Have you ever considered taking a family trip to Las Vegas? This well known party haven may not stand out as a reasonable option for your next family vacation, however, you might be surprised by the list of kid friendly activities in the area. Furthermore, we share some advice on traveling through Lost Wages, erm, Las Vegas.
Is Sin City family friendly?
We decided to test this ourselves by staying in Las Vegas for two weeks!! Way too much time to spend in Vegas, by the way. We road tripped our way through the West Coast and decided to give it a shot! We’ve kind of always considered this place a couples only retreat or bachelor/bachelorette weekend getaway, so it wasn’t high on our list to take our daughter to.
We arrived to the bright lights and unusual architecture scattered throughout the city and to our surprise, there was actually some family friendly activities that we could all enjoy. When planning your trip to Las Vegas, staying on the main strip may be tempting. We went with an Airbnb about a mile from all the attractions. Close enough so that we could get home in a few minutes and far enough away that we avoided all of the strip traffic and visitors. When we were at our apartment, we couldn’t even tell we were in Vegas. We had a playground on site and felt comfortable staying away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Before getting into the family friendly options, there’s a few things to mention that you should keep in mind that we learned during our experience.
THINGS TO AVOID:
Stay away from the strip after dark. It’s a whole new world on the strip as soon as the sun goes down. There’s a few areas that weren’t so bad and we never actually ran into any dangerous situations to be fair. The issues we did run into however was the abundance of drugs as you couldn’t get past a street corner without the strong odor of pot and smoke hitting you in the face. Other things to watch out for after dark may be obvious but hookers and drunk tourists come by the dozens at night.
Food and drinks on the strip are also to be avoided due to high pricing. Moving onto the positives!
FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES:
1) M&M’s World
Located on the strip, this four story building is full of candy, home decor, kitchenware, toys, clothes and more. There’s an entire wall full of large tubes filled with different colored M&M’s that aren’t available in a regular bag as well as a station where you can personalize your own M&M’s and watch them be made. It’s a neat place to look around at souvenirs and the kids will be sure to want to try some candy.
2) Vegas Shows
Las Vegas is arguably considered The Entertainment Capitol of the World, and reasonably so due to the unlimited variety of show types. Although most of these are geared toward adults, there’s a fair share of shows that are family friendly. Whether your family is in the mood for a magic show, musicians, comedians or variety shows – there’s something for everyone. We enjoyed the Mac King Comedy Magic Show and Paranormal – Mind Reading Magic Show.
3) Bellagio Fountains
Outside of the Bellagio Resort is an 8.5-acre lake that explodes with over 1,200 fountains shooting water up to 500 feet in the air which provide a wonderful show of choreographed dancing water, lights and music. (Our 2 year old LOVED this!) Watch geysers shoot lit water hundreds of feet in the air while listening to the classical music it is in sync with. The free shows take place every half hour until 8 pm and then every 15 minutes until midnight, and we recommend the early evening show.
4) Circus Circus Adventuredome Theme Park
The Adventuredome should top your list of family activities while in Las Vegas. Located directly behind Circus Circus in the large pink dome, this indoor theme park offers rides and games year round for every age and range from family and kid rides to thrill rides and roller coasters. Apart from just the rides, there are carnival games, arcades, mini- golf and more attractions. It’s free to enter and only costs to ride and play. If you plan on spending some time at the park, purchasing the All Day Ride Pass will pay for itself after just a few rides!
5) Shark Reef Aquarium
Although the attraction is on the relatively smaller side, there’s enough sharks and marine life to keep the kids’ interest for an hour or so. There’s an awesome underwater shark tunnel that passes through the aquarium, letting the family experience sharks swimming over their heads. The touch pool is a can’t-miss, as is the jungle exhibit, which houses a Komodo dragon, a crocodile and a python.
6) Tastes of the World at the Coca-Cola Store
Not far from M&M’s World, the Coca Cola Store has essentially everything Coke. There’s brand apparel and accessories, home decor and other novelty items. The best part about this store and the reason it made our list of things to do with the family is because of the beverage bar. This is located on the second floor along with seating where you can order an Around The World Tray.
These trays consist of two rows of eight sodas that are popular soda drinks from various parts of the world along with a list of all the drinks and what country they are from. Trying different drinks from around the world is very interesting and a good way to spend some time on the strip.
7) Indoor Playground
This may have been the absolute best thing we did in Vegas for Braelynn! She had the best time at Adventure Indoor Playground. We were able to spend hours here and the other children, swings, slides, cars, ball pits etc kept our 2 year old entertained throughout and even wore her out so she slept well! HUGE bonus! Another added bonus is that it only cost $10 for Braelynn – us parents were free, which is hard to come by now-a-days. With you being able to come and go as you please, free re-entry for the full day, made it that more enjoyable. Had Braelynn decided, we would’ve spent every day there at Adventure Indoor Playground.
8) High Roller Observation Wheel
The world’s tallest observation wheel, sitting at 550 feet tall towering high over Las Vegas Boulevard is the High Roller observation wheel. The High Roller gives riders a spectacular 360-degree view of the strip and far beyond. Visitors step into glass-enclosed cabins that slowly rotate at one foot per second to give them a leisurely 30 minute ride.
All in all, there’s a long list of family friendly activities in Las Vegas and you might just be surprised how well a family vacation could go in Sin City. Make sure to avoid the strip too late at night and keep an eye on the kids as casinos are quite strict about letting children get near any sort of slots or casino games. Vegas is still a place of parties, alcohol, gambling and adult entertainment so it’s something to keep in mind before making any plans.