I had been meaning to check the Aliante Nature Discovery Park out (here’s the North Las Vegas Parks and Recreation brochure link), so the invitation from Sarah to meet up there was the perfect excuse. A warning, the Google Maps entry for the park displays the right location but the official address it uses for navigation just takes you to the center of North Las Vegas and leaves you there (it has no street address connected to it, I think it is a glitch). I learned this the hard way. I used to live up in Aliante so it is silly that I found myself being told by the GPS that I was at my destination when I was a number of miles south of it instead. Be sure it input 2627 Nature Park Drive, North Las Vegas, Nevada.
The big draw to the park for us was that it is billed as a Dinosaur park and my kids are still loving dinosaurs. Case in point:
When we arrived I was struck by the beautiful grounds and R has adored birds since he was a baby so the sight of ducks and geese by a large pond made him happy right away. A family was feeding bread to the ducks and suddenly a little boy was standing next to us offering my kids a piece of bread so they, too, could feed the birds. I had to explain that we couldn’t touch the bread because of allergies but it was very sweet of him to offer to share. Momentary PSA: it isn’t ideal to feed bread to birds, a great tip is to feed them frozen peas that have been defrosted (thank you Elizabeth for letting me know about this!).
I saw a photographer taking engagement photos of a couple by this waterfall and I can’t blame them, it is a great backdrop that you’d usually find by a casino, not at a park!
As for the park itself, it is fenced in with one entrance/exit, an important thing considering all the water features surrounding the playground.
There’s a big play tower meant for older children – a number of stairs leading up to slides of different heights. Of course my kids wanted to go there so I took them up just to check it out. They had a smaller play area for little kids but it is hard to argue when this one looks so cool.
The splash pad is small and on a limited rotation (one feature is going at a time pretty much) but it is just enough to cool off on a hot day. My experience has been not much beats the splash pad at Reunion Trails Park, I’ve been spoiled!
There’s a sand pit (well, more like a gravel pit) for uncovering fossils, you can see it to the left in this picture…
…and behind the triceratops in this one.
My favorite moment was when I had E sit inside one of the dinosaur eggs for a picture. She’d just been telling me that she wanted to be a dinosaur the other day so I told her, “Smile! You wanted to not be a mammal, now it is your chance to be in an egg!”
Without missing a beat she replied in a serious voice, “I’m a little dinosaur and dinosaurs don’t smile, Mama.”
Love my little dinosaur. The park is a neat thing to see but my friend Erin (of Dancing Frog Photography) made the great point that for those of us that don’t live near the park it is a trek you’ll only want to make if you’re planning on spending the day there. We were sure to bring our picnic lunch with us but headed home for nap time.