Most people don’t think of Las Vegas as a destination for a family vacation, although it did try to reinvent itself as such in the 1990s. Now, Vegas has hearkened back to its roots as an adult destination. Most casinos don’t like children in their properties for the simple reason that they don’t gamble.
Not only that, but kids get on the nerves of adults who are trying to gamble seriously. And grownups who bring their offspring to Vegas have less time to spend in the casino because they’re looking after them.
But Las Vegas can be a great place for you to vacation with your family anyway. This post explains why that is and offers some details about to have a great vacation with your entire family in Las Vegas.
The Perks of Taking Your Family to Las Vegas for a Vacation
Las Vegas has many features that are great for vacationers with families. For one thing, you won’t find a city anywhere in the United States with better food for the price than the Las Vegas. And that’s one thing every vacationer with kids has to worry about – how to feed everyone affordably.
Lodging in Las Vegas is also notoriously affordable if you stay in the right places. The only destination I can think of with comparable prices for families traveling on a budget is Orlando, but you’ll spend so much money at Disney that it won’t matter what you saved on your motel stay.
The trick to enjoying a family vacation in Las Vegas is to pretend that there’s no gambling available at all.
What if You Want to Vacation in Vegas With Your Family and Gamble
I’m always reminded of the movie Vegas Vacation, where Clark Griswold takes his family to Vegas and ignores them as he plays blackjack and loses a fortune gambling while ignoring his wife and kids. It doesn’t have to be that way in real life.
The most important thing to remember is that people under 21 aren’t allowed to gamble. They’re also not allowed to accompany you while you’re gambling.
If you’re going to gamble in Vegas, you’re going to have to find somewhere to put your children. You might just leave them with your spouse and take turns gambling, but what if you want to gamble with your life partner on your vacation?
You have a limited number of options on the Strip or Downtown if this is the case. If your children are old enough, you can let them hang in their room or at the hotel swimming pool. If they’re old enough, you can even let them wander up and down the Strip. Of course, these options only work if you’re dealing with older children in their teens.
If you have children that are too young to be left unattended, you can hire a babysitter to sit with them in your hotel room, too. You can also find babysitters who will take your kids on outings. The concierge at the hotel might be able to help with this, but I recommend contacting Nannies and Housekeepers USA.
The Adventuredome at Circus Circus
If your kids are at least 10 years old, you can turn them loose at the Adventuredome at Circus Circus. This should keep them occupied for an hour or 2.
What is the Adventuredome?
It’s a 5-acre amusement park, but here’s the cool thing about it:
Your kids can ride rollercoasters like Canyon Blaster and El Loco. They can also play miniature golf and play carnival games. There’s even a rock climbing wall.
The park rests on a deck that’s elevated 18 feet in the air, and it’s enclosed in a huge glass dome.
Tickets for the Adventuredome start at $25, but that’s a great price for an amusement park these days – especially if you need to free yourself up from the kids long enough to get some gambling done.
Spending Time with Your Kids in Las Vegas – Where to Eat and Swim
I don’t think you should turn your kids loose on their own much in Las Vegas, as tempting as that might be. I think you should spend time with them while you’re there. The question is what should you do with the time that you’re spending with the young ‘uns?
The 2 biggest and most obvious things to do with your family in Las Vegas are eating and swimming. No matter where you stay in Las Vegas, you’ll find plenty of dining options, either on-property or nearby. You should take advantage of this opportunity to eat somewhere special – it doesn’t have to be somewhere expensive, either.
The Rainforest Café Is One of the Coolest Restaurants You Can Take Your Kids to in Las Vegas
The food is good, but the experience itself is also an adventure. The souvenir shop is cool, and the environmental message is one that everyone needs to hear.
Le Village Buffet is also really cool. It’s a buffet, and all 5 regions of France are represented at the various food stations there. Don’t let the family-friendly reputation and buffet nature of the restaurant fool you; it’s one of the best French restaurants in Vegas.
