We keep discovering new things to see and do in Las Vegas. I mean how can you drive by a giant praying mantis and not want to figure out why it's there?
It seems the Las Vegas Downtown Container Park is constructed of … well, it's constructed of shipping containers … big ones ... like the kind you see on cargo ships or being hauled by trailer trucks. Containers not only form the perimeter of the park, but they're also stacked on top of each other and some are even end to end. It's crazy, but it seems to work in this unique setting on Fremont Street East, a block or two east from the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall. We came upon it quite by accident when leaving downtown the other night and decided to revisit during the day.
First off, let's talk about that giant praying mantis that caught our attention in the first place. When extended, it reaches a height of 40' … I told you it was big! It was constructed by a local aerospace engineer as a first anniversary present for his wife (really?). It's motorized and has participated in a few local events. Each evening, there's a “Call to the Mantis” ceremony and it shoots flames in the air from its antennae. How's that for absurd excitement?
Back to the park itself. The containers are open on one side and each houses a shop. There are boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, fine arts stores and more. There's even a barber housed in an old train caboose. Free concerts are presented on the covered stage and a summer evening film fest is in full swing.
There's interesting stuff for kids (of all ages) to do. There's a giant tree house in the middle of the park with lots of stairs and passages and slides that look like they'd be really fun. We were tempted, but we didn't try the slides.
There's also a Neon 360 high-tech electronic playground game for individuals or teams that provides some aerobic exercise and is fun at the same time. Younger kids would enjoy the big foam building blocks in the center of the fenced playground area.
I love stumbling upon things like this. An unexpected pleasure worth sharing … and there are so many of them out there.