Everybody knows the typical things to do in Las Vegas, but there are tons of stuff you can do that doesn’t involve gambling or seeing a magic show. Over the years, Vegas has become less “Sin City” and more of a family-oriented vacation spot. Here are some ideas that avoid some of the stereotypical Vegas hotspots. While there are many things to do while visiting Las Vegas, here are some under the radar options for you to consider.
The Neon Boneyard
The Vegas skyline has changed over the last 70 years, and at The Neon Boneyard, you can see many of the old signs from the past. The Boneyard has guided tours daily; you can register online at their website. The Neon Boneyard even lights up some of the old signs at night, making the experience even more exciting. Tickets to the attraction are $30 per person and allow you to wander around for 2 hours, enjoying all the exhibits. Currently, there is a Tim Burton exhibit at the Boneyard that “celebrates Burton’s link to Las Vegas’ historical neon heritage.” You’ll need to hurry to see the Burton exhibit since the museum plans to close it in April of 2020.
Pinball Hall of Fame
The Pinball Hall of Fame opened in 2009 and features hundreds of working vintage machines. Most are in playing order, and can visitors can even play them. Technically speaking, this is a museum that is run by volunteers who love pinball. There are also vintage video arcade games in the museum that gamers can play. The museum is located at 1610 E Tropicana Ave, which is less than two miles from the Vegas Strip. If you want to plan a trip to the museum, just make sure you do so early as they close every night at 11 pm.
National Atomic Testing Museum
While the days of Vegas visitors watching mushroom clouds off in the distance are a thing of the past, you can still visit the National Atomic Testing Museum. Starting in the 1950s, the U.S. Government tested thermonuclear devices within viewing distance of Las Vegas. Today you can visit a museum that boasts 12,000 pieces of history from the program. The museum is about an hour’s drive from the Vegas Strip but well worth it for history buffs. The museum is top-notch and affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. General admission is $22 per adult, and seniors can get in for $18.
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is less than 20 miles from the Vegas Strip and is within the National Landscape Conservation System. It may be difficult to grasp how tranquil this place is being so close to the Vegas chaos. There are bike tours and some mild climbing available to visitors. For those not entirely up to the task of riding or climbing, there are trails that you can hike. This place is beautiful, and you won’t soon forget once you end your trip to Las Vegas.
The United States Congress approved the building of the Hoover Dam in 1928, and it took almost three years actually to start construction. The original name was Boulder Dam but was changed in 1947 by a joint resolution of congress. The dam project took five years to complete, two years ahead of schedule, and created Lake Mead in the process. While not exactly a secret attraction, the Hoover Dam is not the first thing that comes to mind of most people when thinking about Las Vegas. However, the dam is a short drive away from Vegas and well worth the half-hour drive. There is plenty to do for free at the Hoover Dam. You can walk across the dam and look straight down, indeed an impressive sight. Now that the highway 93 overpass is complete over the gorge, you can walk the expanse with a spectacular view of the dam. The walkway across the bridge has one outlook location and is free to use. There are also tours of the electrical generating facilities underneath the dam for those wanting just a little bit more.
Lion Habitat Ranch
A short 15-minute ride from the Vegas Strip, the Lion Habitat Ranch houses over 40 lions and a giraffe that you can observe, you can even feed them. The Lion Habitat Ranch opened in 1989 by trainer Keith Evans. Getting up close and personal with these massive cats is something you’re not going to want to miss. Also, you can rent a table in the Feast with the Beasts attraction. The Feast with the Beasts is a wholly enclosed table where your party can eat dinner with lions all around watching. They charge $300 an hour with a 2-hour minimum, the price doesn’t include the cost of food so keep that in mind. They also offer a behind the scenes tour of the facility. A trainer will walk your group through the daily operation of the Habitat Ranch and answer all of your questions. Price is $150 per person for small groups and $100 per person for groups larger than 11 and lower than 20. Feeding the lions will cost you $100 per pound of feed, while the giraffe can be fed for a flat fee of $10.
Adventuredome at Circus Circus
Circus Circus casino opened in 1968, but the Adventuredome didn’t debut until 1993. The indoor amusement park covers 5 acres and features 25 rides and other attractions. There is an 18 hole mini-golf course that never gets rained on, and the sun never gets in your eyes. The Canyon Blaster roller coaster drops you 66 feet and propels you through 2 corkscrews. It is a fantastic ride, especially considering that it is entirely indoors. Entrance to the park will cost you $39.95 for anybody over 4 feet tall and $19.95 for everybody else.
Las Vegas is an amazing place, and there is something for everybody here. This list just touches the tip of the iceberg on all the things you can do in Vegas. Don’t let the stereotypical idea of what Las Vegas offers you discourage you from checking it out for your next vacation spot.