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Nellis Air Force Base

Las Vegas, Nevada

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There are so many activities for each and every military base that we’re asking for your help and listing them.  So please tell us what you think the next person PCSing to your location should know about activities on or off base for you and your family. 

The University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) sponsors several outstanding cultural series each year.  The Master Series features world-class orchestras, solo artists and dance companies.  The Las Vegas Symphonic and Chamber Music Society is a professional, resident orchestra.  Members perform both traditional and contemporary classical concerts.

The UNLV Department of Theatre Arts features a variety of theatrical productions.  Nevada Dance Theater provides a regular season of professional ballets, which include traditional and avant-garde offerings.  Complementing the UNLV dance troupes in the Las Vegas community is the Las Vegas Civic Ballet.  Additionally, there are five ethnic dance organizations in Southern Nevada which teach and perform folk dances from all over the world.

Jazz is a big part of the musical life in Las Vegas.  Weekly jam sessions and seasonal jazz concerts sponsored by the Las Vegas Jazz Society are available free or at a reasonable cost.  Other jazz musical groups provide music to the Las Vegas community.

The Nevada State Museum, with displays of prehistoric, Indian and pioneer Nevada, complements the Las Vegas Art Museum in cultural offerings and is located in Lorenzi Park.  Las Vegas and the surrounding communities are a recreational wonderland, with both indoor and outdoor activities.

Indoor activities available throughout the city include swimming, racquetball, billiards, ice skating, ice hockey, roller skating, wrestling, martial arts, table tennis, gymnastics, aerobics, squash, handball, basketball, volleyball, fencing and soccer.

Outdoor activities know no bounds, with a lake 30 minutes from the heart of Las Vegas.  Lake Mead is the reservoir created when Hoover Dam was built to tame the raging Colorado River.  The Colorado River, flowing into Lake Mead from the lower reaches of the Grand Canyon, has created the largest national recreation area in the United States.  Nearly perfect year-round weather conditions make Lake Mead one of the favorite water-ski lakes in the west.  Sun-warmed waters and literally hundreds of isolated coves make conditions ideal for the boater.

Recreation on Lake Mead has another face in the sport fishing enjoyed by hundreds of thousands yearly.  Various bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill are found in every part of this 250 square-mile reservoir, and there is no closed season on fishing.  This area also abounds in recreation facilities installed and maintained by the National Park Service.  This includes 10 boat launching areas, numerous campgrounds, picnic areas and marinas.

Mountains capture the whole Las Vegas Valley community with their stark beauty and an abundance of outdoor activities.  At Lee Canyon, families can ski, sled or relax by a fire.  Hike and camp by the breath-taking views at Lee Canyon and Mount Charleston.  Just 20 minutes west of Las Vegas is one of the finest rock climbing areas in the West, known for its exquisite scenery.  Red Rock Canyon and the Spring Mountain Ranch afford families hours of hiking, with natural colors often compared to the Painted Desert.  Spring Mountain Ranch provides a chance for children to see blacksmith shops and pet cows and horses.

In the summer, families picnic and relax in the meadow, as they watch theatrical performances under the stars.  A short journey from there, the Bonnie Springs Ranch petting zoo allows children to get their first touch of a variety of animals or to see a shootout at Old Nevada.  Horseback riding at sunset is another favorite pastime in the local area for many valley residents.

Recreation in the heart of Las Vegas is a festival of events year-round.  Golf tournaments of national acclaim held in Las Vegas include the Las Vegas Invitational Golf Tournament.  And, for bowlers, the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), the Ladies Professional Bowling Association (LPBA) and American Bowling Congress (ABC)/Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) conducts tournaments in the Las Vegas Valley annually.

Other traditional events close to the hearts of Las Vegas residents include the National Finals Rodeo and Helldorado Days, a celebration which began more than 50 years ago.  For at least 10 days, the populace is draped in western wear to attend carnivals, a fair and a rodeo.  The Western wear and Helldorado badges have become a must, with the threat of being hauled into the Elks' kangaroo court without them.  In 1985, the National Finals Rodeo made its home in Las Vegas.  Throughout the spring and summer months, family entertainment can be found at the Jaycee State Fair, KNPR Craftwork Fair, and Boulder City Art in the Park.

Two excellent public recreational facilities and a private one offer families the chance to play and exercise together.  The YMCA offers an Olympic-size pool, weight rooms, a jogging track, exercise classes, handball, basketball and tennis.  The Independent Youth Athletic Association has handball, racquetball and basketball courts, as well as classes in jazzercise, soccer, the martial arts and cardiac-care exercise.

On the whole, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada just can't be beaten for leisure activities and proximity to some of the most beautiful vacation spots in the United States.  The famed Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, Utah's magnificent Color Country, Arizona's Lake Havasu and the original London Bridge, as well as several ghost towns are just a few of the recreation spots of the world within a short distance of the Las Vegas community.

The lifestyle of Las Vegas residents ranges from the sophisticated bright lights of the entertainment capital of the world to an urban lifestyle centered around home, family, school, church and community.  It truly is what you choose to make of it.


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