Las Vegas, with its ominous reputation as “Sin City,” doesn’t sound like the type of place you want to take your teenager. However, since it really caters to the kid in all of us, there are actually a variety of family-safe activities in town that are fun for teens without making anxious parents bite their fingernails to the quick. There are plenty of opportunities in Las Vegas for your teen to have a safe and good time.
While there are many shows on the Las Vegas Strip that are inappropriate for teens, there are those that cater to families. Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings, a fast-paced medieval-style dinner theater, features jousting and pyrotechnics. At The Quad Resort and Casino, Recycled Percussion hosts an interactive show. Performers hand out old pots, pans and drum sticks so you can play along loudly with the “junk rock” percussion band, who was a finalist on America’s Got Talent.
The music scene isn’t restricted to adult contemporary favorites like Celine Dion and old classics like Wayne Newton. Many major concert tours pass through Las Vegas, and some of the casinos have concert venues of the caliber you’d find in New York or Los Angeles. Look for all-ages shows at the MGM Grand’s Grand Garden Arena, The Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms, and The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Las Vegas Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is completely interactive and constantly updating their wax figures with the hottest celebrities in music, movies, TV, sports and more. Your teen can stand face-to-face with their favorite movie star, or belt out karaoke for their biggest pop idols. If history is more up your teen’s alley, take a short jaunt downtown to the Mob Museum. Expect an exciting multi-media account of famous villains, cops-and-robbers stories and events that shaped Las Vegas and the nation.
If your teen loves animals, visit Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage Hotel and Casino, featuring dolphins, white tigers, white lions, leopards and panthers. In the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, 2,000 undersea creatures like sharks, rays, sea turtles, piranhas, jellyfish and a rare golden crocodile frolic in 1.6 million gallons of water that you can walk under. A smaller-scale version is the Shark Tank downtown at the Golden Nugget, where the pool’s water slide goes right through a tank full of sharks and fish.
Rides and Games
The Adventuredome at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino is America’s largest indoor theme park. It boasts 5 acres of rides and attractions for kids of all ages and sizes, including a double-loop double-corkscrew roller coaster, Sling Shot, Inverter, water flume ride, rock climbing, mini-golf and midway games. There’s also a roller coaster on the New York New York Hotel and Casino’s roof, and thrill rides and bungee jumps high atop the Stratosphere. If your kid prefers a slightly slower and down-to-earth pace, the Fun Dungeon arcade at Excalibur houses over 150 games, including arcade games, sports games and carnival midways.