By Kent Ninomiya
Las Vegas casinos realized a long time ago that families are a great source of revenue. They made a deliberate effort to make Las Vegas a child friendly destination so that families would come and spend their money. If the children are amused, the parents don’t have to feel guilty that they are spending time away from the kids in the casinos. As a result, Las Vegas features many fun things to do for children.
The Las Vegas Strip is full of shows produced specifically for children. Circus Circus Casino has an entire section devoted to kid friendly carnival games. There are free circus acts all day long in their big top. Excalibur Casino’s second level is devoted to children’s shows and games with a King Arthur theme. The fountain at the Bellagio Casino dances to music every 15 minutes. At night, the Volcano in front of the Mirage Casino erupts every half hour. At the Treasure Island Casino, the pirate show, “Sirens of TI,” features explosions, stunts and sinking ships.
Many Las Vegas casinos feature roller coasters and thrill rides. The Circus Circus Adventuredome is the biggest indoor theme park in America. Rides include the Canyon Blaster, the Chaos, the Inverter, the Rim Runner and the Sling Shot. The Stratosphere Tower offers a panoramic view of Las Vegas. It has several rides at the very top, one thousand feet above the Strip. Rides like the Big Shot, Insanity and X Scream take advantage of the towering height. New York New York has a roller coaster that goes from inside to outside and back.
For children who like their thrills a little bit tamer, there are several motion simulators on the Strip. Passengers watch a movie while hydraulic pumps coordinate to give the illusion of forward motion and acceleration. The Sahara casino has a cyber speedway simulating a race car. Circus Circus has “ReBoot the Ride” about an journey through cyberspace. The Luxor casino has an adventure ride called “Search of the Obelisk.”
Las Vegas has many types of animal attractions. The Mirage features white tigers and a dolphin habitat. The MGM Grand lets you walk right up to lions behind a thin sheet of glass. Mandalay Bay has a shark reef. The Silverton has a 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium.
Children who love video games should head to GameWorks on the Strip. This Steven Spielberg-inspired electronic playground features cutting-edge video game technology. You can buy an all-day pass and play all day.
Children enjoy strolling around the Streetmosphere in the Grand Canal Shoppes of the Venetian Casino. They can ride on a gondola piloted by a singing gondolier. Musicians and other entertainers perform around the pedestrian walkway. For a look at more characters from history, go next door to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. It has more than 100 wax figures of famous stars.
If you children like M&M’s, they will love M&M’s World. There are M&M’s in dozens of colors that you can’t get anywhere else plus all sorts of souvenirs and collectibles.