I have read so many posts recently about Las Vegas and why it is not good for kids, in fact I remember when we booked Vegas a couple of yeas ago, when we told people we were taking the boys they took a sharp intake of breath. No one could understand it. And I don’t disagree with what others say, there are so many things you can’t do in Vegas with kids.
Having said that, if you plan your trip well I do believe Las Vegas is a place that should be seen through the eyes of a child.
It is not fully geared up for families, yet we were never once made to feel uncomfortable. You cannot take children in bars, but you can go into a restaurant as a family. We found that most restaurants did not offer kids menus, but they were very accommodating and would allow you to order one meal with two plates. Or there were often a variety of starters to suit.
We visited in October and there were many other families, we were not alone. Yet it is clearly a predominately adult environment, but there is no reason if you exercise a little caution you cannot enjoy this incredibly wonderful place as a family. And with the help of the boys I have compiled a list of things kids absolutely love about Las Vegas.
- The theming, as soon as you step out of your hotel it is everywhere. Every hotel is extravagantly styled in its own unique way. We stayed in the MGM Grande it is huge, more of a village than a hotel, with many restaurants, shops and bars. The hotel pool complex is just incredible, and as we visited later in the season it was more of a chilled environment than in full on party mode.
- Of course the MGM for kids all about the Lions. The boys loved feeding time; we set our Vegas clocks around Lion feeding times so the boys could see it every day. And just watching the keepers snuggle with these huge powerful animals was incredible to watch.
- Our view from our suite was overlooking the New York Hotel, again incredible theming with a roller coaster built into the facade, a Jelly Bean shop and a tradition Irish bar. There was always some sort of New York style street party going on outside the hotel; it was so much fun, and an incredible atmosphere.
- The fountains at the Bellagio, we went to see them twice in a week, the sheer scale and beauty of the fountains is breathtaking, the boys spent hours marveling at exactly how the water was able to synchronise to lights and music. The fountains at the Bellagio are something you have to see to believe.
- The Bellagio Arcadia, in essence is the most stunning seasonal flower display, it’s really hard to put it into words. When we visited the fall display was in full bloom, it was breathtaking. We spent hours admiring displays of autumn trees and pumpkins. I would go as far to say it felt magical.
- Circus, Circus, now I did not love the fun fair at Circus Circus, but for kids it was heaven. It is a huge indoor fun fair and arcade, all built under a glass dome. The boys were so excited they didn’t know what to do first, to be honest we could have spent a whole day in there with all the rides, and the largest kids arcade I have ever seen, I suppose it was a bit like a kids casino where the reward was stuffed teddies rather than cold cash.
- Siegfreid and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage, this attraction is a huge example of exactly how deceptive Las Vegas is, you enter through the hotel thinking it can’t possibly be that big, situated behind a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip and then you enter the Secret Garden which is vast tropical garden with Dolphins, Lions and Tigers.
- Taking a trip on a gondola, or walk the street of Venice. The Venetian was just incredible, how can a hotel in the middle of the Nevada Desert make you feel although you are in Italy. Well, let me tell you it does, I have to say this was my favourite themed country. We ate pasta and gelato in a delicious Italian restaurant, and shopped in Venice with gondolas passing us by, and the stars twinkling on the artificial but very realistic ceiling above us.
- Watch the Pirate show at Treasure Island. The show is set out side the hotel and plays out a battle between two rival pirate ships, and yes there are actually life-size pirate ships the boys were mesmerised. We went to the early showing that was suitable for families and it was incredible.
- And lastly, not quite on the strip, but visit the Grand Canyon. There are several options, coach tours, coach then helicopter or helicopter tours. We chose the helicopter tour, it was expensive at $1100 but wow I would say it was money well spent. We boarded our helicopter a 5am, and trust me I was so grumpy about this, but as we flew into the sunrise I thanked my lucky stars the booking lady had advised us to book this ungodly hour. It was magnificent; we flew over the Hoover Dam, many tiny settlements, even refueled in the middle of the Desert. And the grand finale, landed in the Canyon for a champagne breakfast. It days like that the boys will remember forever, and not an experience I would have wanted to encounter without my whole little family together.
Vegas for us was the most wonderful family trip, Chris and I are planning to go back alone as we would like to experience the casinos and breathtaking themed bars we saw, but could not visit. But am I glad we took the boys on our last trip? Absolutely, 100% In fact the boys are quite annoyed that we are not planning to take them with us next time.