I used to think Las Vegas was not a place for kids. But on my recent trip there with my husband (our daughter at home with Grandma), I started to change my mind. For one, I really missed her, especially when seeing other happy parents and kids playing together in the pool and awing at the spectacular sights.
My husband and I love to go to Las Vegas, and usually go together once a year. We’re not really into gambling, but we love everything else Vegas has to offer: the pools, the amazing sights and impressive displays, the food, the liveliness, the spectacle. We usually spend most of the day by and in the pool, then later walk around the Strip and check out each hotel’s unique features, indulge in great food and drinks, see a show, and enjoy all kinds of live entertainment.
I had always thought that other than swimming, there wasn’t really wasn’t much for kids to do in Vegas (especially at night). But then again, my parents took my brother and me to Las Vegas when we were kids and we had a blast. There was plenty for us to do even back then: playing in the pool at the Hilton, visiting Circus Circus, having dinner at Benihana, and the highlight, going to the Donny and Marie show! My brother and I were even dressed up as Donny and Marie (to say I was a huge fan of theirs is an understatement).
I occurred to me that my daughter (now 6) would love Las Vegas! And I would love sharing all the fun there with her. There is even more to marvel at now than there was when I was a kid.
So, I’m already starting to plan our next Vegas family vacation. Here are some of the kid-friendly Las Vegas sights and activities I’m considering:
Bellagio Pool – My husband and I stayed at Bellagio during our last trip. While we have stayed at many different hotels along the Strip, Bellagio was our favorite and in our opinion, has the best pool for kids. www.bellagio.com
Circus Circus – A kid-friendly Vegas classic. I enjoyed it many moons ago and I know my daughter will too. Some highlights include the Kidway Circus Acts, the world’s largest permanent (and free) circus; and the Adventuredome Theme Park, an indoor amusement park with rides for all ages (http://www.adventuredome.com/). Visit http://www.circuscircus.com/
Shark Reef Mandalay Bay – My husband and I visited this exhibit a few years back and enjoyed it. It has all kinds of amazing sea life including sharks, of course, plus rays, sea turtles, jellyfish, a crocodile and more. You can even watch sharks swimming above you. http://www.mandalaybay.com/shark-reef/ and http://www.sharkreef.com/
Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat (at the Mirage) – Marvel at and learn about dolphins, white tigers, lions and leopards up close in this beautiful setting. It’s an educational and memorable experience that I know my daughter would love. http://www.mirage.com/attractions/secret-garden.aspx
Gondola Ride at the Venetian – It’s fun to pretend you’re in Venice, Italy as you cruise through the canals on a gondola steered by a singing gondolier. https://www.venetian.com/hotel/attractions/gondola-rides.html
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – If posing for pictures with lifelike wax replicas of celebrities is your family’s idea of fun, then this place is worth checking out. https://www.madametussauds.com/LasVegas/
Sightseeing Around the Strip – Each hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has unique features worth seeing. In addition to the stunning, often whimsical architecture unique to each site, here are some things to check out: Paris Las Vegas – Eiffel Tower outside and Paris street scene inside; Bellagio dancing fountains, Fiori di Como glass sculpture on the ceiling in the lobby, Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and a gallery of fine art; Caesars Palace – Forum Shops and Fall of Atlantis show; New York New York – New York streetscape and Hershey’s Chocolate World; Venetian – Canal Shops and “Streetmosphere”; Luxor – Titanic Artifact Exhibition; Excalibur – Tournament of Kings; Flamingo – Wildlife Habitat; Stratosphere – Tower; and, The High Roller (outside of the LINQ), the world’s tallest observation tower.
Many of the properties also have arcades. They include: Bellagio; Circus Circus; GameWorks Las Vegas on the Strip; Luxor; MGM; The Orleans Kid’s Tyme; Excalibur Fantasy Fair Midway; and Strat-o-fair Arcade at Stratosphere Hotel.
Some off-the-Strip kid-friendly places to consider include:
Town Square Children’s Park: http://www.mytownsquarelasvegas.com/concierge/children-s-park
Fremont Street Experience: http://vegasexperience.com/
Golden Nugget Shark Tank (on Fremont Street): http://www.goldennugget.com/lasvegas/show_sharktanktours.asp
The Treehouse at Downtown Container Park (on Fremont Street): http://downtowncontainerpark.com/play/
Silverton Hotel Aquarium and Mermaids: http://www.silvertoncasino.com/las-vegas-mermaids.aspx
Kid-friendly Las Vegas shows:
When in Las Vegas, seeing a show tops off the trip. My husband and I have seen several, including Cirque Du Soleil shows, “O” and “Mystere.” There are many kid-friendly shows, including the following:
Most of the Cirque Du Soleil shows: O, Mystere, The Beatles, Love, Michael Jackson ONE, and Zarkana: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/home/shows/americas/usa/nevada/las-vegas.aspx
Gregory Popovich Comedy Pet Theater at the Planet Hollywood Casino: http://www.comedypet.com/
The Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah’s: http://www.mackingshow.com/
The Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo: http://www.montecarlo.com/entertainment/bluemangroup.aspx
Jeff Civillico: Comedy in Action (the LINQ Hotel): https://www.jeffcivillico.com/
Tournament of Kings: http://www.excalibur.com/entertainment/tournament_of_kings.aspx
Donny and Marie (at the Flaming) – ok, this one’s probably for me (for nostalgia’s sake) as my daughter has no idea who they are. I’m sure she’d like the show though. https://www.caesars.com/flamingo-las-vegas/shows/donny-and-marie#.VZLYzPlVhBc
Kid-friendly Las Vegas Restaurants:
Food options in Las Vegas are endless. In addition to any number of buffets, cafes, and food courts, here are a few kid-friendly options:
Rainforest Café at MGM: http://www.mgmgrand.com/restaurants/rainforest-cafe.aspx
Serendipity 3 at Caesar’s Palace: https://www.caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/serendipity-3#.VZLcGvlVhBc
Margaritaville (on the Strip): http://www.margaritavillelasvegas.com/
Kahunaville (Treasure Island): http://www.treasureisland.com/restaurant/11/kahunaville
Benihana (off the Strip) – for old time’s sake: http://www.benihana.com/locations/lasvegas-nv-la/
Sure, parent-only trips are great, and my husband and I will continue to take them. But, I can’t wait to experience the “child side” of Vegas on our next trip with our daughter.
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