The Top 15 Things to Do in Las Vegas with Teenagers

Aerial view of Las Vegas strip in Nevada on a sunny day
f11photo / Getty Images

The activities for which Vegas is best known—like gambling and nightclubs—are, quite notably, not for teens. In fact, some hotels prohibit people under the age of 18 from walking across a casino floor unaccompanied. But truthfully, the things that teens can’t do constitute only a small portion of the offerings in Las Vegas.

The lion’s share of the programming along the Las Vegas Strip and beyond is targeted to families, regardless of the naughty reputation the city trades on. Even better, a lot of the best activities for teens—and those reliving their teenage years—are free. Here’s a selection of the good, clean fun you can have as a teen (or with your teen) around Las Vegas.

01 of 15

Swan Dive From 829 Feet

X Scream thrill ride on the outer observation deck of The Stratosphere tower in Las Vegas

Getty Images

Address
2000 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89104, USA
Phone +1 800-998-6937

The iconic Strat Hotel, Casino & Skypod has some of the most terror-inducing thrill rides in the world—perfect for teens who love a scare. Riders must be 4 years old or older, and those under 18 must have parental permission (with ID) to ride some of the rides. If your teen fits into that category, you can send them on SkyJump, a controlled jump that spirals you down 829 feet at 40 miles per hour and holds the Guinness World Record for the highest commercial decelerator. Or buckle into the Big Shot and fly 160 feet into the air at 45 miles per hour up the tower’s mast to a height of 1,081 feet and back down.

The ride aptly named “Insanity” lifts passengers by mechanical claw 64 feet over the edge of the SkyPod and spins them at up to three Gs while turning them over a 70-degree angle. Or hop on the X-Scream roller coaster, which teeters riders off the edge from 866 feet up and dangles riders 27 feet over the edge of the tower. If not all the teens in your party are game, they can simply enjoy the Observation Deck on levels 108 and 109, where they can take in the city from behind the angled windows or venture out to the outdoor observation deck.

02 of 15

Take a Technicolor Hike

Red rock canyon with sunlight shining on the rocks
Pengcheng Zhu / Getty Images
Address
1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161, USA
Phone +1 702-515-5350

Red Rock National Conservation Area spans nearly 200,000 acres where you can hike, bike, and rock climb up the stunning faces of red Aztec sandstone cliffs. It will only take you 30 minutes to get to the visitor center, and once you’re there, you’ll have your pick of 26 hikes and trails that go from the deepest canyons to Red Rock’s highest points.

Kids love the Lost Creek trail, which takes you through ancient cultural sites that include pictographs and petroglyphs. More adventurous teens might like the 2-mile hike to Keystone Thrust, which is a dramatic series of jagged limestone rock layers formed 65 million years ago. Not into hiking? Go on a horseback adventure with Cowboy Trail Rides, a private company whose stables are near the Red Rock entrance, books short and long rides on its horses and mules.

03 of 15

Get a Heart-Stopping View of New York

New York New York Hotel Coaster

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Address
3790 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-740-6969

The Big Apple Coaster at New York New York is a thrilling coaster with a 180-degree “heartline” twist and dive maneuver, which then drops riders 203 feet. So while it’s tempting to say this is a more conventional roller coaster experience than those at the top of the STRAT, riders on this coaster are still getting a jolt of terror. You’ll start with a 180-foot lift and a 76-foot drop, then a hill and a 144-oot drop. That’s when your train will do two inversions and a half loop.

Recent improvements have made the ride smoother than ever, and the ride’s station is themed like the New York City subway. There’s no age requirement, but you do have to be 54 inches tall to ride.

04 of 15

Pose at the Famous Sign

Famous Las Vegas Sign

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Address
5100 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Phone +1 702-533-9112

If there were ever a ‘gram-worthy pic, it’s the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. It’s been greeting visitors at the south end of the Strip since 1959, and it’s one of the most iconic signs in the world. In the last few years, the city has made the 25-oot-tall sign more accessible to visitors (who used to have to navigate treacherous traffic to get here). Now there’s free parking accessible on the westbound side of Las Vegas Boulevard so your teens can get their shot, make their TikTok, or whatever they need to do to prove they were here.

