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Five happening things for kids to do in Las Vegas

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Sugar Bowl Mix: Five happening things for kids to do in Las Vegas

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Five happening things for kids to do in Las Vegas

Not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas. We spent a week in Las Vegas last November and I wasn't sure what to expect. Vegas has a reputation, after all. The only thing I knew about Vegas was the Strip. So I did some research, spoke to some locals, and came up with some fun, family friendly activities.

Here are five happening things for you and the kids to do in Las Vegas that you can tell the world about!

1. Go on a horseback ride in Red Rock Canyon. We went to Bonnie Springs Ranch and rode through the desert for one hour. We saw a coyote, two jackrabbits and lots of birds and got to feel like genuine cowboys and cowgirls. If you go in the winter dress warmly. It was windy and in the upper thirties the day we went!

On the way out of the ranch we met this wild baby burro and its mom up close!

2. Go to Siegfried and Roy's the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage. Seeing the dolphins so close and watching a five month-old white tiger cub sucking on his caregiver's fingers will mesmerize both you and the kids.

3. Go to The Springs Preserve. This is an amazing, 180 acre cultural space filled with museums, hands-on activities, a living desert exhibit, a bird show, and a lot more. Katie was picked to go on stage during the bird show!

4. Wide, monotonous, strip-mall lined streets and bland, suburban homes make up most of Las Vegas beyond the strip. But once you get outside the city itself there's an incredible desert  to explore. An easy way to do this with kids - especially kids from Los Angeles who don't like to walk more than 25 ft at a time - is to walk the boardwalk in Red Rock Canyon. You'll see many different birds, deciduous trees (a rarity in the desert), a desert spring, petroglyphs, photos and write-ups about ranchers who lived in the area and you'll learn that Las Vegas means the meadows in Spanish. And even the kids will be the impressed with the cool, red sandstone rocks. It's a true oasis from the city.

5. Get serenaded in a Gondola on The Grand Canal at The Venetian. Cheesy? Sure. But the kids will love it. This is well organized so your wait times are minimal. While we waited Tim wandered through the shops with Katie who discovered her saved $6 in allowance wouldn't buy her that $900 bracelet she really liked.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas with your kids? What did you do for fun with them?

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