Spring into Las Vegas

Ahh…… Las Vegas during the spring. The perfect time for families to enjoy the outdoor before the weather becomes an unbearable dry heat (like every summer is).  If you’re looking to get outside with the family know that Las Vegas offers plenty to do during May (and even into early June).  Check out these events with your kids before the Las Vegas weather goes from nice to hot!

#1. The 9th Annual Best Dam BBQ. Ok, this event is in the sleep town of Boulder City, NV. Sure, the town is a twenty-minute drive from Las Vegas, but on the weekend of May 24th & 25th- it is worth it. The town comes alive with aromas of smoked meat, burnt chipotle and grilled corn. The best part? The public has accessed to some of the country’s finest BBQ masters.  People from around the country show up to the Best Dam BBQ for a chance to show off their barbeque skills and win cash.  Admission is free, the food is cheap, and there are plenty of bounce houses and parks for the kids to enjoy. http://www.bestdambarbecue.com/

#2.  The return of Wet N’ Wild. Ok, if you grew up in Las Vegas then you know what a landmark event this is. Wet N’ Wild is the ULTIMATE in water parks. It used to be located on the Las Vegas Strip. Now, it is located in a family-friendly neighborhood on the southwest side of the city. S. Fort Apache Road, just off I-215 between Sunset Road and Warm Springs Road to be exact. This waterpark has everything for kids and adults of all ages. It officially opens on Memorial Day weekend.

#3. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat. During May and June the crowds at this attraction are bearable. Located within The Mirage Hotel & Casino, this activity is local friendly. Load up the kids in the car and then flash your Las Vegas ID for a special discount.  Young ones will love viewing the dolphins from an underground location. Older kids can find adventure among the lions.  The Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat is also health conscious. The snack bar sells reasonably priced PB&J sandwiches or carrot and celery sticks.

Las Vegas has so much to offer when it comes to families. People tend to underestimate our city.  Start with the suggested three events and then check back here for further updates.

Family Activities for the weekend of April 20 and 21

April 20th is a BIG day in Las Vegas for families. Parents and kids have countless activities to partake in together. We’ve outlined some of the best, most fun and educational events for Saturday, April 20th (and a few days after) while in Las Vegas with little ones.

First, check out the Health Fair hosted by Catholic Charities.  This event offers bounce houses, food, free health exams and free giveaways from the kids. This annual event will be hosted at Catholic Charities, which is located on 3606 N. Rancho Drive, Suite 144, Las Vegas, NV 89130. The event from 9 am until 3pm.

 After the Health Fair, head over to GREENFest to celebrate Earth Day.  This event is being hosted by UNLV to help teach little ones the importance of recycling. The event will feature exhibits, recycling collection, culture, and the largest cardboard house west of the Mississippi River. Over 130 “green” booths will be on hand to help teach children how to care for the Earth.  GREENFest is free and kicks off at ULNV from 11am until 6pm on April 20th.

On Sunday, April 21st, there is a very special event for the kids. Children under two years of age are free, otherwise admission is ten dollars. If you feel like taking a ride then this activity is perfect for your family. The drive to the zoo, which is in Moapa Town, is just shy of an hour. Ross-N-More zoo is only open one more day in April and it is the 21st. The zoo’s next open date will not be until May 5th! The zoo’s website is http://www.roosnmore.org. The not for profit zoo is located at 746 Snowden Ranch Road in Moapa Town, NV.  This zoo has some of the most stunning monkeys, snakes and other wildlife in Nevada. And, it is accredited by the Zoological Association of America.

If you have a little extra cash to spend then check out David Copperfield’s Sunday (04/21) night show at the MGM Grand Hotel. This show is getting rave reviews because the theatre feels intimate and there are no video screens to assist with the “magic.” Tip: This show can sellout, but if you check Tix4Tonight, or alike websites, you usually can grab family tickets the same day and at a decent price. Children under ten years of age may not be a great match for this event. But, children in their pre-teens and teens will love this show- we guarantee it.

Las Vegas MGM-Grand. Photo shot by Derek Jensen (Tysto).

