We'll start this series of family friendly activities at the south end of The Strip. Come along with us!
If you haven't yet visited the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
, you'll be hard pressed to find a more iconic landmark. Don't forget to stop and get a photo with the kids in front of this neon staple! (Tip: Weekdays before 10am may be your best time to snag your family photo here, as afternoons, evenings and weekends often see a queue line in the dozens.)
When your photo op is complete, just across the street is the Pinball Hall of Fame
. Heaven for video gamers in the family and good for all ages, anyone can play as long as they can reach the flipper buttons. Offering games from the 1950's to 1990's, the variety of machines will keep you entertained for hours on end. There is an ATM on site, and change machines are available as well, so bring your dollar bills and get ready to have some good old-fashioned fun! Cost per game ranges from 25 cents and up (many at 50 cents per game), and know that your money is well spent - excess revenue not put toward machine maintenance is donated to non-denomination local charities.
Heading north for a stop at Mandalay Bay
, pay a visit to one of the largest indoor aquariums in North America; Shark Reef
As the glass doors open and a soft wave of humidity touches your skin, you know you're in a different world. Beginning with golden crocodiles, you'll glimpse a komodo dragon, piranhas, and giant rays before moving on to tropical fishes, jellyfish, octopus and lion fish. Last but not least is The Shipwreck - where the biggest residents of Shark Reef are seen - hammerhead, galapagos, green sawfish and sand tiger sharks swim with calm intensity. As a nice touch, you'll hear the sounds of creaking wood that make you feel like you're on an old ship. If luck is on your side, you may see one of two green sea turtles that inhabit the exhibit, curious and meandering.
Admission starts at $24 for kids aged 5-12, and $30 for adults. Kids under the age of 5 are free.
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Mandalay Bay via an interior walkway, stop at the Excalibur to see Mac King's Comedy Magic Show. As much a Vegas institution as the sound of slot machines, this fun and hilarious afternoon show combines slight of hand and invisibility tricks that will leave you curious long after you leave the showroom. Starting at $51.74 per ticket, guests must be at least 5 years of age to attend.
Next, head downstairs to the Fun Dungeon. The Fun Dungeon is a family fun area which offers over 200 different games for different age levels and interests. Should you excel in games of skill, the machines dispense tickets which can be turned in for prizes at the redemption counter. If the family is feeling a bit hungry upon arrival, there are both a Dairy Queen and Orange Julius fast-food eateries located in the Fun Dungeon.
Also located in the Fun Dungeon is the Ultimate 4D Experience. With different 15-minute rides featuring movies like San Andreas, Aquaman and Wonder Woman, you'll be immersed in 3D projection with a dynamic seat system that moves with the flow of the movie. Good for all ages, admission begins at $12 per person for one movie, but you can garner an all-day movie pass for just $20 each.
Not to be outdone, if you're looking for something to round off your evening, how about a Dinner Show? If that sounds like something right up your alley, we heartily suggest Tournament of Kings - also accessible within the Fun Dungeon. Similar to Medieval Times for those of you familiar, the performance combines an eat-with-your-hands style meal and an entire performance taking place in front of you. You'll witness jousting, Kings and Queens, dancing maidens, knights on horseback and a variety of equestrian feats. Priced for ages 4 and up, tickets begin at $88.93 per person. Children ages 3 and younger attend for free, but must sit on the lap of a parent or guardian.
Last but not least, we must feature one of the newest and coolest attractions to grace the strip; FlyOver Las Vegas.
Tucked between Ross and the Hard Rock Cafe, you'll find the entrance to Flyover with its signature red and white signage. Similar in style to Soarin' at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, this ride-motion film offers a thorough experience - no passport or pilot experience required. Beginning with an immersive pre-show, you'll soon be guided to the boarding area for your flight. Seated in comfortable mesh seats, your glider will soon lift off from the floor and leave your feet dangling free - a welcome delight after all the walking you've done!
When we visited, we chose Wonders of the American West which was beautiful, and even a bit intense at times! Featuring a wide variety of the west coast of the United States, you'll see so much more than just the desert and its wonders. Also available to select from at the time of purchase are Windborne (offering sky-scraping peaks, enchanting alpine lakes and pristine snow-covered glaciers) and Iceland (including picturesque views of volcanoes, glaciers, history and more). Riders must be at least 40 inches/101 centimeters tall. For a single ride, Kids aged 12 and under are $26 per ticket, Adults 13 and up are $36 per ticket. Additional packages are available such as double rides and drink packages, so be sure to look at their options before purchasing.