If you only have 1 day in Vegas and want to get out of the main tourist area, then we have some great plans for you! We spent the majority of the day away from the strip or Fremont Street and wanted to see another side of Las Vegas. As an added bonus you will also see how we like to give gifts in a unique way. This was a full day planned to surprise Gma Bev for her 75th Birthday in Vegas!
Gma Bev lives in Southern Utah, which is about 2 hours north of Vegas. We happened to be visiting in August and staying with my baby sister. My sister and I were trying to figure out what to do for our mom’s upcoming 75th birthday in September. We knew Gma Bev really wanted to go skydiving, so we decided to investigate. The plan was to celebrate her birthday early, so we could be there for the fun too.
Well after some research with the skydiving options, the one company in St. George Utah didn’t have openings for 3 weeks. He said even if he did, because of the altitude and wind, the passenger for a tandem would need to be strong enough to assist with the landing, as they would come in hard. The other operation in Mesquite, didn’t get good reviews and even had a fatal review (for a surprise 75th birthday gift). Well, that knocked that gift idea right out of the ball park. So then we had to get creative.
Let the creativity begin!
We wanted Gma Bev to have her experience with skydiving, without the risks involved. So after some research we decided to let her experience indoor skydiving in Vegas. So we plotted and planned an entire scavenger hunt day of surprises, laughter and goofiness in Vegas for Gma Bev, with the final gift as her indoor skydiving experience.
Mapping it all out
Each of these needed to be mapped out and opening hours or times checked. The entire day needed to run like clockwork, with a little flexibility in the scheduling. There were three destinations, which had appointed times so we needed to work around that schedule. We needed to start the day in Las Vegas at 09:30, with another activity at 14:00 and the final at 17:30. Somehow everything else needed to fit in between without driving back and forth all over the city. We mapped it all out and the map is at the end of the post.
Planning a scavenger hunt day of gifts
We created clues for each gift, which was something unique to do in Vegas, so perfect for cheap Vegas trips. We wanted to go off of the beaten path for and provide many free things to do in Vegas, as well as odd.
So Anya, Karen and I started plotting and planning like little elves. We first needed to figure out the gifts or activities. Next we needed to create crafty clues to present each destination or gift. We enlisted the help of Alan now and then to help us come up with the clues. Then it was all about the packaging or presentation of each clue, so we made a couple of trips to the dollar store for supplies. This was going to be one unique day in Vegas for sure and there is no way Gma Bev would ever guess what we had planned. I must say it was tough to do all of this planning right under her nose, but we managed to pull it off.
Give me a clue
Let’s go through all of the clues with you, maybe you can guess? If not, don’t worry. We have everything listed out below in our 1 Day In Vegas Itinerary – Unique Things To Do list below. Just to give you a heads up, our theme was Old, Dead, Dying, Senile, and everything that goes with it. I think you get the idea and of course Gma Bev just loves good jokes.
Announcement Clue (Saturday night)
The night before our big surprise day, we made a birthday cake for Gma Bev and gave her a note which informed her that she needed to be dressed and ready to head out the door at 07:45 the next morning. She needed to be wearing comfortable clothing with closed toed shoes and be prepared to be gone the entire day and into the night.
Clear your dance card tomorrow from 7:45am – 8:45pm, as the girls will be celebrating your big 75! Yep it is a little early, but we will be so far away for your big day, so be prepared for anything
The morning prep (Sunday morning at 07:45 am)
Karen, Anya and I all escorted Gma Bev out to the car. We opened a little pink bag and dressed her in colored beads, a birthday tiara. We then handed her the first of many little pink gift bags, this on contained a bingo card and bingo dauber. There was also a note telling her to mark things off as her day progressed. These were little funny hints as to what may be in store for her. She had the best time trying to figure it all out and made us all laugh with her guesses.
A little side note about Bingo. We have a long running joke with Gma Bev about going to a community center to do activities and meet people. We tell her it is for people of all ages, she thinks it is only for little old ladies wanting to play bingo, so bingo is a big joke for us. The bingo card is customized to be full of clues for her upcoming day and as she feels something has been completed, she can mark it off. We were flexible with her interpretation.
