Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vegas Family Vacation: Paying for Shows and Attractions

If you're interested in shows and attractions that are longer than 5 minutes, and don't mind paying for entertainment, there's a few more fun things these hotels have to offer. There are so many shows  and attractions that Vegas has, but for now we'll stick to things that are suitable for the whole family:

*Paris - Eiffel Tower Observation Deck is located 46 stories up and the tower is a half scale replica of the Paris, France landmark. (Open Monday - Friday 9:30am - 12:20am, Saturday & Sunday 9:30am - 1am) Free admission for U.S. Military and on your birthday with valid photo ID. $11.50 for adults; $7.50 for seniors and children. The price increases after dark: from 7:15 p.m. - close admission is $16.50 for adults, $11.50 for seniors and children. TIP: the view is more beautiful after dark. Also sign up for the Total Rewards player's card to save $1 on the admission price.
*Stratosphere - Tower offers an observation deck and rides at the top. There's a fee to go up the tower: $20 - Adults, $12 - Child, $14 - Senior & Nevada Residents. TIP:Buying the Extreme Value Packages are more financially friendly if you plan to ride the rides but you can also pay for the rides individually:
      ~SkyJump - $119.99+
      ~Big Shot - $15 to ride
      ~X - Scream - $15 to ride
      ~Insanity - $15 to ride

~Secret Garden (10 am - 7pm Daily) is where you can experience an exotic, enchanting and wondrous world at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat and come face to face with white lions, white tigers, panthers, leopards, and our family of Bottlenose Dolphins. Adults: $19.95, Children 4 - 12: $14.95, Children 3 and Under are Free.

~Terry Fator (Monday - Thursday @ 7:30pm with select Friday performances) is one that took me by surprise. I'm not usually into ventriloquism, but this "America's Got Talent" winner brings to life a hilarious range of characters including Winston, the impersonating turtle, Emma Taylor, the little girl with the big voice, and the newest addition, lounge singer Monty Carlo.  Children under 5 years of age are not permitted to attend the show. Tickets start at $59.99.

~Children's Activities (Daily 10am - 6pm) Features a special theme for every month. Prices vary per activity

~Gondola Rides (Indoor: Sunday - Thursday @ 10am - 11pm, Friday - Saturday @ 10am - 12am; Outdoor - weather permitting: 11am - 10pm) Adults $18.95 - seats 4 people. Children 2 years old and younger are FREE. Private two-passenger gondola$75.80

~Madame Tussauds (Opens Daily 10am) The wax museum features over 100 celebrity wax figures! The best part of the museum is having the chance to get up-close and personal with each celebrity and touching is highly encouraged! Just be mindful of the figures because people have broken them to the point of knocking it over. Some replicas have fun little features included like if you touch Jennifer Lopez's butt, she blushes! Adults - $29.95, Children (4-12) - $19.95, Children 3 and under are FREE. Book online and save 20%

~Phantom of the Opera (Monday - Saturday @ 7pm and 9:30pm) is a great show to take the whole family, BUT it's closing it's curtains in Las Vegas on September 2nd, 2012!! It's definitely a must see and worth every penny. Tickets start at $59 for rear mezzanine tickets, but if your budget allows it, invest in tickets in the golden circle. TIP: sit as close to the chandelier as possible and thank me later.

~Blue Man Group (Daily at 7pm & 9:30pm) is an explosion of color, humor, music, and technology that comes to life every night.  It's a percussion-driven experience full of humor and energy. Tickets starting at $85.30. *UPDATE* THEY ARE NOW AT THE LUXOR HOTEL

*Circus Circus
~Midway: Carnival games for kids and kids at heart for only a couple bucks a game. TIP: sometimes you'll find a worker roaming around to break large bills. Find him and he sometimes gives you 2 for 1 game coupons to get more bang for your buck!

~Adventuredome (Hours vary. Check the website for hours of operation) Adventuredome is America's largest indoor theme park and features thrill rides, traditional carnival rides, laser tag, miniature golf, bumper cars, midway booths, an arcade, clown shows and so much more. All day ride pass - Regular Pass $29.95 (48 inches tall or taller) & Junior Pass $16.95 (Under 48 inches tall). They also sell tickets for each individual ride, but prices vary depending on the ride. Riders 33" and above are required to buy a ticket.

