LAS VEGAS — Just because Las Vegas isn't known for being family-friendly doesn't mean there aren't plenty of fun activities to do with your kids in and around the city. Here are eight of them.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is less than half an hour from the Las Vegas Strip and has more than two dozen hikes to choose from, ranging in difficulty from light strolls to steep scrambles. If you're not the hiking type, you can always drive the scenic loop. There are hikes you can do for free, but you'll pay $7 per car if you want access to the entire area.
Las Vegas is home to a couple museums you won't find anywhere else: the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum. The Neon Museum showcases salvaged and restored signs from the city's history on a guided tour, and the Mob Museum's interactive exhibits put into focus how mobsters helped make the city what it is today. You can buy individual tickets, but you'll save big if you get the two-museum combo for $32.
Get a 360-degree view of Las Vegas on the 550-foot High Roller, the world's tallest observation wheel. Tickets for the half-hour ride are $22 for adults and only $9 for children.
Get a taste of wildlife at the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. Access to more than a dozen exhibits starts at $19.
Get a sneak peek at how chocolate is made in the viewing aisle at Ethel M and visit the largest botanical cactus garden in the Southwest while you're at it (both free).
In the mood for an adrenaline rush? Visit the Adventuredome at Circus Circus (starts at $18.95), the Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York ($15) or — if you're feeling really adventurous — ride the thrill rides more than 800 feet above the ground at the Stratosphere ($45 for unlimited rides).
Entrance to the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio is free and the gardens change seasonally, so it's worth a trip whenever you're in Las Vegas (whether you're with your kids or not).
Head to the Excalibur for dinner and a live-action performance adapted from the tale of King Arthur. Tickets for the Tournament of Kings start at $41.87 and include a three-course meal in addition to the performance.
What other family-friendly activities do you recommend in Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments.