An oasis of a community within the desert of Nevada.
This is a place where you’ll pass rows and rows of cacti and palm trees, where the gorgeous terracotta roof tiles sparkle in the sun, and where the rhythm of life revolves around working in harmony with the scorching temperatures, not against them.
The skies are open, the neighborhoods range from quiet and tranquil to thriving and diverse, and the the big city lights are nearby.
And yet, Henderson is a world and community all its own, with its own culture, shops, restaurants, and events.
It stands adjacent to Las Vegas, but it refuses to let itself be overshadowed by it!
Whether you’re coming to Henderson on work, business, or visiting family and friends who live there, this guide to the best things to do in Henderson, Nevada will help you plan your itinerary and not miss out on the best things to do in this All-American city.
What to Pack for Your Trip to Henderson
When it comes to packing, it depends on the season you’re visiting Henderson.
However, a basic guide is to ensure you have:
- a sturdy travel backpack like this one to hold your belongings each day
- a reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated in the summer heat
- and of course some walking shoes like these that will keep the blisters away as you explore!
Looking for things to do with kids in Henderson, Nevada?
Getting around Henderson
Don’t forget that it’s much easier to see Tuscaloosa by car so you can get around on your own.
Rental cars are perfect if you’re flying into the area.
Where to Stay in Henderson
There are a few considerations when it comes to booking somewhere to stay in Henderson, including budget and what part of the city you want to be in.
Here are a few suggestions of where to stay in Henderson with your family or significant other, broken down by budget.
Budget: Splashing Out ($250+ per night)
If you’re planning a longer stay in Henderson or just want to make sure you’re really comfortable, the Residence Inn offers stunning studios, with the smallest ones coming in at a whopping 400+ square feet.
You can get pool views, mountain views, courtyard views and more, and all suites have a full kitchen.
If you’re in the mood for swimming, there’s an on-site pool and sun deck, as well as a hot tub area.
During your luxurious stay, you’ll also be able to enjoy hot breakfast every morning, a gym, and a business center.
Budget: Mid-Range ($150 – $250 per night)
An 18 minute drive from Vegas and a 2 mile drive from the Henderson Pavilion, SpringHill Suites Henderson is a great place to stay if you want a sleek and modern hotel with amenities like kitchenettes and desks in the rooms.
There’s also a gorgeous indoor swimming pool, and sleek eating areas to enjoy your breakfast before you head off for the day.
The area is safe, quiet, and our most recommended hotel for families in Henderson.
Budget: Uh…on one! ($150 or less per night)
Just a short drive from south Las Vegas, the Homewood Suites by Hilton are a great budget option when you want a safe and comfortable hotel without the price tag.
These are studios with microwaves and seating areas, making it great for a longer term stay, and there’s a free hot breakfast and an outdoor swimming pool.
Visitors rate the employees extremely friendly in this location, which is a great perk!
1. Lion Habitat Ranch
If you’re into big cats, the Lion Habitat Ranch is a fantastic educational zoo and conservation area which features some of the savannah’s most fearless creatures.
The lions here have retired from their days in Las Vegas and come to the sanctuary to be treated like royalty, complete with regular feedings of everything they love and around the clock care by caretakers who are dedicated to their welfare.
During your visit, you’ll also learn about other animals like giraffes.
It’s truly the opportunity of a lifetime to get up close to the “big cats” and learn how Keith Evans, the owner of the ranch, has been saving and caring for them for decades.
Bring your binoculars to these gorgeous walking trails to spot the incredible birds that live here both permanently and temporarily.
It’s one of the best spots for birding in southern Nevada, and you can also see some fluttering dragonflies!
There are over 100 acres of habitat and land including marsh and scrub, as well as open ponds that attract birds looking for some refreshment in the desert landscape.
You can wander around the trails at your own pace and spend as much time as you like, and the Visitor Center will be more than happy to help explain where the most recent activity has been so you can head straight to the popular spots.
3. Cowabunga Bay Water Park
Just a short drive from Henderson City Center is one of the coolest water parks in the area!
