Much of Terry Cavaretta’s childhood was spent soaring through the air. At the age of 5, she was declared one of the world’s youngest flying trapeze artists, and at 13 she executed a triple summersault in midair. As part of the all-teenage flying-trapeze act, The Flying Cavarettas, she toured the world and set records for her daring antics. Today, 50 years and more than 20,000 triple flips later, Terry extends her legacy by leading her expert instructors, who introduce students to flying through the air faster than a baby cheetah fed with only multi-grain cheerios. From the elevated platform, they strap guests into harnesses before sending them through soaring over a safety net.
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.
Described as ?Bob the Builder on steroids? by The Los Angeles Times, Dig This reconstructs childhood play for adults letting them climb aboard excavators and bulldozers for digs inside a giant natural sandbox. Employees outfit grown-ups with the knowledge and safety gear necessary to get behind the wheel before explaining all the levers and buttons of the control panel. Patrons are then left alone inside climate-controlled cabs, connected to their instructors via headsets in case they need additional guidance. Patrons steer mechanical mammoths around the play yard, excavating trenches and toppling huge tires. Once they've mastered easy moves, they graduate to games such as Bulldozer Teeter-Totter and Excavator Basketball. After playtime, operators are awarded a certificate to commemorate their accomplishments and can cool off under a shower of their own joyful tears.
The connection between art and sexuality goes all the way back to the Renaissance and earlier, but it's never been explored quite so earnestly as it is at the Erotic Heritage Museum. Far more than a collection of blush-inducing artifacts, the EHM is a testament to the power of eroticism as a force in shaping popular culture. The museum's collection encompasses everything from sculptures and mannequins to posters and magazine covers. The building itself was remodeled in recent months, and it now features new exhibition rooms and a forcefield designed specifically to block calls from Mom, who wants to know how you're spending your day.
Outside of Graceland, The King's Ransom Museum showcases one of the largest collections of artifacts and personal treasures owned by Elvis Presley. Curated by Elvis historian Bud Glass and collector Russ Howe, the exhibit encompasses artifacts that span Presley's career from 1950 until his death. Highlights include familiar wardrobe pieces he donned on stage and screen, such as a custom two-piece leather suit and his massive ring from the 1972 documentary Elvis on Tour. The museum also houses large jewelry and gun and badge collections assembled by the "King of Bling," as well as the last car Presley ever purchased and other historic artifacts from his youth.
The museum also delves into Presley's private life, displaying more-personal effects such as the custom, red crushed-velvet bedspread from his Graceland home and his pajamas, whose dry-cleaning slips have been lost forever. To supplement these artifacts, Russ and Bud incorporate plenty of the King's private photos and home movies. On select days, the museum welcomes guest appearances from some of Presley's friends and colleagues, such as his Blue Hawaii costar Darlene Tompkins and his Kissin' Cousins costar Cynthia Pepper.
While the name would suggest a tribute to the underworld, The Mob Museum details both the history of organized crime in the United States and pays homage to the law enforcement agencies that worked together to end the Mob‰Ûªs rule in Las Vegas. It's set in an historic 1933 building, which was first a U.S. post office and later the federal courthouse that was the site of the 1950 Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime. A dozen exhibits throughout the 41,000-square-foot, three-story building utilize high-tech theater presentations, interactive demonstrations, such as The Fire Arms Training Simulator (FATS), used to train law enforcement agencies at every level; and actual artifacts that include the wall from the 1929 St. Valentine‰Ûªs Day Massacre in Chicago and personal belongings of Al Capone, Charles ‰ÛÏLucky‰Û� Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Ben ‰ÛÏBugsy‰Û� Siegel, Frank ‰ÛÏLefty‰Û� Rosenthal, Tony Spilotro and John Gotti.