The world's tallest observation wheel, the 550-foot-tall High Roller is a great place to take the kids. Riders of all ages are sure to be in awe of the jaw-dropping views of the Strip and city down below as they ride in one of the attraction's sleek pods. Beverages are available for sale before you board, and the pods are air-conditioned so everyone will stay comfortable for the 30-minute ride, even during summer. Youth pricing is available for kids aged ages 7-17, and children ages 6 and younger are free with a paid adult. The area surrounding the High Roller is also worth exploring since it's filled with shops and restaurants.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: A ride on the world's highest observation wheel, the High Roller, is a memorable experience with an incredible view.
Terrisa's expert tip: The area around the High Roller, the Linq Promenade, has a good selection of kid-friendly restaurants. Other family-appropriate attractions are also nearby, like the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat and the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes.
With five acres of indoor climate-controlled fun, The Adventuredome at Circus Circus is the perfect Las Vegas attraction for families, or those who are just kids at heart. Offering plenty of rides and things to do, including a mini-golf course and laser tag, the park has attractions for kids of all ages. One of Adventuredome's rides, El Loco, gives riders a 72-second, adrenaline-pumping ride complete with a 90-foot ascent followed by a greater-than-straight-down diving drop that produces a negative 1.5 vertical G. Other hair-raising rides include Chaos, Inverter and The Adventuredome's first roller coaster, Canyon Blaster, which reaches speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. The all-day pass is the best deal if you're interested in riding several of the premium rides, although you need to be 48 inches or taller for an all-day pass.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Adventuredome is an indoor theme park with games and rides both kids and parents will enjoy.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Adventuredome isn't the only place at Circus Circus that's appropriate for kids. The Carnival Midway is located above the casino and offers classic carnival-style games and free circus acts.
New Zealander Ed Mumm got the idea for Dig This after using heavy equipment to clear land for a house he was building. He had such a good time using the equipment that he thought others might enjoy playing in the dirt, too. Mumm's first location was in Colorado, and in 2011 he relocated to Las Vegas. Dig This gives people the chance to operate a bulldozer or excavator in a dirt lot just off the Las Vegas Strip. The operators-for-a-day get a class on safety (including a breathalyzer test) and equipment orientation before getting into the dozers or excavators. After a little coaching, amateur operators get the chance to test out their newfound skills behind the controls of a very big piece of equipment. Scaled-down areas are available for kids, so everyone can play.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Everyone in the family can get in touch with their inner construction worker at Dig This, where guests can operate serious dirt-digging equipment.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Kids' Dig area is for children ages three and up, where the kids get to operate real earth separating equipment. If your little ones love digging in the dirt, you may never get them to leave!
For a roaring good time, take the kids to this 6.2-acre ranch in Henderson, which is home to more than 40 majestic lions, many from the same bloodline as the original real-life MGM lion. When the MGM Grand's lion exhibit on the Strip was open, the Ranch brought lions in every day and at night they came back home for care and rest. Now that the exhibit is closed, its lions live full-time at the Ranch. Guests can walk the grounds and see the animals or partake in an unforgettable interactive feeding session for an additional fee. Private tours of the Lion Habitat Ranch are available as well where guests can watch the lions being bathed and fed. In addition to lions, the ranch has emus, ostriches, guinea hens, macaws, cockatoos and a young giraffe named Ozzie, making it one of Las Vegas' wildest attractions.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Lion Habitat Ranch is a wonderful place to see lions and other exotic animals.
Terrisa's expert tip: While pandemic restrictions are in effect, guest feeding of animals may not be allowed. Check ahead to find out about any limitations that might affect your visit.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area sits just outside the western edge of Las Vegas. The area is full of photo-worthy natural beauty and rugged red rock formations. A stop at the visitor center is a must for those who haven't been to the area. This portion of the Mojave Desert is home to a tremendous number of rare plant and animal species. While visitors can opt to bike, hike or rock-climb in Red Rock, most people choose to drive the 13-mile scenic loop, which has plenty of stops for hikes and pictures. Look out for wildlife, including burros, one of the most commonly sighted animals. Picnic tables can be found in the Willow Springs area. Depending on the time of your visit, reservations may be required for timed entry on the scenic loop; check the website for details.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Families can enjoy spectacular scenery, hiking and nature watching at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Terrisa's expert tip: For an easy hike suitable for all ages, try the Children's Discovery Trail. The trail leads visitors to a seasonal waterfall, and you'll find explanatory signage along the way.
