Find fun things to do with teens &
Kids in Las Vegas
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of fun things to do in Las Vegas & the surrounding areas of southern Nevada. Do you want to plan an enjoyable outing with kids ranging in age from preschoolers to teens? Maybe the ideas on this page will help!
Things to do with kids in Las Vegas---
Theme parks, amusement parks and family fun centers
1.) The Adventuredome at Circus Circus is a can't-miss activity for families with kids who love thrill rides. Fully enclosed and climate-controlled, this is a very comfortable place to head, as well, on blustery winter days or scorching summer afternoons. This amazing indoor amusement park is as pretty as the loveliest theme park you'll find anywhere, and it's packed with as many activities as most parks twice its size. Teens & adults will enjoy a zippy roller coaster and other big thrill rides, while children may enjoy a nice selection of kiddie rides. To see our pics and review, please visit our Las Vegas Attractions for Kids page, which spotlights the Circus Circus Adventuredome in more detail. Or, to discover the eerie, creepy fun that teens & adults may enjoy inside the Halloween version of the Adventuredome every October, please check out our Frightdome pictures and info.
2.) The Stratosphere Tower Rides are a must-miss attraction for the timid...but they offer brave souls a chance for one-of-a-kind thrills. The tower's 3 thrill rides aren't spectacular by themselves, but since you'll be riding them at a height of over 1,000 feet in the air, they induce a sense of pure panic (that tough guys try to hide beneath hard boiled expressions!) Non-riders may enjoy watching you from the observation deck---but don't even let your loved ones WATCH you if they have heart trouble. Even watching strangers on these dare-devil rides can cause them anxiety...much less their sons & daughters! To see our pics & read our review, please see our Stratosphere Tower Rides page.
3.) The Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix Family Fun Center is where you'll want to head, instead, if you wish to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground! Go Karts provide the bulk of the action here...along with a giant slide, several rides, and a game arcade. (Note: no mini golf is available here.) To discover all the details you'll need for planning your outing, here's the Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix website.
Teens and adults who are more into serious karting may wish to visit the Las Vegas location of Pole Position Raceway. Another good indoor karting track can be found at Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing. Or, if you're over 14, have deep pockets & don't mind zipping along at 165 mph speeds, you may dare to try the Richard Petty pro racer ride-along experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Note: ages under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for this activity.)
4.) Game Arcades in Las Vegas: As you might guess, a number of hotels in Las Vegas have game arcades. Two of the bigger ones which will keep your kids busy longer are the Midway Arcade at Circus Circus and the Excalibur Fantasy Fair Midway at the Excalibur Hotel. Both feature a good variety of games and offer prizes. In addition to the games, the Circus Circus hotel's famous free circus act show is held near the arcade.
Pizza and Games: Like many other towns, Las Vegas has its share of pizza parlours with ticket-spewing games inside. Here are the Chuck E Cheese and the Peter Piper Pizza websites, where you may find the location closest to your home or hotel.
5.) Stand-alone rides: In most locations, you won't find hotels that erect only ONE theme park ride. They simply wouldn't get enough business to support it. That's not true in Las Vegas, where you may enjoy several good thrill rides at stand-alone locations...if you're willing to put the time & effort into checking them out. At the New York New York resort, you may enjoy The Roller Coaster, which features a 144 ft drop and sends you flying at 67 mph.
Still another fun roller coaster in the Las Vegas area is The Desperado roller coaster at Buffalo Bill's resort in Primm, NV. This coaster was a world record-holder at the time it was erected...and still remains one of the tallest & fastest coasters around. In addition, if you make the journey to Primm, you'll also be rewarded by finding a collection of other rides, including the Turbo Drop tower ride, a log flume, 3D ride and arcade.
Las Vegas Miniature Golf
* The Adventuredome at Circus Circus (described above) has a miniature golf course that your family may enjoy. Although it's an indoor mini golf course, it's brightly lit...and NOT a "black light" course. If you're looking for some black-light golfing fun, you may wish to try...
* King Putt, an indoor mini golf course with all the vibrant colors and outlandish decorations you've come to expect on this type of course in other locations around the USA. There are two different locations from which you may choose---one in the northeast metro area, and another in the southeast/Henderson area. Or, you might enjoy visiting BOTH of them---they each have a different theme & decor! To get directions & discover specials for both locations, here's the King Putt mini golf website. Some browsers may have trouble viewing this website correctly. If so, you could try using Chrome or Internet Explorer.
* The Putt Park in SW Las Vegas is where you may enjoy beautifully-landscaped outdoor miniature golf. Evening miniature golf is available...and it showcases the park's beautiful lights. "Cosmic Golf," featuring glow-in-the-dark golfing, is offered on Saturday evenings. For complete details, you may wish to view the Putt Park website.
Shows for Kids in Las Vegas
While there are other shows in Las Vegas which may be suitable for your family, the following short list names shows which are generally considered to be inoffensive to all, and are especially interesting for kids:
* The V Theater at Planet Hollywood offers several family-friendly shows year-round. These include "V the Ultimate Variety Show" and not just one, but several others. Complete info may be found on the VTheater.com website.