~ Tournament of Kings: (Jousting Dinner Show: Monday: 6 p.m., Tuesday: Dark, Wednesday: 6 p.m., Thursday: 6 & 8:30 p.m., Friday: 6, Saturday: 6 & 8:30 p.m., Sunday: 6 & 8:30 p.m.) This dinner and show features jousting, dancing, singing and a feast fit for a king. You have the option to buy a general admission ticket that includes a three- course dinner for $59 or a dinnerless admission for $44.35. Children three years and younger may attend free of charge and must sit on the adult's lap and share the adult's meal. If you're from Chicago, this show is very similar to something you'd experience at Medieval Times.

~ Fun Dungeon - Similar to the Circus Circus Midway with arcade games for a few dollars.

*Mandalay Bay - Shark Reef (Sunday - Thursday 10am - 8pm) is pretty popular with the kids (Open 10am - 10pm Daily). It houses more than 1,200 species of marine life including sharks, exotic fresh and saltwater fish, a 300-pound sea turtle and much more. Admission: Adults - $18, Children (5-12) - $12, Children 4 and under are FREE. They also offer a dive with sharks program. 1 Diver is $650.00 and 2 Divers is $1000.00. 2 Divers must be booked together. All divers must be dive certified and 18 years & older.

*Monte Carlo - Jabbawockeez (*UPDATED* Show Times: Thursday - Monday: 7pm & 9:30pm) is definitely one of my favorite shows to watch on the Strip. It's an intimate setting so any seat is a great seat in the house. It's set up like a movie theater so "second section" is just like the upper section in the movie theater. We were in Row P of the second section and look how close we were still! They provide awesome visual effects that help tell their amazing story through dance. If you want to interact with the crew grab seats on the main floor. Tickets starting at $60.50. TIP: the bass of the music is fairly strong so I would suggest ear plugs for the younger ones ones due to their sensitive ears. Kids under the age 5 of NOT permitted.  *UPDATE* They can now be found at the MGM Grand.

*New York New York - Roller Coaster (Sun - Thurs 11am - 11pm, Fri & Sat 10:30am - Midnight ) is the infamous ride that you can't miss on the outside of the hotel. Individual tickets are $14, but they offer packages as well that include multiple rides and a photo.

~Titanic exhibition (open from 10am - 10pm) is a fun experience for the whole family. The exhibition features many never before seen artifacts and you can feel the history of the ship with every step you take. At the beginning of the exhibit, patrons receive a boarding pass of an actual passenger on Titanic. On the back of each boarding pass is the age and the itinerary of that person. At the end of the tour, patrons find out if he or she survived the Titanic by finding the name on the wall memorial.  General Admission is $32, Seniors (65 and over) - $30, Children (4 - 12 years) - $24, Children (3 & younger) are FREE.

~Bodies (open from 10am - 10pm) is a great exhibition that showcases real full-bodies and organs and provides a detailed, three-dimensional vision of the human form rarely seen outside of an anatomy lab. General Admission is $32, Seniors (65 and over) - $30, Children (4 - 12 years) - $24, Children (3 & younger) are FREE.

*Planet Hollywood:
~BeatleShow! (Nightly at 5:30pm) at the Saxe Theater is definitely the show to see for Beatles fanatics. The show takes you back in time and pays an amazing tribute to the game-changing group. They take a picture of your party before you enter the theater, which you can purchase for $10 after the show. On your way out stop for autographs and photos with the group! JAM had a blast even thought he wasn't too familiar with the music hehe. Tickets start at $59.99

~The Ultimate Variety Show (Nightly at 7pm & 8:30pm) in the V Theater is a fun show for the whole family! It's an intimate setting with funny hosts and an amazing variety of acts that will appeal to people of all ages. From magicians and comedians to high-flying acts and strength performers, V - The Ultimate Variety Show provides an amazing display of talent. It's definitely my go to show when groups with kids come into town and are looking for a decently priced show to watch on the Strip. Tickets starting at $69.99. TIP: if you want to take a chance, check out those half off ticket booths around the Strip the day you plan to see the show for a chance at cheaper priced tickets.
Our souvenir photo after the show with a border of the acts that performed.
They cut off my baby boy in the red stroller with the border hehe.
*Flamingo - Nathan Burton (Tuesday - Sunday at 4pm) is a fun comedy magic show for all ages. It's filled with magical illusions, entertaining dance and funny comedy routines. Tickets starting at $34.