Not only can you spend the day at Cowabunga Bay floating down the lazy river, taking a dip in the shaded pool or plunging down exciting waterslides, but there’s also plenty of options for food on-site, including ice cream shacks and funnel cakes!
The water park is primarily open during the warmer months, when you’ll be desperate for some cool water on your skin, but it does host events throughout the year to keep you refreshed.
4. The District at Green Valley Ranch
Ready for some upscale shopping and dining?
Head to The District at Green Valley Ranch, where you can stop in boutique shops as well as popular names like Bath and Body Works and Pottery Barn.
There are also plenty of places to eat including P.F. Chang’s, Panera Bread, and Shake Shack.
You can come here to get your nails done, get your workout on in a spin class, or to get the kid’s pictures taken with Santa or the Easter Bunny seasonally.
This is some of the best shopping in Henderson, Nevada and you should add it to your list for a fun afternoon out!
5. Bowl of Fire
Within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the Bowl of Fire, a stunning display of natural rocks that seem to burn bright red.
The Aztec sandstone found here can also be pink, orange, and a few other hues that create a gorgeous landscape.
This is a less frequented hike, so make sure to take precautions and follow the signage closely, and bring a device with GPS along, too!
You can also drive to a small parking lot near the Bowl of Fire after paying the entrance fee to the recreation area.
6. Las Vegas Distillery
Whether you want to attend Distillery school to learn how to make vodka, moonshine, and more, or you just want a tasting of some of the Las Vegas Distillery‘s premier products, this is a must-do for adults wanting a day out near Henderson!
The Distillery is Nevada’s first craft distillery and has an intriguing history that involves pushing the state to finally allow distilleries in the state to allow business owners to pursue their dreams of brewing their own craft beers and producing their own liquor.
The Distillery is currently closed for renovations, so be sure to follow their Facebook page for updates on reopening!
7. Clark County Heritage Museum
You’ll get to wander down streets featuring the aforementioned historic houses, as well as see a recreated ghost town and explore exhibits featuring everything from the first Native American settlers to the mining industry.
The museum is run by Clark County and is a fantastic thing to do in Henderson with kids.
8. The M Resort Spa & Casino
Gambling and Nevada go hand in hand, and that includes the illustrious M Resort.
This hotel and casino has been voted one of the top hotels in the world and features over 90,000 square feet of casino space.
In addition to a wide variety of slots and table games that could keep you occupied for hours, there are also fantastic amenities like a refreshing outdoor pool and restaurants run by world-renowned chefs.
There’s also regular entertainment, including live music and performances, and don’t forget to book a day at the luxurious spa and salon for a bit of pampering!
9. Emerald Island Casino
Another popular casino in Henderson is Emerald Island Casino, which features an on-site restaurant, popular slot games, video gaming, and 24-hour service.
This is a great place to stay, or just drop in when you’re looking to have some fun with friends.
Be sure to come hungry so you can experience great-tasting food fresh from their own BBQ smoker!
10. Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area
This is one of the best free things to do in Henderson, NV for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike!
At over 40,000 acres, this national conservation area is a true gem near Henderson and features the most important cultural and historic parts of southern Nevada.
On your visit to Sloan Canyon, you’ll definitely want to see the Petroglyph Site, which is made up of 300 rock panels and designs that have come from native cultures in the area.
This is a true rugged area, so be prepared for gorgeous views along with untouched wilderness.
Hiking trails help you get to the Petroglyph Site, and be sure to keep an eye out for local wildlife – like jackrabbits!
11. Bad Beat Brewing
The craft beer at Bad Beat Brewing is the stuff of Henderson legend, and the friendliness of the staff seals the deal for many locals who want to enjoy Henderson’s brew scene.
In addition to taking in the industrial atmosphere, you can also get lost in some on-site games and 90s-themed decor that will take you back in time.
Ask the staff for their recommendations on the best IPAs and other drinks to make sure you’re getting a true Henderson experience.
