Tag Archives: Las Vegas

Lions in Las Vegas

Bentley

Today’s #FridayFieldTrip was a visit to the Lion Habitat in Henderson, NV.  It was wonderful to hear lions roar–once one big cat sounds off, others follow and the sound is amazing.

The facility is incredibly clean, although you do have to watch so you don’t get sprayed by the cats who back up to the edge of their cages and urinate.

The volunteers and staff and very knowledgeable and happy to answer any and all questions. They also seemed just as amazed and in awe of their charges as the visitors.

Many of these lions were part of the MGM’s habitat, which closed a few years ago. But, they’re not show cats. While hand fed, they aren’t trained to do tricks and they still have their teeth and claws.

It was very cool spending the afternoon with these majestic beasts. They’re way bigger than I imagined. I mean, I knew they’d be big. I’ve seen them on TV and in the movies. But, until you’re standing a few feet away, you just don’t get it. The massive paws and huge heads.

At one point, while being fed, for a brief moment, two of the youngest cats squabbled. The sound and energy of that moment brought a hint of fear to my soul. Not for them, but for me. Not that I was actually in any danger, but it triggered some deep seated instinct of fear when I heard those angry roars–like our house cats on massive steroids, or something. Silly, I know.

And, then there’s Ossie, the only giraffe in Nevada. He’s cool and interesting and, well, he paints. Their tongues are amazing, like a finger. The handler said their tongues grow an inch in length for every foot the animal grows in height. Ossie is only three years old. So, he’ll grow another 10 or so feet in height. Ossie’s paintings are actually pretty cool and available for purchase in the little gift shop.

It was a very nice day at the ranch. I’ve been seeing signs and wanting to visit for some time and my only regret is that I waited this long to go there. Locals get an entrance fee discount, which is always nice.

The habitat is only open from 11-3 a few days a week. Visit their website for more details.

Clark County Museum

20161118_132225This week’s #FridayFieldTrip was a visit to the Clark County Museum. In addition to the expected, old-fashioned dioramas explaining the history of Clark County, NV–from geologic forces to modern times–this is a unique place because of Heritage Street.

What’s Heritage Street? It’s a collection of historic houses and buildings that have been donated, moved to the museum, and then restored. Each home represents an historic period (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s). There’s also an old printing house, complete with presses, a barn, an old train depot, train cars, a caboose, and lots of old farm equipment.

20161118_142218The homes, outfitted with furnishings and personal items representing the given era, are both cool and a little creepy. I couldn’t help but envision those homes that were built in the testing area and then blown up. Those had mannequins, too.

There’s also an old ghost town with a combination of original and replica buildings.

There’s also a half-mile nature trail and a stage with a grassy, tree-shaded area for events, although nothing special was going on while I was there.

It’s worth noting that they change the displays and currently their gearing up for the holidays with lights, wreathes, dreidels, and trees.

And, the staff is incredibly nice.

Town and Country

20161014_142636This week’s #FridayFieldTrip was to the art exhibition, Town and Country from Degas to Picasso at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. This collection is traveling out of the Boston Museum and is a lovely show that contrasts country and city life through art from about 1880 to the 1920s.

It was great spending time with Picasso, Renoir, Degas, and Monet (and lots of others). There’s something about spending time in and near brilliance and genius that makes me happy.

The show is also well curated through the audio program that’s available as part of admission.

So often the Bellagio Art Gallery shows feel like over-priced experiences, but not this time. The local resident admission price of $15 was well worth the experience. And, on the Friday Field Trip afternoon, the place was busy, but not too crowded to enjoy the paintings.

20161014_152905Of course, while at the Bellagio Casino, I also wandered through the Conservatory. Great fall colors in pumpkins and mums, oversized bears and squirrels, the talking tree that remains rather creepy, and lots of other plants and flowers.