Make Las Vegas a family-friendly adventure that’s fun for kids of every age. Lions, tigers, dolphins, sharks and feathered friends bring an animal adventure, while thrill rides from roller coasters to skydiving will make your hair stand on end. Kids can watch knights joust, cool off at a water park, learn to surf or dig dirt with construction equipment at these attractions and shows in Las Vegas.
Go Indoor Skydiving
Head to the skies indoors with Vegas Indoor Skydiving, an adrenaline rush without stepping out of an airplane. Instead, fliers walk into a vertical air tunnel, where a 1,000-horsepower motor shoots them into the air with gusts up to 120 mph keeping them afloat wearing a jumpsuit and goggles. Riders need to weigh at least 40 pounds and take a safety training class before skydiving, and an adult must be present for kids to fly.
Explore the Strat SkyPod, SkyJump, and Thrill Rides
Head to the top of America's tallest freestanding tower for a view of the city from indoor and outdoor observation decks at the Strat Tower’s SkyPod. The tower houses SkyJump, a free-fall jump on a bungee cord down the 108 floors of the tower that takes about eight seconds, as well as thrill rides including X-Scream that catapults riders headfirst 27 feet over the SkyPod to dangle over the edge, Insanity with its spinning 64 feet over the edge of the tower, and Big Shot that blasts riders 160 feet in the air before free falling back down.
Take in the Strip on the High Roller
The world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller at the Linq Promenade, spans 550 feet in the air just off the Strip. In 30 minutes, the 28 glass-enclosed cabins take a spin from start to finish to give riders a different view of the city. Consider this a 30-minute break from the chaos of the Strip for a serene view of the entire Las Vegas valley, and snap some shots of the kids from high above the city while you're there.
Scream at Adventuredome
Circus Circus attracts families with its Adventuredome theme park set on five acres and featuring more than 25 rides — including two roller coasters. Canyon Blaster is the world’s only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, speeding through the indoor thrill park at 55 mph, while El Loco ascends 90 feet before dropping over and under. For those who don't want thrills, the Carnival Midway offers games and free circus acts such as trapeze artists, clowns, and acrobats, while rides for the little ones feature tame roller coasters and flying airplanes.
Get Up Close with a Shark
Bravely get up close with 2,000 underwater creatures, including more than 15 species of sharks, at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. North America’s only predator-based aquarium features 14 exhibits, including a 1.3 million-gallon saltwater tank that holds a shipwreck and offers an almost 360-degree view from inside an acrylic tunnel. The Touch Pool gives everyone a chance to feel sharks, rays, or horseshoe crabs.
Tour New York City on the Big Apple Roller Coaster
The Big Apple Roller Coaster at New York-New York is really two rides in one. The world’s first coaster to feature a 180-degree “heartline” twist and dive maneuver takes riders on a thriller through a replica of the Big Apple’s skyline that makes up the facade of the resort. A virtual reality option adds a set of goggles that changes the ride into an adventure with aliens and monsters, all set in New York City. The kids can even play in the arcade before or after the thrill ride.
Slide Through a Shark Tank
The Golden Nugget gets its guests up close with sharks that sail by at The Tank on a three-story slide through the aquarium. Brave water venturers can climb up 30 feet to the third level of the complex to zoom down a waterslide that winds through the 200,000-gallon shark tank. For those who prefer not to undertake the water slide, there’s a behind-the-scenes shark tank tour by one of the on-staff marine biologists where participants can witness feeding time and learn about the different species that inhabit the tank.
See Pink Flamingos and More
The original site of Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo hosts property’s iconic pink, long-legged namesake birds and other exotic creatures. The 15-acre Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is open 24 hours a day and filled with a flock of Chilean flamingos, Ring Tealed ducks, and Sacred Ibis as well as swans, koi fish, and turtles. Two brown pelicans joined the flock from a pelican rescue in 2012. Have those cameras ready for selfies.
Play with Dolphins and Watch the Big Cats
One half of the magical Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat houses the white tigers, lions, and leopards from the famous magicians. The other neighboring half hosts the 2.5 million-gallon habitat with dolphins, including a new bottlenose baby. Visitors can add on to their experiences by going behind the scenes to see how the dolphins are cared for, becoming a trainer for the day, painting artwork with dolphins, or even spending the morning doing yoga while the dolphins do their best to distract as they swim by.
Root for a Knight or a Dragon
Cheer on your favorite royal jousting knight (or even the fire-breathing dragon) while eating with your hands at "Tournament of Kings" at the Excalibur. Knights ride horses and fight with swords while maidens dance and Merlin the Magician oversees the festivities. The dragon even has his own pyrotechnics show, all put on while diners eat tomato soup and Cornish hens sans utensils. Since June 1990, Excalibur has been the No. 1 purchaser of Cornish game hens in the United States, serving approximately 6.7 million hens. The arena that seats 900 people features 10 horses in the show and 22 in the stable who eat about 125 tons of hay every year.
Dig in the Dirt
Build huge mounds of dirt and push gigantic tires in a bulldozer or play “bucket basketball” in an excavator at Dig This. The construction equipment sandbox includes skid-steer loaders, bulldozers, and excavators, and the off-Strip attraction offers kids from age 4 and up a digging experience to remember.
Roar with the Lions
The MGM Grand once hosted its own lion habitat that honored its iconic Leo. Now the big cats roam the Lion Habitat Ranch south of the Strip near the M Resort in Henderson. Visitors can go behind the scenes to see the big cats being fed and cared for, dine at a table in the midst of the cages, and feed the lions, for a fee, of course. The ranch also has a giraffe who can be hand fed.
Go Magical with Mac King
One of the best afternoon shows in Las Vegas brings a magical act that will delight kids of all ages. "Mac King Comedy Magic Show" at Harrah's Las Vegas gives children a chance to go up on stage with the magician dressed in a retro plaid suit. Goldfish disappear and turn into coins, ropes magically get longer and shorter, Fig Newtons appear out of nowhere, some live animals make an appearance, and hand shadow puppets entertain in this 75-minute show with the charismatic King.
Learn to Surf
Kids can learn to surf on body boards on the FlowRider Wave in a Box at the Scene Pool Deck at Planet Hollywood Resort. Riders can feel safe knowing that they have less of a chance of getting hurt if they wipe out since the machine's surface absorbs energy. Riders must be at least 48 inches to ride. Two pools accompany the attraction at this rooftop destination.
Make a Splash
Wet'n'Wild water park features more than 25 thrilling attractions that keep kids cooled off and thrilled during the heat of summer. The Tornado and the six-lane Desert Racer are among the eight water slides at the water park southwest of the Strip. Kids can splash around in the 10,500-square-foot Paradise Fall with its 11 slides, spray guns, geysers, and the centerpiece, a massive tipping bucket that dumps water on guests. Kiddie Cove offers three slides for the little ones.