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There’s plenty of outdoor recreation in Nevada in light of the U.S. government shutdown.
Even with the temporary, partial closure of the U.S. Government and unknown opening dates of many popular national parks in Nevada, there are still plenty of great state and local parks and attractions to enjoy. Here’s a list of some family friendly options to enjoy in our area.
Located in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, enjoy a drive up to the tree-lined streets and campgrounds of Mount Charleston. Charleston Peak reaches 11,900 feet with local vegetation including pinion pine and juniper trees. With an eagle eye, you may even spot Rocky Mountain Elk, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer, and more. Enjoy lunch at the Mt. Charleston Lodge or The Resort on Mount Charleston Hotel!
This unique location was the home to the first permanent non-native settlers to the area in 1855 along the Las Vegas Creek. Here you can see the remnants of the original adobe fort with interpretive displays. A thorough visitor center provides the history of the site and artifiacts.
Although Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is closed, Spring Mountain State park, just outside is still open for business! Sitting on more than 520 acres, with dramatic view of Red Rock Canyon, the ranch was once home to celebrities including Chester Lauck or the comedy team “Lum & Abner”, German actress Vera Krupp, and millionaire Howard Hughes.
Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest state park and was dedicated in 1935. Enjoy spectacular hikes with ancient tree petrified wood and Indian petroglyphs dating back 3,000 years! The park is open to camping, hiking, picnicking and photography. Stop by the visitor center for maps and souvenirs.
Spread over 2,000 acres, just north of the city, Floyd Lamb Park provides tree-shaded groves along four small fishing lakes. Enjoy a quiet picnic and keep an eye out for native desert wildlife and vegetation. It’s not uncommon to see ducks, geese, chickens and peacocks here!
A few miles southeast of the city, in Henderson, the Bird Viewing Preserve is home to thousands of waterfowl and resident desert birds. For the bird enthusiast, this is a great place to relax and set up bird watching. Nine ponds are available for birding surrounded by paved and dirt paths. Binoculars are available for rent, or bring your own! Enjoy your day in more than 140 acres of land.
The weather is perfect for exploring a side of Las Vegas you may not even know exists - the scenic beauty that surrounds the world's most exciting destination. Check out gorgeous rock canyons, majestic mountains and more!
The western edge of Las Vegas offers spectacular outdoor adventures, so start your day from the comfort of Red Rock Resort, Suncoast Hotel, or JW Marriott Resort. You'll be minutes from a beautiful hike through the gorgeous red sandstone cliffs at Red Rock Canyon. Picnic areas, cycling, hiking, climbing and horseback riding are available to enhance your experience and the visitor center contains historical and geological exhibits, a cactus garden and even a bookstore. Enjoy the scenic 13-mile drivable loop which meanders throughout Red Rock Canyon.
Take a tour of the wondrous Hoover Dam and don't miss the photo op with the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge! Or, better yet, from the bypass parking area, climb the designated stairs to the top, and peer back down at the Hoover Dam from high atop the pedestrian walkway! It's not for the faint of heart! Be sure to stop by the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum to see the history behind this amazing structure. Enjoy lunch and a stroll down main street of this charming small town, or spend the night at the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, Boulder Inn and Suites, Milo's Inn at Boulder, or many other charming accommodations.
If you want to take your Vegas experience to new heights, take a ride up to Mount Charleston Recreation Area and explore the Spring Mountains of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The lower foothills are covered with pinion pine and juniper trees, and you may encounter a variety of wildlife, including Rocky Mountain elk, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer and others. There are numerous hiking trails and camping is also available. Stop for buffalo or ostrich burgers at Mount Charleston Lodge, or enjoy lunch with a view at The Resort on Mount Charleston.
You can also go horseback riding at Bonnie Springs Ranch, enjoy train rides and even a petting zoo. There's a lot to see outdoors, so come experience Vegas in a whole new way!
Get ready to go trick-or-treating, grown-up style.
Spend your Howl-O-Weekend in Las Vegas this year and enjoy six nights of frightful fun that will leave you screaming for more.
Sink your taste buds into the official Las Vegas Halloween Pub Crawl, which features some of the best bars in town. After "crawling" around, stand up to the raw terror at Fright Dome at Circus Circus, celebrating its 10th year of haunting.
For a major creep out, step into Hostel director Eli Roth's multilevel Goretorium. This brand-new attraction features a maze of frights, including a self-guided horror experience unveiling gruesome and ghastly sites at every turn.
If you want to join in the fun, put on your scariest attire and head to the Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball at the Hard Rock, or lend a hand to the zombies in the Las Vegas Halloween Parade at the Fremont Street Experience. Fremont Street is also home to the Oktober Fright Fest all month long, with various Halloween activities in the heart of downtown Las Vegas.
