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Category - Outdoor Adventures

Vegas Weekend: Setting the scene - Family holiday activities

Winter in Venice 

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.

Finally, head out of town for Ice Skating on the Lake with the family at the Aston Montelago at Lake Las Vegas.

Happy holidays to you and yours from Las Vegas!

Running for a good Claus

     Santa Claus is coming to town -- but he's ditching the sleigh in favor of his running shoes! Join an estimated 10,000 people in red suits and help break a Guinness World Record for the largest Santa gathering by participating in The Las Vegas Great Santa Run on Dec. 3!

     Proceeds from the event benefit Opportunity Village, a not-for-profit organization that serves people in the Las Vegas community with intellectual disabilities. So whether you enter the 5K race, the 1-mile Kris Kringle Jingle walk, or just dress up as St. Nick to join the festivities, you'll be helping a worthy "Claus."

     There will also be entertainment, vendors and even parachuting Santas, so come be a part of the excitement on the Las Vegas Strip! The race begins at 10 a.m. at the front entrance to Town Square Las Vegas.

More info about the race, courtesy of our YouTube channel:




Vegas is a picture perfect destination!

      You probably have a digital camera -- either one specifically made for taking pictures, or attached to your smart phone. When you're in Las Vegas, there are plenty of places to put it to good use, with its neon lights and famous boulevard.  Book your trip and stroll the Strip, because there's a photo op around just about every corner.

 The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.    No visit to Vegas would be complete without a stop at the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.  Located on the south end of the Strip, it's one of the most recognizable signs in the world and also one of the most copied. The original designer, Betty Willis, created the sign in 1959 and never copyrighted it. It's the reason why you'll find this sign, or a version of it, everywhere from T-shirts to mugs to beach towels. So when you're here, get your picture with the real thing.

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.Romance is in the air when you arrive at Paris Las Vegas.  The hotel's focal point is a 1/2 size replica of the Eiffel Tower, with its 11th floor restaurant with stunning view of the lights below.  Of course, don't miss the elevator ride to the top - at 460 feet, you'll experience a perfect panoramic 360-degree view of Las Vegas. For more great photo ops, don't miss The Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, The Paris Opera House, and the Alexander III Bridge-all reproduced to the smallest detail.

Those seeking vintage Vegas will enjoy the downtown area known as Fremont Street.  Although there are plenty of classic Vegas hotels here, you can't miss modern technology at its best with the world's largest LED canopy of light.  With more than 12 million lights, the overhead canopy displays music videos and special light shows nightly.  Make your trip to Fremont Street's Viva Vision show at night and you'll be amazed that it's as bright as day when the lights are on!

The Mirage Volcano has been erupting for more than 20 years, and now produces flames that are hotter and larger than ever, with a new fire lagoon feature.  The creators have installed dozens of fire cannons under water that will explode on command.  The effect is a choreographed fountain of fire and scored to the vibrant music of Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart.

The majestic Fountains of Bellagio.Just take a stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard and you'll get a glimpse of the world.  It's the most recognizable street in the world and you'll see first hand Bellagio's fountains, New York's famed skyline, Luxor's great pyramid, Venetian waterways and squares and secluded lakeside shows at Wynn Las Vegas.

For more scenic shots, take a quick trip to Lake Mead where you can see the famous Hoover Dam.  A quick 30-minute drive from the heart of Vegas, the Hoover Dam will amaze you with its size and commanding presence. 

Explore a side of Vegas you may not even know existed

      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.
See the history behind one of America's most amazing structures at the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum     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 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!

Travel the world in one city

Not everyone can be a world traveler, but when you take a trip to Las Vegas, you can see the world all within a few blocks!

Luxor Hotel & CasinoYou'll feel like you're in the City of Lights when you visit Paris Las Vegas. The resort has detailed replicas of the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre façade, Paris Opera House and Hotel de Ville. And you certainly can't miss the 50-story, half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, now one of Las Vegas' most visible landmarks.

Take a guided tour on an authentic gondola through the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes in this re-creation of the Italian city of Venice. Famous landmarks including St. Marks Square and winding canals add to the experience. For more Italian elegance, celebrate the glory of Rome at Caesars Palace with its famous fountains, dramatic gabled pediments and Corinthian columns.  Catch the stars of stage and screen with a performance at the Caesars Colosseum.

Step inside the world's largest open atrium as the Luxor takes you back to ancient Egypt with its identifiable pyramid. The illuminating spotlight emanating from its apex makes the Luxor one of the few man-made structures visible from space.  Relax at the luxurious Monte Carlo Resort, where you'll feel as though you just pulled up to the famed Casino de Monte Carlo in the South of France.  Experience the cool breezes and tropical atmosphere of the South Pacific with a weekend at Mandalay Bay resort.

You can also see various parts of Americana with the Statue of Liberty and skyline at New York-New York, the French Quarter at The Orleans, and more.

See the whole world in one place - Las Vegas!

