What To Do In Laughlin: More Than Casino Action
In 1964, Don Laughlin opened an eight-room hotel named the Riverside. Four rooms were used as the hotel while the family lived in the others. Fast forward to today, Laughlin now has 10, 000 rooms with nine hotels/casinos, 60 restaurants, a bowling alley and an outlet mall right in the center of town. There are over 14, 000 casino workers employed in the city supporting an estimated two million visitors annually. What to Do in Laughlin
The charm of Laughlin is the ability to balance both adult and family time. For kids, there is the accessibility to the water activities while parents have the Casino for adult time. With 60 restaurants, the dining options range from the buffet to fine.
While gaming is an important element to the city, there is so much more. The river offers tons of fun. There are numerous golf courses in the area and spas in many of the hotels. Stars such as Carrie Underwood are now putting Laughlin on their tour schedule. Underwood will be there in October demonstrating that slowly Laughlin is becoming its own identity combining gaming, water activities and entertainment. With so many activities to choose from, here are a few suggestions for the Laughlin experience.
What to Do in Laughlin
Keepers Of The Wild Nature Park
Located 68 miles from Laughlin on Route 66 in Valentine, Arizona, this 170-acre non-profit exotic animal rescue sanctuary is dedicated to the care and protection of abused, abandoned, and retired captive wildlife including lions, tigers, wolves, deer, birds, reptiles, alpacas, llamas, raccoons, monkeys, and even a grizzly bear. *Open 9:00am-5:00pm, closed Tuesdays, general admission adults $20, children 12-3 years $12, 2 & under free
*All the exhibits and animal enclosures are outdoors so you dont want to visit during extreme heat conditions
*Check Groupon for possible discounted admission and if you can budget it in the Guided Feeding Tour is soo worth it! The lions and tigers get really vocal and energetic when they know theyre about to be fed!
Learn About And See Petroglyphs
The most popular place to see Petroglyphs near Laughlin, Nevada is at Grapevine Canyon. This is because these are considered to be accessible to more people, but this doesnt make them less significant.
This particular cluster of petroglyphs was listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places in December 1984, so they are well worth your time to hike out to them.
These glyphs were created sometime between 1100 and 1900 AD and the mapping of around 250 glyph panels was done in 2009.
Despite this, the meaning of the glyphs and their creators remain unknown. The area was inhabited by the Mohave, so many theories point in their direction.
The site at Grapevine Canyon is extensive, with petroglyphs being found throughout the canyon. That said, more than 700 petroglyphs and rock shelters can be found at the entrance to the canyon.
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Quest Package: Six Guests
Cost: $120.00. There is a $18.00 fee per additional child guest
The Quest party package has been created for the birthday child and five guests. Each child will receive 90 minutes of play time plus 30 minutes to enjoy a birthday treat and gift opening. This package includes: two pitchers of a fountain drink, one party favor for each guest, party decorations, digital invitations, a party photo, and a special gift for the birthday child. All this plus pre-planning and a day of support from our Kids Quest Party Captain.
How Does Laughlin Differ From Vegas
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Rising room rates in Las Vegas due to resort fees, paid parking and withering gambling odds have some Las Vegas regulars pondering new destinations. One alternative option to Vegas that can make a lot of sense is Laughlin, just 90 minutes south.
Laughlin offers plenty of contrast to Vegas and has a much different feel. Here are some of the differences between Las Vegas and Laughlin.
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Best Things To Do In Laughlin Nevada
Visited by nearly 2 million people each year, theres definitely no arguing that there’s plenty to enjoy in Laughlin, Nevada. The outdoorsy folk will love all the great natural spots that Laughlin has to offer, while those who want to travel back in time will definitely get a kick out of the many sightseeing spots and tours in the city. Lets not forget the big city entertainment spots as well as the quaint small town attractions that truly give visitors the best of all kinds of worlds. From world-class performers to unforgettable eats, its probably high time for you to come and find out what keeps people coming back for more on this side of the Colorado River. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
Best Places To Eat In Laughlin
There is no shortage of food options in Laughlin. From chains, to diners, to buffets and upscale restaurants, your preference can be accommodated.
That said, we ate at a variety of places on our trip and can recommend the following:
- Windows on the River Buffet: Located in the Aquarius Resort
- Bumbleberry Flats: Located in the Pioneer Hotel
- Shugrues Restaurant & Brewery: Located in Lake Havasu City
- Brew Brothers: Located in the Tropicana Hotel
- Fresh Market Square Buffet: Located at Harrahs Resort
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What To Do With Kids
Take your kids on a scenic drive along the Christmas Tree Pass which connects NV Highway 163 and US Highway 93. From this vantage point, your kids can gaze at Spirit Mountains white granite and its surrounding granite domes.