For a more haunting experience, check out After Dark at Madame Tussauds inside The Venetian, where you'll see the wax figures really come to life like never before, or take the Haunted Tour of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor.
Howl-O-Weekend comes but once a year, so cast your fears aside and have the thrill of a lifetime in Las Vegas!
Saddle up, partners! It's time to take a trip back through the untamed Old West and enjoy some Las Vegas cowboy culture at Helldorado Days from May 17 - 20.
Helldorado Days has a rich history - it began in 1934 and was once used as the backdrop for a Roy Rogers movie. This year's four-day festival kicks off with Cowboys for a Cure - Wear Pink Night on May 17 to support breast cancer awareness for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Southern Nevada. On May 18 and 20, you can also catch the excitement of PRCA professional rodeo. Enjoy a carnival, exhibits and food vendors on the rodeo grounds nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight, with rodeo events starting at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, May 19, don't miss one of Helldorado's signature events, the Helldorado Days Evening Parade, which begins at 5 p.m. in Downtown Las Vegas. The parade route runs on Fourth Street from Gass Avenue to Ogden Avenue.
Whether you're there for the parade, rodeo or other fun events, such as the Whiskerino Contest to see who has the longest or most unique beard, there's always plenty of Wild West fun to be had at Helldorado Days! Proceeds help children and veterans in Southern Nevada. For more, see ElksHelldorado.com.
Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer, but in Las Vegas, summer celebrations are already in full swing!
Las Vegas is home to the most lavish pool parties on the planet, so take advantage of the holiday and the ideal weather to show off your summer swimwear while swaying to the sounds of top spin masters.
There's plenty of outdoor recreation to enjoy, too. Grab a foursome and tee off at one of more than 65 championship golf courses, set sail and go boating on Lake Mead, or discover a nature trail or hidden waterfall at Icebox Canyon and go hiking through Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Of course, the Entertainment Capital of the World always lives up to its billing with amazing concerts to appease every musical taste. Catch an intimate evening of hits with Santana at Mandalay Bay, rock out to Incubus at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel or catch a rising hip-hop star when Childish Gambino takes the stage poolside at The Cosmopolitan.
Legendary comics will leave you rolling in the isles this Memorial Day Weekend, including Mr. Heathcliff Huxstable himself Bill Cosby at Treasure Island, ‘Rules of Engagement' star David Spade at The Venetian and venerable TV host Jay Leno at The Mirage.
Follow that up with the best beats in the world at one of Vegas' hottest nightclubs! Check our official blog the week of Memorial Day to see what celebrities, recording artists and music producers will be appearing in Vegas clubs during the holiday.
Make it a memorable Memorial Day Weekend and get your summer started in Vegas!
Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel is now known as the D Las Vegas.
The mobsters have made their way back to Vegas, but this time it's in an even more organized fashion with the opening of the Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. "Scarface" (Al Capone), "Bugsy" (Benjamin Siegel), "The Teflon Don" (John Gotti) and "Whitey" (James Joseph Bulger, Jr.) are just a few notable names that left their fingerprints in the crime hall of infamy and now their stories are being revealed. The Mob Museum, officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law enforcement, takes you inside the notorious battle between organized crime and law enforcement with high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive exhibits.
The museum's 41,000 square-foot building has as much history as the exhibitions inside. Standing three stories tall, the building was formerly the historic federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office building where one of the 14 Kefauver Hearings on organized crime was held in 1950. The museum is more than just a collection of historic photos and stories, but an interactive exhibition featuring weapons, wiretapping tools and crime scene artifacts. Visitors can even "shoot" a simulated tommy gun, listen to real FBI surveillance tapes, and partake in FBI weapons training. Join the family - the mob family - and leave Vegas with a story you can tell your family.
Once you've learned the truth and nothing but the truth at The Mob Museum, explore Downtown Vegas by strolling along the Fremont Street Experience under 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound during the Viva Vision light show. Enjoy a drink, a song, or a game at the Fremont East Entertainment District. This urban neighborhood has a happening nightlife, diverse culture and a unique vibe with hot spots including The Griffin, The Downtown Cocktail Lounge, Don't Tell Mama Piano Bar, and Insert Coin Videolounge.
Some say downtown is the "real" Las Vegas; others are loyal to the Strip. Two sides of the story - but the truth is, you can score some great deals on rooms in vintage downtown hotels including the Golden Gate Hotel, Golden Nugget, El Cortez, Plaza Hotel, California Hotel, Vegas Club, the D Las Vegas, and Main Street Station. The history, thrill and adventure of Downtown Las Vegas allows you to experience a whole new side of the city.
No matter what the temperature is outside, Las Vegas keeps you cool all year-round.