12. Lake Las Vegas Resort
Here, you can relax and enjoy the walks around the lake, as well as water rentals in the summer months that include paddle boards, jet skis, and kayaks.
There’s also great golf, a wonderful spa, and restaurants with mouth-watering food either on the property or nearby, so you can make a day or a whole weekend of a visit to this peaceful area.
13. Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ
This Henderson dining location is part of a larger chain, but it’s a top spot for BBQ in Henderson and delicious all the same!
You’ll feast on the baby back ribs, pulled pork nachos, macaroni and cheese, or other delicacies.
And of course, don’t forget a refreshing side of watermelon!
This is a BBQ place where you’re expected to get messy, as evidenced by the hot towels provided after you finish to wash off all the evidence.
14. River Mountains Loop Trail
Starting east of Henderson, the River Mountains Loop Trail consists of 34 miles of recreational trails that take you past landmarks like the Hoover Dam, Boulder City, and other parts of the Las Vegas Valley.
Walkers, runners and cyclists are all welcome on this paved trail – and so are their dogs!
This beautiful trail is a relatively new addition to the Henderson area, as it opened in 2012 after communities came together to try and bring this outdoor space to local residents.
The trailheads in Henderson can be found here.
15. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
This US National Recreational Area is located in Nevada and Arizona, and includes both Lake Mead and the smaller Lake Mohave.
From hiking to boat tours to land tours full of gorgeous rock formations, there is plenty to do to fill a day trip or an entire weekend or longer trip within this area.
Don’t miss the Visitor Center, which has a scaled map of the entire area as well as educational films and resources to help get you excited about your exploration!
16. Rio Secco Golf Club
Golfers, listen up!
Ready to try your hand at your gold game through high plateaus and steep canyons?
Rio Secco Golf Club is for you.
This award-winning golf course with views of Las Vegas has been open to the public since 1997, and it consistently offers incredible opportunities for leisure golfers and beyond!
Don’t miss the chance to learn from Butch Harmon (regarded as the #1 golf teacher in the world!) through the Butch Harmon School of Golf.
17. The Revere Golf Club
Another excellent location to tee up in Henderson is The Revere Golf Club.
This premier golf destination boasts two remarkable 18-hole courses, offering golfers an exhilarating experience.
Prepare to be captivated by panoramic vistas of the iconic Las Vegas skyline and majestic mountains!
Afterward golfing, unwind at the newly renovated Buckman’s Grille and browse the well-stocked golf shop for mementos.
The Revere Golf Club guarantees an unforgettable Las Vegas golf vacation for players of all levels.
18. Todd’s Unique Dining
What makes Todd’s Dining unique?
Firstly, the menu rotates week to week and day to day based on what’s seasonal and fresh, so you’re always in for a surprise and delicious dishes thoughtfully prepared.
The menu won’t be large, but that’s the point – you can’t go wrong with anything on the specially curated menu!
Secondly, the service is incredible and focuses on making sure you have a personalized dining experience, right down to the wine pairings.
This is a great place to go when you’ve got the whole family together for a celebration (though they ask that children under the age of 3 wait until they’re a bit older to dine).
19. Sky Combat Ace
If you’re ready for extreme thrills, Sky Combat Ace is the place to go!
This once-in-a-lifetime experience puts you in the pilot’s seat of a fighter plane.
No flight experience? No problem!
With the help of a trained flight instructor, you’ll zoom through the sky with ease, and even do some thrilling maneuvers!
Sky Combat Ace is trained in safety and will never let you do anything that they deem to be unsafe.
Plus, the planes are equipped with dual controls, so the flight instructors are always able to take the reins if need be.
Don’t forget your flight jacket as you embark on this exhilarating “Top Gun” experience!
20. Cornerstone Park
Want a relaxing walk through a park in Henderson?
Cornerstone Park is just the place.
With lots of trails, picnic spots, a lake, and basketball and volleyball courts, this is a top family spot to enjoy time together being active outdoors.
It’s a popular place to hold events in Henderson, from cross country competitions to birthday parties.
