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Father and daughter taking selfie in the Gardens

How to spend your day

With 180 acres of scenery, wildlife, exhibits and attractions, it can be a bit tough to figure out where to start on your visit to the Springs Preserve. Below are some suggestions of how to best spend your time here.

I want to spend...

1-2 hours

If you're only visiting us for a short time, you're not going to want to miss the Origen Museum.

  • Traveling exhibit: The Origen Museum is home to our traveling exhibit space, which changes throughout the year. Visit our Events & Activities calendar for information on the latest exhibit.
  • Art exhibit: Our Big Springs Gallery is home to an ever-changing lineup of art exhibits. Visit our Events & Activities calendar for information on the latest exhibit.
  • "Miracle in the Mojave" film: Stop in our Big Springs Theater to watch "Miracle in the Mojave," an 8-minute, cinematic, sensory-surround film that introduces visitors to the Springs Preserve and explores the evolution of Las Vegas.
  • Flash flood exhibit: At one of the Preserve's most popular exhibits, you can feel the rush of 5,000 gallons of recycled water as the awesome power of a desert flash flood is recreated.
  • Animal habitat: Get up close with some of our most famous desert dwellers including Gila monsters, lizards, desert cottontails, a gray fox, a pocket gopher, snakes and scorpions.
  • Cafe and Gift Shop: Enjoy lunch or a refreshing snack in the spacious and relaxing cafe that includes stunning balcony views of the Las Vegas Strip. Before you leave, stop by the Gift Shop located directly below to take home a special memento of your visit.

Half a day

Take in all the sights and sounds of the Origen Museum mentioned above, then explore the following attractions:

  • Boomtown 1905: Meet the faces and places of the past at Boomtown 1905, a re-created historical streetscape. We invite you to stroll the street and learn more about Las Vegas’ humble beginnings through engaging interpretive exhibits.
  • WaterWorks: Touch replicated quagga mussels, look at harmful water contaminants using a microscope, examine rock samples excavated from hundreds of feet below Lake Mead's surface and more at WaterWorks
  • Botanical Garden: With thousands of Mojave Desert and desert-adapted plants, the 8-acre Botanical Garden at the Springs Preserve provides an inviting welcome and inspiration for residents and visitors alike.
  • Butterfly Habitat (seasonal): In this seasonal exhibit (open in the spring and fall), witness the fascinating dance between free-flying butterflies and the plants that sustain them.
  • NV Energy Foundation Sustainability Gallery: Learn about living a more eco-friendly lifestyle through a bevy of interactive exhibits, children's play areas and even an entire house full of sustainable appliances, fixtures and decor!
  • DesertSol: DesertSol is a 754-square foot solar-powered home that showcases innovations in sustainable home design including technology, energy and material choices.
  • Cafe and Gift Shop: Enjoy lunch or a refreshing snack in the spacious and relaxing cafe that includes stunning balcony views of the Las Vegas Strip. Before you leave, stop by the Gift Shop located directly below to take home a special memento of your visit.

The full day

Enjoy all the attractions listed above, plus these special features.

  • Nevada State Museum: Come face-to-face with a 20,000-year-old Columbian Mammoth skeleton, explore a recreated stalactite cave, learn about Nevada mining history, see original Las Vegas showgirl costumes and much more. The Nevada State Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cafe and Gift Shop: Enjoy lunch or a refreshing snack in the spacious and relaxing cafe that includes stunning balcony views of the Las Vegas Strip. Before you leave, stop by the Gift Shop located directly below to take home a special memento of your visit.
  • Trails, Train and Bike Rentals: Explore more than three miles of trails and follow in the footsteps of early explorers as you walk, bike or take a train ride through the very ground that is the birthplace of Las Vegas! Along the way you'll discover desert wetlands, cottonwood groves and interpretive sites that reveal milestones in Las Vegas History.
  • Animal Shows and Activities: On weekends, watch a live animal show in our amphitheater or participate in a drop-in craft activity. Check the calendar for a full schedule of events and programs.
  • Nature Exchange: The Nature Exchange at the Springs Preserve is perfect for budding archaeologists and scientists alike. Designed to encourage responsible and ethical collecting, the program encourages children to bring in shells, rocks, bark, pinecones and more. Points are awarded for their treasured finds and can be banked or exchanged for another item.

Video: How to spend your day

From the flash flood exhibit in the Origen Museum to the beauty of the Botanical Gardens, make your "to-do" list for your next visit with this handy video guide!

Video: Toddler Time

Visiting with very small children? Most of the activities listed here should hold their attention, but be sure to check out our Thursday Toddler Time, which is designed specifically for our tiny friends!