Wondering What To Do With Kids in Las Vegas? – It’s Simple, Here’s How to Beat the Heat!
Summer is back in Las Vegas, and if you are anything like half the tourists that come to the city this time of year, you brought the family with you and are wondering what to do with kids in Las Vegas! But have no fear, Las Vegas isn’t as “adult-centric” as it may seem. In fact there are so many entertainment options for families in Vegas hidden under the surface it might compel you to look at Sin City in a whole new light!
From free Attractions to FEE attractions, Vegas has everything from natural wonders to American traditions to pass the time, so check out this awesome list we have compiled of what to do with kids in Las Vegas to give you the best insight into the family friendly entertainment of Sin City and how to have a great time while beating the desert heat!
What to do With Kids in Las Vegas – The 2013 Beat the Heat Guide
So let’s look at the facts, its averaging 100-110 degrees outside every single day in Vegas from June to September…
With that kind of heat, the last thing you want to do is be caught outdoors or worse yet, caught with the kids outside. It’s not like going outside in summer is a bad thing though, the season offers some of the most beautiful mornings and evenings in Las Vegas that you could imagine. So it’s basically that high point around 12 p.m. to about 6 or 7 p.m. when the heat is going to get intense, so intense that hundreds are hospitalized for dehydration in Las Vegas every week. So practice caution, respect the heat and check out some of these awesome alternatives to being outside while still living it up with the kids in Vegas!
Have an Exciting Adventure at The Famous Springs Preserve!
The Springs Preserve is reportedly one of the first spots in the valley where western pioneers and travelers would take a break from the trials of the desert sun. Featuring a natural artisan spring that runs down from the mountains, this spot was the location of the first fort in Las Vegas. Only about a 10 to 15 minute drive from The Strip, The Springs Preserve is an elaborate and beautiful complex of museums, trails and wildlife preserves all built to give visitors a taste of how fragile yet resilient the ecosystem of Las Vegas truly is.
For kids, this experience can go much deeper, featuring wildlife habitats that will give young ones a unique peek into the life of wild animals in the dry parts of the world, kids can witness the daily routine of a local grey fox or learn about a “thought-to-be” extinct frog that Springs Preserve has managed to keep safe from the history books.
Also featured is the amazing Nevada State Museum, featuring exhibits that range from Biology to local archaeology, the interactive exhibits are some of the best in the city as kids and adults are guaranteed to learn more than a thing or two about the prehistoric background of Sin City!
Afterwards you can ride a ground train around the preserves’ 2.2 miles of scenic trails, where you and the family can experience the local wildlife in all it’s glory. If you’re feeling up to it, you and the family can rent bikes and enjoy the trails at your own pace.
By far the most interesting aspect of the preserve though is its Desert Living Center, a facility designed to encourage and promote the future sustainability of not only Las Vegas, but the world! Kids can learn how Las Vegas is at the forefront of water reclamation technology and solar energy, and get an idea of what the clean industries of the future will look like! Inspiring, informative and educational, The Desert Living Center is the number 1 attraction at the Preserve for good reason. Springs preserve is a MUST SEE for any kids in Vegas!
To learn more about the Springs Preserve and their mission to educate the kids in Vegas check out their website here:
333 S. Valley View Blvd. at US 95
Preserve open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nevada State Museum open Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Breathtaking, colorful, vivid and “one of the best botanical displays in Vegas” are just a few of the ways every visitor describes this beautiful garden complex. Located inside the Bellagio, the conservatory and Botanical Gardens are free to everybody, and depending on the season, the gardens are always adorned with layers of special decorations and fixtures that compliment the gardens in a way you have to see to believe!
With plants and flowers all native to summer and hand-picked from around the world, the Gardens will offer a relaxing and unique alternative to an afternoon on the town, it is especially relaxing if you are alone with toddlers or kids. With live music featured daily and plenty of scenic spots and ponds to relax next to, this is the perfect place to collect your zen, you can even go and enjoy the famous Bellagio Fountains afterwards!
Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will be holding the summer garden theme until September 9th, and then the Gardens 150 expert horticulturists will again transform the gardens into a fall getaway. This is a great way for Kids in Vegas to experience world class horticultural displays and exotic flora that comes to town but once a year.
