Vegas area offers fun for all ages

Joe Lee III

One More Time
A Comment By Joe Lee III

   Most folks think of Las Vegas as an adult playground, but there are some great attractions that appeal to younger folk.
   A couple of weeks ago daughter Muffet, grandson Beau, the BOH, and I, set out to visit son Jay, who works at Allegiant Airline headquarters in Vegas.
   Of course, when you travel with a Boss of the House grandmother and an eight year old grandson, all events revolve around the offspring.
   A good, clean, fun show for the entire family is the “Blue Man Group.” I had not heard of them other than seeing them on television a couple of years ago advertising a computer chip, or something. If you are not familiar with them, they are three guys, totally covered in blue. The show is fast moving, loud, has lots of music, a good bit of audience participation, some gravity defying objects, incredible light shows, and some old fashion corn.
   The show, currently playing at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, is a lot of fun for folks of all ages. Tickets range from $85 to about $165, and there is not a bad seat in the house.

High Rollers!

   Another treat for visitors of all ages is the High Roller, but it has nothing to do with gambling.
   The High Roller is a giant — and I mean giant — Ferris wheel. Billed as the “world’s largest observation wheel,” the machine continuously rotates 28 gondolas to a maximum height of 550 feet. Each 44,000 pound cabin can hold up to 40 people, for a total capacity of 1,120 riders.
   A full revolution takes 30 minutes. The wheel never stops rotating, but that doesn’t present a boarding problem because it is moving so slow. Tickets run about $50 each, but you can probably find a discount coupon, if you look around.
   The wheel features thousands of LED lights and is really pretty at night. We hit right at dusk, and got to see Las Vegas change from daylight to dark during our revolution. It was really great!
   The High Roller is part of a relatively new development called the “LINQ,” a fun walking area developed by Caesars Entertainment, featuring lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. There is quite a bit of activity and fun for various ages. We ate at the Yard House, which was quite good. The YH’s claim to fame is that it has 160 beers on tap! Beer is not my thing, so I’ll have to confess, I went with the Diet Coke on tap (and maybe a glass of wine before the meal). The food is very good. Muffet got “carded” at the Yard House. Needless to say that automatically put the restaurant near the top of her all-time favorites!

Sharks galore

   Another top attraction is the Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay complex.
   The giant water feature houses over 2,000 animals in 1.6 million gallons of water. The population includes a variety of sharks, rare golden crocodiles, piranha, jellyfish, giant stingrays, endangered green sea turtles, and much more. The cost is $18 for adults and $12 for children 5-12, with younger children admitted free.
   It is better than the aquarium at Atlantis in the Bahamas, and much larger than the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans — though the New Orleans facility has more kid-friendly lectures and activities.

Kids love the museum

   Speaking of kid friendly, our youngster loved the Discovery Children’s Museum.
   We were there more than two hours, and I believe he could have stayed another two.
   They had hands-on exhibits ranging from the simplest to the more complex. The subtle and entertaining lessons ranged from physics, to hydraulics, to economics, and more. The BOH was particularly impressed with the area featuring a model bank, grocery store, and signs encouraging one to “Get a Job, Earn a Paycheck.”
   They had an intriguing “plan a budget” game.”
   In a nearby area there was an animal hospital in which youngsters could don lab coats, go around with clipboards and diagnose the ails of fluffy animals.

Chopper over the top

   The highlight of the trip, other than the Children’s Museum, was a Grand Canyon helicopter tour by 5-star Helicopters.
   There are various tours available ranging from flying over Las Vegas at night, to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam,  float tours, and a ZIP line adventure. The prices run form $129 to whatever you want to pay.
   Jay had arranged for us to take the tour over the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam flight, featuring a trip to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
   The Skywalk is a glass-bottom, horse shoe shaped platform that arcs out 70 feet from the edge of the canyon. At its crest you can look down 4,700 feet below at the canyon. It was quite impressive!
   Of course Vegas has all the other stuff. Slots, poker, pretty girls, risque shows, lots of booze — whatever you want. It also has many fun attractions for young folks and for old folks too old to get with the partying crowd!

Mississippi Senate race

   Completely changing the subject.
   Most analysts agree that demographically it is currently mathematically very difficult for a Democrat to win the U.S. Senate race in November, but defeated candidate Chris McDaniel is doing all he can to help Democrat Travis Childers by continuing to stir up controversy and dissension in the state Republican party.
   McDaniel is unhappy with his 6,800 vote primary loss to incumbent Thad Cochran.
Of course, if Childers wins, it increases the odds of retaining Harry Reid’s strangle hold on the U.S. Senate and virtually assures the nomination of another liberal or two to the Supreme Court.

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