—and raucous—experience, and one of the more unforgettable things to do with kids in Las Vegas.
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage
The habitat is a labor of love for the famous duo, who long dreamed of creating a respite for endangered big cats. Within a flourishing man-made jungle, gleaming white tigers and lions lumber around waterfalls and laze in the sunshine. Siegfried himself is known to drop in to visit with the beautiful beasts, among them panthers and leopards as well.
Big Shot at the Stratosphere
This experience begins with the approach, as a high-speed elevator shoots prospective riders over 100 stories up to the observation deck, where they can then board the Big Shot. Once riders are strapped in, the Big Shot launches them 160 feet into the air at 45 mph, then allows them to freefall back down, then up, then down again. Note that riders must be at least 48 inches tall, so this is one activity in Las Vegas for kids who are in grade school or older.
Shark Reef Aquarium of Mandalay Bay
The highlight of this 14-exhibit attraction is not its 1.3 million gallon tank, but the acrylic tunnel beneath it. This tunnel gives visitors an underwater view of 15 species of sharks as they dart around a makeshift shipwreck. Dedicated to the more dangerous water species, the aquarium brings guests face to face with golden crocodiles, piranhas, and other aquatic predators.
Fountains and The Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio
It's hard to say which is more of a spectacle. Inside, the hotel houses 14,000 square feet of careful curated floral displays—which really is putting it mildly. The Bellagio's florists outdo themselves with every season, crafting brilliant arrangements of blossoms, which they manage to recycle for each new display. Outside, more than 1,000 fountains shoot plumes of water 460 feet into the air in a carefully choreographed performance set to the tune of popular and classical music. This spectacle of light and water, which sets off every 15-40 minutes, is especially beautiful after the sun sets.
Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York
Soaring 86 feet above the casino, the Big Apple Coaster takes visitors on a wild ride. As if speeds up to 67 mph aren't enough, its most heart-stopping feature is a "twist and dive maneuver"—thrusting riders into the sky, then doing a barrel roll before plunging back down.
Bodies . . . The Exhibition at the Luxor
When diagrams aren't enough, get a peek at our insides at this respectfully presented (read: not that gross) exhibit. On display are 13 whole-body specimens, giving visitors a rare vantage point on their muscular structure and internal organs.
Circus Acts and Carnival Midway; Adventuredome at Circus Circus
What's a circus without a carnival? This hotel's Adventuredome spreads across five acres, all indoors, with old-fashioned family amusements, such as bumper cars, coasters, and even rides for the toddler set. And as you try your skill at the games in the midway, you might come across circus performers, such as acrobats, jugglers, and clowns.
CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand
Older kids enjoy taking on the role of investigator, uncovering whodunit with exhibits inspired by the show. They'll match strands of DNA and analyze bullet casings, even examine strands of hair to discover the culprit.
Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris
A glass lift escorts visitors 460 feet into the air to the top of the half-scale replica of the famed French landmark. Once in the air, 360-degree views from 46 stories high make the enormous landmarks on the strip look almost miniscule.
The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo
Life on the strip can be a little wild, but at the Flamingo, the encounters with actual wildlife can be pretty calm. In this oasis, the hotel's namesake birds preen on their own manmade island, while ring tealed ducks paddle in the stream nearby. Lush foliage and waterfalls frame this peaceful habitat, home to hummingbirds, koi, and stately turtles. Be sure to catch feeding time, which happens twice daily.
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