Playing in Las Vegas’ backyards can be hard since the temperature often surpasses 100 degrees. That’s why Childs' Play Las Vegas created an indoor space away from the dessert sun’s sweltering rays, allowing kids to safely expend their energy on a sprawling, state-of-the-art play structure from Backyard Adventures. Designed for the climbing and sliding needs of kids eight and under, the giant play set includes rock-climbing walls, a spiral slide, several rocket slides, and roomy forts. The space’s other activities range from Apple computers loaded with educational games to a mini-basketball court. Over in the toddler area, building blocks and games entrance children too young to play with the big kids but too old to spent hours wondering if their foot is an actual part of their body.
At Childs’ Play Las Vegas’ southwest location, playtime is a free treat for kids who patiently sit through portraiture sessions at the facility’s photography studio. More treats, such as Hello Kitty dolls, stock either location’s toy boutiques, while optional add-ons, such as visits from Elmo, enliven weekend birthday parties. Along with open-play sessions, weekdays at Childs’ Play include classes in subjects such as tumbling, karate, and music. As kids play and learn, parents can relax with complementary cups of coffee, free Wi-Fi, and a big screen television in an area designed just for grown-ups.
At Sagebrush Ranch, experienced equestrians and instructors pair guests with patient, well-trained horses for lessons or scenic rides through the rustic expanse just west of Las Vegas. In group lessons or day-long clinics, students practice horsemanship and proper riding techniques on one of the stables’ 45 red-ribbon-clad steeds. Before visitors embark on trail rides, the Sagebrush Ranch staff pairs them with specific horses based on riding experience and personality, after which the star-crossed duos set out for the desert paths surrounded by mountains and lizards riding bareback atop armadillos.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the wall by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.
Maybe you've wondered what it's like inside a tornado. At Wet'n'Wild Las Vegas, you can find out firsthand. The award-winning Tornado slide simulates a twister, launching riders through a 110-foot tunnel and plunging them into the storm's eye. Here, the group spins while experiencing a weightless feeling similar to floating in space or sitting on the shoulders of a professional basketball player.
As Nevada's largest water park, though, Wet'n'Wild Las Vegas doesn't stop there. The park houses more than 25 slides and attractions, including the shaking Rattler, the first slide of its kind in North America. Wet'n'Wild also features an interactive children's area for younger guests. Between dips, visitors can dine on burgers, hotdogs, and other American favorites.
Normally, cars at Las Vegas Motor Speedway pass by in a blur. But during your visit to Glittering Lights, you'll want to drive a bit slower. That's because the annual holiday event transforms the arena into a 2.5-mile journey through four million blinking, glistening, and glowing lights. Now in its 14th year, Glittering Lights spent its first decade at Sunset Park before making the move to its current home in 2010. There, cars full of visitors roll around the venue with their windows down, music up, and cameras out while soaking in some 500 displays, including a living nativity on some nights in December. Glittering Lights lasts from mid-November through early January and even remains open on Thanksgiving and Christmas, giving Santa plenty of time to sneak around houses planting gifts and stuffing treats into turkeys.
3D Family Fun Center rescues people from the doldrums of mundane mini golf and laser tag by filling the glow-in-the dark complex with glowing pirate ships and floating blue spots. Erupting volcanoes, pixies flying over colorful castles, and bright-yellow windmills await on the mini-golf course's 18 holes, all given form with 3D glasses. Journeys into the laser-tag arena require complete sensory immersion as players navigate fog-filled hallways in search of opponents to blast with point-scoring laser beams. In the fun-center's arcade, rows of ski-ball machines, basketball hoops, and racing cabinets give players opportunities to test their hand–eye coordination and practice jumping cars over ravines for upcoming driver's exams.