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3 Great Las Vegas Side Trips for Families

by Eugenia Lazaris

Feb 7, 2018

Coloradonative | Dreamstime.com


Sin City is not your typical family destination. While there are plenty of family-friendly activities to be found up and down the Strip — think big-name entertainers, circus acts, magic shows and roller coasters — Las Vegas is best known for its wild parties, gambling and excessive amounts of adult fun.


That doesn’t mean families should, by any means, stay away. A well-planned Vegas trip can offer the perfect balance of adult-themed entertainment and family fun when you incorporate some of these family-friendly side trips.


The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam, located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, is one of the crowing achievements of 20th-century engineering. About an hour from the Las Vegas Strip, this man-made concrete dam is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. The site offers fun and educational tours of the dam and the power plant that harnesses the energy of the water. The tour provides amazing views from the top of the dam with photo opportunities too good to pass up.


Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam. Photo: Tupungato | Dreamstime.com

Colorado River Water Sports

If your family enjoys water sports, explore the Colorado River via kayak or canoe as it winds through the Black Canyon in the shadow of the Hoover Dam. Companies like Blazing Paddles, LLC offer tours with shuttle service to and from Las Vegas. Professionally guided tours give you a fun way to experience the river and the natural beauty of the desert.


Half-day tours are great for families with small children and those with no previous kayaking experience. Full-day tours are also available for those with higher endurance levels and each month during the full moon a night tour is available which offers an unusual kayaking opportunity. Glow-in-the-dark kayaks start out at 6 p.m. and stop downriver to toast marshmallows and watch the sunset.


Red Rock Canyon pano

© Rixie | Dreamstime.com


Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Located just a short drive west of the strip into the desert — 17 miles to be exact — is the unique geological attraction that demonstrates the natural beauty of the desert. The Canyon is filled with colorful rock formations and native wildlife. Visitors can spend just a few hours enjoying the 13-mile scenic drive through the park or spend an entire day hiking the trails and exploring this natural playground. There is even a campground for those who want to spend more than just a day exploring the unique landscape; however, it closes during the summer months due to the extreme desert heat. The park itself is open year-round.


Insta Feed
Nov 12, 2019

Affordable Family Travel to Lake George, New York

While most travelers know Lake George to be a bustling lakeside beach town in the summer, it’s actually a true stunner in the fall and winter also. With warm-weather seekers and summer crowds heading home, Lake George stays open for business well into the fall and offers even better deals for traveling families looking for a budget — without having to compromise.

Culinary Artistry

By Hainan Airlines

Adult Children
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The Wende Museum: Propaganda with Purpose

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of an era in Eastern Europe reinforced in part by propaganda. Your teens, however, are learning propaganda is one of the common threads running through world history and is still making headlines in its many different forms. They are also probably getting to know the oft repeated maxim that if, “You don’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.”

Destinations / North America
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An Old-Fashion Christmas in Chautauqua

Yes, it’s not even Thanksgiving and we are talking Christmas — but this is a family-friendly festival to plan for: WinterFest 2019. Hosted at The Colorado Chautauqua, a national historic landmark in Boulder, Colorado, the inaugural event is a free, or close to it, celebration of all things Christmas and holiday cheer, Dec. 13–15.

Age Specific
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Celebrating Veterans Day

Like most holidays calling into memory those who have given a great sacrifice, Veterans Day can be a hard day to explain to young kids. Through the parades, fireworks and days off school, the meaning of the day can become lost unless parents force the point home.