By Ashley Sepanski
If you thought Vegas was off-limits for your next family vacation, we get it. Gambling, all-night parties and debauchery galore might not feel like the most wholesome environment for quality family time, but there’s a lot more to the city of Sin than glittering lights and penny slots. With moderate to toasty temps year-round, surprisingly affordable resorts with plush kid-friendly perks, and an impressive amount of activities the whole family can enjoy, you’ll be glad you gave this high-energy destination a shot. To get you started, here are 10 under-the-radar activities to kick off your Vegas vacation.
1. Adventuredome Theme Park
If the name of this family fun hotspot didn’t give it away, Adventuredome is five acres of indoor rides, games and attractions located at Circus Circus Casino. Reach speeds of 55 mph on Canyon Blaster, the world’s only double-loop, double-corkscrew indoor coaster. before taking a break to rock climb and bungee jump. Next, race the clock in the Bank Heist Laser and Escape Vault attractions. Wrap up the day with a 4D movie worthy of Universal Studios.
2. Neon Museum
A visit to Vegas means taking in lots of neon. Check out a mind-blowing collection of iconic neon signs at the Neon Museum—a perfect stop for social media-obsessed teens. Don’t miss the two-acre Boneyard filled with the abandoned signs of Vegas’ yesteryear.
3. High Roller Observation Wheel
See all the sights from the top of this 550-foot high observation wheel, which currently holds the title of tallest in the world. One rotation in a spacious cabin at this Caesars Casino attraction takes about 30 minutes, the perfect amount of time to enjoy a breather during a full day of exploring.
4. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
An unforgettable way to cool off on a hot day, a visit to the famed Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden lets kids get up close and personal with bottlenose dolphins, white tigers, lions, and leopards. Sign little ones up for a painting session with the dolphins (yes, the dolphins participate!) and schedule a dolphin yoga class for yourself at this MGM Resort.
5. SlotZilla and VooDoo Zip-lines
Forget the cab! We’d argue that the best way to see downtown Las Vegas is by zip line. Choose from two options at SlotZilla: the seven-story, traditional zip line over two blocks of scenic downtown, or get adventurous with the Zoomline, an 11-story line that allows you to fly superman style over five blocks of glittering Vegas shops and restaurants. Next, make your way to the Rio Hotel to zip between the hotel’s two towers at 33 mph on the VooDoo line.
6. New York-New York Hotel and Casino
Replicas of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Empire State Building are the perfect Instagram backdrop for your Vegas visit at New York-New York Hotel and Casino. Grab a burger from the NYC-famous Shake Shack before heading to the Big Apple Arcade. The braver members of your group will love the 200-foot tall Big Apple Coaster, complete with virtual reality features. Cap off the day with a visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World to load up on desserts.
7. Tournament of Kings
Consider this dinner show Medieval Times on steroids. Inspired by the legend of King Arthur, enjoy a robust three-course meal at Excalibur while valiant knights joust, fight, and ride their mighty steeds around this 900-seat arena.
8. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Rub shoulders and snap photos with your favorite celebrities at the world-famous Vegas location of Madame Tussauds, known for its impressive collection of lifelike wax figures.
9. Streetmosphere and Gondola Rides
While a stroll through the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian is a unique experience of its own, kids will love Streetmosphere, a scheduled series of performances featuring acrobats, operas, jugglers, and more. After the show, take a gondola ride down the canal.
10. Pole Position Raceway
Indulge your competitive side at this epic go-kart race track. With carts that reach speeds of up to 45 mph and authentic racing helmets, you can expect everyone in your crew to have a blast. The fact that tracks are indoors also makes this a great option for sweltering summer days.