For many, one of the joys of attending DevLearn is Las Vegas itself. With lively casinos, celebrity chef dining spots, and the pulsating Strip, there is plenty to do when you are not at the conference. Here, in alphabetical order, are 10 suggestions:
The Adventuredome Theme Park is a five-acre, indoor amusement park located under a Big Top on the Strip, at Circus Circus. Unlike some of the city’s other attractions, this one is appropriate for all ages. Try indoor rock climbing and bungee jumping, race through a web of lasers, go mini bowling, golfing, or roller skating, and enjoy the clown shows. For added fun on Friday and Saturday evenings, the lights go down and everything glows neon.
Every 15-30 minutes, crowds gather outside the Bellagio Hotel and Casino to watch a spectacular water, music, and light show. More than 1,000 fountains, spread over 1,000 feet, dance and shoot plumes of water 460 feet into the air. The music is an eclectic mixture of opera, classical, Broadway, and pop tunes. Each “performance” is different, so go as often as you want. Best of all … it’s free!
Speed racers of all ages can get their thrills at Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix. Put your driving skills to the test on four different Go Kart Tracks, one of which permits drivers to rev up to 47 mph. Enjoy various rides and slides in the amusement park, or win tickets playing air hockey and skee ball and redeem them for prizes at the reward center.
The Pinball Hall of Fame is a 10,000 square foot shrine to a bygone but still beloved pastime. The low-tech space houses the largest collection of restored, fully-operational pinball machines in the world. Pinball wizards can resurrect fond memories playing their favorite games from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The older pinball machines are set to 25 cents per play; models from the 1990s cost 50 cents per play. Proceeds from this non-profit enterprise are donated to the Salvation Army.
If you grow tired of blinking lights and air conditioning, head out to the mountains for a jolt of nature. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located about 15 miles west of Las Vegas, in Nevada’s Mojave Desert. Hike or drive through this national treasure, which boasts towering red sandstone peaks and Native American petroglyphs. Panoramic viewing spots pepper the 13-mile scenic drive.
Thrill seekers can take a 67 mph spin The Big Apple Coaster at New York New York. The heart-stopping attraction features a 180-degree twist and dive maneuver. Those who think traditional roller coasters are “old school” can upgrade the experience and do it in virtual reality! By donning a VR headset, you can battle alien invaders and escape from monsters in a memorable and immersive 4D experience.
No city embraces neon more than Las Vegas. The Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs. Its 800-piece collection represents about 200 different Vegas properties. Some of the vintage signs are displayed indoors; most are housed outside in an exhibition space called the Neon Boneyard. Not all of the signs are from casinos. One of the oldest, dating back to the mid-1930s, is from the Green Shack, a downtown restaurant known for its fried chicken. The Neon Museum can be explored day or night.
At one time, gangsters ruled Las Vegas. The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, aka The Mob Museum, strives to advance understanding of organized crime’s history. The museum, which features interactive exhibits and unusual artifacts, is housed in a restored former courthouse in downtown Las Vegas. Highlights include the Firearm Training Simulator, which places guests in the shoes of law enforcement officers and exposes them to the type of training officers undergo to prepare for use-of-force situations. The Crime Lab is a hands-on, multimedia forensic experience that transforms guests into crime scene investigators that ponder DNA evidence and fingerprints.
Topgolf is an indoor sports entertainment complex that takes golf to a new level. It features music, food, and 120 climate-controlled hitting bays that allow players to track their golf balls and score each shot. Using state-of-the-art technology, Toptracer tracks the flight path of every golf shot and displays information such as the distance, carry, ball speed, launch angle, and hang time on your bay’s HD screen. The detailed data can help you improve your game while having fun.
Watching and wagering on live sports takes on a whole new meaning at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Largely considered the most famous sportsbook in the city, it spans nearly 30,000 square feet, with the hugest LED video wall ever. Whether you’re a football, basketball, baseball, soccer, or racing fan, different contests provide myriad ways to win. Cash in on the excitement. It’s a sure bet.