Playing Tourist

Exciting excursions to enjoy with the kids before the end of summer

If there’s one thing many Southern Nevadans are guilty of, it’s not taking advantage of the fact that they live in one of the world’s premier vacation destinations. Locals often plan trips to visit places in other parts of the world, figuring they can see more conveniently located attractions like Hoover Dam whenever they want. With kids heading back to school, though, there’s no better time for families to make some last-minute memories together this summer than by playing tourist and booking an excursion to visit some nearby attractions.

Race Around Nellis Dunes

Sure to be a hit with young thrill-seekers, SunBuggy Fun Rentals’ Las Vegas Family Fun Romp takes guests ages four and older out for a little off-roading adventure in the desert. Guests will get to “chase” their tour guide through the Nellis Dunes in a 1-, 2-, or 4-seat dune buggy for 60 minutes, with striking views of The Strip in the distance. Since parents are behind the steering wheel, they can drive as fast as they – or their kids – feel comfortable with, guaranteeing there won’t be any shrieks of terror — just shrieks of joy!

Go Sightseeing at Valley of Fire

Locals can test their knowledge of Nevada’s first and largest state park while onboard Pink Adventure Tours’ Valley of Fire excursion. Led by an expert tour guide, the 5-and-a-half-hour trip takes passengers ages three and older through the Mojave Desert to learn more about its geology, ecology, and history. Along the way, passengers will not only get to see ancient petroglyphs but also Valley of Fire’s fiery red sandstone rock formations. Kids might even recognize some of the formations from movies like “Transformers.”

Soar Over the Grand Canyon

Families can take to the skies with Maverick Helicopters’ 4-hour Grand Canyon Wind Dancer Tour. Passengers soar for more than 10 miles through one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” and they’ll land 3,500 feet below the rim of Hualapai Indian Territory to enjoy some beverages and snacks while overlooking the Colorado River. As guests travel to and from the geographical marvel, they’ll fly over several other points of interest as well, including Hoover Dam. That means kids will see two American treasures in one day!

Kayak the Colorado River

For families in a time crunch, Evolution Expeditions’ Kayak Emerald Cave Express Tour packs plenty of jaw-dropping moments into just 3 hours. Ideal for paddlers of all skill levels, the tour starts at Willow Beach before venturing into Black Canyon. Guests will not only paddle past landmarks from the 1920s-era Hoover Dam project but also enjoy stunning photo opportunities of the glowing green waters inside Emerald Cave. Tandem kayaks are available for those with younger children, and locals with valid ID receive $25 off their tour when they call to book a reservation this summer.

Go Rafting Alongside Hoover Dam

See Hoover Dam from a vantage point few get to experience with Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures’ 4-hour Hoover Dam Postcard Tour. The informative journey along the Colorado River provides passengers of all ages with up-close views of Hoover Dam and the Mike O’Callaghan Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge as a motor-assisted inflatable raft glides past the dam’s base and through Black Canyon. During the relaxing excursion, a tour guide will talk about the history of the area and point out any nearby wildlife. Make sure your camera is charged, as desert bighorn sheep sightings are common!

Pedal on Boulder City’s Historic Train Tracks

Embark on an exhilarating, guided excursion along the same tracks used during the construction of Hoover Dam with Rail Explorers. The all-ages attraction offers a variety of tours in 2- or 4-seat pedal-assist rail bikes, like the scenic, 90-minute Southwest Summer Soaker Round-up, where guests pedal round-trip from the Nevada State Railroad Museum to the Railroad Pass Turnaround. A surprise super-soaker attack from the staff helps guests cool off during their 8-mile journey. Small dogs are welcome so long as they fit safely on the rail bike, and locals receive 10 percent off on select days.

While some people have to travel around the world to experience these unforgettable adventures, Las Vegas locals only need a few hours.

Related Businesses

Related Articles