Activities & Attractions for Kids & Families in Las Vegas

By Sarah Dray

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Despite its fame as a city of excesses, Las Vegas is as family friendly as any other big city in the United States. In fact, families looking for fun and thrills will find that Las Vegas has lots to offer, no matter your taste or budget. If you need a respite from the greens and are eager to spend some time with the non-golfers in the family, you won't be disappointed here.

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park

Mormon missionaries were the first non-natives residents of the area that is today Las Vegas. Their lives can now be observed (and relived) by walking the grounds in this perfect recreation of the original 1855 adobe fort. The grounds include remnants of the original fort, a life-size recreation, interpretive displays and costumed guides who help visitors understand the history behind the place. There are special summer programs aimed for kids and historic interpretations are conducted throughout the year.

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park
500 E. Washington Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 486-3511

Guinness World of Records Museum

For grown-ups, this is the place to learn some quirky golf records, such as the lowest 18-hole golf score (55 shots) or the longest golf cart in the world (21 feet 11 inches). For kids, this is the place to see odd and fun records, like the tallest man in the world, the largest construction made out of matches, the biggest fruits and lots of records regarding thrills, rides and amusement parks. Video clips, interactive displays and informational screens make it easier to find information about other unique records. The museum will be closed for a good part of 2009 for renovations, but it's expected to reopen before the end of the year.

Guinness World of Records Museum
2780 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 792-3766

Buffalo Bill at Primm Valley Resort & Casino

Located about 20 minutes outside Las Vegas, this is a great destination for those who want entertainment without the chaos that often accompanies amusement parks on the Strip. The large Buffalo Bill amusement park, part of the Primm Valley Resort & Casino, offers thrills for every member of the family. Favorites include The Desperado (a 209-foot-tall roller coaster), the Adventure Canyon Log Flume, eight different 3-D rides and the Turbo Drop, which shoots riders 170 feet in the air and lets them experience 4.5 Gs of force. There is also a large arcade and a virtual roller coaster, where passengers are strapped inside a motion simulator and can choose to "ride" almost any roller coaster in the world. For some quiet time, head to Buffalo Bill's private movie theater, where you can see classics and much-loved movies of the past.

Primm Valley Resort & Casino
31900 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Primm, NV 89019
(702) 679-7433

About the Author

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications, including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.