Las Vegas – it’s known for being a premier location for adult entertainment. But, it is also very family friendly, with an abundance of theme parks, museums and shows for kids of all ages.
Just an hour flight from Fresno-Yosemite International, or a five-to-six-hour-drive from the South Valley, makes it a great place for a weekend filled with things to do. Lodging is available in a variety of price ranges and it’s easy to get around town on foot, or via monorail, tram or cabby. Many attractions are part of some of the larger hotels, while others stand alone as independent businesses.
Theater and Observation Wheel
One current high-tech live show is the “Jabbawockeez” at the MGM Grand. Chock-full of live music, dance and comedy, this is definitely for the young at heart. The hip-hop group first appeared on the competitive television reality show, America’s Best Dance Crew, produced by Randy Jackson. After winning the show, and appearing on other TV shows and live performances, it hit the Vegas stage. Having quickly become a major hit, the production now has its own customized theater at the MGM.
The young, energetic dancers interact with audiences during two nightly shows, Thursdays-Mondays. Pre-event ticket purchases are highly recommended. For more information, visit https://www.mgmgrand.com/en/entertainment/jabbawockeez.html.
The High Roller, at Cesear’s LINQ, touts being the world’s tallest observation wheel, standing 550-feet tall. A part of the LINQ’s outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment promenade, it takes 30 minutes for the wheel to complete one revolution. It features 28 enclosed cabins which each hold up to 40 people. Children 12 and under ride free with one paid adult. There is bench seating inside, although most people prefer to stand to take in the sights.
For more information on the High Roller, visit https://www.caesars.com/linq/high-roller
Indoor Theme Park
Las Vegas likes to do everything big, and at Circus-Circus, the Adventuredome is said to be the largest indoor theme park in the world. This refreshing indoor arena away from the summer heat offers theme-park rides, games and food. While most of the rides have height requirements, there are some all-age rides and a multitude of attractions such as the clown show, miniature golf, mini-bowling and arcade games for the whole family.
For the more adventurous there is rock climbing and bungee jumping. There are also two laser tag rooms – Circus Lazar Maze and Gotham City.
The dome’s two roller coaster rides, El Loco and Canyon Blaster require riders to be at least 48-inches tall and strong of heart. Other featured rides include the FX Theater with SpongeBob Square Pants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue or Dora & Diego 4-D Adventure. Children must be 33-inches tall to attend with an adult or 42-inches tall to attend on their own.
The Sand Pirates is an out of control swing ride, with riders meeting the same requirements as the FX Theatre. Children must be 54-inches tall to drive, or 42-inches tall to ride in the Canyon Car, bumper cars.
Other junior rides include the Miner Mike – mine train, Frog Jumper, Thunderbirds – airplane ride, the Circus Carousel, Road Runner and the B.C. Bus. One other unusual feature is Drifters, a Ferris wheel eluding to the feeling of riding in a hot air balloon. Children under 42 inches must ride with an adult.
For more information on the Adventuredome, visit http://www.adventuredome.com.
From TV to Visitor Crime Scene Investigation
For children 12-and-older, and their parents, the CSI Experience is an interactive forensic experience like no other. Visitors check in on a crime scene and uncover clues, then return to the lab for further investigation while interacting with real-life forensic scientists, as well video of stars of the hit TV show, CSI.
There are three different crime scenes, and generally individuals can pick their choice. These include –
“A House Collided” investigators will compare fingerprints of the victim to the evidence, examine blood spatter patterns, observe the shoes of the victim and tracks found in the room, compare fibers on the victim’s clothes with fibers in the room, analyze the victim’s blood-alcohol level, compare DNA of the victim with evidence and eventually discover the cause of death.
For “Who Got Served?” the investigation will include reviewing evidence within a cell phone, examining the contents of the handbag, inspecting the purse and headshot for fingerprints, establishing the time of death, reviewing DNA samples, testing powder from the handbag at the scene, and discovering the cause of death.
Sleuths working on “No Bones About It!” will analyze the bullet from the found skull, analyze hairs found with the body, examine a seed found in a the pocket of a coat, study a DNA sample from a tooth, test the DNA of an animal’s hair, examine a femur bone to establish the height of the victim, compare dental records to the victim and discover the cause of death.
It generally takes one hour to complete an investigation, although once participants have entered an exhibit they may take as long as they wish.
CSI: The Experience is located at the MGM Grand and is open daily from 9am-9pm. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
CSI: The Experience was developed in cooperation by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, CBS Consumer Products, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and the National Science Foundation.
For more information visit, http://lasvegas.csiexhibit.com/.
While their act ceased, once Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy was attacked by one of their tigers 13 years ago while on stage, the legend continues through Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat located at the Mirage. Families including children of all ages are welcome to spend as much time as they wish exploring the gardens and tiger, lion and dolphin habitats. Exclusive experiences include a VIP tour, Yoga with the Dolphins, Painting with Dolphins and the opportunity of becoming Trainer of the Day in the Dolphin Habitat.
All day adventure passes are $22 for adults; $17 for children 4-12. Painting with the Dolphins is limited to two at a time and restricted to participants a minimum age of 8. For more information visit https://www.mirage.com/en/entertainment/siegfried-roys-secret-garden-and-dolphin-habitat.html.
No doubt, there is much to do and see in Las Vegas for all ages, any time of year. While there is adult-only entertainment, and gambling is prohibited to anyone under the age of 21, the city is alive with entertainment 24-hours a day and so are the restaurants and buffets.