Vegas Beyond its Casinos

In a city that was designed for entertainment only, it is fitting that there should be more than just one- arm bandits and gaming tables. If you are ever in Sin City, and you do not fancy losing a small fortune to machines and croupiers, check out these other fabulous options

Trippy fun a thousand feet above ground.

This will get your heart pumping way more than the thrill of gambling. You really have to have it in you to freefall off the 108th floor, or stand at the edge of the top of the tower, Batman-style, and dive headfirst towards the inviting concrete 300m below. How about a head-reeling, food-upchucking 3G spin high above the Vegas landscape, or getting shot up 50min the air at 60kmph? Forget the slots and the tables; try the Skyjump, the Insanity, the X-Scream and the Slingshot.

Enjoy the best of the marine world up-close

Armchair wildlife enthusiasts, this one’s for you, where some of the world’s most exotic marine life is brought to you via a 5000cubm aquarium. Even seasoned divers and naturalists might never have seen all the species present here: giant rays, sawfish, 15 species of shark, the rare golden crocodile, varieties of jellyfish, and even the Komodo dragon. For the best effect, stand inside a recreated shipwreck and watch these gorgeous sea-predators swirl all around you.

A fitting tribute to the King of Pop.

All you King of Pop fans, this might be the most flamboyant tribute to the moonwalking master- performer ever, brought to you by the people who know how: the Cirque du Soleil. All of Michael Jackson’s award-winning masterpieces burst to life through dance, jaw-dropping acrobatics, soaring aerialists and world-class visuals. A cast of 63 dancers and performers, backed up by the grand pomp of the Cirque, take you on an audio-visual joyride through the legend’s chequered career.

Tee off at world’s prettiest course, just off the Strip

The golf-tourist in Vegas is wooed and pampered at this 7km long, par-70, 18-hole golf course, with sweeping meadows and cascading waterfalls slap bang in the middle of the Mojave Desert. This Tom Fazio-designed course is conveniently located right off the strip, attached to the fabulous Wynn Resort. Wynn guests get a 90-day advance booking priority, non-guests 30 days. Experience the magic of golf in Vegas, 18 skill-testing holes of great beauty, amidst that unforgettable skyline.

A Museum dedicated to crime and crime-fighters of American legend

An institution dedicated to the founding-fathers of Vegas: the Mob; what better way to pay tribute to those deliciously dangerous times, romanticised and glorified by the movies. Delve into the lives of the legendary Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, Lucky Luciano and John Gotti, and law-enforcement stalwarts like Elliot ‘Untouchable’ Ness, and finally separate truth from fiction. This is the most unembellished and honest depiction of those noir times and the principal characters that dominated it.

A once-a-year chance to sample celebrity-chef cuisine

This annual event, held over Mother’s Day weekend, brings the world’s top chefs and sommeliers together to churn out their creations to lucky Vegas tourists. Cooking demos by Ramsay, Nobu, Guy Savoy, Morimoto and others are held at the MGM Grand, the Bellagio or Caesar’s Palace; this is 4 days of wine-n-dine, from afternoon to night, where a plate of gourmet food and a glass of the best grapes are literally being handed out, guaranteed to convert a philistine into a foodie.

Fun and games in the Mojave Desert

All that desert sand that surrounds Vegas demands that it be used for fun stuff, and these boys at Sun Buggy know how to do just that. Racing ATV’s over desert dunes can be a super fun way to pass your time; if you are not that skilled, they have 8-seater dune-buggies for a gentler experience. No age limit and no fitness or skill level is required, to have a fun-filled afternoon, though speed/thrill junkies can try their hand at jumps and racing each other.

Commemorating the birth of Las Vegas

This is where Vegas started, on the corner of Fremont and Main Street, so in true Vegas-style it is not unusual that they would build a $70 million open-air pedestrian mall stretching seven blocks to commemorate Sin City’s first paved road. Apart from housing casinos, this leviathan is home to live- performance stages where free concerts and special events are held throughout the year, from 6pm to 12am. There is even a museum of Neon, full of legendary hotel signs through the ages.

Learn about the ocean’s favourite mammal

This is your chance to observe up-close a pod of Atlantic Dolphins in the next best thing to their natural habitat: a humongous aquarium with coral reefs and a sandy bottom. Though the main thrust is to increase awareness of these gorgeous mammals, primarily among school children, it is the perfect tourist spot for those tired of the slot machines and poker tables. Also on offer are the famous white tigers and leopards seen in Siegfried and Roy’s legendary Vegas shows.

Enjoy USA’s largest indoor amusement park

While the Strip boils in summer, you can enjoy USA’s largest indoor amusement park full of 25 knuckle- biting, scream-inducing rides in a clement temperature-controlled environment. Try the Canyon Blaster Rollercoaster, with its double loops and corkscrews, the world’s only indoor ‘coaster ride. For a knee- wobbling experience try the aptly-named Chaos, or check your G-force resilience on the Inverter. Kids and adults alike could spend their entire time in Vegas here.