Las Vegas is packed with fun and exciting activities for Las Vegas parents and children this upcoming weekend. From getting a health checkup and learning how to recycle to visiting some beautiful animals and watching a Vegas show, there is something for everyone.  The weather in Las Vegas, despite the past few cold and windy weeks, is supposed to reflect the gorgeous and almost summer weather we are used to this time of year. So, head outdoors- have some fun- and check back here for next week’s family-fun suggestions!

Vegas Has Culture!

Not many people are aware of all the culture hosted by the city of Las Vegas. In fact, “Sin City” (as it is deemed) offers families living or visiting Las Vegas tons to do (and yes, for free) when trying to soak up some fun in the sun. Here is a list of the top three culture attractions to take in.

#1.  The 9th Island. That’s right, Hawaiian residents  frequently visit Las Vegas. And, many more are moving to the city- which has deemed it “The 9th Island” by Hawaiians. The Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic club offers monthly culture events. However, nothing compares to the annual Ho’olaule’a Festival. The festival happens in September. It is always a great idea to check out the Club’s website to find culture events happening in the current month, but save some of your Hawaiian culture-seeking experience for the Ho’olaule’a Festival. There is Hawaiian music, Hawaiian food- and most of all- tons of free and fun activities for the kids.

#2. Gospel Brunch. If you think Las Vegas doesn’t have any soul- you’re wrong. Mandalay Bay and House of Blues presents a weekly Gospel Brunch hosted every Sunday. While this event isn’t free, you should check it out when seeking out true African American culture in Las Vegas. The food is delicious and the festive atmosphere has people (and children) dancing in the aisle.

#3. Community Art.  The Southern Nevada Museum of Fine art is scheduled to open again in mid-May. Updates can be found on the website, http://snmfa.com/.   General admission is $3.00 or you can purchase a yearly pass for $20.00. Local and national artist display their works at SNMFA, making it a great opportunity to teach kids art appreciation, community involvement and how to connect with other cultures.

Las Vegas has tons to offer when it comes to culture on and off the Las Vegas Strip.  Our city is diverse and children can really experience and learn from other people’s backgrounds. So, get out to some of the events we listed and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Family Activities for the weekend of February 16 and 17

The weekend of February 16th and 17th in Las Vegas is all about the outdoors.  The weather is starting to warm-up and this particular weekend’s events incorporate sun and fun for Vegas families. Starting with Saturday, 02/16/13, families can get an early start on the day’s activities by stopping by Lake Las Vegas’ private fishing event! It starts at 8am and runs all day long.  The event is a catch and release activity that is designed to help children learn about the art of fishing and different types of fish.  More information can be obtained by calling 702-499-8821.

For three dollars per person, families can ride the outdoor cart of the Town Square Train. Town Square is the outdoor shopping mega-mall on Las Vegas Blvd.  Centrally located, families can ride around the mall for a small fee and people watch or decide where to have lunch.  The train picks up in front of the Sketchers store and tickets can be purchased at the mall’s concierge, next to main playground. 

At one o’clock “Little Women” at the Summerlin Library Theatre will take place.  This library is located at 771 Inner Circle Drive, Las Vegas, NV.  The best part of this event is that it is free and a great way to introduce classic ligature to children of all ages.  The event is being produced by Broadway Bound and Studio One’s Summerlin Dance Academy.

On Sunday, February 18th, and form 10am until 2pm, take the kids to a real outdoor Farmer’s market in the south-end of Las Vegas. Located at 9480 South Eastern Avenue, families will find local and organic produce along with delightful baked goods and craft salsas.  This event is fun because it allows parents to involve their children in the dinner making process. Kids can pick out the very vegetables they may eat later on that night for supper, allowing them to become involved in the shopping and cooking process. Plus, not many people associated Las Vegas with a farm-type environment.  This truly is an event rare to Las Vegas’ normally glitzy and glamorous culture. Lots of down home fun and inexpensive, fresh foods!

