Things to do in Las Vegas this Weekend
Too many people think of Las Vegas as just a place to gamble and party all night. While there is plenty of that going on, this city also offers much more to do, if you’re willing to get up, get out, and enjoy the daylight. Here are some of the must-see daytime attractions for your next Las Vegas vacation.
Located just outside Boulder City about 45 minutes from Las Vegas, the original name for Hoover Dam was Boulder Dam or Boulder Canyon Dam. Eventually renamed for President Herbert Hoover who was in office at the time, it has been a topic of much dispute since then.
If you plan to visit, be sure to go early. Better yet, take a “dam” bus tour. Then you don’t have to worry about the traffic or parking. Bring water. Hiking around is thirsty business. Finally, don’t forget the camera to capture those breathtaking sights.
Las Vegas Springs Preserve
When most people think of Las Vegas they think of casinos and dry desert. That’s why it may come as a big surprise to learn that the original source of water for the Las Vegas Valley area is a natural spring.
The Springs Preserve is 180 acres that sit atop the former springs and offers a view into the flora and fauna of the area with botanical gardens, hiking trails, cultural displays, historical exhibits, animal shows, and more. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera.
Lion Habitat Park
Once seen exclusively at the MGM Grand, now approximately 40 African lions are available for viewing in the Henderson area.
A nearly nine-acre ranch allows the beasts to roam free and visitors to take a self-guided tour to learn more about them. In addition, guests can upgrade to a 90-minute guided tour and see behind the scenes. Open Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM)
Have an older son or daughter interested in science? Take them to the NATM where they can learn about the history of the national atomic testing program, the Nevada Test Site, and the goal of worldwide nuclear deterrence. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Be sure to finish off your visit with a little fun by stopping into the Area 51 exhibit, which explores the myths and history of the testing site roughly 100 miles north of Las Vegas. It’s quirky and interactive.
The iconic neon signs that dotted the Las Vegas landscape for decades are a vital piece of the area’s history. The earliest sign arrived in Las Vegas in 1929, while the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign on the Strip has been there since 1959.
However, since the invention of LED and LCD signs, many famous neon signs have retired. That’s where the Neon Museum comes in. The Boneyard (the outdoor exhibition area) is nearly two acres filled with over 200 signs, the bulk of which are in their original condition. Seven refurbished signs light up at night. Open seven days a week for limited hours.
Adjacent to the Neon Museum is The Neon Boneyard Park with benches, tables, info kiosks, a parking area, and a large welcome sign made to resemble iconic casino signage.
The Mob Museum
This ain’t your momma’s museum. Explore the seedy underworld that made Las Vegas what it is today.
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and located in the downtown area, the Mob Museum provides an interactive, authentic trip into the history of organized crime and law enforcement. Even the building that houses the museum has historical significance. It originally opened in 1933 as the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse and was where the U.S. Senate held the famous Kefauver hearings. Visitors can actually sit through a re-enactment in one of the courtrooms.
Before you decide to go, plan to wear comfortable shoes, bring quarters for parking and water for drinking, and leave plenty of time to cover all three floors thoroughly.
Slotzilla Zip Line at Fremont Street Experience
Since you’re in downtown Las Vegas visiting The Mob Museum anyway, why not drop by the Fremont Street Experience and catch a ride on the Slotzilla Zip Line or Zoom Line?
Perched 77 feet above the Fremont Street Experience, you can take a 30-second ride on the Slotzilla Zip Line from 1 p.m. until 1 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. For those who are a bit braver, double the fun by trying the 60-second Zoom line at 114 feet. Special note: if you wear glasses, you’ll need to have them on a cord around your neck or safely tucked away. Additionally, you can’t snap pics or video during your flight, so be sure to have a friend on the ground doing the job for you.
Whatever your plans for your Las Vegas vacation, don’t stay cooped up in a casino, gambling the entire time. Make sure to go out and explore the other fun things Las Vegas has to offer.