Located just three miles from the Las Vegas Strip, more than 1,200 species of native-Mojave and desert-adapted plants take root along the gardens and trails at The Springs Preserve, a 180-acre refuge for flora and fauna including decades-old trees and native cacti and Yucca saved from residential and commercial development projects. As cottontails, gila monsters, and foxes dart between the plants at their new home, a faculty of guides and instructors lead tours and interactive workshops throughout the interactive exhibits, botanical gardens, and hiking trails located in the certified wildlife habitat. Indoor exhibits include art galleries, on-site learning centers, interactive museum exhibits, and the Springs Cafe. The centerpiece of the Preserve is the Desert Living Center. All seven buildings are LEED-certified Platinum for energy-efficient design and showcase a variety of preservation techniques in action, including a house made out of sustainable material and displays on how to shop intelligently. Guests can explore the botanical and herb gardens while also learning about composting or how to enhance their homes with water-smart landscaping. The Springs Preserve also hosts a number of seasonal events including concerts and art shows.
Melanie Bishop, Peace O' Cake's head baking buff, crafts delicious, custom-made confections for sugar seekers and their loving kin. Treat eaters may choose sugar or chocolate-chip dunking discs for their bouquets, which make ideal gifts for birthdays and recent accomplishments, or for rewarding one's self in front of envious onlookers.
Las Vegas doesn't necessarily have a reputation for high culture, but the founders of the Las Vegas Philharmonic showed they were serious from their very first concert. In 1999, the orchestra debuted with Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, a demanding work with unusual instrumentation that can stretch up to 90 minutes in length. "As far as we know, this is the largest staging of a classical music piece in the city's history," cofounder Harold Weller told the Review-Journal of the 260-musician production. In the decade-plus since then, the Philharmonic has continued its record of accessible ambition with a pops series, live accompaniment to silent films, and collaborations with superstars such as Sarah Brightman, Placido Domingo, and Andrea Bocelli.
In 2012, the orchestra moved into The Smith Center, a brand new cultural center built from 2,458 tons of Indiana limestone and crowned by an art-deco-style carillon tower that holds 47 bells. Inside the theater, streamlined chandeliers evoke 1920s elegance, and a wide, palm-tree-flanked lawn frames the massive building with enough space for outdoor spectacles and double dates with other orchestras.
Mad Science of Las Vegas provides young birthday-havers (typically between ages four and 12) with more than 20 years of experience in showy, spectacular science. The engaging and high-energy entertainers will bring any group of up to 22 kids a dazzling 45- to 60-minute display of lab tricks, enchanting the wide-eyed youngsters with displays on the mechanics of fireworks, the power of static, and green water all aglow. Children may leave the party with educational and fun take-home experiments, such as super bouncy balls or slippery slime. Call ahead to book your child's birthday party. You may upgrade for an additional fee to include Mad Science Goody Bags at the birthday party.
While hopeful revelers wait in line outside a club, guests of Good Times VIP are already congregating around a reserved table as servers begin pouring drinks from reduced-price bottle service. The special treatment is a result of Good Times' personal relationships with clubs around Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Whether for a bachelor party, birthday, or extraspecial Department of Sanitation inspection, its prearranged club crawls guarantee clients skip lines or sneak in through private entrances at reduced or free admission. A staff member is assigned to each party as a personal concierge, planning every detail ahead of time and staying on as a contact throughout the celebration. To supplement club crawls, the staff can also use their list of contacts to investigate special rates on limo service, concert tickets, spa days, and recreational activities such as jet skis or party boats.