Lastly, check out story time. This free event takes place on Sunday the 18th. The Spring Valley library hosts the reading, which is located on Jones between Tropicana and Flamingo. Note: The library has a very small parking lot. If you don’t arrive early, you may be forced to walk a block or two!  Also, this event is great for younger kids. If your children are over the age of eight, they will become bored.  However, this library has a great pre-teen book section that includes comic books. If you have a Clark Country library card, it will work here too! 

This weekend in Las Vegas is not only about the outdoors but it is about saving money! Sure, there are other events going on but if you are looking for family engagement while saving serious dough check out our recommendations!

Family Activities for the weekend of February 9 and 10

It is a great time for parents in Las Vegas (and those visiting) during the month of February. There are tons of free, fun and educational event on and off the famous Las Vegas Strip. For the weekend of February 9th and 10th check out the following events.

Tivoli Village Complimentary Face Painting and MORE! This event goes from 9am until 1pm on Saturday, February 9th. Tivoli Village is located on the west-side of Las Vegas. The address is 440 S Rampart Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89145. The best part of this event, besides being free, is that every member of the family will love it. The kids get free face painting and to watch jugglers perform. The parents can enjoy upscale shopping in a relaxed environment. Plus, there is complimentary valet parking!

On the same Saturday (02/09/13) there is another choice for a fun event and it is also on the west side! A farm near Gilcrease Orchard is giving away pony rides for a small fee. The kids can collect farm fresh eggs, too. The eggs do cost money but it is a great learning experience for children, especially the younger ones. The address is 7222 Grand Teton Drive.

On Sunday, February 10th, children have a unique opportunity. From 11:30am until 6pm, the Silverton Casino Hotel’s aquarium is hosting the ‘Meet the Mermaids’ event. The event is free and kids can read the biography of each mermaid while peering at them through the 4,000 tropical fish filled aquarium.

Also on the 10th is the Blue Grass Brunch at BarBistro. This event takes place on the artsy restaurant’s patio from 11am until 3pm. The address is 107 East Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104.

The Spring’s Preserve is located within fifteen minutes of the BarBistro. On the 10th, families can rent bikes (helmets included) from the Preserve and ride two miles worth of trails. The cost is $8 per hour, per person. The scenery is well-worth the price and the weather in Las Vegas right now is perfect for this activity. Also, on this date the Spring’s Preserve’s “Wings over the Springs” show runs live. Kids can watch, sometimes even interact with hawk eagles, falcons, and owls!

Lastly, and if you have a little extra cash, check out Celine Dion’s show at Caesar’s Palace. The show is amazing and more than family-friendly. The show starts at 730pm on Saturday night (2/09/13) but the tickets start at $160 per person.

As you can tell, Las Vegas has plenty to offer families on the weekend of February 9th and 10th. Regardless if you are taking the family out on a shoestring budget or are planning to splurge, there is no shortage of entertaining and informative activities for the entire family to partake in!

Best Las Vegas Family Outdoor Events in January

January in Las Vegas is nice because the weather isn’t too cold to still participate in outdoor activities. There is always a ton of unique things for families to do when in Vegas, too. So, what Vegas outdoor events are the most entertaining and inexpensive? Below is a list of our top five picks for outdoor activities for children in Las Vegas- especially during January.

1. Mount Charleston. Mount Charleston is an hour drive from the center of Las Vegas. And the drive will really transform your perspective. One goes from seeing desert to seeing large pine trees and dramatic snowfall, yes snowfall! You don’t have to ski to enjoy Mount Charleston. The Resort on Mount Charleston has a wonderful fire pit with decadent hot chocolate that children will enjoy. For the adults there is a wine bar that also serves craft cocktails. Besides enjoying the resort’s drinks, or outside snow, the public library is about fifteen minutes from the resort and is all of three rooms, making it a quaint photo opportunity for the entire family.

2. The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage is technically inside a casino but the habitat itself is outdoors.  Families can come face to face with lions, tigers but no bears, oh my!  Dolphins splash bystanders and there are two reasonably priced gift shops. Another nice feature is the habitat’s snack bar. No fried foods here. Kids have their choice of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or carrot and celery boats with ranch.  Locals do get a discount by flashing a Nevada driver’s license or identification. Did we mention children three or under get in for free? And oh the parent and children ticket prices are under twenty dollars.

