When my husband informed me that he would be working in Vegas for a few weeks this summer, I have to admit…I wasn’t exactly excited to take my kids (including a two-month old) to Sin City. (Not to mention the crazy heat they typically experience in the middle of summer.) After all, I have never viewed Vegas as a kid-friendly town. However, after my first week of getting on a first-name-basis with the hotel concierge, I realized there’s plenty of awesome attractions catered to kids. Below are my kids’ favorite Vegas attractions and activities:
1. Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. When I asked my boys what their favorite part of Vegas was, they both shouted, “Avengers Station!” This amazing interactive experience involves filling out your own S.H.I.E.L.D. agent profile, answering questions through each superhero exhibit, watching videos, posing for photo ops on Captain America’s motorcycle, facing off as a team in a fight against Ultron, and countless more superhero activities. Also on display are a variety of the Avengers equipment such as Iron Man’s armor suits, Captain America’s shield, Black Panther’s mask, Thor’s hammer, etc. A must-do if you have superhero-loving boys!
2. Springs Preserve. This was my personal favorite excursion with the kids. This is where the legendary Old West explorers Kit Carson and John Fremont used to park their horses in the mid 1800s. It contains some fascinating museum exhibits (including a dinosaur exhibit, a gold-mining history exhibit, and a flash flood simulation), nature trails, a train ride, an impressive playground, an outdoor reptile exhibit, and botanical gardens. The historian in me loved learning about the Nevada history, especially the evolution of the area and the Hoover Dam. It definitely is something for everyone of all ages. (Tip: Go on a day that isn’t too hot as you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors.)
3. Adventuredome. Located in Circus Circus, this is an indoor theme park with rides and games (including an arcade, mini golf, laser tag, and 4-D movie adventure) for all ages. I would recommend visiting here during the week, as it can get more crowded on the weekends. Be sure to look in advance at the rides so you know if you want to buy individual rides or an all-day wristband. Prices are very reasonable and the best part? It’s an air-conditioned theme park!
4. Titanic Exhibit. Located at the Luxor, this is a fascinating exhibit for kids and adults alike. With lots of amazing artifacts, photos, stories, and an iceberg, it doesn’t disappoint! My kids favorite part was the ticket they give you upon entering. Each visitor is an actual ‘passenger’ on the Titanic, as your tickets provide you with a little bio about who your passenger was and why they were on the Titanic. At the end, you discover their fate. This unique touch made it more exciting for the kiddos as it kept them interested and focused up until the end. Though it has a bit of a somber feel, it’s incredibly interesting for everyone of all ages.
5. Mandalay Bay Shark Reef. This underwater world with 14 exhibits (ranging from sharks, rays, crocodiles, komodo dragons, and exotic fish) was a favorite with my boys, resulting in two visits. The polar experience was their favorite, featuring an IMAX-like experience watching a huge glacier break off.
6. Popovich Comedy Pet Theater. My kids LOVED this pet comedy show with the cutest pet tricks you can imagine. From cats pushing strollers to dogs jumping rope to lots of circus performing, this show is a home run for younger kids (approx under the age of 7 or 8).
7. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat. Located at the Mirage Hotel, it’s a calm oasis away from the craziness of The Strip. The Dolphin Habitat is a massive tank that holds bottlenose dolphins who take part in various informal shows doing tricks with the trainers throughout the day. There is also an underwater viewing area where my boys loved watching the dolphins play and interact with each other. The Secret Garden is home to a variety of cats including panthers, tigers, leopards and lions. They have fascinating facts posted through out the garden about the cats, as well as incredibly knowledgable cat keepers who will answer any question your little ones can think up.
8. Top Golf. My kids are golf lovers, but even if you don’t play golf, this is still a fun place. They cater to everyone from beginners to advanced golfers, and kids to adults. It’s a great location as well with a good food and drink selection!
9. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. This is one of the few free things to do in Vegas. It is a beautiful glass dome past the lobby at the Bellagio. It consists of beautiful flower and plants constructed into stunning seasonal scenes. It makes for some lovely photos ops! Note: There’s a great ice cream shop down the hallway with an awesome chocolate fountain.
10. Free Circus Acts at Circus Circus. At Circus Circus, the free show area is upstairs in the Carnival Midway arcade section. You will need to check their daily schedule of acts, but they range from your basic silly clown acts to impressive acrobatic acts, trapeze artists, and animal shows. They’re short yet entertaining for the kids and a nice break from the arcade craze!