Las Vegas with Kids
Kevin and I spent most of our lives living and growing up in Las Vegas. We’ve had a lot of time to experience the good things Vegas has to offer. Sadly Las Vegas has closed a lot of their cool, family friendly activities they used to have, and went for a more adult theme.
I worked for several years as a Nanny for families that were visiting Las Vegas. The parents would call the agency and then I would get a call asking if I could come to a certain hotel and I would watch their kids while the parents went out. I brought games for the kids to entertain them. Some parents wanted me to take the kids out and do things and they paid for it, other times they just wanted me to hang in the room and put the children to bed. I nannied in most of the hotels on the strip, from basic rooms to VIP rooms, I had no idea even existed.
Your itinerary will most likely depend on your budget. There are free things to do, some worth while, others not really worth the hassle getting there. My kids would be content visiting a free park and swimming all day in the pool. You might have the budget to splurge a little more on something out of the ordinary.
Let’s start out on the Strip
Tip: One of the best things to avoid is walking on the Strip. If you want to visit different Casinos, drive to each of them. If you must walk, the day is a better time to do it. Walking from Casino to Casino at night will leave some bad images scarred in your kid’s minds.
The great thing about Bellagio, is their entertainment is free. Their Botanical Garden is constantly changed and absolutely gorgeous. I am never disappointed when we come. They have an awesome Water show outside to music. We have seen this countless times over the years and it doesn’t get old. The Bellagio is absolutely worth your time.
At the Adventuredome, admission is a bit high, but you can spend all day here. This is not a great Theme Park like you would find in California, but for Vegas, we enjoyed our time here. They have thrill rides, a water ride, roller coaster, laser tag, bumper cars, ect. We mostly did this when we were dating. It would be fun to bring the kids here. Circus Circus also has FREE Circus Acts here daily.
The Shark Reef: The Prices are reasonable, and you can get a hands on experience with Sting Rays and see over 2,000 animals. We have always loved coming here. (Kevin took me here on our first date). The downside with Children: You HAVE to walk by a wall of naked cast women’s breasts. (Well this is awkward) You can try and divert their attention to the fountain up ahead.
I’ve heard good things about their beach, but we have never been there.
Touching the Sting Rays
They have a FREE Volcano Show out front showing at 8 and 9pm all nights, and also 10pm on Friday and Saturday. It is worth seeing if you happen to be in the area. The main attraction is their Dolphin Habitat. It is spendy, but I have been impressed the times I have gone. The zoo portion in the habitat is sad though. Some of the cages are quite small for the animals. It is always fun to be there when the Dolphins are being fed. Inside the Casino, they do have a beautiful atrium and aquarium. I wouldn’t go out of the way to see it, but I walked a few children through there while I nannied.
Excalibur is a casino set in the medieval times. They have a Dinner and a Show called “Tournament of the Kings”. You get to see Jousting and a performance that engages the audience. It is probably the priciest thing on this list, but we love it. We’ve gone several times and have enjoyed it each time. Children 3 and under are FREE if they sit on your lap. They have a large area called the “Fun Dungeon”. Kevin actually worked there as a teenager. You can play the midway games there. They used to have Puppet shows for the kids. I am not sure if they still do that or not. Pic source
If your children are old enough to appreciate the Titanic, or they are into it like my kids are, you will LOVE the Titanic Exhibition. I was imagining a large room with items they recovered from the wreckage. Boy was I wrong. You start off getting a ticket of a passenger that was really on the Titanic. Then you are led through the whole experience of what it was like on the ship. You see what the hallways and their rooms really looked like. You are taken on a journey like the passengers experienced, then eventually you get to the part in the story where they hit the ice burg. You get to touch a huge piece of ice that is kept at the same temperature that the water was that night. I highly recommend this, especially if you teach home school. It is a very cool experience. There is not very many other family friendly things to do here at this casino. Pic source
I would say this might be worth your time with Teenagers that are thrill seekers. We did a few of the rides up top and the view is beautiful.
Although the actual rooms are less than desirable to stay in, they do have an fun pool there. I went once as a teenager and I wish I went again. They have a fun water slide that is off to the side. The casino also has a Wildlife Habitat. That was fun to see and it is FREE. The pelican feedings are at 8:30am and 2pm. The casino isn’t very family friendly, but during the day, the pool and Habitat could be very fun. Pic source
The So So’s:
New York, New York
Tickets are fairly pricey for a 1 time ride. I don’t think you would want to go on this all day, so it isn’t really worth getting an all day pass either. They do have an arcade. I used to do Laser Tag here, I am not sure if they still have it. Pic Source
We loved their Forum Shops. I am sad doing this post and finding out that FAO Schwarz is now closed. That was pretty much why we went there. They still have the Cheesecake Factory and an aquarium to see. They should still have the Statue show, “The Fall of Atlantis” on the hour, every hour. The show is fairly short but fun. It can get pretty packed, but worth it to see if you happen to be there. Pic Source
Game Works, Coca Cola and M&M Factory
It used to be fun back in the day, but they closed a portion to the Coca-Cola Factory. Now everything is just super pricey. Game works is a large Arcade, and it can be fun. If you have the time to drive, We enjoy the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory in Henderson a lot more. They have a Cactus Garden and you can actually see how they make the Chocolate there.
At the Henderson Factory
This might be more for a date, rather than visiting with the kids. They have a Magic Shop, but most of the stores are not children geared. I have always wanted to go on a Gondola there, but it was always above our price range.
Not Worth it:
You might feel differently, but even as adults, we went once and never went again. Meh. Way too pricey and if you want a top of the strip view, go to the Stratosphere.
Planet Hollywood and TI (Treasure Island)
Treasure Island or TI used to be awesome when it was family friendly. Now that it is adult themed, it is not worth your time. Planet Hollywood used to be the Aladdin, and again more family friendly. They do have a little Rainstorm that goes off every hour during the week or every half hour on the weekend. I wouldn’t go out of the way just to see it. If you choose to shop there, the kids might enjoy it.
Now that their theme park is no longer there and they don’t have the Lions to see, there is not much worth seeing at MGM. When I was younger, I really enjoyed eating at the Rainforrest Cafe. It is a little bit pricier but it was themed and decorated fun and the kids might enjoy eating here.
Moving on Past the Strip
Carnival World Buffet at the Rio
If you are looking for a good Buffet, we have always liked the Carnival World Buffet at the Rio. The prices have gone up over the years, and it is true we haven’t eaten there in the past several years to vouch for the food, but I was always impressed with the selection and quality of the food. Pic source is actually from Groupon. That might be a nice way to save some money.
Wet ‘n’ Wild
If you are looking for a large water park that you will spend the whole day at, Wet ‘n’ Wild might be pretty fun. Pic Source
For Cheaper Swimming with Slides:
Free Splash Pads
Roller Skating and Blading
Crystal Palace: Many fun outings here growing up!
Discovery Children’s Museum
We moved several years ago, but the kids still talk about this Museum and express their desire to go back. There are 2 floors of things the kids can do and explore. There are things for toddlers and babies, and things all the way for older kids and even adults to learn and enjoy. This was well worth our money. We packed a lunch and ate at the tables they have there so we could spend more time. We would definitely go back.