Pole Position Raceway may change the way you think of go-karts with their high-performance European machines, which can go close to 45 m.p.h. Zipping around the quarter-mile indoor track is a thrill in these fast but compact go-karts. In addition to the adult karts (drivers must be at least 56 inches tall), kids karts are available for those at least 48 inches tall. Races last about 10 minutes and are likely to bring out everyone's competitive side. These electric go-karts don't belch out fumes, which is a definite advantage over gas-powered machines. Since the track is indoors, you can escape harsh temperatures and enjoy racing year-round.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Speeding around the racetrack at Pole Position Raceway is exciting for kids and adults of all ages.
Terrisa's expert tip: If you have a group of eight or more people, you may want to check into the group rates. The facility accepts private events for up to 300 people.
Located minutes from the Strip, this award-winning 180-acre family destination is dedicated to exploring green-living, desert life and Las Vegas's vibrant history. The Preserve is home to botanical gardens, interactive science and nature exhibits, animal shows and trails. Historic buildings and sites include a spring house and other remnants from early settlers. The Butterfly Exhibit is a must-see when it's open, generally in spring and fall. Families can interact with hands-on exhibits at the Origen Museum to learn about the Las Vegas Valley, or venture outside and observe native wildlife to see what kinds of animals live in the harsh environment of the Mojave Desert. Origen's flash flood exhibit is particularly notable with its simulation of a flood.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: With playgrounds, trails, museums and historic sites, The Springs Preserve offers families plenty to do and see.
Terrisa's expert tip: While pandemic restrictions are in effect, indoor areas may be closed but outdoor spaces are open although reservations for timed entry are required. Additionally, during summer, trails close when excessive heat warnings are issued for over 105F.
Not many places associated with the word "museum" are such a hands-on experience, but the PHoF is packed with pinball machines from all eras. Known as both the Pinball Hall of Fame (PHoF) and the Pinball Museum, this is an unusual collection by any measure. The 10,000-square-foot non-profit museum is dedicated purely to pinball, and this Vegas gem hosts a massive collection of machines, many of which date to 1950 and most of which come from the celebrated heydays of pinball, 1960 to 1980. Every game is operational, so revisit all of your old-time favorites! Older machines are set to 25 cents for play and newer models go for 50 cents - either way, a real bargain for an afternoon or evening of fun.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Pinball Hall of Fame is filled with vintage and rare pinball machines, giving parents and kids a fun and inexpensive retro experience.
Terrisa's expert tip: Pinball Hall of Fame is currently in the process of moving to a new location close to the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign on the Strip. The new place is scheduled to open in the spring of 2021.
Located in the Donald W. Reynolds Discovery Center in a three-story, the 58,000-square-foot building adjacent to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, this interactive children's museum features more than 26,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a 5,000-square-foot traveling exhibition gallery. DISCOVERY offers exhibits in science and nature, arts and culture and does it all in a hands-on style that families can enjoy together. Guests of all ages can watch daily demonstrations and participate in various programs and activities. One exhibit that's not to be missed is "Water World," where visitors can interact with models of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam bypass bridge. The museum also features a desert-themed exhibition, Toddler Town, that's specifically designed for children under five years of age.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The hands-on learning experiences at the DISCOVERY Children's Museum are fun for both children and parents.
Terrisa's expert tip: Active-duty military personnel and their families will enjoy free admission to the museum from May 15, 2021, to September 6, 2021. A military discount rate of $10 is available at other times of the year.
Spanning 25 acres, Cowabunga Bay water park in Henderson is one of Las Vegas's coolest places to take the kids. Offering something for everyone, there are water slides in all sizes and shapes (not to mention speeds). You'll find surf and swim pools and an extra-fun kids' play area with pint-sized slides and tipping buckets to drench the unsuspecting. Thrill-seekers are sure to love rides like Wild Surf, where people can ride on a four-person raft that drops from 60 feet into the swell of a massive wave. For a different kind of wave-related experience, try the Surf-A-Rama Wave Pool, where the swells go four feet high. Plentiful seating, lockers, and food are available at various points throughout the park, as well as adult beverages for the over-21 crowd.
Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Cowabunga Bay gives families all kinds of options for playing in the water, from dedicated kids' areas to slides and rides.
Terrisa's expert tip: Cowabunga is particularly known for its children's area, Cowabunga Kids Cove, and its family-friendly features like the lazy river and wave pool. As an added perk, water in the kids' area is heated, an amenity found seasonally in other sections of the park as well.