Family Activities, Family Fun, Family Things To Do

Fun Family Activities

From camping inside 100-year-old train cabooses and exploring Wild West army forts to witnessing the Cheetah Run, painting with park rangers, and learning about our solar system in one of the darkest places in the country, it’s easy to feel like a kid at heart here, whether you’ve got kids in the backseat or not. Take a break from your phones, get out here and explore—Nevada will reward your curiosity. Flush with fun family activities, solid family time in the Silver State is uncomplicated, brimming with award-winning children’s museums and discovery centers, natural wonders around every bend, family outdoor activities in state and national parks with enough room to let the kids run loose, and wildlife thriving in natural places that are still truly wild.

Highlights

  • Nevada Children’s Museums & Discovery Centers
  • Family Outdoor Adventure Time in Nevada
  • Wildlife and Animal Sanctuaries in the Silver State
Family Faves

Whether you’re traveling with kids, or just a kid at heart, take a break from your phones, look around and explore—Nevada will reward your curiosity.

Children’s Museums & Discovery Centers

Season

All Seasons

Region

Northwestern & Southern

From Las Vegas to Elko, Reno to Ely, Nevada is a classroom-free lesson waiting to happen in every town across the state, with interactive exhibits sure to get that noggin working for every family member along for the ride. Immerse yourself in interactive science exhibits at the 67,000-square-foot Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno. Young aspiring transportation engineers can climb in a space shuttle or balance on an airplane teeter-totter at The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada in Carson City, and graze on a creative buffet at Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas. Three floors of rotating exhibits give aspiring engineers, entrepreneurs and artists a chance to solve mysteries and come up with fun ideas, devise inventions, as well as perform in theater and puppet shows. 

Nevada Northern Railway Museum, Nevada Northern, Train Museum, Railroad Museum, Family Railroad Museum
East Ely Depot Railroad Museum

Family Outdoor Activities in the Silver State

Most people have never seen a night sky like the one stretching across the entire Silver State. And Nevada’s sky—or in our case, galaxy—knows no bounds when it comes to memory-promising family outdoor activities. Teach your kids about the planets, stars, and the heart of their own universe for the astronomy lesson of a lifetime at Great Basin National Park, Massacre Rim, and Death Valley, where shooting stars dart like tadpoles in a pond, and the Milky Way spills plumes of sparkles over almost every open horizon. Bring binoculars or a telescope, plus a star chart, to pick out constellations, or attend a park ranger-led astronomy program. Even in Las Vegas, a city awash in LED and neon, the College of Southern Nevada Planetarium offers star shows immune to the big city’s millions of bright lights. 

An unbeatable two-for-one thing to do with family in Las Vegas means visiting the The Springs Preserve and Nevada State Museum—Las Vegas, who share a lush, beautiful setting, an oasis in the heart of the city. With 180 acres of nature walks, lush desert gardens, restaurants, and immersive, interactive exhibits, this fun family destination brings the Mojave Desert and other Nevada desertscapes to life. Think—or play—outside the box at the Downtown Container Park in Las Vegas. Older kids can ponder how shipping containers became shops and restaurants (and craft beer stands for thirsty moms and dads), while younger ones can explore the tree-house jungle gym or giant foam blocks for building (or throwing). 

Heavenly Gondola, South Lake Tahoe Gondola, Gondola Ride, Family Activities
Heavenly Gondola & Adventure Park
Discovery Museum, Childrens Museum, Childrens Discovery Museum, Childrens Museum, Discovery Centers
DISCOVERY Children’s Museum

At the Wilbur D. May Center in Reno, circle the globe without packing a bag. Something of a real-life Indiana Jones, world traveler May’s collection includes Egyptian tomb artifacts, African tribal masks, Chinese pottery and Japanese swords. And if you’re ready to get prehistoric, check out the Las Vegas Natural History Museum for replicas of wooly mammoths, dinosaurs and other extinct animals. 

Ranking right up there as some of the supremely coolest things to do with family, spend a night at the museum for real. Overnight at Ely’s Nevada Northern Railway and East Ely Depot Railroad Museum inside an early 1900s caboose that’s always been part of the railroad’s story, or Be The Engineer and get behind the controls of an actual working steam locomotive. Check out the original blacksmith’s shop, and of course no visit to this train museum is complete without giving resident Dirt the Cat a good, solid head scratch.

