3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd
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 the casino.
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.