Once she was all dolled up and prepped it was into the car we go. She had no clue where we were going and we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us, just to get to Las Vegas.
About 30 minutes before arriving in Vegas, we made a little pit stop at the gas station for snacks, drinks and the bathroom. When we returned to the car, we brought out the first clue, concealed in our little pink gift bags. This was our first destination and it was a step back in time. Thanks to Alan for making this clue:
She had the toughest time figuring this out and actually said the answer, but she wasn’t aware of the attraction until we arrived at the Neon Museum. If you want to know where it is, click to see the first attraction in our itinerary.
Her next pink gift bag was presented to her in front of our second destination, which was the Las Vegas Senior Center. We told her she had to get out of the car and go play bingo with the old people. After she got out, we handed her the gift bag and said that was a joke. Inside her bag, she found a daily pill organizer, some GasX gas relief, hemorrhoid cream and the like.
Just a little something to help you sit comfy with all of the other grannies and keeps the toots away. Oh, and remember your pills!
If you want to know where it is, click to see the second attraction in our itinerary.
Her next pink gift bag was presented to her just before we left the Senior Center parking lot. This little gift bag only had a photo of a chess pawn and told her to translate the word “tienda”. It also said that now she is 75, which is considered an antique, so we needed to cash in our antique. It is something you may see on TV.
Yep, we went to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop from Pawn Stars. We parked around the corner and walked over. To accidentally go along with our theme, we parked on Gass street, so that was a bit of a funny. We lucked out and were able to go inside and check it out. I even asked the guy if we could sell her as an antique and he said he doesn’t deal with living antiques. If you want to know where it is, click to see the third attraction in our itinerary.
This time the clue was a bit personal and she had to dig up the past. She had to remember the days of Stan Van or Stan the man. Back in the late 70’s, a family friend was a pinball machine and video game distributor. We had them in our garage, so that was great for a family with 6 kids. She did guess pinball and that is where we headed next! The pinball hall of fame or the pinball museum. If you want to know where it is, click to see the fourth attraction in our itinerary.
This time the packaging was creative, but the clue wasn’t so much. Instead of a pink gift bag, we gave her the clue in a pink Chinese food take out box. Inside was full of dried noodles and a clue that said “Lunch”. So we were off to PF Chang’s for lunch.
After lunch, we had a little treat up our sleeves. Keep in mind it is the middle of August in Las Vegas, so the temps were very hot. Thank goodness for Karen’s nice car with AC and great driving skills!
In the annals of TV history,
There really is no mystery.
An episode with many laughs,
The women working make many gaffes.
The dessert they eat is dark & juicy,
The show is I Love Lucy.
Where were Lucy and Ethel working?
This, of course, was referencing the chocolate factory scene from the I Love Lucy show, way back in the day. She guessed it immediately and we were off to the Chocolate Factory. It was just by some strange stroke of luck or coincidence that the factory’s name was the Ethel M. Chocolate factory. It had nothing to do with I Love Lucy, but she was certain it did. 🙂 She instantly made friends with one of the workers and we were able to see Mars bars being made, followed by free samples of chocolate.
If you want to know where it is, click to see the sixth attraction in our itinerary.
Next was yet another which stumped her. The pink gift bag held a rock, a set of paints, a paint brush and this clue:
Your old passion is now bigger than life, in the grand
scheme of things a little color can make your day.
What is the decade of your life?
What is the amusement park just over the grapevine?
Gma Bev used to love collecting rocks from nature and painting them into amazing things. Sometimes it was french fries, a car or even a shoe, while other times it was an Indian warrior. This destination was a little off of the beaten track and was an art display of massive painted rocks!
If you want to know where it is, click to see the seventh attraction in our itinerary.
Okay with this one, we need to let you in on a little secret. Every so often Gma Bev will zip off to Mesquite to go gambling. She has her favorite casinos, as well as her favorite machines. She loves the slots and claims to know the machines and she can just tell when they are going to pay out. We will give her some credit, she does luck out more often than not.
Back to School to teach an old dog new tricks. Where would you find a flying trapeze, peanuts, and elephants?
