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.
As a mother, Missi Winter faced the typical dilemma of balancing her career with the lives of her two children. As a solution, she started Celebrate Kids as a small business dedicated to the happiness of little ones, and today?more than 25 years later?a staff of more than 20 entertainers host both intimate and large-scale events with a variety of characters and activities, including clowns, face painters, and balloon artists. For parents willing to handle their own diversions, the company also rents out bounce houses and carnival games complete with prizes.
Outside the general store in an old Western town, two duelists skip their customary paces and cut straight to the shootout. That's a major faux pas in the old west, but here no holds are barred. Their weapons are loaded with paintballs, and the town is "The Wild Wild West," one of four paintball fields at the indoor Club Splat.
In addition to "The Wild Wild West," avid paintball players designed all the club's fields with their fellow enthusiasts in mind. Its main stage, "Splat Town," is a tire- and barrel-littered replica of the "Nuke Town" level from Call of Duty: Black Ops, which, in turn, is an homage to a level from the unpopular 80s arcade staple Duck Hunt: Apocalypse. Further battles unfold on a classic speedball field full of inflatables, and the "Kids Splat' arena caters to young players with a pain-free game inspired by paintball.
Separated by skill level, teams face off for five- to seven-minute games, leaving them plenty of post-game time to explore the rest of Club Splat's 26,500-square foot facility. Combatants can take a break from color-coded warfare to send 8-balls and pucks zipping across billiards and air hockey tables in the glow-in-the-dark arcade, or outfit themselves with new paintball gear in Club Splat's 1,000-square foot pro-shop.
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.
Surrounded by a sprawling shopping center that features restaurants, stores and salons, the Regal Village Square 18 is one of Vegas’ many multiplex theaters. But rather than succumb to the noise and chaos of some other chain theater houses, Regal Village Square 18 maintains a quieter, more serene environment. Patrons have the luxury of watching most new releases from plush seats, while 3D images scream past. Other high-quality screens show films in standard formats, and everyone can enjoy the stocked concession stand, lined with the usual assortment of colorful candy snacks. Looming sodas, dangerously piled popcorn tubs and heartier fare like pizza, nachos, corn dogs and chicken nuggets round out the offerings.
Though the Las Vegas Strip provides a glittering backdrop, to the drivers at Gene Woods Racing Experience, the blinking lights are all a blur. Behind the wheel of high-performance go-karts, they zip around the 3/8-mile track at up to 45 mph, which is faster than a standard go-kart's top speed. Drivers learn to commandeer the speedy karts through an instructional video before they are let loose onto the curving track for 20 heart-pumping laps. Between races, competitors can go head to head in the arcade, or call their father to tell him about what a good job they did on the track.