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.
European Formula EK20 karts whiz by on Pole Position Raceway?s quarter-mile track, cruising at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Spectators crank their heads to keep up. There?s no wind to battle against, no sun blinding the drivers? eyes, and no birds rigging the race by dropping smoke bombs because all of Pole Position Raceway?s competitions happen inside. This is thanks to a fleet of electric-powered karts, which accelerate more quickly and hug curves more smoothly than gas-powered karts without dumping out clouds of exhaust.
To sate speed cravings, drivers simply arrive and drive?show up and nab one of 13 spots in the next race. Then with a DOT-approved racing helmet, they push the pedal to the floor for roughly 10 minutes, drafting their opponents to fly past them near the finish line. At the end of each race, drivers receive a SpeedSheet that displays their race results, fastest lap time, and the likelihood of getting their own action-movie franchise. For those seeking to dive deep into the world of racing, Pole Position Raceway offers driving clinics and youth racing camps, where younger racers pilot EK10 karts that peak at 20 mph.
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.
Between palm trees and casinos sits one long, narrow acre of greenery that could be the town square of the quaintest village west of the Mississippi. At least if you ignore the sign towering almost as high as the little brown church's steeple. That sign reads Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel, and it's a remnant of the days when Las Vegas was known for a kind of kitschy glamor and, of course, whirlwind weddings. Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret said "I do" here in Viva Las Vegas, and celebs from Judy Garland to Richard Gere have made legally binding vows inside.
The interior still looks largely as it did in those days, and pretty much as it did when Little Church of the West was built in 1942. Below stained-glass windows and old wood, couples today unite in ceremonies ranging from ultra-simple to fully accessorized with flowers, limo service, and champagne.
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.
For one night only, Maya Day + Nightclub's beautiful pool will serve as the centerpiece of the Scottsdale Beer and Music Festival, a craft-beer celebration that gives attendees the opportunity to taste unlimited samples of more than 40 types of craft beer. Indie and rock bands will play throughout the evening, while Las Vegas's DJ ParaDice spins tunes in the VIP tent. A portion of the proceeds benefit Beer 4 Boobs, a non-profit that provides funding for breast-cancer research.