Friday, January 05, 2007

The Mirage

Next on the list of fun and free things to do in Vegas is to tour the Mirage.

As mentioned on my last post, the Volcano in the front of the property is a fun watch. It has been, as the Mirage describes it, a signature attraction since the resort opened in 1989. The three acre feature is 54 feet high and circulates almost 120,000 gallons of water per minute.

At the top of each hour from 8pm (7 pm spring, 6 pm winter) to midnight, the earth rumbles and flames shoot from the waterfalls and the top of the mountain. The whole show lasts less than 5 minutes and it doesn’t draw much of a crowd, but that just means that you can show up right on the hour to see a nice slice of Vegas.

From the volcano, move up the sidewalk to the front entrance. There you will leave the desert of Las Vegas and step into a lush tropical rainforest. Under the 100 foot domes live palm trees, orchids, bromeliads, and more than 100 different types of plants. A waterfall and meandering stream fill the air with a feeling of peace and quiet that is rare on the strip.

Once you’ve soaked up the rainforest, continue ahead and to the left past the deli and shops to the white tiger habitat. The magnificent animals are on display behind a glass wall in an environment that is modeled after their natural habitat.

You may also want to swing by the front desk of the Mirage to check out the aquarium. It is a little better than the glass box you had as a kid. This 53 foot long 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium is home to angelfish, buffer fish, tangs, and more than 1000 coral reef animals from around the world.

The Mirage also features Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat. I have not seen this attraction, but I have heard that it is very nice. It does not fit into the theme of this post as admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children from 4-12. The Mirage website specifies that children under 4 are free when accompanied by an adult. I guess that has a problem with 3 year olds hanging out around the tigers all day. :)

My next post will hit the highlights of the Forum Shoppes at Caesar’s Palace. It's not just about shopping. Stay tuned.

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