A Las Vegas Family Guide
Written by: Jamie Baker in October 2012
There are many interesting things for kids to do in Las Vegas, with much for them to experience.
A) WHERE TO STAY:
Many hotel options are available. If you want to splash out, two hotels are certainly suitable: the Four Seasons Hotel and, right next door, The Mandalay Bay, also well known for its efficient, caring staff and classic rooms. Both epitomize luxury and are perfect for families, especially with young kids. Although not far from the casinos and exciting night life, they remain a peaceful oasis offering easy access to their respective amenities.
Should your budget not stretch that far, two of the on Strip hotels, Circus-Circus, and the Stratosphere, are good alternatives, especially for the kids. Circus-Circus hosts the world’s largest circus and America’s biggest themed parkland. The Stratosphere, with its rotating restaurant and 1,149 foot tower, is also a winner. Off Strip are the Orleans and the Sunset Station, both offering friendly, fun options, with the Sunset Station’s active Kids Quest and the Orleans’ awesome 70 lane Bowling Center.
B) WHERE TO EAT:
Vegas offers attractive food choices, with cuisines for every budget. From gourmet fare to kids’ favorites, there is something for everyone.
The city features a choice of food courts, with plenty of variety. These are found at the New York-New York, Caesar’s Palace, Excalibur and Circus-Circus. From hot dogs to Haagen Dazs, pizzas to panini, everyone’s appetites will be satisfied!
Themed restaurants are a hit with the kids. When celebrities come to town, they occasionally stop at Planet Hollywood; you could meet your favorite star! There are plenty of film and television memorabilia for everyone to see and movie clips to watch while you eat.
Another favorite is the Rainforest Café, decorated as its namesake, animal noises included! Try their chocolate volcano desert, complete with caramel and chocolate ’lava’!
C) HOW TO GET AROUND:
Getting around is easy, with many options to and from McCarran International Airport, including taxis, rental cars, limos and free hotel shuttles. There is also a bus which does not leave from the airport and therefore requires a bit of a walk. Within the Strip, you can walk, catch a free tram or experience the monorail, running from one end to the other. Plenty of taxis and rental cars allow you to explore outside the Strip.
D) A FEW HANDY HINTS FOR MOM AND DAD:
In some ways, Vegas is like many other fashionable cities; some places are off limits to youngsters, and with good reason; plan your itinerary and how to get directly to and from your destination before you leave for your evening’s entertainment to ensure you and your kids are not walking the streets after 10pm.
This exciting town is home to a host of adult only themed shows so, although the gambling floors and adult areas are automatically off limits to kids, it is best to curb your naturally curious kids and make sure they never stray from your side! There could be adult only leaflets and cards being proffered or littering the floor!
E) WHERE TO LOOK FOR FAMILY ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES:
Las Vegas family activities are available both on and off the Strip, including shows for everyone.
On the Strip:
On the Strip, avail yourself of the many shows available. The Cirque du Soleil features acts to enthrall all the family. Their "O" and "KA" shows are exciting and very family friendly. Or try the Blue Man Group; an act with a difference! Three blue-hued men dressed in black will draw you into their fantasy world.
There are plenty of Vegas shows for the whole family; enjoy Mike Hammer’s Comedy Magic show at the Four Queens Hotel in downtown, or the Comedy Pet Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort or Dirk Arthur’s Extreme Magic Show, with his white tigers, Bengal tigers, spotted leopards, black panthers and a rare tiger. And what about the V: The Ultimate Variety Show at Planet Hollywood? Global award-winning magicians and illusionists perform in an exhilarating magic show, featuring comedy, physical feats, juggling and magic.
Try the Adventure Dome, offering five acres of indoor fun. From the Xtreme Zone, with rock climbing and bungee jumping, to the Arcade, with video games for everyone. Experience the thrills of the Stratosphere Tower, offering scream inducing rides such as the Big Shot, 112 stories high, Insanity and X-Scream, sitting on a 69 foot long roller coaster track.
On the Strip, there are the Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef with exotic sawfishes, giant rays, sea turtles, piranhas and a rare golden crocodile. Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat are at the Mirage Hotel, where you will come face to face with various big cats and bottlenose dolphins.
A way to see this lively city at your own pace is the Las Vegas Hop-on Hop-off Double Decker Bus. This includes over ten stops at hotels, attractions and restaurants.
Off the Strip:
Inside Las Vegas and away from the Strip are the Las Vegas Zoo, housing a variety of endangered species, and the Spring Reserve, offering nature walks and desert themed botanical gardens.
Las Vegas’ best kept secret must be its wonderful nature havens, found just outside the city itself. The majestic Grand Canyon offers nature enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to experience and learn all about its plant life, large vistas, plateaus and mesas. Take a sunset helicopter tour from Las Vegas over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon, stopping for a picnic; or how about the Grand Canyon All American Helicopter Flight, also incorporating a fly low over the famous Las Vegas neon Strip! Alternatively, try the Grand Canyon West Rim Air Tour and Western Cowboy Ranch Adventure, where you will fly over Hoover Dam, descend below the Grand Canyon Rim and have lunch at a working ranch!
Red Rock Canyon, famous for its desert wildlife and colorful history, is also just a few miles from Las Vegas. There are plenty of tours which offer the chance to learn about rock formations, hiking, biking and climbing trails, as well as a 13-mile scenic drive. The popular half mile Children’s Discovery Trail is one of the many things for kids to do in Las Vegas. Other tours include hiking and camping at the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead where your kids can become temporary Park Rangers, not forgetting the exciting Black Canyon river rafting. This is certainly a winner for Las Vegas family activities.
