Activities for Toddlers in Las Vegas, Nevada
You are undoubtedly familiar with the activities for adults in Sin City, but did you know that there are also plenty of activities for toddlers in Las Vegas
, Nevada? Best of all, they are off the strip and thus will not expose your children to the somewhat seedier side of adult entertainment that so often crowds the Las Vegas streets. Read on and learn about the Las Vegas Springs Preserve and its outdoor nature viewing opportunities, the wonderfully air-conditioned Lied Discovery Children's Museum with its wide variety of hands-on activities and toddler-themed attractions, and also the Bonnie Springs Ranch.
Las Vegas Springs Preserve
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Visit this educational venue---located at 333 South Valley View Boulevard--which combines a museum commemorating the beginnings of the city with the great outdoors and a number of hiking trails. This is a great opportunity for toddlers to experience the desert in a controlled setting, come face to face with indigenous fauna and flora and learn about Native American life before Las Vegas became Sin City. Because the Nevada heat is legendary, it is a good idea to make this a morning or late-afternoon visit.
If you just want to take your toddler to the gardens or for a walk on the trails, there is no charge. Admission costs to the Desert Living Center---for budding environmentalists interested in touching and interacting with more than 43 exhibits---or the Origen Experience museum of city history vary. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
Lied Discovery Children's Museum
Check out the Lied Discovery Children's Museum at 833 Las Vegas Boulevard. Toddler-themed activities and more than 100 interactive exhibits will keep the youngsters busy.
The museum is open Sunday from noon until 5 p.m., is closed Mondays, is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum hours change from June 1 to Labor Day, when it is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 pm., with the exception of Sundays when the hours remain the same.
Bonnie Springs Ranch and Old Town Nevada
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Bring your toddlers to this mix of working ranch, zoo and working ghost town replica at 1 Bonnie Springs Road. The petting zoo features deer, goats and llamas, and if you bring along older kids, they may enjoy a horseback ride while you stay behind with the toddlers. All the old buildings are actually working businesses and venues, and toddlers can see firsthand how they looked in full regalia in the old days.
The park is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., it closes at 5 p.m. during winter. Note that there is a staged gun shooting in the city streets with bad guys vs. good guys---a delight for any toddler familiar with western-themed movies and the cowboy lore---but you might not want to take them to the staged hanging.
Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.
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