While it's overshadowed by Sin City, the bustling North Las Vegas in Nevada is still a worthwhile destination for pleasure-seekers and adventurers.
This is the less-crowded and cheaper alternative to the gambling and entertainment powerhouse next door.
But it doesn't mean that North Las Vegas' attractions are subpar, as it has the same vibrant casinos, restaurants, and entertainment venues as Las Vegas.
And thanks to its proximity to the Mojave Desert, the city boasts rugged outdoor attractions that feature local flora and fauna.
The destination is also more family-friendly, with plenty of manmade attractions that even the young ones will enjoy.
So after your bombastic trip to Las Vegas, check out this neighboring city to wind down and relax.
Here are the 20 best things to do in North Las Vegas, NV:
Feel the Nevada Sun at Craig Ranch Regional Park
Most people might find it unusual that a regional park is located in the Vegas metropolis, but Craig Ranch Regional Park is special that way.
This 170-acre attraction was once a golf course, but people demanded green spaces that were severely lacking in the area.
So the land was developed and turned into this oasis that attracts humans and wildlife alike.
Since it only opened in 2013, the park boasts plenty of modern amenities that make for a fun stay.
These include multiple playgrounds surrounding gleaming ponds, dog parks where your pet can run all day, and verdant fields.
For those who want to try sports, the park is filled with softball and baseball fields, basketball courts, and other athletic facilities.
There's even a huge 65,000-square-foot skate park filled with ramps, rails, and bowls of all shapes.
If you want to catch one of the many events in the park, be sure to make a stopover at the Craig Ranch Amphitheater.
See the Desert Night Sky at CSN Planetarium
CSN Planetarium is a wonderful place that space enthusiasts and budding astronomers will enjoy.
This attraction is a big departure from the city's bright lights and loud noises.
In exchange, you'll get to see the solemn beauty of the heavens in a quiet and meditative space.
This is the only facility of its kind in the region, so people flock to it for a chance to see its magnificence.
The domed, 66-feat theater features a high-definition projection system that shows detailed videos of celestial bodies.
In most cases, these short films are educational in nature.
But they're made to be entertaining as well, so get ready for some stunning visuals that will have you awe-struck.
Catch a Show at Nicholas J. Horn Theater
The College of Southern Nevada is an academic institution whose existence may surprise people.
But education is still important in Vegas even though most people associate it with hedonism and opulence.
At the college, various disciplines are studied, including performance art.
Nicholas J. Horn Theater, or simply Horn Theater, is where the students can express their creativity and talent in front of an audience.
But the shows are not limited to college productions, as the theater is used for other community events that bring together everyone.
Within the cozy little venue, residents and visitors get to watch plays, recitals, and live music performances by local and national artists.
So bring the whole family during your visit and enjoy one of the thrilling shows!
Have a Fun Family Day at Aliante Nature Discovery Park
For those traveling with kids, the beautiful Aliante Nature Discovery Park is a must-add to your itinerary.
This sprawling outdoor facility covers 20 acres of desert land developed into a beautiful green space.
So you'll find verdant grounds, picnic sites, and trails that bring you to some of the park's famous attractions.
One of these is the dinosaur-themed playground, complete with life-sized replicas of the humongous reptiles.
Kids will have an amazing time in the triceratops head sitting in the center of the park.
Even the kids at heart are welcome to come closer and take pictures with it.
But if you're looking for an amazing view for photos, check out the park's artificial lake and waterfall.
The cascading waters on rapids make for a dreamy sight, especially during sunset when the sky behind it is bursting with early evening hues.
Feel the Thrill at Silver Nugget Casino & Event Center
Silver Nugget Casino & Event Center is as precious as the metal it's named from, with exquisite attractions for those who like gambling.
It has been around since 1964, so there's an old-school charm that brings you back to the pioneering days of Vegas.
In the casino, you'll find more than 285 slots, video reel and poker machines, and new versions that will have you playing for hours.
You can even place your bets on your favorite competitor through the casino's long-standing sportsbook.
Aside from gambling, the facility has an events center with state-of-the-art lighting and acoustics.
Live music concerts, orchestral performances, and even private celebrations have taken place in this 14,000-square-foot facility.
Check out their calendar today and see the upcoming events that you shouldn't miss!
Find Rare Items at Broadacres Marketplace
The bustling Broadacres Marketplace combines elements of a farmers market, entertainment venue, and retail space.
And like most other attractions in Vegas, this one dials up everything to the maximum degree.
So you can expect more than 1,100 vendors offering the most diverse products and services anywhere.
From home decor to baked goods, from unusual trinkets to fine furniture, you'll find it here.
So bring the whole family over and check out all the wonders this place has in store.
During weekends, there are live music performances set on the marketplace's own stage.
Local bands and well-known artists will serenade you as you peruse the mountain of products on display.
