Lions, and Tigers, and....Dolphins?

1:12:00 PM

While planning our trip to Las Vegas, I had mapped out several items of interest that my daughter and I could explore while my husband was at his conference each day.  Once we arrived in Las Vegas and I took into account the heat and distance each place was from our hotel, my plans quickly changed.  Instead of exploring a lot of the attractions beyond the Las Vegas strip, we decided to concentrate on the indoor attractions each hotel offered.

So on our first solo day, we decided to visit The Mirage, which was about a 20 minute walk from  Paris Las Vegas, where we were staying.   There we were interested in seeing the Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, which boasted coming face to face with bottlenose dolphins and white lions and tigers.

As with all hotel attractions in Vegas, you could not access the gardens from outside the hotel, you had to walk through the hotel and casino.  Fortunately there were signs throughout to guide you.

With entrance being $22 for adults and $17 for children, it can get a little pricey, so I suggest researching ahead of time for discount tickets either online, or by grabbing coupons from vendors that walk around the hotels each day.  It will save you a little bit of money.

A word of caution, as you walk into the exhibit there will be people there asking you to pose in front of a green screen.  If you value your dignity, you will pass.  I did not, therefore my daughter talked me into buying these cheesy souvenirs at the gift shop.  

But we laugh every time we look at them, so it's all worth it in the end.

Another way we saved money was by not participating in the $500 Trainer For a Day package.   It was tempting to sign up for it, but when I saw that it included only an express pastry breakfast and not a hearty bacon and egg breakfast, I decided to pass.

So instead we hung around the trainer pool for a little while, watching the demo they gave on training a dolphin to follow certain commands.  It's not a scripted show so guests can get pretty close to the action.

After the demo, which is given twice an hour, we walked around the underwater observation area.

And then it was on to my favorite part of the habitat...the pool where the young dolphins were playing with big beach balls.  It was cute and it looked like they were having a lot of fun.  We were also up close and personal, so it gave us and other guests a chance to interact with the dolphins whenever they would toss the ball over the wall.

I mean, who wouldn't love to play catch with a dolphin?

I could have sat and watched them all day!

We had a drink and snack here, and then moved on to the lion and tiger exhibit, where everyone was sleeping in the shade.  Even though they were all sleeping, they were beautiful to look at.

Another really cool thing about several of the hotels along the Strip is the free shows they put on at night.  Most people only think about the fountains at the Bellagio, but we were surprised to find out about others, like the Volcano at The Mirage.

The spectacular volcano brings both pedestrian and automobile traffic to a halt as fireballs explode and flames shoot way up into the air.  The best place to view it, of course, is right in front.  But that tends to get rather toasty there, and my daughter did not want to be that close, so we viewed it from the porch of the Venetian after we went on our gondola ride.

And that was our experiences at The Mirage.  Don't forget to follow me on Facebook or subscribe to follow our next adventure!

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