Las Vegas With Teenagers

Teens are not totally out of luck in Sin City.  There are plenty of affordable attractions and things to do to keep them busy and out of trouble.  You can build a full day itinerary of events from the top to the bottom of the strip.  Here is a list of my favorites:

  1. Mandalay Bay Shark Reef:  The Shark Reef is a 1.6 million gallon aquarium full of sharks.  Over 100 sharks, along with sea turtles and other fish are spread across 14 different exhibits.  The reef is open from 10Am to 10PM daily.   Adults $18, Children 5-12 $12, Under 4 Free.
  2. NY-NY Roller Coaster:  At 67 mph, this coaster rips you through the heart of the Manhattan skyline, through buildings and through loops and turns.  This roller coaster is actually built all around the NY-NY hotel at the bottom of the strip.  Individual ride tickets are $14, and an all day ride pass is $25.
  3. Bodies the Exhibit at Luxor:  This may be the most fascinating exhibit ever.  Human bodies, frozen in time, three dimensional and naked.  This exhibit gives you a glimpse inside the human body, without the smell of an anatomy lab.  A little more expensive than other attractions at $32 general admission, $24 Children 4-12, 3 and under Free.
  4. CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand:  This attraction is based off of the hit TV Show CSI.  It allows you to be the crime detective in a simulated crime scene.  Put your forensic science skills to the test from the briefing area, into the crime scene, back at the lab and make your report to Grissom.  General admission is $30, Children 4-11 $23, Family (2 Adults & 2 Children 11 and under) $75.  The whole experience lasts about 50 minutes to 1 hour in total.  Discounts are available for return visits.
  5. Top of the Stratosphere: 4 incredible rides, literally at the top of the strip.  The Stratosphere towers over the city at 1,149 feet in the air where 4 rides sit atop the tower.  SkyJump, Insanity, X-Scream and Big Shot will leave you fearless.  SkyJump is the newest of the rides and is the closest you can get to free-fall skydiving, while still connected to a bungee.  A 108 floor drop will scare the pant’s off you.  Ride prices: Big Shot – $13, X-Scream – $12, Insanity $12, SkyJump – $109.99 and up.  For the less-daring, an observatory at the top of the tower provides great views of the city both day and night.  Tower Prices: Adult – $16, Child – $10, Senior – $12.  Packages: Tower Admission + All Day Unlimited Rides – $34, Tower Admission + 3 Rides – $31, Tower Admission + 2 Rides – $26, Tower Admission +1 ride – $22, Express Pass – additional $10.00.
  6. The Adventuredome Theme Park at Circus Circus:  The Adventuredome is an indoor theme park with over 25 rides, an arcade, roller coasters, water rides, video rides and more.  This pay-one-price all-day location gives you big bang for the buck.  $26.95 covers anyone 48″ or taller for all-day fun.  Currently the park is open from 10AM to Midnight.  This park is located right on the strip, connected to the Circus Circus hotel.
  7. Fremont Street Experience:  Viva Vision on Fremont Street is an overhead show of lights and sound.  Every night 12.5 million lights illuminate the street with a video and sound show.  This free show typically happens every hour on the hour in the evening, with more frequent shows during busy seasons.  Walk the streets of old Las Vegas and view the traditional neon vegas features.  While you are on Fremont street, be sure to enter the Golden Nugget hotel and check out the Hand of Faith; An actual golden nugget worth over 1 million dollars.  It is located in a wall mounted showcase near the lobby of the hotel.  Head across the street to Binion’s Horseshoe hotel and take your picture in front of 1 Mil in cash (in a showcase of course).
  8. Pools, Pools, Pools:  Every hotel has an outdoor pool which is open during the warm months.  The pool at the Mandalay Bay hotel includes a real sand beach, a huge wave pool and a lazy river.  It is most definitely the best pool in vegas for kids. Cabanas and beach bungalows are available for a rental fee. Keep in mind; you usually need to be staying at the hotel in order to use the pool.  Many people book a room at the hotel, just to use the pool.  Don’t overlook the significantly discounted room rates – they often come with perks.
  9. Shows, Shows, Shows:  Vegas is certainly known for the risque shows – but many are teen appropriate.  My recommendations include Blue Man Group at the Palazzo, Cirque du Soleil – ‘O’ at Bellagio and Lion King at Mandalay Bay.
  10. Food, Food, Food:  Teens like to EAT, and there is plenty available in Vegas.  My top picks are:  Sundays – Le Village Buffet in the Paris Hotel, The Rainforest Cafe (one of few still open), and Margaritaville at the Flamingo (I realize the name doesn’t sound Kid friendly, but the atmosphere is perfect… and so are the volcano nachos!
I hope you have fun exploring Las Vegas.  Drop a comment below if you have any other suggestions.
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