Grab the kids and Check out the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical gardens here: Bellagio Gardens
Open 7 days a week, 24 hours.
2013 Exhibit Calendar
Chinese New Year | Jan 12 – Mar 3
Spring Celebration | Mar 9 – May 11
Summer Garden Party | May 19 – Sep 8
Autumn Harvest | Sep 14 – Nov 30
Winter Holiday | Dec 6 – Jan 5, 2014
Open to General Public
Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
While this isn’t the only Aquarium in Vegas, it’s certainly the biggest and most elaborate! In this one of a kind experience you and the kids can enjoy over 14 exhibits containing some of the oceans strangest and most dangerous sea creatures.
Experience a walkthrough of a lost underwater temple that is slowly being re-taken by the sea, see creatures of all shapes, sizes and colors in what is hands down one of the most visceral and atmospheric marine biology displays in the country.
Towards the end you will see the spectacle that is the giant shipwreck, boasting a 360 degree view, you can experience an environment teeming with enough sharks and other odd sea creatures sure to leave your jaw hanging low! Walk through the middle of the wreck through an acrylic tunnel and even pet some of the oceans more docile beasts in the touch pool.
If you’re looking for one sure fire way to beat the heat, pass the time and have a cool blast with the kids in Vegas, then the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay bay is demanding your attendance immediately!
Shark Reef Box Office (702) 632-4555
Box Office Hours:
9:30 am – 7:00 pm Sunday – Thursday
9:30 am – 9:00 pm Friday & Saturday
10:00 am – 8:00 pm Sunday – Thursday
10:00 am – 10:00 pm Friday & Saturday
Last admission one hour prior to close.
Summer Hours: May 24 – Sept. 1
10am – 10pm everyday
Last admission at 9pm
The Aquarium MAY close early for Private Events.
Go Nuts at The Discovery Children’s Museum
When I was in elementary school, we took one of our first field trips to the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum and since that day, the museum has had a special place in my heart and I am sure the same can be said for many kids in Vegas. Since it’s opening in 1990, the Museum has served as one of Las Vegas’ premier learning centers and educational facilities, especially to the local school system.
As most of us natives know, the school system here in Clark Country wasn’t always the most inventive. I remember long days in boring classrooms, bored kids with only a few extra-curricular “out of the box” activities that seemed half-hearted. I don’t blame my teachers, but until I experienced that day at Lied’s I had little to be inspired about when it came to school. That museum trip and many concurrent trips after helped change my perspective on science and interactive learning as I grew up in a town with little to offer in the way of “edu-tainment” for kids.
With over 400,000 kids in Vegas that have attended field trips to the museum over the past two decades, I am sure many more than just me were impacted by the creativity and innovation displayed in the museum.
Through the use of kid friendly interactive exhibits, young ones are introduced to the basic principles of science and physics using the best medium in the world, fun! Learn how a tornado works, experience the mystery that is magnetism and get an inside perspective on the daily life of certain professions. But with so much more to offer I could talk about it all day, let’s just say the kids will love it and I guarantee they won’t be able to stop talking about long after they have left. This is one of the most innovative experiences in Vegas, so don’t miss it while you are here!
Vegas 51’s baseball
For many adults and kids in Vegas, summer also signals the start of one of America’s favorite pass-times, Baseball! Come and check out the 2013 Las Vegas 51’s as they smash through their summer schedule into September.
Experience all the fun that is a day out at Cashman Field, with cool drinks, baseball and tons of other fun stuff to do that marks game day in Vegas. If you haven’t yet had a chance to experience the 51’s then you will need to change that! With 2013 looking to be a great year for the minor league team, there are a couple of star players that baseball fans traveling to Vegas won’t want to miss! Making a list of what to do with kids in Las Vegas? Then this should be near the top!
Take a Tour of The Hoover Dam and Experience the Engineering Marvel That Changed the West!
Hoover Dam is about an hour drive East of Las Vegas, and with the Hoover Dam bypass now complete, you can get one of the best views of the Dam anybody can get. But don’t settle at snapshots and outdoor photo’s, don’t you want to get to the heart of the matter?
By signing up for the Hoover Dam tour you can experience the inner workings of one of the biggest Hydro-electric power plants in the country, learn the history that helped carve out one of the biggest man-made lakes in the world and see the human toll that was required to complete the monolith that now powers the majority of Southern Nevada and keeps all cities on the Colorado River south of the Hoover Dam safe from flooding.