3. The Zoological – Botanical Park located at 1775 N. Rancho Drive.  This zoo is three acres and it is a petting zoo, making it a fantastic interactive activity for the entire family. The zoo featured nine-foot tall birds, a lion, wallabies, emus, fossas, chimpanzees and more.  The nice part of the zoo is that it is mommy-friendly. Some places in Vegas make tickets cheap enough but forget the practicalities. The zoo has lots and lots of benches and places to sit. If mommy has to change a diaper, put a child in time-out, or just sit down and rest her bones- it is possible. You don’t have to walk through the entire zoo. You can take your time, which makes this activity a great all-day experience for little ones. January is a great time to walk around too. The weather isn’t scorching hot, allowing kids to focus on the educational aspects of this adventure.

4.Sunset Park – Sunset and Eastern, near the airport. This is one park that has been around almost as long as Vegas has. Again, January is nice enough to enjoy outdoor sports without worrying about heat stroke in little ones. Sunset Park has it all. Ducks to feed, large grassy areas to run (especially with the family pet), well-lit basketball courts, and interesting walking paths. The best part? There is a McDonalds across the street, making an impromptu picnic almost inevitable.

5. The Stratosphere’s Outdoor Deck! Ok, maybe this isn’t ideal for younger kids but for families with kids ten (or older) this activity is affordable and the view is breathtaking. For a small entrance fee, families can ride the fastest elevators in the world to the 109th floor of the famous Stratosphere Tower. The outdoor observation deck features wow-ing views of Las Vegas and its neighboring city.  January is also a perfect time to visit the outdoor deck because Las Vegas’ weather is mostly mild during this month. The summer time can make the outdoor deck unbearable to visit because it is almost five degrees hotter up there compared to walking around on Vegas’ ground level. The indoor deck (108th floor) has snack bars, cartoonist, floor to ceiling windows, and a green-screen photo booth.

Regardless of your choice, you will find that Vegas has amazing weather from January until the end of May.  There are the best months to take advantage of outdoor activities that don’t involve rafts and a swimming pool!

Christmas and New Years in Las Vegas!

Christmas in Vegas for kids can be an amazing time. There is so much to do and, in many cases, going out on Christmas in Vegas doesn’t have to cost you a dime! For example, Sam’s Town on “The Boulder Strip” offers up a an attraction called Mystic Falls. Normally, this attraction is a year-round sight-to-see. But on Christmas Mystic Falls features a thirty-foot Christmas tree decked from top to bottom in beautiful lights.  On Christmas Day Mystic Falls will feature a free fifteen minute show at 6, 8 and 10 p.m.   As a safety note try to valet park if possible. Sam’s Town is a great casino but the area can be a little rough after nightfall.  If you chose to self-park then pick a well-lit area, especially around the holidays.

Another Christmas-ish attraction in Vegas for kids is Scuba Santa.  This underwater and real Santa Claus is featured at The Silverton Hotel and Casino on the south end of Las Vegas Blvd.  This attraction is also free and visitors can take pictures of Santa waiving to the kids in all of his cheery scuba gear!  Santa is onsite from 10am until 1pm on Saturdays or Sundays, so catch him the Sunday before Christmas for some pre-holiday  merriment.

Sticking with actual Christmas Day in Vegas events,  check out Rao’s at Ceasars Palace. This is the ONLY hotel / restaurant in Las Vegas that is offering the feast of the Seven Fishes.  This feast has been featured previous on The Food Network and it is a must for any families or visitors from the east-coast.

Now, for New Years. It is true that New Years’ past in Vegas was only for adults. But this fact has drastically changed and is now a myth. New Years in Vegas with kids is now accepted! The party on Las Vegas Blvd. can be too much. The crowds are massive, security can be a little aggressive (and rightfully so with all the partiers), and parking is always a headache if you aren’t staying on The Strip.

A wonderful and family friendly alternative is going to Lake Las Vegas, which is a thirty-minute drive outside of Vegas.  This year Ravella at Lake Las Vegas has a New Year’s Eve celebration for only $25 dollars  per child (ages 6-12 yrs) and $65 dollars per adult.  Ravella gives families the chance to enjoy  fireworks, live music, Italian cuisine and a view of the beautiful lake without the headache of rowdy crowds.