Its area west transforms into a decorative site where you can hang Christmas ornaments on Utah Juniper trees during the holidays. This could be fun stuff to do with kids near you.
Welcome To Kids Quest At Avi Resort & Casino
Kids Quest child care center is designed to be a place where kids are physically and mentally engaged with age-appropriate play-events, helping them grow happily! Every Kids Quest resort partner has its own unique set of things to do for kids and entertainment options for children, families and adults to enjoy.
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Attend A Concert At The Laughlin Event Center
One thing that Laughlin does super well is entertainment and their answer to a concert venue is no exception. The 21,000 person event center offers a beautiful outdoor venue offering floor seating, stadium seating, Dream Suites and VIP areas.
When we were in town, we attended a KISS concert, seated in one of the dream suites, and it was one of the best concerts we have ever been to.
If youre in town and theres a concert scheduled, we definitely recommend that you take some time to attend a show. The venue is also smack dab in the center of Laughlin, meaning it is within walking distance from most of the hotels on the strip.
Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Collection
Got a thing for classic cars? Stop by Don Laughlins Classic Car Collection to feast your eyes on over 80 of the worlds most gorgeous, distinctive and well-kept automobiles. Featuring classic, antique, and special interest vehicles alike, all of the items displayed in this museum have been curated from private collections. Some of the vehicles in the collection are even owned by Don Laughlin himself, who is a huge fan of cars and an avid collector of them. The collection can be viewed in two separate areas of the Don Laughlins Riverside Resort and, best of all, are free to the public.
1650 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV 89029, 800-227-3849
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Infant Care Available At Kids Quest
Were excited to announce that we have resumed infant care at our Kids Quest location on weekends only through a reservation process. Reservation appointments are available in 2-hour time slots, starting at 5:00 pm until 12:00 am on Friday, 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm on Saturday, and 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm on Sunday.
We may have the capacity for limited walk-up infant care available, but space is minimal. We recommend you make your reservation at least 48 hours in advance of the date you wish to make your visit. A $25.00 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. To reserve your spot, click on the Tiny Tots tab above or contact the center directly by calling 535-5596!
Scooters Family Fun Center
Located in Bullhead City, Arizona, this small family fun adventure center has miniature golf, batting cages, go-kart tracks, and an arcade. If your little ones work up an appetite after all the play you can order pizza, subs, wings, spaghetti & meatballs, and/or salads from the Pizza Parlor. *Open daily 10am-10pm
*For less than $20 a person you can buy a 2-hour wristband which includes unlimited go-kart rides, batting cage time, and as many mini-golf holes you can handle
*Dont expect any fancy-ness here, the property is pretty run-down but the staff was friendly and the kids had a blast so we enjoyed our visit!
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Guy Fieris El Burro Borracho
Located inside the Harrahs Laughlin Hotel, this upscale Mexican restaurant serves up familiar dishes with a Guy Fieri flair including tacos, trash can nachos, frozen margaritas, and more. *Open 5:00pm-9:00pm, closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays
*The 1st time we went we enjoyed a few beers, table-side prepared guacamole, and mixed fajitas, we enjoyed it so much we went back for more the following night and ordered everything carne asada! Soo good!
Laughlin Nevada Highlights Map
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above youll find a map of our highlights in Laughlin, Nevada. Click on the top left of the map to find separate layers marking the route and points of interest. You can hide and show different layers, or click icons on the map to see the names of places we mention in this travel guide. Star the map to save it to your own Google Maps, or open the map in a new window for a larger version.
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Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park + Trails
Also called the North Reach Trails, located just off the Laughlin Strip, guests can explore 9 miles of newly developed park areas and trailheads for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrian riders complete with interpretive signs, shaded picnic areas, fishing piers, and restrooms while offering stunning views of the Colorado River and the Mojave Desert. *Open daily 6:00am-11:00pm
*The parking lot is located near the Laughlin-Bullhead City Bridge and does have a small camper/RV area
Hike The Heritage Trails
Located on the edge of town is a series of trails that allow you to explore along the Colorado River. It is here that you can access the Pyramid Canyon Day Use Area and Heritage Trails in Laughlin.
The hike consists of a 9 mile trail system through the desert and along the Colorado River with the Davis Dam as a backdrop.
Its a great way to get some exercise and see the various types of flora and fauna that reside in the desert that surrounds the city.
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Kids Quest At Avi Resort & Casino
10000 Aha Macav ParkwayLaughlin, NV 89029 535-5596
Kids Quest puts children at the center of attraction. It has been around since 1992 in at least 20 locations across 12 different states, expanding childrens access to this child care center.
