It may come as a surprise, but the famous oasis in the desert serves up a lot more than a 24/7 buffet menu of casinos and slot machines. Las Vegas can be an exciting place for families with teenagers looking for authentic off-grid experiences, thrilling adventures, and great eats.

Feeling the Love for Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

Lip Smacking Foodie Tour

So. Much. Food. Sure to keep your teenager happy as happy as can be. Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

Any parent with teenagers will know that keeping the hangries at bay is key to trip success. The food scene in Las Vegas has really taken off – every celebrity chef worth his or her table salt has a restaurant (or three) on the strip. Can’t try them all? Book a VIP Lip Smacking Foodie Tour of some of the strip’s best restaurants. The three-hour mid-afternoon tour gets you to the front of the line to dive into multi-course tastings of ramen, steamed buns, enchiladas, Greek specialities and hand-crafted desserts. ‘Come hungry’ advises Tour operator Donald Contorsi.

Helicopter Ride to Hoover Dam

See Hoover Dam from the air for a whole new view. Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

It’s hard to beat heli-ride for maximum thrills. Toss in some local history, and it can even masquerade as an educational outing. The historic Hoover Dam, built in 1933, has enough concrete to circumnavigate the earth at the Equator. To appreciate this feat of hydroelectric engineering, book a scenic helicopter flight with Papillon Helicopters. As you fly above the Dam, Lake Mead, and the dramatic formations of Black Canyon, the friendly pilot shares educational information and details about the sights on the ground.

ATV Adventure in Eldorado

Ripping it up in the desert. Pack extra clothes that can get dusty. Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

Nevada has a rich mining history, including the Eldorado Canyon historic mining site just 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas. Ride through this desert canyon dotted with cholla cacti on a fun Awesome Adventures ATV Tour that covers trails meant for mule-driven ore wagons. Keep a sharp eye out for bighorn sheep or mountain lions in the brown hills above the paths.

Go to a Golden Knights hockey game

Go Knights! Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

It may seem strange to see hockey in the desert, but the hottest ticket in town is for a Vegas Golden Knights game at the new T-Mobile Arena. The newest franchise in the National Hockey League is packing the rafters with new hockey converts and super-fans and winning game after game. The games are exciting, but the stands are where the real action and excitement is – Las Vegas loves its hockey!

Get Made at the Mob Museum

Morbidly fascinating. Mob history is never boring. Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

Visitors get an eye and earful about Made Men, G-Men and their bosses at the Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. Located in the historic former Courthouse and Post Office, this interactive museum presents a fascinating glimpse into organized crime’s impact on Las Vegas history, as well as its unique imprint on America and the world. Visitors are treated to real stories and real relics like the St. Valentine’s Day massacre brick wall. Actual events of Mob history are revealed through live interpreters and engaging exhibits.

Dig This Experience

Fancy a ride in one of these bad boys? Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

What could be more fun than horsing around with gigantic, earth-moving machines alongside your friends and fam? At Dig This, guests can channel their inner teen-version of “Bob the Builder” in a giant natural sandbox. It’s a surprisingly zen-like experience digging holes and moving large tires into piles with giant excavators and bulldozers. After a quick safety demonstration, guests sit in climate-controlled cabs, connected to instructors via headsets in case they need additional guidance.

See a Show

A Thriller of a show at MJ Live. Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

They don’t call it the Entertainment Capital of the World for nothing. From exciting Cirque du Soleil performances to Michael Jackson impersonators, magicians and special musical guests, everyone seems to come through Las Vegas at one point or another. Check out to see the latest calendar of events, and to get show discounts too.

Walk the Strip

Don’t worry; you’re still in Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye

The action along the Las Vegas strip never stops. There’s lots to see along the seven-kilometre strip, including free shows like the Bellagio fountains, so spend time just walking along either side for interesting views of humanity. Works well to walk off those buffet and food tour meals too.