Think you know Nevada? Think again! What you missed on your last trip!

Las Vegas… if you ask my 8 year old daughter her favorite place we’ve been so far, her response is unequivocally “Las Vegas”. Not exactly what you would expect a kid to say, more like a response from an early 20 something, but there are some pretty great reasons why this is her favorite destination. It’s also not just Vegas, both our kids love everything about Nevada and what it holds for us during our family travels.

If you’ve been to Nevada you probably think you’ve seen it all, you might even think if you’ve been to Vegas that’s all there really is to Nevada, but you’d be wrong. This desert state in the west has a lot more to offer travelers than one might think, and our family is here to give you an inside look at what adventure and fun could be in store for your family! 

Our first stop while in Nevada was of course, Las Vegas, but not for the normal activities you would expect. No, no gambling with the kiddos. Lol Instead we packed our time with activities that appealed to the whole family.

Did you know there are some pretty big thrills and adrenaline rushes for kids in Vegas that don’t include roller-coasters? Our daughter loves anything adventurous and bold so I knew she would love Vegas Indoor Skydiving. She’s definitely too young to jump out of a plane, but that doesn’t mean she can’t experience the next best thing. As soon as I told her that she would be able to do indoor skydiving she was so excited! She couldn’t wait to see what it would be like to fly!

This is a fantastic activity for really any age. My husband and daughter participated in this adventure while I took photos and my little boy who didn’t quite weigh enough watched all the excitement. (kids must be over 50 lbs.) They have a fantastic viewing area for those not participating, and you can capture some great footage of your friends or family flying through the air!

That was just the beginning of our adventure though, next up was Dig This! Haven’t heard of it? Neither had I till I did a little digging (sorry couldn’t resist). This awesome company used to be located in Colorado and moved down to Vegas to provide locals and travelers alike with a once in a lifetime experience of getting to use heavy machinery, bulldozers and more! Imagine a giant sandbox and you’re given the ability to do whatever you want!

We had just come from a really nice lunch and didn’t have time to change so my daughter was in this excavator in a cute dress! She was even all proper crossing her legs as she maneuvered around in this large machine. As we wrapped up this activity, she got out and told me “Mom I could do this all day!” This is definitely an experience she will never forget and it makes for a fantastic family bonding moment as well.

Like I said earlier, Vegas is fun but it’s not all there is to Nevada! Get out, explore, and you will find even more excitement just right outside of the city. The Hoover Dam has always been an iconic wonder to behold for millions of families, but did you know you can add to your Hoover Dam experience by taking a cruise on Lake Mead? This makes for a relaxing and wonderful afternoon. You can check out Lake Mead cruises here and plan your excursion.

While out in Boulder City you have to seek out the hidden gem of… The Techatticup mine. This is quite possibly the most eccentric and fun attraction I have seen in Nevada and that’s saying a lot! Book a tour of the mine and it will make for a fantastic and fun family outing everyone will love. It’s a very easy mine that can be done by any age or ability. The very knowledgeable tour guides have a wealth of information about the area and the mine, but they pass it on to you and your family in a fun and jovial way that makes it a blast! (No pun intended)

For anyone looking to get far away from the strip, I highly recommend heading out to Ely. Most may not have even heard of Ely before, but this little desert city has a lot of interesting history and the journey to get there is equally as fascinating! On the way to Ely you will find many of Nevada’s State Parks and they will definitely amaze and provide some fantastic photos for your trip!

Here are just a few of the state parks you can see:

Kershaw Ryan State Park

Our kids loved Kershaw Ryan State Park; here was this amazing little oasis in the middle of the desert. It also gave us the opportunity to break up the drive a bit, and the kids were able to play around.

Cathedral Gorge State Park

This park is filled with fascinating slot canyons and formations and is just right off the main road. I highly recommend getting out of the car and exploring. It’s quite fascinating to see these formations.

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park.

30-foot-tall beehive-shaped ovens used from 1876 to 1879 to make charcoal. Juniper and pinyon pine were burned in ovens to create charcoal to be used in smelters for the Ward Mining District.

Once in Ely there is more family fun, but our favorite activity in Ely is definitely the Nevada Northern Railway experience! Rich in history, and fun kids and adults everyone can learn about the area of Ely while traveling through on a fantastic train. My son loves trains so this was definitely the highlight of his trip.

Nevada Northern Railway also has themed trains and you can even be the conductor for the day! Be sure to head here to check out how Nevada Northern Railway can add to your trip.

One of the other big reasons to head out this way is to see Great Basin National Park. Filled with caves to explore and wildlife to see, Great Basin makes for a wonderful day trip from Ely.

I can’t possibly begin to cover everything that this great state holds for family travelers in one post so be sure to check back for part two! We will break down all the details and help put in motion your family’s ultimate guide for a summer trip to Nevada!

A big thank you to Nevada State Tourism and partners for hosting our family in order to facilitate this review, all opinions are my own.


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