With gourmet dining, apartment-style suites, and a 100,000 square-foot casino, guests of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas rarely need to venture far to experience the essence of Las Vegas. Glittering city views adorning the private terraces ring the luxury resort, beckoning guests downstairs to enjoy the nightlife and world-renowned restaurants within the resort walls. There, visitors soak in the lucky energy of the casino floor, sip Bond-style cocktails at Vesper Bar, or undergo a desert-inspired transformation at Sahara Spa & Hammam. Three swimming pools with distinct deck and cabana experiences also ensure plenty of opportunities for lounging by the lapping azure waters.
The 8,000-square-foot National Atomic Testing Museum, located just off the Strip, unveils the fascinating history of the famed Nevada test site. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum has a growing collection of permanent and special exhibitions. Boots quake as visitors experience a simulated atomic blast, and another exhibit details the Manhattan Project, the U.S.’s massive undertaking to create the first atomic bomb. Firsthand accounts of nuclear tests put museum-goers in the shoes of blast eyewitnesses; there’s also a poignant exhibit that includes a 6-foot I-beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. The museum volunteer tour guides act as exhibit interpreters, encouraging hands-on exploration and teaching how to divide atoms using nothing more than a good set of kitchen cutlery.
Tailored toward recreational students, Las Vegas School of Dance offers grown-up sessions to suit every taste. The fleet-footed dance instructors will release the dance-floor master within you through patience, clear instructions, and encouraging personal support. Class size is intimate, allowing ample attention and preventing feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy that can come from overstuffed boxes of flailing limbs. Dancing is a real workout, and even more so, it's a fun way to erase the self-consciousness that holds back the hypnotic moves your world deserves to see and worship.
Madame Tussaud began crafting wax likenesses in 1770s Paris, and a sense of history clings to her wax museums around the globe today—according to the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventurers, the location is haunted by unsettled spirits. By day, the collection of wax sculptures fills the serene exhibits with characters ranging from daredevil Evel Knievel (complete with his original Harley Davidson and good-luck teddy bear) to Lady Gaga and Whoopi Goldberg. A Hugh Hefner figure, wearing the Playboy magnate’s signature smoking jacket, reclines on a bed, and a nightclub-themed section of the museum honors Las Vegas’s entertainment history with a waxen Elvis and Wayne Newton.
Velvet ropes no longer cordon figures off from the public, granting guests up-close-and-personal photo ops. Madame Tussauds Las Vegas honors its spooky roots with special late-night Scream events, a shriek-inducing tour through a maximum-security prison set interspersed with ghoulish wax figures and live actors.
At one lab station, an interim investigator carefully examines bullet casings. At another, single strands of hair deliver the DNA samples necessary to send a suspect to imaginary prison for a long, long time. Around every shadowy corner of CSI: The Experience, the latest recruits in forensic science slide into the latex gloves or behind the majestic mustaches of popular TV characters to solve crimes through interactive detective work.
A total of 15 lab stations harbor the evidence of three murders, each of which throws multiple suspects into the mix to trip up investigations. Videos featuring cast members and real-life scientists provide guidance throughout analyses, and afterward, newly established sleuths receive certification by prying an official CSI: The Experience diploma from the cold, lifeless hands of their email inbox.
Kids careen over springy walls or safely tumble down inflatable slides at BounceU's supervised and climate-controlled pliant playground. Along with bouncing, kids can shoot hoops at pop-a-shot-style goals or don oversize boxing gloves and helmets to duke it out for pudding-cup pink slips. During open bounce hours, families can pop in unannounced for as much inflatable fun as the day allows. Alternatively, regularly scheduled day camps whisk kids along a six-hour structured day of exercise, crafts, and snacks. Birthday packages outfit parents and kids with a variety of options for making a party unforgettable without having to worry about cleaning up the mess from a rented shark tank.