Your drinks are sure to stay ice cold when you enjoy some libations at either Minus5 location in Las Vegas. Mandalay Place and Monte Carlo - each offers you the chance to bundle up and enjoy spirits that are kept at, well, minus 5 degrees Celsius. How often do you get to enjoy 30 minutes of arctic drinking and mingling while donning a heavy winter parka and fur-lined hat indoors? Enjoy frozen cocktails from ice glasses while surrounded by tons of ice, frozen bars, walls, statues, tables, chairs and lamps.
Dine at Red Square at Mandalay Bay and enjoy an impressive caviar selection, and such perestroika-inspired Russian and internationally influenced favorites, such as Siberian nachos, seared foie gras and duck confit, Strozapretti stroganof and Adzhika-spiced pork tenderloin. Before or after, however, you can really feel the chill: Experience the exclusive, private vodka vault and famous frozen ice bar featuring more than 200 frozen vodkas and infusions, martinis and Russian-inspired cocktails.
In the mood for some relaxing snow? You can enjoy that year-round at Qua Baths & Spa as you watch "snow" fall from the ceiling in the one-of-a-kind Arctic Ice Room. It's a spa experience you'll only get in Vegas and a great way to stay cool!
For those of you who really need to get some real snow-filled excitement, take a quick drive to the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort - downhill skiing and terrain parks are all the rage up there. You may not expect snow near Vegas, but this ski park had snow earlier than most West Coast ski resorts! Stay a day or two and spend the night at the scenic Resort on Mount Charleston or the Mt. Charleston Lodge! Skiing in Vegas - how's that for cool?
Only in Las Vegas can you see dancing water fountains, a roller coaster, a volcano, a free show featuring sexy sirens, and more - all without ever setting foot indoors.
Take a stroll down one of the world's most famous stretches of road, Las Vegas Boulevard, and take in a variety of sights as you walk.
The roller coaster at New York-New York soars overhead across the Manhattan skyline, and just up the road, you can enjoy outdoor dining with breathtaking views at Cabo Wabo Cantina and PBR Rock Bar & Grill outside Planet Hollywood, Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas and Margaritaville at the Flamingo Las Vegas.
Of course, the Fountains of Bellagio and erupting Volcano at The Mirage are always marvelous to see, but continue down the Strip, safely past the pirates and sirens of Treasure Island, and enjoy the view of the Venetian Plaza and the Lake of Dreams at Wynn Las Vegas.
A world of excitement on one block - only in Las Vegas!
The best stock-car drivers on the planet converge on Las Vegas March 9 - 11 for NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway!
NASCAR Weekend 2012 features the Stratosphere Pole Day, the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Enjoy the finest view of the competition as it unfolds on the 20-degree banks with a special weekend ticket package. The basic package features a seating area located along and high above the front stretch, and offers a terrific view of the racing and pit action. The Dale Earnhardt Terrace and Richard Petty Terrace provide a private concourse with restrooms, concessions and elevator access. Upgrade to a clubhouse package and enjoy all-you-can-eat food and drink coupons for beer or wine while you watch the race with an unobstructed view!
Then, it's time to get out your brackets and get ready for the excitement of college basketball's annual championship tournament. The tournament always has plenty of surprises, but here's one pick you can feel good about - watch all of the games in the comfort and luxury of a Las Vegas sports book.
It's an adrenaline rush for every sports fan, so make your plans to catch the high-intensity excitement of NASCAR and college hoops.
The holidays are upon us, and what better way to celebrate the season than to zip up the warm jackets, pack the thermos with hot chocolate and take the family out to view holiday décor?
The weather's great, so head outside for a walk through beautifully lit displays. At Ethel M's holiday cactus garden in Henderson, visitors can wander down brightly lit paths from 5 until 10 p.m. through Sunday, January 1. For an even more elaborate tour, visitors can purchase 3D glasses to enhance the experience. Enjoy music by local choirs and say hello to Santa on select evenings.
At the Holiday Spectacular at the Springs Preserve through December 23, enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere with yummy treats, crafts, reindeer (pony) rides, photos with Santa and an ice-skating rink. Plus, enjoy nightly musical performances by local artists including Kid Fiddlers, Rage Time Entertainment, Beth Mullaney, The Rock Group and much more.
Through January 8, Venetian and Palazzo have been transformed into a winter wonderland for Winter in Venice. Get in the merry spirit as you surround yourself with brilliantly lit trees and festive music. Warm up with an eggnog cupcake and hot apple cider as you enjoy the nightly light show and performances. Also, tie up the skates to glide across the largest ice rink on the Strip.
Don't miss Opportunity Village's largest fundraiser of the year, the Magical Forest, for gorgeous light displays designed by local businesses. Take a ride on the Forest Express train through the two-acre forest, enjoy the kiddie rides and take a photo with Santa.
With miles of LED lights, the drive-through Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is sure to impress. Plus, soak in the breathtaking details in the Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, decked out for the holiday season with hundreds of seasonal plants, flowers, and festive decorations.
Happy holidays to you and yours from Las Vegas!