Another great, an inexpensive, way to enjoy the Las Vegas Blvd.’s  fireworks , without actually going on to The Strip, is to park at the airport.  On Sunset Blvd., between Eastern Avenue and Las Vegas Blvd., there is a designated parking area that has a perfect view to watch both planes take-off and land, as well as view The Strip’s grand hotels and the fireworks. There is no charge for parking but get there early. Lots of long-time Vegas locals know about this hidden treasure spot and the parking spaces are very limited.

Lastly, if you do chose to take your children on The Strip for New Years’ Eve then note it gets cold and loud.  The Strip is shut down to traffic around five p.m. and the Blvd. becomes filled with party goers. Also, there is no open container law in Las Vegas. So, keep the kids close to yourself and a major hotel. Try not to get too deep into any crowd and, most of all, enjoy New Year’s Eve in Vegas!

Suggestions for the Weekend of December 8-9

The weekend of December 8th is an exciting time for kids in Las Vegas.  Parents too! There are a ton of free Las Vegas events that tie in holiday cheer.  For example, Ethel M® Chocolates will be hosting its annual light festival at its Vegas based candy factory.

That’s right, over a half of a million lights will adorn the cactus garden that sits next to Ethel M® Chocolates’ candy making factory.  The factory is on the border of Las Vegas and Henderson and it is a must see for those who haven’t been. Normally, people are able to tour the candy making process at Ethel M® Chocolates’ factory. The free tour is informative and every man, woman and child receives a complimentary sample of chocolate at the end of the tour. But, on December 8th the factory is offering extra special accommodations for visitors. The tour is still free but so is the viewing of the holiday lights!


On December 8th and 9th, Santa and the lighted garden tour start at 5pm and goes until 9pm.  Even though the event is outdoors, pets are not allowed. So, if you love Christmas lights and chocolate…for FREE… then visiting Ethel M® Chocolates is a must! The address is 2 Cactus Garden Drive. Henderson, NV 89014.

Another free Las Vegas event on the weekend of December 8th and 9th is the Lake Festival of Lights. This event takes place on the west side of Las Vegas, just off of Sahara Avenue. The lake at Lake East Drive and Lake Sahara Drive is turned into an all-day holiday event / car show.  Santa Claus will be on hand and so will be a petting zoo, crafts for kids, food (this is the only cost associated item) and an electric boat parade. The event starts at noon and goes to ten at night.  Greg at 702-256-9998 is able to provide specific details, if needed.  Note, locals know this event is popular. There is a City bank nearby that allows the pubic to utilize its parking space.  There isn’t parking anywhere else, that is close to the actual event anyway. Most of the houses surrounding the lake are within a gated area with no access to the public for parking. Another suggestion is to park at the Smith’s Grocery store on the corner of Sahara Avenue and Durango. Once parked, the walk to the Lake Festival of Lights event is less than ten minutes.  Make sure you stick to the crosswalk if using this method, this intersection is known for speeding drivers.

Another cool event for Las Vegas kids, or those visiting, is provided by Music 4 Life® Wellness & Education Center. The center provides music therapy, music medicine and drum circles for kids of all ages.  The main program is managed by licensed music therapist Judith Pinkerton, MT-BC/L. However, Music 4 Life®  is hosting its KIDS RHYTHM CLUB at 9:30am on Saturday, December 8th. The event will take place at 2975 S. Rainbow Blvd. in the 89146 zip code.  The fee has yet to be announced, but parents and visitors are free to call 702-889-2881 for specific information.

Lastly, if you are looking for something over the top in Vegas for the kids then try out The Venetian’s Ice Skating Rink. Yep, even with temperatures still in the 70’s, The Venetian has outdone themselves again by bringing winter in Venice to the Vegas strip! The best part? Children 7-12 years of age are free with a paid adult admission ticket. The adult admission ticket is $14.95. The rink has 30-minute skating sessions on a synthetic ice rink adjacent to the resort’s outdoor gondola rides. The only negative side to this experience is that reservations must be made on the morning of the day you want to skate (which starts at 11 am), and competing with the hotel guests and other locals for a ticket can be tricky- so get in line early and plan to stay on property.  Also, skaters must be at least 7 years old and there is a limit of three children skating for free per each adult.