Children can gain access to over a dozen activities they would want to explore, like video games, sports, and interactive exhibits.
Don Laughlins Riverside Arcade
Forget quarters, this small arcade has gaming cards you purchase/load play credits & collect your ticket winnings on, located on the 2nd floor of the Riverside Hotel & Casino. *Hours Sunday-Thursday 9:00am-10:00pm, Friday & Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm
*The arcade is small but it should keep the kids entertained for an hour or so
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Avi Resort And Casino
Another one of Laughlin’s most kid-friendly casino resorts, Avi Resort hosts an day care program for children between 6 weeks and 12 years. Called Kids Quest, the program operates under the slogan: “Are you having as much fun as your kids?” The program includes an indoor play area, video and arcade games, a karaoke area and a variety of toys. The program is open 365 days a year and is offered at an hourly rate. Other family-friendly hotel amenities include a kiddie pool, watercraft rentals and beach area.
Why You Should Go
Have a peaceful and laid-back afternoon with your friends or family as you enjoy one of the top things to see in Laughlin, this breathtaking riverfront trail and its postcard-perfect views.
This trail is easily accessible, offering picturesque views of the glimmering Colorado River and many nearby facilities, like lively casinos, upscale hotels and resorts, vibrant restaurants, and so much more.
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Leave Your Kids At Home
While I dont advocate bringing kids to Vegas, theres no denying that there are plenty of family-friendly things to do. Unique activities include the Circus Circus Adventuredome, rides atop STRAT, a wax museum, and so much more. You can easily piece together a solid family vacation in Vegas if thats your intent.
Laughlin is a different story in my opinion.
While there are theaters, arcades, bowling alleys, and outdoor entertainment options in Laughlin, there isnt enough to justify calling your binge gambling trip a family trip. Theres nothing for kids to do in Laughlin that you cant find at home.
Don Laughlins Riverside Bowling Alley
Also located on the 2nd floor of the Riverside Hotel & Casino, the Riverside Bowling Lanes includes 34 state of the art lanes, cosmic bowling, TVs, lockers, pro shop, snack bar, small arcade area, and full bar access at the Race and Sports Book nearby. *Open Sunday-Thursday 8:00am-11:00pm, Friday 8:00am-12:00am & Saturday 8:00am-1:00am, weekday prices start at $4.50 per game, per adult, $4 per game for children 13 & under, and $5.25 for shoes rentals
*All 34 bowling lanes have bumpers for families with little ones to enjoy
*One thing I want to mention about the bowling alley is if you plan on visiting during the weekdays before you trek all the way over there you may want to call and be sure the lanes are open to the public
*We did not check in advance and were disappointed when we were told we could not get a lane until the entire bowling league that was on the floor finished with their event
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Of course, the first thing everybody thinks about when talking about Nevada is Vegas and casinos. But Nevada is so much more than that. With the amazing desert climate, wonderful weather, and beautiful landscapes and fabulous hotels, Nevada has a lot to offer, especially to the people who enjoy the outdoors, nature, and a little adventure. Where, you ask? Lets start with a nice, small town, located 152 km from Las Vegas, by Colorado River called Laughlin. Here are the best things to do in Laughlin, Nevada, and if youre planning to stay in the area, there are many budget hotels and Airbnbs to choose from.
There are some cars we all know exist, but have never actually seen. Those special, unique, sometimes weird-looking cars that very often show up in movies from the 60s or 70s, like famous muscle cars or even horseless carriages. You can find that and much more in Don Laughlins Classic Car Collection, located in the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino.
The collection is divided into two areas with over 80 examples of those rare machines. The most famous piece of their exhibit is a motorcycle once driven by Steve McQueen. The museum is open seven days a week and the admission to the first part, located on the 1st floor, is free. Admission to the second part of the exhibit is only 2 USD.
Jet Ski On Colorado River
Go on a perfect and refreshing adventure in the Colorado River aboard a jet ski! While hotels around the river offer jet ski rentals, you might find their prices are a bit high. Other cruises and jet ski shops are available nearby with noticeably lower prices. Rocky River Jet Ski & UTV Rentals, for instance, offers one-hour to full-day rentals. Starting at 119 USD, youll get to use a Yamaha VX 110 that holds 1 to 2 persons and comes with top-of-the-line equipment and gear. For your safety, you must attend a pre-launch instructional briefing, sign a liability and release waiver, and wear a life jacket. You must be above 18 years old to be able to drive and must not be under the influence of alcohol, medication, or any other mind-altering substance. Shops that serve barbecue and cold beer are also available nearby to complete your river adventure.
Rocky River Jet Ski & UTV Rentals
Address: 1900 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV 89029, United States
Opening hours: 9am – 7pm
Price: from at 119 USD
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