Are you considering a trip to Las Vegas with your kids? Having recently visited with my two boys, I thought I’d share with you some of the things we did there, all of which are 100% kid appropriate and very well done! The only problem… They’re in Las Vegas…
Let me explain
Having done the bulk of my traveling since the arrival of my kids, there’s rarely if ever been a place I felt I couldn’t take them. The reality is, if they weren’t going, I wasn’t going, so they went! Ancient temple in Japan, no problem! Fashion exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art! They loved it too! Windsor Castle, the streets of Belfast, Rome, Paris, New Orleans, and the list goes on.
My mindset has always been: Why wouldn’t I bring my kids, after all, people in these other places have kids too! That said, you might be shocked to hear me say, “Las Vegas, isn’t really for kids.”
I know, how could I? When this goes against everything I’ve always said about travel with kids, but for a number of reasons, I’ve never liked the idea of bringing my kids to Las Vegas, and having recently done so, I can safely say that I should have gone with my first instincts.
My older son, Simon, who is close to 15, says that Vegas is like the Twizzler Statue of Liberty Pictured below: “It looks really cool at first, but then when you get up close it’s dirty and gross.”
I’m sorry if you love Las Vegas, but this is pretty much a perfect analogy! It isn’t one thing exactly, just that it’s all so in your face. There’s no way to pick and choose what you might see.
Still considering a family visit to Sin City?
8 Family Friendly Things to do in Las Vegas
The Vegas Sign
You’ll probably want to document your trip, and a visit to the famous Las Vegas Sign is a great place to start! The Sign is located on a large pedestrian friendly median in the middle of S. Las Vegas Blvd. The city has kindly provided parking and a large visitor friendly area just for taking photos!
Las Vegas is located in the middle of a desert so swimming is a great idea, and very family friendly. Just make sure you’re at the “family” pool!! During our visit we had the opportunity to swim at the Mandalay Bay Pool, and the Shark Tank at the Golden Nugget, both were great fun!
The Mandalay Bay Pool
The pool complex at the Mandalay Bay is huge. You’ll find multiple pools, a lazy river, and a wave pool. Shade is a hot commodity, so if you’re planning a visit arrive early to claim your spot.
Temperatures reached 114 during our visit, so floating down the lazy river was a big hit, and is appropriate for all ages, so a great family activity. The boys also enjoyed the wave pool.
Towels are provided, and food and drinks can be ordered right from your lounge chair. Floaties and other pool supplies are available at the pool shop.
The Shark Tank at the Golden Nugget
Each pool has it’s claim to fame, but none quite like the Shark Tank at the Golden Nugget, referred to us by Erin at Oregon Girl Around the World, which literally has it’s water slide run through the middle of a large tank of sharks and other ferocious looking sea life!
Both my boys gave this a try! My teen quit after one go, saying the water in the pool was too cold. I admit it was a bit on the chilly side.
My little couldn’t care less if the water was cold and loved swimming around the outside of the tank, but once through the middle was enough for him.
The pool closes for swimming at 7 pm, but the pool area and bar stay open until 1 am.
Sweet tooth? You’re in luck! There are no shortage of treats to be found in Las Vegas! We loved the Chocolate box located in the Golden Nugget Hotel, but the ice cream at the Forum Shops in Cesar’s Palace wasn’t bad either!
The Eiffel Tower Experience
The photographer in me was looking for night shots of the famous Las Vegas Strip, but our visit to the Eiffel Tower Experience, at the Paris Hotel and Casino, was a win for the entire family!
Once you arrive on top, you’ll be 460 feet up, which means sweeping views of not only the Strip, but also the entire city!
Your time at the top is unlimited, so consider sticking around for a bird’s eye view of the Bellagio Fountain show, which takes place every 15 minutes after 8 pm.
I highly recommend purchasing these tickets in advance, as our last minute purchase wasn’t exactly smooth.
Speaking of fountains, The Bellagio isn’t the only fountain in town! The fountains in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace are full of fun surprises, including occasionally coming to life!
Shark Reef Mandalay Bay
The Shark Reef Aquarium, located in Mandalay Bay, is a fully accredited aquarium, and is home to not only sharks, but many other fascinating creatures as well.
Located just next to the aquarium is the Polar Journey, which was full of interactive exhibits that really appealed to my younger son.
Everything in Las Vegas is over the top and the rides are no exception! If you’re traveling with older kids or thrill seekers they’ll love all the choices.
My son rode the New York New York Big Apple Coaster and loved it! If, like our family, you have riders who aren’t thrilled by a ride like this, there is an arcade conveniently located just outside where you can occupy yourselves while you wait for your riders.
For those who prefer something a little more tame, consider a ride on the world’s tallest observation wheel The High Roller. Families are welcome!
Whether your artistic tastes range from fine to street or everything in between there is plenty to discover in Las Vegas! This visit found my teen and I exploring a treasure trove of amazing street art in the Fremont East District, but keep your eye out for traveling exhibitions as well.
The Neon Museum
Las Vegas wouldn’t be the same without it’s iconic neon lights. Many of which have been lighting up the night for decades. The Neon Museum is a unique museum and conservation nonprofit where you’ll learn all about the city’s history as it relates to neon while walking among the larger than life signs. Seeing the iconic signs at sunset was a highlight of our entire stay.
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