Lifestyle: The Teenager
Wondering whether bringing the kids to Vegas is a good idea? Don't worry, Vegas has something for everyone.
Q: We're bringing our teenagers to Vegas. What fun things can they do that won't bore them to tears?
A: In Vegas, we don't do "boring." Many hotels have arcades full of the latest video games. Just off the Strip is the Pinball Hall of Fame, a large building full of classic pinball and arcade games that you can play for as little as a quarter.
If they like the thrill rides, take them over to The Roller Coaster at New York - New York and the Stratosphere, which has several scary rides including the SkyJump Las Vegas. They may have tears afterward, but it won't be from boredom. There are even more rides over at Circus Circus' Adventuredome. If you're still feeling the need for speed, why not channel your kids' inner race car driver at Pole Position Raceway?
Adventurous teens might also enjoy the Flightlinez zipline where they can fly over the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Vegas. If they can't get enough of soaring in the air, Vegas Indoor Skydiving will be a real treat. For more thrill-seeking options, click here.
If scary rides aren't your thing, how about scary animals? Take the kids to see the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at Mirage or the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. And finally, if they can handle seeing real-life organs and skeletons on display, Bodies...The Exhibition would be perfect. While you're at Bodies, head next door to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition for an entertaining and educational look at the fateful ship and its journey.
Kids hoping to see celebrities in Vegas? You might get lucky and see the real thing, but if you don't, just take them over to have their picture taken with the wax versions at Madame Tussauds. The museum encourages you to take pictures. They're so lifelike, the friends back at home will never know the difference.
Teens who watch the popular "CSI" TV shows will love the interactive CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand where they get to be the detective. For young history buffs, Vegas offers a handful of museums, including the Atomic Testing Museum and Neon Museum and Boneyard. Fans of "Looney Tunes" can check out The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus.
Q: My teenage nephew and a couple of his friends are coming to Vegas and are athletic/outdoorsy types. What do you recommend?
A: That's why we love Vegas. Not so far from the adult playground of the Strip are some amazing natural wonders. Take them to Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston or the Valley of Fire for hiking or hit the sand dunes on one of our ATV tours. If you're looking for some adventure, explore one of our tours of Lake Mead, the Grand Canyon or the Colorado River. The Springs Preserve houses entertainment, exhibits, galleries, trails and gardens that provide recreational and educational opportunities.
If it's sporty activities you're after, you also might want to hit the rock-climbing wall at Red Rock Climbing Center. If you're coming during the summer, you can't beat the pool at your hotel for the best place to cool off.
Q: We'd like to take our kids to a show while in Vegas. Is there anything that both parents and kids will enjoy?
A: The "Blue Man Group" or Cirque du Soleil's "Mystère" and "KÀ" would be excellent choices for the whole family. There is also Nathan Burton and Mac King Comedy Magic. The "Tournament of Kings" dinner theater gives kids a place where they can eat with their hands. The V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops has something for everyone: V- The Ultimate Variety Show provides a Smorgasbord of entertainment.
Q: My daughter and I love to shop. Where should we go?
A: Check out the Fashion Show Mall, the Forum Shops,Miracle Mile Shops and shops at the Palazzo and Venetian. For some deals, you also can head over to Las Vegas Premium Outlets - South or North. Shoppers could easily spend the whole day at Town Square with its mix of retail shops and restaurants as well as a movie theater. If it's more unusual wares you're in the market for, check out our page on some unique stores in town.
Q: I know people under 21 aren't allowed in clubs or casinos, but can my teenager go out anywhere on the Strip at night?
A: Sorry, but Clark County ordinances forbid anyone younger than 18 from being on the Strip after 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays without a parent. If they do want to experience the energy Vegas nightlife has to offer, Vegas StrEATS comes close. Every second Saturday of the month, downtown hosts this food and art festival for all ages. Featuring a row of food trucks, live DJs, street entertainment, art and more, the outdoor party outside El Cortez rocks on until 2 a.m.