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Boulder’s Best: Great places to play tourist at home

With the arrival Friday, June 21, of summer, the time when many people take vacations and travel, it’s also a great opportunity for those in Boulder City to play tourist in their town. To help residents decide where to go and what to do, we here at the Boulder City Review have compiled a list of places in town to play tourist. This list provides a variety of options and is not exhaustive.

Tom Devlin’s Dinosaur Adventure, 1603 Boulder City Parkway

Tom Devlin’s Dinosaur Adventure offers children of all ages and their parents a chance to have some prehistoric fun. The indoor attraction opened about five months ago and includes a playground with games and slides, a fossil dig, merry-go-round, sandbox and two rideable life-size dinosaurs.

Employee Robert Kern III said Sophie, a triceratops, and TJ, a tyrannosaurus rex, are available for children and adults to ride. Sophie roars while she walks around, and TJ stays in one place but moves his head, arms and tail up and down.

“They hold up to 300 pounds, so parents can ride with them,” he added.

Also, there is a Raptor-Go-Round ride for smaller children.

Admission is $10 and includes unlimited rides and playtime. Children 2 and younger are free. Socks need to be worn, but they are available to buy if people forget to bring them.

Lola Devlin, business partner and Tom’s wife, said they created the space to have somewhere kids wanted to go with their parents. They also own Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum a few doors away from the dinosaur adventure.

“Sometimes the younger kids are too scared to enjoy the experience,” she said about the museum. “Having two young kids of our own, we really wanted to create a place where going to work with mom and dad was something they could really look forward to.”

The adventure is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, 1310 Boulder City Parkway

Special makeup effects artist Tom Devlin opened this spooky and fun museum almost two years ago. Its mission is to preserve the art and history of special makeup effects and showcase Devlin’s art, props and monster creations from horror films and television shows including “Child’s Play,” “Puppet Master” and “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”

The museum also hosts actor and industry professional signings. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $13, and children 10 and younger get in free.

Go to www.tomdevlinsmonstermuseum.com for more information about the museum and special tour availability.

Sheep spotting at Hemenway Valley Park, 401 Ville Drive

Not only does Boulder City’s Hemenway Valley Park give residents a view of Lake Mead, it also gives them an up-close and personal look at the bighorn sheep that come down from the nearby mountains to water and graze. There is no set schedule for their arrival, but they are known to frequent the park and its surrounding areas at different times of the day and the year, especially during the summer as food becomes scarcer in the mountains.

Hemenway Valley Park contains approximately 10 acres, and with the wildlife, it has a playground, gazebos, basketball courts, horseshoe pits and lighted tennis courts and softball fields.

Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, 1305 Arizona St.

Inside the Boulder Dam Hotel lies the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, a place dedicated to preserving, interpreting, curating and communicating the histories of Hoover Dam and Boulder City.

It is open seven days a week and contains 3D interactive exhibits and displays about life in Ragtown, how the dam was built and what life was like for those who lived in Boulder City when it was founded.

Admission is free to the museum, but visitors can leave donations. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is a gift shop and a theater open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Nevada State Railroad Museum, 601 Yucca St.

The Nevada State Railroad Museum is the only place in Boulder City and one of the few places in the state where people can interact with real trains.

The outdoor pavilion has four operational locomotives and several others on display for people to walk around and experience. Admission is free, and it is open everyday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

People can ride the trains during the weekend.

From Wednesday, June 26, through Sept. 2 the museum will offer train rides on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets for adults and children ages 12 and older are $10. Children ages 4-11 are $5, and children 3 and younger are free. The rides last approximately 35 minutes.

Lake Mead Cruises, 490 Horsepower Cove Road

Spending time on Lake Mead, right outside of town, is another way residents can play tourist in their backyard. Lake Mead Cruises offers a variety of boat tours throughout the day on its boat, the Desert Princess.

The boat is a paddle-wheeler with three levels and is certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry 275 passengers and 10 crew members. It has two climate-controlled enclosed decks for visitors to escape the summer heat. There is an open promenade deck.

The sights along the tour include Fortification Hill, an extinct volcano, and the Arizona Paint Pots, colorful igneous rock formations. Ticket prices and cruise schedules vary. Go to www.lakemeadcruises.com for more information.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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