Nate and I have been to Las Vegas with and without our kids many times and we keep coming back.
There’s so much to do! Whether you want to spend a lot or just a little, there’s something for you.
Where to Stay
There is no shortage of places to stay.
You can find great deals at the casinos on and off the Strip. The Excalibur is our favorite. Its central enough to have easy access to the rest of the Strip, while not being in the center, where its more expensive. They have a great pool area, with three family pools where you can swim with the kids and a no-kids-allowed pool where adults can go if they want to relax without being splashed.
If you’re not traveling on a tight budget, Caesars Palace is another great option. We haven’t personally stayed at the hotel (because I’m married to an Economist and its never been in our budget). Caesar’s Palace not only boasts luxury rooms and suites, it has a history of hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment, with choices ranging from boxing to Celine Dion to magic shows. The pools are set up to resemble the Roman baths. Somehow, Nate and I lucked into access to the pools on one of our trips and it was definitely a more luxurious experience.
On our most recent trip with the kids, we rented a 3 bed/ 2 bath condo from AirBnB with another family. The condo was just outside Las Vegas, in Henderson. This was our first time not staying on the Strip. It was great with kids! Since both families had been to Vegas before, we wanted a place close enough to enjoy Vegas but far enough away that we could let the kids go outside and have some space to play on their own. We rented the condo for about the same price as a single room on the Strip. We had the pool to ourselves and a grocery store just down the road, for when we wanted to have a low-key day around the condo. We both had cars which made for short trips in to enjoy the diversions of Las Vegas.
What to do
Where do I start?
Our kids love places where they have some freedom to explore. For us, guided tours don’t work as well because our kids want to go at their own pace and I can’t blame them.
Some of our favorite things, day or night, can be found along the Strip. The kids are amazed each time we go to M&Ms World. We let them each fill a small bag of M&Ms of every different color you can image. There is also everything from pajamas, piggy banks, shot glasses, beach towels, and backpacks.
Watching the water show at The Bellagio is a tradition we indulge in every night we are in Las Vegas. There is something about swarms of people, from all different walks of life, standing shoulder to shoulder watching artistically designed water fountains set to music from the Golden Age of Vegas. Sometimes we watch for the length of a song and sometimes we find ourselves still enjoying the show an hour later.
Walking through the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace shows our kids another way of life. We go out of our way to find deals and to get the most value for the smallest price. Yet, here is a whole mall full of extravagance and glitz. It boasts high-end stores such as Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, and Emporio Armani.
Just the act of walking along the Strip is an experience in itself. Keep your kids close because sometimes the amount of people walking the Strip with you can be overwhelming, its easy for kids to get lost in the crowd. Also, tell your kids to keep their eyes up and don’t accept cards or flyers being handed out (they’re pictures of basically naked women and “adult services”). The lights and sounds at night can give you sensory overload, in the best way of course. You can see the New York skyline, an Egyptian pyramid, a fairytale castle, the Eiffel Tower and an 84-foot neon guitar. It is said that the Eiffel tower was planned to be built to scale but with the airport so close, they had to scale it down to its current height.
Finally, an experience you do not want to miss- Fremont Street. Five blocks of canopy-covered, pedestrian-only street. We took our kids at about 11 o’clock at night and their eyes were as big as saucers! Street performers of every kind. Eccentric couples getting cozy. Women with nothing on but their jewels. Monkeys on leashes. Elvis back from the dead. I’ve never seen anything quite like it anywhere else.
This is just the beginning of everything you can do in Las Vegas with your family. There are family-friendly shows. There are museums, like the mob museum and Madame Tussaud. There are hundreds of pools spread throughout the city, the casinos/hotels each have at least one. If you want a night to yourself, some of the casinos provide childcare so the parents can gamble, go to a show or nightclub, or whatever you can imagine.
What I’ve learned about Vegas, is that you have to have some kind of plan. Do you want to spend your days by the pool? Gamble? See the shows? See the fight? Take a gondola ride? Ride a roller coaster? See, I didn’t even mention the roller coaster or gondola rides. You can be overwhelmed by the choices that 1. you freeze and don’t get to do everything you want and leave regretting that you didn’t do more or 2. you go crazy and run yourself and kids ragged and possibly regret not being able to enjoy the things you did to their fullest.
Whatever you come to Las Vegas for, chances are, you’ll find it.