As far as swimming goes, that’s easy. Just go swimming at the hotel pool. Done.
Other Things to Do With Your Children in and Around Las Vegas
The Mirage should be on your short list of places to go in Las Vegas. The dolphins and white tigers there are not to be missed, and the volcano explodes repeatedly every evening. It’s still one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
The Stratosphere Tower should be on your list, too. Sorry, I’m old, and I use the old name – now it’s called “The Strat,” and they capitalize the whole thing. I’ll spare your eyes with the all caps, but I can’t recommend this enough. Not only is the view from the Skypod there literally unbelievable, but you’ll also find thrill rides there, including the highest-altitude rollercoaster in the world.
You can also take the kids shopping at The Forum Shops. You’ll find this pricey-but-cool mall at Caesars Palace on the Strip. It’s the most successful shopping mall in the country. It was built in 1992 and has been expanded twice since then. You’ll find over 150 different stores at The Forum Shops, and you’ll also find plenty of bars and restaurants there.
Rent a Car and Expand Your Options
If you rent a car, or if you just drive to Vegas, you have a lot more options with the kids near Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon is a national conservation areas 15 miles west of Las Vegas. You can see it from the Strip. It’s worth visiting because the red rock formations are breathtaking. If your children like hiking and rock climbing, they’ll love this.
Hoover Dam is another iconic option for families visiting Las Vegas. Be sure to stop at the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory on your way, though. Not only can you check out the gourmet chocolates there, you can also visit the Ethel M. Botanical Cactus Gardens and see over 300 different varieties of desert plantlife. Tours of the museum are self-guided.
Hoover Dam itself is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. It borders Arizona and Nevada. You can see the Griswolds visiting Hoover Dam in Vegas Vacation. It is, of course, named after President Herbert Hoover.
At the time it was built, it was the largest construction project in history. It was built by a consortium of 6 different companies working together, and they finished the project 2 years ahead of schedule. Hoover Dam is responsible for Lake Mead, the largest lake in the USA.
You can also take a guided raft trip through the Black Canyon while you’re there.
Biking, driving, or hiking in the Valley of Fire State Park are also all great options for families looking for something to do near Vegas.
Museums in and Around Las Vegas for the Whole Family
Finally, I’d like to point out that Vegas has a surprising number of cool museums you can visit with your family.
The Discovery Children’s Museum is good for kids 14 and younger. It has 3 stories and 58,000 square feet of education to offer, but it’s not just a place to go look at stuff. Visitors to this museum are expected to interact with the exhibits and programs on offer.
The Natural History Museum is right across the street from the Discovery Children’s Museum. You can view exhibits about dinosaurs and other animals here, but they also feature exhibits related to Egypt and King Tut.
Older children might enjoy some of the other quirky museums in Las Vegas, including The Mob Museum, The Neon Museum, The Pinball Hall of Fame, and the National Atomic Testing Museum.
Where to Stay On a Family Vacation in Las Vegas
At one time, I would have recommended Excalibur as the best hotel to stay with kids, but they’ve gotten away from the family traveler market. Circus Circus is really the only casino hotel on the Strip that caters to families.
The rooms at Circus Circus are adequate, but it’s far from a luxury hotel. That won’t bother you kids, though. They’ll be too occupied by the carnival games in the midways.
Of course, you can stay with children at any of the hotels in Vegas. None of them are “adult-only.” If you want something more upscale than Circus Circus, I suggest looking at one of the casino hotels with a great swimming pool.
Here’s a list of best hotel swimming pools in Vegas, in alphabetical order:
Also, some hotels do offer childcare. These include Boulder Station, The Orleans, and Red Rock Resort, among others.
Take a look at Green Valley Ranch Resort, too – it’s conveniently located in relation to all the sights and activities I’ve mentioned in my post. The property is isolated enough, though, that your kids can’t get into much trouble.
Las Vegas is an adult destination, but it has plenty to offer families, too. If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids on a special vacation, keep Vegas on your list of options.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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