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Visit Old Nevada at Bonnie Springs Ranch when you're in Las Vegas

Updated on March 23, 2011

Family fun near Las Vegas

Las Vegas doesn't have to be all about gambling and burlesque shows. There is actually plenty of things for a family to do in the Las Vegas area. For those of you who feel Red Rock Canyon might be a little too much physical activity and a trip to the Grand Canyon is too far and too expensive, I suggest spending a day in Old Nevada at Bonnie Springs Ranch. This replica of a 19th century mining town has food and entertainment that the whole family will enjoy. It's not just for history buffs, because there's a shootout in the middle of town every day and there's even a petting zoo.

Located in the heart of Red Rock Canyon, Bonnie Springs Ranch has been in operation for nearly 60 years.

Background and info on Bonnie Springs Ranch

Bonnie Springs Ranch was founded in 1843 as a place for wagon trains to stop on their way to California. It's located on what was known as the Old Spanish Trail. The oasis in the desert became a popular stop to buy gear and food before attempting to traverse the rest of the Mojave Desert. The dining is a little less rugged these days, as Bonnie Springs Ranch offers an excellent dining house and a nice little cocktail lounge for mom and dad.

The kids will love the petting zoo here. They've got a lot of native species, but also some non-native species like the Canadian Lynx. They've also got a nice collection of wolves. Bonnie Springs has one of the larger stables of horses in the area, and pony rides for the kids are available.

If you're looking to get away from the bright lights of Vegas for a day or so, you can stay at the motel in Bonnie Springs. It's not as run-down and old-fashioned as you'd imagine. There's even a jacuzzi.

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