In My Backyard is an ongoing segment of slightly longer and more in depth reviews on activities, restaurants and shows in and around Las Vegas, NV. I decided to write these because the thing I love the most about living in Las Vegas is all the activities, shows etc. I have easy access to and I want to share that knowledge with you, so when you come and visit you have an inside view take on what there is.
I love presents! Not to go all Veruca Salt on you, I actually love giving presents. The idea of finding a unique gift, whether it be big or small is a creative challenge, plus everyone ends up happy! Who doesn’t like getting presents? Earlier this year the search for Derek’s birthday present led me to Dig This in Las Vegas, where you could sign up, channel your inner Tonka Truck-playing child within you and go play with the real things.
Dig This has various packages that allow you drive either a bulldozer or an excavator in either a 90 minute package or a 3 ½ hour package (driving both), they also have various group packages etc all can be found on their website here. I purchased Derek the 90 minute package for his birthday on an excavator. If you’re wondering why I didn’t also choose to do it with him- I can’t even parallel park, I didn’t think driving a bulldozer or an excavator would be in anyones best interest. I was very happy with the idea of sitting this one out and playing spectator.
After you’ve purchased your ticket you get a confirmation laying out the ground rules and what to expect. It’s nothing shocking; don’t drink you take a breathalyzer, arrive 20 minutes early so you can start orientation on time and be able to speak and understand english (you can arrange for an interpreter but you must do this ahead of time).
First off talk about a smooth operation, we arrive 20 minutes early where we’re told to wait a few minutes. Derek is then asked to sign a waiver, takes the breathalyzer test and next thing we know we’re being whisked away to do orientation. Orientation was short and sweet, not a lengthy “class” like I had anticipated, I was almost suspicious. They kept making it sound like it was no big deal, would be tons of fun.. really easy. It just didn’t make sense, there was this huge dirt lot, and these people were going to be driving around in bulldozers and excavators without any gates in between each other. Shouldn’t there have at least been a short test at the end?
Once orientation is over you head out to the lot and each person gets in their own bulldozer or excavator and is given a two way radio to communicate with your instructor. Just a side note- spectators, there’s a bench in the lot are and you can walk around a bit so it’s great for taking pictures just wear really good shoes! The instructor helps walk you through the machine, all of it’s various button and levers. Dig This found the right balance between classroom orientation and instruction with just getting you out there to learn by doing. I had become less skeptical at the lack of instruction the second I saw Derek’s grin as he was doing 360’s in the cab of the excavator.
They have various exercises and activities they walk you through. These are not only awesome to do & watch but helps you get more and more comfortable using the heavy machinery. They do an excellent job of allowing you a mix of free time and various exercises so you never feel like you are doing something repetitive. Best of all you are out there the entire 90 minutes! It is well worth the price at $249, especially when you consider your in Las Vegas and you can easily gamble that away in a matter of minutes. After the 90 minutes is up, you even have a little “award ceremony.” I don’t think one person got out of their machine without a huge smile plastered on their face. In fact, the entire experience seemed so easy and fun the I can’t wait to go back and try it again for myself.
Dig This would be a great experience for anyone looking to do something a little different on their Las Vegas trip. It would be an awesome group experience for bachelor/bachelorette parties to give as a gift, or for anyone who has ever seen a bulldozer and thought I want to drive one of those!
This is not something that you want to do with a hangover I would definitely do it before the first night of hardcore drinking if you are planning a trip to Las Vegas and remember they make you take a breathalyzer and you will not get a refund if you fail. One last thing, I would suggest booking it in advance to get the best time slots. Nobody, likes having to be somewhere at 8 am in Las Vegas.