U.S.

October 10, 2013

Vegas: also family friendly

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Staff Sgt. Nestor Cruz
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nestor Cruz)
A replica of the Statue of Liberty stands outside the New York New York Hotel and Casino. Thrill seekers can ride the New York taxicab-themed roller coaster.

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Popular culture has painted an image of Las Vegas as an adult playground filled with booze, exotic dancers and mobsters. But in recent years, the people of “Sin City” have added fun, wholesome attractions in and out of the brightly lit casinos to change the town’s image into a family-friendly one.

Most of the famous Las Vegas Strip centers on Las Vegas Boulevard, starting on one end with the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, and ending with the recognizable Stratosphere tower, which includes a gaming floor, restaurants and buffet, shopping mall and hotel.

Before heading out on a Vegas vacation, visit www.nellisforcesupport.com and click on the ITT-tickets link to find a local show sheet. The show sheet contains information on local attractions, show times, and ticket prices, and helps you plan and stay on budget.

When military members arrive in Vegas, visit Nellis Air Force Base ITT office to purchase discounted admission tickets to many of the attractions and thrill rides offered. One casino on the strip offering thrill rides is the Stratosphere. The tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the U.S., topping off at 1,149 feet. Thrill seekers have four rides to conquer: SkyJump, where only the bravest free fall from the 108th floor; Insanity, a mechanical arm that spins riders over the edge of the tower at 909 feet; X-Scream, a giant teeter-totter that tilts riders headfirst over the edge; and the Big Shot, a ride that catapults riders from the 921-foot high platform straight to the top of the mast at 1,081 feet.

The Adventuredome theme park offers 25 rides and attractions including rock climbing, a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel and a 4-D theater. Visitors can call ahead to make birthday party arrangements at 702-794-3905. The Adventuredome is open daily except Thursday.

Circus Circus is also famous for its Midway arcade, located on the second floor. It offers a variety of challenging carnival games, face painting, video games and circus performances onstage.

New York New York is yet another casino offering a thrill ride. The roller coaster was previously known as the Manhattan Express and takes its theme from New York taxicabs.

Other casinos on the strip offer engaging interactive exhibits for the whole family. Walk into the black onyx-like pyramid known as the Luxor Casino and you will find two exhibits to stimulate the curious.

The Bodies exhibit shows visitors the elegance of the human body through actual dissected and preserved human specimens. The Titanic artifact exhibit transports visitors back in time to the ship’s maiden voyage.

For visitors craving a more interactive exhibit, the MGM Grand challenges people to solve the CSI Experience. Choose from three crime scenes to investigate, work in one of 15 forensic crime labs and report findings to catch the killer.

Las Vegas has a variety of Halloween tours and attractions to frighten even the bravest souls. VegasToursUSA.com offers three different ghost tours showcasing the haunted stomping grounds of mobsters, miners, gamblers and Elvis Presley.

Goretorium, located at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard is a year-round haunted house and features a multilevel maze inside a mythical casino called The Delmont. Visitors will encounter live actors and state-of-the-art animatronics and special effects.

There are many more attractions and a variety of shows and concerts featuring popular bands, comedians and entertainers. For more information on things to do and see in Las Vegas, visit the website or call 702-652-2193.




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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