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05 of 15

See the Splashiest Show on the Strip

Fountains at the Bellagio

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Address
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-693-7111

The Bellagio Fountains are the best free show on the Strip. Set on a nearly 9-acre lake, the fountains shoot spouts of water up to 460 feet high from more than 1,200 powerful sprayers and shooters (you’ll hear the boom when they go off) while 200 speakers send music out to the crowds. In recent years, Bellagio has branched out from original classics like Andrea Bocelli’s “Con Te Partiro,” Elvis Presley singing “Viva Las Vegas” and Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” Now the choreographed dancing fountains play to songs by artists like Tiesto, Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars. The show begins every 30 minutes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight. On weekends and holidays, the shows start at noon.

06 of 15

Tour Nevada's First State Park

Local Landmarks
Mooney / Getty Images
Address
29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040, USA
Phone +1 702-397-2088

Nevada’s first state park, Valley of Fire, can look like the entire area is ablaze when the sun hits its fiery red Aztec sandstone formations just right. It’s one of the most popular places around Las Vegas to hike; just make it a day trip because it takes nearly an hour to drive here. Once you arrive, you’ll not only see incredible, physics-defying rock formations but also beautifully preserved petroglyphs carved into the rocks 2,500 years ago by the Basket Maker culture.

Teens will love the undulating Fire Wave formation that follows small stone piles along slickrock. You’ll discover wild formations like Elephant Rock, an arch that resembles its name, and the Beehives, Instagrammable formations in the shape of giant hives. Valley of Fire rangers will schedule free tours or you can travel with Adventure Photo Tours, which will pick you up at your hotel on the Strip in the morning and bring you back in the afternoon.

07 of 15

Ascend a Parisian-ish Monument

replica of the eiffel tower and a hot air balloon outside the Las Vegas Paris hotek
Robert Alexander / Getty Images
Address
3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 888-727-4758

The Las Vegas Eiffel Tower may look similar to the original, but it’s half the size and looks out to the dancing fountains of Bellagio and to the laser light-beam-topped Luxor pyramid. And unlike in Paris, you can photograph the Vegas version’s light show. You’ll see all the rivets and ironwork of the tower’s insides as you go up 46 stories in a glass elevator to the viewing platform. While the attraction is open year-round, we love going during the holiday season, when there are even more lights than usual around the Vegas Valley. There’s no time limit, so feel free to linger.

08 of 15

Fly Over a Five-Block Pedestrian Mall

Four Queens Hotel and Casino
powerofforever / Getty Images
Address
425 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
Phone +1 702-678-5600

The Fremont Street Experience is famous for its immersive light show that runs the length of a 1,400-foot-long canopy suspended 90 feet above the pedestrian mall. the light show is mesmerizing from the ground but those who want a more immersive experience can hop on SlotZilla, a 12-story slot machine in which you insert yourself (like a coin) and can fly seated or superhero-style down the block.

There’s no age requirement, although riders younger than 16 must be accompanied by someone older than 16. For teens who want a slightly less high-flying adventure, there’s Zip-Zilla, where you sit in a harness and zip along two blocks from seven stories high. Keep in mind that for the Fremont Street Experience, as for all of Downtown, there’s a 9 p.m. curfew for unaccompanied kids under 18.

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09 of 15

Wander a Neon Boneyard

Sign from the Stardust Hotel, now at Neon Museum, Las Vegas
Barry Winiker / Getty Images
Address
770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
Phone +1 702-387-6366

For years, the Neon Museum was open by appointment only as the “Neon Boneyard,” a collection of retired neon signs dating from the 1930s. But now you can visit these icons, walking through the rehabbed La Concha Motel lobby into a breathtaking collection of 120 iconic signs. Teens will love one of the Neon Museum’s night tours, which take 45 minutes to complete. One of its recent innovations is its North Gallery, where technology advances are able to re-illuminate more than 40 non-operational signs. The tour to book for that incredible sight is its “Brilliant!” tour, which goes until 10:30 p.m.

10 of 15

Fly Higher Than the London Eye

High Roller

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Address
3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-322-0593

The High Roller is one of the world's tallest observation wheels, higher even than the London Eye or the Singapore Flyer. Glass-domed pods rise 550 feet above Las Vegas, but the ride travels slowly enough that even those who hate heights will still love the view. A full revolution takes about 30 minutes.