If you ever get hungry, check out the food establishments offering an equally diverse set of dishes that will satisfy every craving.
Try Your Luck at Jerry's Nugget Casino
Much like Silver Nugget Casino & Event Center, the magnificent Jerry's Nugget Casino stands as a living piece of Las Vegas history.
It was also established in 1964, facing many challenges along the way before it firmly established itself as a local institution.
Today, the casino boasts more than 24,000 square feet of space for hundreds of games.
You can try the numerous slot machines, visit the poker and blackjack tables, play bingo, or bet on your favorite sports team.
Aside from gambling, the facility hosts dining establishments offering sweet baked goods and sumptuous breakfast staples.
Don't forget to stop by the in-house Royal Street Theater, with a vibrant dance floor that will have you swinging your hips and shuffling your feet.
Trek the Gorgeous Upper Las Vegas Wash Trail
The scenic Upper Las Vegas Wash Trail follows the eponymous irrigation channel that runs through North Las Vegas.
With a total length of 4.2 miles, this attraction is one of the most explorable outdoor destinations in the city.
Its main purpose is for biking, but trekking it on foot is highly encouraged, especially if you want to slow down and take in the scenery.
You'll see some of the residential and industrial areas of the community along the way, bright and hot under the Nevada sun.
There are a few places for respite, such as the beautiful Centennial-Lawrence Trailhead, which is a park in its own right.
Just be careful when exploring this long urban bike path, as it crosses some busy highways.
See the Latest Flicks at Galaxy Theatres Cannery
The grand Galaxy Theatres Cannery is one of the premier entertainment destinations in North Las Vegas, and that's saying something.
This often-visited destination is a fully integrated movie theatre company with franchises in other major cities.
Because of its size and reach, the company belongs to the top 10% of its industry.
And they wouldn't reach this status if not for their exceptional cinemas and good customer services.
So expect friendly staff as you enter their multicolored halls.
Their screens are all updated with modern fittings, like lighting and surround sound, elevating your watching experience.
Explore the Trails of Aviary Park
While the quaint Aviary Park is not as large as the other green spaces in North Las Vegas, it's still a beloved attraction by the community.
It's set in the dense suburban neighborhoods north of the city, making it an easy-to-access attraction for families.
Because of this, you'd typically see kids and parents playing catch on the baseball diamonds or running on the open fields.
Younger children would typically stay in the well-equipped playground.
To protect kids from the hot sun, this section has shades that add an aesthetic element to the play structures.
One distinct feature of this park is its greenways, which reach all the way into the subdivisions surrounding it.
It's open for jogs, strolls, and dog walking, especially during the late afternoon when the temperatures are cooler.
Marvel at the Grand Shadow Creek Golf Course
If you're staying in one of MGM's resorts, you're entitled to a visit to the legendary Shadow Creek Golf Course.
This 18-hole course is a world-famous facility designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio.
By incorporating the rugged desert terrain on this side of Nevada, he was able to create an undulating scenery with majestic mountains in the background.
His work earned the course the eighth spot in Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest courses.
So you can expect the most exquisite views and layout that will bring your golfing experience to the next level.
Aside from the greens and fairways, the course has artificial waterfalls and landscaped sections that make it look more like a tropical paradise than a sports facility.
Playing here is a sublime experience that should be on every player's bucket list.
Discover Ancient Remains at Ice Age Fossils State Park
In the city's northern fringes lies a prehistoric attraction that will bring you back to hundreds of thousands of years ago.
During that time, this part of the US was a wetland—the complete opposite of what is now.
But thanks to these conditions, fossils were able to form that today we get to examine and enjoy.
Within the 315-acre state park, bones of Columbian mammoths, saber-tooth cats, dire wolves, and ancient camels lie embedded in what were once mud pits.
You can see them by following designated trails that lead you to great vantage points without damaging the fossils.
While hiking these paths, you'll also see the majestic Las Vegas mountain range in the distance, adding to the panoramic views the area is known for.
Camping and off-road vehicles are strictly prohibited here, so make sure you're packed with supplies for a day of walking under the Nevada sun.
Meditate at the Thai Buddhist Temple of Las Vegas
The "Sin City" doesn't seem like a place where religion is practiced, but the Thai Buddhist Temple of Las Vegas still thrives against all odds.
Of course, that's an exaggeration, as the city and surrounding communities welcome people from all walks of life.
And so does the Thai Buddhist Temple of Las Vegas.
So even if you don't practice the faith, you can still check out this humble temple and invigorate your spirit.
Outside, you'll see the golden trimmings typical in Buddhist temples, covering the roof's outline and the entrances.
Once inside, you'll see a small collection of golden Buddha statues surrounded by ornaments and the smoke of incense.
You can meditate for a few minutes, but remember to practice proper etiquette to avoid disturbing the other visitors and monks.