It really is a one-of-a-kind experience, you have seen it in movies, on TV and in magazines, so now is the time to experience the tour for yourself! Sign up for the Hoover Dam Tour today and show the kids for themselves one of the most monumental accomplishments in American History! This is one educational and mind blowing way to pass the time if you find yourself with the kids in Vegas, but hey even the adults who have not experienced the Dam can get something from it!
Take the Little Ones to the Best Interactive Show in Vegas, Recycled Percussion!
Ever experienced Junk Rock before? If not then now is the time to see why the critics are calling Recycled percussion’s new show at The Quad a “Must See” and “The most fun you will have banging on garbage, ever!”. From the minute you walk into the theater you will be handed a junk instrument and a drum stick and assigned a color, without giving too much away, get ready to play for your teams supremacy!
With each band member representing a color, the fight will be on to see who’s color will come out on top. Will it be the famous Mr. Red? Or the lady killing Mr.Blue? What about Mr. Black and Mr. Green? Get to the show to help your color take home the win!
In one of the most exciting shows on The Strip, experience the awesome drumming and musical prowess of Recycled percussion as they utilize a wide range of different objects and “Junk” to create a sound you have to hear to believe. With the world’s fastest drummer Justin Spencer at the helm, these guys are going to take you on a trip to their world where everything is an instrument and the rules are nonexistent!
So don’t hesitate, get the family together and get them down to the Quad Showroom for an unforgettable time you won’t find anywhere else in town, if you have your kids in Vegas, you need to see this show! If this still doesnt answer your question of what to do with kids in Las Vegas, i don’t know what will!
Check out some of these awesome reviews to see what the critics have to say; Mike Weatherford from the LV Review Journal, Charlene Sands from Lucy Vegas, Chris Carney From About.com, The One and Only Robin Leach
Take a Day-Trip to Mount Charleston
Less than an hour drive away from Vegas is the ultimate contrast to the desert, with epic scenery and a sprawling forest, Mount Charleston offers the perfect chance to get away from the Vegas summer heat and dive into the forest for a picnic or a scenic hike.
Featuring a premier hotel and an intimate lodge situated at the top of the peak, you can rent a private cabin on top of the mountain and spend a relaxing week or weekend or even just a night in one of the most unique environments around Vegas.
Offering hundreds of miles of blissful and scenic hiking trails, you can explore all of the natural wonders the forests of Charleston have hidden within. With three premier campgrounds, and a lodge and luxury cabin-styled hotel, Mt. Charleston has everything you need to take a vacation within the vacation!
Spend the Day at Lake Mead
Like we talked about earlier, Lake Mead is one of the biggest man-made lakes in the entire world. Backed by the humongous Hoover Dam, this reservoir has become vital to the environment and ecosystem of the surrounding desert. With wildlife ranging from owls all the way down to coyotes, the areas around the lake are some of the most wild-life populated spots in the county.
With two camping grounds, two family friendly marinas and Boulder city just a short drive away, this is one way to beat the heat while still enjoying the pristine beauty of nature. Just far enough away from Vegas to feel like a new place, why not stop by the two marina’s and pick up a bite to eat at the restaurants or feed some of the numerous carp that hangout underneath the dock.
But water-sports are also a huge draw to the area, why not rent a Jet-Ski or a boat and take the family on an adventure to one of Lake Mead’s many private sand bars and coves, kids love boats right? Well If you do get a boat, make sure to go towards the dam and get a look at the structure from the lake side, It’s a unique perspective you can’t get from any other angle and knowing what’s on the other side makes it a truly memorable experience, trust me! Check out the view of the Dam from Lake Mead below.
The LV Natural History Museum
There may not be a long list of what to do with kids in Vegas while staying out of the heat, but like the Springs Preserve, The LV Natural History Museum is one of the key educational facilities of the Las Vegas valley and even Clark County. Still wondering what to do with kids in Las Vegas? Well the Las Vegas Natural History Museum Features exhibits ranging from ancient biology to Marine life, the learning center covers a wide range of subjects and is the only museum in Nevada to feature an African biology and anthropology section that explores the ancient cultures of Africa and highlights some of the most recognizable wildlife of the continent in beautifully recreated scenes designed to give children the feel of being in the savannah.
