It’s summer, and kids just want to have fun. Visit a three-acre botanical cactus garden, or see the snakes at every child’s favorite nature preserve. Opt to go bowling at a neighborhood bowling alley, or enjoy arcade games and thrill rides at an old-time attraction here in town. Whatever the family decides to do in the name of fun, there’s no lack of opportunities to try something new and different when you live in Las Vegas.
4451 E. Sunset Road
Henderson, NV 89014
Price: $2 per open play game/$2.75 for shoe rental
If it’s been a long time since you enjoyed a fun game of bowling, nestled in the heart of Henderson, Nev., Wildfire Lanes is a family friendly, small bowling alley that caters to kids and families. Whether it’s a day or evening out with the kids, or a birthday party, Wildfire goes that extra mile to make every occasion enjoyable and affordable. It even offers cosmic bowling in the evenings. With the addition of the Wild Burger restaurant on premises, it’s even more fun to go bowling here and have a great time that’s just right for the whole family.
Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden
2 Cactus Way
Henderson, NV 89014
The first thing you notice when you drive up to Ethel M’s is the cacti — three acres of cactus garden featuring a new solar garden that makes the facility self-sustainable. Upon entering the buildings, catch the scent of fresh chocolate. More than 30 years ago, Forrest Mars Sr. retired to Henderson to build this garden, chocolate factory and the shops to honor his mother. Las Vegas and Henderson locals have been falling in love with the natural beauty of the garden and the taste of deluxe chocolate ever since. Take a self-guided tour through the history of chocolate, seeing a real chocolate factory in operation while enjoying a taste of the fine preservative-free chocolate. Visit M&M world and the Ethel M’s Chocolate Shop on premises before stepping out the doors into the well-kept botanical cactus garden. During the Christmas holidays, the cacti are decorated with more than 500,000 glimmering lights.
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Lied Discovery Children’s Museum
833 Las Vegas Blvd. North
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Price: Adults and Kids/ $8.50 Seniors
The Lied Discovery Children’s Museum offers exhibits, activities and events for every member of the family. Families may explore together in a place where kids may teach parents about the world around them. During the summer, experience Torn From Home: My LIfe as a Refugee, featuring displays and testimonials from refugee children around the world. Learn about arts and science, and a variety of regular attractions geared toward children of every age. Kids may visit the museum as part of their classroom field trip, but it’s so much more enjoyable to come back with the whole family.
333 S. Valley View Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89107
Price: free children younger than 5 of Nevada residents/$4.95 children 5 to 17/$8.95 seniors, students and visitors with military IDs/ $9.95 adults
The Springs Preserve is a cultured, natural environment with walking trails and indoor as well as outdoor exhibits. Children may get up close to the natural creatures of the desert, including those in an exhibit of venomous snakes during the summer. Families may revisit the past at the Nevada State Museum. If you choose to dine at the springs, gaze at the vista of the Strip in the distance. Family members may participate in its programs, or simply enjoy strolling through the gardens of this beautiful preserve. Thrill the family at the reptile exhibit, or go bird watching. From the Desert Living Center to the Origen Museum, there is truly something of interest for every person at the springs.
Circus Circus Adventure Dome Theme Park
Circus Circus Hotel and Casino
2880 Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV
Prices: free toddlers with an adult/$5 to $8 for individual ride coupons/$16.95 ride all day junior wristband for those shorter than 48 inches/$27.95 regular wristband/$2 local discount $2 with valid Nevada ID
Circus Circus Adventure Dome has been a destination for Las Vegas locals for years. It features thrill rides, a 4-D FX theater, family rides and tamer features geared toward the little ones in your family. Ride the wild roller coasters, or shriek at the water chute rides. Kids may spin, tumble, golf or play laser tag. Whether you are 3 or 63, there’s bound to be something entertaining and fun for you at Circus Circus. Best yet, it’s the ultimate place for a birthday party. Take advantage of the local and other featured discounts.
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Sharon Damon is a preschool specialist, avid reader, passionate writer and creative baker/ cook. She has been a cooking instructor at a local Rec Center in Henderson, NV since 2011, and has written for Examiner and other publications since 2010. She knows her way around the keyboard and the kitchen! Sharon moved from a small city in Canada to Las Vegas 6 years ago, to marry the love of her life, and has since been swept up in the whirlwind known as Sin City. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.