Las Vegas, March 29th, 2013. Nearly 40 million people visit Las Vegas each year, according to the local Visitor’s Bureau, and with thoughtful planning more families are finding unique activities to enjoy in and around the city.
One outing kids and their parents rave about is zip-lining over the Mojave Desert. Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon excursion is about a 20 minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip and offers a picturesque getaway with heart-pounding rides down four separate zip lines.
The Flightlines outing also offers beautiful views of Lake Mead, Mt. Charleston, and the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. Bootleg Canyon zip-lines range in length from 1,150 feet to 2,546 feet. The zip-line tours are offered 7 days a week at a cost of $159. Contact: (702) 293-6885 for more info.
If you’re spending time in the city be sure to plan your itinerary before you head out the door. Most resorts occupy vast tracts of land, so hailing a taxi or renting a car and parking in the free casino structures will keep navigating around town manageable for younger kids.
There are quite a few age-appropriate shows including Zarkana, a new Cirque du Soleil show at the ARIA Resort and Casino. Creators call it an acrobatic rock experience that blends circus arts with the surreal.
The name Zarkana is a fusion of the words “bizarre” and “arcane.”
The set of Zarkana includes an enormous LED screen and projections that react to the movements of the performers. There are more than three million pixels of LEDs on the 90 by 40 foot wall which is around and behind the stage. The technology creates a larger-than-life cinematic tableaux that augments the live performance.
Since 1984, Cirque du Soleil has entertained more than 100 million spectators in more than 40 countries. Cirque du Soleil employees 5,000 people, including more than 1,300 performing artists from 50 countries.
In Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil has seven permanent resident shows: Mystère at Treasure Island, “O” at Bellagio, Zumanity at New York-New York, KÀ at MGM Grand, The Beatles LOVE at The Mirage, CRISS ANGEL Believe at Luxor and Zarkana at ARIA Resort & Casino.
Zarkana performances are Friday through Tuesday at 7:00 and 9:30. The box office number is 877.253.5847, website: www.cirquedusoleil.com/zarkana. Tickets run from $69 to $180.
Zarkana is great for kids, but there are a lot of adult-only themed shows and while kids are allowed to pass through casinos on their way to restaurants, theaters, and hotel rooms, the gambling floors are off limits.
The Fountains of Bellagio–the Strip’s most famous free attraction–has some new musical hits: The Beatles, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean and the ’40s Glenn Miller hit In the Mood.
Dubbed by creators as the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived, the show amazes visitors from around the world.
The display launches every 15 minutes at night and has a 29-song repertoire. With massive water cannons blasting over 460 feet in the air, the $40 million dollar fountain captivates crowds. The water show takes place in an 8-acre man-made lake utilizing a network of pipes with more than 1,200 nozzles. The show is illuminated by 4,500 underwater lights.
The lobby of the Bellagio is a also worth a look. Above the 18-foot ceiling is a chandelier called “Fiori di Como” created by glass artist Dale Chihuly. The stunning piece includes 2,000 colorful hand-blown glass blossoms.
Do you have a Michael Jackson fan in your family? Take in MJ Live! at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino. Veteran Michael Jackson impersonator, Michael Firestone has all the right moves and performs songs like “Billie Jean,” “Human Nature” and “Beat It.” The high energy show holds the attention of teens and younger kids. Attendees give the show a thumbs up saying, ” I had the joy of seeing Michael Jackson 4 times when he was living and I believe he would be extremely proud of this tribute and production. My friend and I enjoyed every minute.”
MJ Live! at the Crown Theater in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is a hit with kids and teens.
Michael Jackson impersonator Michael Firestone explains, “I love Michael Jackson and he was a big influence on me in my life. I’m still sad over his death. I almost quit I was so taken back. I had planned to go and see him perform during his London tour and I had tickets front and center in the fourth row.”
General Admission for MJ LIVE! is about $51 with premium seats running about $70. With each paid admission one child 12 and under is free. Tickets are available at http://mjliveshow.com.
The exhibit features a full-scale re-creation of the Grand Staircase as well as a newly expanded outer Promenade Deck.
Through May 31st, 15 of the most prestigious artifacts recovered from the Titanic are also on display, including diamonds, sapphires, pearls and gold jewelry that once belonged to some of the wealthiest passengers.
Described as a floating palace, the incomparable Titanic was deemed “practically unsinkable” by the White Star Line and its builders. However, on a calm April night in 1912, the massive luxury liner struck an iceberg and slowly sank into the North Atlantic.
One of the most striking pieces of “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” is a huge portion of the hull called, “The Big Piece.” It’s the largest single slab of the ship ever brought to the surface and weights in at 15 tons. It took salvage crews two full days to slowly pull the 26-foot long piece of the ship up from the bottom of the Atlantic.
The 25,000-square-foot exhibit features numerous items from the Titanic, including luggage, the ship’s whistles, floor tiles, and an unopened bottle of vintage champagne.
Here’s a link for tickets or Call 800-557-7428. Ticket Prices are $32.00 for General Admission, $24.00 for Children (4 – 12 years) and it’s free for children 3 and under.
Here are some other family activities worth checking out:
If you drive 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas you’ll find Hoover Dam and the beautiful Bypass Bridge. The dam was built during the Great Depression when thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to tame the Colorado River. It took less than five years to build the largest dam of its time, a massive structure which still make a huge impression.
Sopping at the outlet mall is a teen favorite. The Las Vegas Premium Outlets – North is on South Grand Central Parkway and has 150 stores including: Armani Exchange, Ann Taylor, Burberry, Coach, Cole Haan, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Tahari, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, St. John, TAG Heuer, Theory, and Tory Burch.
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