Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Wed November 18 2015

Family-Friendly Activities in Sin City

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | November 18, 2015

Family-Friendly Activities in Sin City

It might surprise you to learn that there are almost as many fun activities for families in Las Vegas as there are fun things to do for adults. You can use Las Vegas hotels as a jumping-off point for outdoor adventures such as helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon, boating on Lake Mead and even sledding at Mount Charleston, just 35 miles from the city.

Even within the city limits, however, Sin City has a surprising number of attractions that will wow kids and adults alike.

Adventuredome and Vegas Coasters

Quite possibly a one-stop shop for families looking for a thrill, Circus Circus’ Adventuredome is the place to be. It’s one of the largest indoor theme parks in the U.S. and it’s where kids can up their “coaster cred” on rides such as El Loco, Chaos and Sling Shot.

Vegas has a variety of other roller coasters, as well. If you haven’t gotten your fill of thrills, head over to New York-New York’s Big Apple Coaster or drive out to Buffalo Bills, about 40 miles south of Las Vegas, for a 225-foot drop at 80 mph on Desperado.

Las Vegas’ Educational Side

For a more educational experience, families can head to a variety of kid-friendly museums. Probably one of the most unique of these is the Mob Museum, located in downtown. This museum is definitely going to cover a slice of U.S. history that’s not included in any textbooks, discussing organized crime’s impact on Las Vegas, the U.S. and the world. Keep in mind that some images may be inappropriate for younger children.

You can combine the mob experience with one of Vegas’ other more unique attractions, the Neon Museum. Here, visitors will learn the history of the city’s brightest attractions, its neon signs, through a curated exhibit that is located in the rehabilitated lobby of the La Concha Motel in downtown.

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum just a few miles north of the Strip and houses several unique exhibits from the age of the dinosaurs and replicas of Egyptian artifacts to African safari animals and marine life. Highlights: the shark feedings and a real wooly mammoth tooth.

Las Vegas is also home to the Discovery Children’s Museum, a place for families to learn about art, culture and science in a fun, friendly atmosphere. The three-story museum is home to nine themed exhibition halls, including the Summit climbing structure, the Water World splash area, the Fantasy Festival dress up area, Mystery Tours and more.

Attractions on the Strip

Staying on the Strip? Some of the best attractions are probably within walking distance of your hotel. Check out the magic behind one of the country’s favorite candies: M&Ms World is four floors of chocolaty heaven. Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is home to more than 1,200 different species of aquatic life, including blacktip reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, bonnethead sharks, nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, zebra sharks and more.

Kids can also head on over to the Mirage to see its volcano systems light up the night. The volcanoes’ massive fireballs are capable of shooting more than 12 feet into the air. For a stellar view, take the fam to the Stratosphere Tower for a 360-degree panorama of Vegas in one of the tallest freestanding observation towers in the U.S. And maybe for a little late-night snack, head to New York-New York, home to the two-story candy store Hershey’s Chocolate World with more than 800 types of Hershey brand products.

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