We were heading off to the free gaming lessons at Circus Circus. We intentionally selected this time of day to be certain we would have her there for the slot machine lessons, because she already knows everything. She was such a trooper and lasted a good 20 minutes with the private instructor, who was speaking to her as if it was her first time. She went along with it and actually won $10 during her lesson. ha!
If you want to know where it is, click to see the eighth attraction in our itinerary.
Okay the final destination and the final pink gift bag. As we approached the indoor skydiving center, her next gift bag was presented as a piece of paper folded up like a fan. On one side of the paper was an advertisement about a senior living community in Las Vegas, and on the other side was the following clue:
Almost a dream come true, fly high safely old one
If you remember, her dream was to go skydiving, for real! We just couldn’t do it and thought we would get her the next best thing. She was stunned, shocked, excited and a nervous wreck. We told her not to worry as we were going to let Anya go with her! This was a surprise for Anya for her upcoming 13th birthday. So the soon to be 75 and 13 year-olds signed the waivers, listened to the instructions, suited up and flew away!
I think it is safe to say it was an experience of a lifetime and the dream to really skydive may be lower on the bucket list than it once was. As we watched through the window, we just kept seeing her mouth “Oh my god, Oh my god!”. Anya would love to do this again and again, so I am thinking we will need to go back. If you want to know where it is, click to see the ninth attraction in our itinerary.
This indoor skydiving Video is priceless!
Birthday Scavenger Hunt Supplies
If you are looking for any of the supplies, we just bought them at the local dollar store, but you can probably find everything online too. Here are some options for you.
1 Day In Vegas Itinerary – Unique Things To Do
1. Neon Museum
770 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Read more about the Vegas Neon Museum and the sign boneyard.
2. Las Vegas Senior Center (Free attraction)
451 E Bonanza Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89101
3. Gold and Silver Pawn Shop (Free attraction)
713 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Read more about the pawn stars pawn shop here.
4. PF Chang’s
4165 S Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89169
Read more about this location here.
5. Pinball Hall of Fame (Free attraction)
1610 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119
The Pinball Hall of Fame is an attempt by the members of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club to house and display the world’s largest pinball collection, open to the public. A not-for-profit corporation was established to further this cause. The games belong to one club member (Tim Arnold), and range from 1950s up to 1990s pinball machines. Read more about the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.
6. Ethel M. Chocolate Factory (Free attraction)
2 Cactus Garden Dr, Henderson, NV 89014
Read more about visiting the Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas.
7. Seven Magic Mountains (Free attraction)
Temporary art exhibit off of Hwy 15
Follow I-15 S to Sloan Rd (exit 25). Turn left (east) to Las Vegas Boulevard. Drive approximately 7 miles south on Las Vegas Blvd. and the artwork will appear on your left (east). Read more about the 7 Magic Mountains art display off the highway.
8. Gambling Lessons at Circus Circus (Free attraction)
2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Read more about the free gaming lessons on offer at Circus Circus
9. Vegas Indoor Skydiving
200 Convention Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Experience the thrilling sensation of skydiving, without a parachute or airplane, as a 1,000 horsepower motor keeps you soaring through air in America’s original indoor skydiving facility. The propeller turns on and the air begins to flow. You’re floating, flying, free-falling through the air with wind speeds up to 120 mph.
Read more about Indoor Skydiving in Vegas!
If you want to follow our day, it is all mapped out for you below.
As you can see by our list, we didn’t have to spend loads of money to make the day special. Most of the activities were free and if they weren’t we made sure they were special and not too expensive. This was a memorable way to have a gift of indoor skydiving, the neon museum tour, and lunch out. If you like the idea of unique ways to present a gift, you should check out our post. We have so many creative ways to make that special day the best!
What do you think? Would you do something like this?
Pin me for later!
Read more about Gma Bev in Southeast Asia
If you didn’t know Gma Bev also traveled in Southeast Asia with us for a few months. Let’s just say that time was wonderful, stressful and full of Gma Bev moments. Read all about her shenanigans here.
Tours in Las Vegas
If you are looking for more activities or curious about organized tours, then check out the Las Vegas activity deals currently available on Viator: Save up to 40% off tours and activities in Las Vegas.
Hotels in Las Vegas
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