Located just off the busy corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Spring Mountain Rd.
right on the Strip, the Mirage with its Tropical ambiance and excellent service
is a long time favorite on the Strip. It’s also home to a couple of amazing
attractions. When you step inside the main entrance you may feel like you’ve
walked into paradise as the soothing sound of a waterfall beneath a 90 foot high
canopy with a series of trees and vegetation invigorates your senses. The atrium
by the front entrance is a short 30 to 40 foot walk and you are in the center of
If you really want to get close to nature you need to walk all the way
through the casino, to the back of the property where you will find the worst
kept secret ever, the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.
This is the closest thing to a real zoo you’ll find on the Strip, more so
even than the Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat or MGM’s Lion Habitat. Admission is
$17 for adults, $12 for children 4 to 12, and free for kids under 3. Hours of
operation vary so contact the hotel ahead of time.
Next to the Mirage pool, this is a true oasis for humans and dolphins alike,
surrounded by palm trees and thick foliage the 2.5 million gallon water tank is
home to a number of dolphins. It’s not just an attraction however, but a
research facility designed to help us learn more about these incredible
creatures. They perform regularly “walking” on their tail over the water as
dolphins do, taking bows, jumping out of the water, and much more. Dolphins are
incredibly intelligent and even answer simple questions from the trainers with a
nod of the head. You get a really close look at the dolphins, and you can get
even closer with the trainer for a day program.
The trainer for a day program actually lets you join the trainers, get in a
wetsuit for a really close look and feed them fish, take pictures and more. You
get to learn all about dolphins’ daily activities, see how they exercise and
everything else trainers must do to ensure the dolphins remain healthy.
In addition to all of the activity at the water’s edge and even in the pools
where the dolphins swim, the habitat also has a number of chairs to lounge in
and spots to buy gifts and snacks.
The Secret Garden
Formerly Siegrfried and Roy’s Secret Garden, the Secret Garden continues its
mission to help endangered animals. While the Secret Garden still concentrates
mainly on the beautiful white lions and tigers you’ll find all kinds of wildlife
here. It is connected to the Dolphin Habitat and tickets are good for admission
at both portions of the attraction.
The garden is lush and secluded and you will almost feel as if you are
actually within a jungle. They have a range of endangered animals from the
popular white lions and tigers to leopards and other cats, and they even have
elephants and giraffes along with smaller animals here and there within the
garden. There is a gift shop as well, and each animals habitat has a plaque
which tells you all about the specific animal.