Beyond the great local parks scene in Nevada’s cities and towns, get into 24 crowdless Nevada State Parks across the Silver State, where you can wander through caves and slot canyons, learn to paint with a park ranger in the Spring Mountains, and explore old army fort ruins. Or, hike lush, wildflower-loaded canyons with flowing streams and active beaver damming, get to know the largest marine reptile fossils in a Nevada ghost town, or see where bandits used to hideout in old charcoal ovens. 

Ward Charcoal Ovens, Family Activities, Family Fun in Nevada, Nevada State Parks Family
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

Learn a piece of Silver State history at the Tonopah Historic Mining Park, where your family can walk a tunnel to one of the mine’s original levels—500 feet underground. Back up on the Earth’s surface, tour the historic buildings and authentic equipment that made Tonopah the “Queen of the Silver Camps.” Or, lean into Nevada’s agricultural heritage at Jacob’s Berry Farm and Lattin Farms, where you can pick your own berries and produce, take tractor rides, and wander through elaborate corn mazes. Learn about the Colorado River on London Bridge Jet Boat Tours, or Lake Tahoe’s Caribbean-esque hues on the M.S. Dixie scenic cruises. While you’re at it, take your outdoor activities to new heights at the Heavenly Gondola & Adventure Park, or Stratosphere Thrill Rides, and check out a handful of you’re-never-forgetting-this mini golf courses like King Putt, Twilight Zone, by Monster Mini Golf and beyond. 

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Wildlife Viewing, Wildlife photography, nature photography, Ash Meadows, Death Valley, Nevada wildlife

Nevada Wildlife and Animal Sanctuaries

In a place that is still so wild, there’s no better way of spending time with family than spotting wildlife at Nevada’s national wildlife refuges and animal sanctuaries. Tucked around the state, the Silver State brims with millions of acres of wildlife areas that protect thousands of species. From desert bighorn sheep and desert tortoise to pronghorn antelope, wild horses and Rocky Mountain elk, mountain bluebirds to Devils Hole pupfish and beyond, many fascinating and rare species thrive in Nevada—and in some cases, nowhere else on Earth. Road trip just beyond Vegas to Desert National Wildlife Refuge—the largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48, spanning 1.5 million acres—or take a day trip out of Reno to see the largest breeding ground for the American white pelican at the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Camels, Camel Safari, Wildlife Preserve, Animal Preserve, Mesquite Camel Safari, Camel Safari

Nevada is also a haven for less local forms of wildlife at numerous animal sanctuaries rescue centers. See dozens of tropical birds at the Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary and big cats at the Lion Habitat Ranch in Vegas. Feed breakfast to Z-Donks, African crested porcupines and camels at Mesquite’s Desert Ranch Experience. Meet rescued foxes, jaguars, bobcats, cheetahs, bears, and beyond at Reno’s Animal Ark and Unionville’s Sierra Safari Wildlife Sanctuary, too. Even if you’re looking for fun things to do with family without even leaving the Strip, you can check out the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Ever hear a cheetah purr? See the world’s fastest land animal show off its talents during the Cheetah Run, then howl—and compete—with the wolves and coyotes at Wolf Howl Night at Animal Ark’s amazing year-round lineup of special events.

Let That Inner Child Run Wild

From children’s museums and discovery centers, to wildlife sanctuaries, to one-of-a-kind museums and countless, crowdless ways to get outside with the whole fam, there’s no shortage a memory makers around here. Plan a family vacation of a lifetime here, with Nevada family activities sure to satisfy casual wanderers, hardcore adventurers, and every family member in between.

#TravelNevada

With dozens of amazing family events, children’s museums, wildlife preserves and fun family activities in and out of doors, it’s easy to make family memories here. Tag #TravelNevada to share yours. If we love your photo, you may find it featured here.

