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Swimming With The Sharks:  Las Vegas Water Attractions for the Whole Family.

With the number of amazing water attractions that Las Vegas has to offer, it really does feel like an oasis in the desert.  When it comes to entertaining the kiddies Las Vegas has found that over the top aquariums hold their interest.  With so many immense water tanks housing every type of sea creature imaginable, you could spend your entire vacation tapping on glass trying to catch the eye of a tiger shark.

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay:  Over 2,000 aquatic animals reside in this 1.6 million gallon water attraction.  Walk through the underwater tunnel and find yourself surrounded by over 100 species including sharks, piranhas and sting rays, swimming around, seemingly oblivious to your presence.  The highlight of course being OD, an enormous green sea turtle who has already seen his 50th birthday.  Moms and dads will fork over $18, and the kids $12 for this exhibit, which is open every day from 10 to 10 during peak season.  Well worth it to catch a glimpse of a rare Komodo Dragon.

Shark Reef Aquarium found at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Shark Reef Aquarium found at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The Tank at the Golden Nugget:  The head honchos at the Golden Nugget took swimming with the fishes literal when they designed their aquarium.  In the center of their 3 tiered pool complex is a 200,000 gallon shark tank.  Wave to the zebra shark as you drift by on your float, or blow it a kiss as you race pass it in the enclosed 30 ft waterslide.  You will never experience an aquatic display to match this one.  Guests at the hotel can enjoy this attraction for free, while non-guests are welcome, but will pay $20 for an adult and $15 for a child.  So long as the weather permits, the pool is open from 10 to 8.

The Tank at Golden Nugget Fremont Street.

The Tank at Golden Nugget Fremont Street.

Caesar Palace Forum Shops:  Yes it is a mall as majestic as the hotel itself, and inside is a 50,000 gallon saltwater aquarium with over 100 species of sea life wondering what’s so great about a Gucci bag.  Located at the far end of the mall, (not so far if you enter from the hotel) this free water attraction is only part of the entertainment.  Every hour the fountain in front of it comes to life as King Atlas decides who should be his heir in a seven minute spectacle featuring animatronic statues that come to life.  There is no charge for the show either, leaving you a little extra to take the kids to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.

"I will be called the King!"

"I will be called the King!"

The Secret Garden Of Siegfried & Roy:  The Mirage Hotel has a couple of spots to enjoy watching how the underwater populations live.  First off, check out the 20,000 saltwater aquarium as you check into the hotel.  Every exotic sea animal imaginable is displayed in this 53 foot long display.  The Mirage is also home to Siegfried & Roy’s mini zoo which features a large pool of dolphins to delight your child.  Admission to the zoo is $19.95 for grown-ups and $14.95 for the kids, and on top of the dolphins you get to see a stunning array of wildcats, including the rare golden tiger.

The Secret Garden of Siegfried and Roy. Only at the Mirage Las Vegas.

The Secret Garden of Siegfried and Roy. Only at the Mirage Las Vegas.

Many people shy away from bringing their children to Las Vegas for no reason.  If you are willing to make the time, there are many attractions geared for the family.  In addition to aquatic wonders, Las Vegas has other breathtaking animal reserves that are home to some of our planets rarest and most beloved creatures.  Pack your Vegas vacation with activities that everyone will enjoy and you will soon find the entire family clamoring to come back for more.

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