Las Vegas, Nevada Attractions

We’ll roll the dice on this and guarantee fun on your next Nevada vacation — if you pack our age-appropriate rundown of the best attractions for kids, teens and families in adult-oriented Las Vegas.

Great Fun for the Kids

El Loco at the Circus Circus Hotel's Adventuredome is an indoor roller coaster.
El Loco at the Circus Circus Hotel’s Adventuredome is an indoor roller coaster. Photo c. Circus Circus

(Toddler to Age 8)

Circus Circus Adventuredome
2880 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702/794-3939
Situated just behind the family-friendly Circus Circus Hotel (and accessible via a “green zone” for minors across the voluminous Casino), the five-acre Adventuredome indoor theme park is a good place to bring kids to let them burn off a little energy. It’s clean and air-conditioned, with seating beside most of the 25 rides making it popular with local grandparents, too. (Note that kids under 33″ in height can ride three attractions free with paying adults.) The small indoor theme park has several rollercoasters, toddler-friendly rides, face painters and balloon blowers, motion simulators, the wild “el Loco” coaster and Hot Shots Laser Tag for teens, food vendors and roaming clowns. There’s no admission fee, clown shows are free, and ride tickets begin at $19.95 for an all-you-can-ride Junior Wristband.

Palazzo Atrium and Venetian Shops
Venetian Hotel and Casino
3355 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702/607-7777
The Strip’s enormous themed indoor shopping malls have become big family destinations, with free window shopping, exotic decor and moderately priced food courts the main attractions. We like the Palazzo, with its two-story waterfall in a frescoed Italian style atrium filled with flowers. Keep walking and you’ll flow into the Venetian Resort shops where gondolas ($29 per person for a 15-minute ride) ply the canals while cute gondoliers in striped shirts (think Venice!) serenade passengers. Great fun to watch.

Discovery Children’s Museum
Donald W. Reynolds Discovery Center
360 Promenade Place
Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
702/382-3445
Located downtown, this vast kids’ museum is all about play, from the 13-level climbing structure to the many interactive learning areas focused on healthy eating, inventions, science, the environment and more. The diverse choices in the Water Play area are especially popular with visitors in the 7 to 10-year-old range. For the littler ones, the Toddler Tower designed for under-5s is an endless source of activity and entertainment. Closed Monday.

Mystic Falls
Mystic Falls Park at Sam’s Town Hotel
5111 Boulder Hwy
Las Vegas, NV 89122
702/456-7777
This free 10-minute exhibition, a big hit with kids and sentimental adults, is performed four times a day in Mystic Park Falls at 2,4, 6,8, and 10 pm. The show Sunset Stampede Laser Light and Water Show includes detailed audio effects, water geysers and laser-light animals that stampede across the prairie. Visitors say the whole illusion is more effective at night, and that the Christmas-themed show done at the holidays, is the best of all. It’s off the beaten path so review their website before committing to taking the kids!

Fun for Older Children

Dig This! guests use heavy construction equipment in a huge Vegas sand box.
Dig This! provides a fun experience by allowing guests to use heavy construction equipment in a huge Vegas sand box. Photo c. Dig This!

(Up to Age 18)

Zappos Insights Tours
400 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
877/513-7424 or 702/943-7879
Treat your schoolage kids and anyone interested in the future of e-commerce (guests 18+ must carry Government-issued ID with them)  to the 90-minute tour of the Zappos.com world headquarters in downtown Vegas. This staff-led tour is an insightful and fun look behind-the-scenes at the corporate culture that turned an online shoe shop into a prized customer service machine purchased by Amazon.com for $900 million. Really worthwhile afternoon – though they have broadened their offering a lot since we did our wonderful Zappos Insights Tour.

Ethel M. Chocolate’s Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden Tour
2 Cactus Garden Drive
Henderson, NV 89014
702/458-8864
Little chocolate lovers will love the chance to visit the Ethel M. factory where the local chocolatier produces many styles that you can sample at the end. Self-guided tours – updated in 2019 to celebrate their 35th anniversary –visit each stage in the making of these candies and are augmented by video presentations to explain the process. Afterwards, roam their 3-acre cactus garden to really understand what a desert environment this is. It’s free and decorated by theme for each major holiday.

