Top things to do in Las Vegas | #PTACon17

I have lived in Las Vegas for over 20 years with my husband and four children.  I am very excited to have the 2017 National PTA Convention & Expo in my home town this year and to share a few ideas for things to do while you are here!

Las Vegas is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week town.  There is something for everyone at all hours of the day and night.  Whether you are coming into town early before Convention, have a few spare hours in the evenings or staying a few extra days after, there is plenty of fun to be had.

If you love to shop, everything you could ever want is right here.  From high end designers to discount outlets, there are four malls within a 15 minute walk of the Paris Hotel and even more shopping experiences just a short drive away.  Several malls are even open until midnight, if you still have the energy to walk around a mall after the Convention day is over. See my full list of activities below.

Even though it will be hot here in June, there are still fun activities to be had in the great outdoors. You can choose from two water parks, if splashing in the hotel pool is not enough fun.  Hiking, rock climbing, bouldering and  scenic drives are just 30-40 minutes away at Red Rock Canyon Conservation area or a one hour drive to Mt. Charleston, where it can be 20 degrees cooler than the strip. Need more adventure?  Jump from a plane, kayak the Colorado river, four wheel through the desert, or ride in a hot air balloon. If there is an adventure to be had, you can probably do it here in Las Vegas.

Believe it or not we have many family friendly and fun activities that keep you inside with the air conditioner blowing.  If museums are your bag, we have everything from The Mob Museum, Natural History, Children’s, Atomic Testing, wax figures, old cars, old neon signs, pinball machines, and several quirky museums you could only find in a town like Las Vegas.  There is an indoor amusement park and many arcades on and off the strip to keep big and little kids entertained.

If you have little time and little money there are free activities up and down the strip.  Watch the Volcano show at the Mirage, the dancing waters at the Bellagio Fountains or stroll through the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. You can check out all things candy at the M&Ms World or at the Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Las Vegas is known for the many shows available at venues all over town.  Singers, bands, magicians, comedians, impersonators, Cirque du Soliel shows, variety shows  and even the occasional Broadway show.  Make sure you make reservations ahead of time if possible as many shows sell out.

Last but not least is the food.  You could eat at a different restaurant for every meal, every day of your stay and you will not put a dent in the number of great restaurants in Las Vegas offering every kind of cuisine.  Buffets and four star restaurants can be found all along the strip and you can also find food being prepared by famous chefs in small shopping centers away from the strip.  Choose a cuisine, check out the reviews and enjoy amazing food from around the world.

A few tips as you are having fun.  Drink way more water than you usually do at home. It will be hot and the humidity is usually around 10%, so it is easy to get dehydrated here.  Wear comfortable walking shoes.  The hotel buildings are huge and much farther away than you realize.  Try not to pay full price for anything. Check the internet or your favorite coupon app for available discounts.

Have a great time at convention learning, networking, and sharing all things PTA and then in your free time, enjoy all of the things Las Vegas has to offer!

Linda Johnson is a national service representative at National PTA.

Shopping:
Grand Bazaar– just north of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in front of Bally’s.
Miracle Mile Shops– just south of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel
Forum Shops at Caesars Palace– About a 15 minute walk north on Las Vegas Blvd to Caesars Palace. Use the pedestrian bridge to cross the street.
Linq Promenade – About a 15 minute walk north on Las Vegas Blvd to the High Roller observation wheel located at the end of the promenade.
Las Vegas North-Premium Outlets–  13 min drive
Fashion Show Mall– 8 min drive

Adventure:
Sky Jump Las Vegas– Jump off the Stratosphere tower
Slotzilla Zipline through the Fremont Street Experience
Flight Linez Bootleg Canyon
Vegas Indoor Skydiving
Hiking at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area– this is best done first thing in the morning before it gets too hot.  If you are not into hiking, you can just drive the 13 mile scenic loop.

Family Friendly Activities
WetnWild Las Vegas
Cowabunga Bay
Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay
Game Works at Town Square
Pinball Hall of Fame

Free things to do in Las Vegas
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Bellagio Fountains
Take your Picture at the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
Hershey’s Chocolate World
M&M’s World Las Vegas
Volcano at the Mirage

Enjoy Your Time in Charlotte!

This year’s National PTA Convention & Expo will be held on June 25-28 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte is home to many cultural, entertaining and fun attractions for all ages. If you have some free time outside of #PTAconv15, take a cab or hop on the LYNX—it’s time to go on an excursion of the Queen City!

Photo Credit: by Archdaily.com

Photo Credit: by Archdaily.com

Racing Capital of the World
Charlotte is, of course, home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This exciting tourist hotspot offers artifacts and interactive exhibits of some of NASCAR’s greatest icons and original racing cars. Get a first-hand look at the Hall’s Racing Simulators and check out special events at the High Octane Theater. No stranger to life in the fast lane, the city is filled with other racing venues such as The Speedpark, the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience and Victory Lane Indoor Karting Center. Vroom vroom!

Outdoor Fun!
Take an outdoor tour at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Discover the outdoors and agricultural heritage in the region. Charlotte also offers super fun segway tours, bicycle tours and walking ones, too. Explore around the city while riding one through the beautiful greenways and neighborhoods. There are also other unique tours such as Charlotte’s local history and ghost tour. Reserve a tour today!

Photo Credit: Rodgersbuilders.com

Photo Credit: Rodgersbuilders.com

Arts & Culture
Care to spend time at a show or musical performance? The city’s vibrant arts and culture scene is growing and bustling with entertaining concerts, festivals and more. Check out ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Live! perform at Ovens Auditorium on June 28 and Discovery Place’s brand new GUITAR exhibit. There also museums that are worth your time, such as the Mint Museum Uptown, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and Levine Museum of the New South.

Photo Credit: Ctcharlotte.org

Photo Credit: Ctcharlotte.org

Kid-Friendly Entertainment
A PTA convention wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Carowind’s Amusement and Water Park. Visit Planet Snoopy, Dinosaurs Alive and some of the park’s most thrilling rollercoaster rides! You can also check out Children’s Theatre of Charlotte for family fun educational activities and bring reading to life at ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center!

Photo Credit: Cmhpf.org

Photo Credit: Cmhpf.org

Foodie Galore
If you’re getting hungry after all of this fun and excitement, be sure to check out downtown’s EpiCentre, offering a wide range of appetizing eateries and restaurants. Stop by one of Charlotte’s historic spots, the McNinch House, for a lovely treat. The menu has a variety of unique and beautiful dishes. Once an old, abandoned and worn-down building and now a beautiful, sophisticated hotspot for dining. Other options? Try one of Charlotte’s top 25 restaurants.

Find more things to do during your #PTAconv15 trip in Charlotte here.

Homepage photo credit: Shutterstock.com


Co-authored by National PTA’s digital communications specialist Catherine Llamido and media relations intern Jessica Burton.