Circus Circus Hotel/Casino,
2889 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Local kids say this Circus Circus property is one of the best of Las Vegas’ amusement parks. Adults will appreciate the air-conditioned comfort of this metallic pink domed indoor park and nearby casino. The park has a double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, a water flume with a 60-foot free fall and one of the more elaborate laser-tag layouts. A carnival-style midway and lots of smaller rides (including bumper cars) appeal to visitors of all ages.
All American Sports Park
121 E. Sunset Rd. (at Las Vegas Blvd. S.)
This place offers every activity imaginable for the wanna-be jock: baseball batting cages, indoor rock climbing, a 7000-square-foot putting green, a go-cart race track, roller skating and plenty of room to jog around the 23-acre facility. If this place can’t raise your testosterone level, check for a pulse.
3769 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Call it the ultimate arcade complex. This 47,000-square-foot facility is the brainchild of movie mogul Steven Spielberg, Sega Enterprises and Universal Studios. In its basement-like setting next to the MGM Grand are Vertical Reality and GameArc, where teams of players battle each other in mock warfare. Also included is a 75-foot rock-climbing wall, all the latest video equipment and more than 250 arcade games. And, for a high-tech touch, computer terminals with Internet access also are available. Games range from 50¢ to $4. GameWorks is open daily; call for hours of operation.
MGM Grand Adventure Theme Park
MGM Grand, 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Most of the rides here are oriented toward young children, so much of the fare tends to be on the tame side. But a more challenging addition is the SkyScreamer, which hooks you up to a line, lifts you 250 feet and sends you free-falling. Flyers are instructed to pull their own rip cords to begin their 70-mph dive. Reservations–pun intended–are required on the day of the flight. Cost is $10 to $20 (separate from the regular theme park admission) depending on the number in your group. Four can swing simultaneously, or you can fly solo.
Theme park rides include children’s bumper boats, a log-flume ride, a free-floating raft that whirls through gushing white-water rapids and self-controlled paddleboats. Be prepared to get wet on the water rides.
A pirate-themed adventure show with breakaway masts, exploding towers, hungry sharks and hand-to-hand combat is performed several times a day in a 950-seat outdoor theater. Note: Though it doesn’t cost anything to walk around the movie set-style streets, bring lots of cash if you plan to spend much time at this theme park; the multitude of shops can empty your pockets in a hurry. And since most of the venues are outdoors, remember that sun block in the summer!
The park is open every day, but hours and admission prices vary according to season. Doors open at 10 AM, and closing time varies. Wristbands, which permit unlimited rides, cost about $12. Kiddies under 42 inches tall are admitted free, and children younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
Star Trek: The Experience
Las Vegas Hilton, 3000 Paradise Rd.
Space comes alive at the north tower of the Las Vegas Hilton, where Paramount Parks has developed an interactive Star Trek attraction. A motion simulator, designed by Iwerks Entertainment, provides thrills and spills for visitors of all ages. After receiving their mission instructions on the Bridge, passengers take the TurboLift to the shuttlecraft launch bay to board a virtual shuttlecraft. Film images immerse the craft during its “voyage.” The whole trip takes about 30 minutes.
Veteran Trekkies will enjoy the museum loaded with costumes and memorabilia. For the gamblers, the Spacequest Casino features 24,000-square-feet of floor space and three space windows, which create the illusion of orbiting Earth. Distinctively futuristic slot machines and table games enhance the 24th-century ambiance, but they’ll accept your old 20th-century money, of course. General admission to Star Trek: The Experience is $9.95 for residents and $14.95 for nonresidents. The attraction is open from 11 AM to 11 PM daily.
Richard Petty Driving School
6001 N. Las Vegas Blvd.
This is the ultimate thrill ride–taking a spin at up to 150 mph in a Formula One (Indy) racing car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The program is tailored to your abilities and needs. And it’s definitely for grown-ups with cash. Prices vary considerably, depending upon the “experience” you choose. There’s everything from the ride-along with a professional driver for $90 on up to the 30-lap, behind-the-wheel “Experience of a Lifetime” for $1,099. The speedway has specific reserved dates at the track, so call ahead for days of operation. For more information on the track, see our Spectator Sports section.
Sahara, 2535 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
(702) 737 2111
Speedworld offers a variety of virtual racing thrills, prime among them Virtual Reality Racing: eight people, eight minutes, eight bucks each. Alternatively, there’s a 3-D “motion theater”: 3-D, three minutes and three bucks for a passenger’s-eye race simulation. Everything is the highest of high-tech.