Whinnies of anticipation can often be heard from the stables of Mount Charleston Trail Rides, where well-mannered horses and ponies wait to ferry riders down trails flanked by whistling ponderosa pines, junipers, and aspens. Led by cowboy guides, small groups hop into saddles and embark on scenic explorations of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and its surrounding areas. With crisp air that normally averages 30 degrees cooler than the Las Vegas Valley, the foothills and canyons offer a welcome respite from the heat of the desert. When the temperatures dip too low for horseback rides, the ranch keeps its trusty steeds busy with carriage rides, sleigh rides, and a Sadie Hawkins dance with unicorns from the neighboring forest.
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.
Today's side deal gets you one ticket to Jest Serendipity Improv for $8 (a $20 value). Jest Serendipity is the longest-running improv comedy show in Las Vegas. This Groupon is valid for one of the Sunday shows, at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m., in the Las Vegas Art House Theatre. Two teams of comedians compete for audience applause, which results in a sportslike atmosphere that is unrehearsed, unscripted, and completely reliant on audience participation. Kopy is the comedic DJ who hosts the show and acts as the referee of the "competition," awarding points to the funnier team and allowing the audience to decide the victor at the end of the performance.
Every aspect of the show is based on the audience's reactions and ideas. This creates a completely original masterpiece every night, and, by involving the audience, the comedians are able to connect with their spectators on a more personal level of absurdity. The shows are BYOB, which either means you can bring your own booze or bully your older brother, whichever is more satisfying.
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.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the wall by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.