The High Roller sits at the end of the pedestrian-only Linq Promenade, which runs perpendicular to the Strip between the Flamingo and the Linq hotel. It’s a great place to take in a little shopping before or after your spin. And teens love the 14,000-square-foot I Love Sugar, a store whose name requires zero explanation. 

11 of 15

Bask in a Molten Lava Glow

Volcano Fountain with a firey light show

Mark Gibson / Getty Images

Address
3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-791-7111

So your teens are already jaded by the majestic Bellagio dancing fountains? Why not position them under some bubbling lava? The volcano in front of the Mirage has been erupting several nights for more than 20 years. It spews fire and “lava” into the air, and you can even feel the heat from the eruption. Fireballs shoot up to 60 feet in the air once the eruption gets going, and the whole thing is accompanied by a soundtrack from The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and table musician Zakir Hussain (neither of whom your teen will likely know—but that means there’s something for everyone!).

12 of 15

Swim With the Sharks

Jellyfish At The Shark Reef Aquarium At Mandalay Bay
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Address
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Phone +1 702-632-4555

At the Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay more than 2,000 animals—including sharks, giant rays, green sea turtles, piranhas, jellyfish, and a Komodo dragon—swirl around an aquarium above and around you. Interactive visits include diving with sharks, feeding sharks, stingrays, and horseshoe crabs, and a newer program that allows visitors to feed the 300-pound sea turtles and check out the 1.3-million-gallon shipwreck where the aquarium’s residents hang out.

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13 of 15

Race a Kart on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Aerial view of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
WireImage / Getty Images
Address
14200 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89054, USA
Phone +1 702-405-7223

Adults love to leave the Strip and race street-illegal cars with Exotics Racing Driving Center on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And now there’s a teen-friendly option for those without a learner’s permit. Vegas Superkarts was created by Exotics right next to the driving center to give go-kart enthusiasts the greatest ride of their lives. It has two main racetracks, a pitlane, and a grandstand, and you (and your teens) can ride four different configurations that include hairpins, fast sweepers, and double apex corners, all with the best high-tech safety barriers. You can choose adult or junior karts: Adult kart drivers must be 14 years old and 55 inches tall, and junior karts are for drivers 10 to 13 years old and 50 inches tall.

14 of 15

Work a Forensics Team at the Mob Museum

Night view of The Mob Museum in Downtown Las Vegas
JHVEPhoto / Getty Images
Address
300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
Phone +1 702-229-2734

The Mob Museum in Downtown Las Vegas is in the actual federal courthouse where mobsters like Meyer Lansky, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, and Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro had their hearings.  You won’t want to miss the historic courtroom, where Mob affiliates and Nevada’s then lieutenant governor testified in the Kefauver hearings.

Teens will be especially captivated by the portion of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre wall, which was reconstructed piece-by-piece from 300 bricks salvaged from the wall in 1967. You’ll also see artifacts like the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s “black book” of excluded people (including many notorious gangsters), a Tommy Gun, and the handcuffs in which Tony Spilotro was arrested in 1983.

For teens who are interested in learning about the other of the law, the Crime Lab multimedia experience teaches crime scene investigation, fingerprint and DNA analysis, and ballistics. There’s also a firearm training simulator (participants must be at least 13 and anyone under 18 needs parental consent).

15 of 15

See Famous Hollywood Cars

Herbie car (white VW bug with eyes instead of head lights, the number 53 on the hood, and a red stripe and blue stripe

Courtesy of Hollywood Car Museums

Address
5115 Dean Martin Dr UNIT 905, Las Vegas, NV 89118, USA
Phone +1 702-331-6400

If your teen loves cars, have they seen the 40-foot-long pink hot tub convertible limo that was profiled on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?" Or the Delorean from "Back to the Future?" The Hollywood Cars Museum houses the most legendary cinematic and television cars of all time. And granted, while the car from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang " or General Lee from "Dukes of Hazzard" might resonate more with you than with your teen, it’s still pretty breathtaking even for the younger set. The 30,000-square-foot museum now houses five James Bond cars, including the Lotus Esprit Submarine Car driven by Roger Moore in "The Spy Who Loved Me." You’ll also find Batmobiles from TV and movies and lots more.

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The Top 15 Things to Do in Las Vegas with Teenagers