Are you going to Las Vegas and taking your kids?
Do not despair! Las Vegas is great for kids too! Vacationing in Las Vegas with kids is not as unusual as you may think it is. There are lots of parents out there that want to go to Vegas but have no one to leave their kids with, so they take them.
After being stationed a few years in Vegas with lots of other families I can assure you that there is plenty of stuff to do for kids and families. Some of the best stuff for kids will be on the strip, but more often than not it will be off the strip.
9 Tips for Visiting Las Vegas with Kids
1. Rent a car
You will want to rent a car because many kid-friendly activities are not within walking distance like the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.
There are cabs available too, but after being ripped off by two cab drivers in Vegas my advice is to avoid them.
2. Avoid the strip
Keep the kids off the strip as much as possible. Find a different way to get around: rental car, monorail, taxi, anything that keeps them off the strip. Once they are walking down the strip there is no telling what they may see. Things my kids have seen are Mickey Mouse getting drunk, stripper cards, and barely dressed women. I was stunned when a man walked up to my nine year old and handed him a small card with a naked woman on it. They don’t care if it’s a kid, so the best thing to do is avoid them completely.
3. Make the Pool a Priority
Stay at a hotel or casino with a cool pool like the Golden Nugget. Vegas is hot and a great way to cool down is to hit the pool. (Make sure the pool will be open when you visit before you book!)
4. Stick to Kid-Friendly Restaurants
Eat at Kid Friendly restaurants in Las Vegas to avoid to see lots of drunkenness. Most people come to Vegas to party and they party hard. It can be so tempting to take your kids to a restaurant you hear about and I certainly have multiple times. If you want to take them to a popular restaurant where people will be partying just take them for lunch or an early dinner.
5. Shopping Centers with Playgrounds
If you are going to take kids shopping pick out a place that has a playground and splash pad so they can play while you get your shopping on, like Tivoli Village or Town Square. This is a great way to make sure your kids stay happy which means you can actually shop.
6. Lots and Lots of Water
Make sure each of your kids has plenty of water. Las Vegas is extremely dry and kids can dehydrate quickly. The water tastes like crap in Las Vegas so take water flavor mixers with you. I recommend bringing reusable water bottles with you so you can constantly keep them filled and always have water on hand. Nothing will ruin your trip faster than dehydrated kids.
7. Sunglasses and Sunscreen
Kids will also need a pair of sunglasses and sunscreen. Remember to reapply sunscreen at least once during the day even if you are just going in and out of places. If you are at the pool you will want to be more diligent. It takes little to no time for kids to burn. If the kids are willing make them wear a hat as well. The more you can do to protect them from the sun the easier the next day will be.
8. Get a Babysitter
Take advantage of the safe childcare options available. The Palms Casino has childcare, as does a few of the Station casinos. I’ve used the one at the Palms and feel comfortable recommending it.
9. Find Kid-Friendly Shows
Take them to an age-appropriate show like Mystere, Beatles Love, or one of the pet shows. Kids LOVE pet shows. (KA is too dark for kids, they will fall asleep. I know this because I fell asleep during it.)
For the most part, if you just don’t walk up and down the strip you will be able to avoid your kids seeing certain things you would rather them not see like Mickey Mouse getting drunk or half-naked ladies. If you want to see the front of a certain casino, like the Bellagio, drive over to it and walk out front instead of walking over from another casino.