*Treasure Island - Mystère (Showing Saturday - Wednesday at 7pm & 9:30pm) is an exhilarating blend of whimsy, drama and the unimaginable brought to life on stage with powerful athleticism, high-energy acrobatics and inspiring imagery. It provides a complete spectrum of awe-inducing entertainment with colorful sets, imaginative costumes and highly-skilled performers. Tickets starting at $69 for adults and $34.50 for children under 12 years old.

*MGM Grand - (Tuesday - Saturday at 7pm and 9:30pm) is the first production to feature a cinematic story line while maintaining flawless imagery, music, martial arts and acrobatics. It's an action-packed adventure story about Imperial Twins who are separated by an attack on their Far Eastern palace. Tickets starting at $69 for adults and $34.50 for children (5-12 years old). Children under the age of 5 are NOT permitted into the KA Theatre. TIP: It's better to sit a little farther than closer to view the stage as a whole since the show has a lot of dimension. If you sit in the front rows, you may be looking up at times.

*The Linq - High Roller (11:30am - 2am daily) is the world's largest observation wheel standing at 550 feet tall! This makes it 107 feet taller than the London Eye! Passengers can enjoy this 30-minute ride to enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Strip. Each of their 28 spherical, Italian-handcrafted glass-enclosed cabins are air-conditioned and is equipped with two benches for seating. Each cabin can hold up to 40 people, but you can also rent out a cabin for a full scale wedding or private party where a bar and bartender can even be set up for your ride. You have the option to experience the daytime view or the nighttime view when the Strip is all lit up. Tickets for the Special Summer daytime ride ticket: $19.95, valid now through Labor Day (Normal daytime ride ticket: $24.95). Nighttime ride ticket: $34.95 (The price changes over at 7pm). One day flex pass (valid for one day or night ride, without having to choose a time): $44.95. Three day flex pass (valid for one day or night ride over a 3 day period, without having to choose a time) $54.95. Youth pricing (ages 13-17): $14.95 daytime ride, $24.95 nighttime ride. Children 12 and under are always free! There are discount packages for 2 adults and 2 youth tickets, as well as $5 off for locals, Flamingo hotel guests, and The Linq hotel guests. Don't forget about The Linq's Summer Bloq Party (Tuesdays from 4pm-7pm) where locals receive amazing discounts and specials during the Bloq Party time including 50% off the High Roller. As an added bonus for locals, the High Roller discount is valid ALL DAY Tuesday with a NV ID.

Call ahead and double check the age restrictions on some of the shows. Most shows are for all ages, but some don't allow children under the age of 5. Always check the website for summer specials on tickets. Also, even if you don't gamble, I always suggest for people to sign up for casino player's cards because you sometimes get a coupon book for signing up that have deals on show tickets. You can also get a discounted rate on show tickets just for presenting your player's card at the box office. No need to gamble to receive the discounts either! If you know someone locally, see if they're willing to use their local advantage to get DEEP discounts on most show tickets. Lastly, please be aware that there's usually an entertainment tax and service fee of about $11 PER TICKET tacked on to the final ticket price. So make sure you add that on when you're estimating your final group ticket total. These shows and attractions are some of the best features that Vegas has to offer. You'll be amazing by the different ways these shows portray their amazing art and creativity even on a small stage! What shows do you plan on checking out this summer?

Nevada residents!! We all know that Vegas loves their locals, but you'll be amazed at how much this city takes care of their residents! Call beforehand to ask if there's a local discount to any show and attraction. Most of the time you can get a discount 30%-50% off the original price! Make sure you also ask for discount limitations. Sometimes it's 1 discount per ID and sometimes it's maximum 8.