Whether the economy or the heat has kept you from doing much this summer, now is the time to get out there and experience Las Vegas. If you live here or you're just visiting, you have to experience the Springs Preserve. Now is a great time to see the facility because for the entire month of August kids 17 and younger get in free.
The Springs Preserve is a world class museum complex dedicated to the preservation of the original site of "the meadows," which is what "Las Vegas" means in Spanish. The mall across the street, also called The Meadows, was the only evidence that this was the birthplace of Las Vegas, until the Springs Preserve opened in the summer of 2007.
The springs on the site were used by Native Americans for over 5,000 years and later by European explorers and settlers using the Old Spanish Trail. The springs no longer flow to the surface, but continue to replenish an underground aquifer below the property.
The Springs Preserve has over 180-acres of preserved landscape featuring trails, historical sites, museums, botanical gardens, native flora and fauna displays, interactive exhibits, childrens' playground, meeting rooms and a cafe.
Las Vegas is trying hard to become greener and one of the best all around eco family destinations in Las Vegas is the Springs Preserve. The entire facility was built using green practices and a whole museum on property is dedicated to displaying interactive exhibits on sustainability in the Mojave Desert. Pathways through the property wind in and around water efficient landscaping and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certified buildings.
The Springs Preserve is a great end-of-the-summer activity to get kids ready for a little learning, while maintaining the vacation mentality. The large open spaces and the childrens' playground is good for blowing off a little energy too, especially for the little ones.
Visit the Ori-gen Experience first and see the film at the entrance in their stat of the art theater. Tweens will want to sit in the front for a dizzying view of the film and younger children will want to hang close to the back, at least until the a crash of thunder in the film is over. Venture on from there into the museum and allow the kids to wander and explore from exhibit to exhibit. The flash flood is the all time favorite and running a close second are the animals in the outside back area of the museum.
From there, make a pit stop for lunch, swing by the Childrens' Playground or visit one of the facility's cool restrooms. Check out the special effects on the sinks in the Ori-gen restrooms. If you are ready to venture on, head south and stop in at the Nature Exchange, and continue to the Sustainability Gallery. If the weather is cooperating, walk around the 8-acres of botanical gardens, of which most of the paths are in the shade of the many water efficient trees.
Make a day of it and grab a snack in the Springs Cafe by Wolfgang Puck located near the entrance/exit . They offer kid portioned and kid priced meals (which are really enough for most adults). All the food is made with natural, local and when available, organic ingredients. The view is awesome from the balcony. The cafe also has water and snacks if you prefer your meals on the go.
With the incentive of savings, and a great way to wrap up the summer, check out the Springs Preserve and see where Las Vegas all began.
For more information visit http://www.springspreserve.org.