About the Author:
Jamie Baker has traveled extensively with her kids across the United States and overseas. She is a travel and lifestyle expert currently working for VegasKids.info where she writes about Las Vegas for kids.
Las Vegas For Kids: family fun
Written by: Jamie Baker in January 2012
Yes, Vegas is for kids too. A wholesome and fun side to Las Vegas is just waiting to be discovered by children and their families. Check out these family oriented attractions that steer clear of the usual adult entertainment and activities.
LAS VEGAS SHOWS FOR KIDS
Vegas being the Entertainment Capital of the World is home to Cirque du Soleil that produces and performs some of the world’s most colorful and acrobatic stage acts. The children will surely enjoy a Cirque du Soleil production and give it a two-thumbs-up rating. Also to be enjoyed are the heart-thumping rhythm and color performances of the Blue Man Group, various magic shows and comedy acts. Although there are enough Las Vegas shows for kids to keep them entertained parents are advised to still be on alert for unintentional exposure to adult advertisements for products or adult shows.
AMAZING NATURE TOURS
For the family that loves the outdoors, adventure in Las Vegas for kids includes nature tours both on the ground and in the air. A Red Rock Canyon day tour offers a stop at the Calico Hills sandstones and petroglyphs of Willow Springs. Or get high on board one of the helicopter tours that give a breathtaking view of the famous Grand Canyon then set you down for a trek on scenic trails. A small additional fee upgrades the air tour to include an airplane ride with stunning vistas of the deepest and widest part of the Grand Canyon, the Dragon Corridor and the impressive Colorado River. This is followed by strolls along national state parks for some picture-taking and souvenir hunting at the shops. It’s definitely a Las Vegas family vacation to remember.
VEGAS FAMILY HOTELS
While in Las Vegas kids and their families get a chance to stay at world-famous hotels. Of the 20 largest hotels in the world, 15 are found in Las Vegas and most of them are good for families on vacation. Book a room at one of the Las Vegas kid friendly hotels like Circus-Circus with its famous Midway of arcade games or check into Mandalay Bay/Four Seasons that has a large aquarium filled with exotic fish and sharks! Other hotels suitable for families include MGM Grand, Flamingo and the Venetian.
The vacation in Las Vegas kids will always remember? The one that includes an awesome thrill ride in one of the Las Vegas amusement parks! Be sure to get them on rides at the Adventuredome and the Stratosphere with its Big Shot and X Scream. For a classic scream ride there’s the humongous roller coaster at the New York New York.
So is Las Vegas for kids? Yes it is! Plan your vacation now and experience Vegas with the whole family.
About the Author:
Jamie Baker has traveled extensively with her kids across the United States and overseas. She is a travel and lifestyle expert currently working for VegasKids.info where she writes about Las Vegas for kids and specifically about hotels and shows in Vegas for kids. She lives in California with her husband and three children.
Las Vegas For Kids: The Hidden Gem
Written by: Jamie Baker in 2008
Looking for a great place to take your kids on vacation? If you demand the best entertainment value from a top quality destination, Las Vegas for kids is a sure bet. More than 5 million families with kids made Las Vegas their unanimous vacation choice last year. There is an enormous variety of attractions at affordable rates in kid friendly Las Vegas. The city has remained for too long a hidden gem, but no longer. Below, find the top hidden gems in Las Vegas for kids.
1) AMAZING NATURE TOURS.
Las Vegas for Kids it’s not only the city itself, but also the surrounding areas such as Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Grand Canyon ranks as the best among Las Vegas family tours. Your kids will enjoy the low flying helicopter tours. Not to worry! The flights are air-conditioned, secure and enclosed. The flight takes you over the desert to the Grand Canyon West Rim and over the Colorado River and Hoover Dam. You will enjoy amazing aerial views.
2) STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS.
Just a few minutes away from Las Vegas lies Red Rock Canyon, one of the Mojave Desert's most beautiful areas. You can go sightseeing and take photos along the way. You may find Indian roasting pits and petroglyphs. You can also visit the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, a working ranch nestled at the base of the dramatic Wilson Cliffs. This Las Vegas family attraction will take you to a journey from Calico Hills and finally to Willow Springs. It’s definitely a must-see.
3) LAS VEGAS KIDS SHOWS.
Shows are among the top kids’ attractions on the Strip. Your vacation in Las Vegas with Kids would not be complete without attending at least one of them. There a number of fantastic magic shows such as Lance Burton, the Greatest Magic Show at the Greek Isle Hotel and the Mac King Comedy show. The Blue Man Group has been a big hit with kids and teenagers for years. For other top-rated Las Vegas kids shows, you can check Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater featuring all kinds of animal tricks, the Tournament of Kings, and V - The Ultimate Variety Show.
4) LAS VEGAS AMUSEMENT PARKS.
Las Vegas for Kids would not be complete without mentioning Las Vegas Amusement Parks. Las Vegas is home to one of America's largest indoor amusement parks, the Adventuredome. It's an indoor theme park encased by a five-and-a-half-acre glass pink dome. Adventuredome is definitely a thrill-seekers' paradise providing your vacation in Las Vegas with Kids the best value for money.
For added fun, check out The Aquarium at the Silverton. It houses a 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium holding all types of exotic and colorful fish. There are other great Las Vegas kids attractions such as the Big Shot, Canyon Blaster, Chaos and Desperado.
All these excellent kids’ attractions will make your stay in Las Vegas with Kids a truly memorable one.