Discover the Area's Past at Kiel Ranch Historic Park
The 7-acre Kiel Ranch is a significant piece of history, representing an early Las Vegas Valley settlement. This park is all that remains of the original 240-acre homestead that Conrad Kiel established in the middle of the 1800s.
The site, now known as Kiel Ranch, was originally a settlement for Mormon missionaries who called it "Indian Farm."
However, ancient artifacts discovered during excavations give credence to the idea that locals were there long before the advent of written history.
In October 1975, Kiel Ranch became part of the National Register of Historic Places list.
Kiel Ranch was restored to the public as a historical park in July 2016.
Those interested in seeing what Las Vegas was like before the neon and casinos could do so by strolling through the grounds.
It features a natural artesian pond, several plant species unique to the Las Vegas Valley, and one of the oldest surviving adobe in Nevada.
The ranch is an excellent destination for history buffs. The park is otherwise lovely, with shady picnic spots and a hidden pond.
Feed the Ducks at City View Park
One of the most popular spots in North Las Vegas, City View Park is renowned for its magnificent waterfall and stream that cuts through the park's environment.
Ducks and geese live in the ponds and among the lovely trees that dot the park.
The park has a few different picnic areas, including its big group site with a BBQ pit and open field for pick-up soccer, football, or volleyball games.
If you're lucky, you can also catch fishing derbies when you visit the ponds.
Grills, picnic tables, and grassy knolls are all available for those who enjoy a meal while basking in the Nevada sun.
Bring Your Lively Kids to Go For It USA
The 26,000-square-foot Go For It USA gym houses an extensive collection of cutting-edge, Olympic-standard equipment.
Kindergyms provide preschoolers with high-quality gymnastics equipment explicitly designed for their height.
From its complimentary observation area, you may observe their children's growth.
There is an above-ground trampoline, a tumble track, a rod floor, an extensive foam pit, climbing ropes, spring floors, beams of varying diameters, and an acro floor with full mirrors for recreational and competitive students to use.
The facility also has a dedicated dance/aerial area with two points that its gymnasts and aerial students may use.
In addition to the 5-in-1 bouncer, which is always a hit at gatherings, it has parachutes of several sizes.
Go For It USA also has seasonal camps and an open gym for youngsters aged 6-18 who need a place to burn off some steam.
Experience Piloting a Fighter Plane at Sky Combat Ace
One of the most authentic air combat simulators available to the public is Sky Combat Ace, located in North Las Vegas.
A former fighter pilot in the United States Air Force developed Sky Combat Ace so that anybody with a thirst for speed might experience the rush of piloting a fighter plane.
The package includes transportation, a 45-minute "Fighter Pilot" briefing on BFM, a flight suit fittin, up to five BFM engagements at low altitude, and a return to base in close fingertip formation.
You can also have snaps with pilot instructors and record the 60-minute flight.
After the show, you may mingle with real jet pilots at the free bar and swap war memories.
Explore Las Vegas Valley on Air with 702 Helicopters
If you want a more laid-back experience, have an aerial date with 702 Helicopters.
Those in North Las Vegas should consider booking a tour with 702 Helicopters to get a bird's-eye view of the city.
You will see the Bellagio fountains, the replica of the Eiffel Tower, Mirage's volcano, the Stratosphere observation wheel, and much more on these trips.
Each trip departs from North Las Vegas.
At 500 feet in altitude, you'll have an experience of a lifetime.
Other Things to Do Nearby
After your wild trip around North Las Vegas, why not check out these other places nearby?
Hear the Engines Roar at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The world-famous Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of the premier racing tracks in the US.
And it's located near the borders of North Las Vegas, so driving there wouldn't take more than 10 minutes.
This 1,200-acre complex has four tracks, the longest spanning 1.5 miles.
Here, several cups and tournaments have taken place, including high-profile NASCAR championships.
So if you want to feel the thrill of watching speeding cars, add this place to your itinerary.
And don't worry about space as the venue has an 80,000 seating capacity—more than enough for the whole family!
Watch the Gleaming Signs at the Neon Museum
When people think of Las Vegas, some will immediately visualize the bright neon lights calling out customers to casinos and clubs.
This iconic imagery of the city is showcased at The Neon Museum, a mere nine-minute drive from North Las Vegas.
Within a 2.62-acre patch of open space, old signs from casinos and businesses are displayed, bright and glowing like new.
All these showcase the city's artistic and cultural history, which is heavily tied to the gambling and entertainment industry.
Every artifact you'll see is like an installation artwork, each with its own story that makes it distinct from the rest.
North Las Vegas is a family-friendly alternative to Sin City, filled with beautiful parks, archeological wonders, and beautiful greenways.
But it still has the same vibrant charm as the neighboring city, with entertainment venues and casinos for those looking for a thrill.
Reference this guide when planning your itinerary so you won't miss the top spots!