Taking teens to Vegas is tough. They're no longer kids but aren't adults either. So, what do you do with your teens while in Las Vegas? Luckily, there are a few ways to entertain teenagers in Las Vegas without boring the parents in the process. From great eats to art, museums, and even zip lining, this list of 16 activities to do will satisfy teenagers of all ages and interests.
Try a Thrill Ride of Sorts
The obvious things to do—the arcades at Excalibur, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, and Circus Circus Hotel & Resort—don’t really work as the kids get older, so it’s time to get their adrenaline pumping. You can fit in roller coasters at New York-New York and El Loco at Adventuredome inside Circus Circus or try even more exciting experiences. If your teenagers are learning to drive, take them to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and have them sit in the passenger seat of an exotic racing vehicle as it glides through the course. Or try a Sun Buggy rental. If your kids are under 15, you’ll have to drive, but kids will love the chance to race over the dunes.
Look at a Real-Life (Preserved!) Human Body
Are your kids taking AP Biology? They’ll learn far more at the Luxor's Bodies...The Exhibition than any tutor that you can pay for. Using a genuinely innovative preservation process, the exhibit features real human specimens and their preserved organs. Teens will see the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, and circulatory systems up close.
See Some Fantastic Art
Teens who enjoy a bit of urban exploration will love taking in some of Las Vegas's unique art, scattered around the city in hotels, museums, and even a parking garage. The Cosmpolitan's parking garage is home to some excellent urban art, while the Bellagio has its own world-class gallery. While you're at it, don't miss the world-famous Neon Museum, which tells a unique story about the city's ever-changing history.
Attend a Show
Entertainment in Las Vegas tends to move to the adult side very quickly, but plenty of shows do an excellent job of clean content while not insulting teenagers in the crowd. Cirque du Soleil, while pricey, always works for teens, but others they might love include the action-packed Blue Man Group, and Mat Franco, an excellent magician who can baffle even the most clever of teenagers. His show at the LINQ Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is a favorite among families.
Watch Some of the Strip's Best Free Attractions
Many of the best attractions in Las Vegas are located along the Strip, are completely free and teen-friendly. Walk through the incredible Bellagio Gardens and then check out the chocolate fountain around the corner, or head to the Fremont Street Experience. While it's really just an overhead light show, all the activity on Fremont Street makes for a fun spot for teenagers.
Visit a Few of Vegas's Wild Animals
In addition to the wild animals, you can see stumbling out of the casinos, you can see actual animals. Take your teens to visit the Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay Hotel to see one of the largest tanks in North America (it holds more than one million gallons) or spend a day as a dolphin trainer at the Mirage.
Eat at a Cool Vegas Restaurant
Luckily, assuming your teenagers are reasonably well-behaved, almost any restaurant in Vegas is teen-friendly. Some will strike the perfect blend of "cool" and good food more than others. Gordon Ramsay Burger at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is always a hit, but for a fancier meal that teens will love try Spago at Caesars Palace or Citizens Kitchen & Bar at Mandalay Bay.
Let Them Go for a Drive
Do your teenagers think they can drive? Let the entire crew ride along in an open-air jeep as it traverses red desert rock. Las Vegas Rock Crawlers off-road jeep tours are informative and exciting. You (and your teens) can choose to go behind the wheel or just ride along in the passenger seat.
Zipline Over Fremont Street
Take a fast-flying zip line ride down Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas with SlotZilla. There are two options: a regular zip line that operates seven stories up and covers two city blocks, or the ultimate "zoom line," where your teens can fly like superheroes for five blocks at 11 stories.
Climb Red Rock Canyon
The American Alpine Institute has rock climbing courses in Red Rock Canyon that will make it seem so easy to scale a sheer wall. You will actually learn how to hold your children's life literally by the end of a rope and then be forced to trust them with your own life. The great outdoors and some quality family time never felt so risky.
Even if they don't want to admit it, teenagers love to bowl. The funniest thing happens when you take teenagers to a bowling alley. They begin to laugh, then they get competitive, then they almost beat you. Then they get back in the car and bury their faces in their phones as they share a picture of their bowling adventure with their friends on social media. You should try bowling in Las Vegas with your teenagers and experience this series of events.
Solve a Crime
If your teenagers are having some fun with science or if they enjoy some simple crime solving, you might find they will enjoy CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand Las Vegas. The forensic science attraction is very interactive and good for the entire family. Don't worry, there are no gory images or actual bodies in the exhibit.
Take an afternoon to walk around the CityCenter with your teenagers and introduce them to some art. Go into a garage and see some urban graffiti, and then head into Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and see some priceless pieces. There are enough places for art in Las Vegas to fill an entire day.
Visit the Mob Museum
Walk through the exhibits at the Mob Museum with your teens and you might see the light go off. The museum is open daily and is a good spot for teenagers to learn a little about the history of behind all of those movies that get made about mobsters. It also serves as a guide to modern-day organized crime and how it plays a role in society today.
Find a Car
The time is coming soon when you will be forced to make the decision about a car for your teenagers. Take them to the LINQ Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and show them the huge collection of cars they have and send them into sticker shock.
Take a Hike in Zion
There is nothing quite as rewarding as a long day on a trail with nothing but the sound of your footsteps and great conversations with your kids. The phones are put away and the ability to connect like you once did when they were younger comes back in a flash. Spend some time in Zion National Park with your teenagers and you might find those inquisitive kids that once followed you around.