By Judi Hasson | for AARP.org
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Just ask Prince Harry. He could have picked some good clean fun in the Entertainment Capital of the World without becoming tabloid fodder and angering the queen. Here are a few ways, from expensive to free, that are fun-filled and will keep you out of trouble!
Helicopter over the Grand Canyon
You’re flush from your win at the casino and price is no object. So you can spend $300 or more taking a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon to get a taste of really breathtaking views. The tour guide throws in a glass of champagne at the end, and you have amazing memories of your sky-high tour.
The Canyon Rocks and the Dam Thunders
Take a day bus trip to the Grand Canyon, including a walk along breathtaking vistas, and a stop at Hoover Dam — a spectacular man-made achievement. Cost is about $134.
The Mob Museum — How mobsters put their fingerprints all over Vegas
Take a journey into the past at the Mob Museum to see the footprints of Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, and mob busters such as Eliot Ness who brought them to justice.
Admission: Adults $18, seniors $14
A breathtaking circus — Cirque du Soleil
There are plenty of shows in Las Vegas, from musicals to top-name singers. One option: Cirque du Soleil on the Strip, with seven different productions from which to choose. Tickets aren’t cheap, though — from $75 to $185 per person.
Among the choices: “Zumanity” — the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil — for $85 a ticket, or “LOVE,” a psychedelic journey through the trends and politics of the ’60s that celebrates the musical legacy of the Beatles ($117).
There’s plenty of free entertainment, too, as you stroll through a city known for its extremes and excesses. Here are a few:
Strolling on the Strip after dark
You haven’t really seen Las Vegas until you experience it at night. This neon wonderland will widen your eyes, stun your senses and steal your soul. Begin at the Luxor hotel and work your way past the incredible properties and their attractions. You’ll pass the gotta-see-it-to-believe-it New York-New York , and you’ll end at Circus Circus, where live acrobatic acts take place overhead while you gamble. Keep your eyes on the table, not in the air! Make plenty of stops en route to see the Mirage volcano erupt, the faux Eiffel Tower and the choreographed water-fountain ballet at the Bellagio. Take in the overhead light show of the Fremont Street Experience, which offers free nightly shows featuring 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of amazing sound.
Eye-popping street theater
“Sirens of TI” is an 18-minute production that combines a phenomenal set, risky high dives and beautiful temptresses. The free outside show is offered daily, weather permitting, at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino at the corner of the Strip and Spring Mountain Road (3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd.).
Check out M&M’s World, where you can visit a rainbow wall that features 22 different M&M’s colors, such as teal, hot pink, lime green, gray and purple — and buy every imaginable M&M souvenir (3785 S. Las Vegas Blvd.).
Still need more chocolate? Try the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Gardens, 10 miles from the Strip. Visitors can see chocolates being made, sample gourmet treats and meander through the maze of paths at the cactus gardens at no charge (2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson).
Your opinion is wanted
Be part of TV research at the CBS Television City Research Center. You can weigh in on the decision-making process by letting your opinions be known about a pilot for a new show or other shows at the CBS Center at MGM Grand. Screenings run every half-hour and last about an hour (3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd.).