Las Vegas… with Children – Part One, Favorite Daytime Activities

Las Vegas Welcome SignMany people are amazed that we take our son with us when we travel to Las Vegas.  What we have found, though, is that Las Vegas is great for both kids and their parents.

In this part one of a three-part series*, I am sharing our favorite daytime family activities that leave the “sin” out of “sin city.”


Bonnie Springs Ranch – Visit their Old Nevada Western Town, see a gunfight, visit the petting zoo, and ride a train all set amidst the beautiful Red Rock Canyon area.  For older kids, they also offer horseback trail rides and for the little ones, there are pony rides.

Discovery Children’s Museum – This is a fabulous place where children learn by having fun.   Water World is especially popular changing water flow and currents to move plastic balls around as well as guiding boats through locks.  Fantasy Festival includes a castle for all those little princesses and knights, a ship for all the pirates, and a stage to let their imagination soar.

Ethel M Chocolates Factory Tour – Watch the time and effort it takes to make Ethel M’s tasty treats.  The self-guided tour is followed by a free sample and a hard-to-resist gift shop.  Plus, you can tour the three-acre botanical cactus garden adjacent to the factory.  Note  that while the factory tour is available seven days a week, factory workers are generally only present business days during normal business hours.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum – View everything from a dinosaur mummy to exhibits featuring wildlife all over the world to live sea creatures in the aquariums including a sting ray and shark pool.  Each weekend they feature different family friendly activities.  A recent weekend was building a dinosaur with Legos.  Kids will especially enjoy the Young Scientist Center.

National Atomic Testing Museum – Our son actually requested a visit here on our most recent trip.  There are interactive displays showing the history of atomic testing from surface tests to oceanic ones to underground.  At the end, there are also pieces of history displayed such as a large portion of the World Trade Center and a few chunks of the Berlin Wall.

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat – Smaller children will enjoy seeing the collection of animals including Siegfried & Roy’s famous white lions and tigers.  Older children (age 8+) can add on to the experience creating a painting with the dolphins and teens can even be a “trainer for a day.”

Wet ‘N’ Wild Las Vegas – While the Strip location closed years ago, a Wet ‘N’ Wild waterpark was completed about 25 minutes from the Strip.  Older kids will enjoy the many water slides while young ones can splash about in Kiddie Cove.  There are also numerous activities for the entire family including a wave pool and lazy river.

* Part 2 – Favorite Day to Evening Activities 
Part 3 – What to Do with the Kids so Mom and Dad can Have Adult Fun

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