For some of the best seafood around and a welcoming family-friendly atmosphere, look no further than King’s Fish House.
This Henderson restaurant features everything from halibut to crab to BBQ shrimp, and the fun and funky atmosphere inside will lift your spirits and give the kids lots to look at after they’ve chosen what they want off of the fantastic kid’s menu.
22. The Dollar Loan Center
Experience a captivating fusion of modernity and medieval charm at the Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, NV.
This state-of-the-art venue, developed in partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights, offers a thrilling array of entertainment.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of its Modern Medieval theme as you cheer on the Henderson Silver Knights (AHL) or the Vegas Knight Hawks (indoor football).
From heart-pounding sporting events to electrifying concerts, the Dollar Loan Center transports you to a realm where modern amenities seamlessly blend with medieval aesthetics.
Prepare to be enthralled by an extraordinary entertainment experience that merges the best of both worlds.
23. Henderson Multigenerational Center
Experience a world of active and engaging opportunities at the Henderson Multigenerational Center.
This dynamic facility caters to all ages and interests, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
Challenge yourself on the exhilarating rock wall (available for ages 8 and up), test your basketball skills on the court, or pedal your way to fitness in the indoor cycling area.
The center also features a game room for endless fun, a well-equipped fitness center to meet your exercise goals, and an adult lounge with a cozy reading area and a kitchenette for relaxation and socializing.
Make a splash at the aquatic complex, complete with three pools to accommodate all levels of swimmers.
With its multitude of amenities and welcoming atmosphere, the Henderson Multigenerational Center is the ultimate destination for active living, recreation, and community connection in Henderson, NV.
24. Henderson Symphony Orchestra
Immerse yourself in the captivating world of music with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra.
From stunning classical masterpieces to dynamic contemporary performances, this esteemed orchestra offers a diverse range of musical experiences.
Be transported by the rich harmonies and timeless elegance of classical compositions while also enjoying the thrill of contemporary pieces that push the boundaries of musical expression.
With free concerts and events held at various venues, including the Dollar Loan Center, Lake Las Vegas, and local schools, the Henderson Symphony Orchestra brings the joy of live music to the community.
Experience the magic of their performances and be inspired by the artistic excellence and boundless creativity of this extraordinary ensemble.
25. Sunset Station Hotel and Casino
Looking for fun things to do in Henderson, NV?
Immerse yourself in a world of entertainment and luxury at Sunset Station Hotel and Casino!
There, you’ll discover a wealth of amenities and attractions that will delight guests of all ages and interests.
Try your luck at the vibrant casino floor, featuring classic gambling options and fun games like bingo.
Traveling with little ones? Enjoy family time at the bowling alley, or take advantage of Kids Quest, the hotel’s play center, where your children will enjoy games, a playground, karaoke and more under the responsible supervision of the staff.
Take in live concerts and events at the impressive Amphitheater, or enjoy a more intimate venue on the Side Lawn.
Thirsty? Indulge in delicious drinks and soak up the stunning Spanish architecture at the Gaudi Bar, with its mosaic ceiling that adds a touch of artistry to your experience.
Sunset Station Hotel and Casino offers an unforgettable escape with endless entertainment possibilities, making it one of the most fun things to do in Henderson, NV.
26. Ethel M Chocolates Factory & Cactus Garden
Delight your taste buds and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at Ethel M Chocolates Factory & Cactus Garden in Henderson, Nevada.
Take a fascinating tour of the chocolate factory and witness the artistry behind the creation of these delectable treats.
Indulge in the rich flavors of handcrafted chocolates and experience the sweet aroma that fills the air.
After your factory tour, wander through the enchanting Botanical Cactus Garden, where you’ll encounter a stunning collection of over 300 different species of desert plants.
Marvel at the vibrant colors and unique shapes of cacti, succulents, trees and shrubs while enjoying a peaceful stroll amidst the natural beauty.
Whether you’re a chocolate connoisseur or a nature enthusiast, Ethel M Chocolates Factory & Cactus Garden offers a delightful blend of flavors and captivating sights for a truly memorable experience.