Vegas Minute: A day at TAO Beach

In this week's Vegas Minute, it's pool season, so soak up some sun at TAO Beach atop the Venetian. Then, get your juices flowing as you soar over the downtown crowd on Fremont Street Flightlinez. Las Vegas also has amazing music all summer long, including Paul McCartney at the MGM Grand on June 10 and Cake at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on June 11. Life is Short. Summer is Shorter. Plan your trip at http://www.lasvegas.com/. Vegas Minute produced by http://www.vegas.com/. You can also see other Vegas Minute videos and popular Las Vegas commercial spots on our official YouTube channel.

Dig This -- a playground filled with heavy equipment? Only in Vegas

Bulldozers. Hydraulic excavators. Hard hats.

I know what you're thinking. Big deal, right? You have construction sites where you live, sure.

But in Vegas, we're not talking about a construction site. Here, we call it a playground.  

Dig ThisDig This Las Vegas is now open, and it's your chance to get behind the wheel -- wait, there's no wheel on these monsters. OK, it's your chance to get behind the levers and stickshifts to operate real Caterpillar equipment on a 5-acre site where you can toss huge boulders and oversized tires and mounds and mounds of dirt around and run roughshod over the terrain in the process.

You'll get a quick video training session and plenty of direction from one of the instructors, and they'll be in contact with you throughout via headset, but once you hop inside and buckle in, it's all you. It's great fun for men and women and it's in a controlled environment.

Dig This Las Vegas is celebrating its opening with a special offer this weekend featuring introductory 1-hour "Dig" sessions for $119 (Dirt cheap for getting a shot to cruise around in one of these bad boys). So check out Las Vegas' newest attraction! We've laid the groundwork -- but, sorry, this time, you'll have to handle the heavy lifting. :)

First trip to Vegas? Some advice from your peers

We asked our legion of Facebook fans (you are following the official Las Vegas page on Facebook, aren't you???) what advice they would give to first-time Vegas visitors.

We had some great responses -- and thought we'd share our top 10 answers with you!

1)      Wear comfy walking shoes
2)      Stay hydrated
3)      Pace yourself
4)      Bring lots of cash/singles (for tipping)
5)      Fly in at night
6)      Get lots of sleep before, don't sleep while you're there
7)      Split your time between the Strip, Fremont Street, and outer attractions (such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area)
8)      See the free Fountains of Bellagio
9)      Enjoy the buffets
10)   You don't need a car if you're on the Strip -- use the monorail, taxi, or bus (here are some tips for getting around Vegas)

If you are planning your first visit to Las Vegas, be sure to check out our list of to-dos on the Vegas First-Timers itinerary available on LasVegas.com ... we're the experts on How To Vegas!

Vegas: The ultimate thrill ride

Every trip to Las Vegas is exciting, but some people want more excitement than others. If you're a thrill-seeker, Las Vegas has plenty of ways for you to get your adrenaline rushing. How about swimming with the sharks? Inside the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, there are no cages -just you, 1.3 million gallons of underwater real estate, and more than 30 sharks, including Sandtiger, Sandbar and White Tip Reef sharks.

Prefer wind over water? Hook up to a harness at the new Fremont Street Flightlinez  cruise down a zip line right over the crowds on Fremont Street and under the giant video canopy. For some zip lining with a little less neon, head out to Boulder City for Bootleg Canyon Flightlines.

If you love roller-coasters, head down to Buffalo Bill's in Primm and see how you hold up against the Desperado's Turbo Drop, a 255-foot nosedive that highlights one of the world's tallest and fastest scream machines. Or twist, loop and dive around New York City with the Coney Island-style coaster at New York-New York.

In Las Vegas, the sky is the limit. Well, almost. The SkyJump at the Stratosphere is about as you can get for a thrill ride. At 108 stories, it's the highest controlled free fall in the world. It really is the best way to see the city, hurtling towards your face at a ridiculous speed.

Book your next adventure at LasVegas.com and get all the thrills you can handle in Vegas!

Get out and see Las Vegas' beautiful, scenic hiking hot spots

     Strap on your boots and see a side of Las Vegas you may never have known existed. The weather is perfect for a day of hiking in one of the magnificent state parks and recreational areas surrounding Las Vegas.

Start your journey from the comfort of your hotel suite at Red Rock Resort, Suncoast Hotel, or the JW Marriott Resort, all just minutes from our spectacular national parks! You can also get plenty of exercise in the 197,000-acre scenic loop of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, with more than 30 miles worth of hiking trails! Be sure to stop by the visitor center to see some historical and geological exhibits, a cactus garden and a souvenir bookstore. 

     The spectacular red sandstone of Valley of Fire State Park is the perfect backdrop for a day of hiking, picnicking and even camping.

     There's also invigorating hiking at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, not to mention boating, fishing, wildlife and more! The Mojave, the Great Basin and the Sonoran Deserts come together for a unique landscape.  While visiting, be sure to spend some time on the scenic grounds of the new Ravella Resort or stroll the Mediterranean-themed streets of the Village at Lake Las Vegas.

     If you prefer higher elevations, the Mount Charleston Recreation Area includes numerous hiking trails and picnic areas, along with the natural beauty you'll find in the Spring Mountains of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.  Relax after a long hike at the Mt. Charleston Lodge or The Resort on Mount Charleston.

     Experience some of Las Vegas' outer beauty and enjoy a gratifying and scenic hike today! Then finish your night off with an award-winning restaurant, A-list entertainment, and the best nightlife in the world!

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