This summer until August 9th, kids can get a special treat too, with one of the country’s best traveling marine life exhibits taking up residence until early August. Featuring animals native to the deserts around Vegas such as various lizards, pythons and desert mice and more, this is one of the best ways for children to explore biology and other cultures while still having the time of their lives!
But that’s not all, oh no, the main draw and one of my personal favorite exhibits of this museum is none other than Dino CSI. You read that correctly, Dino CSI is going to let kids uncover Dino bones from the dirt with their own hands and try to deduce not only what kind of dinosaur it was, but how it died and what it ate as well!
With a whole section dedicated to ancient biology, there is even a scale Tyrannosaurus model that will give kids an idea of the sheer size of these ancient beasts. If you are looking for a fun afternoon out on the town that will give kids thrills as well as educational spiels, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum lies less than 10 minutes from downtown Las Vegas and is one of the treasures of the city. So get down to the museum today and help support the continued success of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum! For local kids in Vegas, this another favorite!
Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area and Visitors Center
Never heard of Red Rock? Well in case you didn’t know, Red Rock Canyon (only 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip) is a unique geological formation that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Millions of years ago, a tectonic plate made up of mostly limestone crashed into another plate of sandstone with such force, that one piece was violently driven over the other, creating a stark contrast all around the canyon of white and gray limestone to the iron rich red sandstone to which the canyon earned it’s name.
The towering cliff walls and bright red formations in the distance create a vivid and refreshing contrast to the brown desert around Las Vegas. Famous for weddings and other special events of that nature, the canyon frequently hosts marathon styled races on the famous loop that wraps the canyon. Complete with miles of unique and fairly simple trails, (not all though, make sure you know the skill level of whatever trail you choose, know your own skill level as well!) the canyon offers unique vistas and skylines that will make you forget you are still even in Vegas.
But if the temperature seems too hot for a hike, then the kids will love the Red Rock visitors center, featuring outdoor exhibits that are one of a kind. The visitor center will display the way of life and the history of the people that lived in the canyon 10,000 years ago, you will discover the lime-stone roasting pits the natives would use for drying and cooking food and see how the people of these lands carved a living out of the harsh terrain.
You will also discover the hundreds of different species of wildlife that make the canyon their habitat such as Bobcats and Mountain lions, Burro’s, Kangaroo Rats, Coyotes, Golden Eagle and the Red Tailed hawk! Also discover the many unique creatures and flora that can only be found within the canyons.
Red Rock is a true geological wonderland, creating an ecosystem that has lasted centuries and given rise to many creatures not found anywhere else in the world, so if you are coming to town don’t miss out on the chance to experience this unique natural playground.
I almost forgot to mention Mojave Max, outside of the visitor center the keepers of Red Rock help a friendly tortoise by the name of Max teach the visitors of the canyon about how important it is to keep the life within safe and taken care of! He is the visitor centers mascot and authentic Desert “Spokes” tortoise, but in addition to 7 other females chances are you can see one of them when you are there! If not, the park personnel feed the tortoises a couple times a week, so maybe you will be there on the lucky day!
So get the family together, plan a picnic or a horseback ride or even a hike, check out the visitor center and experience the natural wonder of the canyon for yourself! For kids in Vegas, this is one of the ultimate outdoor destinations!
The Adventure Dome and Free Circus at “Circus Circus Hotel & Casino”
For kids it’s hard to miss that giant pink reflective bubble on the west side of the Circus Circus, and in case you didn’t know, there’s a theme park under it! Circus Circus offers the only major theme park on The Strip that boasts a huge arcade and tons of fun and games that are going to drive the kids mad!
Complete with more kids rides than you can count, an epic rollercoaster and even Laser Tag, this indoor theme park is a perfect escape from the heat. Complete with waterfalls and water fixtures all over the park, the tropical ambiance will clash with the carnival aesthetic in a way that’s satisfying for both kids and adults.
And don’t forget Circus Circus’ famous free show! Gather around the circus ring in the center of the casino for a performance complete with clowns, trapeze artists and all the other traditional circus fare you would expect from a “Ringaling Bro’s” production! So you’re still contemplating what to do with kids in Las Vegas? Well this is a “Must-do!”
