Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012 | 2 a.m.
With Las Vegas boasting themes like “Just the right amount of wrong” and “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” it’s hard to believe the Strip would cater to families and tourists not old enough to feed a slot machine.
Don’t be fooled — there are plenty of child-friendly attractions along the boulevard to keep the whole family entertained. After all, this is the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” A few of Las Vegas’ attractions that cater to families:
The Mirage volcano was one of the first family attractions on the Strip. Built in 1989, the fiery volcano ignites every hour on the hour from dusk to 11 p.m.
Stratosphere Tower and Rides
Stratosphere Tower and Rides is an atmosphere for both adrenaline junkies and families looking to end the day with spectacular views of the Las Vegas Valley.
The tower offers indoor and outdoor observation decks, with a 360-degree view of the city. It is home to SkyJump, the highest controlled free fall in the world from the 108th floor; Insanity, where you can experience the Strip view 900 feet below at a speed of three G’s; Big Shot, a 160-foot launch up the tower needle; and X-Scream, a giant teeter-totter with drops over the edge of the tower, 866 feet above the ground.
Circus Circus Adventuredome and Midway
When you’ve had enough thrills from the rides, head over to the opposite side of the hotel and visit the Carnival Midway. Free circus performances appear throughout the day, and hundreds of arcade and carnival games are available for play.
Madame Tussauds Las Vegas
The 30,000-square-foot attraction displays dozens of stars, and it includes a “Sports Arena” area where visitors can stand next to Las Vegas tennis great Andre Agassi.
Fountains at Bellagio
The fountains at Bellagio is one of the Las Vegas Strip’s best-known attractions. Choreographed to music from artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, the dancing waters from more than 1,200 fountains soar as high as 460 feet. Several of the Bellagio’s restaurants feature outdoor seating along the 8.5-acre lake.
On the south end of the Strip, M&M's World is a chocolate-lover’s dream come true. From the four floors of merchandise, souvenirs and floor-to-ceiling candy bins of assorted colors to the 3-D movie, “I Left My M in Las Vegas,” this is a must-see for anyone.
Circus Circus Chuck Jones Experience
Opened last month, this 10,000-square-foot museum honors animator Chuck Jones, the creator behind such iconic cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
The exhibit includes a 1930s-style movie theater, more than 250 original pieces of Jones' art and animation work, and an interactive studio where visitors can create sound effects and voiceovers for cartoon shorts.
Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium
An underwater wonderland in the middle of the desert, the Shark Reef Aquarium is home to more than 2,000 animals, including sawfish, piranhas and jellyfish.
There are plenty of sharks, too, and a rare golden crocodile swimming around in the aquarium's more than 1.6 million gallons of water. Popular attractions include the interactive touch pool and the shipwreck exhibit, which gives visitors sweeping 360-degree views of the fish tank.
"Titanic" and "Bodies" at Luxor
A pair of exhibits at the Luxor mix education with fun that’s fit for the whole family.
"Bodies" gives visitors a look at human anatomy from the inside out, including 13 whole-body displays and more than 260 organs and partial body specimens.
"Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" includes more than 300 authentic items from the Titanic as well as replicas of the famed ship that was thought to be unsinkable.
Excalibur "Tournament of Kings"
Jousting, sword fights and plenty of chivalry are on display nightly at the "Tournament of Kings" at Excalibur. In addition to a feast “fit for a king,” the show combines action-packed medieval drama with more light-hearted song-and-dance numbers to create an experience that appeals to all ages.
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
A mix of exotic animals, including white lions, white tigers and a family of bottlenose dolphins, calls the Mirage home. A Strip staple since 1990, the Secret Garden has become a haven for endangered species while the dolphin habitat doubles as a research facility. Well-suited for a leisurely family stroll, the exhibit also gives more adventurous visitors an opportunity to get in the pool with the dolphins — for a price, of course.
Want to see the Coca-Cola bear that’s in the television commercials or a building-sized Coke bottle? Look no further.
This store has plenty of novelty items to look at and an upstairs cafeteria where you can sample “Cokes Around the World” and taste sodas from 16 countries.