27. The Mine Experience
Families with younger kids will definitely want to plan ahead for a visit to The Mine Experience in Henderson, Nevada.
Mark your calendar for the first Saturday of the month, when this rare and unique attraction opens its doors to the public.
Explore the state’s only simulated underground gold mine and immerse yourself in the rich mining history of the region.
Discover fascinating surface exhibits and visit the beautiful Visitor’s Center, where you can learn more about the captivating world of mining.
Kids especially will love the chance to pan for gold, a popular attraction available for an additional fee.
Don’t forget to stop by the Train Caboose Gift Shop before you leave to find a special memento from your visit!
28. The Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum
Looking for fun things to do near Henderson, NV?
Just 11 miles away, in Boulder City, you’ll find the captivating Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum.
Immerse yourself in the history and engineering marvel of the iconic Hoover Dam.
Discover the fascinating stories behind its construction and the impact it had on the region, and marvel at the ingenuity and dedication of the people involved in this monumental project.
You’ll also learn about the settlers of Boulder City, and come to understand how intricately linked the Hoover Dam is to the city’s history.
Free and open year-round, stop by for an hour or two and gain a deeper appreciation for this engineering masterpiece that continues to inspire awe.
And if you’re a real history enthusiast, consider booking a night or two at the Historic Boulder Dam Hotel!
29. Grape Expectations
Unleash your inner winemaker at Grape Expectations in Henderson, NV.
This unique experience invites you to embark on a nine-month journey that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of the art of winemaking.
Through four hands-on sessions, you’ll learn the intricate process from grape to bottle, guided by knowledgeable experts.
Plan your visits to Henderson around the wine-making season to fully immerse yourself in this rewarding endeavor.
Only in town for a day or two? Be sure to check Grape Expectations’ events page for exciting opportunities!
Don’t miss the annual Bacchus Awards, a spectacular summer event where you can indulge in an exquisite buffet and savor unlimited wine tastings.
Each year, the event has a super fun theme, and inspired outfits are highly encouraged!
From an alluring Masquerade Ball, to the lively ambiance of “Bacchusville” (a playful homage to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville), to 2023’s nostalgic 80s theme, the event embraces creativity and adds an extra layer of excitement to the festivities.
30. Have Some Quiet Time at the Library
Looking for indoor things to do in Henderson, NV?
Escape into a world of knowledge and tranquility at the Henderson libraries!
Discover the serene oasis of Green Valley Library, a new and pristine space that invites you to explore its extensive collection and find your next literary adventure.
For those seeking a cozy ambiance, the James I. Gibson Library offers a charming setting where you can curl up with a good book and let your imagination soar.
And if you’re in the mood for a refreshing break, visit Paseo Verde Library, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee at the inviting café while delving into the pages of your favorite novel.
Whether you’re seeking inspiration, a quiet retreat, or simply a place to unwind, Henderson’s libraries provide the perfect haven for book lovers and seekers of tranquility alike.
31. Attend a Festival
Immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of Henderson by attending its lively festivals throughout the year – one of the most fun things to do in Henderson, NV!
Dog lovers will want to visit in February for Bark in the Park, a delightful gathering where you can enjoy a fun-filled day with your furry friends.
In April, the Henderson Reads Book Festival is a great way to spark young readers’ imaginations, and you’ll find a spectacular assortment of local artisans at the Art Festival of Henderson in May.
Immerse yourself in a world of colorful diversity and acceptance at Henderson Pride Fest, held every summer in June.
Come September, get ready to groove at the Henderson Blues Fest, and October is sure to entice car enthusiasts of all ages with Henderson Hot Rod Days!
As winter approaches, embrace the enchantment of WinterFest in December, a magical celebration filled with sparkling lights, festive music, and joyful activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Each festival offers a unique and memorable experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and create cherished memories in the heart of Henderson.
For a full list of all the exciting festivals and events in Henderson, NV, check out their official city website!
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