Have you ever considered taking the entire family to Las Vegas, Nevada? This destination may not stand out as an obvious choice for your next family vacation; however, you might be surprised by the list of kid-friendly activities in the area. In addition, we share some advice about traveling to “sin city” with kids.
Should You Visit Las Vegas With Kids?
Our family recently attended a wedding in Las Vegas, Nevada. I kept asking myself, “Is Vegas with kids a good idea?” To be honest, the place we refer to as “sin city” was not high on my list of places I wanted to explore with my kids. If you’ve ever walked the strip at night you know why. I had always considered this a girlfriend getaway or a couples only destination.
I was surprised to find this city does have some entertainment options geared towards families. My kids will forever remember the bright lights and tall buildings. The wow factor is certainly part of what makes Las Vegas so memorable. I’ll share with you everything I learned on this trip and my new list of dos and don’ts!
Picking The Right Accommodations
We’ve all heard of The Bellagio, Wynn Encore, Venetian-Palazzo hotels; they have been featured in movies and are a staple of the area. They’re some of the greatest in Vegas, right? Well, not necessarily if you are traveling with your kids. The best advice I have from our recent trip is to pick the right accommodations. Our family stayed at the Bellagio, and while this hotel was stunning and the fountain show at night was spectacular, I still would have preferred staying someplace that claimed to be a little more kid-friendly.
So where should you stay in Vegas with kids? We walked through several hotels during our stay and I spoke with my fellow TravelingMoms. Here are some of the recommendations:
1. The Mirage Hotel & Casino – There is a wide array of kid-friendly activities at this hotel. They are known for the nightly eruptions of the hotel’s signature man-made volcano. It’s also home to the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat and shows like Cirque du Soleil. The mirage appeared from our short visit to be a fun place to stay when visiting Las Vegas with kids.
2. Mandalay Bay Resort & Casio – Shark Reef Aquarium is a must-see! In addition to the awesome aquarium, they have a giant pool complex which includes a wave pool and a lazy river. Another thing I noticed was the abundant kid-friendly food options at the hotel’s 20 restaurants. Mandalay Bay must know that kids love a good pool and food!
3. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino – Pools, waterfalls, and river-pools are sure to please any family staying here! They even have a Rainforest Cafe, which is one of my kids’ most favorite restaurants.
TravelingMom Tip: The Big Apple in Las Vegas Hotel New York-New York claims to be kid-friendly but many have said to avoid staying here with kids.
Now that you have the accommodations figured out, you’re going to want to plan out some activities for the family to do during your visit. Here are some must-see attractions:
M&M World – My kids loved it! They have different floors, each with something new to see. My kids loved the quick show you could watch with your favorite M&M characters. I must admit, I was elated to try all the different M&M flavors. Who doesn’t love chocolate?!
Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower – Our kids loved the 460 ft.-high observation deck atop Paris Las Vegas’ half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. What a view!
The Shows – You would be surprised at the list of great shows that you can enjoy with your kids. Vegas isn’t known for its PG entertainment options, but they do exist!
Tournament of Kings – This is a dinner show and is recommended by one of our TravelingMoms.
Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat– This is a zoo-like an animal sanctuary at the Mirage. A great way to spend the afternoon with the kids.
Bellagio Conservatory & Fountains – Our family stayed at the Bellagio and while it’s not the most kid-friendly hotel, the Conservatory and Fountain show were both worth seeing!
Additional Family-Friendly Activities
AdventureDome – You won’t want to miss a visit to this 5-acre indoor amusement park located at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, Nevada, on the Las Vegas Strip. There are so many kid-friendly activities; roller coasters, arcade games, and ever a roller skating rink. We always look for a good theme park or amusement park when we travel.
The Discovery Children’s Museum – This museum is located downtown and is a fun hands-on and interactive museum. You can spend all day exploring this 58,000 square-foot Discovery Children’s Museum.
The High Roller Observation Wheel – Add this experience to your list. Ride the biggest Ferris wheel in the world. You will soar 550 feet above the center of the Las Vegas Strip. The 360-degree views of Las Vegas are breathtaking. Kids under 7 get in FREE!
Tree House & Play Zone at the Downtown Container Park – If you’re looking for a place to let the kids run around for a while you should check out the downtown Container Park. They have a play zone just for kids.
Fremont Street Experience – Every evening you can enjoy seeing the world’s biggest light show on four blocks of Fremont Street. The lights and music is sure to impress the kids. There is also a zip line at the Fremont Street Experience.
Things To Avoid While Visiting Las Vegas With Kids
I would avoid walking the strip after dark. This street becomes a whole new world at night. Every day we would get up early and walk the strip. The Las Vegas nightlife is geared towards adults so when it got dark, my family could be found relaxing in our hotel. Try to plan your activities early in the day. If you are going to see a show at night, take a taxi, avoid walking the streets. If you’ve ever visited New York City with kids then you know that the night-life can be very overwhelming for young kids.
It’s best to have your own transportation. You can expect to pay high prices for food and drinks if you are staying on the strip. Even budget-friendly places like CVS pharmacy and McDonald’s had unusually high prices. Next time, we will stay off the strip and have our own transportation.
Explore The World Around Vegas
The best part of our Vegas trip wasn’t actually Vegas itself. I’m so glad we took the time to rent a car and explore the fun things available to us near Las Vegas. Did you know it’s only a 2 1/2 drive to Zion National Park from Las Vegas, Nevada? The days we spent at Zion were among my most favorite travel memories to date. Read all about our trip to Zion National Park. There are so many other nearby places that you’ll want to see like Red Rock Canyon which is only a 20-minute drive from Vegas and Hoover Dam is only a 40-minute drive. Even the Grand Canyon is only a short 4-hour drive from Las Vegas. There are so many nearby sights and attractions for the family to explore.