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Las Vegas Provides Excitement For All AgesNovember 1, 2007 By: Glenn Haussman Home-Based Travel Agent
Tours, properties and activities to keep in mind when arranging an itinerary for families traveling with teens
While Las Vegas is still an adult playground, there is plenty to keep the under-21 set busy and engaged. The reality is, more kids are visiting Las Vegas than ever before.
All hotels offer 10 percent commission to certified agents, but individual attractions offer no remuneration.
Wholesalers: Club ABC Tours (www.clubabc.com, 888-TOURS-ABC) offers monthly tours to Las Vegas with a range of hotels from mid-priced to luxury. Also check out Thomas Tours (www.thomastours.com, 724-337-9000). The Las Vegas Tourist Bureau (www.lasvegastouristbureau.com, 800-777-VEGAS) offers a variety of discounts on hotels and ground tours.
Resorts: Stay near the action at Circus Circus (www.circuscircus.com, 702-734-0410). Centrally located to many teen-friendly attractions, the hotel is also home to the Adventuredome. The hotel is budget-focused: Rates for standard guest rooms rub between $39 and $279, while suites start at $159. The 40-year-old-hotel has 3,773 guest rooms (35 percent of which connect), three pools and two whirlpools. Agents can book commissionable rooms by calling 800-634-3450. Rooms in the West Tower are closest to the Adventuredome.
Another affordable resort is the Stratosphere (www.stratospherehotel.com, 800-99-TOWER), home to the city's three most hair-raising rides atop its tower, which, at 1,149 feet, is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the U.S. and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The hotel has a 68,000-square-foot pool and recreation deck, retail complex and more than 2,400 rooms. Rates can be as low as $39 on weekdays.
For those wanting to be close to Star Trek: The Experience, suggest staying at the Las Vegas Hilton (www.lvhilton.com, 800-732-7117), which has a monorail station, making it convenient to hop a quick ride up to The Strip and the world's largest Benihana. The property offers a variety of packages on its web site, as well as information about dining, shows and more. It has 1,400 connecting rooms and suites.
Activities: The Adventuredome Theme Park (www.circuscircus.com/ las_vegas_entertainment/adventuredome.aspx) is Nevada's largest indoor theme park. The $90 million five-acre park entertains the troops with 23 rides and attractions ranging from the tame to the terrifying, and is in the top 20 for number of theme park guests world-wide. An all-day ride pass is $22.95 and it's usually open until midnight. There is also a midway featuring of carnival skill games. Call 702-794-3939.
Atop the Stratosphere Tower (www.stratospherehotel.com/attractions.html) are three rides that may be the most petrifying ever conceived, as they are perched more than 100 stories off the ground, which ups the scare factor immeasurably. The Big Shot, X Scream and Insanity are open until the wee hours on weekends. There are a variety of packages, but the most economical is the Xtreme All-day Unlimited Package at $30.95. Prices are as low as $10.95 for tower admission only or $16.95 for that plus one ride.
Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef (www.mandalaybay.com/entertainment/sharkreef.aspx) is one of the best aquariums in the world. Visitors meander through clear tubes surrounded by fish—including sharks—that swim around on all sides. Behind-the-scenes 30-minute tours are $8 and are available to those 13 and older. Shark Reef is also a pioneer in animal care, public interpretation and education. It's open until 11 p.m. and costs $15.95 to get in.
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat (www.miragehabitat.com, 702-792-7889, [email protected]) offers a unique opportunity for ages 13 and older to spend a day with trainers and learn how to play, train and feed dolphins. It's a full day, from 9:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., and comes with a souvenir photo, certificate, a Trainer for a Day polo shirt, baseball cap and photo CD documenting the day. The cost is $550 per person. Regular admission is $15, and it is open until 5:30 p.m. daily.
World-renowned Madame Tussauds (www.mtvegas.com, 702-862-7800) at the Venetian features iconic figures from the celebrity worlds of film, TV, music, sports and politics. Here you can audition for American Idol, dress in NASCAR racing gear and get in the winner's circle with Dale Earnhardt and visit the Chamber of Horrors Live!, an interactive walk-through maze with live actors. It's open until 11 p.m. and costs $24 to get in. Students are $18.
You don't have to be a diehard fan to enjoy Star Trek: The Experience (www.startrekexp.com, 800-GO-BOLDLY). Tickets are $42.99, or buy online for a $5 discount. The ticket prices include admission to BORG Invasion 4D, Klingon Encounter and the museum.
The Tournament of Kings Dinner Show at Excalibur (www.excalibur.com, 702-597-7600) features 44 actors, live music and 38 horses. The King Arthur-era evening includes a battle for the crown, dragons and jousting. For dinner you'll get tomato soup, a whole Cornish game hen, bottomless soda, dessert and more. The show is performed twice nightly at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $49.95 plus tax and fees and can be purchased up to 30 days in advance.
Lucky Strike Lanes (www.luckystrikelv.com, 702-777-7899) is a good place to bowl a few games and grab lunch. The space has a hip, retro feel. Games cost between $3.95 and $5.95 each, depending on day and time, or you can rent the lane for $55 to $65 per hour. Shoe rental is $3.95. They serve burgers, salads, pizza, chicken bites and more. Those under 21 must clear out by 9 p.m.
Gameworks (www.gameworks.com) is a massive arcade that also has two restaurants serving typical American fare. It's open from 10 a.m. to midnight during the week and until 1 a.m. on weekends. Admission is free, but you have to buy a game card. They come in various amounts, but the $25 card offers the best value. Guests must be over 18 after 9 p.m. Contact Diana Webber at 702-895-7626.