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 2 zippy roller coasters and other big thrill rides, while children may enjoy a nice selection of kiddie rides. Here’s a link to the Circus Circus Adventuredome website where you’ll find current prices and all the latest news about the facility. 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 own Frightdome pictures and info.
Laser tag is also a favorite activity at Circus Circus. If you’re looking for still MORE laser tag fun, you might also try the Battle Blast Laser Tag facility. Laser tag is their focus here, and birthday parties are a specialty. There is also a small arcade.
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 are scary enough as it is…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! Non-riders may enjoy watching you from the observation deck—but don’t even let your loved ones WATCH you if they are even the least bit faint of heart. Even watching strangers on these dare-devil rides can cause anxiety! (And we say this as seasoned coaster fanatics.) To get the latest pricing and info, here’s the Stratosphere Thrill Rides page of the Stratosphere Hotel’s website.
3.) The Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix Family Fun Center is where you’ll want to head for thrills 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. 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 NASCAR Driving Experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. You can drive an actual race car…or sit in the passenger seat, if you prefer. You must check their website carefully before you plan your visit, because their schedule is NOT a daily one. (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 quite a while 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 parlors 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 Big Apple which features a 144 ft drop and sends you flying at 67 mph. There are 2 distinctly different ways to ride The Big Apple: (1) as a “normal” roller coaster where you will watch the sights of Las Vegas whizzing past you as you zoom along the track. OR, (2) as a virtual reality (VR) ride—for which you will wear a headset. In your screen, you will become part of an alien-hunt, as you chase an escapee from Area 51 through Las Vegas before the creature can destroy the city! And in the roller coaster’s speakers, you will hear the exciting sounds that accompany the chase! Discounts: There are discounts for military, locals, and even visitors. You may purchase MGM’s “3 for 1 low price” pass which will give you cheaper admission to three of MGM’s most popular family attractions. Or, there are multi-ride discounts…and even an all day pass for die-hard coaster buffs!
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 a cyber coaster movie ride, a log flume, and arcade. Most of the year, this coaster is only open Fridays through Sundays, so call before you go, if you’re making a special trip. They also close for “high wind alerts.” We once caught the last ride before the Desperado closed for a wind warning, and wow…that was a wild coaster ride!
6.) Water parks in Las Vegas: Las Vegas has two mid-sized water parks. (If you’re vacationing here from a large city, you probably have seen bigger ones.) Yet, they’re certainly more attraction-filled…and probably more fun…than standard hotel swimming pools. The first one on our list is on the far western edge of Las Vegas; the 2nd is across town in Henderson. Neither one is close to the hotels on The Strip, but would make a fun family outing for water park-lovers.
Wet ‘n Wild Water Park: Wet ‘n Wild offers plenty of fun during hot Las Vegas summers. You can choose from a selection of thrill slides, a bowl ride, a half pipe, a lazy river, a wave pool, and children’s attractions. Tuesday is “discount admission” day. Here’s the Wet ‘n Wild Las Vegas website, where you can get complete information.
On the eastern edge of the metro area, you’ll find the Cowabunga Bay water park (in Henderson, NV.) Cowabunga Bay has a giant wave pool, lazy river, thrill slides and a kiddie area with its own wading pool. Tuesdays are bargain days with reduced entrance fees. Here’s the Cowabunga Bay website so you can investigate their offerings.
Which water park is best? We don’t know, because despite us visiting relatives in Vegas frequently, we’ve never been to a water park. (It’s so hot in southern Nevada that quite a few people who live there have their own swimming pools.) You’d better check the reviews and decide for yourselves. Or, try them both!
7.) Trampoline parks in Las Vegas: Las Vegas has several kid-friendly trampoline parks. Perhaps you’ll find one near you that your group might enjoy. To start of the alphabetical list, there’s Get Air, which offers individual jumping time, family nights and birthday parties. They have a dedicated area for small children to play in, apart from the main trampoline area. Here’s the Get Air Las Vegas website.
Gravady: This 25,000 sf facility features high-energy excitement for all ages. Family Nights and Kid Jump (sessions for age 6 and under) are two interesting options. Check out the Gravady website, when you’re ready for your kids to burn off some of their overly-abundant energy!
Sky Zone is another Vegas trampoline park. Families with young children might be interested in their reasonably-priced “Toddler Time” sessions. Here’s the Sky Zone Las Vegas website to see a full description of activities and prices.
Xplozone: Xplozone is quite kid-friendly, with a dedicated area for the under-7 crowd, and a Ninja course for older kids. You may check out the Xplozone website to get the full scoop.
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…
* The Rex Center (formerlyKing 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 also indoor electric go karts, a climbing wall and lazer tag here. For all the details, here’s the Rex Center website.
