Bass Pro Shop Summer Camp

9_5356149_1Bass Pro Shops¬†(the official name on the logo is plural, so I’m keeping it plural) is the enormous hunting/fishing/camping/outdoor retail mega-emporium that is directly adjacent to the Silverton Casino, Hotel, and Lodge. In fact, they are connected, and you can seamlessly walk from one into the other.

You might be thinking, “why would I want to bring my kids to shop for hunting/fishing/camping/outdoor gear while I’m in Vegas?” I’m guessing if you’re not particularly into any of that stuff, this question will be particularly acute.

You’d want to visit Bass Pro Shops because, even if you’re not buying, it’s an incredibly fun thing to do. Yes, just what every merchant wants to hear, I’m sure, but bear me out.

As adults, we get used to commodifying pleasure: if you’re going to have fun, you’ll pay for it somehow, whether it’s buying movie tickets, investing in a shiny new gadget, or purchasing media. Not so for kids. When your kids are small, just about anything can be fun. ¬†Personally, I can take my kids to the local supermarket for 45 minutes and have a ball just looking at all the quirky stuff they have on sale. When it’s summer in Vegas, spending time in any air-conditioned space is priority number one. So cruising a retail store really isn’t that strange–at least for me.
9_8688646_16Bass Pro Shops, though, isn’t just any store. It’s got what feels like acres of audaciously cool
stuff. Your kids will thrill to their introduction to action taxidermy, as they are delighted and sometimes frightened by the realistically mounted animals throughout the store. If you’ve got your own bow, they can practice their archery. And, even if they can’t swim, you board any or all of the dozens of boats they have for sail. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and the Nevada Revised Statutes).

So what I’m saying is that you could easily spend an hour here, just wandering around. There’s also a target shooting game that I can see being a big attraction for some kids.

But wait, there’s more! This summer (through July 13), Bass is running “Family Summer Camp,” a series of events every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

There are some events that run from noon to 5, and others that run from noon to 2. From noon to 2, your kids can do a crafts project, like “Create Your Own Rainbow Thermometer.” From noon to 5, you can do things like hit the BB shooting range, where your kids get to practice shooting at a target. There’s an upstairs shooting game, too, so they can have some fun trying that out as well.

The best things, I found, were the workshops. In these, an instructor leads the kids through the basics of one outdoor activity, teaching them safety tips and other useful information; when they are done, the kids get little pins. So far, we’ve attended the swimming and hunting and shooting workshops. The hunting one was more conversation and safety than technique, although we all learned a little about the various kinds of hunting.

You might not be into the outdoors, but at the very minimum this is something fun to do inside. We spent about two hours there last weekend, and will be going back soon.


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