When you think of Las Vegas, you think of the heat and the dry desert, right?  Does a water oasis come to mind?  No, I’m not talking about the day clubs by the mega resort pools on the Las Vegas Strip.  Did you know “Las Vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”?  Las Vegas once had water springs and meadows.  The water attracted travelers, which became settlers, and here we are today (making a long story very short).

Springs Preserve is just that – a springs preserve in Las Vegas, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978. Springs Preserve is the place to visit to explore the valley’s history through interactive science and nature exhibits, botanical gardens, hiking, trails, and live animal shows.  It is home to the Nevada State Museum.  Yes, we have a rich history going back to the Paiute Indians (way before the mob).  There’s more to “Sin City” then just gambling. Springs Preserve is an educational amusement park.  With outdoor event centers, and meeting places.  You can come get married here, attend a concert, or come to a farmer’s market all in one place. This is a place where you learn how to live in the desert, to take care of the desert, and to love the desert for a sustainable future.  Great place for school field trips!  But this past Saturday was my family day here at the Spring Preserve.

We were lucky enough to get a covered parking space.  It was 99° on a mid-April day!  Talk about sustainable energy, how clever was it to cover the covered parking with solar panels?  Solar energy, anyone? Family fun and education on the way!  Springs Preserve opened to the public in 2007 and we’re just now getting around to visiting for our first time. In the Origen Museum, we started with crafts for the kids. We saw birds in the giant rotunda before the Wings Over the Springs show.  And, we enjoyed even bigger birds during the show featuring live falcons, hawks, and owls! Also, in the Origen Museum was the Space: A Journey to Our Future exhibit.  We were able to touch a lunar sample, train like an astronaut, and play with infrared technology. Jumping around the Living Collections was entertaining.  I’m able to jump as far as a fox.  While the hubby is practically a big horn sheep!  The kids were able to watch the zoologists feed the reptiles.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, our local paper, named Springs Preserve “Best Non-Hotel Architecture” in Las Vegas.  Can you see why?  All the buildings are certified green. Lessons of the day: conserve, reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Just in time for Earth Day.

Too much to see, too little time!  For all that was offered at $10 for local adults, and $5 for children, we’ll definitely be back soon.