* Twilight Zone SyFy Mini Golf at Bally’s Hotel: If you’re looking for mini golf close to The Strip, you can check out the indoor Twilight Zone-themed mini golf course at Bally’s. It’s eery and features monsters that may be too scary for young kids. (Check out the pics on Google Images before you take children. It’s the closest thing we’ve seen to an “adult” mini golf course…though not for the typical reasons you’d expect in Las Vegas.) The black lighting is not garish, but tastefully done in shades of blues, purples and greens. If you’re ready for an unusual mini-golf experience, this is surely it! Here’s the Sy Fy Mini Golf website, where you can get all the details.
* GlowZone Las Vegas: If you’re looking for glow-golf PLUS other attractions, a family-friendly atmosphere awaits you at the Glow Zone in SW Las Vegas. The black lighting encompases a skyscraper ropes course, climbing wall, bumper cars, paintless paintball area, arcade, and mega-jungle gym (ages 7 and under.) If you’re looking for multiple families that all ages may enjoy, you may wish to consider GlowZone. If you’re looking just for one game of mini golf, this may not be the right place. Prices here are “by the hour” and not per-game. That makes it a tad expensive just for one game of golf. Here’s the GlowZone website, where you just might become persuaded that all those extra activities sure look fun!
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 for all ages, and might even be especially interesting for kids:
* The V Theater at Planet Hollywood offers several family-friendly shows year-round (and some that are not.) This includes “V the Ultimate Variety Show” and there are genarally several others. The shows rotate, and you should contact the theater directly to ask about family-friendliness if a listing leaves you wondering. Current listings may be found on the V Theater 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 your kids will probably 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 aren’t bargain-priced, and they’re not large…but they’re very good. Foremost among them are the well-established…and popular…Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the Mirage Resort’s Dolphin Habitat and Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden. The new-ish SeaQuest Las Vegas is proving to be a good addition to the mix, and gives repeat-visitors another interesting animal attraction to enjoy.
* 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. Late-evening hours are available every day during the summer tourist season. Here’s the Shark Reef website to discover details.
* 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. Here’s the Mirage hotel’s Dolphin & Secrest Garden page which can give you more info.
* SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium is a mid-sized aquarium with an emphasis on helping families give children an introduction to marine life. Touch pools and close-up small-group animal interactions are highlights of this attraction. Themed areas highlight the sea animals who live in various habitats around the world. The aquarium’s location in the Boulevard Mall means that you’ll enjoy free parking and freedom from going down to the crowded Strip to enjoy a terrific animal experience. The SeaQuest website can give you the info you need to plan your outing.
Things to do in Las Vegas with kids & teens: List of
Family & Kid’s Museums and Tours 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 traditional wax museums, at Madame Tussaud’s, you can walk up to each & every one of the celebrity look-alikes to pose with them! For hours & info, here’s the Madame Tussauds Las Vegas website Or, to see our pictures of some fun wax statues you’ll enjoy at 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 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 about exhibits and opening times, you’ll want to view the Natural History Museum website
*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 Discovery Children’s Museum 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. For details, here’s the Hoover Tour page of the Bureau of Reclamation’s website. You may see our pictures of the tour on our Las Vegas Family Activities page.
* Bonnie Springs Ranch: 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! Here’s the Free Tours page of the Ethel M website. Or, to see our own pictures of Ethel M’s tour, please visit our Las Vegas Family Activities page.
Things to do in Las Vegas with Kids & Teens:
Outdoor fun near Las Vegas
* 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 Lee Canyon 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. The Lee Canyon resort is open Fridays thru Sundays for summer fun and relaxation. Summer activities include scenic ski lift rides, disc golf, hiking…and even snowless snowboarding (called One Wheeling; for ages 13 and above.)
To some, a Mt Charleston side-trip may seem even MORE fun during the summer months. 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 to 35 degrees less than on The Strip! Picnic and camping spots are available. There are several 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 the beautiful pines are only about an hour away from The Strip (or 90-120 minutes…depending on your pace…if you’re going all the way up to Lee Canyon,) a relaxing trip into the pines of Mount Charleston seems like an entire world apart from the neon lights of Las Vegas! By the way, did we mention how cool and refreshing it is?
* 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 see a Google map with directions to the Valley of Fire SP, with downtown Las Vegas being the starting point.
* 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! For help in planning your trip, here’s the Death Valley NP page of the National Park Service website. Also, if you’ll be camping, you may wish to view our pictures & get more detailed info about the campgrounds on our website’s Death Valley Camping page.
Death Valley Maps: Here’s the link to a PDF map of Death Valley NP and downloadable visitor’s guide that you may print at home before you leave. 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. Also, here’s a Google map showing the route from Las Vegas to Death Valley…specifically to Furnace Creek, which is the main tourist village within the park. There’s where you’ll find campgrounds, hotels, information, a restaurant, a store and things to do (museum, visitor’s center, golf.)