* The Tournament of Kings, playing at the Excalibur Hotel, is a horseback jousting show a la Medieval Times. Also like Medieval Times shows, you'll eat with your hands and be encourage to yell & cheer for your assigned team. Some adults may feel the show is silly, but kids generally feel like they've just witnessed real knights in action. For details, here's the Tournament of Kings page from the Excalibur Hotel's website.
* IMAX movies may be enjoyed in Las Vegas. For a listing of locations, please see our Southwestern USA IMAX Theater Locations page.
Zoos and Animal Attractions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada offers families some world-class animal attractions. They're aren't bargain-priced, and they're not large...but they're very good. Foremost among them are the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the Mirage Resort's Dolphin Habitat and Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden.* The Shark Reef features many more fish and marine creatures than sharks. In fact, their biggest claim to fame is their collection of golden crocodiles which are shown one-at-a-time (to keep down the amount of time that any one of them sits on display.) An outstanding decor, informative self-guiding tour, and employees stationed strategically to answer all your questions are other highlights of this exhibit. To see Shark Reef pictures and read our review, please visit our Las Vegas Family Attractions page.
* The Dolphin Habitat & Secret Garden comprise two halves of a very good animal exhibit at the Mirage Resort. The Dolphin Habitat is very low-key; dolphins swim & perform a few jumps on command, while trainers explain facts about these sea mammals. Sigfried & Roy's Secret Garden is an attraction which never fails to fascinate visitors of all ages. You'll view beautiful white tigers and white lions...along with golden tigers and a few other interesting animals which live in the compound. To see our pictures & read our review of the attraction, please see the Las Vegas Family Attractions page.
* The Las Vegas Zoo is unfortunately NOT one of the world-class animal exhibits in Las Vegas. This small zoo is well-loved by a cadre of loyal supporters, but could use lots more help from the community to enlarge & expand the facility. Still, for families with younger kids, the Las Vegas Zoo is the right size to keep them from getting tired...and they'll enjoy the fun petting area filled with barnyard animals. To see our pictures of the Las Vegas Zoo & read our review, please see our Las Vegas Attractions for Kids page.
Things to do in Las Vegas with kids & teens: List of
Family & Kid's Museums in Las Vegas
* Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum at the Venetian Hotel is a very enjoyable all-ages activity that your family will probably enjoy. Unlike other wax museums, at Madame Tussaud's, you can walk up to each & every one of the celebrity look-alikes to pose with them! To read our review & see our pictures of Madame Tussaud's, please see our Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas page.
* The Springs Preserve is an outstanding, well-maintained museum of interest to all ages. Its goal is interpreting both Las Vegas natural history (plants, wildlife) as well as its human history (both Native American & more recent settlers.) Interactive exhibits please kids, and yet this is certainly not a children's museum. The exhibits will please older members of the family, as well. Outside the museum area are trails you may explore spotlighting various types of native vegetation. Here's the Springs Preserve website to help you plan your outing. The Springs Preserve also puts on a popular annual Halloween bash for families with kids. You may wish to view our Springs Preserve Halloween review, to see pictures of this cute event & discover the attractions you'll enjoy if you decide to attend.
* The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is another all-ages family museum dedicated to Nevada's natural history and other science-related topics. Kids never seem to get enough of the dinosaur exhibits; gem & mineral enthusiasts gravitate towards the Geology Gallery...and these are but 2 of the museum's popular displays. For full details (and to print a two-for-one discount coupon to the museum,) you'll want to view the Las Vegas Natural History Museum website.
* Lied Discovery Children's Museum: A good Las Vegas museum especially designed for kids is the Lied Discovery center. This interesting Las Vegas children's museum is filled with lively interactive exhibits which emphasize learning-through-doing. Located not far north of the Las Vegas Strip, it's just a quick drive or taxi ride away, and will be a memorable vacation activity for preschoolers and the other kids in your family under the age of 10-12 or so. Here's a link to the Lied Discovery Children's Museum website, where you'll find the hours, prices, directions & other details needed to plan your outing.
* Atomic Testing Museum: At one time, there was a tip-top, deep-dark secret...Nevada was used as an atomic bomb test site. Although it's no longer hush-hush information, most of us still don't know all the details of what happened during this time. If you and your older kids & teens are interested, the Las Vegas Atomic Testing Museum can make you aware. Facets of this sobering topic covered by the museum include events leading up to atomic bomb development, viewing film footage from actual tests, and post-testing reactions. Here's the Atomic Testing Museum of Las Vegas website, where you'll find the details for planning your visit.
* Hoover Dam Tour: What happens when a huge public-works construction project turns itself into a tourist attraction? You get the top Las Vegas sight-seeing tour outside of the casino area! Hoover Dam is visited by hordes of tourists every year, from all corners of the globe. There are several tour options you may take, and there's a visitor's center with museum-style attractions to view. Though the Hoover Dam will probably seem more interesting to the adults in your group, the museum has included interactive exhibits to help draw-in the attention of kids, as well. You may see our pictures & read our review on our Las Vegas Family Activities page.
Things to do in Las Vegas with Kids & Teens:
Outdoor fun near Las Vegas
* Red Rocks Park, just west of Las Vegas, is a good place for family hiking and exploring. Officially known as the "Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area" (whew, what a mouthful!) you'll be stunned by the rugged western scenery and the red rock formations for which the park is named. You'll find a number of good interpretive exhibits in the visitor's center, in addition to the hiking you may wish to enjoy. Hate to hike? Don't worry---there's a drive-through loop of the park you can take instead. Bicycling is permitted, as well! Here's a link to the Red Rocks Park website, which will give you more information.
* Valley of Fire State Park: If you can't get enough of red rocks & western scenery, you may wish to take a drive north of the city to the Valley of Fire State Park. It's actually only 45 miles from downtown Las Vegas, making it a perfect 1/2 day family outing. (Of course, you'll need to do still more driving once you get there; the park is huge & you'll need to drive around to view its many features.) Hiking and picnicking are major activities here. Camping is available, as well. For full information, here's the Valley of Fire State Park website, which will fill you in on the details. Also, here's a link to a set of Mapquest directions to the Valley of Fire SP, with the Stratosphere Tower being your starting point.
* Mount Charleston: Did you know that you can ski near Las Vegas, Nevada? Well, only in the winter time, of course---but, yes, it's true! The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard resort has trails open through approximately April each year. Don't know how to ski? Lessons are available!
But a trip to Mt. Charleston offers much more than skiing. Most family vacationers don't take time to visit Las Vegas during ski season...but it's a year-round destination, so any time of the year is fine. To some, a Mt Charleston side-trip may seem even MORE fun during the summer. Why? Because once you reach elevations of 7,000-8,000 feet, you'll get a break from the Vegas heat; temperatures are going to be about 20 degrees less than on The Strip! Picnic and camping spots are available. There are a number of different National Forest public campgrounds on Mt Charleston, each one with its own "personality." You may see photos and get more information about them on our Las Vegas/Mt Charleston Camping page. Although this destination is only about an hour away from The Strip, a relaxing trip into the pines of Mount Charleston seems like an entire world apart from the neon lights of Las Vegas!
* Death Valley National Park, California: Although Death Valley is over the state line in California, it's easier to reach from Las Vegas than from any major California city. The park's east entrance is just over 100 miles from Las Vegas, and takes about 2 hours to drive. (This length would make a good day-trip or overnighter from Las Vegas.) The road is in good condition. Gas and services are available at several points. Once you reach Death Valley, you'll want to head to some of the park's notable features, which include geological points of interest, visitor's centers, museums and even golf!
Both campgrounds and hotels are available at Death Valley NP. Reservations are a good idea for campgrounds, and absolutely essential for the hotels. You don't want to be turned away once you've driven so far...and yes, that can happen! If you'll be camping, you may view our pictures & get further info about the campgrounds on our Death Valley Camping page.
Also, here's a PDF map of Death Valley NP and downloadable visitor's guide. You should pre-plan the attractions you'd like to see if you want to get everything done in a day-trip. Of course, you'll want to save room in your schedule to enjoy nice views and other surprises you'll find along the way; not every interesting feature is mentioned in the brochure. Still other trip-planning details may be found on the Death Valley National Park website. Also, here's a driving map and Mapquest driving directions to Death Valley from Las Vegas, starting from the South Point Hotel just south of The Strip.
Other fun things to do with kids in Las Vegas
Several interesting activities for kids in Las Vegas don't fit into the categories above. Here are several more ideas you may wish to try--
* Bonnie Springs Old Western Town: Bonnie Springs is located just west of Las Vegas (near Red Rocks Park, which is mentioned above.) The park's main feature is a Wild Western town, which your kids will want to explore, and several shows. Horseback riding is available for an extra fee. Here's the Bonnie Springs Ranch website which will help you plan your visit.
* Ethel M Candy Factory Tour: Your kids may enjoy watching a working candy factory in action on their Las Vegas vacation! Ethel M's candy factory offers a free, self-guided tour of their facilities. Candy is only made Mondays thru Fridays during business hours, but if you visit at other times you may watch videos and see displays. A free sample is always a highlight of your visit! To see our pictures & review of Ethel M's tour, please see our Las Vegas Family Activities page.
Find still MORE Las Vegas family fun:: Things to do with Kids in Las Vegas ::   Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum ::   Stratosphere Tower Rides ::   IMAX Movies ::   Adventuredome & Las Vegas Zoo ::   Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden ::   Dolphin Habitat & Shark Reef ::   Hoover Dam & Ethel M Candy tours ::   Las Vegas & Mount Charleston Camping ::   Las Vegas Halloween: Fright Dome ::   Springs Preserve Haunted Harvest ::   Christmas: Las Vegas Christmas Lights
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