Where are your favorite places to go for day trips in Nevada?
What do you like about these places?
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I have gone to Hoover Dam for the day not a weekend trip. I did love it when we went to Laughlin for the weekend a couple of times. When we have more money I would like to go there again
We like to go to Deer Creek on Mt. Charleston; especially when it's snowing.
The river downtown is great in the summer. My kiddos love it!
mt charleston in the winter to play in the snow
I love taking my family to Bonnie Springs Ranch for a day trip. It truly isn't that far outside of Las Vegas but thanks to the winding roads up through the Red Rock Mountains (you actually pass the entrance into Red Rock Park) it can seem like you are a world away from the bright lights and big city. This spot was created by a woman with a love of old Hollywood many years ago. It is set up as an old western town with little shops to find fun little treasures, shows for the entire family (they have gunfights through the main stretch through the town that are VERY kid friendly and interactive and a couple other shows as well), there is a small cave maze to go through, train rides plus many other family friendly gems. The favorite for my family has ALWAYS been the petting zoo. However, this isn't your run of the mill sheep and chickens type petting zoo. Once you walk into the gates you have become one with MANY different animals. Some of them are caged off, some have a slight barrier around them and many of them are loose to roam free with the crowd. It isn't hard to get a new little (or Big) friend to come right up to you and eat some of the food they have available in the little 25 cent machines right out of your hand or if you prefer, a cup. You actually get a decent amount of food for a quater and I have found that around a dollar per person is suitable to have plenty of food to pass around to all the little and big critters! They also have a restaurant on site with great food at a reasonable price. Right outside of the restaurant you can find a beautiful pond with lots of ducks and swans that also are happy to visit you and say hello if you have some of the magic food in your hand! You will be amazed to see how many animals are actually free to roam around on the Bonnie Springs Ranch grounds, inside the park and on the land leading into the park. Wild Horses, Burro's and Peacocks are some of the most common to find. The last time we were there I believe they set up an area to do horseback riding for an additional price. The desert can get hot but thanks to the mountain location of Bonnie Springs Ranch you can count on a good 10-15 degree drop in temperature, however, the sun is hot no matter where you go in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. So even when the air temperature is a little cooler you can still feel the heat of the sun.
Bonnie Springs also holds quite a few special events throughout the year and you can actually rent out the entire town for your own event! They have a chili cook off coming up in September and during October they host "Bonnie Screams". Which is a very elaborate Halloween/Haunted House event. Go during the day or on Friendly Monster night if you have kids under 13. If you have older kids or you FEEL like an "older kid" I have heard great things about the festivities held there.
They charge admission per car, not per person. The last few times we were there it was $15 dollars per car (Up to 5 people) and you can stay in the park as long as you please. You can beat this price for such a fun and family friendly experience in my opinion. I would suggest that you visit their website before planning a visit to check on summer/winter hours as well as their current admission prices. The website is www.bonniesprings.com Nice and easy to remember! Here are the activites they list on their website:
If you will be in Las Vegas on vacation or live in the area, taking the drive out to Bonnie Springs is well worth it! It takes about 20 minutes from Summerlin to arrive there and around 35 minutes from the strip. You will see plenty of scenery on your drive, such as the red rock mountains, desert plants and wild animals, that help make the drive an exciting adventure too! If you are looking to extend your day by another half hour or so I would suggest taking the "scenic route" through the actual Red Rock Park. They offer a scenic drive that goes all through the mountains and allows you to see the beauty of Red Rock a little more up close. You will enter the park, go through the scenic route and then exit the park about 2 miles (approx) down from the entrance of the park on West Charleston. Get on West Charleston from wherever you are in the city (this is the easiest set of directions for people that don't live here and don't want to deal with more complicated directions) and just keep on it. You follow W. Charleston all the way to the entrance! You can't miss it!
We LOVE Mt. Charleston, winter is a blast because of the snow play! On the weekends you have to get there early tho, otherwise you may be turned away! We have been known to bail the kids out of school on a weekday to go without the crazy crowds! In the summer, it's a great place to pack a picnic along with sporting goods, and have a play day!! There is an open prairie area that's great for a game of soccer or baseball! There is also plenty of hiking!In the spring and fall, we love red rock! Sunrises and Sunsets are truly beautiful there! Red Rock also offers hiking for people of all experiences!We spend a lot of time on the Lake. A lot of people don't care for Lake Mead much, but my family loves it! Once you explore, there are a lot of really pretty, clean, quiet areas! Now that the new overpass is complete on Hoover Dam, we like to go up there and walk it. It's amazing to be up there looking down on the dam. And especially neat that we somewhat watched the entire process of construction! I have a brother in Reno, so spend a lot of time there as well. We love to visit Virginia City, even though we have been at least a dozen times, it hasn't gotten old!Of course we spend a lot of time in Tahoe while we are visiting with my brother! I love the smell of the trees! Tahoe is absolutely beautiful, and I would love to one day move to South Lake Tahoe!We have also spent time in Ely, it's only a few hours from us. There is train rides, I heard in the winter they do a Polar Express ride, but have yet to do that. If you are lucky, you may see elk while there, which is neat for the kids! There's also a Ghost Town, along with a few really pretty lakes!And of course, since we live in Henderson, on occasion it's fun to play tourist and hit the strip!
we just enjoy going to Lieds Animal shelter when we have nothing else to do when its not as hot outside or going to Meadows Mall.
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