Talking Statues at Caesars Palace
Inside the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace, there is a pantheon of God statues fixed on a platform, and every Hour, these statues burst to life and put on a show for the eager audience that crowds around below. While the sight is as about as entertaining as it sounds, this is one spectacle that really blows the kids minds. I have noticed toddler’s don’t always take to it well but in the 6-12 year old category most kids get a huge kick out of the animatronic elements. And why wouldn’t they? With all the lavish décor and the thunderous ambiance the statues bring along with them, its truly easy to see why a child’s imagination could be captured by such a simple attraction. The perk for adults is the famous Forum Shops surrounding the statues and the giant aquarium built into the platform the statues stand on. Got the Kids in Vegas? Then take them to the statues!
Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
One of the most time honored and famous Vegas attractions is Siegried and Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat, for years the secret garden has enchanted and captured the minds of children and adults alike. Boasting an expansive Dolphin Habitat made to resemble a tropical coral reef, you can go to the underwater viewing area and see the Dolphins as they play among the coral!
You can learn about the daily life of Dolphins while watching them swim as the Habitats instructors and keepers are more than happy to give you all the info you want to know about the amazing mammals. You can even swim with and feed the dolphins in the only experience of its kind for kids in Vegas!
Town Square Outdoor Mall
A Few years ago one of the biggest mall projects to ever hit Vegas besides the Fashion Show Mall opened on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard, and it’s called Town Square. It was designed to be it’s own little town, complete with parking, a movie theater and plenty of restaurants and high end shops to sate even the most luxurious of shopping appetites. But in the center of the square lies a relaxing plaza that boasts plenty of refreshment stands and a very unique playground boasting mazes and even a treehouse! Don’t worry about the heat here either, the plaza is packed to the brim with misters and fountains, and the fact that it is surrounded by air conditioned shops and restaurants means you can take a break from the play anytime to cool off with a drink or do some shopping!
Gregory Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater
One of the most beloved shows in the city is still the number 1 show for kids in Vegas! Gregory Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater is a display of skilled animal training and the best part of it all, every animal in his show is a rescued pet!
Hailing from Russia, Gregory Popovich is a animal trainer and circuseeer with a heart of gold! Originally starting with cats, Popovich spread his training over to dogs, mice and even geese. Watch as the cutest circus troupe on Earth puts on an unforgettable show that stretches the boundaries of what you will think our pets are capable of!
Balancing acts, skilled routines and animals so smart you will no doubt be screaming “No Way!” Combine that with Popovich’s wild and hilarious energy and you have the formula that kids cant seem to get enough of. Still wondering what to do with kids in Las Vegas? Here’s your answer!
Gregory Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater plays at the V Theater inside the Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops at 2:30 everyday except for Sunday.
V-The Ultimate Variety Show
Hands down the number one thing to see for kids in Vegas is the longest running and most historical variety show in town! Complete with the most recognized cast of performers to take the stage across Vegas, you wont believe your eyes as some of the most unique performers in Vegas and American entertainment band together to put on a wild show that you “HAVE” to see!
With your host Wally Eastwood, you will be taken by the world’s fastest (and funniest) juggler into a world where WOW is the standard! For kids, they get a taste of all the traditional Las Vegas entertainment that has carried the city as Entertainment Capital of The World for decades.
Get a little Magic, a little comedy and even a little “death-defiance” as this elite cast of V-the Ultimate Variety Show is ready to show you and the kids how a variety show is done! Described as “Vaudeville with a shot of adrenaline” this one show you will want to grab the entire family for. So don’t hesitate, this is the only show in Vegas for the whole family that will “WOW” you no matter what you like!
With all these great shows, natural wonders and attractions, you should never again finding yourself asking what to do with kids in Las Vegas, so remember to take precautions against the heat, plan your routes and always be prepared! You never know what will happen in Vegas!
For more Las Vegas Nightlife updates, Deals and News..Check out the V Card Blog!
Also check out these other useful articles about staying safe in Vegas; Staying Hydrated in Vegas - How to Keep Your Belongings Safe in Vegas - An Interesting Forum Post on Staying Safe in Vegas - Bringing Your Young Ones to Vegas, Yes or No?