If you do plan on going to the ice rink at The Venetian, check out the Grand Lux Café. It is located on the main level of the hotel and casino and has over-sized entrees that cater to family budgets. Eighteen inch pizzas run about twelve dollars and the adult shrimp Fra diablo Pasta is under fifteen dollars.

Las Vegas is a wonderful place for children the weekend of December 8th and 9th of 2012. Even better, parents can survive the entire weekend’s events for under one hundred dollars, meals included, for a family of four.

Suggestions for the weekend of December 1-2

December is an exciting time in Las Vegas. There are Santa sightings almost everywhere and the whole city is gearing up for the holiday season with green and red décor everywhere you turn. The week of December 1st and 2nd in Las Vegas is extra special because the events for kids seem to be in full swing.

On December 1st, Las Vegas’ own ice-hockey team, The Wranglers, will play the Solar Bears at The Orleans Hotel and Casino. The game starts at 7pm and there is a free concert featuring Louis Prima Jr. right after the game.  Youth tickets start at $6.00 and can be ordered by calling 702-284-7777.

A nice feature that the Orleans thought of was a casino-free entrance into the ice-rink.  The Orleans is located about ten minutes west of Las Vegas Blvd.  and off of Tropicana avenue. Rental cars can park in the garage so families can enter the ice-rink without ever laying foot in the casino. Cabs can drop off at the garage entrance too.  The Orleans also has a Subway sandwich shop located inside the casino area, but it isn’t too far away from where the ice-rink is, if you are looking to grab a cheap meal before the game. Note: Franchise food prices in Las Vegas are more expensive when located inside a casino. Starbucks, Subway, and even McDonalds sometimes charge double (if not triple) the cost of their normal menu items.

One suggested stop before the hockey game is the Rainforest Café, which is located in the MGM Grand. All the kids’ menu entrees are under six dollars and the selections include pizza, pasta, shrimp, and (of course) chicken nuggets. Parents have an inexpensive yet delicious options too, including macadamia crusted tilapia or a Volcanic cobb salad. The MGM Grand is located on the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd. A cab ride to The Orleans will run about fifteen dollars, depending on traffic, and the public bus runs $2.00 per way and picks up at the New York New York Hotel and Casino, which is directly across from the MGM Grand.

On December 2nd think about taking the kids off the strip and to Plant World. http://www.plantworldnursery.com/ A locals’ favorite, this nursery is a free experience for children to interact with animals and learn about plants and flowers too. Although it isn’t your typical “Vegas” experience, Plant World has exotic bids, turtles, rabbits, cats, and more roaming free on the grounds. Some of the birds are even for sale.  Plant World is located on W. Charleston in Las Vegas. The nursery is easy to get to via rental car. All one has to do is drive Las Vegas Blvd. going north and take a left on  Charleston Blvd.  Although Plant World isn’t located in a bad section of Las Vegas, we don’t recommend using the public bus system to get there. The bus does have to go through a few “non-friendly” areas of the city. If you decide to take a cab understand that you will have to make a reservation to be picked-up. The cab fare is going to be around $65.00 round trip so plan accordingly.

Also on December 2nd is the Las Vegas Strip at Night marathon. It starts at Mandalay Bay at 3pm and the finish line is located in front of The Venetian.  Although running a marathon isn’t ideal for the kids, it is fun for them to watch the runners! There are going to be running Elvis’ and live music at different stops along the marathon’s path. The Mirage is also offering pre-race breakfast and pasta lunch specials to both runners and spectators. More information can be found here:  http://stripatnight.com/entertainment.html

If you’re looking to splurge with the kids on this weekend then checkout The Bellagio’s holiday display at the hotel’s main-level botanical garden.  December 2nd is the kick-off of the garden’s winter exhibit and the kids will be the first to view all the holiday cheer put together by 140 on-staff horticulturists. After viewing the exhibit, check out Jean Philippe’s pastry shop. Outside the shop are three chocolate waterfalls. The pastry shop features a chocolate crepe that is so decadent -it has to be shared! More on Jean Philippe can be accessed here: http://www.jpchocolates.com/


Suggestions for the weekend of November 17-18

Vesting Las Vegas the weekend of November 17th and 18th? Not sure what to do with the kids? We have the best things to do this weekend in (and around) Las Vegas!

