Las Vegas has been coined “Disneyland for adults,” but not every grown up can run away to fantasy land without their kids in tow. Once a place targeted for families, Las Vegas has since closed down amusement parks, golf courses and their sole water park. But that shouldn’t scare parents; there are still plenty of family friendly activities to enjoy in “Sin City.”
Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
Siegfried and Roy may have retired their show, but their furry friends are still performing at the Mirage’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat; educational and research facilities for children and adults looking to explore wildlife. Kids can roam the garden with lions, tigers and leopards, (oh my!) then swim with the dolphins in the habitat. The Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay also offers families an underwater adventure. North America’s only predator-based aquarium and exhibit, the Shark Reef features more than 2,000 sea creatures like sawfish, endangered turtles, piranhas, and of course, sharks. They even have guided tours and educational sessions, in case the little ones take an interest in the animals.
Magic Shows in Las Vegas
Harry Potter isn’t the only one who can conjure up a child’s interest in magic. Lance Burton and others have been performing family-friendly shows for years, and continue to entertain every night of the week. For those not looking to have their money disappear, major hotels such as the MGM and Venetian have daily magic shows for free.
The Adventure Dome Theme Park
Adults aren’t the only ones who get to play. The Adventure Dome Theme Park is one place children young and old can let loose and have fun. Boasting 25 thrilling rides, from roller coasters to pirate ships, laser tag and arcade games galore, families can spend an entire afternoon wandering the park. Plus the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, where the Adventure Dome is located, features performances by trapeze artists day and night. There are myriad places for mini golf, go kart racing, and batting practice as well, so travelers will never have to run out of entertainment.
Grand Canyon Tours
How easy it is to forget that Nevada’s playground is surrounded my many miles of desert. From the Red Rocks to Mount Charleston, Southern Nevada is host to many desert escapes. Just minutes away from Vegas by helicopter, the Grand Canyon is one of Mother Nature’s best gifts to the Southwest. Try soaring over the Canyon as well as Lake Mead, America’s largest man-made lake, and Hoover Dam, a fascinating fixture from up above. Vegas is not just glitz and glam, it’s rock and soil too!
Las Vegas will always be the playground for adults, but travelers with children no longer have to worry about age appropriate activities. From gardens and animals to arcade games and interactive magic shows, there is a plethora of kid friendly fun that will delight parents and make for a fun family vacation.