I've never considered myself a lake girl. ⠀
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Growing up in the Midwest we had lots of lakes.  I enjoyed playing in them as most kids do but I never loved it.  I did not like that I couldn't see the bottom and I hated the feeling of the fish and  plants drifting around my legs. ⠀
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But if the lakes of my childhood were like this I would definitely reconsider.  Lake Tahoe gets me every time.  With that crystal clear blue water against that mountainous backdrop I start to rethink the lakes of my youth.  If this was the lake of my childhood I would definitely be a lake girl!⠀
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Reds. .
We
Gibbs the Black Bear - he is with us because he was fed by humans as a baby. He became acclimated to humans and would not survive if released into the wild. Please don’t feed the bears!
Sunday drives tend to be better on dirt roads👌
#familyadventuresofexcellentproportions #nevada
It’s a sunny day at The Discovery. A perfect day to climb the clouds!
Me dijeron que si estaba LOCA llevando a los niños a Las Vegas. Que que iba a hacer allá con ellos. Pero siempre he dicho que los niños uno los puede llevar a cualquier lugar!! Siempre habrá que hacer con ellos.
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Ahora bien, no les miento hay ciertos factores en Las Vegas que se salen de nuestras manos, como por ejemplo los pintorescos anuncios en las calles de ciertas actividades, el constante enfoque a los casinos etc. pero esta visita a Las Vegas fue por motivos laborales de mi esposo y no es verdad que me iba a quedar trancada con ellos #NUNCA.
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Tuvimos la Gracia de NO toparnos en la calle con nada que no pudiese explicarse y que fuese ofensivo nivel 15.
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Actividades y cosas que hacer con los niños No faltaron, de hecho nos faltaron días para hacer mas. Descubrí cosas que no conocía en Las Vegas pues la vez anterior que fui fue un viaje de chicas con otro enfoque. Aquí debajo les comparto algunas de las cosas que hicimos y otras que quedaron pendiente por si en algún momento les toca ir a Las Vegas con sus hijos.
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🌈Seven Magic Mountain.
🎡Parque De Montaña Rusas del Hotel Circus Circus.
🎢Montaña Rusa mega apera del New York Hotel.
🚀Montañas Rusas extremas en el tope Stratosphere Hotel.
🙂We are Happy Place (pop up museum del Mandalay Bay).
🛶 Góndola Ride en el Venetian.
⛲️Show De Fuentes del Bellagio.
🏟 Show Nocturno (en Las Vegas hay cientos de shows de los cuales la mayoría son familiares ya sea circos, Magia etc).
🦈Shark Reef Aquarium en el Mandalay Bay.
🏢Discovery Children Museum.
🥤🍫 Tiendas Divertidas como la de Coca Cola y Hershey’s.
🎉Ziplines.
🏜Red Rock Canyon.
🏛Museo de acera.
Y muuuchas cosas más!
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Espero que les sea util! 🎢 !!!
MISSING SCHOOL TO TRAVEL: The world is their classroom and we’re firm believers that’s it’s okay to miss a day of school here and there for travel! 
Jordyn missed two days of school for our recent road trip through Nevada. Before the school year started we spoke with her teachers about our travel habits. We told them about some of the trips we wanted to book for the year and they were 100% on board. They reiterated that these trips would give them real world learning opportunities, going further than it’s possible to in the classroom.

Before our trip we had a teacher/parent conference to make sure Jordyn was doing well and to get any work she would miss. She did her homework on the plane, on our drives and in the evenings.

Career day at her school is on Friday and thanks to this trip she’s got even more ideas of potentiometer career paths at the Discovery Children’s Museum has an entire floor dedicated to teaching kids about different opportunities, giving them a chance to practice those jobs, get a paycheck and cash it at the ATM in the museum to buy things they need.

Swipe left to see them enjoying all the museum had to offer. It’s a must when visiting Las Vegas with kids and if you click the link in my bio you’ll see a blog post with so many other things to do in Vegas with kids.

What’s your take on taking your kids out of school for travel? Teachers I want to here from you too!! #thetravelingchild #lasvegaswithkids #lasvegas #nevada
Very fond memories of when Sue the T. rex so graciously welcomed visitors to The Discovery. We miss our visitors and we miss Sue! #stayhomefornevada
futuremakerslv encourages kids to think outside the box, providing a variety of classes like art, music, and dance. We adore their free kids yoga on the lawn every weekend in front of mothershipcoffee. Also, watching the little wiggly kids try to lay still in shavasana is the cutest thing ever.⠀
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Guest Instagrammer: hellamommy
Professional kid carrier. 5 years experience. Pay is $0/hour. 
#resumebuilding #babywearing #bigkidwearing #babytulacarriers #optoutside #trailmom #adventuremamas #forceofnature #motherhoodunplugged #childhood #parenting #outdoorfamilies #nevada #dfmi #naturalnevada #wildnevada #runwildmychild #travelnevada #homemeansnevada #nevadabackroads #nature #dirtroadtherapy
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