Star Wars Secrets of the Empire
The Venetian
3377 Las Vegas Blvd South #2001
Las Vegas, NV 89109
385/323-0090
Put on your VR goggles, helmet, backpack, grab a laptop and join other guests in an hyper-reality experience created by ILMxLAB and The VOID. In addition to imaginative VR, the creators have built an environment to interact with physically, bringing your family into a Star Wars adventure to rescue another galaxy. Enough said! Open daily, ages 10+ and over 48″ may apply.

Dig This!
800 W. Roban Avenue
Las Vegas NV 89044
702/222-4344; 888/344-8447
It’s a crazy splurge starting at $269 for a 90-minute session, but here’s a unique outdoor playground where your family members ages 8+ can actually drive tractors, excavators, backhoes and heavy earth movers over and around huge sand dunes, to their heart’s content. This is for those avid Bob-the-Builder kids who want to recall that time in their lives.

Marvel: Avenger’s Station
Treasure Island
3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702/986-0922
There’s a super-themed Marvel Hero Gallery full of props and sets, an amazing gift shop and a very interactive space where participants ages 3+ can dive into the history, science, engineering, genetics, technology and profiles of Captain America, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man. Visitors have to assemble case files on each of the characters and move on to become qualified members of the AVENGERS S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Fun family-together challenge.

The Hunger Games: The Exhibition
MGM Grand
3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
866/740-7711
Based on the blockbuster film franchise, “The Hunger Games,” this interactive exhibit in The District explores the world of Panem, leading guests ages 12+ on a mission to become a part of the rebellion to conquer the capitol, while featuring architectural design and special effects lighting that highlight iconic costumes, genuine props and artistic set recreations from the popular series. Set to run through 2020. THe MGM Resorts have a variety of other exhibits in Vegas, including those devoted to The Titanic, “CSI: The Experience,” Top Golf and more; check their websites for multi-attractions packages.

Fun for the Whole Family

The dolpinarium at the Mirage Hotel's Secret Garden
The dolpinarium at the Mirage Hotel’s Secret Garden is a treat for all ages, and a great place to stay cool in summer.

Cirque du Soleil’s “O”
The Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702/796-9999
800/488-7111
Featuring one of the most celebrated circus troupes of all time, “O” is the show that many consider to be their most visionary project, but it does compete with five other wildly popular (but not all kid-appropriate) Cirque du Soleil productions in town. Inspired by such concepts as the circle of life and infinity, “O” uses 1.5 million gallons of water as its stage. Remarkably agile acrobats in brightly patterned bodysuits dive in and out of the water effortlessly, blurring the lines between swimming, ballet and gymnastics to delightful effect. This revolutionary aqua-theater is our pick for your one show (unless you’re a diehard Beatles or Michael Jackson fan), because every seat in the house has a good view. Be sure to look for discount tickets online and book ahead.

The Bellagio Fountains
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
888/987-6667
At 900 feet long with 1,200 nozzles and 4,500 white lights, this nightly outdoor display is impressive from any direction. The water literally dances in five different choreographed shows and begins every 15 minutes 8pm to midnight; every 30 minutes from 3pm-8pm. Viewing is free and well worthwhile.  If it’s too hot to stand outside, restaurants such as the Italian Circo in the Bellagio Hotel (where house-made pizzas are good value) give you ringside seats to this amazing spectacle. And if you go inside, don’t miss the Bellagio’s quiet conservatory garden, where more than 7,500 flowers and plants are on display; free entry.

Stratosphere Tower
2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89104
800/998-6937, 702/380-7777
At 1,149 feet, it’s said to be the tallest free-standing observation tower in America. An indoor/outdoor observation deck offers up beautiful panoramic views of the expansive desert and the world-famous sparkling Vegas Strip. The most impressive view is at night. Too boring? Additional tickets for X-Scream (shoot 30 feet over the tower’s rim at 30mph), other thrill rides at the Stratosphere Tower, and the super-high-adrenaline, 855-feet-long SkyJump attraction can be purchased separately. Want additional savings? Look for discounts up to 25% at BestofVegas.com.

Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
Mirage Hotel
3400 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702/791-7188
More than 25 years ago, the noted magicians Siegfried & Roy established a conservation and educational foundation that has been housed at the MGM Mirage Hotel. This garden-like zoo is the tropical home of royal white tigers, white lions, golden tigers, black panthers and white leopards. Although seeing the zoo’s inhabitants in their “natural” habitats delights children, the 2½-million-gallon Dolphin habitat may be the most fun for the whole family. Educational activities and trainer-for-the-day programs about Atlantic bottlenose dolphins can be booked in advance; guided tours for the public are conducted daily throughout the day. Kids under 4 free. Note that several attractions at the different MGM owned resorts can be bundled, so that any three of these: Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand, Big Apple Coaster & Arcade at New York – New York, the Bodies…The Exhibition or Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Luxor, Adventuredome at Circus Circus or an All-Day Pass to 4-D Movies at Excalibur can be had for $57 per adult.

Hoover Dam
30 miles SE off Las Vegas on US Hwy 93
702/494-2517; 866/730-9097
The largest artificial reservoir in the country, Hoover Dam is one of the most popular daytrip options from Las Vegas. The dam’s construction began in 1931 when it was decided that the Colorado River must be tamed; it is 726.4 feet high (221m), 1,244 feet wide (379 m), 660 feet (203 m) thick at the base, 45 feet (13 m) thick at the top and cost $165 million dollars to build. We’ve heard it currently holds back 50 trillion gallons of water in Lake Mead. Touring the dam provides unique glimpses of its awesome functions, including a chance to see the largest water pipes ever built and 17 turbines that provide electricity for the entire Southwestern United States. Note that through April 2019, renovations to the Visitors Center have caused a reduction in tour options, so tickets can only be purchased in person, on the day.

The Fremont Street Experience
425 Freemont Street at Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Downtown Las Vegas
702/678-5777
This five-block-long region is enclosed under a canopy of more than 2.1 million lights, closed off to automobile traffic to make a large pedestrian mall, and has high-tech audio and air conditioning systems for shows and free concerts. The area around 3rd Street is a new nightlife and foodie district for young locals. Every casino along Fremont Street turns off their outdoor lights exactly on the hour at appointed times each night immediately followed by the canopy’s “Sky Parade,” a free light and sound show that will go over big with the kids. There’s live music on stage nightly, tons of street performers and buskers, and great people watching; all free.

The Neon Museum Las Vegas
770 Las Vegas Boulevard North
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702/387-6366
The Neon Museum has an unusual collection of the city’s iconic signs and light displays. With its outdoor exhibition space known as Neon Boneyard, the museum also has a visitors’ center in the former La Concha Motel lobby. This museum is a fun place for kids to see all kinds of neon lights and signs that used to signify Vegas, while adults can also enjoy the nostalgia and history. Book ahead for the very popular guided nighttime tours and inquire about the unique Kid Interpreter Tours where kids are trained to show guests around.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
1000 Scenic Loop Drive at Highway 159
Las Vegas, NV 891616
Near Old Nevada, just 15 minutes outside of town on the west side
702/515-5350
Near Old Nevada, just 15 minutes outside of town on the west side
Red Rock Canyon, situated in the heart of the Spring Mountains, is a well-known destination for hikers and mountain climbers alike. Although they get snow in winter, it’s usually sunny and relatively warm for taking guided hikes. Take highway 159 west from the city until you reach the Bureau of Land Management Visitor Center. Don’t forget to take in some of the beautiful scenery en route.

5 Replies to “Las Vegas, Nevada Attractions”

  • Robert Hope

    I found an awesome site that has a TON of information on things to do in Las Vegas with your kids. it's http://www.LasVegas4Kids.net

  • anonymous

    Try The Worlds Greatest Magic Show at the Greek Isles hotel and casino. They have 8-10 different magicians, and some of them are bound to specialize in sleight of hand!

  • anonymous

    I have a 12 year old son who is an amateur magician, and I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts about which show would be best for him to see. The big stage tricks are fun, but I’m thinking a magic show with more sleight of hand would be better for him. Has anyone been to many of the magic shows in Las Vegas?

  • anonymous

    Yes, I agree. Of all the Cirque du Soleil shows, “Mystere” is the best for children. And I also think it is the best of all their shows. It is expensive, however.

  • anonymous

    Don’t forget Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere,” another great show for families!

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