First, let’s talk entertainment. Sure, Vegas has the adult shows but there are national television shows that film in the city too.  On November 17th America’s Got Talent is filming at The Palazzo Hotel & Casino. Tickets starts at $75 dollars but the theatre offers comfortable seats and it is a warm and family friendly option. Moreover, Vegas is cooler this time of year and not too many people want to venture walking the strip when they could be inside instead!

Also in Las Vegas the weekend of November 17th is the Las Vegas Philharmonic. The group is playing at The Smith Center with tickets starting at $46.00. There is not a bad seat in the house at The Smith Center. The building is the latest addition to the Las Vegas skyline. The Smith Center is known as THE place to be for Broadway shows and cultural events. It is a true representation of the Las Vegas community and not what the typical tourist gets to experience. The only caution is the price of snacks. The Smith Center offers up non-caffeinated soda, juice, and even candy- but two sodas and a bag of regular size m&m’s runs about twenty-dollars. The Smith Center is not within walking distance to any of the Las Vegas hotels. Cab rides run about twenty-dollars (one-way) but the building is adjacent to The Las Vegas Premium Outlets.  If you plan accordingly, you can pay a one-time cab fare to see the philharmonic and get some shopping in too!

Speaking of shopping, The Las Vegas Premium Outlets is the place to save. There are over one hundred and fifty shops and inexpensive eating options too. The downside is the mall is outdoors and the kids will have to be bundled up as the weather in Las Vegas (especially at night) can drop to forty degrees. The outlets offer name brand clothing and shoes at deep discounts.  Some brands include Steve Madden, Nike, Puma, Converse, Vans, and Adidas.

On Sunday, November 18th, we suggest taking the kids outside of Vegas to check-out its non-gaming sister city, Boulder City! You will need a rental car for this adventure. If not, the cab ride will be over a hundred dollars. Another option is to reach Boulder City by way of city bus. The 402 bus is the only way to reach Boulder City (the fare is $2.00 per person, per way) and will require a transfer from any hotels – unless you are staying at Boulder Station or Sam’s Town. We suggest asking your hotel’s concierge to help plan out the details if you do chose to use Las Vegas’ public transportation system.

Boulder City is about twenty-minutes outside of Las Vegas. The historic town was built to house the workers who built Hoover Dam.  There are lots of antique shops to visit when going to Boulder City, but we suggest taking the kids on an old-fashioned train ride when in town. The Southern Railway excursion is an hour-long ride between Boulder City and Henderson, Nevada. On Saturdays and Sundays the train rides run at 10:00, 11:30, 1:00, and 2:30. Get there early to buy tickets as this is a popular activity for Las Vegas locals. Boarding begins fifteen minutes before departure. There are restrooms on the train and the ride offers stunning views of the Nevada desert and mountains. People twelve years of age (or older) can ride for $10 dollars. Ages four to eleven ride for $5 dollars and kids three years old (or younger) ride for free.


After the train ride, we suggest going into town to visit the Boulder Dam Hotel off Arizona Avenue. The hotel has a great interactive museum that shows how men and women built the Hoover Dam and lived in Boulder City during its construction. The hotel itself is rumored to be haunted so if you have children interested in the paranormal don’t be afraid to ask the front desk staff about recent “sightings.” For lunch we suggest walking across the street from the Boulder Dam Hotel to The Dillinger. The restaurant offers an inexpensive children’s menu for hungry youngsters. If you do stop at either the Boulder Dam Hotel or The Dillinger, the bus stop back into Las Vegas is located in the neighboring park.

Boulder Dam Hotel off Arizona Avenue