At Crème de la Crème, our whole business is based around fun, safe, and educational activities for children. We try to stay up on all the fun things you can do as a family near Las Vegas, Nevada. Glitzy nightlife and extravagant buffets might be what Vegas is known for, but there are plenty of family-friendly activities for kids and parents to enjoy together, on and off the Las Vegas Strip. Here are five attractions to visit with your family.

Pinball Hall of Fame

A row of pinball machines at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV

Pinball Hall of Fame – new location” licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr by driph

The Pinball Hall of Fame is 25,000 square feet of pinball machines from the 1950s all the way through the ’90s. It’s the personal collection of one man, Tom Arnold, a member of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club. While parents can feel nostalgic for the games they loved in their youth, kids can experience the joy of discovery. Not only is the building full of restored and working pinball machines, but they’re all playable for 25 or 50 cents. Each game is nonviolent and appropriate for kids of all ages. 

The brand-new Pinball Hall of Fame is located across the street from the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign and Mandalay Bay, and it’s open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. All the money earned above normal operating expenses is donated to The Salvation Army. It’s a great way to spend a hot desert afternoon.

Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden

When you visit the Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson, Nevada, you may catch a glimpse of their world-famous chocolatiers assembling decadent small batch filled satin crèmes, caramels, and handmade pecan brittle. In celebration of Ethel M’s 40th anniversary, they offer free self-guided tours into the viewing aisles of the factory. You can sample some of the famous chocolates and then enjoy a hot chocolate, coffee, or decadent treat like chocolate-dipped oranges or marshmallows in the Cactus Garden Café. 

For a more in-depth chocolate education, kids and adults of all ages can purchase tickets for one of five daily Chocolate Tasting Experience sessions. In 30 to 45 minutes you’ll learn about chocolate sourcing and production, along with learning about the subtle flavors of chocolate in a tasting.

Just outside the doors of the factory is the largest botanical cactus garden in Nevada. It features over 300 species of drought-tolerant plants native to the Southwest and elsewhere. Cacti, succulents, and desert trees and shrubs are arranged in an English garden style, inviting the visitors on a leisurely stroll. The factory and gardens are open daily.

Springs Preserve

For another experience in the natural habitat of the Nevada desert, Springs Preserve offers over 3 miles of trails and walks through a botanical garden landscape with hundreds of species of native animals, plants, and a replica of the original water source for Las Vegas. The many exhibits at Springs Preserve intend to provide a focus on sustainability in the modern world and is located just 5 miles north of the Strip.

Boomtown 1905 is a street of replica buildings to show what life was like in 1905 to 1920 in Las Vegas. The interactive WaterWorks exhibit features education about the geological makeup of Lake Mead and the inner workings of water treatment and management, including the journey of how the water gets from the earth to your tap.

Kids will love the desert-themed playground with oversized replicas of a wooly mammoth and peregrine falcon, along with a splash pad to cool off on a hot summer day. You can tour the exhibits on foot or on a train for a small extra fee. Springs Preserve is open Friday through Monday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discovery Children’s Museum

Kids can be kids at the Discovery Children’s Museum, a 22,000-square-foot museum well-suited for kids under 10. Interactive displays and exhibits teach kids about science, communication, and technology. Exhibits are geared towards children of different ages and educate them about living in the modern world. There are also changing featured exhibits throughout the year. Nevada’s first maker space features coding, 3D printing, sculpting, woodworking, and other STEAM activities. Kids are encouraged to try and even fail at their experiments. The Solve It exhibit encourages children to help solve a mystery with interactive clues and investigation.

The museum is located 6 miles off the Strip and is open Tuesday through Sunday. The museum recommends buying tickets online in advance, and locals with valid Nevada identification get a discounted admission.

The Lion Habitat Ranch

The Lion Habitat Ranch is a nonprofit sanctuary for rescued lions, emus, macaws, and Ozzie the giraffe. It’s a special kind of zoo where families can take a 90-minute behind-the-scenes tour, feed the lions, and watch the giraffe paint pictures a few times a day. For an extra-special and very Vegas event, make a reservation for a Feast With the Beasts. You’ll enjoy a thrilling meal at a private table surrounded by the lions. The habitat works with local caterers for a picnic or a more formal meal for lunch or dinner.

Located a few miles south of the Strip in Henderson, The Lion Habitat Ranch is open for visitors Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online, with a discounted price for locals and one free child admission per adult purchase, or there’s a family group rate for two adults and two children under 14. Tickets assign you to a time slot for your visit.So there’s our list of five terrific family-friendly activities near Las Vegas. Even though our town is known as a fun place for adults, there’s just as much for families to enjoy in our city in the desert. We always encourage checking the facility’s website for updated hours, admission costs, or new and changing exhibits. What fun activities did we miss? We would love to hear from you about the other things you enjoy doing with your kids in and around Las Vegas.