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.
Just inside Kids' Club Las Vegas' play area, little ones board a train and ride the pintsize locomotive around a play structure towering with yellow and green tubes, slides, and lookouts. Within the space, kids 18 months to 8 years old expend energy and let their imaginations spill into reality as they crawl through the equipment's twists and turns and soar down its slides. The staff harnesses this imaginative sprit during educational and developmental classes such as Tiny Tumblers, a session for toddlers that helps them learn to identify vibrant colors and the feel of soft, rough, and misunderstood blocks.
Behind glass walls, parents are encouraged to keep an eye on kids as they play. The facility's emphasis on security extends beyond the translucent barriers, as the staff outfits each child and parent with a photo ID, which they must use in tandem to enter and exit, and acquires a list of all imaginary friends' known aliases. All these efforts help grant peace of mind so moms and dads can also use the center's free WiFi and socialize at appropriate moments within the Sandwich Club Café, which envelops its visitors in the aromas of fresh fruit and gourmet coffee.
When Rev. Ted McIlvenna and photographer Harry Mohney joined forces to create the Erotic Heritage Museum, they wanted a space that celebrated sexual pleasure and individual sexuality—two vital, natural aspects of the human experience. From galleries of vintage adult-film posters and Playboy covers to rare books of erotic art, the artifacts amassed in the more than 24,000-square-foot museum explore human sexuality's impacts on the arts. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal observed, approximately 50 monitors screen vintage films from the turn of the 20th century through the revolutionary film Deep Throat, and mannequins re-create the behind-the-scenes production sets of erotic works. Among the other exhibits, antique adult toys trace the history of pleasure, records of first-amendment disputes illustrate the ongoing fight for sexual expression, and Larry Flynt’s gold-plated wheelchair memorializes the day Flynt accidentally bumped into King Midas in an elevator. Throughout the year, special events further explore and examine sensuality through erotic poetry, naked yoga, and lectures.
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 Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing, which earned CityVoter's Best Sports and Recreational Activity title in 2009, visiting motorists whirl around a 1,200-foot indoor track designed by former IKF racers. Drivers suit up with protective helmets and neck collars before strapping themselves into Sodi karts, whose gas-powered Honda 200-cubic-centimeter engines and miniature horses power them through 10- to 12-minute races. The indoor facility’s professionally engineered exhaust system ensures safe, clean air for all racers as they wind through the course with up to 11 other competitors. Computerized timing systems accurately record photo finishes, and video helmets and race suits are available to enhance the experience. A slew of celebrity guests have been known to frequent the track, giving visitors a rare opportunity to outwit IndyCar drivers or trade high-speed knock-knock jokes with Hollywood comedians.